Schmidt, Harry

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Schmidt, Harry, born in Holdrege, Nebraska, on 25-09-1886. He attended Nebraska State Normal College before entering the U.S. Marine Corps as a second lieutenant on 17-08-1909. Following instruction at the Marine Officers’ School at Port Royal, South Carolina , he reported in January 1911, at the Marine Barracks, Guam, Mariana Islands. While attached to this station, he accompanied an expeditionary force to Chefoo, China. In October 1912, he was ordered to duty in the Philippines where he remained until detached to the United States in April 1913. Following an assignment with the Recruiting Service in Minnesota, a tour of duty at the Marine Barracks, New Orleans, Louisiana, and temporary duty at Veracruz aboard USS Kearsarge (BB-5)  in 1915, he was ordered to sea duty aboard USS Oklahoma (BB-37) in May 1916. In January 1917, he went aboard USS Montana (ACR-13) and from 25 February to 22-03-1917, was ashore with the ship’s landing force at Guantanamo, Cuba. Leaving USS Montana in September 1918, he spent most of the next two years at the Marine Barracks, Norfolk, Virginia. He again went to sea in June 1920, as Commanding Officer of the Marine Detachment aboard USS Tennessee (BB-43). From August 1922 to May 1926, Schmidt was a member of the Marine Corps Schools, first as a student, then as an instructor. Then followed a year in recruiting at St. Paul, Minnesota, and a six-month tour of foreign service with the Sixth Regiment in China. From February 1928 to June 1929, Schmidt was with the Second Brigade of Marines in Nicaragua as Brigade Intelligence and Operations Officer.  He returned to the United States to attend the Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and graduated on 18-06-1932. In addition to Command and General Staff School, he is a graduate of the Field Officers’ Course, Marine Corps Schools, MCB Quantico, Virginia. Following graduation, he was assigned to duty with the Paymaster Department and served variously at Headquarters, Marine Corps, Washington, D.C.; with the Department of the Pacific, San Francisco; the Fourth Marine Regiment, Shanghai, China; and again with the Department of the Pacific. In June 1937, he was assigned to the Second Marine Brigade. He sailed for Shanghai, China, in August with the Brigade as Chief of Staff and served in that capacity until detached to the United States in February 1938. Schmidt was assigned to Headquarters, Marine Corps as Executive and Personnel Officer of the Paymaster Department in July 1938, in which capacity he was found upon the country’s entry into World War II. In January 1942, he was appointed Assistant to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, where he served until ordered to the Fourth Marine Division, nickname “Fighting Fourth” File:4THMARDIV.svg as Commanding General, which command he assumed on 18-08-1943, former commander Clifton Cates. The famous picture of the Marines raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi was taken on Iwo Jima. The island was declared secure at 1800 hours on 16-03-1945, after 26 days of combat. The 4th Marine Divion’s casualties numbered 1.462 killed in action and 7.636 wounded, which was almost half the Division’s strength. An estimated 22.000 Japanese had been killed by the three Marine Divisions, 8.982 were counted in the 4th Division’s area of operations. The Fighting Fourth took only 44 Japanese soldiers prisoner. He commanded the Fourth Division in the seizure of Roi-Namur in the Battle of Kwajalein and in the battle for Saipan. On 12-07-1944, he assumed command of the Fifth Amphibious Corps File:USMC V Amphib Corps.png , former commander Holland Howlin Mad Smith and led that command in the assault and capture of Tinian Island. For exceptional meritorious service in the seizure and occupation of the Marshall Islands, Schmidt left on picture, and in the assault and capture of Saipan and Tinian, General Schmidt was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal and a Gold Star in lieu of a second Distinguished Service Medal. Continuing in command of the Fifth Amphibious Corps, the General led it through the Iwo Jima operation. Following the conclusion of hostilities, the General led the Fifth Corps, nickname “Victory Corps” File:V Corps.svg in the occupation of the Japanese homeland. On 15-02-1946, he was ordered back to the United States to assume command of the Marine Training and Replacement Command, San Diego Area, California.

Death and burial ground of Schmidt, Harry.

   He served in that capacity until he concluded his 39-year career as a Marine on 01-07-1948, when he was advanced to the four-star rank of General upon retirement at the age of 61. General Harry Schmidt died 10-02-1968, age 81 and is buried with his wife Doris K, who died age 84, in 1974, on the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego County, California.

 

 

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