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First Name: Kenneth

Last Name: Houghton

Birthplace: San Francisco, CA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: John

Date of Birth: 17 October 1920

Date of Death: 27 March 2006

Rank: Major General

Years Served:
Kenneth John Houghton

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Kenneth John Houghton

Major General, U.S. Marine Corps

Kenneth John Houghton was born on 17 October 1920 in San Francisco, CA.

After graduating from the University of San Francisco in 1942, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant.

During World War II, he served in the Pacific as Rifle Company Commander in actions on Saipan, Tarawa and the Marshall Islands. In the Korean War he was a Reconnaissance Officer in the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, which was credited with the first defeats of North Korean forces.

Following a series of assignments, he was promoted Colonel in 1964, in command of the 5th Marine Regiment in Vietnam. For his command of the 5th Marines, he received a Presidential Unit Citation awarded in person by President Lyndon Johnson at the White House in 1968; he was also promoted to Brigadier General.

He later commanded the 1st Marine Division and was promoted to Major General in command of the 3rd Marine Division in 1973. In 1975, he was in charge of the Marine Amphibious Force during the evacuation of Saigon and also commanded the rescue of the U.S. merchant ship Mayaguez from Communist forces at Koh Tang Island, Cambodia.

At the time of his retirement in 1977, he was Commanding General of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego.

Medals and Awards

Navy Cross
Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal (2 Awards)
Legion of Merit with Combat "Valor" Device
Bronze Star Medal (3 Awards)
Purple Heart (3 Awards)

Death and Burial

Major General Kenneth John Houghton died on 27 March 2006 in LaJolla, CA. He is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, CA.

Honoree ID: 2652   Created by: MHOH




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