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Charles H. Bonesteel III
General Charles Hartwell Bonesteel III
Nickname Tick
Born September 26, 1909 (1909-09-26)
Died October 13, 1977 (1977-10-14) (aged 68)
Place of birth New York City, New York
Place of death Alexandria, Virginia
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army
Years of service 1931-1969
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held 24th Infantry Division
VII Corps
Eighth United States Army
United States Forces Korea
United Nations Command Korea
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Awards Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit (2)
Relations Major General Charles Hartwell Bonesteel, Jr. (father)

General Charles Hartwell Bonesteel III (September 26, 1909 – October 13, 1977) was an American military commander, the son of Major General Charles Hartwell Bonesteel, Jr. and grandson of Major Charles R. Bonesteel, Sr. (1851-1902). He served in the United States Army during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. In the 1960s, he served for a time as commander United States Forces Korea during the Korean DMZ Conflict (1966-1969).

Early life

Bonesteel was born on September 26, 1909, in New York City. As a teenager, he was an Eagle Scout and was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award by the Boy Scouts of America.[1]

Military career

General Bonesteel with distinctive eyepatch
General Bonesteel distinguishing "eyepatch", the result of surgery for a detached retina.[2]
General Bonesteel welcoming the crew of USS Pueblo
General Bonesteel, welcoming the crew of USS Pueblo following the Pueblo Incident.

A 1931 graduate of the United States Military Academy, at West Point Bonesteel received the lifelong nickname of "Tick." After graduation, he was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford.[3][4]

After carrying out a series of command and staff assignments, he served in the United States and Europe during World War II in a number of senior positions. With the surrender of Japan imminent, Bonesteel, General George A. Lincoln, and Colonel Dean Rusk of the Strategy Policy Committee at the Pentagon were tasked with drawing up General Order No. 1 to define the areas of responsibility for US, Soviet and Chinese forces. On August 10, 1945, with Soviet forces already moving through Manchuria into northern Korea, Bonesteel proposed the 38th parallel as the Division of Korea. The draft General Order was cabled to the Soviets on 15 August and accepted by them the following day.[5] In the postwar era, Bonesteel served as special assistant to the Secretary of State. In November 1958, in an official capacity, he visited the city of Saigon, Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). He also served as commanding general of the 24th Infantry Division (1961–1962), and commanding general of the VII Corps (1962–1963). Bonesteel served as the Commander of United States Forces Korea (and Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command Korea; Commanding General, Eighth Army) from 1966 to 1969. During this period he defended against North Korean infiltration during the Korean DMZ Conflict (1966-1969) and dealt with tensions arising from the January, 1968 Pueblo Incident.

While in the service of the Army, Bonesteel was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal twice and the Legion of Merit twice. He retired in 1969.

Later life

Bonesteel died on October 13, 1977, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery near his father and grandfather.


  1. "Distinguished Eagle Scouts". Retrieved 2010-11-04. 
  2. "Eyepatch" was actually an opaque lens of his eyeglasses. Dane Publishing Company, Scenes from an Unfinished War: Low Intensity Conflict in Korea 1966-1969, 1991, page 10
  3. St. Petersburg Times, Charles Bonesteel, Retired General, October 15, 1977
  4. Lewis Sorley, editor, Vietnam Chronicles: The Abrams Tapes, 1968-1972, 2004, page 245
  5. Chong-sik Lee (December 1985). "Why did Stalin accept the 38th Parallel?". Asia International Quarterly. 

External links

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