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Welcome to the Uniform History website. Take some time to explore our American military memorabilia.
We dedicate the site to the men and women in our armed forces... brave patriots like Generals Patton,
Truscott, and Kenney, who have fought so hard to keep America free. Use the contact page to let us
know what you think about this collection.
 
     

Library

Featured book: Architects of Victory - a pictorial biography of WWII leaders, heroes, and legends.

Authentication and preservation: a special look at how we verify and care for this collection is coming soon.

Reference: Recommended materials for any student of military history include...

The Biographical Dictionary of World War II Generals and Flag Officers by R. Manning Ancell and Christine Miller
Four Stars: The Superstars of United States Military History by Dean R. Heaton
Official Army Register Published by order of the Secretary of War
The Call of Duty: Military Awards and Decorations of the United States of America
by John E. Strandberg and Roger James Bender

Favorites:

The Will to Win: The Life and History of General James A. Van Fleet
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany by William L. Shirer. A modern classic.
General Patton: A Soldier's Life
by Stanley Hirshson
The First Heroes: The Extraordinary Story of the Doolittle Raid--America's First World War II Victory by Craig Nelson
Command Missions: A Personal Story by Lucian King Truscott
Master of Airpower General Carl A. Spaatz by David R. Mets
MacArthur's Airman: George C. Kenney and the War in the Southwest Pacific by Thomas E. Griffith Jr.
A Soldier's Story: Omar N. Bradley by Caleb Carr
Bull Halsey by Elmer Belmont Potter

Uniforms - The Fabric of History

These uniforms were worn by ordinary men who did extraordinary things. History now calls them great patriots and warriors.
We call them heroes.  We take great pride in caring for these uniforms because the soldiers took great pride in wearing them.

     
George S. Patton

Taking advantage of the poor weather conditions, that
normally existed in France during the month of December
Hitler, who had secretly assembled 25 divisions attacked on
the 16th in the Ardennes region with over 200,000 men. The
Germans quickly advanced, hoping to take the port city of
Antwerp. The capture of Antwerp would effectively cut off
the Allied supply line. Hitler hoped this would change the
tide of the war. Leaving a meeting on the 19th with his
generals, after discussing the fast changes being made by
the German attack General Dwight Eisenhower, who had
just been promoted to the new five star rank, mumbled
“Why is it every time I get a new star I get attacked.” To
which General G. S. Patton said “And every time you get
attacked I pull you out.” The Ardennes campaign, better
known as the Battle of the Bulge, was to be Patton’s greatest
opportunity for personal and professional
achievement.

Patton already a proven leader through battles in North
Africa, Tunisia, Sicily, was now in Europe with the Third
Army and facing what could be his finest hour. The Battle of
the Bulge saw Patton do the impossible. Patton while
planning for this new attack, in 48 hours was able to turn his
entire army 90 degrees to the left so that he might engage
the Germans and come to aid of the all important town of
Bastogne. Patton’s planning and efforts came together and
on December 22 the Third Army began to push back the
Seventh German Army, four days later elements of the Third
Army punched into the besieged town of Bastogne. The
German attacked was as good as contained.

The smashing defeat that was handed the German Armies
during the Ardennes campaign ended any hope of a German
victory in Europe.

The Battle of the Bulge started December 17 1944; by
January 16, 1945 the Germans were on the run again. Less
than four months later the war in Europe was over. One can
only image the loss of life, time and material if it was not for
General G. S. Patton, the right person in the right spot at the
right time to stop the last great offensive of the last great
war.

* * *

"Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by
men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who
leads that gains the victory."
-George S. Patton Jr.

George C. Kenney

By July of 1942 Japanese soldiers had already established
themselves on the Solomon Islands and were advancing on
New Guinea, driving towards the islands northeast of
Australia. A Japanese Invasion on the Australian continent
seemed inevitable. General Douglas MacArthur, who just
months before was driven off the Philippine island of
Corregidor took command of the Southwest Pacific Area
(SWPA). While organizing his strategic defenses, MacArthur
was outraged at how poorly his air forces were performing.
At that time air operations orders were being written by
MacArthur's chief of staff General Richard Sutherland, but all
that was about to change by George C. Kenney, an
experienced airman, strategist and an exceptional leader.

