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Charles H. Bonesteel, Jr.
Major General Charles H. Bonesteel, Jr.
Born April 9, 1885 (1885-04-09)
Died June 5, 1964 (1964-06-06) (aged 79)
Place of birth Fort Sidney, Nebraska
Place of death Washington, D.C.
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 1908-1947
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Unit United States Army Infantry School
Commands held 1st Battalion 18th Infantry Regiment
1st Battalion 2nd Infantry Regiment
19th Infantry Regiment
VI Corps Area
5th Infantry Division
Iceland Base Command
United States Army Infantry School
Western Defense Command
G-1 Section, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force
General Inspectorate Section, U.S. European Theater of Operations
War Department Manpower Board
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Relations Major Charles Hartwell Bonesteel, Sr. (Father)
General Charles Hartwell Bonesteel III (Son)

Charles Hartwell Bonesteel, Jr. (April 9, 1885 – June 5, 1964) was a Major General in the United States Army. He commanded the United States Army Infantry School and the G-1 (personnel) staff section of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force during World War II. He was the father of General Charles H. Bonesteel III.


The son of U.S. Army Major Charles Hartwell Bonesteel, Sr. (1851 – 1902; West Point, 1876), the second Charles H. Bonesteel (pronounced "Bonn-eh-stel")[1] was born at Fort Sidney, Nebraska on April 9, 1885.[2] He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1908 and was appointed a Second Lieutenant of Infantry.[3]

His initial assignments included postings in the Philippines, Hawaii and Texas. During World War I he served with the 55th Infantry Regiment, and later at the Newport News, Virginia point of embarkation. From 1919 to 1924 Bonesteel was an instructor at West Point.[4]

Bonesteel graduated from the United States Army Command and General Staff College in 1926 and served on the staff of the Chief of Infantry until 1930. From 1930 to 1931 Bonesteel was assigned to the 18th Infantry Regiment, first as Commander of its 1st Battalion, and later as the regiment's Executive Officer, or second in command. In 1932 he graduated from the United States Army War College.[5]

From 1932 to 1940 Bonesteel's assignments included: Instructor and Section Chief at the Infantry School; Commander, 1st Battalion 2nd Infantry Regiment; and Commander of the 19th Infantry Regiment.[6]

Beginning in 1940 Bonetseel's service covered several command positions, to include: Chief of Staff, VI Corps Area and Second U.S. Army; Commander, VI Corps Area;[7] Commander, 5th Infantry Division;[8] Commander, Iceland Base Command;[9] Commandant of the Infantry School;[10] Commander, Western Defense Command;[11] and Assistant to the Commanding General, Twelfth United States Army Group. He was promoted to Brigadier General in 1940[12] and Major General in 1941.[13]

In 1944 Bonesteel was assigned as Commander of the G-1 (Personnel) Staff Section at SHAEF Headquarters. He remained in this position until 1945, when he was assigned as Chief of the General Inspectorate Section for the U.S. European Theater of Operations.[14] Later in 1945 Bonesteel returned to the United States as President of the War Department Manpower Board, where he served until retiring in 1947.[15]

General Bonesteel's awards and decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit and Bronze Star Medal.[16]

Bonesteel died at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. on June 5, 1964.[17][18] He was interred at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 3, Site 1374-A.[19]


  1. New York Times, Bonesteel of Iceland, May 17, 1942
  2. James Terry White, The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Volume 51, 1969, page 248
  3. George Washington Cullum, Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the United States Military Academy, Volume 5, 1910, page 820
  4. A. N. Marquis, The Monthly Supplement: A Current Biographical Reference Service, Volumes 1-2, 1940, page 194
  5. Marquis Who's Who, Who Was Who In American History: The Military, 1975, page 56
  6. Maxine Block, E. Mary Trow, Current Biography: Who's News and Why, 1942, pages 95 to 96
  7. Chicago Tribune, Gen. Bonesteel Made Chief of 6th Corps Area, October 11, 1940
  8. H. W. Wilson Company, Current Biography Yearbook, Volume 3, 1942, page 95
  9. New York Times, Bonesteel Made Chief in Iceland, April 28, 1942
  10. Peggy A. Stelpflug, Richard Hyatt, Home of the Infantry: The History of Fort Benning, 2007, page 152
  11. Christian Science Monitor, Petition Seeks to Allow Nisei Return to Coast, July 6, 1944
  12. New York Times, Eleven promoted in High Army Ranks, April 25, 1940
  13. Chicago Tribune, Name Bonesteel and Nine Others Major Generals, April 11, 1941
  14. Brenda Moore, To Serve My Country, to Serve My Race, 1997, Notes for Chapter 5
  15. Associated Press, Army Slashes its Civilian Personnel, Daytona Beach Morning Journal, August 30, 1946
  16. U.S. Army Adjutant General, Official U.S. Army Register, 1946, page 68
  17. New York Times, Maj. Gen. Charles H. Bonesteel, Officer in 2 Wars, Dead at 79, June 6, 1964
  18. Baltimore Sun, Bonesteel, General, Dies, June 6, 1964
  19. Thomas E. Spencer, Where They're Buried, 2009, page 457

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