Albert Coady Wedemeyer

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Albert Coady Wedemeyer

General Albert Coady Wedemeyer (1897–1989) was an American army officer during World War II.

Wedemeyer was born in Omaha, Nebraska on 9 July 1897. He studied at the United States Military Academy in West Point and graduated in 1919. After the start of World War II, he was made a temporary Lieutenant Colonel in 1941. Between 1941 and 1943, he served as a staff officer in the war-plans division of the U.S. War Department. He was the chief author of the 1941 Victory Program which advocated the defeat of the German armies in Europe. When the U.S. entered the war this plan was adopted and expanded. He helped plan the invasion of Normandy.

In 1943, Wedemeyer was made Chief of Staff to Lord Mountbatten, the supreme Allied commander of the South East Asia Command (SEAC) in the Southeast Asian Theatre.

Between 1944 and 1946, he was Chief of staff to General Chiang Kai-shek and commander of U.S. forces in China under the command SEAC. The China Burma India Theatre assigned to Joseph Stilwell was split in two with command of the Burma–India theatre going to General Daniel Sultan. Wedemeyer had been commander of the U.S. China Theatre (USFCT) in 19441945. He had an intimate knowledge of the Allied airlift from India over the Himalayas into China. This airlift was both to supply the Nationalist Chinese Army and the U.S. Twentieth Air Force engaged on Operation Matterhorn.

In 1948, as the Army Chief of Plans and Operations, Wedemeyer supported Lucius D. Clay's intention to create an airbridge during the Berlin Crisis. His expertise in this area was considerable as he had been U.S. Army theater commander in China during World War II and had been supplied by air over the mountains from India by army transport planes. This earlier operation had been commanded by Lieutenant General William H. Tunner, who was later named to head the Berlin Airlift operation.

Wedemeyer retired in 1951. He was promoted to general in 1954. He died 17 December 1989 in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. His son Albert Dunbar Wedemeyer was a captain in the U.S. army and a Central Intelligence Agency operative.

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