Chesty Puller
Legendary United States Marine Corps general
Chesty Puller
Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller was an officer in the United States Marine Corps. Puller is the most decorated U.S. Marine in history, and the only Marine to be awarded five Navy Crosses. During his career, he fought guerrillas in Haiti and Nicaragua, and participated in some of the bloodiest battles of World War II and the Korean War. Puller retired from the Marine Corps in 1955, spending the rest of his life in Virginia.
Biography
Chesty Puller's personal information overview.
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Bob Kerr: Hard at work in an afternoon on the water - Providence Journal
Google News - over 5 years
And there was Ray Grimes, talking about Chesty Puller. “He was the toughest man I ever met in my life,” said Grimes. That was not breaking news to those gathered around the tables at Jim's Dock. It was a Marine afternoon. The eagle, globe and anchor
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US Marine Corps bans audible farting in Afghanistan - DigitalJournal.com
Google News - over 5 years
Referring to Lieutenant General Lewis B. 'Chesty' Puller, the most highly decorated Marine in the history of the Corps. Puller, who was known a marine's Marine, had a no-nonsense attitude when it came to military conduct. He is known to every Marine
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Marines Memorial Club reflecting history, honoring past and hosting today's ... - Middle East North Africa Financial Network
Google News - over 5 years
Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller has his own space, his bulldog-like face staring out, still inspecting Marines as they pass by. And Col. John Ripley, who was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions at Dong Ha in the Vietnam War is featured with his photo
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Veterans History Project - Sidney Sun Telegraph
Google News - over 5 years
One of the attendees at the trial was Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, who earned more decorations than any Marine in history. Balfour got a chance to shake the hero's hand and visit for a short while. After seeing the milk dispensers in the dining facility,
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Statement by the President on Change of Condolence Letter Policy - Tucson Citizen
Google News - over 5 years
Us Vietnam veterans are reminded of the phrase and poem; “Chesty Puller is Not On The Wall.” The legendary Marine General Chesty Puller's son committed suicide after the war. I wonder if the parents of these noble men thought that condolences were in
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AmpSurf Launches New Program, Yosemite Hike Honors Purple Heart Day - Surfline.com Surf News
Google News - over 5 years
Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller. The trip will consist of three days at the park starting Aug.5th and ending on PHD Aug. 7th. Hiking will begin on the 6th at Happy Isles and continue through Vernal Falls, which is also known as the 'Mist trail
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Walking for those who can't - Inside NoVA
Google News - over 5 years
Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, to the facility that raised money for the Sentinels of Freedom, an organization that works to provide scholarships and other opportunities for veterans. Mahoney began the three-day hike, dubbed “Walking for those who can't” on
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Dogs gone good - Helena Independent Record
Google News - over 5 years
Brownlee donated his latest trainee to the Wounded Warrior Project. After 14 months of working with the yellow Lab puppy, Brownlee gave it to a Florida Marine. He named the dog Chesty, after Chesty Puller, the most decorated Marine in US history
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Former Marine hikes to raise money, awareness for Sentinels of Freedom - San Ramon Express
Google News - over 5 years
Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller -- and end at the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Va. Though not a sentinel himself, the former Marine, said he can relate to the Sentinels' mission to provide scholarships and other opportunities for veterans
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Stars and stripes retired on Flag Day - SSNL - Akron Leader Publications
Google News - over 5 years
GREEN — Members of the Chesty Puller Young Marines are pictured above as they present flags to the burn detail at the seventh annual Retirement of American Flags held at the Robert D. Campbell Training Center June 14
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Lackluster US Leaders Doom Afghan Mission - Kabul Press
Google News - over 5 years
These people, along with the likes of Chesty Puller, Tex Hill, Bill Darby and Pappy Boyington were brilliant, daring, outspoken and personally courageous, and they won the war for the United States. Today as President Obama looks around his conference
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Soldier To Be Welcomed Home In Forsyth Sunday - KTTS
Google News - over 5 years
This unit was awarded the very prestigious “Chesty Puller Award” this year! Ricky has been serving on the USS Kearsarge as a Flight Crew Chief on a V-22 Osprey. While deployed Ricky has been in Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Libya
