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Erskine, Graves Blanchard (1897-1973)


Photograph of General Graves B. Erskine

U.S. Marine Corps

Graves Erskine was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps at the height of the First World War, in which he was concussed so severely by a German shell that he spent nine months in a hospital. He served as Holland Smith's chief of staff throughout the first years of the Pacific War, where his administrative and diplomatic skills served Smith well. Although relatively young at 47 years of age, he commanded 3 Marine Division in the Iwo Jima campaign.

Leckie (1962) says of him that "He was soft-voiced and his smile could be gentle, but his eyes were green and cold. He was stern. On Guam, he had court-martialed artillerymen for firing short rounds that killed Marine riflemen. But he had the respect of his men ..."

Service record

1897-6-28

Born at Colombia, Louisiana
1917

Louisiana National Guard
1917-5-21

Enrolls in Marine Corps pending graduation from Louisiana State University
1917-7-5
Second lieutenant     
Commissioned in the Marine Corps
1918-1

Platoon leader, 6 Marine Regiment, France
1918-10

Evacuated to United States with wounds
1924-9

Depot quartermaster, Marine Barracks, Quantico
1926

Army Infantry School
1928-3

2 Marine Brigade, Nicaragua
1930

Instructor, Basic School, Marine Barracks, Philadelphia
1932

Command and General Staff School
1934

Instructor, Marine Corps School, Quantico
1935-1

Marine detachment, American Legation, Peiping
1937-6

Section chief, Marine Corps Schools
1940
Lieutenant colonel
Executive officer, 5 Marine Regiment
1941

Chief of staff, Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet
1942-9
Brigadier general
Chief of staff, Amphibious Corps, Pacific Fleet
1943-9

Chief of staff, V Amphibious Corps
1943-11

Deputy commander, V Amphibious Corps
1944-9
Major general

1944-10-14     

Commander, 3 Marine Division
1945-10

Administrator, Retraining and Reemployment Administration
1947-6

Commander, Marine Barracks, Camp Pendleton
1947-7

Commander, 1 Marine Division
1949-5

Deputy Commander, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific
1950-6

Chief, Military Group, Joint State-Defense Mutual Defense Assistance Program Survey Mission, Southeast Asia
1950-12

Commander, Department of the Pacific
1951-7
Lieutenant general     
Commander, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic
1953-7-1
General
Retires to accept appointment as Director of Special Operations, Department of Defense
1961-10-31

Retires from Defense Department
1973-5-21     

Dies at Bethesda, Maryland

References

Rottman (2002)

United States Marine Corps History Division (accessed 2008-9-27)

Venzon (2003)

Wheeler (2007)



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