Clark, Mark Wayne, GEN

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
28 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
General
Last Service Branch
US
Last Primary MOS
00GC-Commanding General
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1952-1953, HQ, Ryukyus Command (RYCOM)
Service Years
1917 - 1953

US

General



Fourteen Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

17 kb

Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
1896
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Clark, Mark Wayne, GEN USA(Ret).
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Sackets Harbor, New York
Last Address
Madison Barracks, Sackets Harbor
Buried at The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina.

Date of Passing
Apr 17, 1984
 
Location of Interment
The Citadel - Charleston, South Carolina
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Near Mark Clark Hall and the Carillon Tower

 Official Badges 

Wound Chevron (1917-1932) Infantry Shoulder Cord US Army Retired (Pre-2007) Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961

United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission (US) USA Forces Command


 Unofficial Badges 

Order of Saint Maurice




 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Mark Wayne Clark (May 1, 1896 – April 17, 1984) was an American general during World War II and the Korean War and was the youngest lieutenant (three-star) general in the U.S. Army. He had a distinguished career in World War II and is primarily linked to Operation Torch (the invasion of French North Africa) and the campaign in Italy.   It was Clark who signed the cease-fire agreement with North Korea in 1953.

During World War I, he led a company of soldiers in 1917 and was seriously wounded by shrapnel. After the war, Clark’s outstanding abilities were noticed by General George Marshall.

During World War II, he was the Allied Commander in Italy. He is known for ordering the destruction of the religious abbey at Monte Cassino, and his subsequent triumphal entry into Rome in 1944. Clark became the youngest American to be promoted to general in 1945.

Both Winston Churchill and General Dwight D. Eisenhower, considered him a brilliant staff officer and trainer.  Clark won many awards, including the Distinguished Service Cross, the medal for extreme bravery in war, second only to the Medal of Honor.

Early life and career

Clark was born in Madison Barracks, Sackets Harbor, New York, but spent much of his youth in Illinois, where his father, a career Infantry officer, was assigned at Fort Sheridan. His mother was the daughter of Romanian Jews but Clark was baptized Episcopalian while he was attending West Point.

Clark, known as "Contraband" by his classmates because of his ability to smuggle sweets into the barracks, graduated from West Point in April 1917, with a class ranking of 110th in a class of 139, and was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant of Infantry. He had gained an early appointment to the military academy at age 17, but lost time from frequent illnesses. In the rapid expansion of the United States Army during World War I he rose rapidly in rank, promoted to 1st lieutenant on May 15 and captain on August 5, 1917. He served in France during World War I in the U.S. 11th Infantry, part of the 5th Infantry Division, and was wounded in action in the Vosges Mountains. As a result of his convalescence, Captain Clark was transferred to the General Staff Headquarters of the First United States Army until then the end of hostilities, then served with the Third Army in its occupation duties in Germany.

Between the wars, Clark served in a variety of staff and training roles. From 1921 to 1924 he served as an aide in the office of the Assistant Secretary of War. In 1925 he completed the professional officer's course at the Infantry School, then served as a staff officer with the 30th Infantry at The Presidio in San Francisco, California. His next assignment was as a training instructor to the Indiana National Guard, in which he was promoted to major on January 14, 1933, more than 15 years after his promotion to captain.

Major Clark served as a deputy commander of the Civilian Conservation Corps district in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1935-36, between tours at the Command and General Staff School in 1935 and the Army War College in 1937. Assigned to Fort Lewis, Washington, Clark was selected to instruct at the Army War College in March 1940, where he received a promotion to lieutenant colonel on July 1. Clark and General Leslie McNair selected the thousands of acres of unused land in Louisiana for military maneuvers at Louisiana Maneuvers.

On August 4, 1941, Clark was promoted two grades to brigadier general as the United States Army geared up for entry in World War II, and made Assistant Chief of Staff (G-3) at General Headquarters, United States Army, in Washington, D.C.

