PEOPLE--UNITED STATES

Major General Wendell C. Neville, USMC, (1870-1930)
14th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps
5 March 1929 - 8 July 1930

Wendell Cushing Neville was born on 12 May 1870 in Portsmouth, Virginia. Appointed from that same state to the U.S. Naval Academy, he graduated in 1890. For his two-year required Midshipman sea duty, he served on board USS Kearsarge then reported to USS Newark. In May 1892, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps and reported to the Marine Barracks at Washington, D.C. In February 1894, he was promoted to First Lieutenant and was later assigned to USS Cincinnati, then transferred to USS Texas. In June 1897, he was ordered to the Marine Barracks at New York City, New York. While at the Marine Barracks, Neville had temporary duty in August 1898 with the First Marine Battalion during the Spanish-American War and participated in battle at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In March 1899, he was promoted to Captain, with Brevet Rank from June 1898. In August, he was assigned recruiting duty in New York City. The following summer, he reported to the Marine Barracks at Cavite, Philippines, where he served as the military governor of the Basilan Province. While in the region, he also participated in the China Relief Expedition.

In July 1903, Neville returned to the Marine Barracks at Washington, D.C. The following year, he commanded the Marine Barracks at Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, and was promoted to Major in December. In August 1905, he served on board USS Maine. Two years later, he began a series of tours commanding the Marine Barracks in succession at the Washington Navy Yard, the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, then Territory of Hawaii, and the Charleston Navy Yard, South Carolina. In February 1914, Neville was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and had temporary duty commanding the Second Regiment Marines during the intervention at Vera Cruz, Mexico. On 21 and 22 April 1914, under constant fire, he courageously led his men during the initial landing and the subsequent engagements to ensure the city's capture. For his "distinguished conduct in battle," he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

In December 1915, after briefly serving with the First Brigade Marines, Neville commanded the U.S. Marine Detachment of the Allied Guard at Peking, China. In August 1916, he was promoted to Colonel. During World War I, Neville took command of the Fifth Marine Regiment. In July 1918, he was promoted to Brigadier General and also assumed command of the Fourth Marine Brigade. In August 1919, he became the Assistant to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. In March 1920, Neville was temporarily promoted to Major General. In August 1923, he became Commanding General, Department of the Pacific and was permanently promoted to Major General that December. After serving four years in that post, he commanded the Marine Barracks at Quantico, Virginia. In March 1929, he became the Fourteenth Commandant of the Marine Corps. While serving as Commandant, he suddenly died on 8 July 1930. Wendell C. Neville is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

USS Neville, (AP-16/APA-9), 1941-1946, was named in honor of Major General Neville.

This page features all the images we have concerning Wendell C. Neville.

Photo #: NH 47699

Brigadier General Wendell C. Neville, USMC


A World War I photograph. He was awarded the Medal of Honor while in command of the Second Regiment Marines during the intervention at Vera Cruz, Mexico, 21-22 April 1914.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 50KB; 575 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 104847

Major General Wendell C. Neville, USMC


Photographed while Commandant of the Marine Corps, circa 1929-1930.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, NHHC Collection

Online Image: 46KB; 575 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 104848

Colonel Wendell C. Neville, USMC


Relaxing in Germany during World War I. He commanded the Fifth and Fourth Regiment Marines.

Donated by Mr. Jim Nilo.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 54KB; 585 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 56830

Review of Second Division, U.S. Marine Corps, 1919


Senior U.S. Military and Government Officials review the Second Marine Division, from in front of the White House, Washington, D.C., on 12 August 1919.

On the Reviewing Stand are (left-right):
Major General George C. Barnett, USMC,
(Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps);
Admiral William S. Benson, USN,
(Chief of Naval Operations);
Franklin D. Roosevelt,
(Assistant Secretary of the Navy);
Brigadier General Wendell C. Neville, USMC;
President Woodrow Wilson;
Mrs. Woodrow Wilson;
Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War;
Mrs. Newton D. Baker; and
General Peyton C. March, USA,
(Chief of Staff)

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 77KB; 740 x 605 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 72421

Major General Wendell C. Neville, USMC,
and
Brigadier General Charles L. McCawley, USMC

Photograph taken circa 1925. Brigadier General McCawley was Quartermaster General during this time.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 57KB; 740 x 600 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 72419

Major General Wendell C. Neville, USMC


Shown as Commander of Department of the Pacific, U.S. Marine Corps, at the Marine Rifle Range at Mare Island on 20 May 1925 during the Rifle Match for the San Diego Trophy. Four Marine Corps Rifle Teams were competing for the trophy on that rainy day: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Mare Island, California; Bremerton, Washington; and San Diego, California. Pearl Harbor won with a score of 1480.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 75KB; 740 x 605 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 104849

Major General Wendell C. Neville, USMC


Stepping into a military vehicle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He observed U.S. Marine Corps maneuvers and a sham battle, circa 1922.

Collection of Rear Admiral Bradford Bartlett, USN.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 33KB; 740 x 425 pixels

 


Medal of Honor citation of Lieutenant Colonel Wendell Cushing Neville, USMC (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 101):

"For distinguished conduct in battle engagements of Vera Cruz 21 and 22 April 1914. In command of the Second Regiment Marines, Lieutenant Colonel Neville was in both days' fighting and almost continually under fire from soon after landing, about noon on the 21st, until we were in possession of the city, about noon of the 22nd. His duties required him to be at points of great danger in directing his officers and men, and he exhibited conpicuous courage, coolness and skill in his conduct of the fighting. Upon his courage and skill depended, in great measure, success of failure. His responsibilities were great and he met them in a manner worthy of commendation."


For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions

To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.



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