Hodges, Courtney Hicks, GEN

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
General
Last Service Branch
US
Last Primary MOS
00GC-Commanding General
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1945-1949, First Army (1st Army)
Service Years
1906 - 1949

US

General



Eight Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Georgia
Georgia
Year of Birth
1887
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Hodges, Courtney Hicks, GEN USA(Ret).
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Perry, GA
Last Address
San Antonio, TX

Date of Passing
Jan 16, 1966
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961 French Fourragere USA Central




 Unofficial Badges 






 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
 

This is to Certify that
The President of the United States of America
Takes Pride in Presenting

THE 
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS
to

HODGES, COURTNEY H.
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army
6th Infantry Regiment, 5th Division, A.E.F.
Date of Action: November 2 - 4, 1918
Citation:
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Courtney H. Hodges, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Breulles, France, November 2 - 4, 1918. Lieutenant Colonel Hodges personally conducted a reconnaissance of the Meuse River, to determine the most advantageous location for a crossing, and for a bridge site. Having organized a storming party, he attacked the enemy not 100 paces distant, and, although failing, he managed to effect the crossing of the canal after 20 hours of ceaseless struggling. His fearlessness and courage were mainly responsible for the advance of his brigade to the heights east of the Meuse.


General Orders No. 3, W.D., 1919




Courtney Hicks Hodges (January 5, 1887 – January 16, 1966) was an American military officer, most prominent for his role in World War II, in which he commanded the U.S. First Army in Northwest Europe.

Hodges's father published a small-town newspaper in Perry, Georgia where he was born. He attended West Point but was forced to leave after a year, along with George S. Patton Jr., because of poor test scores ("found deficient" in mathematics).


In 1906, however, he entered the United States Army as a Private, and became a commissioned officer three years later. He served with
George Marshall in the Philippines and Patton with the Punitive Expedition into Mexico 1916 - 1917.


Distinguished Marksman 1908 as Courtney Hicks Hodges SGT USA

 

He earned the Distinguished Service Cross during the closing days of World War I while leading an attack across the Marne River. Saw action with the 6th Infantry, AEF in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives.


After the war he was so well thought of that he became an instructor at West Point, even though he had not graduated from that institution.


Graduated from the Command and General Staff School in 1925.  Member of the Infantry Board at Fort Benning 1929 - 1933. Graduated from the Army War College in 1934.

 

In 1938, he became an Assistant Commandant of the Infantry School, Brigadier General in May 1940.  Major General in May 1941 as Chief of Infantry until March 1942.
 

He then Commanded X Corps, which he received in 1942.  In 1943, while commanding both X Corps and then the US Third Army, he was sent to Britain, where he served under General Omar Bradley. During Operation Overlord, he was subordinate to Bradley as Deputy Commander of the U.S. First Army, but in August 1944, he succeeded Bradley, as the latter went to command 12th Army Group and took command of the Army.
 

Hodges's troops were the first to reach Paris, France, and he led them through Germany. His troops fought the Battle of Hurtgen Forest and had a major role in the Ardennes Offensive, otherwise known as the Battle of the Bulge. The First Army was the first unit to cross the Rhine River, by using the still standing Ludendorff bridge at Remagen, and to meet with the Soviet Red Army near Torgau, on the river Elbe.


Hodges was promoted to General on April 15, 1945 making him the first man to rise to full General from enlisted private.



In May 1945, after the German surrender, Hodges and his troops were ordered to prepare for the invasion of Japan; that became unnecessary, however, when the atomic bomb caused Japan's surrender later that year.


Hodges was present at the surrenders of both Germany and Japan.

 

After World War II, he served First Army Commandant stationed at Governors Island, New York (later San Antonio, TX) until his retirement in March 1949. Hodges died in San Antonio, Texas in 1966. His extreme personal modesty prevented him from receiving the credit due his efforts.

 

   
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World War I/St. Mihiel Campaign
Start Year
1918
End Year
1918

Description
St. Mihiel, 12 - 16 September 1918. By September 1918, with both the Marne and the Amiens salients eliminated, there remained but one major threat to lateral rail communications behind the Allied lines-the old St. Mihiel salient near the Paris-Nancy line. Active preparations for its reduction began with the transfer of Headquarters First Army, effective 13 August, from La Ferté-sous-Jouarre in the Marne region to Neufchateau on the Meuse, immediately south of St. Mihiel. On 28 August the first echelon of headquarters moved closer to the front at Ligny-en-Barrois.

