Macon, Robert Chaunsey

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Macon, Robert Chaunsey, born, graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1912 with a B.S. degree and received an M.E. from the same institution the following year. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in 1916. He served in China as the commander of Company I, 15th Infantry Regiment from 1919 to 1921. He was then a professor of military science and tactics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute from 1924 to 1928. After graduation from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff School on June 19-06-1931, he served in the Panama Canal Department until 1933. He then attended the U.S. Army War College and from 1934 to 1939 was an instructor at the U.S. Army Infantry School. Macon served as assistant  Chief of Staff for plans in VII Corps from March to August 1940, and then served with the 6th Armoured Infantry Regiment until 1941. He was then assigned as assistant Chief of Staff for supply of the 4th Armoured Division.

In April 1942, Macon, now a colonel, took command of the 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, motto “Rock of the Marne” .Elements of the  7th Infantry Regiment, nickname “Cottonbalers”  serving under the 3rd Infantry Division captured Hitler’s retreat at BerchtesgadenI. It is known as “The Cottonbalers” from an incident that occurred during the battle of New Orleans. while under the command of Andrew Jackson  , when soldiers of the 7th Infantry Regiment held positions behind a breastwork of bales of cotton during the British attack.  During the war, 4.922 were killed in action, and 18.766 wounded with a further 636 who died of wounds. Jackson died age on 08-06-1845.

Macon commanded the regiment during Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa in November 1942, and the subsequent occupation of French Morocco. In February 1943, he was promoted to Brigadier General.

In April 1943, Brigadier General Macon was appointed as assistant division commander of the 83rd Infantry Division, nickname “Thunderbolt” . He succeeded Frank William Millburn as Commanding General of the division in January 1944 and was promoted to Major General on 01-06-1944. The  83rd Infantry Division casualties were, killed. 2.735, wounded. 11.678, missing, 547 and captured. 288, in 244 days of combat.

Major General Macon commanded the 83rd Infantry Division during operations in Normandy, including Operation Cobra and the drive on Saint-Malo. The division then screened the Allied advance along the Loire River Valley, and accepted the surrender of 20.000 German troops at Beaugency. The division drove through Lorraine and into Luxembourg, and then fought in the Battle of the Bulge. In 1945, the division advanced through Germany and linked up with Soviet troops on the Elbe in April.

Death and burial ground of Macon, Robert Chaunsey.

Major General Macon remained in command of the 83rd Division until 1946, when he became military attaché in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, USSR. He served there from 1946 to 1948, and then became Deputy Chief, U.S. Army Field Forces from 1949 to 1952. He retired in July 1952 and living in Washington D.C Macon died old age 90 on 20-10-1980. He is buried with his wife Lucy, who died age 70 on 07-05-1961, on the Arlington National Cemetery Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, Section 2-grave 3803-1.


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