Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Catlin, Albertus W.

Catlin, Albertus W.

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Brigadier General, USMC, (1868-1933)

Albertus Wright Catlin was born on 1 December 1868 in Rome, New York. Appointed from Minnesota to the U.S. Naval Academy, he graduated in July 1890 and reported on board USS Charleston for required sea duty. Following the promotion to Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps, he was assigned to the Marine Barracks at the Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C. In April 1893, Catlin was promoted to First Lieutenant and transferred that December to Marine Barracks, League Island, Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania. Returning to sea in August 1895, he reported to USS Cincinatti. Catlin then transferred to USS Maine and was in command of her Marine Detachment when she exploded at Havana Harbor in February 1898. After serving in the Spanish-American War, he was ordered to the Marine Barracks at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York. In March 1899, he was promoted to Captain and assigned to the Marine Barracks at Port Royal, South Carolina.


In February 1902, Catlin received orders to the Marine Barracks at Cavite, Phillippines. Returning to the U.S. in October 1904, he had recruiting duty at Buffalo, New York, until returning to the Marine Barracks at the Brooklyn Navy Yard the following spring. In June 1905, he was promoted to Major. In the fall of 1906, he served with the First Provisional Regiment in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In May 1909, Catlin was assigned to the Marine Barracks at Boston, Massachusetts, and later transferred to the Marine Barracks at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Beginning in the fall of 1911, Catlin served in succession on board USS Connecticut,USS Utah and USS Wyoming. While on board Wyoming, he participated in the intervention at Vera Cruz, Mexico. On 22 April 1914, Catlin bravely led the Third Marine Regiment to capture the city. For his "distinguished conduct in battle" on this occasion, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.


In December 1914, Catlin commanded the Naval Prison at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Maine, while also having temporary duty at the Army Service Schools at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. While at Portsmouth Navy Yard, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in October 1915, which was followed with a promotion to Colonel in August 1916. After attending the Army War College at Newport, Rhode Island, and the United States' entry into World War I, he briefly commanded the Marine Training Camp at Quantico, Virginia, before assuming command of the Sixth Regiment in France. In July 1918, while leading an attack on Bois de Belleau, he was wounded. Recovering from his wounds, Catlin reported to the Marine Corps Headquarters and was promoted to Brigadier General that August. For his last tour, he commanded the First Brigade Marines in Haiti. Due to the continuing illness from his combat wounds, he retired in December 1919 and was placed on the retired list. Albertus W. Catlin died on 31 May 1933 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.


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