Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Lee, John Clifford Hodges (1887–1958)

U.S. Army general who was responsible for assembling the troops and supplies needed for the Allied invasion of occupied Europe. Born in Junction City, Kansas, on 1 August 1887, John Lee graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1909 and was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers. During World War I, he served as aide to Major General Leonard Wood, commanding general of the 89th Division, and then as chief of staff of the 89th Division. Lee graduated from the Army General Staff College at Langres in 1918 and was actively involved with the planning of the Saint-Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives. He ended the war as a temporary colonel.

During the interwar years, Lee graduated from the Army War College (1932) and the Army Industrial College (1933). He oversaw numerous harbor and river projects and commanded the San Francisco Port of Embarkation (1940). Promoted to brigadier general in October 1940, the arrogant Lee, whose initials were J. C. H., came to be known as "Jesus Christ Himself." In November 1941, he received command of the 2nd Infantry Division, and in February 1942, he was promoted to major general.

That May, Lee took command of the Services of Supply (SOS) in the United Kingdom to oversee the greatest engineering project of the war: the massive buildup of men and supplies for the invasion of occupied Europe, code-named bolero. In addition to commanding the SOS (designated the Communications Zone [COMMZ] on 7 June 1944) and acting as the G-4 (Supply) officer for the European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army Headquarters, Lee served as deputy theater commander, with special responsibility for administration and supply, from January to July 1944. He was promoted to lieutenant general in February 1944.

With the dissolution of the COMMZ at the end of the war, Lee took charge of the successor command—Theater Service Forces, European Theater. In January 1946, he became the commanding general of the Mediterranean Theater and deputy supreme commander of Allied Forces, Mediterranean. Lee retired from the army in December 1947 and died in York, Pennsylvania, on 30 August 1958.

Steve R. Waddell


Further Reading
Ruppenthal, Roland G. The U.S. Army in World War II: The European Theater of Operations—Logistical Support of the Armies. 2 vols. Washington, DC: Center of Military History, 1953, 1959.; Waddell, Steve R. U.S. Army Logistics: The Normandy Campaign, 1944. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994.
 

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