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The brains of the Army: Remembering General Lesley McNair 75 years after his death


by Trinity Gruenberg

July 25 marks the 75th anniversary of General Leslie J. McNair’s death during World War II.

What  can be said about such a prominent figure that hasn’t already been said in the article from Time Magazine (December 28, 1942), a book General Lesley J. McNair: Little-Known Architect of the U.S. Army by Mark T. Calhoun, many articles printed in  the Verndale Sun over the years, a Wikipedia and Facebook page dedicated to him, among other interesting reading.

It’s a lot of information about a person that wasn’t a fan of being in the spotlight and didn’t attend cocktail parties or other engagements because he believed  it was a waste of his time. McNair believed in efficiency and was known to work 18 hour days, type his own letters, one button at a time, to avoid any errors dictating to a person. 

He is probably Verndale’s most notable native. 

McNair was referred to as “The brains of the Army” by General George C. Marshall due to his intellect and training and organization of the Army that fought in World War II. He has a storied military career with many accomplishments.

Born in Verndale

Lesley James McNair was born on May 25, 1883. He was the son of James and Clara (Manz) McNair. He was the second oldest of six children, and the first son. . . .

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