EDWIN A POLLOCK, USMC
General Edwin A. Pollock, former Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, died 5 November 1982 at the Medal University of South Carolina. He had been advanced to the rank of general upon retirement by reason of having been specially commended in combat.
The Navy Cross was awarded General Pollock for heroism on Guadalcanal the night of 20-21 August 1942. He was then a lieutenant colonel serving as a battalion commander with the 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division. His citation states in part:
"When the troops under his command were subjected to a powerful and determined surprise attack at the Tenaru River, Lieutnant Colonel Pollock, immediately leaving his Command Post, advanced through severe enemy mortar and machine-gun fire to a position in the front line, and while thus constantly exposed to extreme danger, directed the defense of our forces for a period of twelve hours. As a result of his excellent judgment and superb leadership, the men under his command destroyed practically the entire enemy force of seven hundred."
General Pollock was born on 21 March 1899, at Augusta, Georgia, where he attended the Summerville Academy. He also studied for a year at Staunton Military Academy in Virginia before entering The Citadel at Charleston, South Carolina. Graduating from The Citadel in 1921 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, he was appointed a second lieutenant in the Army Reserve that June. He resigned that commission to accept appointment as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve 1 July 1921.
After completing the Company Officers' Course, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, Lieutenant Pollock reported to the Marine Barracks, Parris Island, South Carolina, in November 1922. He began his first tour of expeditionary duty in 1923 when he was ordered to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In 1926, after duty with the West Coast Expeditionary Forces at San Diego, California, and a brief period at Quantico, he joined the 11th Marine Regiment in Nicaragua for his second tour of expeditionary service. He was promoted to first lieutenant in September 1926. He later joined the Staff of the Commanding General, 2d Brigade Marines, in Nicaragua, before returning to Quantico in late 1927.
In August 1928, as a member of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Galveston, Lieutenant Pollock was ordered once more to Nicaragua. From June 1930 to August 1934, he served on the staff of the Marine Corps Schools. He was also attached to the 1st Marines during a period of intensive training aboard the USS Arkansas in Atlantic, Caribbean and Pacific waters. In August 1934, he was assigned duty aboard the USS Salt Lake City as Commanding Officer, Marine Detachment. That November he was promoted to captain. He continued to command the Marine Detachment until June 1936.
During the following year, Captain Pollock served at the Marine Barracks, Naval Ammunition Depot, St. Julien's Creek, Virginia. In June 1937, he was ordered to Philadelphia where he served as Officer in Charge of the Publicity Bureau. He was promoted to major in September 1938. Leaving Philadelphia in June 1939, Major Pollock was assigned to the Marine Corps Schools, Quantico. There he completed the Senior Course and served as Assistant Instructor in the Base Defense Weapons and Reserve Officers' courses. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in January 1942.
In April 1942, Lieutenant Colonel Pollock took command of the 2d Battalion, 1st Marines. He embarked for the Pacific area in June and two months later participated in the action which earned him the Navy Cross on Guadalcanal. That September, he as named Executive Officer of the 1st Marines, and in July 1943 became Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3 (Operations), 1st Marine Division. He was promoted to colonel in November 1943.
Colonel Pollock later took part in the Eastern New Guinea and Cape Gloucester operations, earning the Legion of Merit with Combat "V" during the latter. He returned to the States in March 1944 as Staff Instructor at the Army, Navy Staff College. In December 1944, he rejoined the Fleet Marine Force overseas as Operations Officer and, later, Chief of Staff, 4th Marine Division. During combat on Iwo Jima, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V".
In November 1945, Colonel Pollock was again ordered to Quantico. He served there successively as Commanding Officer of the Basic School, Executive Officer of the Marine Corps Schools, and Chief of Staff of the Marine Barracks. Subsequently assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., he was appointed Military Secretary to the Commandant of the Marine Corps in June 1948. In July 1949, with his promotion to brigadier general, he became Director of Plans and Policies at Headquarters Marine Corps.
General Pollock was promoted to major general in October 1951. That December, he became Commanding General of the 2d Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. In August 1952, he arrived in Korea to assume command of the 1st Marine Division. The Distinguished Service Medal was awarded to him for outstanding service in this capacity from August 1952 to June 1953, during bitter engagements on the Reno-Carson-Vegas Complex.
Shortly after returning from Korea, the general reported to Quantico in July 1953 as Director of the Marine Corps Educational Center. A year later he assumed command of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. In January 1956, General Pollock was promoted to lieutenant general and appointed Commandant of the Marine Corps Schools, Quantico.
General Pollock left Quantico in August 1956 to assume duty the following month at Camp H.M. Smith as Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, Honolulu, T.H. Following this assignment, he served as Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, from December 1957 until his retirement on 1 November 1959.
A complete list of the general's medals and decorations include: the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with Combat "V", the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V", the Presidential Unit Citation with one bronze star in lieu of a second award, the Navy Unit Commendation with one bronze star in lieu of second award, the Expeditionary Medal, the Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one silver star in lieu of five bronze stars, the American Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal with three bronze stars, the United Nations Service Medal, the Korean Order of Military Merit Taiguk, and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation.