Lawrence Jr., James, BGen

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Last Rank
Brigadier General
Last Primary MOS
9903-General Officer
Last MOSGroup
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Primary Unit
1968-1972, Defense Logistics Agency
Service Years
1938 - 1972

Brigadier General


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This Military Service Page was created/owned by Cpl Steven Ryan (LoneWolf) to remember Marine BGen James Lawrence Jr..

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Date of Passing
Sep 08, 2006
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Joint Chiefs Service Secretary of Defense Service

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Last Known Activity

Brigadier General James F. Lawrence
was born March 17, 1918, in Rutledge, Tennessee, and graduated from Sand Hill High School, Candler, North Carolina, in 1936. He was graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in 1941, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Commerce. In 1953, he received a LLB degree from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

He attended the Platoon Leaders Course during the summers of 1938 and 1940 as a private first class in the Marine Corps Reserve, and was commissioned a Marine Reserve second lieutenant on July 1, 1941. Lieutenant Lawrence completed the Basic School, Marine Barracks, Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in April 1942.

During World War II, he served first as a platoon leader and then as a company executive officer with the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal and New Britain. For his service during this period, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V", the Purple Heart, and the Presidential Unit Citation. He was promoted to first lieutenant in December 1942 and to captain in September 1943.

Upon his return to the United States in August 1944, Captain Lawrence was assigned duty as Commanding Officer, Marine Detachment, Marine Barracks, Naval Base, Norfolk, Virginia, until September 1945. He completed the Japanese Language School, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, in December 1947. He completed the Amphibious Warfare School, Junior Course, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, in June 1950.

During the Korean conflict, Major Lawrence again served with the 1st Marine Division, this time as S-3 Officer; Battalion Executive Officer; and finally as Commanding Officer of the 2d Battalion, 7th Marines. He received the Navy Cross, a Gold Star in lieu of a second Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V", and Presidential Unit Citation with two bronze stars for his Korean service.

Upon his return to the United States, Major Lawrence attended Law School at the George Washington University, completing the course in July 1953. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in October 1952.

Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence reported to Headquarters Marine Corps where he served as Assistant Legislative assistant to the Commandant of the Marine Corps from July 1953 until July 1956. He completed the Amphibious Warfare School, Senior Course, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, in June 1957. Colonel Lawrence was Staff Assistant for Doctrines and Development until November 1957, then served as a Member on the Marine Corps Board at Quantico until June 1959.

Assigned to Headquarters, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, he saw duty in the G-1 Section until 1960; following this he served as the Force Legal Officer until July 1962. While serving as Force Legal Officer, he was promoted to colonel in April 1962. Assigned next to the 3d Marine Division on Okinawa, he served as Division Legal Officer until August 1963.

Returning to the United States later that month, he was assigned duty with the Department of Defense, Washington, D.C. For his service as Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower), he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal. In October 1965, he became Deputy Director, Office of the Legislative Liaison Officer to the Secretary of Defense. After his advancement to the rank of brigadier general, May 1, 1967, he served as Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Legislative Affairs), DOD, until his retirement from active duty, Nov 1, 1968, at which time he was recalled to active duty and continued in this position until he finally retired from active duty on March 31, 1972. He recieved the Distinguished Service Medal for his service from October 1965 to August 1970. Upon retirement he was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of a second Distinguished Service Medal.

A complete list of his medals and decorations includes: the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal with gold star, the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" and gold star in lieu of a second Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V", the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Purple Heart, the Presidential Unit Citation with two bronze stars, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four bronze stars, the American Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the China Service Medal, the Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asia clasp, the National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star, the Korean Service Medal with one silver star in lieu of five bronze stars, the United Nations Service Medal, and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation.

Other Comments:



The Navy Cross is presented to James F. Lawrence, Jr. (O-7913), Major, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as Operations Officer, and later as Executive Officer, of the Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Korea on 6 and 7 December 1950. With his battalion designated as the division vanguard during the crucial movement from Hagaru-ri to Koto-ri in the face of surrounding numerically superior enemy forces, Major Lawrence unhesitatingly volunteered to lead a small command group directly behind the forward assault platoon to coordinate the advance of the attacking rifle companies and, despite an almost ceaseless hail of hostile mortar and small-arms fire, constantly maintained his hazardous position to direct the supporting arms. Although seriously shaken by the bursts of enemy shells, he bravely continued to direct the supporting aircraft, tanks and mortars, completely neutralizing three hostile roadblocks during the first four miles of the attack. When the battalion commander and the executive officer became casualties, Major Lawrence promptly assumed command of and skillfully directed the battalion in breaking through the last enemy barriers outside the Koto-ri perimeter during the early morning hours of 7 December. Receiving orders to move back toward Hagaru-ri to assist the division column in its attempt to overcome reestablished hostile roadblocks, he fearlessly led his men in a daring blocking maneuver despite near exhaustion from the bitter cold, enabling the remainder of the division to move into friendly lines without further resistance from the enemy. By his outstanding courage, inspiring leadership and valiant devotion to duty in the face of overwhelming odds, Major Lawrence was directly instrumental in the success achieved by his division and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

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Rifle Expert

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1942, The Basic School (Quantico, VA)
 Unit Assignments
USMC (United States Marine Corps)Marine BarracksThe Basic School1st Marine Regiment/1st Bn, 1st Marine Regiment  (1/1)
1st Marine Division/HQ Bn, 1st Marine DivisionAmphibious Warfare SchoolI MEF/1st Marine Division2nd Bn, 7th Marine Regiment (2/7)
Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC)MCB Quantico, VAFleet Marine Force Pacific (FMFPAC)III MEF/3rd Marine Division
Defense Logistics Agency
  1938-1940, Platoon Leaders Class (Cadre)
  1941-1941, USMC (United States Marine Corps)
  1942-1942, Marine Barracks Philadelphia, PA
  1942-1942, The Basic School
  1942-1942, 1st Marine Regiment/1st Bn, 1st Marine Regiment (1/1)
  1943-1943, HQ Bn, 1st Marine Division/HQ Co
  1944-1945, Marine Barracks Norfolk Naval Shipyard Portsmouth, VA
  1950-1950, Amphibious Warfare School
  1950-1950, I MEF/1st Marine Division
  1950-1952, 2nd Bn, 7th Marine Regiment (2/7)
  1952-1953, USMC (United States Marine Corps)
  1953-1956, Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC)
  1957-1957, Amphibious Warfare School, Senior Course
  1957-1959, MCB Quantico, VA
  1960-1962, Fleet Marine Force Pacific (FMFPAC)
  1962-1963, III MEF/3rd Marine Division
  1963-1966, Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD)
  1967-1968, Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD)
  1968-1972, Defense Logistics Agency
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1945 World War II
  1942-1942 Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-43)/Battle of Tulagi (including First Savo)
  1942-1942 Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-43)/Battle of Eastern Solomons (Stewart Island)
  1943-1943 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Gilbert Islands Operation (1943)
  1945-1945 US Occupation of Japan
  1950-1950 Korean War/CCF Intervention (1950-51)/Battle of the Chosin Reservoir (Battle of Changjin)
  1950-1950 Battle of the Chosin Reservoir (Battle of Changjin)/Task Force Drysdale
  1950-1950 Korean War/UN Defensive (1950)
  1950-1950 Korean War/UN Offensive (1950)/Inchon Landing/Operation Chromite
  1950-1953 Korean War
  1951-1951 Korean War/CCF Spring Offensive (1951)/Battle of Kapyong
 Colleges Attended
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillGeorge Washington University
  1936-1941, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  1953-1953, George Washington University
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