JONAS M. PLATT, USMC
Major General Jonas M. Platt, decorated veteran of three wars, died on 28 July 2000 at the age of 80. For meritorious service as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, from March 1968 through June 1970, his final assignment, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.
Born 21 September 1919 in Brooklyn, New York, he graduated from high school in Cranston, Rhode Island. He attended Norwich University in Vermont, graduating in 1940 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, and was commissioned a Marine second lieutenant in June 1940.
While serving in the Marine Detachment aboard the battleship USS Washington during World War II, he rose from lieutenant to major, participating in Russian convoy operations in the Norwegian Sea, and six operations in the Pacific, including Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and Kwajalein. In 1944, after four months in the United States, he returned to the Pacific area. As a member of the 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, he participated in the assault landings on Peleliu and Okinawa, earning the Navy Commendation and Bronze Star Medals, both with Combat “V”, and the Purple Heart.
Following the war, he organized and commanded the Provisional Marine Guard at United Nations Headquarters in New York. He later served at Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., earned a Master’s degree in Psychology at Ohio State University in 1949; and taught infantry tactics and instructional techniques at Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, until December 1952.
During the Korean Conflict, he earned the Legion of Merit with Combat “V” as Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, and Assistant G-3, 1st Marine Division.
During subsequent assignments, he served again at Headquarters Marine Corps; was assigned to a joint staff in London; served briefly in the Mediterranean during the Suez crisis in 1956; and from 1958-60 commanded the Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. - the oldest Post in the Corps.
Upon graduation from the National War College in 1961, he was assigned as Regimental Commander, 6th Marines, followed by duty as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3 2d Marine Division. During his period the Division deployed for the Cuban Crisis in October 1962.
From 1963 to 1965, he served as Commanding Officer of The Basic School, Quantico, which trains the Marine Corps’ new second lieutenants.
General Platt was promoted to brigadier general on 1 November 1965, while en route to Vietnam. Upon his arrival, he became Assistant Division Commander, 3d Marine Division, at Chu Lai. While serving with the Division, he commanded Task Force Delta in operations Harvest Moon, Double Eagle I, Double Eagle II and Utah. In March 1966, he moved to Danang and became Chief of Staff for Lieutenant General Walt - commander of the Marine Forces in Vietnam.
While serving in Vietnam, he was awarded three United States decorations - the Silver Star Medal, and a second and third Legion of Merit with Combat “V”. He was also awarded three decorations by the Government of Vietnam - the National Order of Vietnam, and two Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses with Palm.
Detached in December 1966, General Platt reported to Headquarters Marine Corps in January 1967, and was assigned duty as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1. He was promoted to major general on 19 March 1968. He retired from active duty on 30 June 1970.
A complete list of his medals and decorations includes: the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star Medal, the Legion of Merit with two Gold Stars in lieu of second and third awards, the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”, the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V”, the Purple Heart Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation with two bronze stars, the Navy Unit Commendation, the American Defense Service Medal with Fleet clasp, the American Defense Service Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one bronze star, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one silver star and three bronze stars, the World War II Victory Medal, the China Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star, the Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars, the Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze stars, the United Nations Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, the Vietnamese National Order, two Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses with Palm, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal