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Gen. Lucian Truscott Marker

 
GENERAL LUCIAN K. TRUSCOTT, JR.
(Jan. 9, 1895 – Sep. 12, 1965)
 
  CHATFIELD NATIVE LUCIAN KING TRUSCOTT, JR. ROSE THROUGH THE RANKS OF THE U.S. ARMY TO SERVE IN WORLD WAR II AND THE COLD WAR WITH DISTINCTION. HE IS THE ONLY AMERICAN OFFICER IN WORLD WAR II TO COMMAND IN BATTLE A REGIMENT, A DIVISION, A CORPS, AND A FIELD ARMY. HIS LEADERSHIP PROVED ESSENTIAL TO VICTORY.

  AS WORLD WAR I RAGED IN EUROPE, TRUSCOTT HARBORED A SECRET AMBITION TO OBTAIN A COMMISSION IN THE U.S. ARMY. HE DID NOT SEE OVERSEAS DUTY IN FRANCE, BUT INSTEAD WAS ASSIGNED TO THE 17TH CAVALRY ON THE MEXICAN BORDER. HIS YEARS BETWEEN THE WORLD WARS WERE TYPICAL FOR ARMY OFFICERS, INVOLVING TRANSFERS TO VARIOUS POSTS AND CONTINUED MILITARY EDUCATION. 
  TRUSCOTT’S FIRST WORLD WAR II ASSIGNMENT WAS TO THE BRITISH ISLES TO STUDY AMPHIBIOUS LANDINGS ON A HOSTILE SHORE. HERE, HE CREATED THE FIRST UNIT OF ARMY RANGERS. HE SAW HIS FIRST MAJOR ACTION IN THE FAILED AUGUST 19, 1942, ALLIED RAID ON THE FORTIFIED FRENCH PORT OF DIEPPE. NEXT HE WAS SELECTED TO COMMAND ONE OF MAJ. GEN. GEORGE S. PATTON’S TASK FORCES IN NORTH AFRICA. HERE HE EXCELLED AND WITHIN FOUR MONTHS HE WAS GIVEN COMMAND OF THE 3RD INFANTRY DIVISION AND PREPARED THEM FOR OPERATION HUSKY, THE INVASION OF SICILY (JULY 1943). MAJOR GENERAL TRUSCOTT’S 3RD DIVISION FOUGHT HARD IN ITALY AND BY SPRING 1944, HE WAS MOVED UP TO COMMAND OF THE U.S. VI CORPS AND PLANNED THE ALLIED AMPHIBIOUS INVASION OF SOUTHERN FRANCE IN AUGUST 1944. BY NOVEMBER 1944 HE EARNED COMMAND OF THE FIFTH U.S. ARMY IN ITALY AND PARTICIPATED IN THE 1945 SPRING OFFENSIVE THAT WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN COMPELLING GERMAN FORCES TO SURRENDER. AT WAR’S END, HE WAS ASSIGNED COMMAND OF THE THIRD U.S. ARMY AND THE MILITARY DISTRICT OF BAVARIA, WITH ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE NUREMBURG TRIALS IN 1945-1946.
  AFTER ARMY RETIREMENT, IN 1951 HE SERVED THE C. I. A. IN WEST GERMANY, COORDINATING THE COLLECTION OF INTELLIGENCE ON THE SOVIET UNION. DURING HIS YEARS WITH THE CIA, HE WAS PROMOTED TO FULL GENERAL, RETIRING IN 1959.
 
175 YEARS OF TEXAS INDEPENDENCE * 1836-2011
MARKER IS PROPERTY OF THE STATE OF TEXAS
 
 

Historical marker honoring local veteran dedicated

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun 

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CHATFIELD - After leading the U.S. Army through Italy, pushing the Germans before them like a broom sweeping up broken glass, Gen. Lucian Truscott Jr. eventually retired to a sizable farm in rural Virginia. Originally named Rock Hill, the general renamed his farm Chatfield, after the town of his birth in Navarro County.

On Sunday, the tiny Texas community recognized its most famous son with the unveiling of a historical marker and a celebration of his life and accomplishments, a man whose leadership proved essential to victory during World War II.

On hand were about 40 or so members of the extended Truscott family, including his son, James Truscott, who was himself an officer in the Air Force. In addition, there was a small contingent of World War II soldier reenactors, and an impressive World War II band of about 20 or so members.

