View Full Version : Lt. Gen. Victor Krulak passes away

01-06-09, 05:58 AM
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. — Veteran of three wars and author, Lt. Gen. Victor H. “Brute” Krulak, 95, died Monday in Southern California.

Krulak, a Denver native, served with distinction through World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He later penned “First to Fight: An Inside Look at the Marine Corps,” which remains today on the Commandant’s Reading List.

Born Jan. 7, 1913, Krulak began his distinguished career began upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1934.

As a lieutenant colonel in the fall of 1943, he earned the Navy Cross and the Purple Heart on Choiseul Island, where his battalion staged a week-long diversionary raid to cover the Bougainville Invasion. Later, he joined the newly formed 6th Marine Division and took part in the Okinawa campaign and the surrender of Japanese forces in the China area. There he earned the Legion of Merit with Combat V and the Bronze Star.

After the war, he returned to the United States and served as assistant director of the Senior School at Quantico, and, later, as regimental commander of the 5th Marines at Camp Pendleton. He was serving as assistant chief of Staff, G-3, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, when the Korean Conflict erupted, and subsequently served in Korea as chief of staff, 1st Marine Division, earning a second Legion of Merit with Combat V and Air Medal.

In July 1956, he was promoted to brigadier general and designated assistant commander, 3rd Marine Division on Okinawa. From 1957 to 1959, he served as director, Marine Corps Educational Center, Quantico. He was promoted to major general in November 1959, and the following month assumed command of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

Krulak was presented a third Legion of Merit by Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for exceptionally meritorious service from 1962 to 1964 as special assistant for counter-insurgency activities, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

On March 1, 1964, he was designated commanding general, Fleet Marine Force Pacific, and promoted to lieutenant general.

For the next four years he was responsible for all Fleet Marine Force units in the Pacific, including some 54 trips to the Vietnam theater. He retired June1, 1968, receiving a Distinguished Service Medal for his performance during that period.

His son, retired Gen. Charles Krulak, served as commandant from 1995 to 1999.

Funeral services are set for 2 p.m., Jan. 8 at the chapel aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif.