Charles C Sloane Jr.
Before its alert for duty in Korea the 9th had been commanded by West Pointer (1926) Charles C. ("Chin") Sloane, Jr., forty-eight. During World War II Sloane had been G2 to Eisenhower and Mark Clark in London, North Africa, and Italy. More recently he had gained fame for conceiving the idea of a well trained permanent "aggressor force" for Army war games, which had been publicized in Life magazine. After the 2nd Division had been alerted, Dutch Keiser "recalled many of his recently departed officers, Chin Sloane among them.[7-59]
Cullum No. 7957 • Jan 10, 1982 • Died in Menlo Park, CA
Interred in West Point Cemetery, West Point, NY
No foot will ever trod The Plain at West Point with more pride or fealty. And yet the fulfillment of that desire and dream seemed almost out of reach at one time. Charles Clifford Sloane, Jr. was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to parents that felt Princeton University was a more suitable institution for one to receive his education. “Chin,” as he was later known, did not see his future with the same eye. Early in his life, his parents had moved to Newburgh, New York.
From their multiacre estate that overlooked the Hudson River it was easy to see not only Hyde Park, but where the river made its final turn toward West Point. There is no doubt that the very proximity of the Military Academy had a profound influence on this future colonel. World War I had just ended. Charles wanted the opportunity to enter West Point, regardless of the wishes of his family. But the family would offer no help or assistance. Selling his bicycle produced sufficient funds for him to purchase a train ticket to Washington, DC, where he went to see a friend of the family, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States. It was, at this moment, that Woodrow Wilson became ill and had left the capital. Unable to see the President, Charles had only sufficient funds to return as far as New York City. There he enlisted in the United States Army at Governor’s Island in a program that ultimately led to an appointment at the United States Military Academy. In 1921, Charles C. Sloane, Jr., stood on The Plain at West Point and was administered the oath as a new cadet. But all was not easy academically, and graduation came only after five years.
At his first post, Plattsburgh Barracks, New York, he met and married Emma Dean Nichols, the year 1927. The next few years were spent at Schofield Barracks, Fort Benning, and then it was back to the 26th Infantry at Plattsburgh Barracks. This was during the time of the Civilian Conservation Corps and Citizens Military Training Camp camps. In 1936, Charles was assigned to the 33rd Infantry at Fort Clayton, Canal Zone, and in 1938, the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth. Nineteen thirty-nine found him as a company commander in the 15th Infantry at Fort Lewis. War seemed imminent, and the peacetime draft was underway. As aide de camp to General Charles F. Thompson, the next move was to Fort Jackson during the summer of 1941. Shortly after war was declared orders came that assigned him to Oxford University in England for training in their military intelligence school. The invasion of North Africa found Charles as G-2 to General Mark Clark and eventually G-2 of Allied Force Headquarters and 15th Army Group. After the war came tours at Fort Bragg and Fort Riley. It was at Fort Riley that Colonel Sloane developed the concept of the Aggressor force to fully enhance Army preparedness and overall capability. Various maneuvers took place at Fort Riley, Vieques Island, and Fort Bragg to test the concept.
The Aggressor concept is still in use today.
In 1949, Colonel Sloane was made regimental commander of the 9th
Infantry, at Fort Lewis.
In 1950, his regiment was sent to Korea. Although promoted to a staff position for a short period of time, he was reassigned to command the regiment because of his experience. It is well to note that integration of the black soldier, in combat, took place in the 3rd Battalion of the 9th Infantry. As was stated on television by Lieutenant General Julius Becton, in a series entitled, “The Different Drummer: Blacks in the Military”...“because our original commander, a Colonel C. C. Sloane, a very pragmatic, good leader...made it clear that when we started taking casualties or started getting replacements, he didn’t give a damn what color they were; as he put it, "put them where they are needed!”
Colonel Sloane’s military career ended at Fort Bragg in 1956 as a result of injuries sustained while serving his country. His last official duty was to serve on the Joint Tactical Air Support Board. A career that spanned more than thirty years ended as it began, on a parade ground of an Army post. His privilege was to serve, not only with the Eisenhowers, the Clarks, the Field Marshal Montgomerys, and others, but more specifically with the soldiers and officers of the 9th Infantry. While many revered him as their commander, no less reverence was returned in kind. This man, this soldier... be he dressed in cadet gray, or Army blue, marched to the drummer all his life ... a true personification of what the military meant and means, even today. And it is with the feeling of his family that the voice of Colonel Sloane, a former member of the chapel choir, can still be heard whenever “The Corps” is rendered in the Chapel high above The Plain where it all began. . . . Charles is survived by his wife, a son, and three granddaughters. Mrs. Sloane lives at 600 Sharon Park Drive, C-304, Menlo Park, CA 94025. Charles C. Sloane, Son
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