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48Fw: (A good read in light of upcoming Veteran's Day) Smedley Butler, 2x Medal of Honor Recipient

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  • Abrigon Gusiq
    Nov 7, 2009
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      The more I read, the more I like the guy.
       
      Mike
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Saturday, November 07, 2009 2:48 PM
      Subject: (A good read in light of upcoming Veteran's Day) Smedley Butler, 2x Medal of Honor Recipient

       
      SOME OF YOU GUYS PROLLY KNOW ALL ABOUT THIS, BUT I JUST SAW THIS ON CHANNEL 13 THE OTHER NIGHT ABOUT MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS AND I FOUND THIS GUY EXCEEDINGLY INTERESTING. WITH A NAME LIKE SMEDLEY DARLINGTON, YOU BEST BE TOUGH AND INTELLIGENT, HM? LOL
       
      THE WHOLE PROGRAM, WHICH IS ON THIS MONTH ON ONE OF THE CHANNELS 13 IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, IS SIMPLY ENTITLED  "MEDAL OF HONOR", AND THEY CHRONICAL RECIPIENTS FROM ALL THE WARS AND BRANCHES OF SERVICE, TO INCLUDE A WOMAN DOCTOR WHO WAS REFUSED ENTRY TO THE MILITARY BECAUSE SHE WAS FEMALE  ( http://americancivilwar.com/women/mary_edwards_walker.html ).  SHE WORE PANTS UNDER HER DRESS FOR OBVIOUS REASONS, BUT WAS RIDICULED FOR THAT, AMONGST A HOST OF OTHER STUPID REASONS, SO SHE WORKED AS A VOLUNTEER AND CONTRACT SURGEON. THIS WAS THE  CIVIL WAR, SO HER LIFE WAS ENTHRALLING, ALSO.  I BELIEVE SHE WAS AWARDED THE MOH BY THE VERY OFFICER WHO TRIED TO SHAME HER, TELLING HER SHE NEEDED TO TAKE HER PETTICOATS AND JOIN THE OTHER WOMEN BACK HOME (sigh). AT SOME POINT THEY TOOK HER MEDAL AWAY, SAYING ONLY MILITARY COULD RECEIVE THEM...sigh...SHE WAS GIVEN IT BACK IN '77.  
       
      I AM THINKIN' A GOOD DEAL OF CREDIT GOES TO HER FATHER FOR BEING A LONG WAY AHEAD OF THE TIMES AND INSISTING THAT HIS DAUGHTERS HAVE AN EXTENSIVE EDUCATION, AS WELL AS THOUGHT WOMENS TIGHT CLOTHES TO BE TOO RESTRICTIVE. GOOD MAN! LOL
       
      CHECK OUT THE SCHEDULE ON CHANNEL 13 (sorry, that's on OKC, but prolly PBS for the rest of ya!), AND READ BELOW, MEANWHILE ( GREAT TIME TO DO SO THIS CLOSE TO VETERANS DAY, AND THE MARINE CORP BIRTHDAY!!!).
       
      ALL THAT BEING SAID...
       
       SEMPER FI, BROTHERS - LOVE YOU ALL!!
       
       
      LOVE AND AFFECTION TO ALL MY VETERAN FRIENDS AND FAMILY THIS VETERAN'S DAY!!
       
      KAREN...
      XOXOX
      ps: yes, I am lazy. Should have cleaned this up...but I ain't, lol (worth weeding thru, I think!).

      Smedley Butler

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      Smedley Butler
      July 30, 1881(1881-07-30) – June 21, 1940 (aged 58)
      A gold star shaped military medal hanging from a blue ribbon with white 5 pointed stars A white male in his military uniform. Miltary ribbons are visible
      Smedley D. Butler
      Nickname"Old Gimlet Eye"
      "The Fighting Quaker"
      "Old Duckboard"
      Place of birthWest Chester, Pennsylvania
      Place of deathPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
      Place of burialOaklands Cemetery West Chester, Pennsylvania
      Allegiance United States of America
      Service/branchUSMC logo.svg United States Marine Corps
      Years of service1898–1931
      RankUS-O8 insignia.svg Major General
      Commands held13th Marine Regiment
      Marine Expeditionary Force, China
      Battles/warsSpanish-American War
      Boxer Rebellion

      Banana Wars
      Mexican Revolution

      World War I
      China Expedition

      AwardsMedal of Honor (2)
      Marine Corps Brevet Medal
      Army Distinguished Service Medal
      Navy Distinguished Service Medal
      French Order of the Black Star
      Other workWriter and speaker
      Director of Public Safety (Philadelphia) (1924–1925)

      Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940), nicknamed "The Fighting Quaker" and "Old Gimlet Eye", was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps and, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history.

