Lieutenant General Joseph C. Fegan, Jr.



Lieutenant General Joseph C. Fegan, Jr., who retired in 1978 after a 36-year career in the Marine Corps, died on 2 January 1991 in San Diego, California.  Born 21 December 1920, in Los Angeles, California, he enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve and attained the rank of private first class, while attending Princeton University. He received a B.A. degree in Political Science upon graduation in November, 1942.

He was commissioned a second lieutenant in July 1942, with promotions during his career to: first lieutenant, August 1943 (he integrated into the regular Marine Corps in May 1943); captain, August 1946; major, January 1951; lieutenant colonel, May 1957; colonel, September 1964; brigadier general, September 1968; major general, December 1971; and lieutenant general, August 1975.

During World War II, he served a brief tour of duty as an artillery instructor at Camp Pendleton, California, before joining the 4th Battalion, 14th Marines, 4th Marine Division. Deploying with this unit to the Pacific area, he saw combat as a battery commander in the Marshall Islands, Marianas, and Iwo Jima, and earned the Silver Star Medal during the capture of Saipan.

Returning to the United States in November 1945, he reported to Camp Pendleton, where he was Assistant S-4 and a company commander with the Redistribution Regiment until June 1946.

He then completed the Gunnery Officers' Ordnance School in Washington, D.C., and the Advanced Naval Gunfire Course at Quantico, before returning to the West Coast in September 1946, to serve as an instructor at the Naval Gunfire School, Fleet Marine Amphibious Training Center, Coronado, California, until December 1948. General Fegan then served more than a year as Assistant S-3 and as a company commander with the 5th Marines, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade on the island of Guam in the Marianas, and Camp Pendleton. He was deployed with this unit to Korea where he saw combat as a company commander until wounded in action 18 August 1950. For his service in Korea, General Fegan was awarded his second Silver Star Medal.

Returning to the United States, he served as Executive Officer with the 1st Recruit Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California. General Fegan then served for almost two years as Instructor, NROTC Unit at Yale University before reporting to Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, where he became an instructor at The Basic School until September 1953.

He completed the Amphibious Warfare School, Quantico, in June 1954, and was transferred to Japan, serving as representative of the Commanding General, 3d Marine Division to the Commander, Naval Forces, Far East, until January 1955, then as Regimental S-3, Headquarters, 4th Marines at Kaneohe, Hawaii, through May 1955.

General Fegan completed the Spanish Language Course, Vox Institute of Language, and the Strategic Intelligence School, Army Intelligence Center, Washington, D.C., before reporting to the American Embassy, Madrid, Spain, as the Assistant Naval Attache and Assistant Naval Attache for Air, until December 1957.

General Fegan's next assignment was as Administrative Assistant to the Chairman, Inter-American Defense Board, Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, D.C., until August 1959. He then attended the Command and Staff College and Atomic Weapons Employment Course, Quantico, in June 1960.

Transferred to the 2d Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, he served consecutively as Commanding Officer, 2d Battalion, 10th Marines; Executive Officer, 10th Marines; Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines; and Assistant G-3, 2d Marine Division. Returning to Quantico in July 1963, he served as S-3 Officer, and Executive Officer, The Basic School until July 1965, then completed the National War College, Washington, D.C., in June, 1966.

General Fegan's next assignment was in the Republic of Vietnam where he served as the Deputy, Combat Operations Center, U.S. Military Assistance Command. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for service in Vietnam.

In July 1967, upon his return to the United States, he became Marine Corps Liaison Officer, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C. In November 1967, he was assigned as Commanding Officer, Marine Barracks and Director, Marine Corps Institute, Washington, D.C. Eleven months later, after being promoted to brigadier general, he reported to Camp Lejeune. There he served first as Assistant Division Commander, 2d Marine Division, and later, as Commanding General, Force Troops, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic.

Following his promotion to major general in late 1971, he assumed command of the 3d Marine Division in January 1972. While under his command, the 3d Marine Division participated in numerous exercises and deployments, in addition to the Easter Offensive alert in Vietnam in 1972.

Returning to the United States in February 1973, he became Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. Following his advancement to lieutenant general on 26 August 1975, he assumed his final assignment as Commanding General, Marine Corps Development and Education Command at Quantico.

A complete list of his medals and decorations include: the Silver Star Medal with Gold Star in lieu of a second award; the Legion of Merit with two Gold Stars; the Navy Commendation Medal with one Gold Star in lieu of a second award; the Purple Heart with two Gold Stars; two Presidential Unit Citations; the Navy Unit Commendation; the American Defense Service Medal; the American Campaign Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four Bronze stars; the World War II Victory Medal; the Navy Occupation Service Medal; the National Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star; the Korean Service Medal with one Bronze Star; the Vietnam Service Medal with two Bronze Stars; the Staff Service Honor Medal, First Class (Vietnam); the Korean Presidential Unit Citation; the United Nations Service Medal; the Republic of Vietnam Civic Actions Medal, First Class Color with Palm; and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device.

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