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Bruce C. Clarke
General Clarke in 1961
Born(1901-04-29)April 29, 1901
Adams, New York
DiedMarch 17, 1988(1988-03-17) (aged 86)
Bethesda, Maryland
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1917–1962
Commands heldUnited States Continental Army Command
United States Army Europe
Seventh United States Army
United States Army, Pacific
I Corps
X Corps
1st Armored Division
Combat Command B, 7th Armored Division
Combat Command A, 4th Armored Division
Battles/warsWorld War I

World War II

Korean War
AwardsDistinguished Service Cross
Army Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Silver Star (3)
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal (3)
Air Medal
Army Commendation Medal

Bruce Cooper Clarke (April 29, 1901 – March 17, 1988) was a United States Army general. He was a career officer who served in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. He was the commander of Continental Army Command from 1958 to 1960, Commander, United States Army Europe from 1960 to 1962, and commanded the United States Army, Pacific from December 1954 to April 1956.

Early life and education

Clarke was born on a farm in Adams, New York, on April 29, 1901. He dropped out of high school to enlist in the United States Army in 1917, served in the Coast Artillery Corps during World War I, and gained appointment to the United States Military Academy through the New York National Guard. He graduated in 1925 with a commission in the Corps of Engineers. In addition to his degree from West Point, he earned a civil engineering degree from Cornell University and an LL.B. from La Salle Extension University.[1] He also was an equivalent graduate of the National War College and is credited with starting the Non-Commissioned Officers Academy system.

Military career

In the Second World War, as a colonel and then a brigadier general, he commanded Combat Command A (CCA) of the 4th Armored Division in General George S. Patton's Third Army, leading it to victory over a superior German armored force at the Battle of Arracourt in September 1944. In December Clarke led the relief of St. Vith during the Battle of the Bulge, which slowed the German attack. Writing afterward, General Eisenhower credited Clarke's actions as the "turning point" in that battle.

During the Korean War, Clarke commanded the 1st Armored Division, Fort Hood, Texas, from 1951 to 1953. He then transferred to Korea, where he commanded I Corps in 1953 and X Corps from 1953 to 1954. He also trained the First Republic of Korea Army.

Clarke was then assigned as Commanding General, United States Army Pacific in Hawaii from 1954 to 1956. After his tour in Hawaii, he commanded the Seventh United States Army in Germany from 1956 to 1958. He received a promotion to the rank of four-star general in August 1958. From 1958 to 1960 he commanded the Continental Army Command, heading the entire Army school system which, at the time, had over 250,000 participants. From 1960 to 1962 he served as Commander in Chief of United States Army Europe, before retiring on April 30, 1962.

On October 18, 1971, the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States conferred upon Clarke, a 33rd Degree Freemason, the Grand Cross of the Court of Honor. This is the highest Masonic award, with only 11 holders out of 600,000 Freemasons in the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite.

Military decorations

Clarke's military decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, three Army Distinguished Service Medals, three Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, and three Bronze Star Medals. He also received decorations from foreign countries including France, Germany, Great Britain, Korea, and the Philippines.

General Clarke's issued Distinguished Service Cross originally belonged to General George S. Patton. During then Col Clarke's medal presentation, General Patton was unable to find the medal and instead awarded him his own. It and the rest of General Clarke's Medals and Awards are currently preserved in Clarke Middle School, Adams, New York. [2]

Death and burial

Clarke died after a stroke on March 17, 1988, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and was buried with full military honors in Section 7-A (Grave 130) at Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Bessie Mitchell Clarke, is buried with him.[3]


See also


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Army

  1. ^ Military Government Association (1958). Military government journal, Volume 10.
  2. ^ "BRUCE C. CLARKE PAPERS; BOX 9, FOLDER 2B, INTERVIEW BY JOHN ALBRIGHT, [PART 2 OF 3], 13 MAY 1972 - USAHEC". Retrieved 2023-08-14.
  3. ^ Howe, Marvine (20 March 1988). "Gen. Bruce C. Clarke Dies at 86; Ex-Army Commander in Europe". The New York Times.