World War II

In January 1942, a month after the American entry into the war, General Clark was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff Army Ground Forces, and in May 1942, became its chief of staff as staff officers rapidly moved to newly created commands.

In June 1942, he went to England as commanding general of II Corps, and the next month moved up to Commanding General, Army Forces European Theater of Operations, promoted to major general on August 17, 1942. In October 1942, Clark became deputy commander in chief of the Allied Forces in the North African Theater. Clark's duties in this succession of assignments was to plan and direct the training of units for the invasion of North Africa known as Operation Torch. Part of the preparation for the invasion involved spiriting him into North Africa by submarine weeks before the invasion to negotiate the surrender or cooperation of the Vichy French at Cherchell on October 21–22, 1942.

After the negotiations, Clark was promoted to lieutenant general on November 11, 1942. When the United States created its first field army overseas, the U.S. Fifth Army, Clark was made its commanding general and given the task of training units for the invasion of Italy (Operation Avalanche) in September 1943. According to Montgomery, Clark was subsequently criticized by British historians and critics, for the near-failure of the landings at Salerno, as a result of perceived poor planning.
p012987.jpg by PhotosNormandie.

Clark gave orders for the bombing destruction of the Abbey of Monte Cassino based on direct orders from his superior during the battle of Monte Cassino, February 15, 1944.

In fact, Clark and his chief of staff Major-General Alfred Gruenther remained unconvinced of the “military necessity”. When handing over the U.S. II Corps position to the New Zealand Corps, Brigadier Butler, deputy commander of U.S. 34th Division, had said "I don't know, but I don't believe the enemy is in the convent. All the fire has been from the slopes of the hill below the wall". Clark pinned down the Commander-in-Chief Allied Armies in Italy, General Sir Harold Alexander: “You give me a direct order and we’ll do it.” He did.

Clark's conduct of operations remains controversial, particularly his actions during the Battle of the Winter Line. Here, ignoring orders from his Army Group Commander, the British General Harold Alexander, Clark sent the U.S. VI Corps towards Rome and captured it on June 4, 1944. As a result, he failed to exploit the gap in the German positions that had opened up following the capture of Monte Cassino, allowing a substantial number of German units to escape and reinforce what became the Gothic Line.

However, the Vatican and Pope Pius XII had other ideas. The Pope thanked Clark for liberating Rome. In December 1944, Clark replaced Harold Alexander as Commander of the 15th Army Group, putting him in overall command of Allied ground troops in Italy, by that time an international coalition of numerous diverse cultures with often conflicting interests.

He was promoted to general on March 10, 1945, and at the war's end Clark was Commander of Allied Forces in Italy and, later, U.S. High Commissioner of Austria. He served as deputy to the U.S. secretary of state in 1947, and attended the negotiations for an Austrian treaty with the Council of Foreign Ministers in London and Moscow. In June 1947, Clark returned home and assumed command of the Sixth Army, headquartered at the Presidio in San Francisco, and two years later was named chief of Army Field Forces.

 
Clark on board USS Ancon during the landings at Salerno, Italy, 12 September 1943.

On October 20, 1951, he was nominated by President Harry Truman to be the United States Ambassador to the Holy See. Clark later withdrew his nomination on January 13, 1952, following protests from Senator Tom Connally and Protestant groups.

During and after the Korean War

During the Korean War, he took over as commander of the United Nations forces on May 12, 1952, succeeding General Matthew Ridgway. It was Clark who signed the cease-fire agreement with North Korea in 1953.

General Mark W. Clark signs the Armistice, July 27 1953.

After retiring from the Army, General Clark served (1954 to 1966) as president of The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, in Charleston, South Carolina. He wrote two volumes of memoirs: Calculated Risk (1950) and From the Danube to the Yalu (1954).

Mark Clark's rapid rise through general officer ranks after a 24-year career as a relatively obscure officer has been attributed by a U.S. Army biography in part to his professional relationship to General George Marshall and friendship with Dwight Eisenhower.

