George C. Thorpe

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George C. Thorpe
Born (1875-01-07)January 7, 1875
Northfield, Minnesota
Died July 28, 1936(1936-07-28) (aged 61)
Bethesda Naval Hospital Bethesda, Maryland
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1898 - 1923
Rank Colonel
Battles/wars Spanish–American War
Philippine–American War
Negro Rebellion
Awards Marine Corps Brevet Medal
Other work Author, Lawyer

George Cyrus Thorpe (January 7, 1875– July 28, 1936) was an American officer serving in the United States Marine Corps during the Spanish-American War who was one of 23 Marine Corps officers approved to receive the Marine Corps Brevet Medal for bravery. He was also an author and lawyer after he retired from the Marine Corps.


Thorpe was born January 7, 1875 in Northfield, Minnesota and in 1894 received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

He resigned in November 1896 but when the Spanish-American War started he applied for a commission in the Marine Corps. His application was accepted and he was appointed a Second Lieutenant.

In 1903-1904, he participated in the American diplomatic mission to Abyssinia, and photographed the emperor Menelik II.[1]

While serving in the Marine Corps he attended New York University and in 1910 received a Bachelor of Science. In 1912 he was involved in Cuba's Negro Rebellion, which resulted in an intervention by the United States military.[2] Thorpe also graduated from the Naval War College in 1915, received a Masters degree from Brown University in 1916, and completed the General Staff College in 1921.

He was a Major when he was assigned to the Marine Barracks, Washington D.C. in 1917.

In 1923 he was placed on the retired list due to being found not physically qualified for further service and was placed on the retired list as Colonel after having several toes from both feet amputated.

After retiring from the Marine Corps he became a lawyer and author, writing several books on military and legal subjects.

George Thorpe died July 28, 1936 at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. His grave can be found in section 6, site 9287. Married [3] to Cora Wells, the daughter of a Minnesota senator, they had had three children; the eldest, Amy Elizabeth Thorpe, will become a successful II World War spy.

Presidential citation[edit]


The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Marine Corps Brevet Medal to George Cyrus Thorpe, First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for distinguished conduct and public service in the presence of the enemy at Novaleta, Philippine Islands. On 28 March 1901, appointed Captain, by brevet, from 8 October 1899.[4]

Secretary of the Navy citation[edit]


The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in transmitting to First Lieutenant George Cyrus Thorpe, United States Marine Corps, the Brevet Medal which is awarded in accordance with Marine Corps Order No. 26 (1921), for distinguished conduct and public service in the presence of the enemy while serving with the Second Battalion of Marines, at Novaleta, Philippine Islands, on 8 October 1899. On 28 March 1901, First Lieutenant Thorpe is appointed Captain, by brevet, to rank from 8 October 1899.[5]


  • "Pure Logistics: The Science of War Preparation.".


See also[edit]


  1. ^ UNCLE SAM'S MISSION TO KING MENELEK, in the Tacoma Times (via Chronicling America); published March 15, 1904; retrieved February 22, 2015
  2. ^ Clark, pg. 97-99
  3. ^ "George Cyrus Thorpe, at the Arlington National Cemetery Website". Retrieved 2015-03-13. 
  4. ^ Sterner, C. Douglas. "U.S. Marine Corps Recipients of the Brevet Medal" (MS Word). Home of Heroes. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  5. ^ "Hall of Valor". George Thorpe. Military Times. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 

External links[edit]