Palmer, Charles Day, GEN

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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
00GC-Commanding General
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1959-1962, 00GD, United States European Command (USEUCOM)
Service Years
1924 - 1962



Six Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Palmer, Charles Day, GEN USA(Ret).
Contact Info
Home Town
Chicago, Illinois
Last Address
Washington, DC

Date of Passing
Jun 07, 1999
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates

 Official Badges 

US European Command 1st Cavalry Division 2nd Armored Division 5th Corps

US Army Retired USA Forces Command U.S. Forces korea US Army Retired (Pre-2007)

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Charles Day Palmer, Jr. was the son of Colonel Charles Day (United States Military Academy, Class of 1888) and Edith B. ‘Birkhimer' Palmer. Edith died at the young age of 25, when Charles was about nineteen months old. His maternal grandfather, William E. Birkhimer (USMA, Class of 1870), was a brigadier general and Medal of Honor recipient as a U.S. Army Captain during the Philippine-American War.

After graduating from Washington High School in Washington, D.C., Charles entered the United States Military Academy, graduating in 1924.

When the United States entered World War II, Palmer was a major stationed in the British West Indies, where he was working on anti-submarine warfare projects and involved with the logistics for our country to establish bases in the British-ruled islands.

In 1942, Palmer joined the Armored Force in the United States and became Chief of Staff of the 11th Armored Division. He went to Europe in 1944 as Chief of Staff of the 2nd Armored ("Hell on Wheels") Division, and continued in that role as the division participated in the Normandy invasion, the breakout from Saint-Lô, and crossing the Siegfreid Line.

In October 1944, he took part in the invasion of southern France as Chief of Staff of the VI Corps, holding that post as VI Corps drove through France, across the Rhine and into Germany and Austria. Along the way, he received a battlefield promotion to brigadier general. In 1945, he was Chief of Staff 4th Service Command and Chief of Staff, Seventh Army. In 1947, he was Chief of Staff, Third Army.

When the Korean War broke out in 1950, General Palmer was stationed in Japan with the 1st Cavalry Division. During 1947-51, he served as the 1st Cavalry Division's Artillery Commander and then as its Commanding General (with a battlefield promotion to major general) while participating in six Korean campaigns.

During 1954-55 he was Chief of Staff, U.S. European Command. From 1955–57, Palmer was Deputy Commander-in-Chief, US Army Forces Far East. He was Deputy Commanding General, Eighth Army in 1957-58; Commanding General, Sixth Army in 1958–59; and Deputy Commander-in-Chief, US European Command from 1959–62. He retired from the Army on February 1, 1962.

Palmer's military awards and decorations included:

Army Distinguished Service Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star Medal
Air Medal

After his retirement from the Army, Palmer settled in Washington, DC and worked as a military consultant with the Research Analysis Corporation for seven years. He was a director of both St. Albans School and the Retired Officers Association; he was also a member of the Army and Navy Club.

General Charles Day Palmer, age 97, died of cardiac arrest 7 June 1999, at his home in Knollwood, the Army retirement home in the District of Columbia. Survivors include his wife, the former Eugenia Kingman, whom he married in 1954 and who lives in Washington, DC; a son, Charles III of Concord, Massachusetts; and three grandsons.

Charles is buried near his mother in Arlington National Cemetery, and next to his brother, General Williston B. Palmer. Charles and Williston Palmer are the first pair of brothers in U. S. Army history to achieve four-star rank.
Other Comments:
GEN Williston B. Palmer:

BG William E. Birkhimer:
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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
XVIII Airborne Corps (18th Corps)11th Armored Division2nd Armored DivisionV Corps
VI Corps4th Service Command, Army Service ForcesHQ, 7th Army3rd Army
Division Artillery (DIVARTY) 1st Cavalry Division1st Cavalry Division United States European Command (USEUCOM)US Far East Command
8th Army6th Army (Sixth Army)
  1941-1942, 00G1, G-4 Section, XVIII Airborne Corps (18th Corps)
  1942-1944, 00G1, 11th Armored Division
  1944-1944, 00G1, 2nd Armored Division
  1944-1944, 00G1, V Corps
  1944-1945, 00G1, VI Corps
  1945-1946, 00G1, 4th Service Command, Army Service Forces
  1946-1947, 00G1, HQ, 7th Army
  1947-1947, 00G1, 3rd Army
  1947-1950, 00G1, HHB, Division Artillery (DIVARTY) 1st Cavalry Division
  1951-1951, 00GC, HHC, 1st Cavalry Division
  1954-1955, 00G1, United States European Command (USEUCOM)
  1955-1957, 00GC, US Far East Command
  1957-1958, 00GD, 8th Army
  1958-1959, 00GC, 6th Army (Sixth Army)
  1959-1962, 00GD, United States European Command (USEUCOM)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1945 World War II
  1950-1953 Korean War
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military Academy
  1920-1924, United States Military Academy
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