Portal:Puerto Rico/Selected biography/2

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Pedro del Valle.jpg

Lieutenant General Pedro Augusto del Valle (August 28, 1893 – April 28, 1978) was a United States Marine Corps officer who became the first Hispanic to reach the rank of Lieutenant General. His military career included service in World War I, Haiti and Nicaragua during the so-called Banana Wars of the 1920s, and in the seizure of Guadalcanal and later as Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division during World War II.

On May 29, 1945, del Valle participated in one of the most important events which led to victory in Okinawa. After five weeks of fighting, his Battalion captured Shuri Castle, a medieval fortress of the ancient Ryukyuan kings, which represented a moral blow for the Japanese and was an undeniable milestone in the Okinawa campaign. He was awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal for outstanding leadership as Commanding General of the First Marine Division, during the attack and occupation of Okinawa from 1 April to 21 July 1945. (more...)