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Schmidt, Harry

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General, USMC (Retired), (1886-1968)

General Harry Schmidt, USMC (Retired), (1886-1968)

Harry Schmidt was born on 23 September 1886 in Holdrege, Nebraska. Appointed from the same state in the U.S. Marine Corps, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in August 1909. Completing the Marine Officer's School at Port Royal, South Carolina, he received orders to the Marine Barracks at Guam, Mariana Islands in January 1911. In April 1913, he reported for recruiting duty at St. Paul, Minnesota, then was assigned to the Marine Barracks at New Orleans, Louisiana. During the intervention at Vera Cruz, Mexico, he had temporary duty on board USS Kearsarge. In December, he reported to the First Brigade, Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In May 1916, he received orders to USS Oklahoma, where he was promoted to Captain in August. Transferring to USS Montana in January 1917, he served with the Marine Detachment with the landings at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during the Sugar Revolt. In September 1918, he received a temporary promotion to Major and was assigned to the Marine Barracks at Norfolk, Virginia. Two years later, he was reverted to the rank of Captain and returned to sea duty on board USS Tennessee.

In the summer of 1922, Schmidt attended the Marine Corps Schools at Quantico, Virginia, then became an instructor at the same facility. In January 1923, he was permanently promoted to Major. In June 1926, he returned to recruiting duty at St. Paul, Minnesota, followed by a brief tour with the Sixth Regiment in China. In February 1927, he was the Brigade Intelligence and Operations Officer with the Second Brigade in Nicaragua. After attending the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, he served with the Paymaster Department in positions at Headquarters, Marine Corps at Washington, D.C., Shanghai, China, and the Department of the Pacific. While in China in May 1934, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. In June 1937, he was assigned as the Chief of Staff to the Second Marine Brigade. At the beginning of December 1937, he was promoted to Colonel. In July 1938, he became the Executive and Personnel Officer of the Paymaster Department at Headquarters, Marine Corps.

In December 1941, Schmidt was promoted to Brigadier General and assigned as the Assistant to the Commandant of the Marine Corps the following month. In September 1942, he was promoted to Major General. In August 1943, he became the Commanding General of the Fourth Marine Division. With the Fourth Division, he commanded troops at the Marshall Islands and Saipan Campaigns. In July 1944, he commanded the Fifth Amphibious Corps, leading them in the Tinian Invasion and during the Battle for Iwo Jima in February-March 1945. After the Japanese Surrender, he led his forces in the occupied Japanese mainland. In February 1946, he returned to the U.S. for his last tour at the Marine Training and Replacement Command, San Diego, California, receiving a promotion to Lieutenant General a month later. On 1 July 1948, he retired and was promoted to General on the retired list. Harry Schmidt died on 10 February 1968.

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