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Lieutenant General Henry Spiese Aurand

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Stats

Birth: April 21, 1894

Death: June 18, 1980

Hometown: Tamaqua, Pennsylvania

Retired: 1952

Years of service: 1915-1952 

Service: United States Army

Rank: Lieutenant General

Battles fought: World War I, World War II, Korean War


Henry Spiese Aurand was born on April 21, 1894, in Pennsylvania. He attended the United States Military Academy, graduating in 1915. Subsequently, he attended the Army Ordnance School in 1916, the Command and Staff College in 1928, the Army War College in 1931, and the Army Industrial College in 1940.
 
Aurand served briefly in World War I at Sandy Hook Proving Ground, a military facility based in New Jersey. Between World War I and World War II, he attended military schools and developed an expertise in logistics.
 
Aurand reshaped the U.S. military's logistics philosophy in many ways. For example, he convinced army planners to first calculate logistics capabilities before determining operational plans. Prior to this, planning had begun with operations and then logistics had been examined to see if they could support the operational plan. This military strategy gave numerous victories to the United States.
 
According to the Arlington Cemetary, Aurand's collegue, General Wade McManus described him as "a skilled logistician who served as a catalyst in reforming the U.S. Army's logistical systems. He was directly involved in many changes pertaining to logistics and ordnance. As early as 1935 he was developing logistics principles that sound familiar to modern Ordnance officers."
 
In 1941, Aurand became the Director of Defense Aid, a program which distributed materials to the Allies. He then became the Chief of the International Division, Army Service Forces in 1942, and later that year, the Secretary of the Combined Production Board. He finished 1942 as the Commanding General of the Sixth Service Command in Chicago, Illinois.

During World War II, Aurand was assigned as the Assistant Chief Ordnance Officer, European Theater of Operations and Communications Zone in 1944. He then moved to become the Commanding General in the Normandy Base Section later that same year. In 1945, he was the last Commanding General of the United States Servicies of Supply. One of his core beliefs on the job lay in the potential of African American troops. By making extensive use of these supply troops, Aurand led America to win many battles during World War II, including the Battle of the Bulge, one of the largest and bloodiest battles during the war. He believed that African American soldiers could be as just effective as any other group of soldiers, provided their officers were allowed to act with the same authority as white troops. The success of the U.S. Army logistical operation in Europe proved him to be correct.

General Aurand's command was marked by the dedication of the National Cemetery of the Pacific, the deployment of the 5th RCT to Korea, and the establishment of the Hawaii Infantry Training Center. He received many decorations, among which are the Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the Mexican Service Medal, the World War I Victory Medal, the American Defense Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asian-Pacific Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. Henry Spiese Aurand was a widely celebrated general, who made enormous contributions to the legacy of the American military. He died in 1980.


Bibliography

 

"Henry S. Aurand, Lieutenant General, United States Army." Arlington National

Cemetery Website, Web. 28 May 2010. http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/hsaurand.htm

 

Reese, John Russell. Supply Man: the Army Life of Lieutenant General Henry S. Aurand,               

1915-1952. 1984. Print.

 

Taylor, Mike. Generals of World War II. Edina, MN: Abdo Pub., 1998. Print.



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