Victor Harold “Brute” Krulak

Victor Harold “Brute” Krulak

Denver, Denver County, Colorado, USA
Death 29 Dec 2008 (aged 95)
San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA
Burial San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA
Memorial ID 32528428 · View Source
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United States Marine Corps General. In a 34 year career he served in three wars and commanded all United States Marine Corps forces during the war in Vietnam. Raised in Denver, Colorado, he needed a height waiver to be appointed to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, where he was given his nickname in an ironic reference to his short stature, at the age of 16. Graduating in 1934, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and subsequently served in Central America and aboard the battleship "USS Arizona". At the onset of World War II he was an aide to General Holland M. ("Howling Mad") Smith; in late October and early November of 1943 then Lieutenant Colonel Krulak led an eight day raid at Choiseul, Solomon Islands, which diverted the Japanese from defending against the American invasion of Bougainville. Wounded, he was evacuated after the operation on a Navy PT boat commanded by future United States President Lieutenant John F. Kennedy; for this raid Krulak was presented the Navy Cross, the second highest award for valor. After the war he held a variety of assignments and during the Korean War was Chief of Staff for the Commander, First Marine Division. He was also a key member of the "Chowder Society", a group which lobbied successfully for preservation of the Marine Corps. Promoted to Brigadier General in July 1956, he served as Assistant Commander, Third Marine Division, on Okinawa, then from 1957 to 1959 commanded the Marine Corps Education Center at Quantico, Virginia. In December 1959 he received a promotion to Major General, and was placed in command of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California. In 1964 Krulak was promoted to Lieutenant General and named Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. During his tenure he went to Vietnam 54 times and advocated the "spreading inkblot theory", essentially pacification of the country village by village. Feeling that the war could be won by cutting off enemy supplies, he promoted the mining of Haiphong Harbor and heavy bombing of the north. Denied his fourth star for public criticism of President Lyndon Johnson, General Krulak retired on June 1, 1968. After retirement he worked as a newspaper columnist and author, publishing "First to Fight: An Inside View of the US Marine Corps" in 1991. He was named a Distinguished Graduate by the United States Naval Academy in 2004. He died of the effects of advanced age. The General's decorations include the Navy Cross, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, three Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart. His son, General Charles Krulak, served a term as Marine Corps Commandant.

Bio by: Bob Hufford

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 30 Dec 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial 32528428
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Victor Harold “Brute” Krulak (7 Jan 1913–29 Dec 2008), Find a Grave Memorial no. 32528428, citing Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .