Bolte, Charles Lawrence

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Bolte, Charles Lawrence, born on 08-05-1895 in Chicago, was a decorated combat veteran of both world wars, who retired from active duty in 1955, as a 4* General. During World War I, Bolte was a company commander and served with the 4th Infantry Division  under Major General George Hamilton Cameron   . Cameron died in Staunton on 28-01-1944. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 6, Grave 5700. Bolte participated in the St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Aisne-Marne offensives. Charles Bolte 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, nickname `The Fighting 69th` in 1943. The casualties of the 69th Europian campaign: Total battle casualties: 1,506, killed in action: 341, wounded in action: 1,146, missing in action: 9,and prisoner of war: 10.  In July 1944, he took over the 34th Infantry Division in Italy, succeeding Major General Charles Wolcott Ryder, guiding it through successful actions, including the drive through the Apennine Mountains and the capture of Bologna. Major General Ryder retired from the Army in 1950 and died on 17-08-1960, at the age of 68. In Germany Bolte hold defensive positions in the Siegfried Line with his 34th Division, nickname “Red Bull” File:34th 'Red Bull' Infantry Division SSI.svg.  The 34th Division in 517 days of combat. suffered 3.737 killed in action, 14.165 wounded in action, and 3.460 missing in action, for a total of 21.362 battle casualties. Casualties of the division are considered to be the highest of any division in the theatre when daily per capita fighting strengths are considered. There is little doubt the division took the most enemy-defended hills of any division in the European Theatre. The division’s soldiers were awarded ten Medals of Honor , ninety-eight Distinquished Service Crosses , one Distinquished Service Medal , 1.153 Silver Stars , 116 Legion of Merit medals , one Distinquished Flying Cross , 2.545 Bronze Star Medals , fifty-four Soldiers  Medals, thirty-four Air Medals , with duplicate awards of fifty-two oak leaf clusters, and 15.000 Purple Hearts .
 Image: Churchill on the Siegfried Line, 1945  
Division patrols in the area between the Elbe and the Mulde Rivers contacted Russian troops in the vicinity of Riesa and again at Torgau on elbe Day. Until VE-Day, the 69th patrolled and policed its area. Occupation duties were given to the Division until it left for home and inactivation 7 September. 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 Bunker Ridgway
     Bolte retired from active service in 1955. He was also active in charitable work, and served as President of the Army & Navy Club.

Death and burial ground of Bolte, Charles Lawrence.

 Portrait of General Charles Lawrence Bolte  He died, at the old age of 93, on 11-02-1989, at Mount Vernon Hospital, Virginia, after a stroke and is buried with his wife Adelaide, born Poort, who died very old age 96 on 08-01-1996, on Arlington National Cemetery in Section 7 A. Close neighbours are 101st Airborne   General, Maxwell Taylor, the box champ here with his opponent the German Para Max Schmeling
, technical sergeant, Joe “Barrow” Louis and marine man, Lee Marvin.
 

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