Robert Henry Dunlap was born in Washington, D.C., on 22 December 1879.  He was appointed a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps on 8 August 1898 for the War with Spain.  He was honorably discharged 23 February 1899 but returned to the Marine Corps as a first lieutenant on 8 April 1899.


He served in the Philippine Islands and China from 25 June to 9 October 1900, and participated in the Battle of Tientsin during the Boxer Rebellion.   He was promoted to captain on 23 July 1900 and then to major on 27 November 1909.


In 1914, Maj Dunlap participated in the occupation of the port city of Vera Cruz and the fighting that soon followed in that city.  He also participated in the engagement at Guayacanes, Dominican Republic, 3 July 1916.  He was promoted to lieutenant colonel on 29 August 1916 and received a temporary promotion to colonel on 1 July 1918. 


During World War I, on 30 October 1918, Col Dunlap was assigned to command the 17th Regiment of Field Artillery, U.S. Army, and participated in the Meuse-Argonne offensive in command of that organization from 1-11 November 1918.  He participated in the march to the Rhine and continued on duty with the American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F.) until 8 February 1919, when he was detached and returned to the United States.  Col Dunlap was awarded a citation certificate by the Commander in Chief, A.E.F., for exceptionally meritorious and conspicuous services with the 17th Regiment of Field Artillery as well as being awarded the Navy Cross for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service as regimental commander of the 17th Field Artillery during the Meuse-Argonne campaign.  He was also awarded the French Fourragere for service with the 5th Regiment of Marines and the 17th Field Artillery.  He was permanently promoted to the rank of colonel on 4 June 1920.


Colonel Dunlap later served in Nicaragua and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by the President of the United States and the Medal of Merit by the President of Nicaragua.  He was promoted to brigadier general on 12 November 1929. 


In 1931, BGen Dunlap was living in LaFariniere, Cinq-Mars-La-Pile, France, in order to study French in preparation for the course at the Ecole de Guerre.  On the morning of 19 May, a small landslide occurred on the property, imprisoning a woman in a troglodyte cave which was being used for a dairy.   BGen Dunlap, along with the husband of the woman, attempted to rescue her but both men were killed by a second, heavier landslide.  BGen Dunlap’s body was returned to the U.S. where he was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, with full military honors.

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