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Lieutenant General Edward A. Craig

 

LIEUTENANT GENERAL
EDWARD A. CRAIG, USMC
(DECEASED)

Lieutenant General Edward A. Craig, Director of the Marine Corps Reserve prior to his retirement on 1 June 1951, and a veteran of more than thirty-three years of Marine Corps service, died on 11 December 1994 at his home in El Cajon, California, at the age of 98.

Commanding the 9th Marines during the leadings at Bougainville in November 1943, General Craig was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. For his participation in the invasion and subsequent recapture of Guam, Marianas Islands, he received the Navy Cross, and while serving as Operations Officer, V Amphibious Corps, he was awarded the Legion of Merit for outstanding services during the bitter campaign on Iwo Jima. Later while commanding the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade in Korea he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star Medal, and the Air Medal with Gold Star in lieu of a second award.

Edward A. Craig was born on 22 November 1896, in Danbury, Connecticut. He attended St. John's Military Academy, Delafield, Wisconsin, and upon graduation in 1917, reported for active duty as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps on 23 August 1917.

In November 1917, he was assigned to duty with the Eighth Marine Regiment, and in April 1919, was ordered to foreign shore duty in Haiti, and later with the 2d Provisional Brigade of Marines in the Dominican Republic.

He returned to the United States in December 1921, where he served as Commanding Officer, Marine Detachment, Naval Ammunition Depot, Puget Sound, Washington, until again ordered to foreign shore duty, on this occasion to the Marine Barracks, Olongapol, Philippine Islands.

He was ordered to sea duty in February 1924, as Commanding Officer of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Huron, and during part of this period was on temporary detached duty ashore in China, where he took part in guarding the International Settlement at Shanghai and the American Legation at Peking.

He returned to the United States in March 1926, and after serving with the 4th Marine Regiment at San Diego, California, was assigned in June of that year as aide-de-camp to the Major General Commandant at Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. He remained there until May 1929, when he was ordered to Nicaragua for duty with the Nicaraguan National Guard.

Two and a half years later he joined the Marine Corps Base at San Diego, California, where he remained until June 1933. During this period he was on temporary duty in Nicaragua under the State Department from June to November 1932.

Following a short interval of three months during which the General was Commanding Officer, Marine Detachment, Receiving Ship, Disciplinary Barracks, San Diego, he returned to the Marine Corps Base where he performed duties as a Company Commander in the 6th Marines, Fleet Marine Force. In July 1936, he was detailed as G-1 (Personnel Officer) 2d Marine Brigade.

General Craig joined the Marine Corps Schools at the Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia, in July 1937, as a student in the Senior Course. Upon graduation in May the following year, he again returned to the Marine Corps Base at San Diego where he served as instructor in the Platoon Leaders' Course, Inspector-Instructor of Reserve Battalion Field Training, and Base Adjutant.

From June 1939 to June 1941, he was Marine Officer and Intelligence Officer on the Staff of the Commander, Aircraft Battle Force aboard the USS Yorktown and USS Enterprise, and for an interval of four months was stationed at the Naval Air Station at Pearl Harbor.

In July 1941, he again joined the Marine Base at San Diego and in October the same year was appointed Provost Marshall and Commanding Officer of the Guard Battalion where he performed duties until March 1942, when he joined the 2d Marine Division as Commanding Officer, 2d Pioneer Battalion.

In June 1942, he was detailed as Executive Officer of the 9th Marines, in which position he remained until October when he became Commanding Officer, Service Troops, 3d Marine Division, and sailed with the division for the South Pacific in February 1943.

General Craig assumed command of the 9th Marines at Guadalcanal in July 1943, and as part of the 3d Marine Division, led the Regiment in the landing at Empress Augusta Bay on Bougainville in November 1943.

Remaining as Commanding Officer of the regiment he took part in the invasion and subsequent recapture of Guam, Marianas Islands, in July and August 1944, where he was awarded the Navy Cross.

He was ordered to the V Amphibious Corps in September 1944, where he became Corps Operations Officer, in which capacity he planned and participated in the landing and assault on Iwo Jima in February 1945. He returned to the United States in July 1945, and assumed duties as Chief of Staff of the Marine Training Command, San Diego Area. From October 1945 to July 1946, he served as Commanding Officer of the Redistribution Regiment of the Marine Training and Replacement Command, San Diego Area.

After six months as Chief Instructor of the Troop Training Unit, Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet, during which time he was in charge of the Specialized Amphibious Training of Eighth Army Troops in Japan, he was promoted to brigadier general and again ordered overseas as Assistant Division Commander, 1st Marine Division (Reinforced), Tientsin, China. On 1 June 1947 he was assigned as Commanding General, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, Fleet Marine Force on Guam where he remained for two years.

Upon his return General Craig assumed duties as Assistant Division Commander, 1st Marine Division, at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, California. With the reactivation of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, General Craig was named Commanding General in July 1950. The brigade sailed for duty in Korea a few days later and participated in the fighting around the Pusan perimeter. When the 1st Marine Division subsequently arrived in Korea, he once again became Assistant Division Commander and took part in the landing at Inchon and operations in Northeast Korea. He was appointed to his present rank in January 1951. In March 1951, he returned to the United States, and assumed duties at Marine Corps Headquarters as Director of the Marine Corps Reserve.

In addition to the Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal and the Air Medal with Gold Star, his decorations and medals included the Presidential Unit Citation; Navy Unit Citation; two Korean Presidential Unit Citations; Victory Medal; Haitian Campaign Medal, 1919; Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal with one Bronze Star, Dominican Republic 1919-21; China 1924; Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, 1929-30; American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four Bronze Stars; World War II Victory Medal; China Service Medal, 1947; Navy Occupation Medal, Japan 1946; and the Korean Campaign Medal.