|Born||18 Jul 1886|
|Died||18 Jun 1945|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
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.
Last Major Revision: Nov 2008
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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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945