Lieutenant General Keller E. Rockey, USMC (Retired), (1888-1970)

Keller Emrick Rockey was born on 22 September 1888 in Columbia City, Indiana. Appointed from Pennsylvania in the U.S. Marine Corps, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in November 1913 Completing The Basic School, he reported for sea duty, serving in succession on board USS Nebraska then USS Nevada. In August 1916, he was promoted to First Lieutenant. During World War I, he served with the Fifth Marine Regiment in France and was temporarily promoted to Captain in May 1917, which was followed by a promotion to Major in July 1918. After the war, he was reverted to the rank of Captain and served with First Provisional Brigade Marines in Haiti. Returning to the U.S. in August 1922, he was assigned to the Marine Barracks at Washington, D.C., which was followed with a tour at Headquarters, Marine Corps.

In June 1926, following the Field Officer's Course at Quantico, Virginia, and the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Rockey was assigned as an instructor at the Marine Corps School, Quantico, in the Department of Tactics. In January 1927, he was promoted to Major. During 1928, he assumed command of the First Battalion, Eleventh Artillery Regiment, Second Marine Brigade in Nicaragua. In May 1930, after recruiting duty in Baltimore, Maryland, he assigned as the Operations and Training Officer at the Marine Corps Base located at San Diego, California, later serving as the Chief of Staff. In May 1934, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and received orders to Headquarters, Marine Corps as Chief of the War Plans Division. In January 1937, he served as Force Marine Officer on board battleship California. In June 1939, he was promoted to Colonel and received orders to the War Plans Division in Washington D.C. In August 1941, he became Chief of Staff of the Second Marine Division.

During World War II, Rockey was assigned as Director, Division of Plans and Policies at Headquarters, Marine Corps. In March 1942, he was temporarily promoted to Brigadier General and that August became the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. In September 1942, he received another temporary promotion to Major General. In February 1944, he became Commanding General, Fifth Marine Division and also led the Third Amphibious Corps. During February-March 1945, he participated in the Battle for Iwo Jima. In September 1946, he was assigned as the Commanding General, Department of the Pacific, San Francisco, California. After being temporarily promoted to Lieutenant General, he became Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic located at Norfolk, Virginia. In July 1949, he was reverted to the rank of Major General and served as Commanding General, Department of the Pacific located at San Francisco, California. In September 1950, he retired and was promoted to Lieutenant General on the retired list. Keller E. Rockey died on 6 June 1970 is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

This page features all views concerning Keller E. Rockey.

Photo #: NH 104705

Lieutenant General Keller E. Rockey, USMC

Undated photograph taken after 1942.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the "All Hands" Naval History and Heritage Command collection

Online Image: 82KB; 595 x 765 pixels

Photo #: NH 104132

Iwo Jima Operation, 1945

Officers of the Fifth Marine Division direct the operations of their unit from a sandbagged position on Iwo Jima, 21 February 1945.
Present in the foreground: (left to right)
Brigadier General Leo D. Hermle, USMC,
(Assistant Division Commander);
Major General Keller E. Rockey (with phone), USMC,
(Division Commander);
Colonel James F. Shaw, USMC,
(Operations Officer); and
Colonel Ray Robinson, USMC,
(Division Chief of Staff)

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the "All Hands" Naval History and Heritage Command collection

Online Image: 67KB; 740 x 615 pixels

Photo #: USMC 116318

Iwo Jima Campaign, 1945

Marine Division Commanders at the official flag raising ceremonies on Iwo Jima, 14 March 1945.
Present: (left to right)
Major General Keller E. Rockey, USMC,
(Commanding General, Fifth Marine Division);
Major General Graves B. Erskine, USMC,
(Commanding General, Third Marine Division); and
Major General Cliefton B. Cates, USMC,
(Commanding General, Fourth Marine Division)
Photographed by Obie Newcomb.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the "All Hands" Naval History and Heritage Command collection

Online Image: 75KB; 740 x 600 pixels

Reproductions may be available at National Archives.


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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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