Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Marine Corps

Alexander Archer Vandegrift

  • Rank: Major General (Highest Rank: General)
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    1st Marine Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: August 7 - December 9, 1942
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Solomon Islands
For outstanding and heroic accomplishment above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the 1st Marine Division in operations against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands during the period from 7 August to 9 December 1942. With the adverse factors of weather, terrain, and disease making his task a difficult and hazardous undertaking, and with his command eventually including sea, land, and air forces of Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, Maj. Gen. Vandegrift achieved marked success in commanding the initial landings of the U.S. forces in the Solomon Islands and in their subsequent occupation. His tenacity, courage, and resourcefulness prevailed against a strong, determined, and experienced enemy, and the gallant fighting spirit of the men under his inspiring leadership enabled them to withstand aerial, land, and sea bombardment, to surmount all obstacles, and leave a disorganized and ravaged enemy. This dangerous but vital mission, accomplished at the constant risk of his life, resulted in securing a valuable base for further operations of our forces against the enemy, and its successful completion reflects great credit upon Maj. Gen. Vandegrift, his command, and the U.S. Naval Service.
Medal of Honor Recipient Alexander A. Vandegrift
Medal of Honor Recipient Alexander A. Vandegrift
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Virginia
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: February 4, 1943
    White House by President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Born: March 13, 1887, Charlottesville, Charlottesville County, VA, United States
  • Died: May 8, 1973, Bethesda, MD, United States
  • Buried: Arlington National Cemetery (2-4965-B-RH), Arlington, VA, United States

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