2. Major General Smedley
D. Butler, USMC (30 Jun 1881 - 21 Jun 1940)
Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, one of the most colorful officers in the Marine Corps' long history, was one of the two Marines who received two Medals of Honor for separate acts of outstanding heroism. General Butler, later known to thousands of Marines as "Ol' Gimlet Eye", was born July 30, 1881. He was still in his teens when, on 20 May 1898, he was appointed a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps for the War with Spain. His first Medal of Honor was presented following action at Vera Cruz, Mexico, 21 and 22 April 1914, where he commanded the Marines who landed and occupied the city. General Butler (then a major) "was eminent and conspicuous in command of his Battalion. He exhibited courage and skill in leading his men through the action of the 22'd and in the final occupation of the city". The following year, he was awarded the second Medal of Honor for bravery and forceful leadership as Commanding Officer of detachments of Marines and seamen of the USS Connecticut in repulsing Caco resistance at Fort Riviere, Haiti, 17 November 1915.
During World War I, he commanded the 13th Regiment of Marines in France. For exceptionally meritorious service, he was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, and the French Order of the Black Star. When he returned to the United States in 1919, he became Commanding General of the Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia, and served in this capacity until January 1924, when he was granted leave of absence to accept the post of Director of Public Safety of the City of Philadelphia. In February 1926, he assumed command of the Marine Corps Base at San Diego, California. In March 1927, he returned to China for duty with the 3d Marine Brigade. From April to 31 October he again commanded the Marine Barracks at Quantico. On 1 October 1931, he was retired upon his own application after completion of 33 years service in the Marine Corps. General Butler died at the Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, on 21 June 1940, following a four-week illness. General Butler was descendant of two old and distinguished families of Quakers. His father was Thomas S. Butler, for over thirty years a Representative in Congress from the Delaware-Chester County district of Pennsylvania, and a longtime chairman of the House Naval Affairs Committee. The general's mother was a Darlington and a Hicksite Friend, daughter of Smedley Darlington.
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