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First Name: Daniel

Last Name: Van Voorhis

Birthplace: Zanesville, OH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Date of Birth: 24 October 1878

Date of Death: 09 January 1956

Rank: Lieutenant General

Years Served: 1898 - 1942
Daniel Van Voorhis

•  Spanish-American War (1898)
•  World War I (1914 - 1918)
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Daniel Van Voorhis
Lieutenant General, U.S. Army

Daniel Van Voorhis was born on 24 October 1878 in Zanesville, OH, the son of Congressman Henry Clay Van Voorhis. He attended Ohio Wesleyan University and Pennsylvania's Washington and Jefferson College, where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.

Van Voorhis left college to enlist for the Spanish-American War as a Corporal in the 10th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment. He attained the rank of Captain before the end of the war, and earned the Silver Star for heroism at Jaro in the Philippines.

After the Spanish-American War, Van Voorhis accepted a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Regular Army and served primarily in the Philippines between 1900 and 1914. In 1909, he was appointed as Aide-de-Camp to President William Howard Taft. In 1914, he served on the Texas border during the Pancho Villa Expedition.

World War I

At the beginning of World War I, he was Chief of Staff at the Newport News, VA, port of embarkation, and was one of only twelve Army officers to earn the Navy Cross. In 1918, he went to France as a member of the American Expeditionary Force staff and, after the war, was assigned to the port of Brest, where he was responsible for coordinating the A.E.F.'s return to the U.S. for which he received the Distinguished Service Medal.

Post-World War I

Following World War I, Van Voorhis served in Texas as Commander of the 16th Cavalry Regiment, Assistant Chief of Staff of 2nd Cavalry Division, and Assistant Chief of Staff of VIII Corps. In 1924 he was assigned as Executive Officer to the Chief of Cavalry, and in 1929 he graduated from the Army War College.

In 1930, Van Voorhis was appointed to command the Army's new experimental mechanized force, first called the 1st Cavalry Regiment (Mechanized), and later the 7th Cavalry Brigade (Mechanized), receiving a promotion to Brigadier General. The organization he created and the tactics he developed were vital to the Army's transformation into the modern, mobile armor and mechanized infantry force that was successful in World War II; and with Adna R. Chaffee, Jr., he is recognized as a founder of the Army's Armor branch.

General Van Voorhis served as Chief of Staff for the Hawaiian Division from 1934 to 1936.

In 1938, General Van Voorhis was named Commander of V Corps as a Major General, and in 1939 he was named to head the Caribbean Defense Command in Panama, receiving a promotion to Lieutenant General in 1940.

In 1941 Van Voorhis was again assigned as Commander of V Corps, where he remained until reaching mandatory retirement age in 1942. He received the Legion of Merit at his retirement.

In Retirement

In retirement, Voorhis resided in Zanesville, OH, and Clearwater, FL.

Medals and Awards

Navy Cross
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal
Legion of Merit
Spanish War Service Medal
Philippine Campaign Medal
Mexican Border Service Medal
World War I Victory Medal
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal


His papers, the Daniel Van Voorhis Collection, are part of the Patton Museum at Fort Knox, KY, and an elementary school, as well as the largest residential housing area at Fort Knox, is named for him.

Death and Burial

Lieutenant General Daniel Van Voorhis died at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, DC, on 9 January 1956. He is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Zanesville, OH.

Honoree ID: 3169   Created by: MHOH




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