On his first day of duty General Kenney took command of his
air force facing down MacArthur's chief of staff in a manner
that none of his predecessors had be able to do. In a
meeting with chief of staff Gen. Sutherland, Kenney took a
blank piece of paper, jabbed a dot into the center, and
threw it in front of Sutherland stating: "The dot represents
what you know about air operations, the entire rest of the
paper is what I know." He won not only the support of
Sutherland but of MacArthur.

Realizing the Allied strategy of winning the European conflict
first, Kenney was noted as saying "we are inventing new
ways to win a war on a shoestring". And winning they were.
In less than a year Kenney's airmen handed Japan a
crippling blow in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, sinking 12
ships and killing approximately 2900 troops. By late 1943
MacArthur's offensive was on the move thanks to Kenney
and the first large-scale airlift of the war, dropping over
1,700 troops. Taking command of the Far East Air Force
which comprised the 5 th and 13th Air Forces, Kenney
continued overall direction of the SWPA air operations which
by wars end was striking Kyushu, one of Japans home
islands.

It was said by General H. H. Arnold Commanding General,
Army Air Forces: "No air commander ever did so much with
so little" as did General George C. Kenney.

James A. Van Fleet

As a colonel in 1944 James Van Fleet a West Point graduate
of 1915 had seen officers that were once junior to him
become superior to him, in rank. His own West Point
classmates Omar Bradley and Dwight Eisenhower were now
the commanding generals in charge of the D-Day invasions.
Why had he been passed over for promotion so many times?
Had he not measured up to the Army’s and his superior’s
expectations? Situations like this could cause a man to
evaluate himself as being less of a leader. But there was not
time for self-doubt. Van Fleet was slated to lead his 8th
Infantry Regiment on the initial D-Day invasion. And lead he
did. Not only did he lead his Regiment on D-Day but won a
Distinguished Service Cross two days later. While other
seemed to pass him in rank few could pass his leadership
skill.

So why was Van Fleet passed over for promotion? While
visiting the Normandy beaches, Army Chief of Staff George
Marshall was told by General Eisenhower that one
regimental commander deserved an on-the-spot promotion.
Learning the officers name was Van Fleet, Marshall
responded that he has been scratching that officer from
promotion lists for years, because he had been know in the
Old Army as a drunkard. It turned out that Marshall had
been confusing Van Fleet, who was almost a teetotaler, with
an officer named Van Vliet. Finally being recognized for his
true leadership qualities, Van Fleet rose rapidly in rank by
the end of W.W.II he was a major general and in command
of a Corps.

Holmes E. Dager

Just as in every battle, the Battle of the Bulge had a
beginning and an end. For the German Army the battle
began on December 16, 1944. At the onset, the German
Army gained much ground penetrating deep into the
American lines. For the American forces their offensive battle
began just after midnight on December 19th when Combat
Command "B" (CCB) of the Fourth Armored Division rolled
out of Domnom, France. Commanded by Holmes Dager, CCB
began their push to Bastogne. Preparations had to be made
in haste. Only one map of the area was available, General
Dager possesing that map brilliantly directed the column to
its objective. Using any means necessary to direct his force,
General Dager would use the radio at times or he would
shout directions to the lead tank. At tricky intersections he
would personally point the way. Despite the fog and cold
General Dager directed his column 161 miles in twenty-two
hours stopping just below the town of Bastogne.

Receiving orders that Dager's command should enter the
town of Bastogne Dager aggressively argued that they
should not enter without the support of the entire 4th
Armored Division, which was not in the area yet. A
compromise was made which allowed Dager to keep most of
his command together while sending a smaller contingent to
make contact with those in Bastogne. The task force was
formed and actually made contact with those in Bastogne
but was quickly recalled back to CCB.

This event may seem to have no importance to the
unfolding battle, but it is now believed that General Dager's
resistance to commit his command may have saved it from
being trapped and possibly ripped apart in Bastogne.
General Patton had slated an attack to begin on December
22. Dager's command was to play an essential role in that
attack, an attack that may not have happened without
Dager's sound judgment and tactical expertise.
  John L. Hines

Retiring after forty-four years of service General Hines was a
veteran of many conflicts, several of which have all but been
forgotten by history. Conflict such as The War with Spain,
the Cuban Pacification, the Philippine Insurrection and the
Punitive Expedition into Mexico. However, it was during
these conflicts that General Hines received his on the job
training that would prepare him for future service. During
the Cuban Pacification Hines was cited for gallantry in action
during the battle of the famed San Juan Hill. While serving in
the Punitive Expedition in Mexico Hines was recognized by
General Pershing, who would select Hines to serve in the
newly formed General headquarters. During World War One
General Hines went to France in command of the 16th
Infantry. Again proving his worth as a commander, Hines
was given command of a Brigade, a Division and then a
Corps, making General Hines the only American General to
command in battle an Infantry, a Brigade, a Division and a
Corps during World War One. It was stated by General
Pershing while recommending Hines for Army Chief of staff
that "Hines was an exceptionally fine officer in every respect.
One of the fine developments of the war, a natural leader,
capable in all respects, number one on the list of general
officers known to me.

