Charles L. Bolte

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Charles L. Bolte
Charles L. Bolte.jpg
General Charles L. Bolte
Born (1895-05-08)May 8, 1895
Chicago, Illinois
Died February 11, 1989(1989-02-11) (aged 93)
Alexandria, Virginia
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army
Years of service 1916-1955
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held U.S. Army, Europe
69th Infantry Division
34th Infantry Division
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Silver Star
Legion of Merit
Purple Heart

General Charles Lawrence Bolte (May 8, 1895 – February 11, 1989) was a U.S. Army general and World War I and World War II veteran.

Military career[edit]

Bolte graduated from what is today the Illinois Institute of Technology with a degree in chemical engineering.[1] He began his military career in 1916 when he earned a commission in the Army as a second lieutenant. Two years later, he shipped off for France and saw combat in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive as a member of the 58th Infantry, 4th Division. He was wounded in action September 19, 1918.

Bolte returned to the United States as a captain in August 1919, completed the Infantry Advanced Course at Fort Benning in 1930, graduated in 1932 from the Command and General Staff School, and was ordered to the American Barracks, Tientsin, China for duty with the 15th Infantry as S-3 Company and Battalion Commander. In April 1936, Bolte was assigned to command a battalion of the 13th Infantry at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. The following August, he entered the Army War College, graduated in June 1937, and remained there as an instructor until 1940.

In 1941, Lieutenant Colonel Bolte journeyed to London as head of a group of Army observers and, early in 1942, assumed the position of Chief of Staff of U.S. Forces in the United Kingdom. As a major general, he commanded the 69th Division in Mississippi in 1943 and then, in July 1944, took over the 34th Infantry Division then in combat on the Arno River, Italy. Bolte lead the 34th through several successful actions, including the rupture of the Gothic Line, the winter campaign in the Apennine Mountains, the break-through and the capture of Bologna, the surrender of the Axis forces in Italy on April 29, 1945, and the subsequent occupation of the Northwestern and then the Northeastern sectors of Italy.

Bolte earned two Distinguished Service Medals, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit and the Purple Heart for his exploits.

Bolte served in Washington after the war and in 1953, as a lieutenant general, became Commander in Chief, U.S. Army, Europe. Later that year, General Bolte returned home to serve as Army Vice Chief of Staff under General Matthew B. Ridgway. Bolte retired from active service in 1955.

Post military[edit]

Following retirement, he worked as special assistant to the chairman of the board of American Car & Foundry Industries from 1955 to 1958. He then became Chairman of the Board of Advanced Growth Capital Corporation, retiring from this in the 1960s. He was also active in charitable work, and served as President of the Army & Navy Club.[1] He died February 11, 1989 at Mount Vernon Hospital, Virginia, after a stroke, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "[1]".

Military offices
Preceded by
Manton S. Eddy
Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe
April 1, 1953 to September 29, 1953
Succeeded by
William M. Hoge
Preceded by
Manton S. Eddy
Commanding General of the Seventh United States Army
August 1952 to April 1953
Succeeded by
William M. Hoge
Preceded by
Gen. John E. Hull
Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army
1953 – 1955
Succeeded by
Gen. Williston B. Palmer