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General Charles Lawrence Bolte
93, a decorated combat veteran of both world wars who retired from active duty in 1955 as a 4-star general and the Army's Vice Chief-of-Staff, died February 11, 1989 at Mount Vernon Hospital, Virginia, after a stroke. He lived in Alexandria.
During World War I, was a company commander and served with the 4th Infantry Division. He participated in the St Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Aisne-Marne offensives.
As a major general in World War II, he commanded the 34th Infantry Division in Italy, leading it through the Gothic Line and the winter Appenines campaign, and in the capture of Bologna. After that war, he held a variety of senior staff posts, including Army Ground Forces Chief 0f Staff, assistant Chief of Staff for operations and deputy Chief of Staff for plans. He also served as chairman of the Inter-American Defense Board. In 1952 and 1953, he commanded the 7th Army in West Germany and was Army Commander-in-Chief in Europe. His final post, from October 1953 to April 1955, was as the army's number-2 soldier, Army Vice Chief of Staff.
His medals included two Distinguished Service Medals, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit and the Purple Heart.
After retiring from active duty, settled in Alexandria, Virginia. From 1955 to 1958, he was special assistant to the board chairman of American Car & Foundry Industries. He then served for a time as board chairman of the Advanced Growth Capital Corp before retiring a second time in the 1960s.
He also had been active in charitable work, serving in the 1950s as chairman of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Washington, DC area chapter's Hope Chest Drive and as chairman of the Cancer Crusade of the Fairfax-Falls Church unit of the American Cancer Society. Also in the 1950s, he was elected president of the Army & Navy Club and grand paramount Carabao of the Military Order of the Carabao.
General Bolte received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering at what is now the Illinois Institute of Technology in his native Chicago in 1917. Later that year, he went on active duty as an infantry officer. Between the wars, he served in China and Germany, and graduated from the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Army War College. He also served on the faculty or staff of those institutions.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, the former the Adelaide Carleton Poore, of Alexandria; 3 children, retired Army Brigadier General Philip L. Bolte of Burke, retired Army Colonel David E. Bolte of Alexandria, and Damara Bolte of Leesburg; a brother, Roswell A, of Boise, Idaho; 8 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren.
May 8, 1895-Feb 11, 1989.
He is buried in Section 7-A of Arlington National Cemetery.
Charles Lawrence Bolte was born in Chicago, Ill. , May 8, 1895.
He was graduated from Armour Institute of Technology in 1917 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. General Bolte attended student training camps at Ludington , Michigan, in 1914; Presidio of San Francisco in 1915; and Plattsburgh, New York in 1916.
He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry Reserve, November 6,1916, and served at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana as a Training Camp Instructor in 1917. He went on active duty May 8, 1917, and joined the 58th Infantry at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in August, 1917.
He received his Regular Army commmission as Second Lieutenant of Infantry , October 25,1917, and was promoted immediately to First Lieutenant. In November 1917, he moved with his regiment to Camp Greene, North Carolina. In May 1918, General Bolte sailed for France with the 58th Infantry, Fourth Division, and took part in the Aisne Marne Offensive, St. Mihiel Offensive and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. He was wounded in action September 19, 1918.
Joining the 338th Infantry as Company Commander in France, in January 1919 he served at LeMans at a forwarding camp until March 1919. He then became Adjutant of the Fourth Division with the Army of Occupation in Germany. He returned with the Fourth Division to the United States in August 1919, and remained with it at Camp Dodge, Iowa, until September 1919.
Subsequently General Bolte was Adjutant of a Provisional Regiment of the Fourth Division at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, and Gary, Indiana. In February, 1920, he was assigned for duty in the Historical Branch, War Plans Division, War Department General Staff.
In September 1920 he became an instructor at the Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia, and a year later became Aide to Major General J. L. Hines at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
He was assigned with General Hines in the Office Deputy Chief of Staff, Washington, D.C., in November 1922 and in the Office, Chief of Staff in 1924, remaining there until September 1926 when he was detailed as student to the Infantry School, Fort Benning, from which he was graduated in May 1927.
He then was assiagned as an Instructor at the Infantry School and was graduated from the advance course there in June 1930.
General Bolte entered the Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in September 1930, graduated in June 1932, and was ordered to the American Barracks, Tientsin, China, for duty with the 15th Infantry as the S-3, and later as Company and Battalion Commander.
In April 1936 he was assigned to command a battalion of the 13th Infantry at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. The following August he entered Army War College from which he was graduated in June 1937, and then remained as an instructor.
In July 1940, General Bolte became a member of a War Planning Caucus at the Army War College and for several months had temporary duty in the Office, Chief of Air Corps. He became Operations and Training Officer of the IV Army Corps at Jacksonville, Florida, in November 1940. In May 1941, he began a tour of duty in London, England, in charge of War Plans for a Special Army Observer Group, and was assigned as Chief
of Staff of the United States Forces in the United Kingdom at London, in January 1942.
