Medal of Honor Citation

Original General Order

Brigadier General Albertus W. Catlin, after commanding the 3d Regiment at Vera Cruz, Mexico in 1914, was issued a commendatory letter by the Secretary of the Navy for courage and skill in leading his command. Later he was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery in action.

Born 1 December 1868 in Rome, New York, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps on 1 July 1892. After serving at various posts and stations in the United States and on board ships of the Navy, he saw action in the Spanish American War as commanding officer of the Marine detachment aboard the USS Maine, when the ship was destroyed in Havana Harbor in February 1898.

While serving in Cuba in 1911 he commanded a battalion of the 1st Regiment at Guantanamo Bay. He then commanded the 3d Regiment at Vera Cruz where he was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery.

With the outbreak of World War I, LtCol Catlin was placed in charge of the Marine training camp at Quantico, Virginia. In October 1917, he was sent to France as Commanding Officer of the 6th Regiment. From 1-6 June 1918, the 6th Regiment saw action in the front lines from Paris-Metz Road through Lucy le Bocage to Hill 142. On the 6th of June, with his regiment attacking Bois de Belleau, he was wounded in the chest by a sniper and evacuated to a hospital the next day.

Upon returning to the United States, Col Catlin served at Headquarters Marine Corps and was appointed brigadier general on 30 August 1918. Following his tour at Headquarters he was assigned to the Marine Barracks at Quantico, and in November 1918 he sailed for Haiti where he assumed command of the First Brigade of Marines until September 1919. In December 1919, BGen Catlin retired from the Marine Corps and as a result of his wound was in ill health until his death in Culpeper, Virginia, on 31 May 1933.

Besides the Medal of Honor, BGen Catlin was awarded two Croix de Guerre, one with palms and one with gilt star for gallantry in action against the enemy at Belleau Wood. He was also made an Officer of the Legion of Honor for his services in the same sector.

Soon after his return from France, he summarized his war experiences in a book called “With the Help of God and a Few Marines". 

Vera Cruz 1914 Medal of Honor

Marine Corps University