Among his awards and decorations are the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Grand Croix Légion d'honneur.

Clark is buried at The Citadel.

A bridge in Washington State, which connects Camano Island with the mainland, bears his name, as does an interstate spur (I-526) in the suburbs of Charleston, North Carolina.

   
Other Comments:

General Clark has been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Distinguished Service Medal with three Oak leaf Clusters, Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with "V" for valor, and Purple Heart. 

His foreign decorations include:

British Honorary Knight of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath; the British Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire; The French Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor, Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor, Commander of the Legion of Honor and Croix de Guerre with Palm (2 times); Russian Military Order of Suvarov, First Degree; Brazilian Order of the Southern Cross {Degree of Grand Officer), Order of Military Merit, Medal of War, and Campaignic Cross; Czechoslovakian Order of the White Lion for Victory (First Class) and Military Cross of 1939; Polish Order of Virtuti Militari (Fifth Class); Italian Grand Cross of the Military Order of Savor, Military Order of Italy (Degree of Grand Officer), Knight of the Grand Cross, Grand Cordon of the Order Sts. Maurice and Lazarus, and Silver Medal for valor; Moroccan Grand Cross of the Order of Ouissam Alaoute Cherifien (First Class); Maltese Order of Malta (Cross of Merit First Class) ; Belgian Order of the Crown, Rank of Order of George I with Swords; Philippine Legion of Honor (Degree of Commander); Japanese Grand Cordon of the Imperial Order of the Rising Sun; and the Republic of Korea Order of Taeguk with Gold Star.
 

   
 Photo Album   (More...



Algeria-French Morocco Campaign (1942)/Operation Torch
Start Year
1942
End Year
1942

