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Major General George Brand Duncan 1861 - 1935

by John A. Duncan of Sketraw, FSA Scot.


Major General George Brand Duncan was born October 10, 1861,  The son of Louisville, Kentucky mayor Henry T. Duncan, married October 23 1895 at Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Mary Kercheval. Her father, Benjamin Berry Kercheval, native of Detroit, Michigan, was born 1837 and died in 1885. George Brand Duncan  graduated from the U. S. Military Academy 1886; served at various grades from a second lieutenant to a Colonel in the Regular Army; September 18, 1916; Brigadier General National Army August 5, 1917; Major General April 12, 1918 and later promoted to these grades in the Regular Service.

In 1887 he was detailed in charge of Indians in Arizona, his predecessor having been killed; thence to Staff Commanding General of the Army, Washington, D. C. In the Spanish American War, he was stationed at Santiago, Cuba, as Adjutant General Provisional Division, and upon its surrender was with the division in Puerto Rico until 1898, thence to the Department of the Lakes, Chicago, Ill. From 1899 to 1902 and again from 1903 to 1909 he was in the Philippines and was so successful in campaigns against the insurgents  he was selected to organize the Philippine Scouts. From 1914 until June 1917 he was on the General Staff and in June 1917 he went to France with the 1st Division.

Major General George B Duncan


Major General George B Duncan

As Brigadier General, 1st Brigade, he was the first American commander of a sector of the battle front, assigned to command of the 77th Division as Major General May 22, 1918 and later commanded the 82nd Division throughout the Meuse-Argonne offensive. As a result of his service in WWI, he received numerous decorations, including the Croix de Guerre with two palms and a star and status as a Commander in the Legion of Honour from France, status as a Companion of Order of the Bath from the United Kingdom and the Distinguished Service Medal from the United States. Duncan and fellow Major General Campbell King were the first two Americans ever honoured with the Croix de Guerre.

Duncan retired from military service in 1925.  He is buried in Lexington, Kentucky. He had two sons: Daniel, born in 1901, and Henry, born in 1903. Daniel, however, died as a child in 1906.


Genealogical notes of  Bob Francis; The the York Times, published July 14, 1918, front page, February 18, 2008.


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