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Flags decorate veterans' graves at Rose Hill Burial Park - Akron Leader Publications
Google News - over 5 years
19 marked and decorated more than 2000 veterans' graves at Rose Hill Burial Park May 28 with help from the Chesty Puller Young Marines and Boy Scout Troop No. 382, pictured together at right. The US flags were planted to recognize veterans and make
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Cuyahoga Falls hosts annual Memorial Day parade - Cuyahoga Falls News Press
Google News - over 5 years
RPC Photo / Timothy Sainte-Hilaire Members of the Chesty Puller Young Marines march in Monday's Cuyahoga Falls Memorial Day parade. RPC Photo / Timothy Sainte-Hilaire Bob Lowry, of Tallmadge, an Army Veteran of World War II's European and Pacific
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Amos: Chiefs must focus more on acquisitions - DoD Buzz
Google News - almost 6 years
This is a bit of revisionist history: Marine leaders followed the EFV closely and defended it up to and after its demise — its boosters still say it can still be the vehicle of Chesty Puller's dreams, if DoD would only have the fortitude to press on
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Book review: 'Give Me Tomorrow' looks at Marines in Korean War - Bowling Green Daily News
Google News - almost 6 years
Chesty Puller. In the most harrowing part of the retreat, they had to fight their way through the Funchilin Puss and repair under fire a bridge over the ravine. The Marines air-dropped several treadway bridge spans, and an army engineer unit made the
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Returning Middle East soldiers cope with stress disorder - Burlington Times News
Google News - almost 6 years
Lewis “Chesty” Puller — the most-decorated US Marine in history — after he was injured in battle and had both legs amputated. Puller became a US Representative for Virginia and was a prominent lawyer and author, but battled severe bouts of depression
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Chesty Puller
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1971
    Age 72
    Died on October 11, 1971.
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  • 1968
    Age 69
    Puller was father-in-law to Colonel William H. Dabney, USMC (Retired), a Virginia Military Institute (VMI) graduate, who was the commanding officer (then Captain) of two heavily reinforced rifle companies of the Third Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines (3/26) from January 21 to April 14, 1968 in Vietnam.
    More Details Hide Details During the entire period, Colonel Dabney's force stubbornly defended Hill 881S, a regional outpost vital to the defense of the Khe Sanh Combat Base during the 77-day siege. Following Khe Sanh, Dabney was recommended for the Navy Cross for his actions on Hill 881 South, but his battalion executive officer's helicopter carrying the recommendation papers crashed—and the papers were lost. It was not until April 15, 2005, that Colonel Dabney received the Navy Cross during an award ceremony at Virginia Military Institute. Puller was a distant cousin to the famous U.S. Army General George S. Patton. He was a Episcopalian and parishioner of Christ Church Parish and is buried in the historic cemetery next to his wife Virginia Montague Evans. Puller received the second-highest U.S. military award five times (the only person ever in U.S. history): five Navy Crosses and one U.S. Army Distinguished Service Cross. He was the second of two U.S. servicemen to ever receive five Navy Crosses, U.S. Navy submarine commander Roy Milton Davenport was the first to receive five Navy Crosses.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1955
    Age 56
    He suffered a stroke, and was retired by the Marine Corps on November 1, 1955 with a tombstone promotion to lieutenant general.
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    Puller retired from the Marine Corps with 37 years service in 1955 and lived in Virginia.
    More Details Hide Details Puller was born in West Point, Virginia, to Matthew and Martha Puller. His father was a grocer who died when Lewis was 10 years old. Puller grew up listening to old veterans' tales of the American Civil War and idolizing Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.
  • 1954
    Age 55
    Regarding his nickname, in a handwritten addition to a typed 22 November 1954 letter to Maj. Frank C. Sheppard, Puller wrote, "I agree with you 100% I had done a little soldiering previous to Guadalcanal and had been called a lot of names, but why ‘Chesty’?
    More Details Hide Details Especially the steel part??" Puller's son, Lewis Burwell Puller, Jr. (generally known as Lewis Puller), served as a Marine lieutenant in the Vietnam War. While serving with 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines (2/1), Lewis Jr. was severely wounded by a mine explosion, losing both legs and parts of his hands. Lieutenant General Puller broke down sobbing at seeing his son for the first time in the hospital.
    In July 1954, Puller took command of the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina until February 1955 when he became Deputy Camp Commander.
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  • 1953
    Age 54
    In September 1953, he was promoted to major general.
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  • 1952
    Age 53
    He took command of the 3rd Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California until January 1952, and then was assistant commander of the division until June 1952.
