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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Korean War/CCF Spring Offensive (1951)
Start Year
1951
End Year
1951

Description
On 22 April enemy activity across the whole front suddenly increased and the U.N. advance halted abruptly. The expected spring offensive was at hand.

Following a four-hour artillery bombardment, three Chinese Communist armies attacked the U.N. line in the evening hours of 22 April. The main attack was against the U.S. I and IX Corps in the Seoul sector, coupled with a secondary thrust in the central Yonch'on-Hwach'on area and a p w h in the seat near Inje. U.N. lines held firm except in the IX Corps central sector, where ROK units were forced back in confusion. With the line broken, Van Fleet ordered the I and IX Corps to withdraw through a series of delaying positions to Line KANSAS, thus giving up the ground gained in recent U.N. offensives. When the enemy cut the Seoul-Kaesong highway on 26 April, Van Fleet withdrew the IX Corps back to the Hongch'on River.

Meanwhile, in the I Corps area, the enemy crossed the Imjin River on 22 April and drove the ROK unite south of the KANSAS Line on the 23d. On 27 April the enemy outflanked Uijongbu, forcing U.N. units to pulls back to within four miles of Seoul, and also made an unsuccessful attempt to outflank the city to the east. On the east-central front North Koreans captured Inje. By 29 April, however, their drive had been halted. On this date Van Fleet established a new line, designated NONAME-LINE, extending from north of Seoul to Sabangue and thence northeast across the 38th parallel to Taepo-ri on the east coast. Because the major enemy attack had been in the west, Van Fleet reshuffled his units to put more American divisions there. By the end of April, U.N. forces had stopped the enemy short of Seoul and the Han and held a strong, continuous defense line.

As the enemy withdrew to recoup losses, Van Fleet improved his defenses on NO-NAME-LINE and planned an offensive to carry the Eighth Army back to Line KANSAS; but signs of another impending enemy attack led him to postpone it.

On the night of 15-16 May an estimated 21 Chinese divisions, flanked by 3 North Korean divisions in the west and 6 in the east, struck in the central sector against the U.S. X and the ROK III Corps in the Naep'yong-ni-No-dong area. ROK units were again forced back by the swarming columns of Chinese and North Koreans. Once more Van Fleet reshuffled his units, moved in reserves, and laid down a tremendous curtain of artillery fire which exacted heavy casualties and stopped the enemy offensive.

On 17 May the enemy struck down the Pukhan River toward the Han in the western sector, against the I and IX Corps, with a force of about 250,000 men. This attack was also contained after three days of violent action. By 20 May U.N. troops brought the enemy to a standstill, having thus stopped two major offensives in two months.

Van Fleet decided to renew the offensive, so as to give the enemy no chance to gather himself for another counterstrike. On 18 May he opened a series of local attacks. Once more enemy forces pulled back and U.N. forces moved forward against light resistance. Within a few days the I Corps reached the Imjin River north of Munsan-ni and entered Uijongbu and Sinp'al-li. The IX Corps pushed toward Kap'yong, drove the enemy across the Hanch'on River, and moved toward the Hwach'on Reservoir. In the X Corps area the 1st Marine Division attacked Yanggu on 24 May. The 187th RCT headed for Inje, which it captured on the 27th. The Marines were pushing toward the Hwach' on Reservoir and Yanggu. The 7th Division of the I Corps took Hwach'on. By 31 May the U.N. forces scored a significant advance which brought them just about back to the KANSAS Line, and South Korea was virtually cleared of the enemy.

At this point the Joint Chiefs of Staff prescribed that the Eighth Army was not to go beyond the general vicinity of Line KANSAS. The only tactical operations permitted were those necessary to protect itself, to maintain contact, and to harass the enemy. This was the basic pattern of U.N. military operations which was to be followed throughout the remainder of the war.

On 1 June, therefore, Van Fleet ordered his reserve forces to strengthen KANSAS so as to make it virtually impregnable. Meanwhile the I and IX Corps were to continue Operation PILEDRIVER toward Line WYOMING (the bulge north of KANSAS that ran from the Imjin River to points just south of Ch'orwon and Kumhwa and thence southeast). Ch'orwon and Kumhwa were captured on 11 June. Two tank-infantry task fences reached P'yongyang, the northern tip of the Iron Triangle, on 13 June and found it deserted. The dominating high ground north of the city was held by the enemy, however, and U.N. forces withdrew. The Chinese reoccupied P'yongyang on 17 June. Meanwhile the X Corps on the east-central front pushed through mountains toward its sector of the KANSAS Line, which extended over a series of ridges from the Hwach'on Reservoir northeastward to the lower lip of the "Punchbowl," an aptly named circular depression north of Inje. Thus by mid-June the Eighth Army had attained the principal terrain objectives of Operation PILEDRIVER. Action for the rest of the month was confined to developing the KANSAS and WYOMING Lines, and to patrolling and local clashes.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1951
To Year
1951
 
Last Updated:
Jun 5, 2016
   
Personal Memories
   
Units Participated in Operation

7th Marine Regiment

1st Marine Regiment

1st Marine Regiment/1st Bn, 1st Marine Regiment (1/1)

VMA-542

1st Combat Engineer Bn

VMA-121

2nd Bn, 7th Marine Regiment (2/7)

HMR-161

MARDET USS Los Angeles (CA-135)

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  224 Also There at This Battle:
  • Anderson, Charles, Cpl, (1950-1952)
  • Anderson, Neville L, Sgt, (1947-1952)
  • Andresevic, Bill, LtCol, (1947-1965)
  • Bainbridge, Beryl, 1stLt, (1948-1958)
  • Bane, Robert D, Sgt, (1946-1951)
  • Barker, Milton, Cpl, (1943-1951)
  • Barresi, Vincent Wm.
  • Bates, Hugh, Sgt, (1949-1952)
  • Belcher, Ed, Sgt, (1950-1953)
  • Bohart, Richard, Cpl, (1946-1951)
  • Brockish, Robert, LtCol, (1949-1974)
  • Buchanan, Gordon, Col, (1947-1957)
  • Burke, Harry, Cpl, (1948-1952)
  • Campbell, Hugh, Cpl, (1948-1951)
  • Carone, Michael, Sgt, (1950-1954)
  • Cheape, Doug, Sgt, (1950-1952)
  • Cheely, Walter, 1stLt, (1942-1953)
  • Coad, Jason
  • Cundiff, Russell, MSgt, (1946-1970)
  • Davis, Leland Frank, Cpl
  • Faria, Don, SSgt, (1945-1952)
  • Fedde, Patrick, Cpl, (1948-1952)
  • Floyd, Herbert, SSgt, (1948-1952)
  • Galbreaith, Don W, Col, (1942-1970)
  • Gary, Harry, Maj, (1942-1962)
  • Gerardino, Photograp, William, (1951-1964)
  • Goessl, Kenneth, Cpl, (1948-1955)
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