US Army GeneralDied when: 87 years 352 days (1055 months)
Star Sign: Taurus
Mark Wayne Clark (May 1, 1896 – April 17, 1984) was a United States Army officer who saw service during World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.
He was the youngest four-star general in the US Army during World War II.During World War I, he was a company commander and served in France in 1918, as a 22-year-old captain, where he was seriously wounded by shrapnel.
After the war, the future US Army Chief of Staff, General George C.Marshall, noticed Clark's abilities.During World War II, he commanded the United States Fifth Army, and later the 15th Army Group, in the Italian campaign.
He is known for leading the Fifth Army when it captured Rome in June 1944, around the same time as the Normandy landings.
Clark has been heavily criticized for ignoring the orders of his superior officer, British General Sir Harold Alexander, commanding the Allied Armies in Italy (AAI), and for allowing the German 10th Army to slip away, in his drive to take Rome, the capital of Italy but not strategically important.
Clark ordered Lucian Truscott, commanding U.S.VI Corps, to select Operation Turtle (moving towards Rome) rather than Operation Buffalo (moving to cut Route 6 at Valmontone), which Alexander had ordered.
Clark had, however, left Operation Turtle as an option if Operation Buffalo ran into difficulty.The German 10th Army then joined the rest of the German army group at the Trasimene Line.
On March 10, 1945, at the age of 48, Clark became one of the youngest American officers promoted to the rank of four-star general.
Dwight D.Eisenhower, a close friend, considered Clark to be a brilliant staff officer and trainer of men.Throughout his thirty-seven years of military service, Clark was awarded many medals, the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC), the US Army's second-highest award, being the most notable.
A legacy of the "Clark Task Force," which he led from 1953 to 1955 to review and to make recommendations on all federal intelligence activities, is the term "intelligence community."