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Robert Michrist Cannon
General Cannon as Deputy Commander of U.S. Army Pacific, 1957
Born August 16, 1901 (1901-08-16)
Died September 3, 1976 (1976-09-04) (aged 75)
Place of birth Salt Lake City, Utah
Place of death Norwalk, Connecticut
Place of burial San Francisco National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1925-1961
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Commands held 82nd Airborne Division Artillery
U.S. Army Advisory Group, Turkey
Army Audit Agency
Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group, Philippines
Sixth United States Army
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal

Robert Milchrist Cannon was a United States Army Lieutenant General. He was notable for his World War II service in the China Burma India Theater and his command of Sixth United States Army.

Early life[]

A member of Utah's prominent Cannon family,[1] Robert Milchrist Cannon was born on August 16, 1901, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Start of military career[]

Cannon attended the University of Utah for two years[2][3] before transferring to the United States Military Academy. He graduated in 1925, received a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery branch, and was initially assigned to Fort D.A. Russell, Wyoming.[4]

In 1927 Cannon completed the Army Air Corps Primary Flying School.[5]

Cannon attended the Battery Officers Course in 1931.[6]

In 1938 Cannon graduated from the Army Command and General Staff College.[7]

Prior to World War II Cannon served as an instructor at the Army's Fort Sill, Oklahoma Field Artillery School.[8]

World War II[]

Cannon questions Japanese commander, Miyake Island, Japan, September 1945

In World War II Cannon served in the China-Burma-India Theater, advancing to brigadier general and chief of staff for the Northern Combat Area Command.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]

Post World War II[]

After World War II Cannon served as chairman of an Army board which interviewed and made recommendations on applicants for commissions as officers.[17] He also served as Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics, G-4 for Sixth United States Army.[18]

In 1948 Cannon attended the Basic Airborne Course in preparation for his assignment to the 82nd Airborne Division, afterwards taking command of the Division Artillery.[19]

Cannon served as commander of the U.S. Army Advisory Group in Turkey from 1951 to 1952.[20][21][22]

From 1952 to 1953 Cannon was head of the Army Audit Agency.[23]

Cannon then served as Chief of the Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group which advised the Philippine government during its effort to stop the Hukbalahap insurgency.[24][25][26][27][28][29]

Following his Philippines assignment, Cannon was appointed Service Special Assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for Mutual Defense Advisory Pact Affairs.[30]

Later military career[]

Cannon served as Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff for United States Army Pacific, receiving promotion to Lieutenant General.[31][32][33]

In 1958 Cannon was a participant in the ceremony used by the Army to select World War II and Korean War remains for placement in the Tomb of the Unknowns.[34][35][36][37]

From 1959 until his 1961 retirement General Cannon served as commander of the Sixth United States Army.[38][39][40][41][42][43][44]

Awards and decorations[]

Cannon's awards included the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star Medal.[45][46]

Retirement and death[]

General Cannon retired to San Francisco. He died in Norwalk, Connecticut on September 3, 1976, after being stricken while visiting his daughter JoAnne Schwartz in Wilton, Connecticut.[47][48] He was buried in San Francisco National Cemetery, Plot H-35.[49][50]


While stationed at Fort Sheridan, Illinois in 1928 Cannon married Josephine Riter (1902–1991), a member of another family prominent in Utah.[51][52]