Description
Operation Torch (initially called Operation Gymnast) ( 8 - 16 November 1942) was the British-American invasion of French North Africa during the North African Campaign of the Second World War which started on 8 November 1942. Background A map of Allied convoys heading from the British Isles to North Africa. The Allies planned an Anglo-American invasion of northwestern Africa - Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, territory nominally in the hands of the Vichy French government. With much of North Africa already under Allied control, this would allow the Allies to carry out a pincer operation against Axis forces in North Africa. The Vichy French had around 125,000 soldiers in the territories as well as coastal artillery, 210 operational but out-of-date tanks and about 500 aircraft, half of which were Dewoitine D.520 fighters - equal to many British and U.S. fighters. In addition, there were 10 or so warships and 11 submarines at Casablanca. The Allies believed that the Vichy French forces would not fight, partly because of information supplied by American Consul Robert Daniel Murphy in Algiers. The French were former Allies of the U.S. and the American troops were instructed not to fire unless they were fired upon. However, they harbored suspicions that the Vichy French navy would bear a grudge over the British action at Mers-el-Kebir in 1940. An assessment of the sympathies of the French forces in North Africa was essential, and plans were made to secure their cooperation, rather than resistance. German support for the Vichy French came in the shape of air support. Several Luftwaffe bomber wings undertook anti-shipping strikes against Allied ports in Algiers and along the North African coast. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was given command of the operation, and he set up his headquarters in Gibraltar. The Allied Naval Commander of the Expeditionary Force would be Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham; his deputy was Vice-Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, who would plan the amphibious landings. Allied operational plans Planners identified Oran (a large port with plentiful airfields within range of Gibraltar to facilitate the build up of Allied land-based airforces) and also Algiers and Casablanca (important ports and the major administrative centres) as key targets. Ideally there should also be a landing at Tunis to secure Tunisia and facilitate the rapid interdiction of supplies travelling via Tripoli to Rommel's forces in Libya. However, Tunis was much too close to the Axis airfields in Sicily and Sardinia for any hope of success. A compromise would be to land at Bone, some 300 miles (480 km) closer to Tunis than Algiers. Limited resources dictated that the Allies could only make three landings and Eisenhower who believed that any plan must include landings at Oran and Algiers, had two main alternatives: either to land at Casablanca, Oran and Algiers and then make as rapid a move as possible to Tunis some 500 miles (800 km) east of Algiers once the Vichy opposition was suppressed; or land at Oran, Algiers and Bone and then advance overland to Casablanca some 500 miles (800 km) west of Oran. He favoured the latter because of the advantages it gave to an early capture of Tunis and also because the Atlantic swells off Casablanca presented considerably greater risks to an amphibious landing there than would be encountered in the Mediterranean. The Combined Chiefs of Staff, however, were concerned that should Operation Torch precipitate Spain to abandon neutrality and join the Axis, the Straits of Gibraltar could be closed cutting the entire Allied force's lines of communication. They therefore chose the Casablanca option as the less risky since the forces in Algeria and Tunisia could be supplied overland from Casablanca (albeit with considerable difficulty) in the event of closure of the straits. Eisenhower in accepting this pointed out that the decision removed the early capture of Tunis from the probable to only the remotely possible because of the extra time it would afford the Axis to move forces into Tunisia. Intelligence gathering In July 1941, Mieczysaw Sowikowski (using the codename "Rygor" Polish for "Rigor") set up "Agency Africa", one of the Second World War's most successful intelligence organizations. His Polish allies in these endeavors included Lt. Col. Gwido Langer and Major Maksymilian Ci┼╝ki. The information gathered by the Agency was used by the Americans and British in planning the amphibious November 1942 Operation Torch landings in North Africa. Preliminary contact with Vichy French To gauge the feeling of the Vichy French forces, Murphy was appointed to the American consulate in Algeria. His covert mission was to determine the mood of the French forces and to make contact with elements that might support an Allied invasion. He succeeded in contacting several French officers, including General Charles Mast, the French commander-in-chief in Algiers. These officers were willing to support the Allies, but asked for a clandestine conference with a senior Allied General in Algeria. Major General Mark W. Clark - one of Eisenhower's senior commanders?was dispatched to Cherchell in Algeria aboard the British submarine HMS Seraph passing itself off as an American submarine and met with these Vichy French officers on 21 October 1942. With help from the Resistance, the Allies also succeeded in slipping French General Henri Giraud