Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Charles

Last Name: Price

Birthplace: Hamburg, DEU

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: Frederick Berthold

Date of Birth: 18 September 1881

Date of Death: 16 November 1968

Rank: Lieutenant General

Years Served:
Charles Frederick Berthold Price

•  Banana Wars (1898 - 1934)
•  Occupation of Nicaragua (1912 - 1933)
•  World War I (1914 - 1918)
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Charles Frederick Berthold Price
Lieutenant General, U.S. Marine Corps

Charles Frederick Berthold Price was born on 18 September 1881 in Hamburg, Germany, while his American parents were temporarily living abroad. He graduated from the Pennsylvania Military College in 1902 with a degree in Civil Engineering, and was later employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad in Philadelphia. Price joined the Pennsylvania National Guard and served an enlistment as a member of the Second Troop, Philadelphia City Cavalry.

Price was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps in February 1906 and sent to the School of Application at Annapolis, MD, for training. Less than six months later, the revolt in Cuba heated up and in September 1906 President Theodore Roosevelt ordered a Marine Expeditionary Force to Cuba. This force included Price and he remained in Cuba with the Army of Pacification until 31 December 1908. He was promoted to First Lieutenant two months prior to returning to the U.S.

In January 1909, Price briefly served at the Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Washington, DC, before being assigned to expeditionary duty in Central America. After a few months in Nicaragua, the expedition settled in Panama in 1910 during construction of the Panama Canal.

After Price returned to the U.S. in April 1910, his first duty station was the Rifle Range at Winthrop, MD. A few months after his arrival, he assumed command of that post and served in that position for three years. Price next served as Adjutant of the Basic School for Marine Officers at Portsmouth, VA. He was then assigned to temporary foreign shore duty in Mexico, where he took part in the landing of Marines at Vera Cruz during the Mexican Intervention of 1914.

Price was promoted to Captain on 25 September 1916, and two months later was assigned as Commanding Officer of the Marine Detachment on the battleship USS Arkansas (BB-33). He was promoted to Major in May 1917 and sailed for Brest, France, in October 1918. After the armistice was signed in November 1918, Price remained in France as Commander of the 15th Separate Battalion, which had been organized for expeditionary duty in Europe.

Upon returning to the U.S., he entered the Field Officers' Course, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, and graduated in June 1922. Price then went to Fort Leavenworth, KS, where he first attended the School of the Line and, after graduating as one of the top 24-graduates, qualified to go directly into the General Staff School there, from which he also graduated. Afterward, he served for several months as an Instructor in the Department of Tactics at the Marine Corps Schools.

When the U.S. Asiatic Fleet began maneuvers in the Hawaiian Islands in 1925, Price was temporarily detached from Quantico in order to participate. Following the exercises, he was assigned to duty as Post Intelligence Officer, and Officer in Charge of Operations and Training, with the Marine Detachment at the American Legation in Peking, China. In September 1927, he returned to Quantico.

Following the establishment of a new Liberal government in Nicaragua, Price joined the Second Brigade Marines in July 1928 as a member of the American Electoral Mission that helped supervise the elections. For his outstanding work, he received praise from President Calvin Coolidge, from the Secretary of State, and from the Nicaraguan Government. This type of work took Price back to Nicaragua in 1930, 1931 and 1932.

Price received a promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in October 1931. From December 1932 to August 1934, he was in command of the Rifle Range at Quantico. He then participated in fleet maneuvers aboard the battleship USS Wyoming (BB-32) at Culebra, Puerto Rico.

On 25 April 1935, Price joined the Fourth Marines at the American Legation in Shanghai, China, and served there during the Sino-Japanese fighting until November 1938. The Secretary of the Navy awarded Price the Navy Distinguished Service Medal for "excellent tact, judgment, initiative, and administrative ability of a high order" in his handling of the situation at Shanghai, where the Chinese forces defending Shanghai made their last stand.

Following his return to the U.S., Price was promoted to Brigadier General effective 1 August 1940, while serving as a member of the Naval Examining Board at Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington.

Brigadier General Price assumed command of the Department of the Pacific, with Headquarters in San Francisco, on 15 February 1941. In addition to his duties in San Francisco, in November he was placed in command of the Second Marine Division (just prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor). Following his assignment as Commanding General, Second Marine Division, Price was promoted to Major General on 1 February 1942.

Major General Price & Creation of the Marine Raiders

In the early days of WWII, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill both had an interest in creating "raider" or "commando" units. Marine General Holland M. Smith, charged with implementing the existing Marine amphibious doctrine, realized that insufficient landing craft existed for landing a significant number of marines. As a workaround, he designed company-sized units that could deploy via high-speed transports, converted from destroyers, to secure beaches for the main effort. He selected Lieutenant Colonel Merritt A. "Red Mike" Edson to head the teams. Captain James Roosevelt, the President's son, knew and admired Major Evans F. Carlson, a Marine who was a proponent of guerrilla warfare, and suggested in a letter to the Commandant of the Marine Corps that Carlson be placed in charge.

Commandant Holcomb replied to the younger Roosevelt that Edson was already organizing such a unit. Holcomb delegated the creation to the Commander of the 2nd Marine Division, Major General Charles F.B. Price, where Carlson was already setting up a unit. The Commandant allowed Major General Price to place Carlson (promoted to Lieutenant Colonel) in charge and Captain James Roosevelt became the Executive Officer of Carlson's unit. At Price's suggestion for re-naming, Edson's group became the 1st Raiders on 16 February 1942; Carlson's outfit was re-designated to the 2nd Raiders three days later and became renowned as 'Carlson's Raiders.'

In April 1942, Price assumed command of the Defense Force, Samoan Group, and occupation of the Ellice Islands to secure the approaches to Samoa. He was awarded the Legion of Merit by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz in recognition of his "outstanding work in successfully coordinating and supervising the defense of the Samoan Islands." Nimitz also said, "The expeditious manner in which he carried out his assignment was a material contribution toward the success of the South and later Central Pacific offensives."

Price assumed command of the San Diego Area in May 1944. He was later assigned to his last command, the Marine Training and Replacement Command in San Diego, where he retired on 1 October 1945.

Upon his retirement, Price was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General under an Act of Congress dated 23 February 1942, which allowed the promotion in recognition of his combat citations.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
American Defense Service Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
American Area Campaign Medal
China Service Medal
Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal
World War I Victory Medal
Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Mexican Campaign Medal
Cuban Pacification Medal
Nicaraguan Presidential Medal of Merit

Death and Burial

Lieutenant General Charles Frederick Berthold Price died on 23 January 1954 at the Naval Hospital in San Diego, at the age of 72. He is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, CA.

He was survived by his wife, Mary Elizebeth Price, who died 16 November 1968. Mary was interred next to her husband.

Honoree ID: 3298   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image