Major General William P. Biddle was the eleventh Commandant of the Marine Corps. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 15 1853 and deid in Nice, France the 24th of February 1923. He was interred in Arlington National Cemetery March 1923.

In June of 1875, Biddle was commssioned a second lietenant in the Marine Corps and did several tours of duty in Washington, New York, and Philadelphia. After these tour, he started his time of sea duty. It was during one of the sea tours, he was with Admiral Dewey in the Battle of Manila Bay. After this, Biddle spent some time in the Philippines before heading out with the Foruth Battalion of Marines to the Far East.

It was with the Fourt Battalion that he help take part in the great relief expedition to Peking in 1900. When the Boxer Rebellion quited down, Biddle was transfered back to the Philippine Islands where he spent the next two years.

In 1903, Biddle becae a lieutenant colonel and was transfered to Panama in command of a battalion of Marines. After being involved with Panama's independence movement, he was transfered to duty at Marine Corps headquarters.

Biddle was chosen as Commandant of the Marine Corps after George Elliot. However this was not without controversy. Many thought that Littelton W. T. Walker, who was known as a hero of several Marine battles, would have been a better choice. But Walker had eleven Filipinos shot for treachery. This act made Walker politically unacceptable allowing Biddle to become Commandant.

His tenure as commandant was a quite term and focused mostly on the day to day activites of the Marine Corps. Also the first intervention in Nicaragua took place under his watch.

After thirty years as a Marine, Biddle retired after serving as commandant for only three years. During World War I, Biddle returned to active duty and served on court-martial duty in San Diego.


Information for this node was taken from: www.usmc.mil, www.arlingtoncemetery.com/wbiddle.htm and www.marinecorps.com.

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