Bestwick, Wilbur, SgtMajMC

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Last Rank
Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
Last Primary MOS
9991-Sergeant Major of The Marine Corps
Last MOSGroup
Specific Billet MOS
Primary Unit
1957-1959, 9991, Office of Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Commandant Marine Corps (HQMC)
Service Years
1934 - 1959

Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps

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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by GySgt Michael Snell (Big Sky) to remember Marine SgtMajMC Wilbur Bestwick (1st SgtMajMC).

If you knew or served with this Marine and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Jul 10, 1972
Location of Interment
Skylawn Memorial Park - San Mateo, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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Last Known Activity
Sergeant Major Wilbur Bestwick, the first Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, died 10 July 1972, at the Stanford University Hospital, San Francisco, California. He was interred at the Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto, California.

Sergeant Major Bestwick was born on 27 November 1911, in Sabetha, Kansas, and graduated from high school there in 1932. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1934 and received his basic training at San Diego, California.

The Sergeant Major saw pre-World War II duty at sea aboard the USS Louisville, and served at Marine posts in Bremerton, Washington; San Diego, and Camp Elliott, California. Appointed a Sergeant Major in 1943, he saw World War II combat while serving in this capacity with the 3rd Marine Division in the Bougainville and Guam campaigns.

On his return to the States, in December 1944, Sergeant Major Bestwick served as Sergeant Major of the Mare Island (California) Shipyard. He was transferred to San Francisco in 1945, and completed a four-year tour of duty there as Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Depot of Supplies. In 1949, he became Sergeant Major of the Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot.

During the Korean conflict, he joined the 1st Marine Division in Korea in October 1952 as Division Sergeant Major, and after a year overseas returned to the States. For excellent service in Korea he was awarded the Navy Commendation Ribbon with Combat "V". In 1954, he began a two-year assignment as Sergeant Major, Inspector and Instructor Staff, 1st Air Delivery Company, San Jose, California.

Transferred to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., in June 1956, Sergeant Major Bestwick served as Sergeant Major to the Secretary of the General Staff until 23 May 1957, when he assumed the newly-established post of Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. He served in this capacity until he retired from active duty on September 1, 1959.

His personal decorations include the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V".
Other Comments:
1st Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
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  1952-1953, 9999, 1st Marine Division, I MEF

From Month/Year
- / 1952
To Month/Year
- / 1953
1st Marine Division Unit Page
Sergeant Major
9999-Sergeant Major/First Sergeant
Not Specified
Korea, South
 1st Marine Division, I MEF Details

1st Marine Division, I MEF
Ground Unit
Parent Unit
Created/Owned By
Not Specified

Last Updated: Mar 5, 2009
My Photos For This Unit
No Available Photos
248 Members Also There at Same Time
1st Marine Division

