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who is Leonard Townsend?
|Leonard Townsend Gerow (13 Jul 1888 – 12 Oct 1972) was born in Petersburg, Virginia. The name Gerow derives from the French name “Giraud”. Gerow attended high school in Petersburg and then attended the Virginia Military Institute.He was became commander of V Corps on 17 July, 1943. This was the largest unit of troops in the European Theater of Operations. He played a major part in the planning of the invasion of continental Europe. He was the first corps commander ashore on D-Day assault on Normandy on June 6, 1944. The V Corps was comprised of two infantry divisions: the U.S. 29th Infantry Division and the U.S. 1st Infantry Division.
His tenure as commander of V Corps was from 17 July 1943 to 17 September 1944 and again 5 October 1944 to 14 January 1945. General Gerow kept close to his advancing troops in V Corps. He was the first American officer of the rank of Major General to enter Paris after it’s liberation by the 2nd French Armored and U.S. 4th Infantry. For his part in this campaign he was awarded the Silver Star.
Then Captain J. Milnor Roberts served as Aide de Camp to Major General Gerow.
|Map Carried On D-Day by Gen. Leonard T. Gerow, 1944
|Gerow, Leonard Townsend, 1888-1972.
|1944 June 6
|Map of Normandy beachhead, 33.5 x 40 inches, labeled “Operation Map of the V Corps Attack and landing on Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, 6 June 1944. This map was carried ashore on D-Day by Lt. General L. T. Gerow, then Major General and Commander of the V Corps, VMI Class of 1911”
|U.S. Army General Leonard Townsend Gerow (b. 1888 d.1972).
|Leonard T. Gerow Papers
|Manuscript Collection (Sort Title)
|Gerow, Leonard T., Papers
|Letters, Diaries and Manuscripts
World War II
|Gerow, Leonard Townsend, 1888-1972.
|World War, 1939-1945 — Campaigns — France — Normandy.
|This item is part of the Leonard T. Gerow Papers
|Virginia Military Institute Archives
|Materials in the VMI Archives Digital Collections are made available for educational and research use and may be used for non-commercial purposes with appropriate attribution. Digital content may not be redistributed, published or reproduced without permission. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright. Contact the VMI Archives for additional information.
Seventeen days after the at tack on Pearl Harbor in Decem ber, 1941, General Gerow was named assistant chief of staff, heading the War Plans Division. In a reorganization of the Gen eral Staff he was promoted to a temporary major general, and his successor was then Brig. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
General Gerow commanded the 29th Infantry Division at Fort George Meade in Maryland and then, in 1943, was put in command of the V Corps, which was part of the invasion fleet that landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy in June, 1944.
After the war he was as signed as commandant of the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and in 1947 he returned to Fort Meade to command the Second Army. He retired July 31, 1950.
Leonard Townsend Gerow did so well as a 1911 honor gradu ate of Virginia Military Insti tute that he was appointed second lieutenant of infantry in the Army a few months later, without examination.
He held a number of assign ments in the United States and in a foray at Vera Cruz, Mex ico, and won commendation for work in the Galveston storm of August, 1915.
Soon after this country en tered World War I in 1917 General Gerow was promoted to captain and was sent to France, where he became Signal Corps purchasing officer.
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Aide at Edgewood
Over the years between the wars he moved steadily up ward, serving at desk jobs in Washington, as commanding of ficer of the Signal Corps School at Fort Sam Houston, Tex., and as assistant commandant of the Chemical Warfare School at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland.
General Gerow then served in the Philippines and in the American Concession in Shang hai. In April, 1935, when he was in the War Plans Division of the War Department General Staff, he was promoted to lieu tenant colonel.
Surviving are two brothers, Lieut. Gen. Lee S. Gerow, U.S.A., retired, of Washington and George R. Gerow of St. Peters burg, Fla.