      During his 34 years of Marine Corps service, Butler was awarded numerous medals for heroism including the Marine Corps Brevet Medal (the highest Marine medal at its time for officers), and subsequently the Medal of Honor twice. Notably, he is one of only 19 people to be twice awarded the Medal of Honor, and one of only three to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor, and the only person to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor for two different actions.

      In addition to his military career, Smedley Butler was noted for his outspoken anti-interventionist views, and his book War is a Racket. His book was one of the first works describing the workings of the military-industrial complex and after retiring from service, he became a popular speaker at meetings organized by veterans, pacifists and church groups in the 1930s.

      In 1934, he alleged to the United States Congress that a group of wealthy industrialists had plotted a military coup known as the Business Plot to overthrow the government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The allegations were controversial.[1][2][3][4][5]

      Contents

      [hide]
      3 Military retirement and later years
        4 Honors and awards
          4.2 Other awards
            5 See also 6 Footnotes 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links

              [edit] Early life and family

              Butler was born July 30, 1881 in West Chester, Pennsylvania,[6] the eldest in a family of three sons. His parents, Thomas Stalker Butler and Maud (Darlington) Butler,[6] were both members of local Quaker families. His father was a lawyer, judge, and, for 31 years, a Congressman who was chairman of the House Naval Affairs Committee during the Harding and Coolidge administrations.[7][8]

              Butler was educated at the West Chester Friends Graded High School and later at The Haverford School, a secondary school for sons of upper-class families near Philadelphia.[9] While he was a student at Haverford he was an athlete, participating as Captain of the baseball team and quarterback of the football teams at Haverford.[6] He dropped out of school 38 days before his 17th birthday to join the Marines, although his father did not approve.[6] Haverford later awarded him the diploma June 6, 1898 before the end of his final year which states he completed the Scientific Course "with Credit."

              Butler married Ethel Conway Peters of Philadelphia in Bay Head, New Jersey on June 30, 1905.[10] His best man at the wedding was his former Commanding Officer in China, Lieutenant Colonel Littleton W. T. Waller. The couple had a daughter, Ethel Peters, and two sons, Smedley Darlington Jr. and Thomas Richard.[1] He was then posted to garrison duty in the Philippines. While in the philippines Butler launched a resupply mission across the stormy waters of Subic Bay after his isolated outpost ran out of rations. He was eventually diagnosed with "nervous breakdown" in 1908 and he was given 9 months sick leave. He returned home and spent a successful time in the West Virginia coal mining business. Despite an offer of permanent employment from the owners, he returned to the Corps.[11]

              [edit] Military career

              Despite his father's desire that he remain in school, Smedley Butler dropped out when the United States declared war against Spain in 1898. Due to his young age (he was only 16 years old) Butler lied about how old he was in order to secure a commission in the Marines as a second lieutenant.[12] After three weeks of basic training, Second Lieutenant Butler was sent to Guantanamo, Cuba, in July 1898, although he saw no action there because the bay was already secured.[13]

