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Buckner file photo [6630]

Simon Buckner

Given NameSimon
Born18 Jul 1886
Died18 Jun 1945
CountryUnited States


ww2dbaseSimon Bolivar Buckner, Jr. was born to Confederate States of America Army General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Sr., who surrendered to United States Army Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant at Fort Donelson, Tennessee when the Confederacy lost the American Civil War 20 years before the younger Buckner's birth. The younger Buckner was raised in rural western Kentucky, United States and attended the Virginia Military Institute. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York on the appointment of President Theodore Roosevelt, graduating in 1908. He served two tours of duty in the Philippine Islands and fought in WW1. During the inter-war period, he was an instructor at West Point between 1919 and 1923 and then again between 1932 and 1936, and was known to be very demanding. He also taught at the General Service Schools at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, United States and the Army War College in Washington, DC, United States.

ww2dbaseAt the start of the Pacific War, Brigadier General Buckner was placed in charge of the US Army Alaska Defense Command. In this role, he oversaw US Army operations during the Japanese attacks on the Aleutian Islands in 1942 and the American re-conquest in 1943. In Jul 1944, he was transferred to Hawaii, United States to command the Tenth Army, newly organized in preparation for the amphibious invasion of Taiwan, China that would never take place. Instead, the Tenth Army was employed against Okinawa, Japan. Late in the campaign, on 18 Jun 1945, while standing between two boulders observing the first combat operations of the US 8th Marine Regiment, six Japanese 47-mm shells landed in the immediate area, killing him. He was the highest ranking American lost during WW2.

ww2dbaseBuckner was posthumously promoted to the rank of general on 19 Jul 1954. He is interred in the family burial plot at Frankfort Cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Nov 2008


American leaders at Okinawa, Japan: Spruance, Nimitz, and Buckner, circa May 1945Lieutenant General Simon Buckner, Jr., Major General Lemuel Shepperd, and Brigadier General William Clement on Okinawa, Japan, 22 May 1945
See all 5 photographs of Simon Buckner

Simon Buckner Timeline

18 Jul 1886 Simon Buckner was born.
20 Jun 1944 The US Tenth Army, consisting of the XXIV Corps (US Army) and the III Amphibious Corps (US Marine Corps) was activated under the command of Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr.
18 Jun 1945 While inspecting the front lines at Okinawa, Japan, Simon Buckner was killed by shrapnel.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
10 Feb 2013 05:49:27 AM

A strict disciplinarian, General Buckner was seen as the archetypal career soldier. Described as a dynamic and inspirational leader, he was never afraid to lead his men from the front. When he was appointed commander of the US Tenth army for the invasion of Okinawa, he earned the respect of his subordinates by frequently visiting the front line troops. However, on 18 June 1945, during a visit to one of his favourite Marine Regiments, he was mortally wounded when a shell exploded over his observarion post, hurling a fatal splinter of coral into his chest.
2. Anonymous says:
13 Apr 2016 06:29:36 AM

this helps a lot
3. Jack says:
19 Jun 2016 07:28:30 PM

My father was with the 6th Marine Division, 22nd Marines. He was wounded on June 18 (shrapnel wound in the arm). He always said (still says at age 94) that it was from the same shelling that killed Buckner.
4. John says:
28 Jun 2016 08:28:54 PM

My father was with the HQ Co, 2nd Bat, 22nd Reg , 6th Marine Division and fought on Okinawa. As with Jacks Dad (above entry), my Dad was wounded in shelling on June 18th. I'd love to find out if he was with/near the General when wounded. If there is any way to have Jack contact me, I'd appreciate it. It'd be great to compare notes.
5. Anonymous says:
6 Feb 2019 09:44:27 PM

My grandfather was in the Army 29th Replacement Unit and may have fought at Saipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. I would like to learn more about this unit.

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More on Simon Buckner
Event(s) Participated:
» Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands
» Aleutian Islands Campaign
» Okinawa Campaign

Simon Buckner Photo Gallery
American leaders at Okinawa, Japan: Spruance, Nimitz, and Buckner, circa May 1945Lieutenant General Simon Buckner, Jr., Major General Lemuel Shepperd, and Brigadier General William Clement on Okinawa, Japan, 22 May 1945
See all 5 photographs of Simon Buckner

Famous WW2 Quote
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943

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