    More Details Hide Details He then took over Troop Training Unit Pacific at Coronado, California.
  • 1951
    Age 52
    He completed his tour of duty as assistant commander and left for the United States on May 20, 1951.
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    In January 1951, Puller was promoted to brigadier general and was assigned duty as assistant division commander (ADC) of the 1st Marine Division.
    More Details Hide Details On February 24, however, his immediate superior, Major General O.P. Smith, was hastily transferred to command IX Corps when its Army commander, Major General Bryant Moore, died. Smith's temporary transfer left Puller temporarily in command of the 1st Marine Division until sometime in March.
  • 1950
    Age 51
    "For extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of the First Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against aggressor forces in the vicinity of Koto-ri, Korea, from 5 to 10 December 1950.
    More Details Hide Details Fighting continuously in sub-zero weather against a vastly outnumbering hostile force, Colonel Puller drove off repeated and fanatical enemy attacks upon his Regimental defense sector and supply points. Although the area was frequently covered by grazing machine-gun fire and intense artillery and mortar fire, he coolly moved along his troops to insure their correct tactical employment, reinforced the lines as the situation demanded, and successfully defended the perimeter, keeping open the main supply routes for the movement of the Division. During the attack from Koto-ri to Hungnam, he expertly utilized his Regiment as the Division rear guard, repelling two fierce enemy assaults which severely threatened the security of the unit, and personally supervised the care and prompt evacuation of all casualties. By his unflagging determination, he served to inspire his men to heroic efforts in defense of their positions and assured the safety of much valuable equipment which would otherwise have been lost to the enemy. His skilled leadership, superb courage and valiant devotion to duty in the face of overwhelming odds reflect the highest credit upon Colonel Puller and the United States Naval Service."
    He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross from the U.S. Army for heroism in action from November 29 to December 4, and his fifth Navy Cross for heroism during December 5–10, 1950, at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.
    More Details Hide Details It was during that battle that he made the famous quote, "We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things."
    At the outbreak of the Korean War, Puller was once again assigned as commander of the First Marine Regiment. He participated in the landing at Inchon on September 15, 1950, and was awarded the Silver Star Medal.
    More Details Hide Details For leadership from September 15 through November 2, he was awarded his second Legion of Merit.
  • FORTIES
  • 1944
    Age 45
    During the summer of 1944, Puller's younger brother, Samuel D. Puller, the Executive Officer of the 4th Marine Regiment, was killed by an enemy sniper on Guam. Puller returned to the United States in November 1944, was named executive officer of the Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Lejeune and, two weeks later, Commanding Officer.
    More Details Hide Details After the war, he was made Director of the 8th Reserve District at New Orleans, and later commanded the Marine Barracks at Pearl Harbor.
    In September and October 1944, Puller led the 1st Marine Regiment into the protracted battle on Peleliu, one of the bloodiest battles in Marine Corps history, and received his first of two Legion of Merit awards.
    More Details Hide Details The 1st Marines under Puller's command lost 1,749 out of approximately 3,000 men, not that these losses stopped Puller from ordering frontal assaults against the well entrenched enemy. The corps commander had to order the 1st Marine Division commanding general to pull the annihilated 1st Marine Regiment out of the line.
    He was promoted to colonel effective February 1, 1944, and by the end of the month had been named commander of the 1st Marine Regiment.
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  • 1943
    Age 44
    "For extraordinary heroism as Executive Officer of the Seventh Marines, First Marine Division, serving with the Sixth United States Army, in combat against enemy Japanese forces at Cape Gloucester, New Britain, from 26 December 1943 to 19 January 1944.
    More Details Hide Details Assigned temporary command of the Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, from 4 to 9 January, Lieutenant Colonel Puller quickly reorganized and advanced his unit, effecting the seizure of the objective without delay. Assuming additional duty in command of the Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, from 7 to 8 January, after the commanding officer and executive officer had been wounded, Lieutenant Colonel Puller unhesitatingly exposed himself to rifle, machine-gun and mortar fire from strongly entrenched Japanese positions to move from company to company in his front lines, reorganizing and maintaining a critical position along a fire-swept ridge. His forceful leadership and gallant fighting spirit under the most hazardous conditions were contributing factors in the defeat of the enemy during this campaign and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service." Citation:
    While serving in this capacity at Cape Gloucester, Puller was awarded his fourth Navy Cross for overall performance of duty between December 26, 1943, and January 19, 1944.
