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Ben Lear
Birth: May 12, 1879
Hamilton
Ontario, Canada
Death: Nov. 1, 1966
Murfreesboro
Rutherford County
Tennessee, USA

US Army General. A combat veteran of World Wars I and II, he rose in rank to become the commander of the US 2nd Army. A strict disciplinarian, he was nicknamed "Yoo-Hoo" as a result of an incident on July 6, 1941 at a golf course in Memphis, Tennessee where he was playing, when a convoy of soldiers passing by made catcalls at a number of women. He ordered the convoy to stop and punished the men by ordering them to march 15 miles (one-third of the 45-mile distance) back to their post, in 5 mile segments. Born Benjamin Lear, he began his military career by enlisting in the 1st Colorado Infantry volunteers during the Spanish-American War. He then served in the Philippine-American War (June 1899 to July 1902) and was promoted to the rank of 2nd lieutenant. In 1912 he served on the American equestrian team that won the bronze medal at the Summer Olympics at Stockholm, Sweden. He served in World War I following the US entry ito the was in April 1917 and continued to receive promotions in rank and by July 1920 he was a lieutenant colonel. During the 1920s he attended the US Army School of the Line, the US Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Texas, and the US Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. In September 1929 he was promoted to the rank of colonel and seven years later he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and became commander of the 1st Cavalry Division. In October 1938 he was promoted to the rank of major general and commanded the pacific Sector of the Panama Canal Zone. Two years later he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and given command of the US 2nd Army and for the next three years he was responsible for training soldiers for World War II combat. In May 1943 he was administratively retired after reaching the mandatory retirement age (64) but was quickly recalled to duty the serve on the Secretary of War Personnel Board. In July 1944 he became the commander of US Army Ground Forces, The following January he was appointed as Deputy Commander of the European Theater of Operations and retired in that position 6 months later with 47 years of continuous military service. Among his military decorations and awards include the Army Distinguished Service Medal (with one oak leaf cluster), the Silver Star, the Spanish War Service Medal, the Philippine Campaign Medal, the Army of Cuban Occupation Medal, the Army of Cuban Pacification Medal, the Mexican Border Service Medal, the World War I Victory Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (with three service stars), the World War II Victory Medal, and the Army of Occupation Medal. In July 1954 he was promoted to the rank of general on the retired list by an Act of Congress. He died at the age of 87. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Benjamin Edgar Lear (1853 - 1928)
  Hannah Linden Lear (1848 - 1933)
 
 Spouse:
  Grace Lauman Russel Lear (1885 - 1970)*
 
 Children:
  Grace Russel Lear (1907 - 1927)*
 
 Siblings:
  Caroline Lear Peiffer (1877 - 1957)*
  Ben Lear (1879 - 1966)
  Arthur B Lear (1884 - 1959)*
  Lillian Orell Lear Hansen (1888 - 1972)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington
Arlington County
Virginia, USA
Plot: Section 4, Grave 2690
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Nov 14, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6926265
Ben Lear
Added by: Thom Painter
 
Ben Lear
Added by: Bill Heneage
 
Ben Lear
Cemetery Photo
Added by: James Seidelman
 
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“To be killed in war is not the worst that can happen. To be lost is not the worst that can happen… to be forgotten is the worst.” -Pierre Claeyssens (1909-2003)
- Karleen
 Added: May. 25, 2015
Thank you for your military service to our country, in peacetine and war. May you rest in peace.
- William Bjornstad
 Added: May. 15, 2015
Your long dedicated service to our country is not forgotten by the Sons of Spanish American War Veterans.
- Spanish American War
 Added: Mar. 20, 2015
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