General Jacob Devers
The following biography appears in WW II Journal No. 8, Merriam Press, p.75.

On 4 August 1941, Maj. Gen. Jacob L. Devers, then the youngest major general in the Army's land forces, assumed command of the Armored Force at Ft. Knox. He succeeded Maj. Gen. Adna R. Chaffee, whom he named "The Father of the American Armored Force."

Left: General Jacob Devers.

Continuing the ground work of Gen. Chaffee, Gen. Devers brought with him a fresh concept of organization and operations, and his assignment was not based simply on his availability at the time. He had been selected personally by Gen. George C. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff, who wanted to place an expert in firepower in control of the emerging, highly mechanized, and mobile tank force.

General Devers' boundless energy coupled with a keen mind and outstanding organizational ability proved equal to the task of developing and expanding the Armored Force far beyond he concepts of the initial planners. During his command, Ft. Knox and Armor grew from a struggling force of two armored divisions, fashioned from extant Organizations throughout the Army, to a formidable force of 16 divisions and 63 separate tank battalions.

One of Gen. Devers' organizational innovations at Ft. Knox was the addition of light aircraft to armored field artillery battalions to increase the mobility of firepower of the armored division artillery. In later years, as Commander, Army Ground Forces, he continued his pioneering in force development when he directed the development and organization of helicopter-borne units in the post-World War II Army.  

When expansion of the force made it impractical to continue control from Ft. Knox, Gen. Devers was reassigned and command and control passed to the respective army and corps in which the units were located.

General Devers had done his task well, his guidance and leadership had met the challenge. His next assignment was to prepare the United States Forces for the invasion of the European continent and he departed for England to establish the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe.


The 6th Army Group Patch

General Devers' earlier service following his graduation from the U .S. Military Academy in 1909 and commissioning as a second lieutenant of field artillery, included assignments in Hawaii, France, and Germany during the early 1900s. He subsequently was graduated from the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College and continued his service with artillery units in the United States until 1939, when he became Chief of Staff of the Panama Canal Department. Following that assignment and his service at Ft. Knox, Gen. Devers served successively as Commander of U.S. Forces in the European Theater of Operations and North African Theater of Operations. He was later Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Allied Force Headquarters, and Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater of Operations. He also commanded the 6th and 12th Army Groups, and following World War II, he was named Commander of the Army Ground Forces. 

General Devers retired in September 1949 and made his home in the Washington, D.C., area until his death on 15 October 1979. Interment was in Arlington National Cemetery on 19 October 1979.

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