Edwin B. Wheeler
United States Marine Corps Major General.
Edwin Bliss Wheeler was born on March 17, 1918, in Port Chester, New York, to Rachel Mowder, age 25, and Lloyd Bliss Wheeler, age 33. Locally his family lived at 77 Glendale Place. Ed graduated Port Chester High School in 1935 and served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II.
In March 1941, while attending the New York University Law School, he enlisted in the United States Marines Corps and was assigned to Officers Training School in Quantico, Virginia. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in May, 1941. He served with the famous Marine Raiders during World War II and earned the Silver Star for gallantry in action at New Georgia, Solomon Islands on July 20, 1943.
During his thirty-one years of service, he was awarded five Legions of Merit, three with Combat V.
The first was earned for service while leading a reconnaissance patrol on the British Solomon Islands in March 1943. Named the Wheeler Patrol he was accompanied by Philip Oldham. Together they traversed jungle areas and "as a result of initiative daring and cool judgment" obtained valuable Information the citation sets forth. This jungle trip Is presumed to be the same in which Oldham of Rye, then a sergeant took part and for which he was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant shortly before his family learned of his death in action.
The second Legion of Merit was for service as Battalion Commander and Executive Officer in Korea from June 1952 until May 1953; the third for service as Commanding Officer, 3rd Regiment, 3rd Marine Division on Okinawa and the Republic of Vietnam from July 1964 until September 1965; the fourth for service rendered as the Commanding General, 2nd Marine Division from November 1967 until May 1969; the fifth upon his retirement.
In addition, He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal while serving as the Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division in Vietnam from June 1969 until May 1970.
He is, to date, the only Marine officer to have commanded every type of ground unit, from platoon to division, while in combat. He retired from active service in 1972.
For two years, he served as the Deputy Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare for California Governor, Ronald Reagan and was appointed to the American Battle Monuments Commission in December, 1981. He died of a heart attack at the age of 67, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
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