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First Name: Roy

Last Name: Geiger

Birthplace: Middleburg, FL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: Stanley

Date of Birth: 25 January 1885

Date of Death: 23 January 1947

Rank: General

Years Served: 1907 - 1947
Roy Stanley Geiger

•  Banana Wars (1898 - 1934)
•  World War I (1914 - 1918)
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Roy Stanley Geiger
General, U.S. Marine Corps

Roy Stanley Geiger was born on 25 January 1885 in Middleburg, FL. He attended Florida State Normal and Industrial College and received an LLB from Stetson University. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Private on 2 November 1907 in St. Paul, MN, and was sent to Naval Station Norfolk, VA, for his initial training. Geiger spent most of his enlisted time at the Marine Barracks, Washington, DC, where he was promoted to Corporal on 2 June 1908. Following a series of professional examinations and the passing of a Naval Medical Board, he accepted his commission as a Second Lieutenant on 5 February 1909.

Marine Service

Following attendance at the Marine Officers' School at Port Royal, SC, he served as a member of the Marine detachments aboard USS Wisconsin (BB-9) and USS Delaware (BB-28). In August 1912, he was assigned to Nicaragua where he participated in the bombardment, assault and capture of the hills called Coyotepe and Barranca. Additional foreign shore duty followed in the Philippines and China with the First Brigade and with the Marine Detachment, American Legation, Peking, China, from 1913 to 1916.

In March 1916, Geiger became a student naval aviator at Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL. He successfully completed the course and was designated a Naval Aviator in June 1917.

World War I

Further training followed and he arrived in France in July 1918. He served with 5 Group, Royal Air Force at Dunkirk. He commanded a squadron of the First Marine Aviation Force and was attached to the Day Wing, Northern Bombing Group. He was detached to the U.S. in January 1919. For distinguished service in leading bombing raids against the enemy, he was awarded the Navy Cross.

Development of Marine Corps Aviation Between the Wars

From December 1919 to January 1921, he was a Squadron Commander with the Marine Aviation Force attached to the First Provisional Brigade in Haiti. Upon return to the U.S., and after duty at the Marine Flying Field, Marine Barracks, MCB Quantico, VA, he attended Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, KS. He graduated in June 1925. He again went on foreign shore duty, Commanding Observation Squadron Two with the First Brigade in Haiti.

In August 1927, he returned to Quantico as a Squadron Officer and Instructor at the Marine Corps Schools, and in May 1928, was assigned to duty in the Aviation Section, Division of Operations and Training, at Marine Corps Headquarters. After attending the U.S. Army War College and graduating in June 1929, he was ordered to Quantico, where he was assigned duty as Commanding Officer, Aircraft Squadrons, East Coast Expeditionary Force. He returned to Washington for duty with Aeronautics, Navy Department as Officer in Charge, Marine Corps Aviation.

In June 1935, he returned to Quantico as Commanding Officer, Aircraft One, Fleet Marine Force. From June 1939 to March 1941, he was a student at the Senior and the Advanced Courses, Naval War College, Newport, RI. This was followed with a brief tour of duty in the Office of the Naval Attaché, London.

World War II

In August 1941, he became Commanding General, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force, the capacity in which he was serving when the U.S entered into World War II.

On 3 September 1942, he was stationed at Guadalcanal to lead the Cactus Air Force during the early part of the Guadalcanal Campaign. Until 4 November 1942, he was Commander of the combined Army, Navy and Marines Air Forces stationed there as well as the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. He was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of a second Navy Cross for his service on Guadalcanal. His citation reads in part, "Despite almost continuous bombardment by enemy aircraft, hostile naval gunfire and shore based artillery, the combined total of Army, Navy and Marine Corps units stationed at Guadalcanal under Major General Geiger's efficiently coordinated command succeeded in shooting down 268 Japanese planes in aerial combat and inflicting damage on a number estimated to be as great…Sank six enemy vessels, including one heavy cruiser, possibly sank three destroyers and one heavy cruiser, and damaged 18 other ships, including one heavy cruiser and five light cruisers."

Geiger was recalled to Marine Corps Headquarters in May 1943 to become Director of Aviation. In November 1943, he returned to the field, this time as Commanding General of I Amphibious Corps and led the Corps from 9 November to 15 December 1943, in the Battle of Bougainville, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

Redesignated III Amphibious Corps in April 1944, he led this organization in the invasion and subsequent recapture of Guam during July and August 1944, and in the assault and capture of the southern Palau Islands in September and October of the same year. For those operations he was awarded two Gold Award stars in lieu of a second and third Distinguished Service Medal.

Geiger led this Corps into action for the fourth time as part of the Tenth Army in the invasion and capture of Okinawa. In July 1945, he assumed duties as Commanding General of the Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, which position he held until called back to Headquarters Marine Corps in November 1946.

While commanding the III Amphibious Corps in the Battle of Okinawa, he assumed command of the U.S. Tenth Army upon the combat death of Army Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Commanding General of the Tenth Army. Geiger led the Tenth Army until relieved by General Joseph Stilwell, U.S. Army.


Geiger was promoted to four-star General posthumously by the 80th Congress to be effective from 23 January 1947.

Medals and Awards

Navy Cross (2 Awards)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal (3 Awards)
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Presidential Unit Citation with 1 Service Star
Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal with 2 Service Stars
Nicaraguan Campaign Medal (1912)
World War I Victory Medal with Ypres-Lys Clasps
Haitian Campaign Medal (1921)
Nicaraguan Campaign Medal (1933)
American Defense Service Medal with Base Clasp
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 5 Service Stars
World War II Victory Medal
Dominican Medal of Military Merit
Nicaraguan Medal of Distinction and Diploma


Naval Aviator Badge

Death and Burial

General Roy Stanley Geiger died on 23 January 1947. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 2, Lot 4954.

Honoree ID: 389   Created by: MHOH




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