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First Name: George

Last Name: Decker

Birthplace: Catskill, NY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Henry

Date of Birth: 16 February 1902

Date of Death: 06 February 1980

Rank: General

Years Served: 1924-1962
George Henry Decker

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


George Henry Decker
General, U.S. Army

George Henry Decker was born on 16 February 1902 in Catskill, NY. He attended Lafayette College in Easton, PA, and received a degree in Economics in 1924. He married Helen E. Inman in 1926.

Military Career

Decker's official U.S. Army biography says that he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in June 1924. He began his Army service with the 26th Infantry Regiment, then stationed at Plattsburg Barracks in upstate New York. In 1928, he was sent to Hawaii, where he served with the 35th Infantry Regiment until 1931. He was promoted to First Lieutenant in April 1930.

He attended Advanced Infantry Training at the Infantry School at Fort Benning, GA, in 1932. He remained at Fort Benning with the 29th Infantry Regiment until 1935, when he was transferred to Vancouver Barracks, near Portland, OR, to serve with the 7th Infantry Regiment from 1935-36. Decker was promoted to Captain in August 1935.

In 1936, he attended the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, KS; he graduated in 1937. Subsequently, he served with the 10th Infantry Regiment at Fort Thomas, KY and Fort McClellan, AL, and with the 9th Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg, NC. In 1940, he took command of Headquarters Company, I Corps, at Fort Jackson, SC, and was Assistant Supply and Logistics officer during 1940-41.

World War II

A rapid series of promotions took place in 1941: To temporary Major in January; to permanent Major in June; and to temporary Lieutenant Colonel in December. He was sent to Washington, DC to serve on the War Department General Staff, where he was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Supply. He was promoted to temporary Colonel in October 1942 and became Deputy Chief of Staff of Third Army at Fort Sam Houston, TX. He was then sent overseas to the Southwest Pacific, where he became Deputy Chief of Staff - and then Chief of Staff - of Sixth Army; a position he held through the end of World War II. He had been promoted to temporary Brigadier General in August 1944 and to temporary Major General in June 1945. He participated in Sixth Army operations in New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and the Philippines.

Post-War Service

In 1946, Decker returned to Washington to Headquarters, Army Ground Forces and Headquarters, Army Service Forces. However, he soon went back to the Pacific as Deputy Commanding General and Chief of Staff of U.S. Forces, Middle Pacific, Hawaii from 1946 to 1948.

General Decker took command of the 5th Infantry Division in 1948 and, in 1950, he was assigned to the Office of the Comptroller of the Army as Chief of the Budget Division. After his promotion to temporary Lieutenant General in 1952, he served as Comptroller of the Army from 1952 to 1955. He was promoted to permanent Brigadier General in April 1953 and to permanent Major General in July 1954. In 1955, he went to Germany as Commanding General of VII Corps at Stuttgart. He was promoted to temporary General in May 1956.

From 1956 to 1957, General Decker was Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. European Command at its headquarters in Rocquencourt, outside Paris, France. From 1957 to 1959 he served as Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command; and as Commanding General, U.S. Forces, Korea, and of Eighth U.S. Army.

In 1959, General Decker was appointed Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. On 1 October 1960, he became Chief of Staff of the Army and served in that capacity until 30 September 1962. According to his Army biography, highlights of his tenure as Chief of Staff included supervising augmentations to meet the crisis in Berlin (surrounding the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961); increasing special warfare forces; initiating new divisional and forward depot concepts; and expanding the Army to sixteen divisions. General Decker retired at the end of his tenure on 30 September 1962.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Silver Star Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 4 Bronze Campaign Stars
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
Philippine Independence Ribbon
Philippine Liberation Ribbon with 3 Bronze Stars
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation

Death and Burial

General George Henry Decker died on 6 February 1980 in Washington, DC. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 7.

Honoree ID: 217   Created by: MHOH




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