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John Leonard Pierce
John L. Pierce.jpg
Born (1895-04-25)April 25, 1895
Died February 12, 1959(1959-02-12) (aged 63)
Place of birth Dallas, Texas
Place of death San Antonio, Texas
Buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
Allegiance United StatesUnited States of America
Service/branch United States Department of the Army Seal United States Army
Years of service 1917-1946
Rank US-O7 insignia Brigadier General
Commands held 16th US Armored Division SSI 16th Armored Division
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Legion of Merit (2)

John Leonard Pierce (April 25, 1895 – February 12, 1959) was an United States Army officer with the rank of Brigadier General. He is most noted as a commander of the 16th Armored Division during World War II.

Early yearsEdit

John Leonard Pierce was born on April 25, 1895 in Dallas, Texas as the son of lawyer, Frank Cushman Pierce and his wife, Isabella. Pierce attended the West Texas Military Academy in San Antonio, Texas and subsequently Texas A&M University and then joined the Army in June 1917. Subsequently served during World War I in France. After war, Pierce served with 8th Infantry Division within Occupation forces in Koblenz, Germany.[1]

After return to the United States, Pierce stayed in the Army and was interested in mobile warfare and the development of armor.

World War IIEdit

At the beginning of World War II, Pierce served as a 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 (lated redesignated as the XVIII Airborne Corps), where he served as Chief of Staff.

In June 1943, Pierce was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and was appointed a Chief of Staff of Armored Command. He stayed in this capacity until September 1944, when he was transferred to Camp Chaffee in Arkansas, where he assumed command of 16th Armored Division. He replaced major general Douglass T. Greene in this capacity.[2]

Pierce arrived with his 16th Armored Division in Europe in February 1945 and participated in combats in Germany and Czechoslovakia. Pierce commanded the division during the liberation of Pilsen.

For his service during World War II, general Pierce was awarded with Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster by the government of the United States and with Order of the White Lion and with War Cross by the government of the Czechoslovakia for his merits during liberation of Western Bohemia.

Life after WarEdit

Pierce was subsequently transferred back to the United States, where he was appointed the President of the Secretary of War's Discharge Review Board. He served in this capacity until 1946, when he retired from the Army.[3]

Brigadier general John Leonard Pierce died in the age of 63 years at his home in San Antonio, Texas and is buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery together with his wife, Kate Bodine Pierce (1895 - 1988).[4]


Here is Brigadier general Pierce´s ribbon bar:

Bronze oakleaf-3d
Legion of Merit ribbon.svg
Bronze star
Bronze star
World War I Victory Medal ribbon.svg
Army of Occupation of Germany ribbon.svg American Defense Service ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon.svg
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg Order of the White Lion.svg Czechoslovak War Cross 1939-1945 Ribbon.png
1st Row Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster
2nd Row World War I Victory Medal with two Battle Clasps Army of Occupation of Germany Medal American Defense Service Medal American Campaign Medal
3rd Row European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three service stars World War II Victory Medal Czechoslovak Order of the White Lion Czechoslovak War Cross 1939-1945


See alsoEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
Douglass T. Greene
Commanding General of the 16th Armored Division
September 1944 – October 1945
Succeeded by
Division deactivated


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