Courtney Hodges

Jan 5, 1887 - Jan 16, 1966

General Courtney Hicks Hodges was a decorated senior officer in the United States Army who commanded First U.S. Army in the Western European Campaign of World War II. Hodges was a notable "mustang" officer, rising from private to general.
Born in Perry, Georgia, he began studies at the United States Military Academy but dropped out after failing Geometry. He joined the Army in 1906 as a private, rapidly advanced into the noncommissioned officer ranks, and obtained a commission after passing a competitive examination in 1909. As a young man, Hodges served under Colonel John J. Pershing in the Pancho Villa Expedition and became part of the first rescue mission in U.S. military aviation history when he helped save a stranded aviator. He was a battalion commander in France during World War I, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism.
In 1943, he was sent to England to serve under General Omar Bradley. Hodges was deputy commander of First Army during the D-Day invasion. Two months later, he was appointed First Army's commander.
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