Biography of Cornelius W. Wickersham
Lieutenant General, U.S.A.R.
My Dad, Cornelius W. Wickersham was born late in the l9th century. He always loved the armed forces. I believe it was his dream to go to West Point. Somehow, he was convinced to be a lawyer, so that's what he did in business.
But he was always in the "Reserve". He served in WW One--in the trenches. After that, he kept up his 'Reserve status"--going to what was known as "Maneuvers" every year----with all the "Army group". He really just loved the US Army so much.
He was a very brilliant "statistical" man. In the late '30's, he said (I'll never forget this)---about Hitler--right after Austria collapsed: "THIS MAN MUST BE STOPPED--WHY DON'T WE GO IN NOW AND DO IT???" I was just a 'little kid" then, but I've never, ever forgotten that.
Anyway, shortly after that, he joined General Hugh Drum on Governer's Island. (Oh--by that time--through the reserves--he'd become a Colonel.) He put his own law practice partially "on hold"--and devoted a lot of time to doing lots of "investigative" work. Actually, later on--after 1941 (Pearl harbor) he spent most of his time working for Hugh Drum, and I think, OSS.
Then he was sent to Charlottesville, VA to start the "School of Military Government"--later to be set up in Germany (after the war). Well, I guess someone knew what the outcome was going to be--or certainly wanted to be "prepared".
After that, having begged his superiors to go to Europe--off he went to England, and was sent to other places--like Africa. But he was working closely with the headquarters under Gen. Omar Bradley, Gen. Eisenhower, and the others. He did a lot of the 'strategy" work, and occasionally came (very secretively) back to report to D.C.
I guess he had a lot to do with D-Day preparations, trying to "throw the enemy off-track".
Well, that's about it. He came home around late 1944--as close as I remember, which, I admit, isn't too well. (too young, still).
His final rank was Lieutenant General. He always loved his Army friends so much--and had them over (after the war) for lunch, and things like that. i was so lucky--I got to meet a few--even Gen. Ike!
Thanks for reading this--if you made it this far!!!
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