Eugene M. Landrum

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Eugene Manuel Landrum
Eugene M. Landrum.jpg
Landrum as a Major General during World War II
Born (1891-02-06)February 6, 1891
Pensacola, Florida
Died July 24, 1967(1967-07-24) (aged 76)
Springfield, Illinois
Buried at San Francisco National Cemetery
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1909–1951
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Commands held 7th Infantry Division
87th Infantry Division
90th Infantry Division
71st Infantry Division
Infantry Replacement Center, Camp Maxey
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Korean War
Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Distinguished Service Medal

Eugene M. Landrum (February 6, 1891 – July 24, 1967) was a United States Army Major General. He is known primarily for defeating the Japanese in the Aleutian Islands Campaign at the start of World War II, being relieved as commander of the 90th Infantry Division shortly after the D-Day landings, and organizing the Pusan Perimeter to blunt the North Korean offensive during the Korean War.

Early life[edit]

Eugene Manuel Landrum was born in Pensacola, Florida on February 6, 1891. He was educated in Florida and enlisted in the Alabama National Guard’s Company M, 1st Regiment in 1909.[1] He joined the Army as a member of the Coast Artillery Corps on August 20, 1910, and quickly transferred to the Infantry.[2] Landrum served in the 17th and 2nd Infantry Regiments, and attained the rank of Sergeant.[3]

He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 20th Infantry on November 1916.[4] He served initially in Hawaii, where he was promoted to First Lieutenant.[5]

World War I[edit]

At the start of World War I Landrum was assigned to the 43rd Infantry Regiment, and performed duty as aide-de-camp to Robert K. Evans in the Philippines.[6] Landrum later took part in action in Russia as part of American Expeditionary Force Siberia.[7]

Post World War I[edit]

After the war Landrum continued his Army career, receiving promotion to Captain and carrying out Infantry and Adjutant General assignments in Washington, D.C., and at forts including Leavenworth, Benning, and Lewis. He was promoted to Major in 1927.[8][9][10]

Landrum graduated from the United States Army Command and General Staff College in 1933 and the United States Army War College in 1936. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1938.[11]

World War II[edit]

When World War II began Landrum was Chief of Staff of the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, and he received temporary promotion to Colonel.[12]

In 1942 he was promoted to temporary Brigadier General. Landrum commanded the 7th Infantry Division and other forces in Alaska during combat as the United States reclaimed islands in the Aleutians which had been seized by the Japanese.[13][14][15][16]

For his service in Alaska Landrum received both the Army and Navy Distinguished Service Medal.[17][18][19]

Landrum was promoted to temporary Major General in 1943 and commanded the 87th Infantry Division during its training in the United States. He went to Europe shortly before the D-Day invasion, with Twelfth United States Army Group commander Omar Bradley intending to keep him unassigned and available to command a division on short notice.[20]

90th Infantry Division[edit]

The 90th Infantry Division took part in the D-Day invasion, coming ashore at D-Day plus one and conducting combat activities in Normandy.[21]

In July, 1944, VII Corps Commander J. Lawton Collins became concerned that the 90th Division was not performing effectively in combat. As a result, he relieved division commander Jay W. MacKelvie and two regimental commanders. Landrum was then assigned to replace MacKelvie.[22]

Landrum commanded the 90th Infantry Division during the rest of July and into August. During this period Landrum became involved in a verbal altercation with his Assistant Division Commander, Brigadier General Samuel T. Williams, and requested that Williams be reduced in rank to Colonel and reassigned. Landrum’s superiors concurred, and the action was carried out. (Williams remained in the Army. He was promoted again to Brigadier General in 1951, and advanced to Lieutenant General before retiring in 1960.)[23]

In August, Landrum’s corps, army and army group commanders were still not satisfied with the performance of the 90th Division, and Landrum was relieved. He was succeeded by Raymond S. McLain, and returned to the United States.[24]

Later World War II service[edit]

Upon returning to the United States Landrum commanded the 71st Infantry Division during its mobilization and training before it departed for combat in Europe.[25] He then commanded the Infantry Advance Replacement Training Center at Camp Maxey.[26]

Post World War II[edit]

Following World War II Landrum returned to his permanent rank of Colonel and continued his career, including assignment as Deputy Chief of Staff of the Fifth Army in Chicago.[27][28]

Korean War[edit]

During the Korean War Landrum served with the Eighth Army, first as Deputy Chief of Staff and then Chief of Staff.

