Thomas T. Handy

Last updated
Thomas T. Handy
Thomas Handy.jpg
Born(1892-03-11)March 11, 1892
Spring City, Tennessee
DiedApril 12, 1982(1982-04-12) (aged 90)
Place of burial
AllegianceFlag of the United States.svg  United States
Service/branch United States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army
Years of service1916–1954
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands heldUnited States European Command
Fourth Army
Battles/wars World War I
Occupation of Germany
World War II
Awards Distinguished Service Cross
Army Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit
Croix de Guerre with Gilt Star
Legion of Honor
Croix de Guerre with Palm
Cross of the Order of Leopold
Special Grand Cordon of Yun-Hui
Order of Abdon Calderon Star
Honorary Knight, Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Civilian Service Medal
Signature Thomas. T. Handy signature.svg

Thomas Troy Handy (March 11, 1892 – April 12, 1982) was a United States Army four-star general who served as Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Army (DCSA) from 1944 to 1947; Commanding General, Fourth United States Army from 1947 to 1949; Commander in Chief, United States European Command (CINCEUR) from 1949 to 1952; Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe/Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG), 1952; and Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command (DCINCEUR), from 1952 to 1954.

Fourth United States Army military unit

The Fourth United States Army was a field army of the United States Army.

United States European Command Unified combatant command of the United States Armed Forces responsible for the European region

The United States European Command (EUCOM) is one of ten Unified Combatant Commands of the United States military, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. Its area of focus covers 21,000,000 square miles (54,000,000 km2) and 51 countries and territories, including Europe, Russia, Greenland, and Israel. The Commander of the United States EUCOM simultaneously serves as the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) within NATO—an intergovernmental military alliance. During the Gulf War and Operation Northern Watch, EUCOM controlled the forces flying from Incirlik Air Base.



Handy was born on March 11, 1892 in Spring City, Tennessee, and attended the Virginia Military Institute, graduating in 1914. He did not receive an Army commission until two years later, in the Field Artillery. 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, Oklahoma.

Spring City, Tennessee Town in Tennessee, United States

Spring City is a town in Rhea County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 2,025 at the 2000 census and 1,981 at the 2010 census. The town is located along Watts Bar Lake, and Watts Bar Dam and the Watts Bar Nuclear Generating Station are nearby.

Virginia Military Institute state-supported military college in Lexington, Virginia, USA

Founded 11 November 1839 in Lexington, Virginia, the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) is the oldest state-supported military college and the first public Senior Military College in the United States. In keeping with its founding principles and unlike any other Senior Military College in the United States, VMI enrolls cadets only and awards baccalaureate degrees exclusively.VMI offers its students, all of whom are cadets, strict military discipline combined with a physically and academically demanding environment. The Institute grants degrees in 14 disciplines in engineering, the sciences and liberal arts, and all VMI students are required to participate in one of the four ROTC programs.

42nd Infantry Division (United States) Division of the New York ARNG

The 42nd Infantry Division (42ID) ("Rainbow") is a division of the United States Army National Guard. The 42nd Infantry Division has served in World War I, World War II and the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). The division is currently headquartered at the Glenmore Road Armory in Troy, New York.

He returned to his alma mater in 1921, serving as an instructor until 1925. After graduating from the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas he assumed duties as Executive Officer of the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade in 1928. He served in various staff assignments from 1929 to 1931 in Panama, then returned to Fort Sill as an instructor at the United States Army Field Artillery School until 1934. His time there was followed as 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, interrupted for a year by taking command of the 78th Field Artillery Battalion at Fort Benning.

Fort Leavenworth United States Army installation located in Leavenworth County, Kansas

Fort Leavenworth is a United States Army installation located in Leavenworth County, Kansas, in the city of Leavenworth since it was annexed on April 12, 1977, in the northeast part of the state. Built in 1827, it is the oldest active United States Army post west of Washington, D.C., and the oldest permanent settlement in Kansas. Fort Leavenworth has been historically known as the "Intellectual Center of the Army."

United States Army Field Artillery School

The United States Army Field Artillery School (USAFAS) trains Field Artillery Soldiers and Marines in tactics, techniques, and procedures for the employment of fire support systems in support of the maneuver commander. The school further develops leaders who are tactically and technically proficient, develops and refines warfighting doctrine, and designs units capable of winning on future battlefields. The school is currently located at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

United States Army War College United States Army school located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania

The United States Army War College (USAWC) is a U.S. Army educational institution in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, on the 500-acre (2 km²) campus of the historic Carlisle Barracks. It provides graduate-level instruction to senior military officers and civilians to prepare them for senior leadership assignments and responsibilities. Each year, a number of Army colonels and lieutenant colonels are considered by a board for admission. Approximately 800 students attend at any one time, half in a two-year-long distance learning program, and the other half in an on-campus, full-time resident program lasting ten months. Upon completion, the college grants its graduates a master's degree in Strategic Studies.

