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 Wallace Martin Greene, Jr

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Wallace Martin Greene, Jr

US Marine Corps General. A combat veteran of World War II, he rose in rank to become the 23rd Commandant of the US Marine Corps. Following his graduation from high school in 1925, he attended the University of Vermont at Burlington, Vermont for a year before joining the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. After graduating in June 1930, he was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the US Marine Corps and attended the US Marine Officer Basic School with a follow-on assignment to the Marine Barracks, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. In 1932 he served in a US Marine detachment aboard the battleship USS Tennessee for two years, followed by assignments to Pensacola, Florida and Quantico, Virginia, and Lakehurst, New Jersey. In March 1936 he was assigned to the US Marine Corps Recruit Depot at San Diego, California, followed by an assignment to Guam, Mariana Islands. In June 1937 he was assigned to the 4th Marine Regiment at Shanghai, China and returned to the US in August 1939 to attend military schooling. In May 1940 he commanded the 1st Chemical Company of the 1st Marine Brigade and the following year he served at Quantico and New River (later Camp Lejeune), North Carolina. In November 1941 he was sent to London, England as a Special Naval Observer and returned to the US a month following the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941 that brought the US into World War II. He was then sent to the Pacific Theater of Operations and assigned as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, Tactical Group One, and participated in combat during the Battle of Kwajalein (January to February 1944), Battle of Saipan (June to July 1944), and Battle of Tinian (July to August 1944). The following October he returned to the US and assigned to the G-3, Operations, Division of Plans and Policies at Headquarters US Marine Corps. Following the end of World War II, he served in various assignments at Little Creek, Virginia, Quantico and Pearl Harbor before entering the National War College at Fort McNair, Washington DC. After graduation, he became the Special Staff Assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for National Security Council Affairs in Washington DC. In September 1955 he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and assigned to Camp Lejeune as the Assistant Commander of the 2nd Marine Division. This was followed by command positions at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island (May 1956 to March 1957) and Camp Lejeune (July 1957 to January 1958). In January 1958 he returned to Headquarters US Marine Corps as the Assistant Chief of Staff (G-3) and was promoted to the rank of major general the following August. In January 1960 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and elevated to the position of Chief of Staff. He was promoted to the rank of general in January 1964 and became the 23rd US Marine Corps Commandant in Washington DC, retiring at this position in December 1967 with 37 years on continuous military service. Among his military and foreign decorations and awards include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal (with one gold star), the Legion of Merit (with one gold star and "V" valor device), the Navy Unit Commendation Medal, the China Service Medal, the American Defense Service Medal (with one star), the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (with three campaign stars), the World War II Victory Medal, the National Defense Service Medal (with one star), the Republic of China Order of the Cloud and Banner, 2nd Class (Grand Cordon), the Republic of Korea Order of Service Merit, First Class (Blue Stripes Medal), the Brazilian Order of Naval Merit, and the Grand Officer National Order of Vietnam (commander grade). He died at the age of 95.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Steve Edquist ~In Memory Of Aaron & Scrappy~
  • Added: 12 Mar 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7255796
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Wallace Martin Greene, Jr (27 Dec 1907–8 Mar 2003), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7255796, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .