George Decker

Last updated
George H. Decker
Decker.jpg
General George H. Decker, official portrait
Born(1902-02-16)February 16, 1902
Catskill, New York
DiedFebruary 6, 1980(1980-02-06) (aged 77)
Washington, D.C.
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1924–1962
Rank General
Commands held Chief of Staff of the United States Army
United Nations Command
United States Forces Korea
Eighth United States Army
VII Corps
5th Infantry Division
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Army Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Silver Star
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal

George Henry Decker (February 16, 1902 – February 6, 1980) was a general in the United States Army, who served as Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1960 to 1962.

Contents

Early life

Decker was born in Catskill, New York, and attended Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, receiving an economics degree in 1924. Afterwards he was a trustee of the college from 1964 to 1972. [1] He married the former Helen E. Inman in 1926.

Military career

Decker was commissioned a second lieutenant of infantry in June 1924, and began his army service with the 26th Infantry Regiment, then stationed at Plattsburg Barracks in upstate New York. In 1928, he was sent to Hawaii, where he served with the 35th Infantry Regiment until 1931. He was promoted to first lieutenant in April 1930. After attending advanced infantry training at the Infantry School at Fort Benning in 1932, he remained at Fort Benning with the 29th Infantry Regiment until 1935, followed by service at Vancouver Barracks, near Portland, Oregon with the 7th Infantry Regiment from 1935 to 1936 (during which time he was promoted to captain, in August 1935).

In 1936, Decker was sent to the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, from which he graduated in 1937. Subsequently, he served with the 10th Infantry Regiment at Fort Thomas, Kentucky and Fort McClellan, Alabama, and the 9th Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In 1940 he took command of Headquarters Company, I Corps, at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and was assistant supply and logistics officer, 1940–1941. In 1941 came a flurry of promotions: to temporary major (January), permanent major (June), and temporary lieutenant colonel (December). He was sent to Washington, D.C. to serve on the War Department General Staff, where he was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Supply. He was promoted to temporary colonel in October 1942 and became deputy chief of staff of the Third Army, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He was then sent overseas to the Southwest Pacific, where he became deputy chief of staff and then chief of staff of the Sixth Army, a position he held through the end of World War II. He had been promoted to temporary brigadier general in August 1944 and major general in June 1945, and participated in Sixth Army operations in New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and the Philippines.

Decker returned to Washington in 1946 to Headquarters, Army Ground Forces and Headquarters, Army Service Forces, but soon went back to the Pacific as deputy commanding general and chief of staff of United States Forces, Middle Pacific, Hawaii from 1946 to 1948.

Decker became commanding general of the 5th Infantry Division in 1948, and in 1950 was assigned to the Office of the Comptroller of the Army as Chief of the Budget Division. Promoted to temporary lieutenant general in 1952, he became Comptroller of the United States Army from 1952 to 1955. He was promoted to permanent brigadier general in April 1953 and permanent major general in July 1954. In 1955, he went to Germany as commanding general of VII Corps at Stuttgart, and was promoted to temporary general in May 1956.

From 1956 to 1957, Decker was deputy commander-in-chief of the United States European Command at its headquarters in Rocquencourt, outside Paris, France. From 1957 to 1959 he was commander-in-chief, United Nations Command, and commanding general, United States Forces Korea and Eighth United States Army.

Decker was appointed Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army in 1959, and on October 1, 1960 became Chief of Staff of the United States Army, serving in that capacity until September 30, 1962. Highlights of Decker's tenure were supervising augmentations to meet the crisis in Berlin (prompted by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961), increasing special warfare forces, initiating new divisional and forward depot concepts, and expanding the army to sixteen divisions. Decker retired at the end of his tenure.

Later life

Following his retirement, Decker was president of the Manufacturing Chemists' Association in Washington for the next seven years. He died of leukemia at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on February 6, 1980. [2]

Awards and decorations

[3]

Dates of rank

US-O1 insignia.svg Second Lieutenant, Regular Army: June 15, 1924
US-O2 insignia.svg First Lieutenant, Regular Army: April 6, 1930
US-O3 insignia.svg Captain, Regular Army: August 1, 1935
US-O4 insignia.svg Major, Army of the United States: January 31, 1941
US-O4 insignia.svg Major, Regular Army: June 15, 1941
US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant Colonel, Army of the United States: December 24, 1941
US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel, Army of the United States: October 1, 1942
US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General, Army of the United States: August 14, 1944
US-O8 insignia.svg Major General, Army of the United States: June 7, 1945
US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant Colonel, Regular Army: June 15, 1947
US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel, Regular Army: June 10, 1948
US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General, Army of the United States: June 10, 1952
US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General, Regular Army: April 24, 1953
US-O8 insignia.svg Major General, Regular Army: July 12, 1954
US-O10 insignia.svg General, Army of the United States: May 31, 1956
US-O10 insignia.svg General, Regular Army, Retired List: September 30, 1962

Related Research Articles

J. Lawton Collins United States Army general

General Joseph Lawton Collins was a senior United States Army officer. During World War II, he served in both the Pacific and European Theaters of Operations, one of a few senior American commanders to do so. He was Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the Korean War.

