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First Name: James

Last Name: Underhill

Birthplace: San Francisco, CA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Date of Birth: 12 June 1891

Date of Death: 07 October 1991

Rank: Lieutenant General

Years Served:
James Underhill

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


James Underhill
Lieutenant General, U.S. Marine Corps

James Underhill was born on 12 June 1891 in San Francisco, CA.

Underhill, raised in San Francisco, graduated from the University of California and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1913. Underhill, a veteran of both World Wars, served in a wide variety of assignments.

He commanded the Marine Detachment onboard the USS Arkansas in 1917-18 before serving in France with the 8th Separate Battalion. Over the next two decades, his duties carried him to a large portion of the globe including Nicaragua (1919-21), the Philippines (1924-26), and to China twice, in 1927 and 1928, and again from 1937-38. Promoted to Colonel in 1938, he commanded the Marine Barracks, Portsmouth, NH, and was serving at Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, DC, at the outbreak of war.

Underhill received his first star in 1942 and, during the war, commanded the Marine Corps Bases at San Diego, CA, and Camp Lejeune, NC. Late in the war, he served in the South Pacific, commanding the Island of Tinian, and at the cessation of hostilities was Inspector General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. He was President of the Post War Reorganization Board at Headquarters Marine Corps until his retirement on 1 November 1946, at which time he was appointed Lieutenant General.

The General's awards include the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star.

In retirement, he lived in Carmel, CA, and maintained an association with the Defense Language Institute in Monterey.

Death and Burial

Lieutenant General James Underhill died on 7 October 1991 in Pacific Grove, CA. His body was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea from the USS Texas.

Honoree ID: 3167   Created by: MHOH




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