Smedley Darlington Butler

Smedley Darlington Butler

West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 21 Jun 1940 (aged 58)
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Section B, Lot 1
Memorial ID 6519 · View Source
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United States Marine Corps General, Double Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. One of only 20 men to have twice received the Medal of Honor, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps at age 16 on May 20, 1898. He saw combat during Spanish-American War; the Philippine Insurrection, China Relief Expedition (Boxer Rebellion), the Nicaragua Campaign of 1912, the Vera Cruz, Mexico Landings of 1914 (where he was awarded his first CMOH) the Haitian Campaign of 1915 (where he was awarded his second CMOH), and the Dominican Campaign of 1916. He served on expeditionary duty in Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Columbia and China. During World War I he commanded the Embarkation Center in Brest, France and 5th Marine Brigade during World War I. For his service in that conflict he was awarded the Army and Navy Distinguished Service Medals and Order of the Black Star of France. He was granted leave of absence to serve as Director of Public Safety, Philadelphia, to 1924 to 1925. Retired from the Marine Corps in 1931, he wrote and lectured extensively promoting pacifism (often heavily and outspokenly criticizing the policies that caused the conflicts he served in) until his death in 1940. The citation for his Vera Cruz CMOH reads “For distinguished conduct in battle, engagement of Vera Cruz, 22 April 1914. Maj. Butler was eminent and conspicuous in command of his battalion. He exhibited courage and skill in leading his men through the action of the 22d and in the final occupation of the city”. The citation for his Haitian CMOH reads “As Commanding Officer of detachments from the 5th, 13th, 23d Companies and the marine and sailor detachment from the U.S.S. Connecticut, Maj. Butler led the attack on Fort Riviere, Haiti, 17 November 1915. Following a concentrated drive, several different detachments of marines gradually closed in on the old French bastion fort in an effort to cut off all avenues of retreat for the Caco bandits. Reaching the fort on the southern side where there was a small opening in the wall, Maj. Butler gave the signal to attack and marines from the 15th Company poured through the breach, engaged the Cacos in hand-to-hand combat, took the bastion and crushed the Caco resistance. Throughout this perilous action, Maj. Butler was conspicuous for his bravery and forceful leadership”.

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 30 Sep 1999
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6519
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Smedley Darlington Butler (30 Jul 1881–21 Jun 1940), Find a Grave Memorial no. 6519, citing Oaklands Cemetery, West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .