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Marine Corps Heros

In this section of the site you will find our Marine Hero's. These Marine's are well known for what they did or accomplished while in the Marine Corps. If you know of one that needs to be added, please contact us with the name, short biography, and picture to us or e-mail us if you would like to add to a record or write a bio for one that is already listed, credit will be given to all submissions.

Lt Gen Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller

Born: June 26, 1898
Place of Birth: West Point, Virginia
Enlisted: 1917
Medals Received:
Died: October 11, 1971
Place of Burial: The Cemetary at Chris Church, Middlesex County, Virginia

On October 31, 1955, Lewis B "Chesty" Puller, who earned five Navy Crosses, retired as a Lieutenant General. He requested reinstatement in 1966, but was denied by HQMC
The most decorated Marine of all time being awarded 52 ribbons and medals - he was awarded the Navy Cross an amazing FIVE TIMES - the Navy Cross is the second highest award a Marine can be awarded, it is only outranked by the Medal of Honor
Major Gregory R. "Pappy" Boyington
Medal of Honor; commanded the VMF-214 also known as the "Black Sheep Squadron" and was the Marine Corps' top ranking ace of WWII with 28 victories; a television series was created about him and his squadron
Lt Col Alfred Austell Cunningham

Born: March 08, 1882
Place of Birth: Atlanta, Georgia
Wife: Josephine Jefferies
Commissioned: January 1909
Medals Received:
Died: May 27, 1939, Sarasota, Florida
Place of Burial: Arlington National Cemetery, Section 7 Site 10177
Bio: Alfred Austell Cunningham, the Marine Corps' first aviator, was born 8 March 1882 in Atlanta, Georgia. He accepted a commission as second lieutenant in the Marine Corps in January 1909 when he was 27 years old. The year before Cunningham entered the Marine Corps, the United States Navy had first taken official notice of the aero plane as a possible weapon for use in the Fleet when in 1908, Orville Wright demonstrated his plane to Government officials and Naval officers at Fort Myer, Virginia.

In 1911, Lieutenant Cunningham, was stationed at the Marine Barracks, Philadelphia. He had become imbued with a fervent desire to fly when he ascended in a balloon eight years before, and was by now experimenting with an airplane, the famous "Noisy Nan." He had leased it for $25 a month from a civilian aviator, risking his neck if not his career in his aerial activities. "Aerial", perhaps, is a misnomer, because Noisy Nan never actually became airborne but Cunningham's enthusiasm continued to soar even as he hoped she would. His profound faith in the airplane and his love of flying finally was rewarded. On 16 May 1912, Cunningham was detached from duty at the Navy Yard, Philadelphia, and ordered to the aviation camp the Navy had set up at Annapolis, to learn to fly. He reported 22 May 1912 which is recognized as the birthday of Marine Corps aviation. Actual flight training was given at the Burgess Plant at Marblehead, Massachusetts, because only the builders of planes could fly in those days and after two hours and forty minutes of instruction, Cunningham soloed on 20 August 1912.
Bio submitted by: Henry Hoffman, Jr.
Ira Hayes Iwo Jima Ira Hamilton Hayes
(January 12, 1923 – January 24, 1955)
Native American and one of the six men who was captured in probably one of the most famous photographs during WWII, the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima.
Brigadier General Archibald Henderson
First general officer of the Marine Corps; 5th Commandant of the Marine Corps, he held that position from 1820 until 1859 - a span of over 38 years (longer than any other Commandant), during which he served under 11 different Presidents. He had a total of 53 years of service beginning in 1806. He is known as the "Grand Old Man of the Corps".
Victor Krulak Victor H. Krulak 
(January 7, 1913 – December 29, 2008)
Sergeant Chuck Mawhinney
Marine sniper with the highest number of confirmed kills (103) - he is still alive and in September 1999 was invited to speak at the Scout/Sniper school on Camp Pendleton
Colonel Royal Mortenson
Commanding Officer
The Basic School
Colonel Mortenson was commissioned after completion of the 122d OCC in April 1983. After completing the Basic School and the Infantry Officers Course, he served as a rifle platoon commander; weapons platoon commander and 81mm mortar platoon commander, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines at Camp Lejeune, NC deploying as part of the Unit Deployment Program to Okinawa and to Norway for Northern Wedding/Bold Guard. From 1986 to 1988, he served as a platoon commander/guard officer with Guard Company, Marine Barracks, Guam, supporting the U. S. Naval Magazine. From 1988 to 1990 he served at Officer Candidate School, MCCDC as a platoon commander, company executive officer for seven candidate companies and as the school S-3A.

After completing Amphibious Warfare School in June 1991, Col Mortenson assumed command of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines (1/5) and once again deployed to Okinawa. In July 1992, he assumed command of Weapons Company, 1/5 and the duties as the BLT Fire Support Coordinator during deployment to Okinawa as the BLT for 31st MEU(SOC). Upon return from deployment in December 1993 he became the battalion Operations Officer (S-3).

In August 1994, Col Mortenson was assigned to Current Operations Branch, Plans, Policies and Operations, HQMC where he served as the current operations briefer and the status of forces officer for the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Additionally, he served as a current operations action officer and current-ops section head working HQMC operational issues with the Joint Staff, combatant CINCs and the MARFOR Components. In 1998, Col Mortenson departed HQMC for Marine Corps Command and Staff College where he earned a Masters Degree in Military Studies. Upon completion of Command and Staff College he was selected to attend the School of Advanced Warfighting (SAW). Upon completion of SAW in June 2000 he went to Camp Lejeune, NC and served in the Current Operations Section, G-3, II MEF, Camp Lejeune, NC where he worked consecutively as the MEF MPF officer, Expeditionary-ops Section Head and the Deputy Current Operations. Additionally, Col Mortenson was also assigned as the Current Operations officer for the 2D Marine Expeditionary Brigade. Col Mortenson took command of 2d Battalion, 8th Marines (2/8) in December 2001. During his command tour with 2/8 the battalion deployed for CAX 4-03 (Feb 02), Dynamic Mix 02 in Spain (May 02), Summer Mountain Operations Course (SMOC) 9-03, MWTC, Bridgeport, CA (Sep 02), and OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM as part of RCT-2, 2D MEB/TF Tarawa (Jan –Jun 2003). Col Mortenson gave up command of 2/8 in September 2003 and assumed the duties as G3 Operations Officer, 2d Marine Division until June 2004. From August 2004 to June 2005, Col Mortenson attended the National War College, National Defense University, Washington, DC. On 22 July, 2005 Col Mortenson assumed the duties of Commanding Officer, The Basic School, Quantico, Virginia.

Col Mortenson’s personal awards include the Bronze Star with combat V, Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon. Col Mortenson is married and has three children.
Submitted by: CJ Wright
Major Samuel Nicholas

Became the first commissioned officer of the Continental Marines when he was commissioned as a captain on November 28, 1775. He is traditionally regarded as the first Commandant
First Lieutenant Presley Neville O'Bannon
After his heroic efforts in the battle for Derne in 1805 during the Tripolitan War, Prince Hamet Karamali presented him the sword that he carried while living with the Mamelukes in Egypt. This sword later served as the pattern for the Mameluke Sword, which is the sword that Marine officers carry today.

Colonel Peter Julien Ortiz

One of the most decorated Marine Corps Officer's of World War II. For more information, see this website.

Holland Smith

Holland McTyeire "Howlin' Mad" Smith
(April 20, 1882 – January 12, 1967)

General in the Marine Corps during WWII.


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July 18, 2001

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