Axtell, Geroge, LtGen

Deceased
 
 Service Photo 
 Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant General
Last Primary MOS
8003-General Officer
Primary Unit
1972-1974, 8003, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic (FMFLANT)
Service Years
1940 - 1974
Official/Unofficial USMC Certificates
Shellback Certificate
Tailhook Certificate

Lieutenant General

 
 

 Last Photo 
 Personal Details 


Home State
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Year of Birth
1920
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt Ryan Mahana (Alcatraz) to remember Marine LtGen Geroge Axtell.

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
Ambridge
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Aug 20, 2011
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

USMC Retired Pin (30 Years)


 Unofficial Badges 

Cold War Medal




 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Lieutenant General George C. Axtell, World War II ace and Navy Cross winner for heroism during the battle for Okinawa, retired from active duty on 1 September 1974. He was born in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, on 29 November 1920, and graduated from high school there in 1938. He attended the University of Alabama before enlisting in the Marine Corps in July 1940 as a Marine Aviation Cadet. He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree and a Master of Arts degree (Comptroller) from George Washington University.

He was assigned to flight school and was commissioned as a second lieutenant and designated a Naval Aviator in May 1941. From May until December 1941, he was an instructor at Pensacola, and then was transferred to the U.S. Naval Academy's Postgraduate School where he studied meteorological engineering, graduating in March 1943. He was promoted to first lieutenant in June 1942, and to captain in August 1942.

Promoted to major in May 1943, he saw duty from that July until June 1945, as Commanding Officer, Marine Fighter Squadron 323 (VMF-323), from the date of its formation at Cherry Point, North Carolina, and then throughout the Okinawa campaign. During the Okinawa campaign, VMF-323 scored 124 enemy planes. Following the Okinawa campaign he was assigned as the Commanding Officer, Marine Carrier Air Group-16, operating from the USS Badoeng Strait. Following the deactivation of MCVG-16 in March 1946, he served as Commanding Officer, VMF-452 until the following January.

Major Axtell completed the Junior Course at Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, early in 1947, and began his first tour of duty at Headquarters Marine Corps as Naval Aviator Detail Officer, followed by a two-year tour with the Judge Advocate General's Office. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in January 1951.

In 1952, he was ordered to Korea where he took part in combat with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing as Tactical Officer of Marine Aircraft Group -12, and later, as Commanding Officer of Marine Attack Squadron 312. He served next with the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing at Cherry Point, North Carolina, as Assistant to the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, for a year, then as Commanding Officer, Marine Air Control Group 1. In 1955, Lieutenant Colonel Axtell reported to Headquarters Marine Corps for four years' duty as Assistant Head of Aviation Training and Distribution Branch, and Head of Program Planning, Division of Aviation. He was promoted to colonel in July 1959.

From 1959 until 1960, he served in Japan as 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Legal Officer and, later, as Commanding Officer, MAG-12. Returning to MCAS, Cherry Point, for a three-year period, he was initially assigned as 2d Wing Legal Officer and then reassigned as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3.

After completing the National War College, Washington, D.C., in June 1964, Colonel Axtell was assigned as Chief of Staff, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. Ordered to the Far East in September 1965, he served as Chief of Staff, III Marine Amphibious Force, and was awarded his first Legion of Merit with Combat "V," for service in this capacity.

During March 1966, he organized and commanded the Force Logistics Command, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, located in the Republic of Vietnam. A second Legion of Merit with Combat "V" was awarded him for exceptionally meritorious conduct during this assignment.

Upon his return to the United States in December 1966, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general, and assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps. For his service as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, from December 1966 until June 1970, he was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of his third Legion of Merit. He was promoted to major general, 7 August 1969.

From late June 1970 to March 1972, he served as Commanding General, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, Cherry Point, North Carolina.

On 10 March 1972, it was announced that President Nixon had nominated Major General Axtell for appointment to the grade of lieutenant general and assignment as the Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, in Norfolk, Virginia. He was advanced to three-star rank on 1 April 1972. He received the Distinguished Service Medal upon his retirement on 1 September 1974.  LtGen Axtell passed away at the age of 90 on 20 August 2011.