Helping organize the effdetailed the general’s rise in the ranks, as well as the times when he led the 36th Infantry Division, which is the Texas National Guard.

Following World War II, the general was invited to speak at a Memorial Day ceremony and dozens of dignitaries and press were present, along with a large audience. When Truscott got up to speak, however, he turned his back on the people gathered and addressed his remarks of thanks and honor to the graves of the soldiers buried there.

“That story most captures what Truscott was all about,” Hunt explained. “The people of Chatfield and this community have something to be very, very proud of.”

Following the unveiling of the marker, James Truscott said the ceremony and attention to his father’s legacy was welcomed by the entire family.

“I think this is marvelous,” James Truscott said, adding that he wasn’t sure how his father would have reacted to the event.

“He was not one to seek fame and glory,” James recalled. “I think he’d be proud, and I think he’d be pleased.

Although the Truscott family moved away when he was younger, Truscott continued to call himself a Texan, James said.

“The interesting thing about Dad, he was always proud to be from Texas and Chatfield,” James Truscott recalled.

ort was Rob Jones Jr., who noted that he’d grown up hearing stories about General Truscott, so having a historical marker dedicated to the four-star general was “long overdue.”

“Home is where you start from, and Lucian Truscott started from here,” Jones said, adding that the virtues of growing up in rural American were inculcated early, and Truscott lived those values each day of his illustrious career.

It’s been nearly 100 years since the general joined the U.S. Army in World War I, and since then there has always been a Truscott family member in the military, Jones noted.

“General Truscott began a legacy that continues onto this very day of service in the U.S. military, and I think that’s a wonderful legacy,” he said.

The keynote speaker at the event was Jeff Hunt, director of the Texas Military Forces Museum, located at Camp Mabry in Austin. He ‘Lucian Truscott Days’ events honor Chatfield’s native son

 

 

By Rob Jones
Special to the Corsicana Daily Sun  January 4, 2012

Corsicana — Chatfield will receive another historical marker at 2 p.m. Sunday, this time honoring the community’s native son General Lucian K. Truscott, Jr.

Chatfield already has a marker as the site of the “Last Review of the Confederacy.”

In conjunction with the historical marker dedication, Truscott is being honored in other ways. Monday will be the 117th anniversary of Truscott’s birth, and the Navarro County Commissioner’s Court has proclaimed Friday through Monday as “Lucian Truscott Days.”

Navarro County Judge H. M. Davenport noted it was “actually an honor for us to get to do so. The Commissioner’s Court is always pleased to honor someone who has contributed so greatly to our community, county, and country.”

The resolution establishing “Lucian Truscott Days” recounts his birth at Chatfield, life in the U.S. Army, and contributions to the United States’ victory in World War II and later in the Cold War. It notes Truscott’s lack of formal education made his accomplishments “all the more remarkable.” Unlike most of his fellow generals, according to the resolution, “Gen. Truscott never attended West Point (and) he was neither a college nor even a high school graduate.”

The U.S. Postal Service also will honor Truscott this weekend. Chatfield postmistress Jeannette Smith says that her office will issue a “commemorative postal cancellation” marking the festivities. “The Chatfield Post Office is so excited to be part of this Truscott celebration by offering this cancellation,” she said.

Specially designed for the occasion, it features Truscott’s picture and briefly notes his role in creating the U.S. Army Rangers and his command of the 3rd Infantry Division as well as the 5th and 3rd Armies.

Also known as “pictorial postmarks,” the cancellation will be available only at Chatfield. According to Smith, members of the public may bring their own envelopes or post cards with first class stamps affixed. For those unable to attend the celebration, the Chatfield Post Office can hand cancel stamped envelopes or postcards for 30 days following the observance. A color postcard with a unique commemorative design together with the pictorial postmark also will be available for purchase.

Beginning Friday, re-enactors associated with the Texas Military Forces Museum in Austin will honor Gen. Truscott at Chatfield by demonstrating life for U.S. soldiers in both World War I and World War II. Although his service in the Second World War is better known, Truscott was a cavalry officer in the first world war, also.

Friday is reserved for school classes, but the public is invited to observe the “living history” activities on Saturday and Sunday prior to the historical marker dedication. Known as the “Texas Military Forces Living History Detachment,” the re-enactors are an official detachment of the Texas National Guard and carry period correct weaponry. As professional living historians, these re-enactors teach the history of the U.S. Army in the World Wars that is sure to be memorable. At the historical marker dedication, they will form the honor guard and provide the 16 gun salute suitable for General Truscott.

