General Mark Wayne Clark began his military career as a cadet at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. As a member of the Class of 1917, he would commission as a 2nd Lieutenant and see action in the First World War. While serving as a company commander on the Western Front, Clark was wounded by German shrapnel, earning the Purple Heart.
During the interwar years, General Clark would continue to rise through the ranks of the United States Army. In August 1941, Clark was promoted from Lieutenant Colonel to Brigadier General as the United States prepared for the Second World War.
In 1942, General Clark was appointed as the Deputy Commander of Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa. While planning Operation Torch, General Clark was part of a covert meeting with pro-Allied forces in Africa. This meeting was designated Operation Flagpole. The meeting resulted in French support of the coming invasion. General Eisenhower was greatly impressed with General Clark's work in organizing the invasion. Clark was promoted to Lt General on November 11, 1942.
Lt. General Clark would be given command of the first US field Army overseas, the Fifth Army. Clark and the Fifth Army would push up through mainland Italy. On June 4th, 1944, the Fifth Army would take control of the Italian capital, Rome. In December of the same year, Lt. General Clark would be promoted to Commander of Allied Armies in Italy, subsequently renamed the 15th Army Group. On March 10, 1945, Clark would be promoted to full General. At 48 years old, General Clark became the youngest American promoted to the rank of General . General Clark would accept German surrender in Italy in May of 1945.
In 1952, General Clark would become the Commander of United Nations forces in Korea. In 1954, General Clark would retire from the US Army.
From 1954 to 1965, General Clark would serve as President of The Citadel.
The awards displayed are only a fraction of the accolades that General Clark accumulated over his 36 years in the US Army.
This nameplate is believed to have been on General Clark's desk while he was the Commanding Officer of the United Nations force in Korea 1952-1953.