out of Vichy France on HMS Seraph, intending to offer him the post of commander in chief of French forces in North Africa after the invasion. However, Giraud would take no position lower than commander in chief of all the invading forces, a job already given to Eisenhower. When he was refused, he decided to remain "a spectator in this affair". Battle The Allies organized three amphibious task forces to seize the key ports and airports of Morocco and Algeria simultaneously, targeting Casablanca, Oran and Algiers. Successful completion of these operations was to be followed by an advance eastwards into Tunisia. The Western Task Force (aimed at Casablanca) comprised American units, with Major General George Patton in command and Rear Admiral Henry K. Hewitt heading the naval operations. This Western Task Force consisted of the U.S. 2nd Armored Division and the U.S. 3rd and 9th Infantry Divisions; 35,000 troops in a convoy of over 100 ships. They were transported directly from the U.S. in the first of a new series of UG convoys providing logistic support for the North African campaign. The Center Task Force, aimed at Oran, included the U.S. 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, the U.S. 1st Infantry Division, and the U.S. 1st Armored Division a total of 18,500 troops. They sailed from Britain and were commanded by Major General Lloyd Fredendall, the naval forces being commanded by Commodore Thomas Troubridge. The Eastern Task Force, aimed at Algiers?was commanded by Lieutenant-General Kenneth Anderson and consisted of two brigades from the British 78th and the U.S. 34th Infantry Divisions, along with two British Commando units (No.1 and No. 6 Commando), totaling 20,000 troops. During the landing phase the force was to be commanded by U.S. Major General Charles W. Ryder, commander of the 34th Division, as it was felt that a U.S.-led invasion would be more acceptable to the French defenders than one led by the British; many British troops wore American uniform, for the same reason.Naval forces were commanded by Vice-Admiral Sir Harold Burrough. U-boats, operating in the eastern Atlantic area crossed by the invasion convoys, had been drawn away to attack trade convoy SL 125. Some historians have suggested the timing of this trade convoy was an intentional tactical diversion to prevent submarine attacks on the troop transports. Aerial operations were split into two, east of Cape Tenez in Algeria, with British aircraft under Air Marshal Sir William Welsh and west of Cape Tenez, all American aircraft under Major General Jimmy Doolittle, under the direct command of Major General Patton. Curtiss P-40s of the 33rd Fighter Group were launched from United States Navy escort carriers and landed at Port Lyautey on November 10. Additional air support was provided by the carrier USS Ranger, whose squadrons intercepted Vichy aircraft and bombed hostile ships. Casablanca Flyers that was distributed by the Allied forces in the streets of Casablanca, calling the citizens to cooperate with the Allied forces. The Western Task Force landed before daybreak on 8 November 1942, at three points in Morocco: Safi (Operation Blackstone), Fedala (Operation Brushwood, the largest landing with 19,000 men), and Mehdiya-Port Lyautey (Operation Goalpost). Because it was hoped that the French would not resist, there were no preliminary bombardments. This proved to be a costly error as French defenses took a toll of American landing forces. On the night of 7 November, pro-Allied General Antoine Bothouart attempted a coup d'etat against the French command in Morocco, so that he could surrender to the Allies the next day. His forces surrounded the villa of General Charles Nogus, the Vichy-loyal high commissioner. However, Nogus telephoned loyal forces, who stopped the coup. In addition, the coup attempt alerted Nogus to the impending Allied invasion, and he immediately bolstered French coastal defenses. At Safi, the landings were mostly successful. The landings were begun without covering fire, in the hope that the French would not resist at all. However, once French coastal batteries opened fire, Allied warships returned fire. By the time General Harmon arrived, French snipers had pinned the assault troops (most of whom were in combat for the first time) on Safi's beaches. Most of the landings occurred behind schedule. Carrier aircraft destroyed a French truck convoy bringing reinforcements to the beach defenses. Safi surrendered on the afternoon of 8 November. By 10 November, the remaining defenders were pinned down, and the bulk of Harmon's forces raced to join the siege of Casablanca. At Port-Lyautey, the landing troops were uncertain of their position, and the second wave was delayed. This gave the French defenders time to organize resistance, and the remaining landings were conducted under artillery bombardment. With the assistance of air support from the carriers, the troops pushed ahead, and the objectives were captured. At Fedala, weather disrupted the landings. The landing beaches again came under French fire after daybreak. Patton landed at 08:00, and the beachheads were secured later in the day. The Americans surrounded the port of Casablanca by 10 November, and the city surrendered an hour before the final assault was due to take place. Casablanca was the principal French Atlantic naval base after German occupation of the European coast. The Naval Battle of Casablanca resulted from a sortie of French cruisers, destroyers, and submarines