MILITARY TANKS

Step close and get a sense of the strength of the cold metal on AFHMs authentic, fully restored, fully operational battle tanks, which are prominently displayed throughout the museum.  Get a sense of the combat they endured throughout their service.  Take a moment, put yourself in the turret – feel the power, feel the fear, feel the pride

History of the Tank

The history of tanks used in the military evolved over a period of time.  In the early days of warfare, the vision of protected mobility was limited due to the technology available.  It wasn’t until after the turn of the century that the two were finally able to merge.  In 1904, Austria introduced an armoured vehicle that would provide the foundation for the development of what would eventually develop into the armoured tank.  Military tanks are used throughout several military branches, including the US Army, US Marine Corps and other military groups around the world.

Limitations accompanied this innovative idea of the early 20th century.  Mainly, the vehicle was limited to tracks or terrains that were easy to navigate.  Various designs gave rise to the “caterpillar” track, which allowed more evenly distribution of the weight of the vehicle.  Another benefit offered by this pioneering idea was the added traction it offered as a vehicle.  Once the design for the military tank was refined, along with the United States, various countries – including Great Britain, Germany, USSR, Japan, to name a few – began to develop their own versions.  Introduced during WW I, the use of military tanks was greatly increased during WW II.

From the earliest vision to present day technology, military tanks have continued to evolve to meet the emerging demands of warfare.  Many infamous military tanks have planked our battlefields throughout history and are now available in model form.  Many model enthusiasts enjoy, not only collecting and assembling various tank models, they also appreciate the interaction available to them, via the internet, to share with collectors from around the world.

Remington’s Model 1100 Shotgun

Brief Overview of the Remington Model 1100 Shotgun

Remington’s Model 1100 Shotgun is a classic that changed the American shooter’s perspective of auto-loading shotguns.  This cutting edge model was designed by both Wayne Leek and Robert Kelley.  The Remington 1100 is a semi-automatic, gas-operated shotgun that became a quick favorite among sportsmen due in part to the significantly reduced coil and the model’s reliability.

 

Introduced in 1963, the Remington Model 1100 maintains an impressive record for firing the most shells (from an auto-loading shotgun) without any malfunctions or any parts requiring cleaning or replacing.  The shotguns record – an impressive 24,000 rounds.   The Remington Model 1100 Shotgun, considered by many to be one of the top shotguns in history, is the best-selling (auto-loading) shotgun in United States’ history.

History and Specifications for the Remington Model 1100

  • Manufacturer:  Remington Arms
  • Production Run:  1963 to Present Day
  • Total Produced to Date:  Over 4 million
  • Action:  Semi-automatic
  • Weight:  8 pounds with 28” barrel
  • Overall Length:  Varies
  • Barrel Length:  18 – 30 inches
  • Cartridge:  12 gauge, 16 gauge, 20 gauge, 28 gauge, .410 bore

Remington Model 1100 Series

  • Competition Synthetic
  • Classic Trap
  • Competition
  • Premier Sporting Series
  • Sporting Series
  • TAC 4

A common feature on semi-automatic shotguns (including the Model 1100) is a shell catcher.  Using this is especially beneficial when shooting Trap as it prevents close promiximity members of the squad from being hit with spent shells.

Though the Remington Model 1100 is quite often used for water fowl hunting and trap and skeet shooting, a couple of countries have used it in their militaries.  The shotgun is believed to be used by the Mexican naval Infantry and the Malaysian Special Operations Force.  In the United States, the Model 1100 is mainly utilized by law enforcement agencies.

Interesting Facts About the Korean War

The Armed Forces History Museum has a number of dioramas in its Korean War Gallery.  They include the Inchon Landing, MASH and the Battle of Chosin Reservoir to name a few. The museum also has a fully restored, fully operational M47 Patton Tank and an M41 Walker Bulldog Tank. Below is a list of interesting facts about the Korean War: The war started on 25 June 1950 after 75,000 N. Korean soldiers crossed over the 38th parallel in an attempt to impose communism on S. Korea. The war lasted from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953.  Over 7,000 US soldiers are still missing in action as a result of this war The Korean War resulted in close to 5 million dead, missing in action or wounded.  It is estimated that half of them were civilians. Peace negotiations after the war were fairly uncertain, which resulted in Congress extending the official ending of the war from its actual date – July 27, 1953, to January 3l, 1955.  This assisted with extending benefit eligibility for soldiers. In March of 2013, N. Korea declared the armistice that ended the war in 1953 invalid Though combatants signed a cease-fire to the conflict, there is no treaty or official ending of the war No formal declaration of war was ever declared by the United States.  President Truman never asked Congress. A total of 6.8 million American men and women served in the US military during the Korean conflict.  The United States suffered 54,200 casualties during the hostilities, of which 33,700 were battle related.

One of the Longest Surviving POWs – William Andrew Robinson

Bill RobinsonMany facts and stories from previous conflicts remain in the spotlight long after they have passed.  One that seems to elude many is the name of one of the longest surviving POWs – USAF Airman First Class William Andrew Robinson.  If asked, how many individuals would even be able to answer which conflict Bill was involved in?

 

Bill’s story begins on a typical mission day in Vietnam – September 20, 1965.  By the end of the day though, the mission would result in a life that was anything but typical.  And while most POWs have been interned for a number of years, Bill Robinson would endure 7 years and 5 months of captivity – the longest POW internment in US military history.

The mission of the Huskie Helicopter that Robinson and several others boarded that morning remains unclear.  The chopper was shot down, however, and Robinson and those aboard were all taken prisoner.

Robinson is shown here with a female guard. The photo became very popular in Vietnam, even appearing on postage stamps.

Robinson was transported to what was known as the “Hanoi Hilton Prison” by the North Vietnamese Army.  For the next seven years, Bill Robinson survived unthinkable conditions.  He was beaten, starved and often witnessed the death of his fellow prisoners.

Bill was finally released on February 12, 1973.  He accredits previous WWII, as well as Korean War, POWs for his survival.  He notes their experiences proved it was possible to survive the horrific day-to-day struggles of a POW.

Overview of Robinson’s Military Career

Robinson’s military career started just after graduation from high school in 1961.  After his training, he served stateside in Oklahoma and North Dakota and eventually overseas in Korea prior to being sent to Vietnam.  In April of 1965, Bill’s tour of duty in Vietnam was scheduled to last only four months.  Those four months, however, turned into almost eight years.  He describes his internment as boring “punctuated by terror” and notes the only communication he had with his fellow Americans was through a tap code they had devised.

Bill said he was able to survive by continually telling himself he was only in Vietnam for three days.  “I was shot down yesterday; today was today; and I was going to the house tomorrow.”  He remembers continually preparing himself for the prospect of being released and going home.  He knew he must remain strong – both physically and mentally – in order to survive.

Upon his release, Bill Robinson was commissioned to Lieutenant, but he always remains humble about his captivity.  He notes that he is but one of 7.3 million who can his story, because he survived.  Thousands upon thousands of stories died with those who did not survive their internment.

Captain Robinson has spoken many times about his POW ordeal.

Robinson continued his service and retired a Captain in 1984.  During his career, he was awarded the Air Force Cross, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the POW Medal and two Purple Hearts.

Robinson is remembered by many as one who set the standard for maintaining honorable duty even under the most unbearable conditions.   William Andrew Robinson, the longest surviving US military POW, has no doubt proven himself to be a true survivor.

Colonel Leonard T. Schroeder – 30 Years Service and First Man on Normandy Beach

Display Case WSThe Armed Forces History Museum in Largo, FL is proud to have a display case dedicated to Colonel Leonard T. Schroeder with the boots, equipment and uniform Schroeder was wearing that infamous day in World War II when he became the first man to step foot on Normandy Beach.  Other items are featured in additional display cases throughout the museum.   The case above has a number of additional items  also generously donated by Colonel Schroeder.  His voice can be heard narrating his D-Day experience by visitors as they through the AFHM’s D-Day Diorama.

 Leonard T. Schroeder Early Years

Born in Maryland on July 16, 1918, Leonard T. Schroeder would enter the United States Army in 1941 and serve the next 30 years – retiring as Colonel.  Throughout his military

Leonard T. Schroeder as captain during WWII

Leonard T. Schroeder

history, Schroeder would be remembered for a number of achievements, but his most infamous moment was when he made history as the first man to step foot on Normandy Beach during the D-Day Invasion.

His military interest began after high school when his full athletic scholarship took him to the University of Maryland where he enrolled in ROTC – Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.  Upon graduation in 1941, Schroeder was commissioned a second lieutenant of the United States Army and assigned to the 4th Infantry Division.  He was stationed at Camp Gordon (close to Augusta, GA) until September of 1943, at which time, his division was sent to Florida.  While in Florida, the 4th Infantry Division would begin training for assault landings using various amphibious crafts.  They completed their training in January of 1944 and were then sent to the south of England.  Here, they continued to practice in preparation of the Normandy Landings.