Twining, Merrill Barber, Gen, (1923-1959) 99 9903 Brigadier General
Whaling, William, MGen, (1917-1954) 99 9903 Brigadier General
Brunelli, Austin Roger, BGen, (1928-1962) 99 9906 Colonel
Buse, Jr, Henry William, LtGen, (1934-1970) 99 9906 Colonel
Thomas, Marvin, Sgt, (1951-1955) 99 9900 Sergeant
Caldwell, Frank, Col, (1942-1973) 3 0302 Lieutenant Colonel
Dodd, Paul M., LtCol, (1935-1955) 3 0302 Lieutenant Colonel
Glick, Jacob, BGen, (1941-1971) 59 5905 Lieutenant Colonel
Sanders, Alvin, BGen, (1938-1967) 34 3402 Lieutenant Colonel
Barrow, Robert, Gen, (1942-1983) 3 0302 Major
Early, Cleland E, Col, (1941-1967) 3 0302 Major
McNeil, John Paul, Col, (1942-1969) 3 0302 Major
Motelewski, Joseph, Col, (1939-1980) 44 4402 Major
Thompson, Jr., Rufus Buell, LtCol, (1937-1961) 4 0401 Major
Brooks, Donald, BGen, (1940-1974) 8 0802 Captain
Canton, John S., Col, (1940-1971) 3 0302 Captain
Dahl, Clarence, Col, (1942-1976) 25 2502 Captain
DeNormandie, Frank Reed, Col, (1944-1970) 13 1302 Captain
Doehler, William Francis, BGen, (1939-1972) 3 0352 Captain
Howard, Thornton, Capt 3 0301 Captain
Mader, John, Col, (1945-1974) 13 1302 Captain
Pruitt, Henry, Capt, (1951-1955) 3 0302 Captain
Agee, Joseph, Col, (1952-1983) 3 0302 First Lieutenant
Chenoweth, Theodore, LtCol, (1951-1989) 3 0302 First Lieutenant
Hawes, Richard Ellington, Col, (1951-1982) 3 0302 First Lieutenant
Meyers, Tedson, 1stLt, (1953-1956) 3 0302 First Lieutenant
Toth, Francis Anthony, Maj, (1948-1979) 3 First Lieutenant
Bannantine, James Wade, 2ndLt, (1951-1952) 3 0301 Second Lieutenant
Barker, David Benton, MGen, (1951-1987) 3 0302 Second Lieutenant
Drummond, Milton Dwight, LtCol, (1949-1974) OF Second Lieutenant
McCoy, John Joseph, 2ndLt, (1952-1953) 3 0301 Second Lieutenant
Van Meter, Solomon Lee, 2ndLt, (1944-1953) 3 0301 Second Lieutenant
Whitney, Robert Hickson, 2ndLt, (1950-1952) 3 0302 Second Lieutenant
Dency, John, MGySgt, (1941-1966) 18 1814 Master Gunnery Sergeant
Turner, Robert, MGySgt, (1952-1982) 3 0369 Master Gunnery Sergeant ("The President's Own")
England, Olin Otho, MSgt, (1938-1959) 30 3092 Master Sergeant
Semons, William, 1stSgt, (1942-1968) 3 0369 Gunnery Sergeant
Moore, Paul Puden, GySgt, (1942-1963) 61 6129 Technical Sergeant
Pettit, William Robert, MSgt, (1939-1969) 58 5811 Technical Sergeant
Bailey, Gary, SSgt, (1951-1954) 3 0311 Staff Sergeant
Beasley, H. L. Jr., SSgt, (1951-1953) 11 1100 Staff Sergeant
DEARING, GARY, SSgt 21 2111 Staff Sergeant
Dower, Ken, SSgt, (1948-1952) 2 0201 Staff Sergeant
Everett, John, Maj, (1949-1975) 3 0369 Staff Sergeant
Ewing, Willie, SSgt, (1943-1965) 1 0121 Staff Sergeant
Faria, Don, SSgt, (1945-1952) 8 0848 Staff Sergeant
Olson, Derold, SSgt, (1950-1954) 3 0369 Staff Sergeant
Paxton, Jack, Capt, (1948-1969) 43 4312 Staff Sergeant
Bell, Clifford F, MGySgt, (1942-1967) 3 0311 Sergeant
Canright, Robert, 1stSgt, (1950-1976) 3 0311 Sergeant
Cleary, Robert E, SgtMajMC, (1951-1987) 3 0311 Sergeant
Coffman, Clovis Clyde, Col, (1949-1980) 3 0369 Sergeant
Crumpler, Norman, Sgt, (1952-1955) 30 3011 Sergeant
Cullen, Thomas, Sgt, (1952-1965) 8 0848 Sergeant
Dean, Roy, Sgt, (1950-1953) 3 0311 Sergeant
Frutiger, Richard, Sgt, (1950-1954) 3 0311 Sergeant
German, Earl, SSgt, (1948-1967) 7 0761 Sergeant
Gilstrap, Granville, Sgt, (1948-1952) 33 3371 Sergeant
Goettsch, Duane, Sgt, (1951-1954) 30 3011 Sergeant

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