Skip to comments.Today in US military history: Goodnight, Chesty Puller - wherever you are!
Posted on 10/11/2018 8:08:17 AM PDT by fugazi
Today's post is in honor of Sgt. Frank R. Zaehringer III, who gave his life for our country on this day in 2010. The 23-year-old native of Reno, Nev. was killed while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan's Helmand province. Zaerhringer had previously served in Iraq and was assigned to 2d Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force.
1910: Wright Brothers pilot Archibald Hoxsey crosses paths with President Theodore Roosevelt while at St. Louis during a cross-country flying exhibition and invites him for a ride. Roosevelt initially refuses, but his adventuresome spirit gets the best of him and he changes his mind. Roosevelt straps in and becomes the first president to fly.
1939: A letter written by Hungarian-born physicist Leo Szilard, and signed by Albert Einstein, reaches President Franklin D. Roosevelt, warning that the Germans could develop an atomic weapon and that the United States should begin their own nuclear research. Roosevelt quickly authorizes a committee on uranium, setting in motion what will eventually become the Manhattan Project.
1942: U.S. Naval forces under the command of Rear Admiral Norman Scott intercept a Japanese fleet, commanded by Rear Adm. Aritomo Gotō, attempting to reinforce troops on Guadalcanal in the Battle of Cape Esperance. Fighting begins shortly before midnight off the northwest coast of the island when the Japanese are caught by surprise. The heavy cruiser Furutaka and destroyer Fubuki are sunk during the gun battle, and Adm. Gotō is mortally wounded. Planes from Henderson Field strike the retreating Japanese fleet the next morning and sink two additional Japanese destroyers the following day. Japanese sailors who jumped overboard refuse to be rescued by American ships, instead condemning themselves to a horrifying death in the shark-infested waters.
1945: Marines of the III Amphibious Corps land in
(Excerpt) Read more at victoryinstitute.net ...
“1971: Marine legend Lt. Gen. Lewis B. Chesty Puller, the highest decorated Marine in history, passes away. Among his numerous decorations, Puller earned the nations second-highest award for valor six times (five Navy Crosses and a Distinguished Service Cross) second only to Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, Americas top flying ace of World War I. The 37-year veteran served in the Nicaraguan and Haitian campaigns, as well as World War II and the Korean War.”
Wouldn’t Major General Smedley Butler (former Marine Corps Commandant) be considered the highest decorated Marine? He was awarded two Medals of Honor and several more for heroism. Just wondering.
It all depends on how you look at it... Butler and Dan Daly both earned two Medals of Honor for two separate actions (the military awarded several men with the Army and Navy versions of the MoH for the same action), and Butler also earned a Brevet Medal, which is an obsolete decoration for valor in the neighborhood of what would earn the MoH or Navy Cross. Puller was awarded the Navy Cross and Distinguished Service Cross (the second-highest award for valor in the Navy and Army, respectively) more than anyone else besides Rickenbacker.
Personally, I don’t know how much stock you can put in “scoring” recipients, for lack of better wording, since awarding medals can be done so - or not done so - for any number of reasons: political, racial, no survivors to corroborate the account, lost paperwork, rotten officers, and so on.
If you are there over 3 terms it helps know the help. Also he was more dependent on the help given his disabilities. Finally, there was a lot less help then.
When I read about the Japanese sailors refusing help, my first thought was they were similar to our Democrats.
Thanks. I don’t understand the “scoring” process. I’m sure it’s subjective depending on the author. That’s my guess at this point. Not sure it’s even proper to “score” awards of heroism anyway. Kinda cheapens it possibly. Risking one’s life or sacrificing it is enough.
Wouldnt Major General Smedley Butler (former Marine Corps Commandant) be considered the highest decorated Marine? He was awarded two Medals of Honor and several more for heroism. Just wondering.
This guy created a "points system" for medals. Here is his scale:
Medal of Honor -100 PointsChesty's medals include:
Marine Corps Brevet Medal - 75 Points
Air Force Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross - 50 Points
Defense Distinguished Service Medal - 20 Points
Air Force DSM, Army DSM, Navy DSM, Coast Guard DSM - 20 Points
Silver Star - 25 Points
Legion of Merit - 10 Points
Defense Superior Service Medal - 10 Points
Distinguished Flying Cross - 15 Points
Airman's Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Medal, Soldier's Medal - 15 Points
Bronze Star Medal - 10 Points
Purple Heart - 5 Points
Navy Cross (5)
Distinguished Service Cross
Legion of Merit w/ "V" Device (2)
Bronze Star Medal w/ "V" Device
Air Medal (3)
Smedley's medals include:
Medal of Honor (2)
Marine Corps Brevet Medal
So Chesty outscores Smedley 405 to 275.
(All in good fun.)
Chesty Puller? Sounds like a sexual harassment charges in the mnaking!
On 13 November 1942, in a night action against a superior IJN fleet, Admiral Scott and his fleet commander, Admiral Callahan, forced the withdrawal of the Japanese fleet but at the cost of both their lives and 1,437 US dead. Both Admirals were awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor. This night action was well portrayed as being heard from radio transmissions in the James Cagney movie, "The Gallant Hours" (1960).
Thanks for the info. Yes, it’s all in “good fun” and interesting.
According to this site, this is Butler’s awards.
I just looked at the sidebar box on his wiki entry to get General Butler’s medals. I didn’t scroll down far enough for the complete list.
No sweat. Who knows if this is complete or accurate anyway?
I was in the Marine Corps from 1958-1962 and was happy to say no military campaigns to my credit. I heard many stories about “Chesty Puller” but the one that always stuck in my mind was Chesty saying he would gladly pay the price of a load of dead Marine’s dog tags just to win the Medal of Honor. I have no proof this is true but heard it from many sources, and if true that’s probably why he never awarded the Medal.
Who knows what he said. But from his actions it doesn’t seem that he really felt that way. There have been plenty of officers that gladly risked their mens’ lives for personal gain, but I don’t think the Marines he supposedly was willing to sacrifice for a medal would have made Chesty the legend he became if that was the case.
Thank you for your service sir.
Teddy had a long history with the Wrights. Believe it or not the press at large disparaged their claims in 1903 that they had created a powered flying machine. Their denials were so persistent that five years later Roosevelt held a mandatory press conference so the national press corps could watch a Wright demonstration flight in person. FIVE YEARS.
Sort of portends the modern mainstream media, don’t it?
Sad. I wonder what people are going to say about our media 100 years from now.
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