    More Details Hide Details During this time, when the battalion commanders of 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines (3/7) and later, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines (3/5), were under heavy machine gun and mortar fire, he expertly reorganized the battalion and led the successful attack against heavily fortified Japanese defensive positions.
  • 1942
    Age 43
    "For extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of the First Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division, during the action against enemy Japanese forces on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on the night of 24 to 25 October 1942.
    More Details Hide Details While Lieutenant Colonel Puller's battalion was holding a mile-long front in a heavy downpour of rain, a Japanese force, superior in number, launched a vigorous assault against that position of the line which passed through a dense jungle. Courageously withstanding the enemy's desperate and determined attacks, Lieutenant Colonel Puller not only held his battalion to its position until reinforcements arrived three hours later, but also effectively commanded the augmented force until late in the afternoon of the next day. By his tireless devotion to duty and cool judgment under fire, he prevented a hostile penetration of our lines and was largely responsible for the successful defense of the sector assigned to his troops." Citation:
    In a firefight on the night of October 24–25, 1942, lasting about three hours, 1/7 and 3/164 sustained 70 casualties; the Japanese force suffered over 1,400 killed in action, and the Americans held the airfield.
    More Details Hide Details He nominated two of his men (one being Sgt. John Basilone) for Medals of Honor. He was wounded himself on November 9. Puller was then made executive officer of the 7th Marine Regiment.
    Early in the Pacific theater the 7th Marines formed the nucleus of the newly created 3rd Marine Brigade and arrived to defend Samoa on May 8, 1942.
    More Details Hide Details Later they were redeployed from the brigade and on September 4, 1942, they left Samoa and rejoined the 1st Division at Guadalcanal on September 18, 1942. Soon after arriving on Guadalcanal, Puller led his battalion in a fierce action along the Matanikau, in which Puller's quick thinking saved three of his companies from annihilation. In the action, these companies were surrounded and cut off by a larger Japanese force. Puller ran to the shore, signaled a United States Navy destroyer, the, and then Puller directed the destroyer to provide fire support while landing craft rescued his Marines from their precarious position. U.S. Coast Guard Signalman First Class Douglas Albert Munro—Officer-in-Charge of the group of landing craft, was killed while providing covering fire from his landing craft for the Marines as they evacuated the beach and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for the action, to date the only Coast Guardsman to receive the decoration. Puller, for his actions, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V".
  • 1939
    Age 40
    In May 1939, he returned to the Augusta as commander of the on-board Marine detachment, and then back to China, disembarking in Shanghai in May 1940 to serve as the executive officer and commanding officer of 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines (2/4) until August 1941.
    More Details Hide Details Major Puller returned to the U.S. on August 28, 1941. After a short leave, he was given command of 1st Battalion, 7th Marines (1/7) of the 1st Marine Division, stationed at New River, North Carolina (later Camp Lejeune).
  • THIRTIES
  • 1932
    Age 33
    Puller led American Marines and Nicaraguan National Guardsmen into battle against Sandinista rebels in the last major engagement of the Sandino Rebellion near El Sauce on December 26, 1932.
    More Details Hide Details After his service in Nicaragua, Puller was assigned to the Marine detachment at the American Legation in Beijing, China, commanding a unit of China Marines. He then went on to serve aboard, a cruiser in the Asiatic Fleet, which was commanded by then-Captain Chester W. Nimitz. Puller returned to the States in June 1936 as an instructor at the Basic School in Philadelphia.
  • 1931
    Age 32
    He returned stateside in July 1931 and completed the year-long Company Officers Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, thereafter returning to Nicaragua from September 20 to October 1, 1932, and was awarded a second Navy Cross.
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  • 1930
    Age 31
    "For distinguished service in the line of his profession while commanding a Nicaraguan National Guard patrol. First Lieutenant Lewis B. Puller, United States Marine Corps, successfully led his forces into five successful engagements against superior numbers of armed bandit forces; namely, at LaVirgen on 16 February 1930, at Los Cedros on 6 June 1930, at Moncotal on 22 July 1930, at Guapinol on 25 July 1930, and at Malacate on 19 August 1930, with the result that the bandits were in each engagement completely routed with losses of nine killed and many wounded.
