Commanding General, 100th Infantry Division

A veteran of 30 years' service, Major General Withers A. Burress commanded the Century Division from activation until 22 September 1945, when he left the 100th to take command of the VI Corps.

Born in Richmond, Virginia, on 24 November 1894, General Burress matriculated in the Virginia Military Institute from which he graduated in 1914 with the degree of Bachelor of Science. He was commissioned in the Regular Army as a second lieutenant of Infantry on 30 November 1916.

With the advent of World War I, General Burress was assigned to the 23d Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division, with which unit he served as assistant regimental operations officer. He participated in five major engagements: the Troyon Sector, Chateau Thierry, the Aisne-Marne Offensive, the Pont-a-Mousson Sector, and the St. Mihiel Offensive. He returned from France on 2 November 1919 with the permanent rank of captain.

Between wars, General Burress occupied school and command posts throughout the United States, including his VMI alma mater where he was Professor of Military Science and Tactics. On 29 October 1941, he became Assistant Commandant of the Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia. He left this important post upon assignment to the Puerto Rican Department early in 1942.

General Burress guided the 100th through the difficult Vosges Mountains campaign; the initial assault on Bitche; the 100th's great winter defense before that Maginot bastion; the final capture of the Bitche fortress; the bitter, 9-day assault against Heilbronn, which resulted in the 100th's most brilliant victory; and the surge southward to Stuttgart.

December, 1944: General Burress's official command photo, Winter, 1944-45.