October 11, 1971 - Lt. Gen. Lewis "Chesty" Puller (right) dies. The recipient of five Navy Crosses, a Distinguished Service Cross, two Legions of Merit, a Silver Star, and a Bronze Star, Puller was one of the most decorated US Marines in history. Entering the service in 1917, he had hoped to fight in World War I. Completing training too late, Puller later saw extensive service in the Caribbean, Central America, and China. A major at the outbreak of World War II, he was soon promoted to lieutenant colonel and played a key role in the Battle of Guadalcanal. Seeing action at Cape Gloucester, he was given command of the 1st Marine Regiment in 1944 and led it during the invasion of Peleliu. Returning stateside late that year, he held training posts until the end of the conflict. With the beginning of the Korean War, Puller returned to combat and took part in Gen. Douglas MacArthur's Inchon landings in September 1950. That November and December, he was instrumental in the UN withdrawal during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. Considered to be one of the greatest US Marines ever to serve, Puller retired in 1955.
World War II - Commanders:
- General George S. Patton
- Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
- General George Marshall
- General Jimmy Doolittle
Photograph Courtesy of the US Marine Corps