 






 

In addition to the Navy Cross and the Distinguished Service Medal, his awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with Combat "V," and Gold Stars in lieu of second and third awards, the Distinguished Flying Cross with Gold Star in lieu of a subsequent award, the Air Medal with one Silver Star in lieu of second through sixth awards, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Navy Unit Commendation with one bronze star, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star, the Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, the United Nations Service Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

   
Other Comments:









































Naval Aviator insignia
1st Row   Navy Cross Navy Distinguished Service Medal  
2nd Row Legion of Merit w/ v device & 2 award stars Distinguished Flying Cross w/ 1 award star Air Medal w/ 5 award stars Navy Presidential Unit Citation w/ 2 service stars
3rd Row Navy Unit Commendation w/ 1 service star American Defense Service Medal American Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 1 campaign star
4th Row World War II Victory Medal National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 service star Korean Service Medal w/ 2 service stars Vietnam Service Medal w/ 3 service stars
5th Row Korean Presidential Unit Citation Vietnam Gallantry Cross unit citation United Nations Korea Medal Vietnam Campaign Medal

   
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World War II
Start Year
1941
End Year
1945

Description
Overview of World War II 

World War II killed more people, involved more nations, and cost more money than any other war in history. Altogether, 70 million people served in the armed forces during the war, and 17 million combatants died. Civilian deaths were ever greater. At least 19 million Soviet civilians, 10 million Chinese, and 6 million European Jews lost their lives during the war.

World War II was truly a global war. Some 70 nations took part in the conflict, and fighting took place on the continents of Africa, Asia, and Europe, as well as on the high seas. Entire societies participated as soldiers or as war workers, while others were persecuted as victims of occupation and mass murder.

World War II cost the United States a million causalities and nearly 400,000 deaths. In both domestic and foreign affairs, its consequences were far-reaching. It ended the Depression, brought millions of married women into the workforce, initiated sweeping changes in the lives of the nation's minority groups, and dramatically expanded government's presence in American life.

The War at Home & Abroad

On September 1, 1939, World War II started when Germany invaded Poland. By November 1942, the Axis powers controlled territory from Norway to North Africa and from France to the Soviet Union. After defeating the Axis in North Africa in May 1941, the United States and its Allies invaded Sicily in July 1943 and forced Italy to surrender in September. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the Allies landed in Northern France. In December, a German counteroffensive (the Battle of the Bulge) failed. Germany surrendered in May 1945.

The United States entered the war following a surprise attack by Japan on the U.S. Pacific fleet in Hawaii. The United States and its Allies halted Japanese expansion at the Battle of Midway in June 1942 and in other campaigns in the South Pacific. From 1943 to August 1945, the Allies hopped from island to island across the Central Pacific and also battled the Japanese in China, Burma, and India. Japan agreed to surrender on August 14, 1945 after the United States dropped the first atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Consequences:

1. The war ended Depression unemployment and dramatically expanded government's presence in American life. It led the federal government to create a War Production Board to oversee conversion to a wartime economy and the Office of Price Administration to set prices on many items and to supervise a rationing system.

2. During the war, African Americans, women, and Mexican Americans founded new opportunities in industry. But Japanese Americans living on the Pacific coast were relocated from their homes and placed in internment camps.

The Dawn of the Atomic Age

In 1939, Albert Einstein wrote a letter to President Roosevelt, warning him that the Nazis might be able to build an atomic bomb. On December 2, 1942, Enrico Fermi, an Italian refugee, produced the first self-sustained, controlled nuclear chain reaction in Chicago.

To ensure that the United States developed a bomb before Nazi Germany did, the federal government started the secret $2 billion Manhattan Project. On July 16, 1945, in the New Mexico desert near Alamogordo, the Manhattan Project's scientists exploded the first atomic bomb.

It was during the Potsdam negotiations that President Harry Truman learned that American scientists had tested the first atomic bomb. On August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay, a B-29 Superfortress, released an atomic bomb over Hiroshima, Japan. Between 80,000 and 140,000 people were killed or fatally wounded. Three days later, a second bomb fell on Nagasaki. About 35,000 people were killed. The following day Japan sued for peace.

President Truman's defenders argued that the bombs ended the war quickly, avoiding the necessity of a costly invasion and the probable loss of tens of thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of Japanese lives. His critics argued that the war might have ended even without the atomic bombings. They maintained that the Japanese economy would have been strangled by a continued naval blockade, and that Japan could have been forced to surrender by conventional firebombing or by a demonstration of the atomic bomb's power.

The unleashing of nuclear power during World War II generated hope of a cheap and abundant source of energy, but it also produced anxiety among large numbers of people in the United States and around the world.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1941
To Year
1945
 
Last Updated:
Nov 13, 2017
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
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  14253 Also There at This Battle:
  • Abel, Joseph Napoleon, Capt, (1941-1942)
  • Abraham, Edwin Allan, PFC, (1942-1944)
  • Adams, Ben, Pvt, (1942-1946)
  • Adams, Betty June, Sgt, (1943-1955)
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