Raymond O. Barton

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Raymond Oscar Barton
Raymond O. Barton.jpg
Nickname(s)"Tubby"[1]
BornAugust 22, 1889
Granada, Colorado, United States
DiedFebruary 27, 1963 (aged 73)
Augusta, Georgia, United States
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1912–1946
RankUS-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Service number0-3401
UnitUSA - Army Infantry Insignia.png Infantry Branch
Commands held1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment
8th Infantry Regiment
4th Infantry Division
Battles/wars
AwardsArmy Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star

Major General Raymond Oscar "Tubby" Barton (August 22, 1889 – February 27, 1963) was a career officer in the United States Army and combat commander in World War I and World War II. As commander of the 4th Infantry Division during World War II, most notably during the Normandy landings in June 1944, Barton is one of only eleven U.S. Army general officers who commanded their divisions for the duration of their combat service.[2]

Early life and military career[edit]

Born on August 22, 1889, Raymond Oscar Barton graduated from the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York, with the class of 1912.[3] Many of his West Point classmates later became general officers during World War II as he did, such as Wade H. Haislip, John Shirley Wood, Walton Walker, Harry J. Malony, Walter M. Robertson, William H. Wilbur, Franklin C. Sibert, Robert McGowan Littlejohn, Stephen J. Chamberlin, Archibald Vincent Arnold, Albert E. Brown, Gilbert R. Cook and Millard Harmon.[3]

His first assignment was with the 30th Infantry Regiment, then serving in Alaska. He did not see any active service during World War I but, by now a captain, he served in Germany from 1919 to 1923 as commander of the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment which was the last formation to leave Germany.

He later returned to the United States, now as a major, and attended the United States Army Command and General Staff College, along with the United States Army War College.[3] Barton then became a Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Georgetown University. While he was there, on August 1, 1935, he was promoted again, this time to lieutenant colonel.[1]

World War II[edit]

Major General Raymond O. Barton (right) and Colonel Charles T. Lanham (left) after the latter's 22nd Infantry Regiment was first to break through the Siegfried Line on September 14, 1944.

The United States entered World War II in December 1941, by which time Barton was a temporary colonel, having been promoted to that rank on February 14.[1] He commanded the 4th Infantry Division from 3 July 1942 to 26 December 1944 and led them into battle from D-Day at Utah Beach,[4] to the Battle of Normandy, the Liberation of Paris, and into the Battle of Hürtgen Forest before leaving the command due to health problems on December 27, 1944.[1]

During the war he became friends with Ernest Hemingway who sought his favor as the war correspondent assigned to the division and the two corresponded after.

Hemingway wrote to Barton:

You had one of the greatest divisions in American military history.

During the Battle of Hürtgen Forest on the Weisser Weh stream near Grosshau, Germany General Barton gave up his belt for tourniquet material to medic Russell J. York of his division at York's request. Lives were saved, and a Silver Star was personally awarded to Technician (Medical) 4th Grade York by General Barton for his actions.

Death[edit]

Barton died in 1963 and was buried at Westover Memorial Park in Augusta, Georgia.[5]

Popular culture[edit]

In the film The Longest Day he is played by Edmond O'Brien. He appears in a scene where he allows his assistant division commander, Theodore Roosevelt Jr. (played by Henry Fonda), to lead the division ashore at D-Day.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Biography of Major General Raymond Oscar Barton (1889−1963), USA". generals.dk.
  2. ^ Order of Battle, p. 374.
  3. ^ a b c Collins 1994, p. 96.
  4. ^ Harrison, Gordon A., (1951). - CHAPTER VIII: "The Sixth of June: Hitting the Beaches". - Cross Channel Attack. - Washington D.C.: Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army. CMH Pub 7-4. - p.302. - OCLC 1350280.
    —REPRINT: (1984). - ISBN 978-0-318-22740-5
  5. ^ "Raymond O. Barton". Find a Grave. Retrieved October 30, 2010.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by Commanding General 4th Infantry Division
1942–1944
Succeeded by