              [edit] Boxer Rebellion

              Butler was twice wounded during the Chinese Boxer Rebellion: once in Tientsin and once in San Tan Pating. During the Battle of Tientsin on July 13, 1900, Butler climbed out of a trench to retrieve a wounded officer for medical attention, whereupon he was shot in the thigh. Another Marine helped the wounded Butler to safety but was himself shot; Butler continued to assist the first man to the rear. Four enlisted men received the Medal of Honor for their actions in the battle. Butler's Commanding Officer, Major Littleton W. T. Waller personally commended his actions in his report and recommended "for such reward as you may deem proper the following officers: Lieutenant Smedley D. Butler, for the admirable control of his men in all the fights of the week, for saving a wounded man at the risk of his own life, and under a very severe fire." Although officers were not eligible to receive the Medal of Honor at the time, Butler received a promotion to captain by brevet, in recognition of his bravery in the incident. Butler received his promotion while in the hospital recovering, two weeks before his nineteenth birthday. He would later become one of only 20 Marines to be awarded the U.S.M.C. Brevet Medal when the decoration was created in 1921. In addition to wounds he received in Tientsin, Butler was also shot in the chest at San Tan Pating, purportedly clipping a chunk of Central America out of a large Eagle, Globe, and Anchor tattoo on his torso.[14]

              [edit] Honduras

              In 1903 Butler was stationed on the Caribbean Island of Culebra when the United States ordered that the Marines and several naval ships proceed to Honduras, 1500 miles to the west. Butler and his Marines were tasked with protecting the U.S. Consulate in Honduras from rebels after a revolution had started. Butler and several hundred Marines were transported aboard a converted banana boat called Panther and proceeded to the port town of Puerto Cortes. In a letter home Butler stated that when they landed they were "prepared to land and shoot everybody and everything that was breaking the peace"[15], but instead found a quiet town. After staying for a short time, the Marines aboard the Panther, continued to travel up the coast line stopping at several towns along the way looking for the revolution, but found nothing. When the Panther sailed to the town of Trujillo however, they arrived to the sounds of gunfire from a 55 hour battle between the Bonillistas and the regular soldiers at the towns fort. Butler took some Marines and marched through the town to the American consulate, were he found the consul, wrapped in an American flag, hiding in the floor beams. At the sight of the Marines passing through the town the fighting ceased but as soon as the marines left the battle continued until the Bonillistas controlled the whole government.[15]

              It was during this expedition Butler earned the first of several colorful nicknames, "Old Gimlet Eye", attributed to the feverish, bloodshot eyes which enhanced his habitually penetrating and bellicose stare.[12]

              [edit] Central America

              From 1909 to 1912, he served in Nicaragua enforcing US policy, and while there once led his battalion to the relief of the rebel-besieged city of Granada with a 104-degree fever. In December 1909, he commanded the 3d Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment on the Isthmus of Panama, but on August 11, 1912 was temporarily detached to command an expeditionary battalion organized for service in Nicaragua during which he participated in the bombardment, assault and capture of Coyotepec from October 12, 1912 to October 31, 1912. He remained on duty in Nicaragua until November 1912 at which time he rejoined the Marines of 3d Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment at Camp Elliott, Panama.[7][16]

              [edit] First Medal of Honor for Veracruz, Mexico in 1914

              Marine Officers at Vera Cruz. Front row, left to right: Wendell C. Neville; John A. Lejeune; Littleton W. T. Waller, Commanding; Smedley Butler

              Between the Spanish-American War and the US entry into the first World War in 1917, Butler achieved the distinction, shared with only one other Marine (Dan Daly), of being twice awarded the Medal of Honor for separate incidents of outstanding gallantry in action.[16]

              The first award was for his activities in the United States occupation of Veracruz, Mexico in 1914. But the large number of Medals of Honor awarded during that campaign—one for the Army, nine for Marines and 46 to Navy personnel—diminished the medal's prestige. During World War I, Butler, then a major, attempted to return his Medal of Honor, explaining that he had done nothing to deserve it. It was returned to him with orders that not only was he to keep it but that he was to wear it as well.[17]

              [edit] Second Medal of Honor for Haiti in 1915

              Capture of Fort Riviere, Haiti, 1915, by D. J. Neary; illustrations of Maj Smedley Butler, Sgt Iams, and Pvt Gross (USMC art collection)

              At the outset of the United States occupation of Haiti (1915-1934), the Marines defended the dictator Vilbrun Guillaume Sam against the Cacos rebels. On October 24, 1915 a patrol of forty-four mounted Marines led by Butler was ambushed by some 400 Cacos. The Marines maintained their perimeter throughout the night, and early the next morning they charged the much larger enemy force from three directions. The startled Haitians fled. Sergeant Major Dan Daly received a Medal of Honor for his gallantry in the battle.[16]

