Cortlandt V.R. Schuyler

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Cortlandt V.R. Schuyler
Cortlandt V R Schuyler.jpg
Birth nameCortlandt Van Rensselaer Schuyler
Born(1900-12-22)December 22, 1900
Mount Arlington, New Jersey
DiedDecember 4, 1993(1993-12-04) (aged 92)
San Antonio, Texas
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1922–1959
RankUS-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held28th Infantry Division
AwardsDistinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
French Legion of Honor (Commander)
Wynona Coykendall
(m. 1923; her death 1981)

Helen V. R. Stillman Honnen
(m. 1981; his death 1993)
Other workCommissioner, New York State Office of General Services

Cortlandt Van Rensselaer Schuyler (December 22, 1900 – December 4, 1993) was a United States Army four-star general who served as Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (COFS SHAPE) from 1953 to 1959.[1]

Early life[edit]

Schuyler was born in Mount Arlington, New Jersey on December 22, 1900. He was the son of Frank Herbert Schuyler (1865–1942)[2] and Harriette Jarvis Ferris (née Fosdick) Schuyler (1865–1919). His father was the president of the Federal Bridge Company for 10 years up until his death in 1942.[2]

Schuyler was a descendant of the prominent Schuyler, Van Rensselaer and Van Cortlandt families of upstate New York. He was the grandson of Smith Arent Schuyler and Elizabeth (née Kneeland) Schuyler.[3]

He attended Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1922, where he finished 11th in a class of 102, and was commissioned in the Coast Artillery Corps.[4]


His first assignment was at Fort Monroe, Virginia, where he was assigned to the 61st Antiaircraft Battalion, at the time the only anti-aircraft unit in the army. Later he served with the 60th Coast Artillery (antiaircraft) in the Philippines and the 4th Coast Artillery (Antiaircraft) at Fort Amador in the Panama Canal Zone. He graduated from the United States Army Command and General Staff College in 1937.

In 1939, while a member of the Antiaircraft section of the Coast Artillery Board, he participated actively in the development of the first multiple, power-operated antiaircraft machine gun mount.(Quadmount), He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his work in this field.

In 1942, Schuyler was assigned to the Antiaircraft Command in Richmond, Virginia in 1942. He was promoted to brigadier general and assigned as chief of staff of the Antiaircraft Command. The Antiaircraft Command had the task of organizing and training all antiaircraft units of a rapidly expanding Army and controlled eight large training centers from Massachusetts to California.

In the fall of 1944, General Schuyler was assigned to Bucharest, Romania, as the U.S. Military Representative to the Allied Control Commission. The agency was created by the three interested allied governments (British, U.S. and Russian) to administer the terms of the Romanian armistice.

Return to Washington[edit]

In 1947, General Schuyler returned to Washington and was assigned as the Chief of the Plans and Policy Group, Army General Staff. It was in this position that he became heavily involved in the fast developing concept of the North Atlantic alliance. He assisted in the preparation of policy papers and participated in the discussions which, in 1949, culminated in the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). When General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed as the Supreme Commander of all NATO forces in Europe, General Schuyler was part of Eisenhower's staff as the special assistant to the chief of staff.

In 1952, Schuyler was promoted to major general and given command of the 28th Infantry Division in 1953.[5]

In 1954, he was promoted to lieutenant general and assigned to SHAPE headquarters in Paris as the Chief of Staff to Supreme Allied Commander General Alfred M. Gruenther. Schuyler was promoted to general in 1956 and remained as the chief of staff for the new Supreme Commander, General Lauris Norstad, until his retirement from the Army in November 1959.[4]

Post military career[edit]

After retiring from the army in 1959, Schuyler served as Commissioner of the New York State Office of General Services from 1960 to 1971,[6] and was an executive aide to New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller.[7]

In 1962, Rockefeller appointed Commissioner Schuyler "chairman of an Emergency Staff committee to meet any need in support of President Kennedy in the Cuban crisis.[8] In 1963, he was appointed chairman of the State Civil Defense Commission.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Schuyler was married twice, first to Wynona Coykendall (1902–1981), the daughter of Electra (née Heaton) Coykendall and Louis T. Coykendall, a vice-president of Presbrey-Leland, Inc.[9][10] Together, they had a daughter and a son:[1]

  • Shirley Schuyler (1929–2006), who married Edward Stanley Saxby, son of Harold A. Saxby, in 1949.[11]
  • Philip Van Rensselaer Schuyler (b. 1932)[1]

After his first wife's death, he later married Helen Van Rensselaer (née Stillman) Honnen (1905–1994), who was previously married to Major General George Honnen. At his death, he was survived by his wife, two children, and two stepchildren.[1]

Schuyler died on December 4, 1993 in San Antonio, Texas.[1] He was buried at West Point Cemetery, Section 8, Row C, Site 172.


1st Row Distinguished Service Medal
2nd Row Legion of Merit World War I Victory Medal American Defense Service Medal
3rd Row American Campaign Medal European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal World War II Victory Medal
4th Row Army of Occupation Medal National Defense Service Medal Legion of Honor (Commander)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Tabor, Mary B. W. (6 December 1993). "Cortlandt Schuyler; Former General, 92, Was NATO Officer". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b "FRANK H. SCHUYLER". The New York Times. March 21, 1942. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  3. ^ Reynolds, Cuyler (1914). Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 1062. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "General Schuyler to Read Letter From Washington". The Kingston Daily Freeman. February 18, 1964. p. 20. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  5. ^ Shifts at SHAPE
  6. ^ "Rockefeller Decision | Mansion to Be Restored For Estimated $450,000". Poughkeepsie Journal. March 22, 1961. p. 1. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Delhi Tech's 6th Annual Open House Draws Record Crowd | 5,000 Attend Three Day Festivity". The Oneonta Star. May 9, 1960. p. 3. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  8. ^ "New York's Governor Rockefeller". Poughkeepsie Journal. 24 Oct 1962. p. 27. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  9. ^ "LOUIS T. COYKENDALL". The New York Times. May 18, 1945. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  10. ^ "MRS. LOUIS COYKENDALL". The New York Times. April 12, 1957. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  11. ^ "SHIRLEY SCHUYLER IS WED IN VIRGINIA; Daughter of General Becomes Bride.of Leuit. E. S. Saxby in Post Chapel, Fort Myer". The New York Times. December 21, 1949. Retrieved 21 June 2018.

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