Letter from Handy to General Carl Spaatz authorizing the dropping of the first atomic bomb, July 25, 1945 Handy to spaatz 1945.gif
Letter from Handy to General Carl Spaatz authorizing the dropping of the first atomic bomb, July 25, 1945

In December 1941 he was promoted to temporary brigadier general, and temporary major general in June 1942 when he became Assistant Chief-of-Staff in charge of Operations Division, succeeding Dwight 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.

Dwight D. Eisenhower 34th president of the United States

Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was an American army general and statesman who served as the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. During World War II, he was a five-star general in the United States Army and served as supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe. He was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45 from the Western Front.

Following the war, he remained Deputy Chief of Staff, and in September 1947 he assumed command of Fourth United States Army at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Two years later, in September 1949, he was Lucius D. Clay's successor as Commander-in-Chief of United States European Command. He moved down to Deputy Supreme Commander in 1952 when Matthew Ridgway was named Supreme Allied Commander, Allied Powers. Handy retired from the Army in 1954 to Washington, D.C., later residing in San Antonio, Texas.

Fort Sam Houston military base

Fort Sam Houston is a U.S. Army post in San Antonio, Texas. Known colloquially as "Fort Sam," it is named for the U.S. Senator from Texas, U.S. Representative from Tennessee, Tennessee and Texas Governor, and first President of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston.

Lucius D. Clay United States general

General Lucius Dubignon Clay was a senior officer of the United States Army who was known for his administration of occupied Germany after World War II. He served as the deputy to General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1945; deputy military governor, Germany, 1946; Commander in Chief, U.S. Forces in Europe and military governor of the U.S. Zone, Germany, 1947–1949. Clay retired in 1949.

Matthew Ridgway United States Army general

General Matthew Bunker Ridgway was a senior officer in the United States Army, who served as Supreme Allied Commander Europe (1952–1953) and the 19th Chief of Staff of the United States Army (1953–1955). He fought with distinction during World War II, where he was the Commanding General of the 82nd Airborne Division, leading it in action in Sicily, Italy and Normandy, before taking command of the newly formed XVIII Airborne Corps in August 1944. He held the latter post until the end of the war, commanding the corps in the Battle of the Bulge, Operation Varsity and the Western Allied invasion of Germany.

He died on April 12, 1982, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery next to his wife, Alma Hudson Handy (September 1, 1890 – April 2, 1970).

Arlington National Cemetery Military cemetery in the United States

Arlington National Cemetery is a United States military cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., in whose 624 acres (253 ha) the dead of the nation's conflicts have been buried, beginning with the Civil War, as well as reinterred dead from earlier wars. The United States Department of the Army, a component of the United States Department of Defense (DoD), controls the cemetery.

Awards and decorations

His awards and decorations included the Distinguished Service Cross, Army Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Legion of Merit, National Defense Service Medal, Croix de Guerre (France), WWI with gold star, the Legion of Honor (Commander), the WWII Croix de Guerre with Palm (Belgium), the Order of British Empire with Rank of Honorary Knight Commander, Belgian Order of Leopold (Grand Officer), Chinese Grand Cordon of the Order of Cloud and Banner (Yun Hui), the Order of Abdon Calderon 1st Class (Ecuador), and the DoD Distinguished Civilian Service Medal.

Distinguished Service Cross ribbon.svg
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Distinguished Service Medal ribbon.svg
Legion of Merit ribbon.svg
World War I Victory Medal ribbon.svg
Army of Occupation of Germany ribbon.svg American Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon.svg
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg Army of Occupation ribbon.svg
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon.png
1 golden star.svg
Croix de Guerre 1914-1918 ribbon.svg
Legion Honneur Commandeur ribbon.svg
Grand Officer Ordre de Leopold.png Croix de Guerre 1940-1945 with palm (Belgium) - ribbon bar.png Order of Abdon Calderon 1st Class (Ecuador) - ribbon bar.png Order of the Cloud and Banner 2nd.gif

See also

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Military offices
Preceded by
Clarence R. Huebner
Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe
2 September 1949 to 12 August 1952
Succeeded by
Manton S. Eddy