Driving in Temple, Texas? Who Was This General Bruce Guy Anyway?
If you've spent anytime driving through Temple, Texas, chances are you've probably seen or even driven on General Bruce Drive, but do you actually know who General Bruce was?
I got curious and looked into it, and found out he was an academic and decorated war hero.
General Bruce Drive
Driving through just about any city in the U.S. you'll come across a street named after somebody who made a real impact in this world. Have you ever stopped to think about who that person was?
Sure, not everybody is interested in the history of those such things, but I always find it interesting to see who it is that would receive such an honor like having a street named after them.
So being somewhat new to Temple, Texas, I wanted to find out who General Bruce was.
Andrew Davis Bruce
According to his Military Hall of Honor profile, Bruce was born on September 14, 1894, in St. Louis, Missouri. His parents moved to Texas when he was young, and after graduating high school he would attend Texas A&M and graduate with a doctorate of laws in 1916.
Bruce then joined the Army in 1917 and would serve in World War I. Following the "War to End All Wars" he would get married and make his home in Bryan, Texas. He then started teaching at Allen Academy while serving in the military for the next 20 years.
Fort Hood, Texas
Shortly after the start of World War II, Bruce was promoted to brigadier general and assigned to develop a new tank destroyer division. He chose Killeen, Texas and would name the new division Fort Hood, after General John Bell Hood.
Bruce would later serve in WWII and then in the Korean conflict before retiring from the Army on July 31, 1954. One month later, he went on to become the third president of the University of Houston.
Medals and Awards
Bruce was highly decorated, having received:
- Distinguished Service Cross
- Army Distinguished Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
- Navy Distinguished Service Medal
- Legion of Merit
- Bronze Star Medal with Combat Valor Device
- Purple Heart
- Air Medal
- Army Commendation Medal
- World War I Victory Medal
- French Legion d'Honneur (chevalier)
- French Croix de Guerre with palm (twice)
- French Croix de Guerre with gilt star
- Occupation of Germany World War I Medal
- American Defense Medal
- American Campaign Medal
- Asiatic-Pacific Medal with 4 Bronze Stars
- World War II Victory Medal
- Army of Occupation Medal
- Philippine Liberation Ribbon
- Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
- Army Staff Identification Badge
Bruce died on July 28, 1969 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.
The state of Texas erected a historical marker in 1972 in his memory at Fort Hood while also naming a portion of Interstate 35 here in Temple General Bruce Drive.
Now the next time you're driving in Temple and you find yourself on General Bruce Drive, you'll know exactly who that street is named after.