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Douglass Taft Greene (April 23, 1891 – June 16, 1964) was a Major General in the United States Army during World War II. He served as Commanding General of the 16th Armored Division and the 12th Armored Division during their training in the United States. Despite being an officer during both World War I and World War II, he never held a combat command, and was assigned to active duty positions within the continental United States during both wars.[1][2]

Douglass Taft Greene
Born(1891-04-23)April 23, 1891
Fort Logan, Colorado
DiedJune 13, 1964(1964-06-13) (aged 73)
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Place of burial
Allegiance United States
Service/branchUnited States Army seal United States Army
Years of service1913–1946
RankUS-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Commands held
  • Col. Lewis Douglass Greene (1856–1935), USMA 1878 (father)
  • Brig. Gen. Michael J. Lenihan,(1865–1958), USMA 1887 (father-in-law)



Douglass Taft Greene was born on April 23, 1891 at Fort Logan, Colorado, the son of Colonel Lewis Douglass Greene, USMA Class of 1878, and Lillian Taft Adams Greene.[1]

Military careerEdit

Greene was appointed to West Point from Illinois and entered the Military Academy on March 1, 1909. He graduated with the Class of 1913, was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. and was stationed at Fort Shafter, HI with Co. I, 2nd Infantry Division. On May 15, 1916 he was promoted to 1st Lt. and was assigned to the Schofield Barracks in Hawaii from August 17, 1916, to February 4, 1917. He was transferred to the 21st Infantry Division at Camp H. Beacom in Calexico, California from March 16 to April 22, 1917. On May 15, 1917, he was promoted to Captain of the Infantry and became Adjutant at Camp Beacom. From May 2 to August 15, 1917 he was an instructor at the 1st Officers Training Camp at the Presidio, San Francisco. On December 13, 1917, he was transferred to command of the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Div. at Camp Taliaferro, San Diego, California. On June 17, 1918, he was promoted to Major in the National Army (USA) and became Adjutant of the 162nd Depot Brigade at Camp Pike, Ark. between June 19 and August 29, 1918. On September 1, 1918, he became an Instructor in the Department of Tactics at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point until August 1922.[1][3]

He attended the Infantry School at Camp Benning, Georgia in 1922–23, then the Tank School at Fort Meade, Maryland 1923–24, the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas from 1928 to 1929. He became the commanding officer of the 17th Heavy Tank Battalion from 1923 to 1928. From 1929 to 1933, he was the executive officer of the Tank School at Fort Meade. From 1933 to 1934 he attended the Army War College in Washington, DC. From July 1934 to July 1940, he was Professor of Military Science & Tactics and Commandant of the ROTC Program at the Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[1][3][4]

From 1940 to 1942, Greene was commanding officer of the 67th Armored Regiment of the 2nd Armored Division then was assistant division commander of the 7th Armored Division from 1942 to 1943. On 15 July 1943 Greene became the commanding General of the newly activated 16th Armored Division at Camp Chafee, Ark. until August 1944.[4] On 16 August 1944, he assumed command of the 12th Armored Division from Major Gen. Carlos Brewer as they were preparing to leave the United States to enter the European Theater of Operations during World War II, when Brewer was deemed "too old" at age 54 to be an overseas operational combat commander.[5]:11,35 However, four weeks after assuming command of the 12th Armored Division, just as the division was ready to go overseas, doctors refused to let Greene go with his command,[1] and he was replaced as commander of the 12th Armored Division on 19 September 1944 by Major Gen. Alexander Patch.[5]:54 After a three-week stint as Deputy Commander of the 2nd Army, Greene became the Commanding General of the Infantry Replacement Training Center, at Camp Gordon, Tennessee until the end of the war, and retired due to disability in 1946.[6]

Throughout his military career Gen. Greene held several command positions, including service during both World Wars. All of his military posting were within the United States, and he never was assigned to active combat. During World War I, he was an instructor at West Point, and during World War II he was assigned to training troops within the continental United States.[2][6]

Post-military careerEdit

After retirement from the military he moved back to the Drexel Hill area of Philadelphia and returned to the Drexel Institute, where he was an assistant to the President and chairman of its War Surplus Board, administering the purchase of surplus property for the Institute. From 1952 to 1961, he was Director of Athletics and Business Manager at Drexel until December 31, 1961. He then became a consultant to the President of Drexel Institute of Technology, Dr. James Creese.[1][7]

Personal lifeEdit

On May 4, 1915, Greene married Eleanora Lenihan, daughter of Brigadier General Michael J. Lenihan, USMA Class of 1887, who at the time was a Major with the 2nd Infantry Division.[1] They had six sons and a daughter. Their first child, Joseph Douglass Greene (1916–1922), born at Fort Shafter, died at Fort Benning, Georgia at age six in 1922 while rescuing a younger brother from under a truck. Lawrence Vivans Greene (1917–2006) and Michael Joseph Lenihan Greene (1919–2012) were both members of the USMA Class of 1941. Lewis Adams Greene (1920–1987) lived at Cookeville, Tennessee and was the only son not to have a career in the military. Their daughter Ann Catherine married R. L. Ziegler and lived at Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. His youngest son Lt. Thomas Patrick Greene (1929–1951), USMA Class of 1950, was killed in action in Korea on February 10, 1951. Michael, Lewis, and Ann were born at West Point.[1]

On January 28, 1964, Gen. Greene was hospitalized following a heart attack and returned home after three weeks. On June 9, 1964 he entered Valley Forge General Hospital, with another heart attack and died the following day on June 13, 1964. He was interred at the West Point Cemetery, where both of his parents, his wife, his oldest and youngest sons are also buried.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Douglass T. Greene 1913". West Point United States Military Academy Association of Graduates. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b Cullum, George Washington (1950). Branham, Charles (ed.). Biographical register of the officers and graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., from its establishment, in 1802 [Supplement, volume IX 1940–1950]. Association of Graduates, U.S. Military Academy. p. 1913. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  3. ^ a b Cullum, George Washington (1920). Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, N. Y.: From Its Establishment, in 1802, to 1890; with the Early History of the United States Military Academy [volume VI 1910–1920]. Houghton, Mifflin.
  4. ^ a b The American Catholic Who's Who. NC News Service. 1910. pp. 178–.
  5. ^ a b Bradstreet, Ken (1987). 12th Armored Division History Book Vol. 1 (PDF). Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company. ISBN 0-938021-09-5. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Greene, Douglass Taft". The Generals of World War II. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Major General Douglass T Greene". Drexel Athletics Hall of Fame. Retrieved 26 March 2016.