D-Day Invasion – June 6, 1944

On June 6, 1944 – the day of the D-Day Invasion – Schroeder, a 25-year old captain, was in command of 219 men in Company F – a part of the 2nd Battalion, the 8th Infantry Regiment and the 4th Infantry Division.  It was the 8th Infantry Regiment that received the orders to make the first landing on Utah Beach.

The night before the landings on a ship (USS Barnett) from England to France, the men listened to General Eisenhower – Supreme Allied Commander – as he encouraged the troops in his radio address:  ‘Together, we shall achieve victory.’  Later, the commanders were called together by Lt. Col. MacNeely – the 2nd Battalion commander – to the

Troops coming ashore in Normandy

Troops coming ashore in Normandy

quarters of Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.  Here they received their final briefing prior to the invasion.  Afterwards, the officers shook hands and wished each other well.  Lt. Col. MacNeely approached Schroeder (nicknamed ‘Moose’), put his arm around his shoulder and told him to “Give ‘em hell!”  Schroeder replied:  “Well, colonel, I’ll see you on the beach!”

Roosevelt requested Schroeder take him in his boat and get him to the shore.  At the time, Roosevelt was not in the best of health.  On June 6, 1944 at 2:30 in the morning, Schroeder and his company left the USS Barnett and boarded their landing craft.  Before making that journey, Schroeder wrote to his wife and told her where he was and talked about his mission.  He also expressed how much he loved her.  Later that morning at 6:28, Schroeder’s unit – two minutes ahead of schedule – was the first of 20 landing crafts to come ashore on Utah Beach.  Schroeder and his boat of 22 men (including Roosevelt) were the first to reach the beach and Schroeder became the first American soldier to set foot on the beaches of Normandy that day.  He had Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. at his side.

Due to rough waters in the English Channel, close to 80% of the men on the boat were sick and as they neared the shore, the Allies were still shelling their intended destination.  As Schroeder left the landing craft, he kept his pistol above the water as he waded in the last 100 yards.  The soldiers all met enemy fire, underwater mines, barbed wire and even trenches.  Schroeder’s mission was to move five miles inland and liberate a local village.  The march would end with half his men dead and Schroeder himself shot.  The two wounds he received in his left arm required hospitalization in England and eventually in South Carolina.   The severity of the wounds almost forced an amputation of Schroeder’s arm.

When later asked, Schroeder said he was too frightened to think about much of anything, let alone being the first man ashore.  He would be become known as ‘the first

GI to invade Europe’.  Schroeder would receive several awards and decorations as a result of his actions, including a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart as a result of his actions throughout World War II.

After the war, Schroeder stayed in the Army as a career officer.  In his 30 years of active duty he saw combat – in addition to WWII – in Korea and Vietnam.  His overseas assignments would take him to England, Turkey and Greece; and in the United States, he was stationed at Ft. Knox, KY and Ft. Meade, MD, which was close to his childhood home.

Life After Retirement

Schroeder retired a full colonel from the United States Army in 1971.  He and his wife

Colonel Schroeder later in life

Colonel Schroeder later in life

Margaret (with whom he had three children) moved to Largo, FL.  On June 6, 1994 – the 50 year anniversary of the D-Day Landings – Retired Colonel Schroeder was honored in Normandy.  He was featured on a French television broadcast and featured on the cover of the June 2, 1994 French magazine VSD along with an article written about his life and his D-Day experience.  Just prior to his May 26, 2009 death, Schroeder recollected his 30 years in the service and said he still missed the comradery and the family-like brotherhood he experienced with the US Army.

Colonel Leonard T. Schroeder will always be remembered for being the first man to step foot on Utah Beach during the D-Day Landings of World War II.

The Korean War Inchon Landing

At the Armed Forces History Museum, the landing at Inchon Korea by the 1st US Marine division was an outstanding and incredible feat and risk taken by General MacArthur.   This diorama, with the LST features a platoon of US marines in full gear.  The platoon was led by Lt. Baldomero Lopez, who in this diorama is mounting the ladder and going over the top of the 40 foot high wall.  Shortly after climbing over the wall, Lt. Lopez heroically gave his life as he rolled onto a grenade to save his platoon.  This outstanding and courageous young officer was from Tampa, FL and received the Medal of Honor posthumously.

