Grow, Robert Walker, born 14-2-1895 in Sibley, Iowa to Nellie 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. He married Mary Louella Marshall (1896-1974), daughter of Willamina H. “Willie” (born Robertson) and J Walter Marshall, of Cleveland, Tennessee on 05-11-1917 in Hamilton,Tennessee. 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 from 1940 to 1941 was Deputy Chief of Staff 2nd Armoured Division , nickname “Hells on Wheels” under General Charles Lewis Scott with casualties of the division with killed 5.846 in 280 days of combat. Commanding Officer of the 34th Armoured Regiment from 1941 to 1942, the regiment with battles in Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe. End 1942 appointed as Commanding Officer Combat Command B 8th Armoured Division, nickname “Thundering Herd” with total authorized strength: 10.937, total battle casualties: 2.011 and total deaths in battle: 469. The 8th liberated Halberstadt-Zwieberge, a sub camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, between 12 and 17-04-1945 during its drive through central Germany. The area around the city of Halberstadt housed a number of Buchenwald sub camps that had been established in 1944 to provide labor for the German war effort, including Halberstadt-Zwieberge I and Halberstadt-Zwieberge II. More than 5,000 inmates were incarcerated in these two sub camps, where they were forced to hollow out massive tunnels and build underground factories for Junkers Aircraft of Aircraft Motors Construction Company, which produced military aircraft. Appointed to Commanding Officer Combat Command A 19th Armoured Division in 1942 and then to commander of the U.S. 6th Armoured Division, nickname “Super Sixth” on the Western Front, fighting during the battles of Normandy and of the Bulge (see Anthony MacAuliffe). 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 under General Heinrich Eberbach at the same time. The casualties of the 6th Division are killed 1.289. Grow is assigned as Commanding General of the 3rd Armoured Division, North-West Europe. The 3rd Armored Division lost more tanks in combat than any other U.S. division. Combat Command A lost more tanks than any other unit in the 3rd Armored Division. The 3rd Armored Division had 231 days of combat in World War II, with a total of 2.540 killed, 7.331 wounded, 95 missing, and 139 captured. Total battle and non-battle casualties came to 16.122. From 1945 Commanding General 26th Division, nickname “Yankee Division” It was shipped from the United States directly to France, and was never sent to Britain. The 26th Infantry Division spent 199 days in combat. During that time, it suffered 1.678 killed in action, 7.379 wounded in action, 740 missing in action, 159 prisoners of war, and 6.895 non-battle casualties, for a total of 16.851 casualties during the conflict. Soldiers of the division received two Medals of Honor, and won 38 Distinguished Service Crosses, seven Legions of Merit, 927 Silver Star Medals, 42 Soldier’s Medals, 5.331 Bronze Star Medals, and 98 Air Medals. The division returned to the United States and inactivated at Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts on 21-12-1945. Appointed to Chief of Military Mission with the Persian Armyin 1947, Commanding General Fort Devens , Massachusetts from 1950 and Military Attaché to Moscow and retired in 1953. He is also known for being court-martialed in 1951 during the Cold War on charges of failing to safeguard classified information. At the time he was the senior U.S. military attaché 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.
Death and burial ground of Grow, Robert Walker.
Not long after the courts martial, his son was on sum mer 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 12-08-1953 in the same year he retired and is buried on Arlington National Cemetery, Section 30. In Section another former commander of the 26thInfantry Division, Lieutenant General, Commander of the 26th Infantry Division, Willard Paul. Close by the graves of Major General, Commander 116th and 29th Division, D-Day, Charles Canham, Deputy Chief Operation, Richard Edwards, Rear Admiral, Frank Akers , Admiral Robert Ghormley, Lieutenant General, Commanded the 5th Marine Division in the occupation of Japan, Thomas Bourke, Lieutenant General, Commander 2nd Armoured Division, Ted Brooks, Major General, Chief Signal Officer, George Back, Lieutenant General, Commanded the 5th Marine Division in the occupation of Japan, Thomas Bourke, Infantry Major General, Commander 24th Infantry Division, Kenneth Cramer, Infantry Major General, Commander 9th Infantry Division, Louis Craig, Air Force Lieutenant General. Commander 12th and 15th U.S. Air Force, Ira Eaker, Navy Admiral, Okinawa Campaign, Louis Denfeld, Secretary of the Navy in 1944, James Forrestal and Thomas Handy, 1* Brigadier General, assistant Commanding General 85th Infantry Division Lee Saunders Gerow and 1* General Lieutenant, Commanding Officer Artillery, 11th Airborne Division, Francis William Farrell.
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