    More Details Hide Details By his intelligent and forceful leadership without thought of his own personal safety, by great physical exertion and by suffering many hardships, Lieutenant Puller surmounted all obstacles and dealt five successive and severe blows against organized banditry in the Republic of Nicaragua." Citation: "First Lieutenant Lewis B. Puller, United States Marine Corps (Captain, Guardia Nacional de Nicaragua) performed exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility while in command of a Guardia Patrol from 20 September to 1 October 1932. Lieutenant Puller and his command of forty Guardia and Gunnery Sergeant William A. Lee, United States Marine Corps, serving as a First Lieutenant in the Guardia, penetrated the isolated mountainous bandit territory for a distance of from eighty to one hundred miles north of Jinotega, his nearest base. This patrol was ambushed on 26 September 1932, at a point northeast of Mount Kilambe by an insurgent force of one hundred fifty in a well-prepared position armed with not less than seven automatic weapons and various classes of small arms and well-supplied with ammunition. Early in the combat, Gunnery Sergeant Lee, the Second in Command, was seriously wounded and reported as dead. The Guardia immediately behind Lieutenant Puller in the point was killed by the first burst of fire, Lieutenant Puller, with great courage, coolness and display of military judgment, so directed the fire and movement of his men that the enemy were driven first from the high ground on the right of his position, and then by a flanking movement forced from the high ground to the left and finally were scattered in confusion with a loss of ten killed and many wounded by the persistent and well-directed attack of the patrol.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1928
    Age 29
    In December 1928, Puller was assigned to the Nicaraguan National Guard detachment, where he was awarded his first Navy Cross for his actions from February 16 to August 19, 1930, when he led "five successive engagements against superior numbers of armed bandit forces."
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  • 1926
    Age 27
    He was assigned to the Marine Barracks at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in July 1926 and in San Diego, California, in 1928.
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  • 1922
    Age 23
    In 1922, he served as an adjutant to Major Alexander Vandegrift, a future Commandant of the Marine Corps.
    More Details Hide Details Puller returned stateside and was finally recommissioned as a second lieutenant on March 6, 1924 (Service No. 03158), afterward completing assignments at the Marine Barracks in Norfolk, Virginia, The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, and with the 10th Marine Artillery Regiment in Quantico, Virginia.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1918
    Age 19
    The following year, Puller attended the Virginia Military Institute but left in August 1918 as World War I was still ongoing, saying that he wanted to "go where the guns are!" Inspired by the 5th Marines at Belleau Wood, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as a private and attended boot camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. Although he never saw action in that war, the Marine Corps was expanding, and soon after graduating he attended their non-commissioned officer school and Officer Candidates School (OCS) at Quantico, Virginia, following that. Graduating from OCS on June 16, 1919, Puller was appointed a second lieutenant in the reserves, but the reduction in force from 73,000 to 1,100 officers and 27,400 men following the war led to his being put on inactive status 10 days later and given the rank of corporal.
    More Details Hide Details Corporal Puller received orders to serve in the Gendarmerie d'Haiti as a lieutenant, seeing action in Haiti. While the United States was working under a treaty with Haiti, he participated in over forty engagements during the ensuing five years against the Caco rebels and attempted to regain his commission as an officer twice.
    "The President of the United States of America, under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Colonel Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller (MCSN: 0-3158), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as Commanding Officer, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir, Korea, during the period 29 November to 4 December 1950.
    More Details Hide Details Colonel Puller's actions contributed materially to the breakthrough of the First Marine Regiment in the Chosin Reservoir area and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service." In addition to his military awards Puller has received numerous honors due to his Marine Corps service: Puller remains a well-known figure in U.S. Marine Corps folklore, with both true and exaggerated tales of his experiences being constantly recounted among U.S. Marines. A common incantation in U.S. Marine Corps boot camp is to end one's day with the declaration, "Good night, Chesty Puller, wherever you are!" Another common encouragement is "Chesty Puller never quit!" In U.S. Marine Corps recruit training and OCS cadences, Marines chant "It was good for Chesty Puller/And it's good enough for me" as well as "Tell Chesty Puller I did my best."—Chesty is symbolic of the esprit de corps of the Marines. Also, the recruits sing "Chesty Puller was a good Marine and a good Marine was he."
  • 1916
    Age 17
    He wanted to enlist in the United States Army to fight in the Border War with Mexico in 1916, but he was too young and could not get parental consent from his mother.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1898
    Born
    Born on June 26, 1898.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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