Gen. Clifton B. Cates, USMC, Commandant

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Clifton Bledsoe Cates

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Tiptonville, Tenn.
Death: June 04, 1970 (76)
Annapolis
Place of Burial: 1 Memorial Avenue, Arlington, Arlington County, VA, 22211, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Willis Jones Cates and Martha Virginia Cates
Husband of Jane Virginia Cates
Father of Clifton B Cates and Ann Willis Cates
Brother of Catherine Nell Prothro

Managed by: Private User
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About Gen. Clifton B. Cates, USMC, Commandant

http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entry.php?rec=215

http://ww2gravestone.com/people/cates-clifton-bledsoe/

General Clifton B. Cates, nineteenth commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, was born in Tiptonville on August 31, 1893. After graduating from the University of Tennessee, he joined the marines as a second lieutenant in 1917. During World War I he earned the Navy Cross for heroism at Bouresches and Belleau Wood, where he was gassed and wounded. At Soissons, where he received his second wound of the war, he received the Silver Star. The French government also recognized his heroism with the Legion of Honor and the Crois de Guerre. Cates also was promoted to the rank of captain. His war service began a remarkable record where Cates would become one of the few officers in the American military to command, under fire, a platoon, company, battalion, regiment, and division during his long career.

After the Great War he participated in the occupation of Germany before returning to Washington, where he served as an aide to the Marine Corps commandant and as a military aide to President Woodrow Wilson. The next twenty years he served in various capacities in locales from California to China to Marine Corps headquarters.

When the United States entered World War II, Cates was Director of the Marine Corps Basic School in Philadelphia and held the rank of colonel. He soon left this administrative post, however, for the field, serving with distinction as a colonel in command of the First Marines at the landing at Guadalcanal in August 1942, for which he received the Legion of Merit. His next posting was as commandant of the Marine Corps School at Quantico, Virginia, before he received command of the Fourth Division in July 1944. Cates played a pivotal role in the Tinian campaign and the seizure of Iwo Jima. He led the division for the duration of the war, receiving a Distinguished Service Medal and a gold star for his leadership.

In 1948 Cates was advanced to the rank of general and became the commandant of the Marine Corps, a post which he held for the next four years. After his term ended, he reverted back to the rank of lieutenant general and served a second tour as commandant of the Marine Corps Schools. He was promoted to the rank of general at his retirement in 1954. During his thirty-seven-year career in the marines, he was wounded several times and won almost thirty decorations. Cates died in 1970 and was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. A historical marker in his honor was dedicated at the Tiptonville museum in 1998.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clifton_B._Cates



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clifton_B._Cates

General Clifton Bledsoe Cates (August 31, 1893 – June 4, 1970), USMC, was the 19th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps (served January 1, 1948 - December 31, 1951) . He was honored for his heroism during World War I at Belleau Wood and in World War II for inspired combat leadership at Iwo Jima.

Military career

After graduating from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Law degree in 1916, he was commissioned as second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserves. He began active duty on June 13, 1917.

World War I

During World War I, Cates served with the 6th Marine Regiment, fighting in France. For his heroism in the Aisne defensive at Boursches and Belleau Wood, he was awarded the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Service Cross and Oak Leaf Cluster, in addition to the Purple Heart. He was awarded a Silver Star for his gallantry at Soissons. In addition to his medals from the U.S. military, he was recognized by the French government with the Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre with Gilt Star and two palms.

Post-war service

Cates returned to the United States in September 1919, and he served in Washington, D.C. as a White House aide and Aide-de-Camp to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. In 1920, he served in San Francisco, California, as Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General, Department of the Pacific. From 1923 to 1925, he served a tour of sea duty as commander of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS California (BB-44).

In 1929, Cates was deployed to Shanghai, China, where he rejoined the 4th Marines, where he served for three years. He then returned to the U.S. for training at the Army Industrial College and in the Senior Course in the Marine Corps Schools. In 1935, was assigned to the War Plans Section of the Division of Operations and Training at Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC). In 1936, he returned to Shanghai as a battalion commander with the 6th Marine Regiment. In 1938, he rejoined the 4th Marines in Shanghai.

In 1940, and he was named the Director of the Marine Officers Basic School at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. In 1942, Col Cates took command of the 1st Marines.

World War II

Colonel Cates led the 1st Marine Regiment at Guadalcanal, for which he was awarded the Legion of Merit with Combat “V". He then took command of the 4th Marine Division in the Marianas operation, the Tinian campaign and the seizure of Iwo Jima. For his services at Tinian he received the Navy Distinguished Service Medal and a Gold Star in lieu of a second Distinguished Service Medal for his service at Iwo Jima.

After his first tour of duty in the Pacific, returned to the United States to serve as Commandant of the Marine Corps Schools at Quantico until 1944. He then returned to the Pacific theater until the end of the war as commander of the 4th Marine Division.

Commandant

On January 1, 1948, he was promoted to the rank of General and sworn in as Commandant of the Marine Corps. He served as Commandant for four years. Upon completion of his tour as Commandant of the Marine Corps he was reverted to the rank of Lieutenant General and returned to serve again as Commandant of the Marine Corps Schools. He retired on June 30, 1954 and was once again promoted to the rank of General.

Death

General Cates died 4 June 1970 at the U.S. Naval Hospital, Annapolis, Maryland, after a long illness. He was buried with full military honors on 8 June 1970 at Arlington National Cemetery.

One of the few officers of any service who had commanded a platoon, a company, a battalion, a regiment and a division under fire, he won nearly 30 decorations. In addition to the decorations already mentioned, Gen Cates’ medals and decorations include: the Presidential Unit Citation ribbon with three bronze stars (Guadalcanal, Tinian and Iwo Jima); the World War I Victory Medal with Aisne, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Defensive Sector clasps; the Army of Occupation of Germany Medal; the Expeditionary Medal (China-1929-1931); the Yangtze Service Medal (Shanghai-1930-1931); the China Service Medal (China-1937-1939); the American Defense Service Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal with one silver star in lieu of five bronze stars; the American Area Campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; the National Defense Service Medal and the Netherlands Order of the Orange Nassau with crossed swords and rank of Grand Officer.

General Cates also held doctoral law degrees from the University of Tennessee and the University of Chattanooga.

Awards and decorations

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clifton_B._Cates#Awards_and_decorations

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Gen. Clifton B. Cates, USMC, Commandant's Timeline

1893
August 31, 1893
Tiptonville, Tenn.
1921
1921
1970
June 4, 1970
Age 76
Annapolis
June 8, 1970
Age 76
Arlington National Cemetery, 1 Memorial Avenue, Arlington, Arlington County, VA, 22211, United States
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