Keyes, Geoffrey, LTG

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Last Rank
Lieutenant General
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
00GC-Commanding General
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1951-1954, 00GC, Weapons Systems Evaluation Group (WSEG), Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)
Service Years
1908 - 1954
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates
Cold War Certificate


Lieutenant General

Seven Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
New Mexico
New Mexico
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by LTC Bob Thompson to remember Keyes, Geoffrey, LTG USA(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Fort Bayard
Last Address
Washington, DC

Date of Passing
Sep 17, 1967
Location of Interment
U.S. Military Academy West Point Post Cemetery - West Point, New York
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section X Site 17

 Official Badges 

Joint Chiefs of Staff Allied Forces Central Army Staff Identification US Army Retired (Pre-2007)

 Unofficial Badges 

Cold War Medal Cold War Veteran

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
West Point Association of Graduates
  1913, West Point Association of Graduates

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Geoffrey Keyes was born at Fort Bayard, New Mexico, on 30 October 1888. The son of a Cavalry officer, his forebears had a long and distinguished history of service and accomplishment, from the settling of the West, through the Civil War, and on back to the Revolutionary War.

He grew up along the Mexican border and in Mexico, entering the Academy from California. Always athletic, he excelled in numerous sports while a cadet, earning from Marty Maher the accolade of being "the only man who could stop Jim Thorpe.” Later, he coached the football team in a season of seven wins and one loss.

His military service spanned early assignments in the Cavalry pattern through the Service schools, the Ecole Superieure de Guerre in Paris, a shift to Armor, and then to World War II.

Landing with the Western Task Force in Morocco, he participated actively in the Sicilian campaign, where his Provisional Corps of the Seventh Army sped across the island and captured Palermo.

His longest combat service was in the bitter, grinding struggle up the Italian peninsula, commanding II Corps from September 1943 to June 1945. Any student of this campaign would appreciate his triumphs and disappointments. The complex interplay of the politics and personalities involved in the Italian campaign was formidable and frustrating. Nevertheless, with complete professional loyalty, he applied to it all of his military skill, reserving his personal feelings to his private papers.

In post-war Germany, he commanded first the Seventh Army, and later the Third Army, before moving to Austria early in 1947. In Vienna, he served as U.S. High Commissioner for three and one-half years, earning the respect and devotion of the Austrians by his benevolent efforts on their behalf in the face of Soviet intransigeance during the period of the Berlin blockade and the protracted negotiation of the Austrian State Treaty.

Retiring in late 1950, he was recalled in 1951 to serve another three years as Director of the Weapons Systems Evaluation Group.

Upon his subsequent retirement, he and Leila found their way to Tucson, returning to the Southwest where he had begun his life. Those were happy, peaceful years among close friends of long standing. Every spring, he left Tucson for a brief visit with each of his five children and their total of twenty-six grandchildren, always stopping at West Point, where Leila was buried in 1956.

His military credentials were distinguished. General Patton rated him "the most tireless worker, most loyal subordinate, and possessed of the soundest judgment and best tactical mind of any officer I know,” and later described him as "the only officer that I have ever rated ‘Superior’ in all categories.” But it is as a warm and human person that he made his greatest impression on others. A deeply religious man, he was never sanctimonious; he practiced what some merely preach. Possessed of great dignity, he was never arrogant. He gained loyalty and respect on the basis of his own ability and integrity, never relying on his rank. He used a keen sense of humor to make others comfortable or to relieve tension, never at the expense of others' feelings or dignity. He had the courage to show compassion, and over the years he earned the devoted friendship of many, in high stations and low, not because he courted them but because they were drawn to him.

A truly sensitive and remarkably perceptive picture of the man emerges in the book Rome Fell Today, by R. H. Adleman and G. Walton.

He died of leukemia at Walter Reed, and even in his final illness was concerned more about others than himself. He was indeed one of our best.
Other Comments:
LTG Keyes was also the USMA (West Point) Head Football Coach in 1917 with a 7-1 record.
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 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1909, US Military Academy (West Point, NY)
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
6th Cavalry GroupUnited States Military Academy West Point (Staff-USMA)Panama Canal DepartmentCommand and General Staff College (CGSC) Course
Army War College (Staff)13th Cavalry RegimentUnited States Department of War2nd Armored Division
3rd Armored Division9th Armored DivisionI Armored CorpsII Corps
HQ, 7th Army3rd ArmyUS Forces Austria (USFA)Weapons Systems Evaluation Group (WSEG), Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)
  1913-1916, Army, 6th Cavalry Group
  1916-1916, Army, Punitive Expedition (Provisional Division)
  1916-1918, Army, United States Military Academy West Point (Staff-USMA)
  1918-1920, Army, Panama Canal Department
  1920-1925, Army, US Army Cavalry School
  1925-1926, Army, Command and General Staff College (CGSC) Course
  1926-1933, Army, U.S. Forces, European Theater (USFET)
  1936-1937, Army War College (Staff)
  1938-1939, 13th Cavalry Regiment
  1939-1940, United States Department of War
  1940-1942, 2010, 2nd Armored Division
  1942-1942, 3rd Armored Division
  1942-1942, 00GD, 9th Armored Division
  1942-1943, 00GD, I Armored Corps
  1943-1945, 00GC, II Corps
  1945-1946, 00GC, HQ, 7th Army
  1946-1947, 00GC, 3rd Army
  1947-1950, 00GC, US Forces Austria (USFA)
  1951-1954, 00GC, Weapons Systems Evaluation Group (WSEG), Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1915-1916 Mexican Service Campaign (1911-1919)
  1917-1918 World War I
  1941-1942 WWII - American Theater
  1942-1945 WWII - European-African-Middle Eastern Theater
  1942-1942 WWII - Africa Theater of Operations/Algeria-French Morocco Campaign (1942)
  1942-1942 WWII - Africa Theater of Operations/Algeria-French Morocco Campaign (1942)/Operation Torch
  1942-1943 WWII - Africa Theater of Operations/Tunisia Campaign (1942-43)
  1943-1943 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Sicily Campaign (1943)/Operation Husky
  1943-1943 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Sicily Campaign (1943)
  1943-1944 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Naples-Foggia Campaign (1943-44)
  1944-1944 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Rome-Arno Campaign (1944)/Battle of Monte Cassino
  1944-1944 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Anzio Campaign (1944)
  1944-1944 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Rome-Arno Campaign (1944)
  1944-1945 WWII - European Theater of Operations/North Apennines Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Po Valley Campaign (1945)/Operation Grapeshot
  1945-1950 US Occupation of Germany (WWII)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military Academy
  1909-1913, United States Military Academy
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