              By mid-November 1915 most of the Cacos had been suppressed. The remainder took refuge at Fort Rivière, an old French-built stronghold deep within the country. Fort Rivière sat atop Montagne Noire, with its front reachable only by a steep, rocky slope, while the other three sides fell away so sharply that an approach from those directions was impossible. Some Marine officers argued that it should be assaulted by a regiment supported by artillery, but Butler convinced his colonel to allow him to attack with just four companies of 24 men each, plus two machine gun detachments. Butler and his men took the rebel stronghold on November 17, 1915, for which he received his second Medal of Honor, as well as the Haitian Medal of Honor.[8] Major Butler recalled that his troops "hunted the Cacos like pigs." His exploits impressed Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), then Assistant Secretary of the Navy, who recommended the award based upon Butler's performance during an engagement in which 200 Cacos were killed with none taken alive, while one Marine was struck by a rock and lost two teeth.[18]

              Later, as the initial organizer and commanding officer of the Haitian Gendarmerie, the native police force, Butler established a record as a capable administrator. Under his supervision social order, under the dictatorship, was largely restored and many vital public works projects were successfully completed.[8][12]

              [edit] World War I

              Butler (far right) with three other legendary Marines. From left to right: Sergeant Major John Henry Quick, Major General Wendell Cushing Neville, Lieutenant General John Archer Lejeune

              During World War I, Butler, much to his disappointment, was not assigned to a combat command on the Western Front. He made several attempts at being stationed in France, writing letters to his personal friend Major General Wendell Cushing Neville, who was at the time assistant to the then Commandant of the Marine Corps, Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune. While his superiors considered him brave and brilliant, they also described him as "unreliable."[13] He was, however, promoted to the rank of brigadier general at the age of 37 and placed in command of Camp Pontanezen at Brest, France, a debarkation depot that funneled troops of the American Expeditionary Force to the battlefields, in October 1918. The camp had been plagued by horribly unsanitary, overcrowded and disorganized conditions. US Secretary of War Newton Baker sent novelist Mary Roberts Rinehart to report on the camp. She later described how Butler began by solving the mud problem: "[T]he ground under the tents was nothing but mud, [so] he had raided the wharf at Brest of the duckboards no longer needed for the trenches, carted the first one himself up that four-mile hill to the camp, and thus provided something in the way of protection for the men to sleep on."[13] General John J. Pershing authorized a duckboard shoulder patch for the units. This earned Butler another nickname, "Old Duckboard." For his exemplary service Butler was awarded not only the Distinguished Service Medal of both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy, but also the French Order of the Black Star.[16]

              Following the war Butler became Commanding General of the Marine Barracks at Marine Corps Base 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. While at Quantico he transformed the wartime training camp into a permanent Marine post.[16] During a training exercise in western Virginia in 1921, he came across the burial place of Stonewall Jackson's arm; he dug it up, and replaced it in a metal box and leaving a plaque, which is no longer there.[19]

              [edit] Director of Public Safety

              At the urging of Butler's father, U. S. Rep. Thomas S. Butler, the newly elected mayor of Philadelphia, W. Freeland Kendrick, asked Butler to leave the Marines to become Director of Public Safety, the official in charge of running the police and fire departments. Philadelphia's municipal government was notoriously corrupt.[16] Butler refused at first, but when Kendrick asked President Calvin Coolidge to intervene, and Coolidge contacted Butler to say that he could take the necessary leave from the Corps, Butler agreed. He served in the post from January 1924 until December 1925.[8][16]

              Within days of taking over, Butler ordered raids on more than 900 speakeasies. He also went after bootleggers, prostitutes, gamblers and corrupt police officers. Butler was more zealous than politic in his duties; in addition to cracking down on gangsters and working-class drinking dives, he saw no reason to spare the social elite's favorite speakeasies, the Ritz-Carlton and the Union League. After almost two years in office Butler resigned under pressure. He later said, "Cleaning up Philadelphia was worse than any battle I was ever in."[20]

              [edit] China and stateside service

              From 1927 to 1929, Butler was commander of the
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