The following July he was designated as the First Chief of Staff of the newly established European Theater of Operations with headquarters in England.
In August 1942, he was assigned with Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, in Washington, D.C. He became Assistant Commander of the 51st Infantry Division at Camp White, Oregon, in September 1942, and was assigned as Commanding General
of the newly 2 activated 69th Infantry Division at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, in February 1943.
In July 1944, General Bolte was placed in command of the 34 th Infantry Division then in combat on the Arno River, Italy, which he led through the rupture of the Gothic Line, the winter campaign in the Apennines, the break-through and the capture of Bologna , the surrender of the Axis Forces in Italy and the subsequent occupation of northwestern Italy, and later of the Northeastern sector.
In November 1945, General Bolte was assigned to Washington, D.C., as Assistant Chief of Staff, Ground Plans. On August 9, 1946, he became Chief of Staff of the Army Ground Forces at Fort Monroe, Virginia. In May 1948, he was appointed Director of Special Joint Planning Group in Washington, D.C., and a year later was appointed Director of the Plans and Operations Division, General Staff, U.S. Army.
Upon the reorganization of Army Headquarters, March 1, 1950, he was designated Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations. He was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans on February 13, 1951. He assumed command of the Seventh Army in Germany, in August 1952.
In April 1953, he became Commander in Chief of the U. S. Army, Europe, and the following October he was appointed Vice Chief of Staff of the Army
at Washington, D.C.
General Bolte retired from active Army service April 30, 1955.
General Bolte was Chairman, Inter-American Defense Board in 1952. In 1953, he served on the Advisory Committee on Army Organization.
General Bolte was Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Board, American Car & Foundry Industries from July 1955 to July 1958.
He was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Engineering by Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago) in February 1944.
General Bolte was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in 1945, for his services in command of the 34th Division in Italy, from July 1944 to May 1945. The Silver Star was conferred upon him in 1945, for gallantry in action on April 20, 1945, in the vicinity of Bologna, Italy.
He was awarded the Legion of Merit in 1944, for outstanding services as Plans Officer of the Special Army Observers Group, London, England,
and later as Chief of Staff of the European Theater of Operation from May 1941, to June 1942.
He also was awarded the Purple Heart for a wound sustained in WorId War I.
General Bolte's foreign decorations include: the Order of the Bath (Great Britain), the Order of Commander SS Maurizio e Lazarro (Italy), and the French Officer of the Legion d'Honneur, the French Croix de Guerre with palm, the Brazilian Medalha de Guerra
and the Italian Militay Order of Savoy, the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Most Blessed Trinity with Plaque (Ethiopia), and the Order de Boyaca (Columbia). General and Mrs . Bolte have a daughter, Demara Bolte and two sons, Major David E. Bolte, Class of 1949, U.S. Military Academy, and Major Philip L. Bolte, Class of 1950, both of whom were wounded in action in Korea.
PROMOTIONS He was promoted to Captain (temp) August 10, 1918; to Captain (perm) July 1,1920 ; to Major (perm) August 1, 1935; to Lieutenant Colonel (perm) August 18, 1940; to Colonel (temp) December 24, 1941; to Brigadier General (temp) January 17, 1942; to Major General (temp) April 26, 1943; to Colonel (perm) September 1, 1946;
to Major General (perm) to date from October 5, 1944 to Lieutenant General (temp) February 13,1951; to General (temp) on July 30,1953. Retired April 30, 1955, with the rank of General (perm).
Adelaide Carleton Poore Bolte, 98, a daughter, wife and mother of Army Generals who was a 1990 recipient of an Outstanding Civilian Service Medal from the Army secretary for support of Army programs, died of cardiac arrest January 8, 1998 at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital, Virginia.
Mrs. Bolte (pronounced "Bowl-tee"), a resident of the Mount Vernon Nursing Center in Alexandria, Virginia, was born at Fort Sam Houston, Texas on December 28, 1899. She attended Holton Arms Academy in Washington.
Her father was Benjamin Andrew Poore, who retired from the Army as a major general. In 1923, she married then-Captain Charles Lawrence Bolte, who later would retire as a four-star General after serving as Army Vice Chief of Staff and European Army commander. Charles Bolte died in 1989.
Over the years, Mrs. Bolte lived in more than 70 places, including Asia, Alaska and Europe. During World War II, she was a Red Cross Gray Lady in Richmond. After that, until the early 1950s, she was a nurse's aide at the old Gallinger Hospital in Washington.
Mrs. Bolte, an accomplished needleworker, had served on the board of the Woodlawn Plantation, where she co-founded the Needlework Exhibit and belonged to Neelie's Needlers, a group of needleworkers and Woodlawn Plantation fund-raising supporters.
She was a past national president of the Daughters of the United States Army and a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Alexandria. She did needlework for St. Luke's and other area churches.
Survivors include two sons, retired Army Colonel David E. Bolte of Alexandria and retired Army Brigadier General Philip L. Bolte of West Union, S.C.; a daughter, Damara Bolte of Leesburg; nine grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.