  1. Newsletter, Descendants of George Cannon and Ann Quayle serving in the Armed Forces of the United States of America in World War II, by George Cannon Family Association, October 1, 1944
  2. List of Past recipients, Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Utah Alumni Association, 2010
  3. Newspaper article, General Robert Cannon to Visit Ogden Area, Ogden Standard-Examiner, November 9, 1959
  4. Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, by George Washington Cullum and the United States Military Academy Association of Graduates, Volume 7, 1930, page 1962
  5. Official U.S. Army Register, published by U.S. Army Adjutant General, 1949
  6. Who was Who in America With World Notables, published by Marquis Who's Who, 1981, page 96
  7. Official U.S. Army Register, published by U.S. Army Adjutant General, 1957
  8. Newspaper article, New Wahiawa Ward Bishop Attains Rank as Full Colonel, Deseret News, August 8, 1959
  9. Newspaper article, Allies Prepare For Burma Trek, by Bill Mcaffin, Associated Press, published in C.B.I. Roundup military newspaper, October 8, 1942
  10. Newspaper article, Many-Tongued Army Burma Bound, Hartford Courant, January 9, 1944
  11. Newspaper article, Drive To Clear Burma Rolls On, Baltimore Sun, December 9, 1944
  12. Photo caption, Remembering the Forgotten Theater, China-Burma-India on the Internet, by Carl Warren Weidenburner, undated, accessed February 19, 2011
  13. Newspaper article, Gen. Stilwell Honored; Dam, Lake at West Point Are Named for War Commander, New York Times, July 27, 1949
  14. Book excerpt, First Convoy Over Ledo Road, by Carl Warren Weidenburner, undated, accessed february 19, 2011
  15. Plans and Preparations for the North Burma Campaign: October-December 1943, The U.S. Army in World War II: China-Burma-India Theater, by Charles F. Romanus and Riley Sunderland, 1954, Part One, Chapter I
  16. Newspaper article, Cannon Named General, Ogden Standard-Examiner, August 18, 1944
  17. Newspaper article, Two Boards Appointed at Fort to Interview reenlisting Officers, Deseret News, January 22, 1946
  18. Newspaper article, Armistice Fete Stirs Missoula, Spokane Spokesman-Review, November 12, 1947
  19. Newspaper article, Army Transfers Four Generals, V.M.I. Cadet, the newspaper of the Virginia Military Institute, April 12, 1948
  20. Army, Navy, Air Force Journal, Volume 89, Issues 27-52, 1952, page 1458
  21. Newspaper article, Turks Pick Up US Methods Speedily, Los Angeles Times, September 11, 1951
  22. Newspaper article, Cannon to Leave Turk Post, by United Press International, Stars and Stripes, Pacific Editions, July 24, 1952
  23. Appendix B, Principal Officials of the War Department and Department of the Army, 1900-1963 Special Studies From Root to McNamara, Army Organization and Administration, by, James E. Hewes, Jr., U.S. Army center of Military History, 1975
  24. Newspaper article, U.S. Aide Accused on Vote by Quirino; Defeated Philippine Chief Says General Cannon Ordered Officers to Interfere, New York Times, November 19, 1953
  25. Newspaper article, Manila Meddling is Denied by U.S; Embassy Cites Order Barring Interference by 26 Officers Assigned to Observe Vote, New York Times, November 20, 1953
  26. The Philippines: The People's Choice, TIME Magazine, November 23, 1953]
  27. The quiet warrior: a biography of Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, by Thomas B. Buell, 1987, page 452
  28. In the Midst of Wars: an American's Mission to Southeast Asia, by Edward Geary Lansdale, 1991, page 121
  29. List of Visiting Dignataries, The Cavalier, published by the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association], January–February, 2008, page 53
  30. Assembly, published by United States Military Academy Association of Graduates, Volumes 36-37, 1977, page 125
  31. Newspaper photo caption, New Pacific Commander, Associated Press, Charleston (South Carolina) News and Courier, June 2, 1957
  32. Newspaper article, Gen. Cannon Given Post In Pacific Area, Baltimore Sun, June 1, 1957
  33. Newspaper article, Heads U.S. Army in Pacific Area, by Associated Press, Youngstown Vindicator, June 1, 1957
  34. Newspaper article, Unknown Korean Veteran To Be Selected Today, Hartford Courant, May 15, 1958
  35. Magazine article, Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, The Quartermaster Review, January–February 1964
  36. Internet article, History of the Tomb, Korean War: The Selection, Web site, History of the Tomb, Society of the Honor Guard - Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, 2003
  37. Newspaper article, Hero to Select Unknown American of Korean War, United Press International, Victoria (Texas) Advocate, May 15, 1958
  38. Stilwell's personal file -- China, Burma, India, 1942-1944, by Joseph Warren Stilwell, Volume 5, 1976, page 2576
  39. Newspaper article, 5 Top Generals to Address Army Unit Meet, Deseret News, September 8, 1960
  40. Newspaper article, Army Group to Honor Three Utahns, Deseret News, October 13, 1960
  41. Newspaper article, Paraders Ready to Step Out, Spokane Daily Chronicle, May 19, 1960
  42. Newspaper article, Kennedy Lists Shifts in U.S. ARMY in Korea, Chicago Tribune, March 25, 1961
  43. Newspaper article, Last Troops Join "Battle" at Yakima, R.E. Mitchell, Spokane Spokesman-Review, May 10, 1961
  44. Newspaper article, Lt. Gen. Cannon Retires After 40 Army Years, Deseret News, August 31, 1961
  45. Newspaper article, Legion of Merit for Stilwell, Jr., Windsor (Ontario) Daily Star, December 19, 1944
  46. Official U.S. Army Register, published by U.S. Army Adjutant General, 1961
  47. Social Security Death Index entry, Robert M. Cannon
  48. Newspaper article, Gen. R.M. Cannon dies in Norwalk, The Hour (Norwalk, Connecticut), September 7, 1976
  49. Newspaper article, S.F. Rites Scheduled for Lt. Gen. R. M. Cannon, 75, Los Angeles Times, September 8, 1976
  50. Nationwide Gravesite Locator, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  51. Newspaper article, Rites Honor 3 Utah Soldiers, Deseret News, February 17, 1978
  52. Social Security Death Index entry, Josephine R. Cannon

External links[]

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