In memory of Lt. Lopez, his family generously donated Lt. Lopez’s uniforms and other pieces of memorabilia, including his uniform the US Naval Academy at Annapolis.  These rare pieces of military memorabilia are an outstanding example of continuing support for the museum by the public.

Also on display in this area is a BAE 40mm anti-aircraft gun being towed by a WC51 Weapons Carrier.  Both pieces are original and in excellent operating condition.

A Brief Review of the Inchon Landing

A battle of the Korean War, the Battle of Inchon (or the Inchon Landing) was an amphibious invasion and the turning point of the war in favor of the United Nations.  Over 75,000 troops, along with 261 naval vessels, took part in this invasion, which – in just two weeks – led to the recapture of Seoul, the capital of South Korea.  Gaining control of Seoul meant the NKPA (North Korean People’s Army) were somewhat severed from their supply lines in South Korea.  The Battle of Inchon also ended a string of victories that had recently been experienced by the NKPA.

Ground forces that took part in this invasion included the U.S. Marines, who were being commanded by the US Army’s General Douglas MacArthur.  This type of amphibious assault was the result of General MacArthur’s own vision.  Due to extenuating circumstances of the war, MacArthur felt it was crucial to not only make such a decisive move, but the move itself must be executed behind enemy lines.  Previous assault plans involving other areas failed prior to choosing Inchon.  MacArthur felt the element of surprise would be to his advantage as the enemy would not be expecting an invasion in such a heavily defended area.

Within a few days of relinquishing resistance, the North Koreans took note of their error and countered sending T-34 tanks to the beach unsupported by infantry troops.  However, an F4U strike force discovered the tanks and two sets of F4U Corsair’s bombed these tanks.  The tanks were heavily damaged as a result of this assault with the U.S. losing only one plane.  This attack was quickly followed by M26 Pershing tanks which were able to destroy the balance of the North Korean armored division, clearing the path to capturing Inchon.

Germany’s WWII Sturmgewehr 44 – StG 44

Germany’s WWII Sturmgewehr 44 – or StG 44 for short – assault rifle was developed in the early 1940s.  This rifle was used extensively by the German military once it entered into service in 1943 and is considered by some to be one of the top rifles of all time.  Many historians refer to the Sturmgewehr 44 as the very first modern assault rifle.  Earlier versions from the developmental stage of the StG 44 are MP 43 and MP 44.  Though these two earlier versions are developments of the same weapon, a number of differences exist between them.

The Armed Forces History Museum has a Sturmgewehr 44 on display in their Firearms and Ordnance Gallery.  This area houses a variety of impressive weapons dating back to the Revolutionary War.

The StG44 design was based on both the carbine submachine gun and the automatic rifle.  This assault weapons name was purposely chosen as it means ‘storm rifle’.  The designation of the term ‘assault rifle’ resulted in the English translation for this type of arms.

A Brief Look at the History of the StG 44

At the beginning of WWII, the weapons used by the German army were comparable to the ones being used by other military forces – a combination of bolt action rifles and another form of light or medium machine guns.  The Germans, however, unlike most infantries placed emphasis on the use of the machine gun as a primary weapon.

Rifles were also found to be more counterproductive in cramped quarters – such as an armored vehicle.  As a result, sub-machine guns were issued, but were found to be less effective and not as accurate at ranges beyond 100 meters.  As the war escalated, the need for a weapon with intermediate rounds became clear and in 1941, the Polte 8 x 33 mm Kurzpatrone was selected.  Some modifications were made – including the rifle cartridge which was changed to a 7.92 x 33 mm.

After World War II

Following the war, the StG 44s design had an effect throughout the world.  Post war, Russia began producing the AK-47 and later, the US began producing the M16 and its variants.  The use of a weapon with less powerful rounds was already underway in the West with the M1 Garand and the Springfield.

The Sturmgewehr 44 continued to be used by the East German Nationale Volksarmee.  Eventually though, it was replaced with variants of the AK-47.  Several countries continued to use the StG 44 up into the 1980s.

Specifications for the StG44 Assault rifles

  • Service History:  1943 thru 1945
  • Designed:  1942
  • Total Number Built:  Estimated 426,000
  • Cartridge:  7.92 x 33mm Kurz
  • Action:  Gas-operated, tilting bolt
  • Rate of Fire:  550 to 600 rounds per minute
  • Effective Range:  300 meters for the automatic

600 meters for the semi-automatic

Germany’s Sturmgewehr 44 – StG 44 – was mainly used during World War II, but it did appear in post-1945 conflicts around the world and as recent as August, 2012, close to 5,000 of the MP44 designation were discovered by the Free Syrian Army – they all appeared in good condition.

