Carter B. Magruder

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Carter B. Magruder
Carter B Magruder.jpg
Carter B. Magruder receiving a promotion
BornApril 3, 1900
London, England, United Kingdom
DiedMarch 14, 1988(1988-03-14) (aged 87)
Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., U.S.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1923–1961
RankUS-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands heldUnited Nations Command
U.S. Forces Korea
Eighth U.S. Army
IX Corps
24th Infantry Division
Battles/warsWorld War II
Cold War
AwardsDistinguished Service Medal (3)
Other workLogistic consultant

Carter Bowie Magruder (April 3, 1900 – March 14, 1988) was a United States Army general who served concurrently as Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander, United States Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth United States Army (CINCUNC/COMUSFK/CG EUSA) from 1959 to 1961.

Early life and education[edit]

Magruder was born in London, United Kingdom, where his father was serving with the United States Public Health Service. At the time of the U.S. entry into World War I, he was attending the University of Virginia. He dropped out of college and was commissioned an infantry second lieutenant in 1918. With the end of the war, Magruder accepted an appointment to the United States Military Academy. Upon graduation in 1923, he was commissioned in the field artillery. Later he attended Purdue University and received a master's degree in mechanical engineering in 1932.


Prior to World War II, he served at various posts and assignments and also attended the Command and General Staff College and Army War College. Assigned to the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics on the War Department General staff in July 1941, he was in this position when the U.S. enter World War II. He would later be the army's top logistician. Magruder was assigned as the leader of the planning division of the Army Service Forces, organizing worldwide logistic support for the U.S. war effort. He went to Italy in 1944 to serve as assistant Chief of Staff for logistics at Allied headquarters.

Staying in Europe after the end of the war, he became chief logistics officer of the army in Europe. He returned to the U.S. serving as a staff officer from 1949 to 1953, and also serving in the delegation negotiating the Japanese and Austrian peace treaties.

Magruder took command of the 24th Infantry Division in Korea in 1953, and in 1954 was promoted to lieutenant general and assumed command of IX Corps. From 1955 to 1959, he was Assistant Chief of Staff of the Army for Logistics, the highest logistics position in the Army.

Promoted to full general in 1959, Magruder returned to Korea to command all United Nations and U.S. forces. During his command, a military junta led by Park Chung-hee overthrew the elected premier, John Chang. Magruder was publicly criticized by retired General James Van Fleet for ordering South Korean officers to stay loyal to the civilian government. Van Fleet, who supported the coup, said that Magruder "acted illegally," and:

Those ROK generals who refused to go along with the coup should have disobeyed his order...It's all right to talk about representative government, but except in great countries like the U.S. and Great Britain, such a system lets elements get into the government and destroy it in underdeveloped countries where the enemy is lurking.[1]

Magruder retired from the army in 1961. His awards and decorations included the Army Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters.

Later life and death[edit]

After retiring from the Army, Magruder worked as a logistics consultant to the Department of Defense and private industry. He settled in Arlington, Virginia, and was a member of the Army-Navy Country Club and the Society of the Cincinnati.

He died at the age of 87 of lung ailments on March 14, 1988 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Luella Johnson Magruder (1907–1991) was buried with him in 1991.

See also[edit]