Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Jacob

Last Name: Devers

Birthplace: York, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Loucks

Date of Birth: 08 September 1887

Date of Death: 15 October 1979

Rank: General

Years Served: 1909 - 1949
Jacob Loucks Devers

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1909

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Jacob Loucks Devers
General, U.S. Army

Jacob Loucks Devers was born on 8 September 1887 in York, PA, son of Philip Devers, a watchmaker and partner in a jewelry store, and Ella Kate Loucks Devers, a homemaker. He was the first of the couple's four children. As a youth he enjoyed the outdoors: camping, fishing and hunting. He also played all the usual boyhood sports and made friends easily. Devers entered York High School in September 1901 and, a popular student, he was elected Class President. He had an excellent academic record, earning high marks in mathematics and science. The always competitive 5-foot 10-inch, 120-pound Devers captained the basketball team, played quarterback in football and starred in baseball.

After graduating from York High School in May 1905, Devers received a Congressional appointment to the U.S. Military Academy and entered the Academy in June 1905 with the Class of 1909. At graduation, he was ranked 39th out of 103 graduates and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Field Artillery. Some of his notable classmates(and their class rankings) included George S. Patton (46); John C. H. Lee (12); Robert L. Eichelberger (68); Edwin F. Harding (74); and William H. Simpson (101).

Much of Devers' energy between World Wars I and II was spent in making tactical and technical improvements to his branch, the Field Artillery.

World War II

When World War II began in Europe, Devers was serving in Panama. He then commanded the 9th Infantry Division at Fort Bragg, NC, from 15 November 1940 to 15 July 1941. On 14 August 1941, Devers, the youngest Major General in the Army's land forces, was posted to Fort Knox, KY to head the Armored Force. During his command, Fort Knox grew from two armored divisions to 16 divisions and 63 separate tank battalions. In May 1943, Devers was appointed overall commander of U.S. Army forces in Europe, where, from his London headquarters, he organized and trained many divisions for the cross-channel attack (Operation Overlord), the Battle of Normandy, on D-Day, 6 June 1944.

In January 1944, Devers became Commanding General North African Theater of Operations, U.S. Army and also Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater, under General Sir Maitland Wilson. When the Allied landings in Southern France took place in August 1944 (Operation Dragoon), Devers formed a special headquarters in Corsica to oversee the Franco-American forces commanded by Lieutenant General Alexander M. Patch. As the ground forces built up in southern France, French Army B headquarters was activated alongside Patch's 7th Army and Devers' headquarters became that of an Army Group subordinated to Wilson's Theater HQ. It was officially designated 6th Army Group once his forces linked with the Allied advance in northwest Europe and became subordinate to Dwight Eisenhower's Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF). With his twelve American and eleven French divisions, Devers cleared Alsace, reduced the Colmar Pocket, crossed the Rhine River and accepted the surrender of German forces in western Austria on 6 May 1945. He was the first U.S. military officer to reach the Rhine River after D-Day.

General Devers' career spanned forty years. He was promoted to Brigadier General in May 1940; Major General in October 1940; Lieutenant General in September 1942; and General on 8 March 1945. He retired from active duty on 30 September 1949.

Medals and Awards

Army Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Bronze Star Medal
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
European, African, Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal

Death and Burial

General Jacob Loucks Devers died on 15 October 1979 in Washington, DC. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 1, Lot 149-F, Grid MN-33/34.

Honoree ID: 220   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image