Gruenther, Alfred Maximilian, born 03-03-1899 in Platte Centre, the son of Mary “Mayme” Shea, a school teacher, and Maximilian Gruenther, a newspaper editor who published the Platte Center Signal
Alfred became famous for the quality of his staff and tactical planning work, becoming World War II’s youngest Major General. The youngest German Generalleutnat in WWII, with 36, was Theodor Tolsdorff. Gruenther graduated fourth in his class from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1918. Other classmates would tease Alfred Maximilian Gruenther, calling him a sissy because of his knee-high pants. Obviously none of them knew the Platte Centre native would one day become a four-star General in the U.S. Army. Now, the boy who used to be teased is being honoured by the village of Platte Centre. In 1922.
Gruenther married Grace Elizabeth Crum of Jeffersonville, Indiana, who gave birth to two sons, Donald Alfred Gruenther , and Richard Louis Gruenther ; they both became career military officers. His great-grandson, USAF Captain Lucas Gruenther died at the age of 32 while flying F-16 jet fighter on January 28, 2013 during a training mission over the Adriatic Sea He served as Chief of Staff of the Third Army “Blood and Guts” , Fifth Army , Supreme Headquarters, Fifteenth Army Group , last commander during WWII was Hobard Gay. Its role in Italy cost Fifth Army dearly. It suffered 109.642 casualties in 602 days of combat. 19.475 were killed in action. Allied Powers in Europe between 1941-53. He was principal American planner of the Allied invasions of North Africa in 1942 and Italy in 1943. He served as Chief of Staff to Mark W. Clark from 1943 to 1945. After World War II, he became deputy commander of U.S. forces in Austria in 1945, and was appointed supreme allied commander in Europe/commander-in-chief of the U.S. European Command in 1953. When he retired, Gruenther was president of the American Red Cross from 1957-64 and served on four corporate boards and three presidential commissions
Death and burial ground of Gruenther, Alfred Maximilian.
. From left to right, Alfred Gruenther, Donald W. Brann, Mark Wayne “Contraband. Clark, and Guy Garrod.
On 30-05-1983, old age 84, Gruenther died of complications after pneumonia at Walter Reed Army Hospital, in Washington, D.C. He is buried with his wife Grace A, who died age 81 on 18-05-1979, at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 2. Close by in Section 2, the graves of General, Commander 92nd “ Negro Division”, Edward ‘Ned” Almond, Major General, Commander 8th Bomber Command Europe, Frederick Anderson, Rear Admiral, Commander Destroyer Greyson, Frederic Bell, Navy Admiral, “Operation Crossroads”, William Blandy, General, Commander 32nd Infantry Division, Clovis Byers, Navy Admiral. Battle of the Leyte Gulf, Robert Carney, Air Force General Lieutenant, Claire Chennault, Lieutenant General, Commander 4th Corps , Italy Campaign, Willis Crittenberger, Brigadier General, First African-American General, Benjamin Davis, Quartermaster Lieutenant General, John De Witt, Brigadier General, Speck Easley, Marine Corps Major General, Commander 1st Raider Battalion, Merrit “Red Mike” Edson, Lieutenant General, VIII Army, Robert Eichelberger, Navy Admiral, Commander Nord Pacific Fleet, Frank Fletscher and Navy Admiral, Commander VII Forces, William Fechteler, Lieutenant General. Commander 86th Infantry Division, Ridgeley Gaither, Major General, Commander 29th Infantry Division , D-Day, Charles Gerhardt and Admiral, U.S. Chief of Naval Material, John Gingrich.
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