Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Chynoweth, Bradford Grethen (1890–1985)

U.S. Army general who argued for the independent deployment of tanks. Born in Fort Warren, Wyoming, on 20 July 1890, Bradford Chynoweth graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1912 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. He served through World War I, rising to the rank of temporary lieutenant colonel. Reverting to his permanent rank of captain after the war and despairing of his chances at promotion in the postwar military, he left the army in 1919.

Bored by civilian life, Chynoweth rejoined the army in November 1920 as a major of infantry. He was a close friend of Captain Dwight D. Eisenhower and Major George S. Patton Jr. Chynoweth contributed steadily to the professional discourse of the era, writing articles for a number of professional journals. In the Cavalry Journal, he argued strongly for tanks as a new combat arm.

Chynoweth served on the Infantry Board at Fort Benning, Georgia, when Colonel George C. Marshall was director of the Infantry School there. His strongest supporter was his brother-in-law and author of the army's capstone doctrinal publication, the Field Service Regulations (1923)—Major George A. Lynch. Chynoweth attended both the Command and General Staff School (1927–1928) and the Army War College (1931–1932). Following an assignment with the army's G-3 (Training) section, he served three years as a senior instructor with the 44th Division of the New Jersey National Guard.

Appointed military attaché in London in the spring of 1939, he soon fell out with U.S. Ambassador Joseph Kennedy Sr. over his own prediction that Germany would attack France and that, subsequently, the Germans would bomb London from the air. Kennedy did not trust Chynoweth and demanded and secured his recall. Given his choice of postings by his brother-in-law (now a major general and chief of infantry), Chynoweth took command of a tank battalion with the 66th Infantry Regiment. He served with the 66th between October 1939 and July 1940 and with the 53rd Infantry Regiment between July 1940 and November 1941.

During the 1941 maneuvers, Chynoweth finally had the chance to demonstrate his theories about mobile warfare, which he did with considerable success. However, he also ran afoul of a commander, who recommended that he be removed from the army, but Chynoweth was subsequently exonerated.

Colonel Chynoweth continued to argue for the independent employment of tanks. Assigned to the Philippines in the fall of 1941, he took command of the defenses on Cebu and the Visayan Islands. From there, he waged a masterful defense throughout the winter of 1941–1942, and he was prepared to retire to the interior of the islands where he had stockpiled materials when he was ordered by his superiors to surrender.

Chynoweth spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner of the Japanese. Only on his repatriation in 1945 did he learn that just prior to his capture, he had been promoted to brigadier general. He retired in October 1947, pursued graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and wrote his memoirs ( Bellamy Park). Chynoweth died at the Presidio in San Francisco on 8 February 1985.

Robert Bateman, George F. Hofmann, and Uzal W. Ent


Further Reading
Chynoweth, Bradford Grethen. Bellamy Park. Hicksville, PA: Exposition Press, 1975.; Hofmann, George F., and Donn A. Starry, eds. Camp Colt to Desert Storm: The History of the U.S. Armored Forces. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1999.; Johnson, David E. Fast Tanks and Heavy Bombers: Innovation in the U.S. Army, 1917–1945. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998.
 

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