One of the most decorated Marines
in the history of the Corps
, Wendell C. Neville was born May 12
. He entered the United States Naval Academy
, and in 1890
was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps
Neville served in the First Marine Battalion during the Spanish American War, and was awarded the the Brevet Medal for valor and leadership during the battle for Guantanamo Bay.
Promoted to Captain shortly after the war, Neville was sent to China to fortify the Peking garrison during the Boxer Rebellion. He would again be decorated for his actions at this post.
His next post would be military governor of Basilan Province in the Phillipines. He would later be assigned to Cuba, Nicaragua, Panama and Hawaii. In 1914 he commanded Marines landing at Vera Cruz, and would be awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.
On January 1, 1918, Neville took command of the 5th Marine Regiment in France. His first task would be to halt the German drive in Belleau Wood, beginning the decisive reversal of Germany's fortunes in the war. Promoted to command the 4th Marine Brigade, Neville would see an end to the war and stay on to oversee occupation of Germany.
Returning to the United States in 1919, Neville would be promoted to Major General within a year. Before his death in 1930, he would serve as assistant to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Commanding General, Department of the Pacific and Commandant of the Marine Corps. He was interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
During his 38 years in the Corps, he would earn the Medal of Honor, Brevet Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Cross of the Legion of Honor and five Croix de Guerre.