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Gen Clifton Bledsoe Cates
Birth: Aug. 31, 1893
Cates
Lake County
Tennessee, USA
Death: Jun. 4, 1970
Annapolis
Anne Arundel County
Maryland, USA

US Marine Corps General. The 19th Commandant of the US Marine Corps, he was one of the few officers of any service who had commanded a platoon, a company, a battalion, a regiment and a division in combat. Born in Tiptonville, Tennessee, he graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Tennessee with a Bachelor of Law Degree in 1916. He then received a commission as a 2nd lieutenant in the US Marine Corps Reserves and began serving on active duty in June 1917, shortly after the US entry into World War I. During World War I he was promoted to the rank of 1st lieutenant and served in France with the 6th Marine Regiment, participating in combat in the Aisne defensive at Boursches and Belleau Wood, during which he was gassed and wounded twice. In September 1919 he returned to the US and he served in Washington DC as a White House aide and Aide-de-Camp to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. The following year he was promoted to the rank of captain and served in San Francisco, California, as Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General, Department of the Pacific. From 1923 until 1925 he served a tour of sea duty as commander of the Marine Detachment aboard the battleship USS California. In March 1928 he then served as a recruiter at Spokane, Washington, followed with duty at Omaha, Nebraska. In 1929 he was deployed to Shanghai, China, serving for three years with the 4th Marine Regiment. He then returned to the US for training at the Army Industrial College (now Industrial College of the Armed Forces) in Washington DC, followed by the Senior Course in the Marine Corps Schools, during which time he was promoted to the rank of major. In 1935 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and assigned to the War Plans Section of the Division of Operations and Training at Headquarters Marine Corps and in 1936 he returned to Shanghai as a battalion commander with the 6th Marine Regiment. In 1938, he rejoined the 4th Marine Regiment in Shanghai. He returned to the US and attended the Army War College at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and was promoted to the rank of colonel. In 1940 he became the Director of the Marine Officers Basic School at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1942, after the US entered World War II, he became commander of the 1st Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton, California, and led them into combat in the Pacific Theater at the Battle of Guadalcanal. In September 1942 he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and he returned to the US to serve as Commandant of the Marine Corps Schools at Quantico, Virginia and in February 1944 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and four months later he returned to the Pacific Theater to become commander of the 4th Marine Division in the Marianas operation, the Tinian campaign and the seizure of Iwo Jima. In December 1945 he briefly served as the President of the Marine Corps Equipment Board at Quantico, Virginia, then was assigned as the Commanding General of the Marine Barracks at that location. In January 1948 he was promoted to the rank of general and became Commandant of the US Marine Corps, Washington DC, serving until 1952. Upon completion of this he was reverted to the rank of lieutenant general and returned to serve again as Commandant of the Marine Corps Schools at Quantico. He retired in June 1954 and was once again promoted to the rank of general, with 37 years of continued military service. Among his military decorations and awards include the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal with star, the Silver Star with star, the Legion of Merit, the Purple Heart, the Presidential Unit Citation ribbon with three bronze stars, the World War I Victory Medal with 5 clasps, the Army of Occupation of Germany Medal, the China Expeditionary Medal, the Yangtze Service Medal, the China Service Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal with one silver star in lieu of five bronze stars, the American Area Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Netherlands Order of the Orange Nassau with crossed swords and rank of Grand Officer, the French Legion of Honour, Knight grade, and the French Croix de Guerre with gilt star and 2 palms. He received a Doctor of Law Degree from the University of Tennessee and the University of Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee. He died at the age of 76. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Willis Jones Cates (1860 - 1912)
  Martha Darnall Bledsoe Cates (1869 - 1957)
 
 Spouse:
  Jane Virginia McIlhenny Cates (1898 - 1988)*
 
 Children:
  Clifton Bledsoe Cates (1921 - 2010)*
  Ann Willis Cates Hilbish (1931 - 1975)*
 
 Sibling:
  Clifton Bledsoe Cates (1893 - 1970)
  Katherine Nell Cates Prothro (1896 - 1981)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington
Arlington County
Virginia, USA
Plot: Section 5, Lot 12
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bill Heneage
Record added: Oct 02, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6816458
Gen Clifton Bledsoe Cates
Added by: Lucy Caldarelli
 
Gen Clifton Bledsoe Cates
Added by: Bill Heneage
 
Gen Clifton Bledsoe Cates
Added by: Bill Heneage
 
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- A Marine's Daughter
 Added: Jun. 6, 2014

- Lazer
 Added: May. 18, 2014
Thank you for yourr military service to our country. May you rest in peace.
- William Bjornstad
 Added: Mar. 8, 2014
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