Lieutenant General Robert B. Luckey

 

LIEUTENANT GENERAL
ROBERT BURNESTON LUCKEY, USMC
(DECEASED) 

Lieutenant General Robert Burneston Luckey, who retired from active duty in the Marine Corps, 1 August 1963, following 36 years of commissioned service, died 9 September 1974, at his home, Lambert's Cove, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

General Luckey was born 9 July 1905, in Hyattsville, Maryland. He graduated from Central High School, Washington, D.C., in 1923 and from the University of Maryland in 1927. He accepted a commission as a Marine second lieutenant, 10 August 1927.

After completing the Basic School for Marine Corps Officers at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in February 1928, Lieutenant Luckey sailed for Nicaragua the following month to serve on expeditionary duty with the 2d Marine Brigade. He returned from Nicaragua in July, 1929, and was assigned to the Marine Barracks, U.S. Naval Academy, prior to completing the Sea School at the Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia.

In June 1930, Lieutenant Luckey began a tour of sea duty with the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Rochester. From September to November 1930, he was temporarily detached from that ship to serve again in Nicaragua as commander of the Electoral Guard Detachment in the Department of Carazo. Leaving the Rochester in February 1932, he served with Marine Detachments aboard the USS Memphis and USS Fulton until July of that year.

In September 1933, after a year's duty at the Norfolk (Virginia), Navy Yard, Lieutenant Luckey entered the Battery Officers' Course at the Army Field Artillery School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Completing the course in June 1934, he was ordered to San Diego, California, where he served as a battery officer with the Sixth and Tenth Marines. He was promoted to first lieutenant in January 1935. He sailed for China in January, 1936, and was assigned to the Marine Detachment at the American Embassy in Peiping. While there, he was promoted to captain in November 1936.

Captain Luckey joined the 2d Marine Brigade at Shanghai in January 1938, and returned with it to the United States in April. That June he reported to the Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia, where, in September 1938, he was named Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General. He served in that capacity until July 1939, then served briefly as Post Adjutant. In October 1939, he became a battery commander with the 1st Battalion, Tenth Marines, at Quantico.

From October 1940 to April 1941, Captain Luckey served with the 1st Marine Brigade, Fleet Marine Force, on temporary duty at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. On his return, he served as a battalion operations and executive officer with the Eleventh Marines, 1st Marine Division, at Parris Island, South Carolina, and later, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He was promoted to major in January 1942.

Major Luckey was named Division Antitank Officer and commander of the 1st Special Weapons Battalion, 1st Marine Division, at Camp Lejeune, in February 1942. He embarked for the Pacific area with his battalion that June, and arriving on Guadalcanal in August took part in the fighting there. While on Guadalcanal, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel in September 1942.

Lieutenant Colonel Luckey became Regimental Executive Officer of the Eleventh Marines in October 1942. He held that post during the later stages of the Guadalcanal operation and in the Cape Gloucester campaign. In addition, he served as Artillery Officer on the staff of the Assistant Commanding General, 1st Marine Division, Cape Gloucester, and earned the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V". He returned to the United States in February 1944.

From March to October 1944, Lieutenant Colonel Luckey was Director of the Artillery School, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico. He was ordered overseas again in November 1944, and in December 1944 was promoted to colonel.

Colonel Luckey served as Division Artillery Officer and Regimental Commander of the Fifteenth Marines, 6th Marine Division, on Okinawa and Guam, and in Tsingtao, China. In this capacity he earned the Legion of Merit with Combat "V" at Okinawa, and another Bronze Star Medal (Army) in Tsingtao during this surrender and repatriation of Japanese forces in that area. He returned from China in April 1946 to enter the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island.

Upon graduation in June 1947, Colonel Luckey joined the 2d Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, as Division Artillery Officer and Regimental Commanding Officer of the Fourth and Tenth Marines. He took command of the Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., in June 1949, and after two years there, returned to Camp Lejeune in July 1951. He served at Camp Lejeune as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, and later Chief of Staff, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, in July 1953. In August 1954, he was promoted to brigadier general.

General Luckey returned to Camp Lejeune in September 1954, and served as Commanding General, Force Troops, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, until June 1955. He then reported to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3 (Plans), and in June 1956 began a year's assignment as Deputy Chief of Staff (Research and Development). While serving in this capacity, he was promoted to the rank of major general in November 1956.

In July 1957, General Luckey became Commanding General of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island. Following this assignment, he reported in June 1959 as Commanding General, 3d Marine Division on Okinawa. On his return to the United States in October 1960, he served for one year as Commanding General, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune. On 1 November 1961, he assumed duty as Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, and was promoted to lieutenant general. He served in this capacity until his retirement, 1 August 1963.

A complete list of the general's medals and decorations includes: the Legion of Merit with Combat "V", the Bronze Star Medal with Gold Star in lieu of a second award, the Presidential Unit Citation with one bronze star indicative of a second award, the Navy Unit Commendation, the Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, the China Service Medal with one bronze star, the American Defense Service Medal with base clasp, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one silver star indicative of five bronze stars, the World War II Victory Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Nicaraguan Medal of Merit, and the Chinese Order of the Cloud and Banner.