Wharton, James Edward, born 02-12-1894 in Elk, Chaves County, New Mexico, grew up in New Mexico and Arizona, and graduated from the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts at New Mexico State University in 1917. He received his commision as a second lieutenant through the Reserve Officers Training Corps, ROTC.
Wharton was commissioned in the Infantry Branch . His first war and subsequent assignments included the 62nd and 57th Infantry Regiments under command of General James Garesche “Sunny” Ord
in the Philppines, and he later served at Camp Fremont, Fort Benning, Fort Lee, and with the 3rd U.S Infantry, nickname “The Old Guard” at Fort Snelling. Wharton also served as an instructor at the U.S Army Command and General Staff College. In addition to graduating from the U.S Army Infantry School at Fort Benning , Wharton was a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College, United States Army War College , and Army Industrial College.
He was Chief of the Officer Branch in the Personnel Division (G-1) of the War Department General Staff when the United States entered World War II In March, 1942, he was promoted to the temporary rank of Brigadier General as Director of the Military Personnel Division in the Army Services of Supply
.In 1943 he served as Assistant Division Commander of the 80th Infantry Division , under command of Major General Horace Logan McBride , during its creation and initial training. Wharton commanded the 1st Engineer Special Brigade on Utah Beach as part of the D-Day landings in Normandy. Wharton (left), escorts Admiral Harold Stark
on Utah Beach. Engineer Special Brigades were large organizations (15 to 20 thousand soldiers) which were responsible for transferring equipment and personnel off the beachheads and making them available for assault operations .General McBride died age 68 on 14-11-1962 in Orlando, Florida and casualties of the 80th Infantry Division during the European campaign total battle casualties 17.087, killed in action 3.038, wounded in action 12.484, missing in action 488 and prisoner of war 1.077.
On 12-08-1944 Wharton succeeded Major General Lloyd Davidson Brown as Commanding General (CG) of the 28th Infantry Division nicknamed “Keystone” . On the same day that Wharton took command, he was visiting his front line units in order to gain an understanding of their current situation. He was shot and killed, age 59, by a German sniper while at the command post of the 112th Infantry Regiment near Sourdeval Normandy. Wharton was succeeded in command of the 28th Infantry Division by General Norman Daniel ” Dutch”.Cota. General Brown died in Washington, Georgia on 17-02-1950 age 57,
Wharton was temporarily interred in France. He was later buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 34, Site 1198