Greene, Wallace Martin, Jr., Gen

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
General
Primary Unit
1964-1967, 9903, Commandant Marine Corps (HQMC)
Service Years
1931 - 1967

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Home State
Vermont
Vermont
Year of Birth
1907
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Cpl David R. Evans (D.R.) to remember Marine Gen Wallace Martin Greene, Jr. (23rd CMC).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Waterbury

Date of Passing
Mar 08, 2003
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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  1964, Historical Marines [Verified]


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General Wallace Martin Greene, Jr. (December 27, 1907-March 8, 2003) was the 23rd Commandant of the Marine Corps from January 1, 1964 to December 31, 1967, when he retired from active service. Greene's decorated Marine career spanned 37 years.

Greene served in China in the 1930s, in the South Pacific in World War II, and was Commandant during the military buildup in Southeast Asia and when the first US troops entered South Vietnam. During General Greene's tenure, the Marine Corps grew from 178,000 active-duty personnel to nearly 300,000.

Wallace Martin Greene, Jr. was born on December 27, 1907 in Waterbury, Vermont. In 1925, he graduated from high school in Burlington, Vermont, then attended the University of Vermont for a year before entering the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, 5 June 1930, he was commissioned a Marine second lieutenant and ordered to Marine Officers' Basic School at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

After completing Basic School in June 1931, 2dLt Greene served for a year at the Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. During July 1932, he completed the Sea School at San Diego, California, and joined the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Tennessee. Returning from sea duty in March 1934, he served briefly at Pensacola, Florida, and Quantico, Virginia, before reporting to the Marine Barracks, Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, New Jersey, that November. He was promoted to first lieutenant the same month.

Except for a temporary assignment at Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland, where he completed a course in the Chemical Warfare School, he remained stationed at Lakehurst until March 1936. After that, he served at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, until he sailed for Guam in October 1936. He was stationed there until June 1937, when he embarked for Shanghai, China, to join the 4th Marine Regiment. During September 1937, the 4th Marines became a part of the 2nd Marine Brigade and he was promoted to captain.

Along with his unit, Capt Greene was commended for performance of duty while attached to the defense forces of the International Settlement during the Sino-Japanese hostilities of 1937 and 1938. Upon his return from China in August 1939, he entered the Junior Course, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico. He completed the course in May 1940, then took command of the 1st Chemical Company, 1st Marine Brigade, sailing with it that October for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. While there, the brigade was redesignated the 1st Marine Division.

Returning with his unit in April 1941, Capt Greene served at Quantico and New River (later Camp Lejeune), North Carolina, as Assistant Operations Officer, 1st Marine Division. In November 1941, he was ordered to London, England, as a Special Naval Observer. During that assignment, he attended the British Amphibious Warfare School in Inverary, Scotland, and the Royal Engineer Demolitions School in Ripon, York, England. He was promoted to major in January 1942 and returned to the United States the following month.

Named Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, 3rd Marine Brigade, in March 1942, Maj Greene sailed with the brigade for Upolu, Western Samoa, the following month. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in August 1942 and remained on Samoa until November 1943 when he joined the V Amphibious Corps in Hawaii.

   
Other Comments:
For outstanding service as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, Tactical Group One, during the planning and execution of the Marshall Islands invasion, LtCol Greene was awarded his first Legion of Merit with Combat "V". Following the disbanding of the group in March 1944, he joined the 2nd Marine Division as G-3, earning a second Legion of Merit for outstanding service in this capacity prior to and during combat on Saipan and Tinian. He remained with the 2nd Division until his return to the United States in September 1944.

In October 1944, LtCol Greene was appointed Officer in Charge, G-3, Operations, Division of Plans and Policies, Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC). He held that post until July 1945, then served as Executive Officer, Special Services Branch, Personnel Department. In April 1946, he was ordered to Little Creek, Virginia, as G-3, Troop Training Unit, Amphibious Training Command, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. While there, he was promoted to colonel in February 1948, with rank from August 1947.


Detached from Little Creek in June 1948, Col Greene reported to Pearl Harbor that August as G-3, Fleet Marine Force (FMF), Pacific. He returned from that assignment in June 1950 and for the next two years was Chief of the Combined Arms Section, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico. He also served briefly as Chief of the Coordination &XXevalXX. Section there, before entering the National War College, Washington, in August 1952. He graduated in June 1953 and the following month became Staff Special Assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for National Security Council Affairs. Prior to his departure from Washington, he was promoted to brigadier general on 1 September 1955.

Later that September, BGen Greene assumed duty as Assistant Commander, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune. In May 1956, he was transferred to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, where he served as Commanding General, Recruit Training Command, until March 1957, when he became Commanding General of the Recruit Depot. That July he became Commanding General of the Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune.

In January 1958, BGen Greene reported to HQMC as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3. While serving in this capacity, he was promoted to major general in August 1958. Following this assignment, he served from March through December 1959 as Deputy Chief of Staff (Plans). On 1 January 1960, he was designated as Chief of Staff, with the rank of lieutenant general.

Lieutenant General Greene was nominated by President John F. Kennedy on 24 September 1963 to become the 23rd Commandant of the Marine Corps for a four-year term. Upon assuming his post as Commandant on 1 January 1964, he was promoted to four-star rank. During his tenure, there was a proliferation of troops in Southeast Asia. In 1964, there were fewer than a thousand Marines in Vietnam but by 1968, the III Marine Amphibious Force in Vietnam numbered more than 100,000 Marines and sailors.

General Greene retired on 31 December 1967.
n addition to the Distinguished Service Medal with one Gold Star in lieu of a second award, the general?s medals and decorations include: the Legion of Merit with Combat ?V? and Gold Star in lieu of a second award, the Navy Unit Commendation, the China Service Medal, the American Defense Service Medal with base clasp, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three bronze stars, the American Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star.

He also has been awarded the Order of the Cloud and Banner, Grand Cordon, by the Republic of China; The Order of Service Merit, First Class, by the Republic of Korea; the Brazilian Order of Naval Merit, Grand Official, from Brazil; and the National Order of Vietnam, 3d Class, from the Republic of Vietnam.
   
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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
   
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  14257 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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