Albertus W. Catlin

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Albertus Wright Catlin
Catlin AW.jpg
A light blue neck ribbon with a gold star shaped medallion hanging from it. The ribbon is similar in shape to a bowtie with 13 white stars in the center of the ribbon. Brigadier General Albertus W. Catlin
Born (1868-12-01)December 1, 1868
Gowanda, New York
Died May 31, 1933(1933-05-31) (aged 64)
Culpeper, Virginia
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1890 - 1892 (Navy)
1892 - 1919 (Marine Corps)
Rank Brigadier General
Commands held 3rd Marine Regiment
6th Marine Regiment
Battles/wars Spanish-American War
Vera Cruz (1914)
World War I
*Battle of Belleau Wood
Awards Medal of Honor
Croix de Guerre (2)

Brigadier General Albertus Wright Catlin of the United States Marine Corps (December 1, 1868–May 31, 1933) after commanding the 3rd Regiment at Veracruz, Mexico, in 1914, was issued a commendatory letter by the Secretary of the Navy for courage and skill in leading his command. Later, he received the Medal of Honor for bravery in action.

Biography[edit]

Born December 1, 1868, in Gowanda, New York, Catlin was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in May 1886. He captained the football team at Annapolis and played left halfback for three years. He graduated with the Class of 1890.

As service in the U.S. Marine Corps seemed to offer the best chance of active service, he applied for a commission in the Corps and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps on July 1, 1892, after serving two years at sea. After serving at various posts and stations in the United States and on board ships of the Navy, he saw action in the Spanish American War as commanding officer of the Marine detachment aboard USS Maine, when the ship was destroyed in Havana Harbor in February 1898.

While serving in Cuba in 1911, he commanded a battalion of the 1st Regiment at Guantanamo Bay. He then commanded the 3rd Regiment at Vera Cruz, where he received the Medal of Honor for bravery.

Colonel Catlin graduated from the U.S. Army War College one month after the outbreak of World War I.[1] Subsequently, he was placed in charge of the Marine training camp at Quantico, Virginia. In October 1917, Catlin was sent to France as commanding officer of the 6th Marines. From June 1–6, 1918, the 6th Regiment saw action in the front lines from Paris-Metz Road through Lucy le Bocage to Hill 142. On the June 6, 1918, with his regiment attacking Bois de Belleau, he was wounded in the chest by a sniper and evacuated to a hospital the next day.

Upon returning to the United States, Colonel Catlin served at Headquarters Marine Corps and was appointed brigadier general on August 30, 1918. Following his tour at Headquarters, he was assigned to the Marine Barracks at Quantico, and in November 1918, he sailed for Haiti where he assumed command of the First Brigade of Marines until September 1919.

In December 1919, Brigadier General Catlin retired from the Marine Corps. As a result of his wound, he was in ill health until his death in Culpeper, Virginia, on May 31, 1933. Brigadier General Catlin is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Martha Ellen Catlin (1880–1937) is buried with him.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Catlin was awarded two Croix de Guerre, one with palms and one with gilt star for gallantry in action against the enemy at Belleau Wood. He was also made an Officer of the Legion of Honor for his services in the same sector. Later the SS George Washington was renamed the USS Catlin (AP-19) during World War II.

Soon after his return from France, he summarized his war experiences in a book called With the Help of God and a Few Marines [published by Battery Press, 1919 (First Edition), ISBN 0-89839-327-2].

On December 1, 2006, RDML Harry Harris Jr., CAPT Mark Leary, and Marine Maj. George Nunez, unveiled a monument dedicating Quarters M101 Guantanamo Bay to the memory of Catlin. From that day forward, the flag quarters at Marine Site will be known as Catlin House.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

CATLIN, Albertus Wright
Major, U. S. Marine Corps
G. O. Navy Department, No. 177
December 4, 1915

Citation:

For distinguished conduct in battle, engagement of VERA CRUZ, April 22nd, 1914. Was eminent and conspicuous in command of his battalion. He exhibited courage and skill in leading his men through the action of the 22nd and in the final occupation of the city.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Simmons, Edwin H. "Catlin of the 6th Marine Regiment", Fortitudine, vol XXII, no. 4 (Spring 1993): 3.