Omar Nelson Bradley (February 12, 1893 – April 8, 1981), American general, who was the senior commander of United States ground troops during World War II (1939–1945), boards a military transport on his way to Europe. Bradley’s troops participated in the liberation of Paris in August 1944. After the war Bradley became chief of staff of the U.S. Army in 1948 and served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1949 to 1953.
Bradley was born on February 12, 1893, in Clark, Missouri, and educated at the U.S. Military Academy. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1915. By the end of World War I he had advanced to the rank of major. Between the two world wars, Bradley was on duty at various army posts and attended successively the Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia; the Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and the Army War College, Washington Barracks, D.C. (now at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania).
He attained the rank of major general in 1942. In 1943 he assumed command of the U.S. II Corps in the North African campaign of World War II. Later in 1943 he participated in the invasion of Sicily and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. In 1944 Bradley commanded the U.S. First Army throughout the Normandy campaign and the newly created U.S. Twelfth Army Group throughout the remainder of the war. He was made a full general in March 1945; three months later he was appointed head of the Veterans Administration.
Named by President Harry S. Truman to succeed General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower as chief of staff of the U.S. Army, Bradley assumed the position in 1948. From 1949 until his retirement from the army in 1953, Bradley was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the principal military advisers to the president. Bradley was promoted to the rank of General of the Army in 1950. He died in New York City on April 8, 1981. An autobiography, A Soldier’s Story, was published in 1951.
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