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First Name: John

Last Name: Pierce

Birthplace: Dallas, TX, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Leonard

Date of Birth: 29 April 1895

Date of Death: 12 February 1959

Rank: Brigadier General

Years Served:
John Leonard Pierce

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


John Leonard Pierce
Brigadier General, U.S. Army

John Leonard Pierce was born on 29 April 1895 in Dallas, TX, the son of lawyer, Frank Cushman Pierce and his wife, Isabella. Pierce attended the West Texas Military Academy in San Antonio, TX, and then Texas A&M University. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. 1st Infantry in June 1917. Pierce served in France during World War I and following the war he served with the 8th Infantry Division as part of the Occupation Forces in Koblenz, Germany.

After returning to the U.S., Pierce remained in the Army and was interested in the modern concept of mobile warfare and helped with the development of mechanized armor capabilities. At the beginning of World War II, Colonel Pierce served as Deputy Chief of Staff of the 3rd Armored Division under command of Major General Alvan C. Gillem. One year later, Pierce was transferred to the II Armored Corps (later re-designated as the XVIII Airborne Corps), where he served as Chief of Staff.

In June 1943, Pierce was promoted to Brigadier General and appointed as Chief of Staff of Armored Command. He stayed in this capacity until September 1944, when he was transferred to Camp Chaffee, AR, where he assumed command of 16th Armored Division. He replaced Major General Douglass T. Greene in this capacity. Pierce arrived with his 16th Armored Division in Europe in February 1945 and participated in combat in Germany and Czechoslovakia. Pierce commanded the Division during the liberation of Pilsen.

At the end of WWII, BG Pierce was transferred back to the U.S. where he served as President of the Secretary of War's Discharge Review Board. He served in this capacity until 1946, when he retired from the Army.

Medals and Awards

Legion of Merit with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
World War I Victory Medal with 2 Battle Clasps
Occupation of Germany World War I Medal
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 3 Bronze Stars
World War II Victory Medal

Death and Burial

Brigadier General John Leonard Pierce died on 12 February 1959 at his home in San Antonio. He is buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, TX.

Honoree ID: 2959   Created by: MHOH




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