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First Name: Albertus

Last Name: Catlin

Birthplace: Gowanda, NY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: Wright

Date of Birth: 01 December 1868

Date of Death: 31 May 1933

Rank: Brigadier General

Years Served: 1890-92 (Navy), 1892-1919 (USMC)
Albertus Wright Catlin

•  Spanish-American War (1898)
•  Occupation of Veracruz (1914)
•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


Albertus Wright Catlin

Brigadier General, U.S. Marine Corps

Medal of Honor Recipient

Occupation of Veracruz

Brigadier General Albertus Wright Catlin (1 December 1868 - 31 May 1933) was a U.S. Marine Corps officer who received the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during the Occupation of Veracruz.

Albertus Wright Catlin was born on 1 December 1868 in Gowanda, NY. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in May 1886. He captained the football team at Annapolis and played left halfback for three years. Catlin graduated with the Class of 1890.

As service in the U.S. Marine Corps seemed to offer the best chance of active service, he applied for a commission in the Corps and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps on 1 July 1892, after serving two years at sea. After serving at various posts and stations in the U.S. and on board ships of the Navy, he saw action in the Spanish-American War as commanding officer of the Marine detachment aboard USSĀ Maine, when the ship was destroyed in Havana Harbor in February 1898.

While serving in Cuba in 1911, he commanded a battalion of the 1st Regiment at Guantanamo Bay. He then commanded the 3rd Regiment at Veracruz, where he received the Medal of Honor for bravery.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Marine Corps

Citation: For distinguished conduct in battle, engagement of Vera Cruz, 22 April 1914. Eminent and conspicuous in command of his battalion, Maj. Catlin exhibited courage and skill in leading his men through the action of the 22d and in the final occupation of the city.

Colonel Catlin graduated from the U.S. Army War College one month after the outbreak of World War I. Subsequently, he was placed in charge of the Marine training camp at Quantico, VA. In October 1917, Catlin was sent to France as commanding officer of the 6th Marines. From 1-6 June 1918, the 6th Regiment saw action in the front lines from Paris-Metz Road through Lucy le Bocage to Hill 142. On the 6 June 1918, with his regiment attacking Bois de Belleau, he was wounded in the chest by a sniper and evacuated to a hospital the next day.

Upon returning to the U.S., Colonel Catlin served at Headquarters Marine Corps and was appointed Brigadier General on 30 August 1918. Following his tour at Headquarters, he was assigned to the Marine Barracks at Quantico, and in November 1918, he sailed for Haiti where he assumed command of the First Brigade of Marines until September 1919. In December 1919, Brigadier General Catlin retired from the Marine Corps.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Croix de Guerre with Palm
Croix de Guerre with Gilt Star


France made him an Officer of the Legion of Honor for his services at Belleau Wood.

The SS George Washington was re-named the USS Catlin (AP-19) during World War II.

His war experiences are in a book called With the Help of God and a Few Marines [published by Battery Press, 1919 (First Edition), ISBN 0-89839-327-2].

On 1 December 2006, RDML Harry Harris Jr., Captain Mark Leary, and Marine Major George Nunez, unveiled a monument dedicating Quarters M101 Guantanamo Bay to the memory of Catlin. From that day forward, the flag quarters at Marine Site will be known as Catlin House.

Death and Burial

Brigadier General Albertus Wright Catlin, as a result of his wound, was in ill health until his death on 31 May 1933 in Culpeper, VA. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 7, Lot 10038. His wife, Martha Ellen Catlin (1880-1937), is buried with him.

Honoree ID: 1985   Created by: MHOH




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