Del Valle, Pedro Augusto, was born 28-08-1893 in San Juan Puerto Rico when the island was still under Spanish colonial rule. He was related to Dr. Francisco del Valle, a surgeon who had served as mayor of San Juan from 1907 to 1910. In 1900, two years after the Spanish-American War , the del Valle family moved to Maryland where they became U.S. citizens (The Jones Act of 1917 later gave United States Citizenship to all Puerto Ricans born on the island). He received his primary and secondary education in Maryland.
On 17-06-1911, after he graduated from high school, del Valle received an appointment by George Radcliffe Colton , who served from 1909 to 1913 as the U.S. appointed governor of Puerto Rico, to attend the U.S Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Del Valle graduated from the academy in June 1915 and was commissioned a second lieutenant of the Marine Corps on 05-06-1915.
On March 1941, del Valle became the commanding officer of the 11th Marine Regiment, artillery . Upon the outbreak of World War II, del Valle led his regiment and participated in the Guadal Campaign, providing artillery support for the 1st Marine Division , under Brigadier General Alexander Vandegrift In the Battle of the Tenaru , the firepower provided by del Valle’s artillery units killed many assaulting Japanese soldiers before they ever reached the Marine positions. The attackers were killed almost to the last man. The outcome of the battle was so stunning that the Japanese commander, Colonel Kiyonao Ichiki age 49, committed seppuku shortly afterwards. Seppuku a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment. Major General Alexander Vandegrift, impressed with del Valle’s leadership recommended his promotion and on 01-10-1942, del Valle became a Brigadier General.
Vandegrift retained del Valle as head of the 11th Marines, the only time that the regiment has ever had a General as their commanding officer. In 1943, he served as Commander of Marine Forces overseeing Guadalcanal, Tulagi and the Russell and Florida Islands..
On 01-04-1944, del Valle, as Commanding General of the Third Corps Artillery, III Marine Amphibious Corps , took part in the Battle of Guam and was awarded a gold star in lieu of a second Legion of Merit. The men under his command did such a good job with their heavy artillery that no one man could be singled out for commendation. Instead, each man was given a letter of commendation by del Valle which was carried in their record books.
In late October 1944, he succeeded Major General William Rupertus as Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division, being personally greeted in his new command by Colonel, later Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell “Chesty”Puller. At the time, the 1st Marine Division was training on the island of Pavuvu for the invasion of Okinawa. He subsequently led the division throughout the campaign. Del Valle was awarded a Distinquished Service Medal for his leadership during the battle and the subsequent occupation and reorganization of Okinawa.Cairo, E
After retiring from the Marine Corps, del Valle worked as a representative of ITT in the company’s office in Cairo, Egypt. After some time with the company he was named president of ITT for all South America in Buenes Aires, Argentina, a position that he held until 1951.
Death and burial ground of Del Valle Pedro Augusto.
Lieutenant General Pedro del Valle was married to Katharine Nelson (1890–1983). He died on 28-04-1978, age 84, in Annapolis, Maryland and is buried at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery and Columbarium, Maryland.
GPS (lat/lon): 38.98854.-76.48995