Bruce Palmer Jr. United States Army general (1913–2000)

Bruce Palmer Jr. was a general in the United States Army. He commanded the XVIII Airborne Corps during Operation Power Pack, the II Field Force, Vietnam during the Vietnam War, and was acting Chief of Staff of the United States Army from July to October 1972.

John R. Hodge 20th-century U.S. Army officer

GeneralJohn Reed Hodge was a highly decorated senior officer of the United States Army. His final assignment before retiring was as Chief of Army Field Forces from 1952 to 1953.

George M. Jones

George Madison Jones was a United States Army brigadier general most notable for leading the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II.

Dennis Reimer

Dennis Joe Reimer is a retired general of the United States Army, who served as the 33rd Chief of Staff of the Army from June 20, 1995 to June 21, 1999. He is also a graduate of Ranger and Airborne school.

Edward C. Meyer American military officer

Edward Charles "Shy" Meyer was a United States Army general who served as the 29th Chief of Staff of the United States Army.

Louis W. Truman

Lieutenant General Louis Watson Truman was a senior United States Army officer. He served as Commanding General of the Third United States Army Truman's father, Major General Ralph E. Truman, was a cousin of President Harry S. Truman, and he served as his Aide-de-Camp during Truman's inauguration in 1948.

George E. Stratemeyer US Air Force general

Lieutenant General George Edward Stratemeyer was a senior commander in the United States Air Force. He held senior command appointments in the China Burma India Theater of World War II and was Far East Air Forces commander during the first year of the Korean War.

Service summary of Douglas MacArthur

This is the service summary of Douglas MacArthur, a General in the United States Army, who began his career in 1899 and served in three major military conflicts, going on to hold the highest military offices of both the United States and the Philippines.

Roscoe B. Woodruff 1915 West Point graduate and career U.S. Army officer 1915–1953.

Major General Roscoe Barnett Woodruff was a career United States Army officer who fought in both World War I and World War II and served for 38 years. During World War II he commanded numerous divisions and corps in Europe and the Pacific.

Donald Blackburn United States Army general

Brigadier General Donald Dunwody "Don" Blackburn was a United States Army Special Forces officer, best known for his significant command and developmental roles in the U.S. Army Special Forces.

William Kelly Harrison Jr. U.S. Army Lieutenant General

William Kelly Harrison Jr. was a highly decorated officer in the United States Army with the rank of Lieutenant General. A graduate of the West Point Military Academy, he rose through the ranks to Brigadier general during World War II and distinguished himself in combat several times, while serving as Assistant Division Commander, 30th Infantry Division during the Normandy Campaign and the Battle of the Bulge. Harrison was decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest decoration of the United States military for bravery in combat, for his actions during Operation Cobra.

Briant H. Wells U.S. Army Major General

Briant Harris Wells was a highly decorated officer in the United States Army with the rank of major general. A veteran of Spanish–American and Philippine–American Wars, he later distinguished himself as chief of staff of the IV Corps during World War I and received Army Distinguished Service Medal.

Eugene M. Landrum

Major General Eugene M. Landrum was a senior United States Army officer. He is known primarily for defeating the Japanese in the Aleutian Islands Campaign at the start of World War II, being relieved as commander of the 90th Infantry Division shortly after the D-Day landings, and organizing the Pusan Perimeter to blunt the North Korean offensive during the Korean War.

Walter Henry Gordon U.S. Army Major General

Walter Henry Gordon was a decorated officer in the United States Army with the rank of major general. A veteran of Philippine–American War, he is most noted for his service as Commanding general, 6th Infantry Division during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in late 1918.

Paul Bernard Malone U.S. Army Major General

Paul Bernard Malone was a highly decorated officer in the United States Army with the rank of major general. Following his graduation from the United States Military Academy, he participated in the Spanish–American and Philippine–American Wars and commanded an Infantry Brigade in the last year of the World War I. Malone reached the rank of Brigadier general during that conflict and distinguished himself during the Battle of Soissons.

Martin F. Scanlon

Martin Francis Scanlon was a general officer in the United States Air Force during World War II.

Henry W. Buse Jr. U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant General

Henry William Buse Jr. was a lieutenant general in the United States Marine Corps. He was Chief of Staff, Headquarters Marine Corps and later commanding general of the Fleet Marine Force Pacific. Following his retirement from the Marine Corps, Buse served as assistant to three former presidents of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Charles Billingslea was a highly decorated officer in the United States Army with the rank of major general. A graduate of the United States Military Academy and trained Paratrooper, Billingslea received two awards of Distinguished Service Cross, second highest decoration of the United States military for heroism in combat, during World War II.

Major General Albert Eger Brown was a decorated officer in the United States Army. A graduate of West Point, he was a veteran of Pancho Villa Expedition and both World Wars and is most noted for his service as commanding general, 7th Infantry Division during the Aleutian Islands campaign.

References

  1. Gendebien, Albert W. (1986). The Biography of a College: A History of Lafayette College 1927 – 1978. Easton, PA: Lafayette College.
  2. Pearson, Richard (February 8, 1980). "Retired Gen. George Decker, 77, Dies, Army Chief of Staff in Early 1960s". Washington Post. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  3. 6000th Opron "The Starlifters" Tachikawa, A.B., Japan. HQ 5th A F. Fuchu, Japan.
Military offices
Preceded by
Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army
1959–1960
Succeeded by
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
1960–1962
Succeeded by