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First Name: Thomas

Last Name: Handy

Birthplace: Spring City, TN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Troy

Date of Birth: 11 March 1892

Date of Death: 12 April 1982

Rank: General

Years Served: 1916-1954
Thomas Troy Handy

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Thomas Troy Handy
General, U.S. Army

Military Career

Thomas Troy Handy was born on 11 March 1892 in Spring City, TN. He attended the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), graduating in 1914. However, he did not receive his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery of the U.S. Army until two years later.

World War I

Handy deployed with the 5th Field Artillery Regiment to France in August 1917, moving to the 42nd Infantry Division in 1918, and later that year was assigned to the 151st Field Artillery Regiment. Following World War I and occupation duty in Germany he went to Fort Sill, OK.

Handy returned to his alma mater, VMI, in 1921 and served as an instructor until 1925. After graduating from the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, KS, he assumed duties as Executive Officer of the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade in 1928. He served in various staff assignments in Panama from 1929 to 1931 and then returned to Fort Sill as an instructor at the U.S. Army Field Artillery School until 1934. Following that assignment, he was a student at the Army War College and, after graduating in 1935, he went to the Naval War College. His schooling was followed by assignment to the General Staff until 1940; but the assignment was interrupted for one year when he took command of the 78th Field Artillery Battalion at Fort Benning, GA.

World War II

In December 1941, Handy was promoted to temporary Brigadier General. He was promoted to temporary Major General in June 1942, when he became Assistant Chief-of-Staff in charge of Operations Division, succeeding Dwight D. Eisenhower. In September 1944, he was promoted to temporary Lieutenant General. In October 1944 he became Deputy Chief-of-Staff of the Army, receiving his fourth star in March 1945. In August 1945 he was acting Chief-of-Staff, due to George C. Marshall's absence, and transmitted the order for use of the atomic bomb.

Post-World War II

Hand remained Deputy Chief of Staff after the war and, in September 1947, he assumed command of the Fourth United States Army at Fort Sam Houston, TX. Two years later, in September 1949, he succeeded Lucius D. Clay as Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. European Command. He moved down to Deputy Supreme Commander in 1952 when Matthew Ridgeway was named Supreme Allied Commander, Allied Powers.

General Handy retired from active Army service in 1954.

Post-Military Life

In retirement he initially lived in Washington, DC, but later moved to San Antonio, TX.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Cross
Army Distinguished Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Legion of Merit
World War I Victory Medal
Occupation of Germany World War I Medal
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 4 Bronze Stars
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
Croix de Guerre (France)
Croix de Guerre (Belgium)

He was also awarded these foreign medals:

Legion of Honor (France)
Order of British Empire with Rank of Honorary Knight Commander
Belgian Order of Leopold
Chinese Grand Cordon of the Order of Cloud and Banner (Yun Hui)
Abdon Calderon Star (Ecuador)

Distinguished Service Cross Citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Major (Field Artillery) Thomas Troy Handy, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 7th Field Artillery, 1st Division, A.E.F., in the Salient-du-Feys, France, 9 March 1918. When Company D, 168th Infantry was under severe attack in the salient du Feys, France, Major Handy voluntarily joined it upon finding that he could do so without interfering with his normal duties, and by his coolness and conspicuous courage aided materially in its success.

Death and Burial

General Thomas Troy Handy died on 12 April 1982. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 30, Lot 394 RH. His wife, Alma Hudson Handy (1 September 1890 - 2 April 1970) is buried next to him.

Honoree ID: 246   Created by: MHOH




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