The strains of military marches, popular music from both WWI and WWII, and the classic swing tunes of Glenn Miller will also be part of Sunday’s festivities. Dressed in World War II style uniforms, the Heritage Brass Band of Dallas will delight those in attendance. The largest historical reenactment band in the Southwest, Heritage Brass Band has performed at events around the state. The group regularly appears at the Texas State Railroad in Palestine, and often marches in the Fort Worth Stock Show Parade.

Following the 2 p.m. marker dedication on Sunday, everyone is invited to the historic Chatfield-Tupelo Community Center on F.M. 1603 for a reception.

All events on Saturday and Sunday are free and open to the public. The event organizers encourage a large turn-out to show area support for General Lucian K. Truscott, Jr.’s significant contributions to the military and American History. Chatfield’s native son will be honored at last.

 
 
 
Historical marker to recognize Chatfield born veteran

Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas  January 1, 2012

CHATFIELD - The name “Lucian Truscott” may not be a household name today, but during World War II, people in Navarro County recognized him as one of their own. A famed general of that war, Lucian K. Truscott, Jr. was born at Chatfield in northeast Navarro County on Jan. 9, 1895.  

Spearheaded by people in Chatfield, Truscott will be honored on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, with the dedication of an official Texas Historical Marker in that community. The Texas Historical Commission and the Navarro County Historical Commission will dedicate the marker at 2 p.m. that day.

“The citizens of Chatfield always have been proud of their native son,” said Rob Jones, who did the historical research and prepared the marker application. “When I was young, all the old timers talked about General Truscott and his living at Chatfield as a boy,” he added.

According to the marker application prepared by Jones, Truscott’s parents moved to what was then a prosperous cotton farming community in the early 1890’s. The father was a physician while Truscott’s mother taught music. The family home sat near the Old Chatfield Cemetery, and it is about 100 yards south of the home site where the marker will be placed along FM 1603. Truscott spent his “formative years” at Chatfield until 1900.  “

It was here that he learned many of those lessons of life that are so important in a person’s development,” Jones said. “This was a close knit rural community, and it instilled in him the virtues and values of late 19th Century rural life.

“It was at Chatfield that he first learned about horses,” Jones said, “and that influence cannot be underestimated because he later becomes a cavalry officer in the U.S. army.” He noted that Truscott’s “rock-crusher voice,” as it was called in a wartime Life magazine article, was the result of a near disaster when as a toddler he swallowed carbolic acid.

Although he entered the army during World War I, it is his service in World War II, as outlined in the historical marker application, that skyrocketed him to worldwide fame. He began the war as a lieutenant colonel and ended it as a lieutenant general in command of the 5th Army in Italy. After the conflict, he would earn his fourth star.

The application notes that one of his lasting contributions to the American military was the organization of the U.S. Army Rangers along the pattern of the British Commandos. During the course of the war, he became an expert in amphibious landings which served the Allies time and time again.

He commanded the 3rd Infantry Division in North Africa and Sicily and was hailed by contemporary accounts as “the Savior of Anzio” because of his leadership at that battle. He also was responsible for the invasion of southern France to link up with the Allied troops that had landed at D-Day in Normandy. After becoming commander of the 5th Army, he succeeded Gen. Patton as commander of the 3rd Army at war’s end.  

 Supreme Commander Dwight Eisenhower considered him to be second only to Patton as the best army commander in World War II. His final service to his country was during the Cold War when he oversaw the compilation of intelligence on Russia for the CIA.

“The Navarro County Historical Commission is very pleased to be part of this effort to honor Gen. Truscott,” said Bruce McManus, county historical commission chair. “His leadership was essential to the Allied Forces’ victory in World War II.

 
"Lucian Truscott Days" To Be Celebrated Jan. 6-9, 2012 

Gumbo Buster Banner  Tuesday, December 13, 2011

 

 

The name “Lucian Truscott” may not be a household name now, but it was in Chatfield, Texas during World War II. One of the famed generals of that war, Truscott was born at Chatfield on January 9, 1895. The Navarro County Commissioners Court met on Monday, December 13th unanimously voted to proclaim January 6-9, 2012 as “Lucian Truscott Days” in Navarro County in honor of our native son. “Living History” demonstrations of soldiers from World War I and World War II will take place on Friday and Saturday, January 6th and 7th in downtown Chatfield. The Texas Historical Commission and the Navarro County Historical Commission will dedicate a historical marker to Gen. Truscott at 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 8, 2012. Military and civilian dignitaries from all over Texas and a World War II reenactment band will be there.

