|Birth: ||Nov. 3, 1931|
West Palm Beach
Palm Beach County
|Death: ||Feb. 14, 2011|
Major Gene Duncan enlisted into the Marine Corps in February 1950 at the age of 18. He served as a section leader for 81mm mortars in 1st Battalion, 5th Marines in Korea. Discharged four years later as a staff sergeant, he enlisted into the Reserve of the Marine Corps and remained active therein until 1961 when he returned to active duty and augmented into the Regular Marine Corps as a second lieutenant.
Major Duncan's enlisted billets included administrative clerk, Russian linguist, and 81mm mortar section leader. His officer assignments were tank officer, communications officer, naval gunfire officer, cryptologic officer and ordnance officer. He held eight command billets for a total command time of over eleven years.
He served two combat tours in the Republic of Vietnam and was twice wounded.
He retired from active service in June 1979.
Since retirement Major Duncan involved himself in writing books of interest to Marines, sister services, and civilians. He was active on the speaking circuit, traveling from base to base, talking to Marines of all grades and jobs, imparting leadership and ethics to our young and not-so-young military men and women, especially Marines. In one period of three years he logged over 80,000 miles in these efforts.
Major Duncan has been repeatedly referred to as "the Mark Twain and Rudyard Kipling of the Marine Corps." At a gathering in August 1990 at a reception at the Commandant's home in Washington, Duncan was publicly praised by General Gray for his contributions to the Marine Corps. He was presented a Certificate of Commendation by the Commandant. The certificate reads in part, "Through his wisdom and serious thought on topics such as ethics, honor, leadership, and moral courage, he not only captured the heart and soul of the Marine Corps, but successfully imparted to a new generation of Marines its most valued traditions."
Major Duncan currently has twelve books bearing his name and he was the publisher of his own works in his company, Gene Duncan Books, in Boonville, Missouri. He also wrote a weekly column for a Florida newspaper.
During Operation Desert Shield Major Duncan appealed directly to the Commandant of the Marine Corps for active duty, stating, "I want to fight in one war which has public approval before I die." He was unofficially told that his impaired hearing might keep him from active duty, but he replied, "I don't want to LISTEN to the Iraqis, I want to SHOOT them." His application was still being considered when Desert Storm ended.
Duncan held a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Florida State University and a Master of Education Degree from Memphis State University.
He passed away on February 14th, 2011 after a courageous fight against lung cancer. The family has announced their intent to have the Major's remains interred at Quantico National Cemetery in Quantico Va.
Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers from February 19 to February 21, 2011
H.G. "GENE" DUNCAN (MAJ U.S.M.C. Retired) 79, of Fort Wayne, died on Monday, Feb. 14, 2011, at his residence. He was born on Nov. 3, 1931, in West Palm Beach, Fla. He retired in 1979 as a Major from the United States Marine Corp after 29 years of service. He was a member of the VFW, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Marine Corps League, and Knights of Columbus. Surviving are his son, David Gene (Kimberly) Duncan of West Palm Beach; grandchildren, Emory, Keaton and Reis Duncan; and sister, Mary Haskins of Florida. Memorial service is 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 21, 2011, at V.A. Medical Center Chapel, 2121 Lake Ave. The Rev. Father Daniel Leeuw officiating. Military graveside service is in Quantico National Cemetery, Quantico, Va. Preferred memorials to Heartland Hospice. Arrangements by Hockemeyer & Miller Funeral
Quantico National Cemetery
Prince William County
Plot: Section 10a / Site 243
Created by: Tony Middleton
Record added: Feb 16, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 65742694