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MG Ben Hebard Fuller
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Birth: Feb. 27, 1870
Big Rapids
Mecosta County
Michigan, USA
Death: Jun. 8, 1937
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA

Ben Hebard Fuller, Major General U.S. Marine Corps; he was Major General Commandant 1930 - 1934.

Fuller was a member of the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1889 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps on 1 July 1891. With six other members of his class, Fuller attended the first course for new Marine officers at the School of Application, which was the prototype for today's Basic School.

As a Captain, Fuller participated in the Battle of Novaleta, Philippine Islands, on 8 October 1899 and was commended for gallant, meritorious, and courageous conduct in the Battle of Tientsin, China on 13 July 1900.

From 1904-06, he served at the Naval Station, Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii. In June and July 1908, he was on detached duty with an expeditionary force organized for service in Panama, and from August of that year until January 1910, commanded a Marine Battalion at Camp Elliott, Panama Canal Zone. From March to June 1911, he commanded the 3rd Regiment of Marines at Camp Meyer, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

From 1911-15, he commanded various posts and stations in the U.S. During this period, he also completed the Field Officers' Course at the Army Service Schools, Fort Leavenworth, KS, and the course at the Army War College, Washington, DC. Following a tour of duty as Fleet Marine Officer of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, from January 1915 to June 1916, LtCol Fuller was assigned to the Naval War College, Newport, RI, where he successfully completed the course.

In August 1918, he commanded the 2nd Brigade of Marines in the Dominican Republic, remaining there until October 1920. He also served on the Staff of the Military Governor of Santo Domingo as Secretary of State, Interior, Police, War and Navy, from December 1919, until his detachment departed from Santo Domingo.

From November 1920 to July 1922, he served on the staff of the Naval War College, Newport, and from July 1922 to January 1923, commanded the Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, VA. In January 1924, he assumed command of the 1st Brigade of Marines in the Republic of Haiti, with Headquarters at Port-au-Prince, and served in this capacity until 8 December 1925.

Following his return to the U.S. from Haiti, Brigadier General Fuller was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps as President of the Marine Examining and Retiring Board, serving in that capacity until July 1928, when he was appointed Assistant to the Major General Commandant. Following the death of Major General Commandant Wendell C. Neville on 9 July 1930, Brigadier General Fuller was promoted to Major General and appointed Commandant of the Marine Corps. He served in that capacity until 1 March 1934 when he was retired from active service, having attained the statutory retirement age of sixty-four years.

Major General Fuller's tenure was a period of general retrenchment and withdrawal of Marines from foreign countries. Beginning in 1933, these Marines composed the newly designated Fleet Marine Force, the principal operating force of the Marine Corps.

Medals and Awards

China Relief Expedition Medal
Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal w/ 2 stars
Spanish Campaign Medal
Philippine Campaign Medal
Nicaraguan Campaign Medal (1933)
World War I Victory Medal
Medal of Military Merit of Santo Domingo
Presidential Medal of Merit of Nicaragua


The U.S. Navy transport ship USS Fuller (AP-14) was named in his honor.

MajGen Ben H. Fuller has Honoree Record 2524 at

Major General Ben Hebard Fuller died on 8 June 1937, aged 67, at the U.S. Naval Hospital, Washington, DC. He and his wife, Katharine (Heaton) Fuller are buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery beside the grave of their son, Captain Edward C. Fuller of the 6th Marines, who was killed in action in the Battle of Belleau Wood during World War I.

Bio compiled by Charles A. Lewis
Family links: 
  Katharine Heaton Offley Fuller (1871 - 1958)
  Edward Canfield Fuller (1893 - 1918)*
  Dorothy Nelson Fuller Fordney (1896 - 1970)*
*Calculated relationship
United States Naval Academy Cemetery
Anne Arundel County
Maryland, USA
Plot: Section 03 - Lot 0369 A
GPS (lat/lon): 38.98757, -76.49071
Created by: Charles A. Lewis
Record added: Dec 08, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 81722779
MG Ben Hebard Fuller
Added by: Charles A. Lewis
MG Ben Hebard Fuller
Added by: Charles A. Lewis
MG Ben Hebard Fuller
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Beverly Davis Valcovic
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Thank you for your great service in preserving our country's freedoms. I will honor you in the only way that I can . . . by remembering you always. May you rest in peace knowing that you truly embodied the ideals of "Duty, Honor, Country."
- Charles A. Lewis
 Added: Dec. 8, 2011

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