|Alfred Maximilian Gruenther|
Gen Alfred Gruenther, SACEUR (NATO Photo 1251)
|Born||March 3, 1899|
|Died||May 30, 1983(aged 84)|
|Place of birth||Platte Center, Nebraska|
|Place of death||Washington, D.C.|
|Place of burial||Arlington National Cemetery|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1919 - 1956|
|Commands held||Supreme Allied Commander Europe (1953-1956)|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Distinguished Service Medal (4)|
|Other work||American Red Cross president (1957-1964)|
Alfred Maximilian Gruenther (March 3, 1899 – May 30, 1983) as a four-star General after World War II, served as the Supreme Allied Commander (SACEUR) in Europe from 1953 to 1956.
Life and Military career
Gruenther was born in Platte Center, Nebraska. He attended St. Thomas Academy in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He graduated fourth in his class at the United States Military Academy in 1918. He was the youngest four-star general in U.S. history, advisor and planner to top generals in World War II. He served as chief of staff of the Third Army, Fifth Army, 15th Army Group, and was the principal American planner of the allied invasions of North Africa in 1942 and Italy in 1943. He is sometimes credited to be the youngest major general in the U.S. Army in World War II, but that distinction goes to James M. Gavin, who, as commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, was promoted to major general at the age of 37. Gruenther was promoted to the temporary rank of major general at the age of 43 or 44.
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, serving in that capacity until his retirement in 1956. He appeared on the cover of Time, February 6, 1956. General Gruenther retired from military service in 1956. After retiring from the Army, he served as president of American Red Cross from 1957 to 1964 and was a member of the Draper Committee, even appearing as a guest on February 10, 1957's successful TV quiz show What's My Line. Gruenther received a Litt.D. from Bates College in 1958. Gruenther was the recipient of many nations' medals, including the Distinguished Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters and honorary degrees from American universities.
His great-grandson, captain Lucas Gruenther, also became a distinguished member of the military before passing away on January 28, 2013, during a training mission over the Adriatic Sea in an F-16 jet fighter at the age of 32.
- Alfred Maximiliam Gruenter, General, Arlington National Cemetery biography.
- Biography, Nebraska State Historical Society.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower - American Presidency Project: Citation Accompanying the Distinguished Service Medal Presented to General Gruenther
- "Men, Missiles and Misunderstandings", address by Alfred Gruenther, Red Cross president, to the Empire Club of Canada, 25 Feb 1960.
- Appointment of Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) General Alfred B. Gruenther (US), July 1, 1953, NATO.
- Papers of Alfred M. Gruenther, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
- Finding aid for Alfred M. Gruenther Oral History, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
Gen. Matthew Ridgway
|Supreme Allied Commander Europe (NATO)
Gen. Lauris Norstad
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