|Birth: ||Nov. 29, 1920|
|Death: ||Aug. 20, 2011|
South Carolina, USA
Lieutenant General George Clifton Axtell, Ret. of Tryon Estates, Columbus, North Carolina, passed away Saturday afternoon, August 20, 2011 in the Hospice House of the Carolina Foothills, Landrum, South Carolina. Surviving is his wife, Shirley B. Axtell.
George was born on November 29, 1920 in Ambridge, PA. His parents were George Clifton Axtell and Cora Mae Perrine Axtell. He graduated from Ambridge High School and studied Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Alabama. When it was evident that we were going to war he enlisted in the US Marine Corps as a private and was sent to flight training. After earning his wings and being commissioned a 2nd Lt., he became a flight instructor at the Pensacola Air Training Center. George was later sent to the Naval Academy to study Meteorology before being assigned as VMF 323's Squadron Commander, a new squadron commissioned on August 1, 1943. George, at 22 years and 8 months, was the youngest Squadron Commander in the Marine Corps.
On March 21, 1942, George married his childhood sweetheart Phyllis Crafton at the Naval Academy Chapel. Phyllis followed him to Laguna Beach, California until his squadron was sent to the South Pacific.
While in the South Pacific George's squadron had great success. The squadron had 124 1/2 kills, the highest in the Okinawa Campaign, and resulted in 12 Fighter Aces, including George. For his extraordinary heroism while engaged in military operations, George was awarded the Navy Cross by the President on April 28, 1945. In 1999, a book about George and his squadron's legacy, called "Death Rattlers," was written and published by Dr. William Wolf.
George graduated from George Washington University with a Law Degree in 1952 and a Masters in Financial Management in 1958. He was admitted to the Supreme Court Bar in Washington, DC in 1956. He also graduated from the National War College at Ft. McNair in Washington, DC in 1964.
George was preceded in death by his wife Phyllis who died in September of 1975. He is survived by a large and loving family. Shirley (Barnes) Axtell, his wife of 34 years, resides at Tryon Estates in Columbus, NC. His brother Bill and his wife Dorothy, reside in Beaver, PA. George and Phyllis's sons, Lt. Col. Grey Axtell (USMC-Ret.) and Guy Axtell, gave us four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Grey's children are Holly Axtell Deutsch and her husband Alan and their children Alexia, Alan Joshua and Arik, who reside in Factoryville, Pa. and Geoffrey Clifton Axtell and his two daughters McKenna and Samatha who reside in Norriston, PA. Guy and his wife, Virginia, have two children, George Clifton Axtell and his wife Natalie and their children Morgan and Garrick who reside in Richmond, Va. and Guy Crafton Axtell and his wife Kendall and their children Ella Kate and McKenna who reside in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
Burial in Arlington National Cemetery.
Memorials were made to Hospice of the Carolina Foothils, Columbus, North Carolina or the House of Flags Museum, Columbus, NC 28722.
Phyllis C Axtell (1921 - 1975)
Arlington National Cemetery
Plot: Section 11 Site 189-1
Created by: Patricia
Record added: Aug 21, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 75239849