Lowell English

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Lowell E. English
BGen Lowell English
Born (1915-07-08)July 8, 1915
Fairbury, Nebraska
Died September 26, 2005(2005-09-26) (aged 90)
San Diego, California
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1938-1969
Rank Major General
Commands held 2nd Battalion, 21st Marines
The Basic School
MCRD San Diego
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Awards Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star (2)
Purple Heart
Other work Director, San Diego Museum of Man[1]

Major General Lowell Edward English (July 8, 1915 – September 29, 2005) was a United States Marine Corps general who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.


Lowell English was born in Fairbury, Nebraska, on July 8, 1915. He received a B.A. degree in 1938 from the University of Nebraska, where he was a three-year member of the varsity football team, which was one of the Big Six Champions at the time. He turned down an offer to play football with the Chicago Bears in favor of the Marine Corps.[2]

Military career[edit]

In July 1938, he was commissioned in the Marine Corps as a Second Lieutenant and underwent training until the following June at the Basic School for Marine Corps officers at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. After completing his training, he was stationed on board the USS Nevada for one year. He then returned to San Diego as a recruit training officer, then became a platoon leader in the 7th Defense Battalion. On February 24, 1941, English married Eleanor R. McCallum, and they remained married until his death, having three children together: Loellen Kay, Bruce Browning and Becky Lynne.

After the outbreak of World War II in December 1941, Captain English was given command of a company in the 3rd Marine Division, 2nd Brigade. He led his unit into combat at Guadalcanal and Bougainville, and was then assigned as the executive officer for the 2nd Battalion with whom he took part in the capture of Guam and was awarded a Bronze Star. In 1945, he participated in the battle of Iwo Jima and was awarded the Legion of Merit for his actions in the battle. Promoted by now to lieutenant colonel, he was subsequently wounded and evacuated back to the United States.

By September, he was assigned to the Marine Training and Replacement Center in San Diego before commanding California's Guard Battalion at Camp Pendleton. From May 1946 until June 1949, English served as Battalion Officer and Head of the Academic Section at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, before transferring to West Point as an instructor in Military Psychology and Leadership. This was followed by the completion of a five-month course at the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia, in January 1953.

From January to July 1953, English was the commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion and executive officer of the 1st Marines in Korea. For "exceptionally meritorious service"[3] he was awarded a second Legion of Merit.

English returned to the United States in December 1953 and was assigned to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego once more until June 1957. While there he was promoted to full colonel in May 1954.

In July 1957, English became commander of the Training and Test Regiment at the Marine Corps Schools, Quantico and later commanded The Basic School for two years. In July 1961, he completed the Army War College in Pennsylvania, and in 1962 he earned a master's degree in International Relations. He was then transferred to Washington to serve as assistant to the Director, Policy and Planning Staff, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.

In August 1963, English was transferred to London, England, and promoted to brigadier general, working for the Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean. He returned to the United States in January 1964 when he was assigned to U.S. Strike Command, Macdill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida, and earned the Navy Commendation Medal for his service.

English was sent to Vietnam in December 1965 and served as Assistant Division Commander, 3rd Marine Division. He commanded American forces at the Khe Sanh Marine base during the siege. English regarded Khe Sanh as "a trap" to force Westmoreland to "expend absolutely unreasonable amounts of men and material to defend a piece of terrain that wasn't worth a damn".[4] English resented the order to defend the area, and the fact that it allowed Westmoreland to place the Marine Corps under U.S. Army command. In 1966, he commanded a task force in the five-day-long Operation Texas.

English returned to the United States in 1967 and was promoted to Major General on the January 13, becoming the 25th commander of the Marine Training and Replacement Center. He retired from active service in 1969.

Retirement and death[edit]

In 1972, English became the director of the San Diego Museum of Man, serving in that capacity for ten years.

In 1991, English was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and on September 29, 2005, he died at the age of 90 at the Silverado Senior Living assisted living community in San Diego, California. He is survived by his wife Eleanor R. English and three children.

Military awards and decorations[edit]

Maj Gen English's awards include:

Gold star
"V" device, gold.svg Award star (gold).png "V" device, gold.svg Award star (gold).png
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Navy Distinguished Service Medal w/1 award star Legion of Merit w/ V Device w/1 award star Bronze Star w/ V Device Purple Heart
American Defense Service Medal American Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 2 service stars World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 service star Korean Service Medal Vietnam Service Medal Vietnam Campaign Medal

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About the Museum - History". San Diego Museum of Man. Archived from the original on 2006-11-12. Retrieved 2006-11-25. 
  2. ^ Scarboro 2005.
  3. ^ Official Marine Corps biography.
  4. ^ Cawthorne 2003.


  • Nigel Cawthorne (2003). Vietnam: A War Lost And Won. Arcturus Publishing. ISBN 0-572-02873-3.