Charles D. Palmer

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Charles Day Palmer
Lt Gen Charles Day Palmer.jpg
Portrait of Palmer as a Lieutenant general
Born (1902-02-20)February 20, 1902
Chicago, Illinois
Died June 7, 1999(1999-06-07) (aged 97)
Washington, D.C.
Buried Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United StatesUnited States of America
Service/branch United States Army seal United States Army
Years of service 1924-1962
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held Sixth United States Army Sixth United States Army
1st Cavalry Division (United States) 1st Cavalry Division
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Awards Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Silver Star (2)
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star
Air Medal
Relations William Edward Birkhimer (grandfather)
Williston B. Palmer (brother)
Other work military consultant

Charles Day Palmer, Jr. (February 20, 1902 – June 7, 1999) was a United States Army four-star general who served as Deputy Commander in Chief, United States European Command (DCINCEUR) from 1959 to 1962. His brother, Williston B. Palmer, was also a four-star general, and his grandfather, William Edward Birkhimer, was a general and Medal of Honor recipient.

Early life[edit]

Palmer was born in Chicago, Illinois on February 20, 1902. After graduating from Washington High School in Washington, D.C., he entered the United States Military Academy, graduating in 1924.

Military career[edit]

General Charles Day Palmer

As the United States entered World War II, the then Major Palmer was in the British West Indies working to establish military bases and on anti-submarine warfare projects. Palmer went to Europe in 1944 as chief of staff of the 2nd Armored Division, and continued in that role during the Normandy invasion, the breakout from Saint-Lô, and crossing the Siegfreid Line.

During the invasion of southern France in October 1944, he was chief of staff of the VI Corps, and during this time he received a battlefield promotion to brigadier general.

Palmer was with the 1st Cavalry Division in Japan on occupation duty when the Korean War erupted. He was the commander of the division artillery commander and later the division commander, participating in six campaigns.

General Charles D. Palmer meeting with U.S. Army WACs.

Palmer's later posts included Commander, Sixth United States Army in California and Deputy Commander of U.S. forces in Europe. After serving as Deputy Commander in Chief, United States European Command, he retired in 1962.

Awards and decorations[edit]

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Silver Star with one oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star
Air Medal

Post military career[edit]

After retiring from the Army, Palmer settled in Washington and worked as a military consultant with the Research Analysis Corporation. He was also a director of both St. Albans School and the Retired Officers Association, and a member of the Army and Navy Club.

Palmer died in Washington D.C. on June 7, 1999 at the age of 97 of cardiac arrest in his home in Knollwood, a military retirement community. He was survived by Eugenia Kingman Palmer, whom he married in 1954, and a son. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, next to his brother and mother.

See also[edit]


Military offices
Preceded by
Lemuel Mathewson
Commanding General of the Sixth United States Army
Succeeded by
Robert M. Cannon