So who was Lucian K. Truscott, Jr.?

When the United States was thrust into World War II by the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, the American military turned to career officers of the small peacetime army. Although his name has been overshadowed by contemporaries such as General (later President) Dwight D. Eisenhower and General George S. Patton, General Lucian Truscott’s leadership in Europe and North Africa proved to be essential to the Allied Forces’ victory in World War II.

Notably, he was not a West Pointer, and not from a military family. He sprang from a rural background at Chatfield and was instilled with the virtues and values of this late 19th Century society.

Lucian K. Truscott, Sr. was a physician. In the early 1890’s, he and his wife, Maria Tully Truscott, moved to Chatfield. The village, although unincorporated, was estimated to have a population of about 150 persons and sat in the northeast section of Navarro County near the Trinity River. It was cotton country. In 1890, the county had produced over 31,000 bales of cotton with a value of almost $1.4 million. A school prospectus described Chatfield as being “in the County of Navarro, famed for its agricultural wealth and refined intelligence” and “connected with the H.&T.C. Railway by a daily mail line to Rice. It will also have connection,” the catalogue boasted, “with the outside world by means of a telephone line to be constructed in the near future.” It further noted that Chatfield was “possessed of a class of good citizens” and “a kind and sociable people.”

Although small, it saw itself as progressive having cotton gins, stores, schools, several churches, and a Masonic Lodge. It was considered one of the seven real towns in the county. Obviously, with the significant farm population in the surrounding countryside, Dr. Truscott felt he would have a future if he established a practice there. On January 9, 1895, Chatfield became the birthplace of Lucian King Truscott, Jr.

Young Lucian lived thee his formative first five years of life as his father practiced medicine and his mother taught music at least a portion of the time at Elizabeth Institute, a private preparatory school begun in 1896 at Chatfield. Dr. Truscott apparently prospered as he bought land, including a house and 2.84 acres near the Old Chatfield Cemetery on December 6, 1895. The marker will be placed along FM 1603 about 100 yards south of the site of this house that was Lucian’s boyhood home. As a physician, the elder Turscott would have had various medicines and chemicals for patient treatment in his office. Young Lucian narrowly averted disaster when as a toddler he swallowed carbolic acid. He survived, but his voice was affected giving him “a rock-crusher voice” that later would give “his orders an awesome ferocity.”

Horses were an omnipresent part of rural life, and his father taught him to ride, a skill which would dramatically affect his life in the army. The future general loved to accompany Will Coleman, a young African-American “handy man” as he went about his chores and errands for Dr. Truscott. In a newspaper article published soon after World War II, Dr. Coleman (then a prominent veterinarian) remembered. “He was always after me for tobacco.” Coleman admitted to the reporter, “Ah taught that boy to chew!”

How long Lucian continued that habit is unknown, but a love of learning and a strong belief in the importance of education were an important part of the Turscott household. The boy saw his parents encourage young Will Coleman to continue his education and to make a place for him in their home where he studied his lessons with Lucian right by his side.

Lucian spent his early, formative years in Chatfield before the family moved to Oklahoma. From there he joined the U.S. Army during World War I, graduated from Officer Training Camp as a 2nd Lieutenant of cavalry, and was posted States side on the Mexican border. But it was during World War II that he made his mark. First organizing the U.S. Army Rangers along the pattern of the British Commandos, he later went on to become an expert in amphibious landings. He commanded the 3rd Infantry Division in North Africa and Sicily and was called the “Hero of Anzio Beachhead” in contemporary accounts for his critical leadership in that Italian battle.
He later rose to command of the 5th Army in Italy. He also was responsible for the invasion of southern France to link up with the Allied troops that had landed at D-Day in Normandy. He then commanded the 3rd Army succeeding Gen. Patton. His final service to his country was during the Cold War when he oversaw the compilation of intelligence on Russia for the CIA. A four star general, Truscott died at Walter Reed Hospital on September 12, 1965 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.