American unite from Flanders to Switzerland were shifted into the area near the salient. The fourteen American and four French divisions assigned to the First Army for the operation contained ample infantry and machinegun units for the attack. But because of the earlier priority given to shipment of infantry (at the insistence of the British and French) the First Army was short of artillery, tank, air and other support units essential to a well-balanced field army. The French made up this deficiency by loaning Pershing over half the artillery and nearly half the airplanes and tanks needed for the St. Mihiel operation.

Shortly before the offensive was to begin, Foch threatened once again to disrupt Pershing's long-held desire to carry out a major operation with an independent American force. On 30 August the Allied Commander in Chief proposed to exploit the recently gained successes on the Aisne-Marne and Amiens fronts by reducing the size of the St. Mihiel attack and dividing the American forces into three groups-one for the salient offensive and two for fronts to the east and west of the Argonne Forest. Pershing, however, remained adamant in his insistence that the First Army should not now be broken up, no matter where it might be sent into action. Fina1ly a compromise was reached. The St. Mihiel attack was subordinated to the much larger offensive to be launched on the Meuse-Argonne front in late September, but the First Army remained intact. Pershing agreed to limit his operations by employing only the minimum force needed to reduce the salient in three or four days. Simultaneously he was to prepare his troops for a major role in the Meuse-Argonne drive.

The St. Mihiel offensive began on 12 September with a threefold assault on the salient. The main attack was made against the south face by two American corps. On the right was the I Corps (from right to left the 82d, 90th, 5th, and 2d Divisions in line with the 78th in reserve) covering a front from Pont-à-Mousson on the Moselle westward to Limey; on the left, the IV Corps (from right to left the 89th, 42d, and 1st Divisions in line with the 3d in reserve) extending along a front from Limey westward to Marvoisin. A secondary thrust was carried out against the west face along the heights of the Meuse, from Mouilly north to Haudimont, by the V Corps (from right to left the 26th Division, the French 15th Colonial Division, and the 8th Brigade, 4th Division in line with the rest of the 4th in reserve). A holding attack against the apex, to keep the enemy in the salient, was made by the French II Colonial Corps (from right to left the French 39th Colonial Division, the French 26th Division, and the French 2d Cavalry Division in line). In First Army reserve were the American 35th, 80th, and 91st Divisions.

Tota1 Allied forces involved in the offensive numbered more than 650,000-some 550,000 American and 100,000 Allied (mostly French) troops. In support of the attack the First Army had over 3,000 guns, 400 French tanks, and 1,500 airplanes. Col. William Mitchell directed the heterogeneous air force, composed of British, French, Italian, Portuguese, and American units, in what proved to be the largest single air operation of the war. American squadrons flew 609 of the airplanes, which were mostly of French or British manufacture.

Defending the salient was German "Army Detachment C," consisting of eight divisions and a brigade in the line and about two divisions in reserve. The Germans, now desperately short of manpower, had begun a step-by-step withdrawal from the salient only the day before the offensive began. The attack went so well on 12 September that Pershing ordered a speedup in the offensive. By the morning of 13 September the 1st Division, advancing from the east, joined hands with the 26th Division, moving in from the west, and before evening all objectives in the salient had been captured. At this point Pershing halted further advances so that American units could be withdrawn for the coming offensive in the Meuse-Argonne sector.

This first major operation by an American Army under its own command took 16,000 prisoners at a cost of 7,000 casualties, eliminated the threat of an attack on the rear of Allied fortifications at Nancy and Verdun, greatly improved Allied lateral rail communications, and opened the way for a possible future offensive to seize Metz and the Briey iron fields.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1918
To Year
1918
 
Last Updated:
Aug 13, 2010
   
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  149 Also There at This Battle:
  • Anderson, Howard, WAG, (1917-1919)
  • Baylor, Bernard, MAJ, (1911-1953)
  • Beckwith, Edward (SS), MAJ, (1895-1925)
  • Bracken, Jessie, PFC, (1917-1919)
  • Cochran, Neil, Cpl, (1918-1919)
  • Drummer, John, Cpl, (1918-1919)
  • Griebe, Robert Edmund, 2LT, (1913-1919)
  • Hunt, Ora Elmer, BG, (1890-1923)
  • Husted, John Burk, Pvt, (1918-1919)
  • Lewis, Arthur, Pvt, (1918-1919)
  • McMichael, Guy, PFC, (1917-1919)
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