- Bradley, Omar Nelson
- (1893-1981)Born in Missouri, Omar Bradley graduated from West Point Military Academy in 1915, a contemporary of Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and George S. Patton. Bradley served in the infantry on the Mexican border in 1915 before being posted to service in Montana during World War I. After the war, he taught at West Point; served in Hawaii; attended General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Texas; and in 1938 joined the War Department. During World War II, he served under Patton in North Africa in 1942 and took part in the invasion of Sicily in 1943. He was given command of the U.S. First Army in June 1944 and commanded the Normandy landings at Utah Beach and Omaha Beach. Known as the “the soldiers’ general,” it was Bradley who successfully planned and led the Allied breakout from Normandy in “Operation Cobra” and almost achieved a smashing victory at Falaise. Bradley also commanded U.S. troops during the Battle of the Bulge; later it was his forces that crossed the Rhine and captured the crucial bridge at Remagen and in April 1945 met Soviet troops on the Elbe, effectively bringing the war in Europe to an end. In 1945, Bradley returned to Washington, D.C., as head of the Veterans’ Administration rather than being sent to Japan. In 1945, he became chief of staff and in 1949 chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The following year Bradley was made general of the army and chair of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization committee. In this capacity, he resisted MacArthur’s attempts to expand the war in Korea into open conflict with China, saying it would be “the wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and with the wrong enemy.” He retired in 1953. Bradley’s memoirs, A Soldier’s Story and A General’s Story, were published in 1951 and 1983, respectively.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.