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Wilbur Bestwick
Birth: Nov. 27, 1911
Sabetha
Nemaha County
Kansas, USA
Death: Jul. 10, 1972
Palo Alto
Santa Clara County
California, USA

US Marine, he was the first person to be promoted to the rank of "Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps," serving from 1957 to 1959. Enlisting as a Private in the Marine Corps in 1934, he went through basic training (boot camp) at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at San Diego, California. In the seven years prior to World War II, he served aboard the USS Lexington and at posts in Bremerton, Washington, San Diego, California, and Camp Elliott, California. Promoted to Sergeant Major in 1943, he saw combat with the 3rd Marine Division on Bougainville and Guam. Returning to The United States in 1944 he served as Sergeant Major of the Mare Island Shipyard, California. In 1945 he began a four year tour of duty in San Francisco, California as Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Depot of Supplies. In 1949 he served as the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. He became the Division Sergeant Major of the 1st Marine Division in Korea in October 1952 during the Korean Conflict. After a one year tour of duty and being awarded the Navy Commendation Ribbon with combat "V" for his excellent performance and valor he returned to the United States. In 1954, he began a two year tour as Sergeant Major, Inspector and Instructor Staff, 1st Air Delivery Company, San Jose, California. In June 1956 he was tranferred to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. and served as Sergeant Major to the Secretary of the General Staff. On May 23, 1957 He was appointed to the newly created post of "Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps", the highest position an enlisted Marine could attain, making him the senior most Sergeant of all Marines. He served in this post until September 1, 1959 when he retired from the Marine Corps. Sergeant Major Bestwick lived in Santa Clara, California until his death on July 10, 1972. In his 25 year career he was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V", the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 3 bronze Campaign stars, The World War II Victory Medal, The Korean Service Medal with 3 bronze stars, the United Nations Service Medal, and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation. (bio by: Bill M) 
 
Burial:
Skylawn Memorial Park
San Mateo
San Mateo County
California, USA
Plot: Veterans Section, Lot 74, Section
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bill M
Record added: Mar 18, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34955595
Wilbur Bestwick
Added by: Bill M
 
Wilbur Bestwick
Added by: Michael & Diane French
 
Wilbur Bestwick
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Maude
 
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- Lazer
 Added: Nov. 27, 2014

- MosherSt.Munger
 Added: Jul. 10, 2014

- sjm
 Added: Jul. 10, 2014
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