M113 Armored Personnel Carrier

The M113 is an amphibious armored personnel carrier that was put into service in 1960.  It was first used in the Vietnam War in 1962 and became the most extensively used armored vehicle in the US military in that war.  Though mainly referred to by the allies as an APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) or ACAV (armored cavalry assault vehicle), the M113 was often referenced by its nickname ‘Green Dragon’.  This carrier was capable of breaking through heavy jungle thicket, allowing troops to attack even the most remote enemy positions.

The M113, unlike its predecessor the M59, was made out of aluminum armor, which still provided protection against small arms fire, but made it lighter in comparison.  The lighter weight of the M113 made it easier to transport.  The US Army mainly uses the M113 today as an armored ambulance, mortar carrier or an engineer or command vehicle.  Front-line combat missions were taken over by the M2 and M3 Bradley.

Development of the M113

The M113 was also developed by the Food Machinery Corporation (FMC), manufacturers of the M59 and M75.  It bore a striking resemblance to these two earlier personnel carriers and was a combination of the best features of each.  FMC worked in conjunction with Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Company to come up with the M113s lighter armor.    FMC submitted two design proposals to the Army – the aluminum T113 and the T117, which was made mostly from steel.  The lighter aluminum, however, provided as much protection as the steel so in 1960, the US Army adopted the prototype, now known as the M113.  Once the M113 was implemented in Vietnam, it became quickly noted that survivability of the exposed commander was crucial.  Eventually, shields were created using scraps from armored vehicles.

Brief Look at the Military Use of the M113

Vietnam – the M113s were utilized heavily during the Vietnam War.  They were often used in offensive operations and search and destroy missions and were part of two of the largest invasions in Vietnam – Cambodia in 1970 and Laos in 1971.

Other Combat – Variants of the M113 Personnel Carrier have also been used in the Invasion of Panama, the Iran-Iraq War, the Persian Gulf War and the Iraq War and are still being used today in Afghanistan.  These later variants have been modernized with newer technology and upgrades.

Specifications

  • Crew:  2
  • Passengers:  11
  • Main Armament:  M2 Browning machine gun
  • Operational Range:  300 miles
  • Speed:  42 miles per hour / 3.6 miles per hour in the water

The M113 variants remain in service today bringing total production of this armored personnel carrier well over 80,000 vehicles.

WWII Women’s Army Air Corps

The WWII Women’s Army Air Corps was implemented in 1942 through joint efforts of various Army bureaus.  Coordinating it all was Lt. Col. Gilman Mudgett.   When the expected 11,000 women turned into 150,000 (throughout WWII), Mudgett’s initial plans had to be revised.

The Beginning

Initially, 800 women joined the WAAC and began their basic training.  The Army published a training manual in order to set physical standard requirements for these women.  The manual pointed out the woman needed to be ready to replace the men – to be prepared to take over.

Besides the nurses, the WAACS were the first women to serve in the US Army.  With the shortage of men, it was necessary for the Army to impose a new policy which supported women serving in uniform.  The majority of the women who served remained stateside; however, some were sent abroad to Europe, North Africa and New Guinea.  Two weeks after the Normandy Invasion, WACS landed on the beach to further assist the Army.

 

Opposition and Support

While some men vehemently opposed women serving in uniform, others – like General Douglas MacArthur – were supportive of women in the service.  General MacArthur is said to have referred to the women as some of his best soldiers.  Others who supported women in this new role felt the women were better disciplined, worked harder and complained less.  General Dwight D. Eisenhower also recognized their contribution to the war stating, “their contributions in efficiency, skill, spirit and determination are immeasurable.”

Current Day

In 1978, the WAAC branch was dispersed and each branch was converted into the Military Occupational Specialty in which it worked.  This put women – for the first time – side by side serving in the same unit as the men, quite a contrast from their 1942 beginning.  The WWII Women’s Army Air Corps is one of the organizations from this era which opened the door for women’s role in the service.

U.S. Army’s Youngest General – Mark W. Clark

Mark Clark

Mark Wayne Clark in 1943

U.S. Army’s youngest General, Mark W. Clark, is thought by many to be one of the best U.S. Generals of World War II.  His service career started in April of 1917 as a graduate of West Point Academy.  He was appointed as a 2nd lieutenant of Infantry but rose quickly in rank with the rapid escalation of the United States involvement in WWI.    By August of that same year, he was already a captain.

