Bonesteel JR, Charles Hartwell, born at Fort Sidney, Nebraska on 09-04-1885, graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1908 and was appointed a Second Lieutenant of Infantry. The son of of U.S. Army Major Charles Hartwell Bonesteel, Sr, died age 51 of kidney failure in 1902, the second Charles H. Bonesteel, pronounced “Bonn-eh-stel”. His mother was Mary Greene, she died age 40, in 1904.
His wife was Caroline Hudson, she died, age 80, in 1965. His initial assignments included postings in the Philippines, Hawaii and Texas. During World War I he served with the 55th Infantry Regiment, and later at the Newport News, Virginia point of embarkation. From 1919 to 1924 Bonesteel was an instructor at West Point. Bonesteel graduated from the United States Army Command and General Staff College in 1926 and served on the staff of the Chief of Infantry until 1930. From 1930 to 1931 Bonesteel was assigned to the 18th Infantry Regiment , first as Commander of its 1st Battalion, and later as the regiment’s Executive Officer, or second in command. In 1932 he graduated from the United States Army War College. From 1932 to 1940 Bonesteel’s assignments included: Instructor and Section Chief at the Infantry School; Commander, 1st Battalion 2nd Infantry Regiment; and Commander of the 19th Infantry Regiment. Beginning in 1940 Bonetseel’s service covered several command positions, to include: Chief of Staff, VI Corps Area and Second U.S. Army; Commander, VI Corps Area; Commander, 5th Infantry Division, nickname “Red Diamont” ; Commander, Iceland Base Command, Major General, Charles Hartwell Bonesteel, who had succeeded General Major Josef Cummins as Commanding General of the 5th Division, was informed of his appointment to command the Iceland force. There was still the question of how General Bonesteel was to exercise command. The currently prescribed method was that of “unity of command,” which imposed definite restrictions, however, upon the authority of the commanding officer. Under “unity of command” General Bonesteel would have had no administrative or disciplinary control over the Navy and Marine Corps forces that were, for tactical purposes, placed under his command. General Georg Catlett Marshall
, who had long been concerned over the problem, and General Bonesteel both considered this limited authority inadequate to the needs of the Iceland situation. A possible solution was finally found in an act of 1916 by which the President Franklin Delano Roosevelt could order Marine Corps personnel detached for duty with the Army, and which would thus give the commanding officer full command over the combined force. The Major General Commandant of the Marine Corps vigorously proffered a number of reasons why this should not be done, but with the wholehearted support of Admiral Harold “Betty” Stark the arguments of General Marshall prevailed. Then Commandant of the Infantry School; Commander, Western Defense Command; and Assistant to the Commanding General, Twelfth United States Army Group. He was promoted to Brigadier General in 1940 and Major General in 1941. In 1944 Bonesteel was assigned as Commander of the G-1 (Personnel) Staff Section at SHAEF Headquarters . He remained in this position until 1945, when he was assigned as Chief of the General Inspectorate Section for the U.S. European Theater of Operations.
Death and burial ground of Bonesteel JR, Charles Hartwell.
Later in 1945 Bonesteel returned to the United States as President of the War Department Manpower Board, where he served until retiring in 1947. General Bonesteel’s awards and decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit and Bronze Star Medal. He is the father of Charles Hartwell Bonesteel III who was a WWII Major General too Bonesteel III Bonesteel died at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. on 05-06-1964. He is buried with his wife Caroline, born Hudson, who died age 70 in 1965, at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 3, Site 1374-A.