General Charles Palmer: Top 12 Cool Facts

When we mention the word leaders, who immediately comes to your mind?

  • George Washington
  • Douglas MacArthur
  • Bill Gates

The list could go on and on. The world has had some fabulous leaders. Many of the great leaders were in the United States Army.

In today’s post, we are going to look at a great Army leader: General Charles Palmer. He won many awards and gained a ton of respect from subordinates. Here are 12 cool facts.

#1: Birth

Charles Palmer Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois on February 20th, 1902 to Army Colonel Charles Day Palmer and Edith Birkhimer Palmer.

#2: Military In His Blood

General Palmer’s Grandfather, William Birkhimer started as an Army private in the Civil War and rose to the level of Brigadier General. He was awarded the Medal of Honor as a Captain during the Philippine – American War.

General Charles Palmer’s brother, Williston Palmer was also a 4 star General in the United States Army.

#3: USMA Graduate

Palmer graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1924.

#4: The Start Of World War 2

When World War 2 broke out, then Major Palmer was stationed in the British West Indies where he was tasked with establishing bases and heavily involved in anti-submarine warfare.

#5: Sent Back To The Mainland

In 1942, Palmer was sent back to the mainland to determine where he would be used in World War 2 operations.

#6: 2nd Armored Division

In 1944, Palmer was sent to Europe and was assigned Chief of Staff of the 2ndArmored Division. He held this position during the

  • Invasion of Normandy
  • Breakout from Saint-Lô
  • and Crossing the Siegfried Line

#7: VI Corps

When the invasion of Southern France came in October of 1944, Palmer was Chief of Staff of VI Corps. It was during this time that he was promoted to Brigadier General.

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#8: Korean War

When the Korean War broke out, General Palmer was with the 1st Cavalry Division in Japan on occupation duty.

Palmer and the Division quickly went into action and with the 1st, he participated in 6 campaigns.

#9: Other Leadership Posts

After the Korean War, General Palmer served as Commander of the Sixth United States Army in the State of California, Deputy Commander of United States forces in Europe and Deputy Commander in Chief of United States European Command until his retirement in 1962.

#10: After Army

After Army service, Palmer became a military consultant for Research Analysis Corporation, Director of St. Albans School and Director of the Retired Officers Association.

#11: Death

General Charles Palmer passed away on June 7th, 1999 at the age of 97. He was laid to rest in Arlington national Cemetery.

#12: Decorations

General Palmer received many awards for his service. They include:

  • Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters

  • Silver Star with one oak leaf cluster

  • Legion of Merit

  • Distinguished Flying Cross

  • Bronze Star

  • and Air Medal

Final Thoughts

General Charles Palmer was a great man and a superb leader.

It is because of men like General Palmer that the United States has the greatest Army in the world.

What are your thoughts?

Leave all questions and comments below.

Thank you.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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