opposing the landings. A cruiser, six destroyers, and six submarines were destroyed by American gunfire and aircraft. The incomplete French battleship Jean Bart which was docked and immobile fired on the landing force with her one working gun turret until disabled by American gunfire. Two American destroyers were damaged. Oran A transport of 116 Supermarine Spitfires sent by sea was assembled in just eleven days at North Front, Gibraltar. The Center Task Force was split between three beaches, two west of Oran and one east. Landings at the westernmost beach were delayed because of a French convoy which appeared while the minesweepers were clearing a path. Some delay and confusion, and damage to landing ships, was caused by the unexpected shallowness of water and sandbars; although periscope observations had been carried out, no reconnaissance parties had landed on the beaches to determine the local maritime conditions. This was in contrast to later amphibious assaults such as Operation Overlord in which considerable weight was given to pre-invasion reconnaissance. The U.S. 1st Ranger Battalion landed east of Oran and quickly captured the shore battery at Arzew. An attempt was made to land U.S. infantry at the harbour directly, in order to quickly prevent destruction of the port facilities and scuttling of ships. The operation code named Operation Reservist failed, as the two Banff-class sloops were destroyed by crossfire from the French vessels there. The Vichy French naval fleet broke from the harbour and attacked the Allied invasion fleet but its ships were all sunk or driven ashore. French batteries and the invasion fleet exchanged fire throughout 8-9 November, with French troops defending Oran and the surrounding area stubbornly. Heavy fire from the British battleships brought about Oran's surrender on 9 November. Airborne landings Torch was the first major airborne assault carried out by the U.S. The U.S. 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment flew all the way from Britain, over Spain, intending to drop near Oran and capture airfields at Tafraoui and La Sania respectively 15 miles (24 km) and 5 miles (8 km) south of Oran. The operation was marked by weather, navigational and communication problems. Poor weather over Spain and the extreme range caused widespread scattering and forced 30 of the 37 aircraft to land in the dry salt lake to the west of the objective. Nevertheless both airports were captured. Algiers Resistance and coup As agreed at Cherchell, in the early hours of 8 November 400 French Resistance fighters staged a coup in the city of Algiers. Starting at midnight, the force under the command of Henri d'Astier de la Vigerie and Josu Aboulker seized key targets, including the telephone exchange, radio station, governor's house and the headquarters of 19th Corps. Robert Murphy took some men and then drove to the residence of General Alphonse Juin, the senior French Army officer in North Africa. While they surrounded his house (making Juin effectively a prisoner) Murphy attempted to persuade him to side with the Allies. However, he was treated to a surprise: Admiral Franois Darlan-the commander of all French forces was also in Algiers on a private visit. Juin insisted on contacting Darlan, and Murphy was unable to persuade either to side with the Allies. In the early morning, the local Gendarmerie arrived and released both Juin and Darlan. Invasion On 8 November 1942, the invasion commenced with landings split between three beaches, two west of Algiers and one east. Under overall command of Major General Charles W. Ryder, commander U.S. 34th Infantry Division, British 11th Brigade Group from British 78th Infantry Division, landed on the right hand beach, U.S. 168 Regimental Combat Team, from U.S. 34th Infantry Division, supported by 6th Commando and most of 1st Commando on the middle beach while U.S. 39th Regimental Combat Team, also from 34th Division, supported by the remaining 5 troops from 1st Commando landed on the left hand beach. British 36th Brigade Group from 78th Division stood by in floating reserve. Though some landings went to the wrong beaches, this was immaterial because of the extremely low level of French opposition. All the coastal batteries had been neutralized by French resistance, and one French commander openly welcomed the landing Allies. The only fighting took place in the port of Algiers itself, where in Operation Terminal two British destroyers attempted to land a party of U.S. Rangers directly onto the dock, in order to prevent the French destroying the port facilities and scuttling their ships. Heavy artillery fire prevented one destroyer from landing but the other was able to debark 250 Rangers before it too was driven back to sea. The landed troops pushed quickly inland and General Juin surrendered the city to the Allies at 18:00.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1942
To Year
1942
 
Last Updated:
Jun 13, 2009
   
Personal Memories
   
Units Participated in Operation

54th Engineer Battalion

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  74 Also There at This Battle:
 
  • Badyl, Kenneth
  • Caffey, Eugene Mead, MG, (1918-1956)
  • Carratelli, Horace, 1st Sgt, (1941-1945)
  • Fisco, Richard, S/Sgt
  • Goodman, John, BG, (1939-1962)
  • Guy, Leslie, PFC, (1941-1945)
  • Maxwell, Robert, Cpl, (1942-1945)
  • Meeks, William, M/Sgt, (1917-1946)
  • Mickle, Gerald, BG, (1918-1946)
  • Williams, Wilbur
Copyright Togetherweserved.com Inc 2003-2011