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/Aisne-Marne Campaign
Start Year
1918
End Year
1918

Description
Aisne-Marne, 18 July - 6 August 1918. Several days before the Germans launched their abortive Champagne-Marne drive, the French high command had made plans for a general converging offensive against the Marne salient. Petain issued orders on 12 July for the attack to begin on the 18th, with five French armies-the Tenth, Sixth, Ninth, Fifth, and Fourth, placed around the salient from left to right-taking part. Spearheading the attack were the five divisions of the French XX Corps (Tenth Army), including the American 1st and 2d Divisions. Early on 18 July the two American divisions and a French Moroccan division, jumping off behind a heavy barrage, launched the main blow at the northwest base of the salient near Soissons. Enemy frontline troops, taken by surprise, initially gave ground, although resistance stiffened after an Allied penetration of some three miles. Before the 1st and 2d Divisions were relieved (on 19 and 22 July respectively) they had advanced 6 to 7 miles, made Soissons untenable for the enemy, and captured 6,500 prisoners at a cost of over 10,000 American casualties.

Meanwhile the other French armies in the offensive also made important gains, and the German commander ordered a general retreat from the Marne salient. The French Sixth Army, on the right of the Tenth, advanced steadily from the southwest, reaching the Vesle River on 3 August. By 28 Judy this army included the American 3d, 4th, 28th, and 42d Divisions. The 4th and 42d Divisions were under control of the I Corps, the first American corps headquarters to participate in combat. On 4 August the American III Corps headquarters entered combat, taking control of the 28th and 32d Divisions (the latter had relieved the 3d Division in the line on 29 July). By 5 August the entire Sixth Army front was held by the two American corps. East of the Sixth Army the French Ninth and Fifth Armies also advanced into the salient. The Germans retired across the Aisne and Vesle Rivers, resolutely defending each strong point as they went.

By 6 August the Aisne-Marne Offensive was over. The threat to Paris was ended by wiping out the Marne salient. The initiative now had definitely passed to the Allies, ending any possibility that Ludendorff could carry out his planned offensive in Flanders. Moreover, the success of the offensive revealed the advantages of Allied unity of command and the fighting qualities of American units. The eight A.E.F. divisions (1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 26th, 28th, 32d, 42d) in the action had spearheaded much of the advance, demonstrating offensive capabilities that helped to inspire new confidence in the war-weary Allied armies. About 270,000 Americans took part in the battle.

On 24 July, while the Aisne-Marne drive was under way, Foch had outlined his plans for the remainder of 1918 at the only conference of Allied commanders that he called during the war. He proposed that the immediate objective of the Allied offensive should be the reduction of the three main German salients (Marne, Amiens, St. Mihiel), with the goal of improving lateral communications behind the front in preparation for a general offensive in the fall. Reduction of the St. Mihiel salient was assigned to Pershing at his own request.

The excellent showing made by American troops in the Aisne-Marne Offensive gave Pershing an opportunity to press again for the formation of an independent American army. Preliminary steps in the organization of the American First Army had been taken in early July 1918. On the 4th Lt. Col. Hugh A. Drum was selected as chief of staff and directed to begin establishment of army headquarters. After conferences on 10 and 21 July, Foch agreed on the 22d to the formal organization of the First Army, and to the formation of two American sectors-a temporary combat sector in the Chateau-Thierry region, where the already active I and III Corps could comprise the nucleus of the First Army, and a quiet sector farther east, extending from Nomeny (east of the Moselle) to a point north of St. Mihiel-which would become the actual theater of operations for the American Army as soon as circumstances permitted concentration of A.E.F. divisions there. Orders issued on 24 July announced formal organization of the First Army, effective on 10 August; designated Pershing as its commander; and located its headquarters at La Ferté-sous-Jouarre, west of Chateau-Thierry.

Stabilization of the Vesle River front in early August led Pershing to alter his plane for forming the First Army. Instead of organizing it in the Chateau-Thierry region and then moving it eastward for the St. Mihiel Offensive, he secured Foch's consent on 9 August to a build-up of First Army units in the vicinity of the St. Mihiel salient. Tentative plans for reduction of the salient called for the concentration of three American corps (about 14 American and 3 French divisions) on a front extending from Port-sur-Seille westward around the bulge to Watronville. Three American divisions would remain on the Vesle front.

Meanwhile Allied forces, including American units operating in other sectors of the Western Front, were making significant gains in the preliminary phases of the great final offensives. For the sake of clarity, the role of American units in the Somme Offensive (8 August11 November), Oise-Aisne (18 August-11 November), and Ypres-Lys (19 August-11 November) Campaigns will be described briefly, before considering in more detail the activities of the main body of A.E.F. troops in the St. Mihiel (12-16 September) and Meuse-Argonne (26 September-11 November) Campaigns.

The eight A.E.F. divisions (1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 26th, 28th, 32d, 42d) in the action had spearheaded much of the advance, demonstrating offensive capabilities that helped to inspire new confidence in the war-weary Allied armies. 
   
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From Year
1918
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1918
 
Last Updated:
Aug 13, 2010
   
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  57 Also There at This Battle:
 
  • Beckwith, Edward (SS), MAJ, (1895-1925)
  • McGuire, Frank Harlan, PFC, (1917-1919)
  • McMichael, Guy, PFC, (1917-1919)
  • Miltersen, Peder Andreas, CPL, (1917-1980)
  • Robinson, John, CPL, (1916-1919)
  • Silvester, Lindsay McDonald, MG, (1911-1949)
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