At the time numbered army commanders were not officially authorized to have deputy commanders, so Landrum served as the de facto deputy for General Walton Walker, the Eighth Army commander.[29]

Walker, who had served with Landrum at Fifth Army, relied on him during the Eighth Army’s organization of the Pusan Perimeter as the Eighth Army organized the defensive action which enabled U.S. and South Korean forces to begin the counterattack that pushed the North Koreans north across the 38th Parallel. Walker, who always referred to Landrum as “General Landrum” in recognition of his temporary World War II rank, made Landrum responsible for finding replacement troops and reinforcements and employing them where they could be most effective.[30][31] Landrum received a second award of the Distinguished Service Medal to recognize his efforts in Korea.[32]

Landrum served until reaching the mandatory retirement age of 60, retiring in a ceremony at Fort Mason, California.[33]

Death and burial[edit]

In retirement Landrum resided in San Jose, California.[34] He died in Springfield, Illinois on July 24, 1967 and was buried at San Francisco National Cemetery, Section DE, Site 17-A.[35][36]

Family[edit]

Landrum was married to Frances Richardson Yeater (1894-1961), the daughter of Charles Yeater.[37][38] Their children included son Eugene and daughter Marianna.[39] Eugene M. Landrum, Jr. (1920-2009) was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army and served during World War II and the Korean War.[40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alabama, National Guard Index Cards, 1897-1924 Record for Eugene M Landrum, 1909
  2. ^ U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914, Record for Eugene M Landrum, 1910
  3. ^ David T. Zabecki, Chief of Staff: The Principal Officers Behind History's Great Commanders, 2008, pages 169-171
  4. ^ National Infantry Association, Infantry Journal, Volume 13, Part 2, 1917, page 613
  5. ^ United States Committee on Public Information, Official U.S. Government Bulletin, Volume 1, 1918, page 51
  6. ^ Government of the Philippines, Official Gazette, Volume 16, Part 2, 1918, page 1190
  7. ^ United States. Dept. of the Army. Historical Division, United States Army in World War II: The War Department, Volume 2, 1951, page 403
  8. ^ New York Times, Gen. Davis Assumes Direction of Bonus; Adjutant General Combines New Duties With Regular Ones of His Office, May 28, 1924
  9. ^ 1920 United States Federal Census, entry for Eugene M. Landrum
  10. ^ 1940 United States Federal Census, entry for Eugene M. Landrum
  11. ^ David T. Zabecki, Chief of Staff: The Principal Officers Behind History's Great Commanders, 2008, pages 169-171
  12. ^ Army and Navy Journal, Inc., Army and Navy Journal, Volume 77, Issues 27-52, 1940, page 731
  13. ^ George L. MacGarrigle, Aleutian Islands, 1992, page 21
  14. ^ Keith D. Dickson, World War Two Almanac, 2008, page 193
  15. ^ Walter R. Borneman, Alaska, 2009, page 360
  16. ^ New York Times, General Sums Up Situation, May 30, 1943
  17. ^ Associated Press, The Evening Independent (St. Petersburg), Attu Conqueror Wins Decoration, August 12, 1943
  18. ^ Time magazine, Double DSM, Volume 42, 1943, page 53
  19. ^ Harry Gailey, War in the Pacific: From Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay, 2011
  20. ^ New York Times, President Names 23 Major Generals, March 26, 1943
  21. ^ U.S. Army Center of Military History, Combat Chronicle, 90th Infantry Division, accessed May 7, 2013
  22. ^ John C. McManus, The Americans at Normandy, 2005, page 99
  23. ^ Benjamin L. Bradley, Searching For Competence: The Initial Combat Experience Of Untested U.S. Army Divisions In World War II, A Case Study Of The 90th Infantry Division, June–July 1944, 2005, page 9
  24. ^ Martin Blumenson, Masters of the Art of Command, 1990, page 369
  25. ^ Headquarters, 71st Infantry Division, The History of the 71st Infantry Division, 1946, page 23
  26. ^ David G. Chandler, James Lawton Collins, The D-Day Encyclopedia, 1994, page 340
  27. ^ Boston Globe, 212 Wartime Generals Reduced in Rank to Peacetime Colonels, March 8, 1946
  28. ^ Army and Navy Journal, Inc., Army and Navy Journal, Volume 86, Issues 1-26, 1948, page 273
  29. ^ Roy Edgar Appleman, United States Army in the Korean War, Volume 1, page 109
  30. ^ Uzal W. Ent, Fighting on the Brink: Defense of the Pusan Perimeter, 1996, page 213
  31. ^ Roy E. Appleman, Disaster in Korea: The Chinese Confront Macarthur, 209, page 336
  32. ^ Military Times, Hall of Valor, Distinguished Service Medal citation, Eugene Manuel Landrum, accessed May 7, 2013
  33. ^ Associated Press, Corpus Christi Times, Col. Landrum Retires, March 1, 1951
  34. ^ Army and Navy Journal Inc., Army, Navy, Air Force Journal, Volume 94, Issues 1-26, page 118
  35. ^ U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Nationwide Gravesite Locator, accessed May 6, 2013
  36. ^ California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1895-1985, entry for Major General Eugene M Landrum, 1967
  37. ^ Army and Navy Journal Incorporated, Army, Navy, Air Force Journal, Volume 98, Issues 27-52, 1961, page 1100
  38. ^ Walter Williams, Floyd Calvin Shoemaker, Missouri, Mother of the West, Volume 4, 1930, page 93
  39. ^ Nelle Morris Jenkins, Morris Genealogy, 1605 to 1959, 1959, page 33
  40. ^ Eugene M. Landrum, Jr. at Find A Grave

External resources[edit]