Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Middleton, Troy Houston (1889–1976)

U.S. Army general and commander of the First Army's VIII Corps at the end of the war. Born near Georgetown, Mississippi, on 12 October 1889, Troy Middleton graduated from Mississippi A&M College in 1909 and enlisted in the U.S. Army the following year. He received a commission in 1912. Middleton served on the Mexican border in 1916, and during World War I, he commanded both the 39th and 47th Infantry Regiments in combat, becoming the youngest colonel in the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). Future General of the Army George C. Marshall considered Middleton "the outstanding infantry regimental commander on the battlefield in France."

Following the war, Middleton served in the U.S. occupation forces in Germany. Reduced to his permanent rank of captain on his return to the United States, he taught at the Infantry School at Fort Benning. He graduated from the Infantry Advanced Course in 1922, the Command and General Staff School in 1924, and the Army War College in 1929. Forced to resign from the army in 1937 because of an irregular heartbeat, Middleton became the dean of administration at Louisiana State University (LSU). The university president was discovered embezzling funds in June 1939, and Middleton was appointed acting vice president and comptroller, bringing the school out of the crisis.

Because of physical problems, including an arthritic knee, Middleton was not recalled to active duty with the army as a lieutenant colonel until January 1942. In June, he was promoted to brigadier general and became assistant commander of the 45th "Thunderbird" Division. In October 1942, he took command of the division, leading it in the invasions of Sicily and Salerno.

Although hobbled by trouble in his "good" knee, Middleton was appointed to command VIII Corps of General Omar N. Bradley First Army in March 1944, and he led it to the end of the war. His corps played a significant role in the Ardennes Offensive (Battle of the Bulge). Later, suspecting that the Germans had few men in Koblenz, he made a successful surprise attack on the city. His corps crossed the Rhine near the well-known Lorelei—something no other invader had ever attempted because of the unfavorable terrain. Finally, his corps met Soviet forces near the Czech border between Chemnitz and Plauen.

Despite being one of the best U.S. corps commanders in the European Theater, Middleton was not promoted to lieutenant general until June 1945. Retiring from the army that August, he returned to LSU as comptroller, then served as president from 1951 to 1962. Middleton died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on 9 October 1976.

Uzal W. Ent


Further Reading
MacDonald, Charles B. A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge. New York: William Morrow, 1985.; Price, Frank J. Troy H. Middleton: A Biography. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1974.; Weigley, Russell F. Eisenhower's Lieutenants: The Campaigns of France and Germany, 1944–1945. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981.
 

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