Lucian K. Truscott

"The Truscott Trot"

In preparation for the invasion of Sicily, General Truscott
was placed in command of the 3rd infantry division.
Truscott who earlier in World War II joined Britain's Lord
Mountbatten's combined staff where he developed Ranger
units for special operations. General Truscott demanded
that his Ranger units be in top physical condition, could he
expect the same out of an average infantry division? After
commanding for only a week an opportunity presented itself
for which Truscott had been waiting. An infantry battalion
located at an outpost about ten miles away was to be
relieved. Truscott gave the order, "Have the battalion
march out at four miles an hour and the other battalion
return at the same rate." The usual rate of marching was
two and a half miles an hour. Truscott observed the results.
More than one hundred of the one thousand men in the
returning battalion had fallen out to be treated by the
following medics.

The next day Truscott observed the relieving battalion, a
battalion that had been in the field for two weeks and had
been training daily. The difference was notable. Only
twelve of the thousand men had fallen out. With results
like this, General Truscott was convinced that the average
infantry battalion could approximate the Ranger standard
of training. In Sicily, Truscott's standard of training was
about to be tested.

Disliking the idea of playing second fiddle to the British,
General Patton who was leading the 7th Army in Sicily felt
that the capture of Palermo could be touted as the first
great exploit of American soldier. Ordered by Patton to
Palermo, Truscott knew travel there would be very difficult.
The town of Palermo set one hundred miles away; speed
was of the essence. The faster these hundred miles could
be traversed, the less time the enemy would have for
demolition and disstruction. The first forty miles led
through rugged mountains with many hairpin turns
followed by 40 miles of plateaus leading to a range of
rugged hills that encircle the city. Truscott instructed his
troops that they would be the first troops in Palermo and
that they would be there in five days. Operations began
on July 19th even through heavy resistance Truscott's
troops stood in Palermo by the 22nd with elements
patrolling the streets long before Patton's victorious ride
through the city. The next morning Truscott was ordered
into the city by General Patton. Reporting to Patton he was
greeted with, "Well, the Truscott Trot sure got us here in
a hurry."

General Truscott was one of the finest U.S. combat
commanders of World War II, Truscott was a tough and
aggressive soldiers, self confident and decisive. He was
quick not only to see what needed to be done, but also to
do it, which won him the respect not only of his men but
of his superiors.

Floyd L. Parks

World War Two had just drawn to a close leaving the
German people to live in a war ravaged land, barren of even
the most basic human comforts. In the ruins of Germany lay
the city of Berlin which was once the proud city of the
German Reich, the city that stood for all the Allied Armies
had fought to defeat. Now an army of fighters had to be
transformed into an occupying force ready to meet the
human needs of a defeated nation. To meet these new
challenges the governments of the United States, Great
Britain, Russia, and France formed the Kommandatura, or
military governing body. The Kommandatura named
American General Floyd Parks as its Chief Commander. Now
playing a dual role as head of the newly formed
Kommandatura and Commanding General of the United
tates Berlin Sector, General Parks became in effect the first
post war Mayor of Berlin. Taking active charge General Parks
in a relatively short period of time was able to resume
operations of essential civil government, police, and public
utilities. To accomplish such a great task with three nations
all having input on how it should be done, was not done
without an extreme amount of diplomacy and skill.

General Parks was well suited for this role of working with
other Allied powers he had gained valuable experience as
Chief of Staff First Allied Airborne Army, which blended
together both American and British troops. In this capacity
General Parks planned and organized airborne attacks in
Holland, and the largest single day airborne lift of WWII
across the Rhine River.

General Brereton, Commanding General of the First Allied
Airborne Army said, "His training as Aide under two
Chiefs of Staff, General Marshall and General Malin Craig,
undoubtedly helped Parks develop his flawless way of
handling staff work and getting the most from conflicting
personalities.”
     


     
 
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