Commanding Officers

John Dahlquist loved the Infantry and respected the infantryman. The excellent training program that he set up for the 70th Division stood in good stead during combat. Although he didn't command the Division in combat his influence was felt throughout its life.

He was a two-star general when he organized the Trailblazers in 1943. He wore four stars when he answered the last roll call in 1975.

A veteran of two World Wars, he held some of the highest military posts in the Unites States Army. During combat he led the 36th (Texas) Division to the painful victories of Cassino and Salerno in the bitter Italian campaign and then into France from the southeast in an operation that is cited in military textbooks.

He had been returned to the United States from Europe in 1943; there he had been deputy chief of staff to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, then commander of U.S. forces in the ETO. After leading the 70th to its fighting fitness, he returned to the Continent and command of the 36th.

His Division captured many high Nazi officials in its dramatic sweep through France. Its captives included Hermann Goering. In the final days of the war, the 36th operated not far from the Trailblazers' right flank.

After the war he served at the Pentagon as deputy director of personnel and in 1949 went back to Germany as commander of the famed 1st Infantry Division, then was promoted to command the 5th Corps there. Later he commanded the 4th Army in the States.

At the time of his retirement, Gen. Dahlquist was head of the new Continental Army Command that consolidated six Armies, the Military District of Washington and all Army field forces.

Born in Minneapolis, he was commissioned in 1917 while a junior at the University of Minnesota. He was sent directly to Europe and served through all of World War I combat and in the Army of Occupation. Later he was assigned to the Philippines.

After WW2 he rose rapidly to his final command. He died June 30, 1975. His wife, who was a familiar figure at Camp Adair, died two weeks later. They rest in the Arlington National Cemetery.

Few Trailblazers remember that Brig. Gen. Peter P. Rodes - readily identified as commander of Divisional Artillery-was also commanding general of the 70th for the period while the division moved from Adair to Fort Leonard Wood. He assumed command when Gen. Dahlquist left Oregon and before Gen. Barnett took over.

He was an artillery officer since WW1 service in 1917. His military career began as a midshipman at the Naval Academy at Annapolis and he played on the Navy football team for three years. He resigned his commission in 1913 to return to business in his native Kentucky. But in 1917, with Europe aflame in the Great War, he went back into uniform, this time in the Army. He served with the 90th Division in combat in France and in German occupation. He came back to the States and received a permanent commission.

For five years he played on the Army polo team and was a member of the squad that defeated the British, in 1925 in London, and the Argentines, in Buenos Aires, in '30.

He came to the 70th in August, 1943, from the 2nd Cavalry Division artillery and the 9th Armored Division Divarty. Right after the war he commanded the Fort Dix Separation Center, one of the busiest in the country. Then, during the infamous Russian siege of Berlin and the historic airlift that sustained the city, he was director of military intelligence in that sector. After his retirement from the Army he returned to native state where he died in Louisville at the age of 75.

When he was 15, Allison J. Barnett enlisted as a buck private in the Kentucky National Guard. Six years later, in 1913, he was discharged a sergeant. Thirty-one more years: He's a 2-star general and leads the 70th from Forbach on.

In between he had a broad military career. When the first World War began, he reenlisted and was commissioned a captain in the 3rd Kentucky Infantry. After three years of service, he went into the regular Army as a lieutenant; that in 1920.

In France he was an infantry company commander and held various divisional staff posts. In the States he served at the Field Artillery School and with the Department of Experiment at the Infantry School at Fort Benning. After two years in the Philippines he came back to graduate from the Command and General Staff School and the Air Corps Tactical School. In mid-'41 he was assigned to the Army Air Force but with the outbreak of WW2 he returned to the Infantry as assistant commander of the 93rd (Steel Helmet) Division which later fought at Bouganville in the Pacific. Just a year after Pearl Harbor he was sent to Noumea in New Caledonia as chief of staff of all Army forces in the South Pacific. There he served until he took over the 70th command at Leonard Wood in 1944.

After combat he became CG of the 94th Division in Czechoslovakia and brought that outfit back to the States early in '46. He served with the First Army as its G-2, first at Fort Bragg and then at Governor's Island in New York Harbor. After suffering a massive heart attack, he died November 7, 1971 at the age of 79.

He was our general.

We fought our first battles not only under his command but under his name. For our baptism of fire came not while we were the 70th-but while we were "Task Force Herren". And he led us to our first two battle stars not from a distant command post but right on the line.

Thomas W. Herren was an old war horse soldier. But he was an infantryman's general when the chips were down.

He was a veteran of three wars, He graduated from Command and General Staff College long before WWII ; he was the Commandant, US Cavalry School, Ft Riley, KS, and then assigned to the 70th Inf Div at Fort Leonard Wood in 1944. After WWII, he was Chief of Staff, 24th Corps, Seoul, Korea (1947-49), Brigade Cmdr, lst Cav Div, Tokyo, Japan (1950), then Chief, US Army Special Services until recalled to Korea during the Korean War to be Commander, Communications Zone. He returned from Korea to be Commander, Military District of Washington, DC, and then went to Germany as Northern Area Commander (Frankfurt) (1951-53). He returned to the US to be Commander, First US Army, and US Military Representative to the UN at Governors Island, NY.  He retired from this position in 1957. He remained active for many years as a civilian consultant. He died at the age of 89 on June 4, 1985 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Mrs. Herren died in 1989.

Information above was provided by Thomas W. Herren, Jr.

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