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First Name: Charles

Last Name: Potter

Birthplace: Lapeer, MI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Edward

Date of Birth: 30 October 1916

Date of Death: 23 November 1979

Rank: Major

Years Served:
Charles Edward Potter

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Charles Edward Potter
Major, U.S. Army

Charles Edward Potter was born on 30 October 1916 in Lapeer, MI, and attended the public schools there.

He received an AB degree from Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, in 1938. He worked as an administrator of Bureau of Social Aid in Cheboygan County, MI, from 1938-42. In 1942, he enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army with combat service in the European Theater of Operations with the U.S. 28th Infantry Division. He was seriously wounded at Colmar Alsace, France, in 1945, resulting in the loss of both legs. He was discharged from the service as a Major in 1946.

After the war, he was engaged as a vocational rehabilitation representative for the Retraining and Reemployment Administration with the U.S. Labor Department until his resignation in 1947.

Congressional Service

On 26 August 1947, Potter was elected as a Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan's 11th Congressional District for the 80th Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Fred Bradley. He was reelected to the two succeeding Congresses and served from 26 August 1947 until his resignation on 4 November 1952.

He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1952 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Arthur H. Vandenberg, replacing Blair Moody, who had been appointed to the post. He served the remainder of Vandenberg's term from 5 November 1952 to 3 January 1953. He was also elected in 1952 for the term commencing 3 January 1953, defeating Moody in both elections. He served until 3 January 1959, having been defeated for reelection to a second term in 1958 by Philip Hart.

During his tenure, he served as the only member of the Subcommittee on Korean War Atrocities, detailing the war crimes during the Korean War.

Later Career

After leaving Congress, Potter engaged as an industrial consultant and international securities executive. In his 1965 memoir, Days of Shame, he outlined the battle between moderate Republicans and Democrats to contend with Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy. Potter was a close confidante of President Dwight D. Eisenhower on this and other issues.

Potter was a member of the American Legion, Amvets, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Eagles, Elks, Kiwanis, and the American Battle Monuments Commission. He resided in Queenstown, MD, until his death.

Medals and Awards

Silver Star Medal (2 Awards)
Purple Heart
Croix de Guerre (France)


Author of "Days of Shame."

Death and Burial

Charles Edward Potter died on 23 November 1979 at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, DC, at the age of sixty-three. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 2973   Created by: MHOH




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