Robert W. Grow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Robert Walker Grow
Robert W. Grow2.JPG
Born February 14, 1895
Sibley, Iowa, United States
Died November 3, 1985 (aged 90)
Falls Church, Virginia, United States
Buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, United States
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1915–1951
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Unit USA - Army Field Artillery Insignia.png Field Artillery Branch
Commands held 6th Armored Division
3rd Armored Division
26th Infantry Division
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Distinguished Service Cross
Army Distinguished Service Medal

Major General Robert Walker Grow (February 14, 1895 – November 3, 1985) was a senior United States Army officer who commanded the 6th Armored Division during World War II. He was notable for his court martial in 1951 for failing to safeguard classified information.


Born in Sibley, Iowa to Nellie (née Walker) and John Thomas Grow. His mother died when he was two years old and Grow went to live with his paternal grandparents, as his father went to Canada to work. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1916.[1] He married Mary Louella Marshall (1896-1974), daughter of Willamina H. "Willie" (née Robertson) and J Walter Marshall, of Cleveland, Tennessee on November 5, 1917 in Hamilton, Tennessee.[2] They had two sons, Robert Marshall and Walker Thomas, both attendees of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. They had an additional child die as a one-day-old in Brownsville, Texas.

Robert W. Grow was the commander the U.S. 6th Armored Division on the Western Front, fighting during the battles of Normandy and of the Bulge.

His command of the 6th Armored Division in its rapid assault across the Brittany Peninsula is considered one of the finest examples of armor in the exploitation phase. This stunning advance is often overlooked due to the more glamorous exploits of the rest of the U.S. Army surrounding the German Seventh Army at the same time.

Rober W. Grow in the Field.

He is also known for being court-martialed in 1951 during the Cold War on charges of failing to safeguard classified information.[3] At the time he was the senior U.S. military attache in Moscow, and portions of his diary came into Soviet knowledge. Grow retired after the courts martial and later became an executive of the Falls Church, Virginia chamber of commerce.

Not long after the courts martial, his son was on summer vacation from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1953 when a fire started in his bedroom of the family home in Falls Church, Virginia. Walker Thomas Grow, 21, died of smoke inhalation on August 12, 1953.[4]


  1. ^ Hofmann. - p.10.
  2. ^ Morton, Richard Lee (1964), Virginia Lives: The Old Dominion Who's Who, Virginia Historical Record Association, p. 398 
  3. ^ Hofmann, George F. (1993), Cold War Casualty: The Court-Martial of Major General Robert W. Grow, ISBN 0-87338-462-8 
  4. ^ "GENERAL'S SON DIES IN FIRE AT HIS HOME; W. T. Grow Was a West Pointer -- Father Was Court-Martialed for Slack Care of Diary", The New York Times, p. 8, August 14, 1953 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
William Morris
Commanding General 6th Armored Division
Succeeded by
George W. Read
Preceded by
Frank A. Allen
Commanding General 3rd Armored Division
July 1945 – November 1945
Succeeded by
Post deactivated
Preceded by
Stanley Eric Reinhart
Commanding General 26th Infantry Division
November 1945 – December 1945
Succeeded by
Post deactivated