Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: John

Last Name: Myers

Birthplace: Wiesbaden, DEU

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: Twiggs

Date of Birth: 29 January 1871

Date of Death: 17 April 1952

Rank: Lieutenant General

Years Served:
John Twiggs Myers

•  Spanish-American War (1898)
•  Philippine-American War (1899 - 1902)
•  Boxer Rebellion (1899 - 1901)
•  World War I (1914 - 1918)
•  Occupation of Haiti (1915 - 1934)


John Twiggs Myers
Lieutenant General, U.S. Marine Corps

John Twiggs Myers was born on 29 January 1871 in Wiesbaden, Germany, the son of Confederate Quartermaster General Abraham C. Myers. The city of Fort Myers, FL, was originally named for his father, Abraham C. Myers.

Myers graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1892 and was appointed an Assistant Engineer two years later. In March 1895, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marines Corps.

Service in Asia

After studying at the Naval War College in Newport, RI, Myers was sent on active duty at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War. He led a detachment which participated in the capture of Guam from its Spanish garrison, and sailed with the USS Charleston (C-2) to the Philippines, then being attached to the USS Baltimore.

During the Philippine-American War, he led several amphibious landings against Filipino rebels in 1899, gaining recognition for his heroic conduct. He was promoted to Captain in 1899.

In May 1900, Myers was sent to China aboard the cruiser USS Newark and put ashore with a detachment of 48 Marines (including then Private Daniel Daly, who was one of only 19 men to be twice awarded the Medal of Honor) and 3 sailors to guard the U.S. Legation in Peking, just as the Boxer Rebellion broke out. Myers' Marines occupied a wall defending the Legations, arguably the most vulnerable part of the defensive position, and led an attack (along with Russian and British troops) in a ferocious battle on July 3 that dislodged the main Boxer position near the wall. Myers was wounded in the leg by a spear. His attack was claimed by the British Consul, Sir Claude Maxwell MacDonald, to be "one of the most successful operations of the siege, as it rendered our position on the wall, which had been precarious, comparatively strong." As a result of his bravery in this action, he was brevetted Major and advanced four numbers in rank. In 1921, Myers became one of only 20 living Marines to be awarded the USMC Brevet Medal when that award was created. Upon recovering from his wounds, he served as the Provost Marshal on American Samoa and was then transferred to the Marine Barracks at Bremerton, WA.

Later Services

Myers led the detachment of Marines which accompanied the USS Brooklyn to Tangier, Morocco, during the Perdicaris Incident in 1904. After the incident was concluded, Myers held various other posts, both barracks commands and naval commands, including a time period commanding the Marine Attachment of the Asiatic Fleet. He took part in expeditions to Santo Domingo (1912) and Cuba (1913), and during World War I served as the Counter-intelligence Officer of the Atlantic Fleet.

Myers was named Inspector General of the Department of the Pacific in 1921, serving in that post for three years, and from 1925-28 commanded the 1st Marine Brigade stationed in Haiti. He served in various other posts, including, briefly, Commander of the Department of the Pacific, before retiring a Major General in 1934.

In 1942, he was given the rank of Lieutenant General.

Medals and Awards

Marine Corps Brevet Medal
Purple Heart
Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal
Spanish Campaign Medal
Philippine Campaign Medal
China Relief Expedition Medal (Navy)
Mexican Service Medal
World War I Victory Medal with Armed Guard Clasp

Fictional Portrayals

While not actually portrayed on film, Myers has inspired characters in several films. In the historical epic 55 Days at Peking, Charlton Heston portrayed Marine Major Matt Lewis, Commanding the American Legation Guard in Peking during the Boxer Rebellion. In The Wind and the Lion, the fictional Captain Jerome (played by Steve Kanaly) took on Myers' historical role, commanding the Marines dispatched to Tangier during the Perdicaris incident.

Death and Burial

Lieutenant General John Twiggs Myers died on 17 April 1952 in Coconut Grove, FL. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. At the time of his death, he was the last living recipient of the Marine Corps Brevet Medal.

Honoree ID: 2892   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image