The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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Del Valle was born in Puerto Rico and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1915, accepting a commission as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He served as assistant naval attaché in Italy and was the sole American observer of operations in Ethiopia. He was one of three Marine majors (the others being Lyle Miller and Charles Barrett) who began drafting the Tentative Manual for Landing Operations in 1931. This document laid the foundation for Marine amphibious operations during the Pacific War.
Del Valle attended the Army War College in 1937 and was given command of 11 Marine Artillery Regiment in 1941.
Del Valle commanded his artillery regiment with 1
Division at Guadalcanal.
Following a Japanese bombing attack on "Edson's Ridge" on 11
September 1942, both 1
Marine Raider Battalion commander "Red Mike" Edson and Del Valle
concluded that a Japanese attack was imminent, and Del Valle spent the
next day reorienting his guns and reformulating his fire plans.
Artillery fire from 11 Marines would prove crucial in breaking up the
Japanese attack on 13 September.
1943 Del Valle commanded all ground forces in the Solomons. He was commander of
Amphibious Corps artillery during the Guam
and Tinian invasions. In November
1944 he was promoted to major general and command of 1 Marine Division,
relieving Rupertus, who was in poor health and who had conducted the battle of Peleliu badly. Del Valle led the division through the Okinawa
campaign, demonstrating his initiative during the battle of Shuri
Castle, when the Japanese left open a gap in their line. Del Valle
immediately authorized a company
to cross 77
Division's front and seize the castle, then reinforced the
penetration with every available battalion.
His men were nearly bombed and shelled by their own side, but the
penetration unhinged the Shuri Line.
||Born at San Juan, Puerto Rico
||Graduates from Naval
Participates in Santo Domingo campaign.
||Marine Barracks, Quantico
||Headquarters Marine Corps
||Field Officers' Course
||Instructor, Field Officers'
||Assistant naval attache, Italy
||Graduates from Army War CollegeRupert|
||Executive officer, Division of
Plans and Policies
||Commander, 11 Marine Artillery Regiment|
||Commander, Artillery, 1 Marine Division|
||Commander, Ground Forces,
||President, Marinen Corps
||Commander, Artillery, III Amphibious Corps|
||Commander, 1 Marine Division|
||Director of Personnel
||Dies at Annapolis
Dupuy et.al. (1992)
United States Marine Corps History Division (accessed 2008-10-16)
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