More Promotions for Clark

During WWI, Clark served in France with the US 11th Infantry.  As a result of the serious shrapnel wounds he received, he was transferred General Staff Headquarters of the First US Army and then eventually began serving with the Third Army in Germany.

Following World War I, General Marshall took note of Clark’s capabilities.  From 1921 – 24, Clark served in the office of the Secretary of War as an aide.  The following year (1925), he finished his professional officer’s course at the Infantry School.  From there, Clark began serving as a staff officer with the 30th Infantry in San Francisco.  He then went to the Indiana National Guard where he served as a training instructor.  It was during this time he received a promotion to Major (January, 1933).

Duties from 1935 through 1940

  • 1935-36:  Deputy commander of Civilian Conservation Corps in Omaha, NE
  • 1935:  Tour at Command and General Staff School
  • 1937:  Tour at Army War College
  • 1940:  Chosen to instruct at Army War College

While at the Army War College, Clark was promoted to lieutenant colonel.  In August of 1941, Clark received a two grade promotion to brigadier general.  As the US Army was gearing up for possible entry into WWII, Brigadier General Clark served as Assistant Chief of Staff at General Headquarters for the US Army located in Washington, DC.

Clark in WWII

Clark made significant advances during the early stages of World War II:

  • January, 1942:  Served as Deputy Chief of Staff Army Ground Forces
  • May, 1942:  Chief of Staff Army Ground Forces
  • June, 1942:  Sent to England as command general of II Corps
  • July, 1942:  Became Commanding General – Army Forces European Theater of Operations
  • August 1942:  Deputy commander in chief of Allied Forces in N. African Theater  

Clark was involved in the planning and directing of Operation Torch – the invasion plan for North Africa.  He was taken into N. Africa by a British submarine – the Seraph.  He arrived several weeks prior to the invasion in an effort to negotiate the surrender and ask for the cooperation of the Vichy French, which took place in October of 1942.

In November of 1942, shortly after the conclusion of the negotiations, Clark received a promotion to lieutenant general.  He was eventually made commanding general of the newly formed overseas field army – the US Fifth Army.  His task was to train the unit for

Clark on USS Ancon - landings at Salerno, Italy - September 1943

Clark on USS Ancon

an assault on Italy.  The invasion was scheduled for September of 1943 and known as ‘Operation Avalanche’.  However, it was reported by some British historians that Clark almost failed when he landed at Salerno, citing poor planning on his part.

Also in question was his bombing of the Abbey of Monte Cassino in February of 1944.  Though Clark gave the order, it was in fact based on direct orders he received from his superiors.    During the Battle of the Winter Line, Clark’s conduct of operation once again came under scrutiny based on evidence which suggested he was motivated by the fame that would most certainly result from entering Rome as a ‘conqueror’.

Though Rome was liberated, it resulted in Clark failing to exploit a gap in German positions, which allowed a large number of German forces to escape and strengthen the area that was to become known as the Gothic Line.   Though thanked by Pope Pius XII, others felt Clark’s action were best described as irresponsible and insubordinate.

Clark:  1944 – 1947

In December of 1944, Clark was given command of the Allied ground troops stationed in Italy.  They were given the name – 15th Army Group.  And in March of 1945, Clark received his promotion to General.  As the war neared an end, Clark found himself as Commander of Allied Forces in Italy and eventually US High Commissioner of Austria.  In 1947, Clark would serve as deputy to the US Secretary of State.  He assisted in negotiating the Austrian Treaty and upon returning home in June of 1947, he took command of the Sixth Army, whose headquarters were in San Francisco.  Two years later, Clark became chief of Army Field Forces.

 Later Years

In May of 1952, Clark succeeded General Ridgway as commander of the United Nations Command.  After retiring from the US Army, he served as president of the prestigious military college – the Citadel – from 1954 to 1965.  Clark’s military career spanned 24 years, during which time he rose through the ranks rapidly.  Some feel it was due in part to his association with General George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower.

Along with his impressive rank at such a young age, Clark accumulated a number of awards and decorations including the Distinguished Service Cross, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, WWI and WWII Victory Medals and the Korean Service Medal, just to name a few.

Though some of his military career may be considered controversial, no doubt, General Clark, the youngest U.S. Army General, and his service left an indelible mark on the history of the United States military.