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Clayton P. Kerr
Born (1900-08-16)August 16, 1900
Died August 13, 1977(1977-08-13) (aged 76)
Place of birth Denver, Colorado
Place of death Dallas, Texas
Buried at Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1918–1962
Rank Major General
Unit Texas Army National Guard
Army National Guard
Commands held 2nd Battalion, 144th Infantry Regiment
Combat Command B, 49th Armored Division
49th Armored Division Artillery
49th Armored Division
Army National Guard
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Distinguished Service Medal (Army)
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal

Clayton P. Kerr (August 16, 1900 – August 13, 1977) was a United States Army Major General who served as commander of the 49th Armored Division and Director of the Army National Guard.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Clayton Price Kerr was born in Denver, Colorado on August 16, 1900. He was raised and educated in Dallas, Texas, and joined the National Guard as a member of Headquarters Troop, 6th Texas Cavalry in September, 1919.[1] He quickly advanced through the noncommissioned officer ranks, and became Sergeant Major of the 72nd Infantry Brigade.[2] In 1921 he received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the 56th Cavalry Brigade. He advanced through the ranks in command and staff positions, primarily with the 36th Infantry Division. His commands included Company E, 144th Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 144th Infantry.[3]

World War II[edit | edit source]

Kerr served with the 36th Division during the North African and Italian campaigns, initially as Inspector General and later as Chief of Staff.[4][5] In February 1944, he was assigned as the United States Representative and Deputy Commander of the Allied Military Mission to the Italian Army.[6][7]

Post World War II[edit | edit source]

Kerr was one of the original officers who formed the Texas Army National Guard’s 49th Armored Division. Among his assignments with the division was Commander of Combat Command B, and Commander of the Division Artillery.[8][9] He was promoted to Brigadier General in 1947.[10]

In 1958 Kerr was appointed Commander of the 49th Armored Division as a Major General.[11]

National Guard Bureau[edit | edit source]

In October, 1959 Kerr was named Chief of the Army Division (now Director of the Army National Guard) at the National Guard Bureau. He served in this position until his 1962 retirement.[12][13]

Military education[edit | edit source]

Kerr completed the Army officer courses for Infantry, Field Artillery and Air Defense Artillery. In addition, he was a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College.[14]

Awards and decorations[edit | edit source]

Kerr’s awards include: the Distinguished Service Medal; two awards of the Legion of Merit; and Bronze Star Medal.[15]

His foreign decorations included: Officer of the Order of the British Empire; Grand Commander, Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus (Italy); War Cross for Military Valor (Italy); Grand Officer of the Order of the Crown of Italy; War Merit Cross (Italy); and Knight Commander of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (Italy).[16]

In 1964 Governor John Connally recognized Kerr’s long years of dedicated service with a state promotion to Lieutenant General.[17]

Death and burial[edit | edit source]

Kerr died in Dallas on August 13, 1977.[18][19] He is buried at Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery in Dallas.[20]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. A.N. Marquis Company, The Monthly Supplement: A Current Biographical Reference Service, Volumes 7-8, 1946, page 213.
  2. United Press International, Brownsville Herald, New Guard Commander Appointed, October 26, 1958
  3. Breckenrdge American, Armory Dedication Speaker, February 17, 1957
  4. Robert L. Wagner, The Texas Army: A History of the 36th Division in the Italian Campaign, 1972, pages 48, 126
  5. Army, Navy, Air Force Journal, M/G Kerr Will Head Army Division of National Guard Bureau, Volume 97, Issues 1-26, 1959, page 164
  6. Milton Bracker, New York Times, Italian Students Join Arms Appeal, January 19, 1945
  7. New York Times, German Bridgehead Across Senio in Italy Is Wiped Out as Enemy Scores Elsewhere, January 20, 1945
  8. Kerrville Mountain Sun, Kerrville National Guard battery Preparing for Annual Maneuvers, June 28, 1951
  9. Paris News, Photo Caption: The General Inspects, December 11, 1956
  10. New York Times, Truman Names 24 Regular Generals, February 6, 1947
  11. United Press International, Galveston Daily News, Kerr Named Head of Texas Guard, October 27, 1958
  12. San Antonio Light, Kerr in Guard Post, October 22, 1959
  13. San Antonio Light, Gen. Kerr Ends Career, September 6, 1962
  14. United Press International, Brownsville Herald, New Guard Commander Appointed, October 26, 1958
  15. Dallas Morning News, Clayton Kerr, Ex-Assistant Chief of National Guard Bureau, Dies, August 14, 1977
  16. Fort Hood Armored Sentinel, General Kerr is Storybook Commander, June 12, 1959
  17. National Guard Association of the United States, The National Guardsman, Volume 18, 1964, page 38
  18. Social Security Death Index, entry for Clayton Price Kerr, accessed May 20, 2013
  19. Texas Death Index, 1903-2000, entry for Clayton Price Kerr, accessed May 20, 2013
  20. Clayton Price Kerr at Find A Grave, accessed May 20, 2013

External links[edit | edit source]

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