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First Name: Randolph

Last Name: Pate

Birthplace: Port Royal, SC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: McCall

Date of Birth: 11 February 1898

Date of Death: 31 July 1961

Rank: General

Years Served: 1918 - 1959
Randolph McCall Pate

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


Randolph McCall Pate
General, U.S. Marine Corps

Randolph McCall Pate was born on 11 February 1898 at Port Royal, SC. After a brief tour of enlisted service with the U.S. Army in 1918, he entered the Virginia Military Institute, graduating in June 1921, with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve that September and, the following May, he was commissioned in the Regular Marine Corps.

Military Career

In addition to expeditionary duty in Santo Domingo in 1923-24, and in China from 1927-29, Pate served at various posts in the U.S. and Hawaii. He was promoted to First Lieutenant in September 1926; to Captain in November 1934; and to Major in October 1938. In the spring of 1939, he became Assistant Chief of Staff for Supply, 1st Marine Division, at New River (later Camp Lejeune), NC. While there, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in January 1942. He began his World War II service in this capacity, participating in the planning and combat phases of the Guadalcanal campaign. He was promoted to Colonel in December 1943 and later saw service in the Pacific Theater.

In World War II, Marine General Holland M. Smith awarded Pate the Legion of Merit for outstanding service as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. Serving in that capacity from 11 September 1944 to 1 November 1945, Colonel Pate was cited in particular for his performance of duty during amphibious operations on Palau, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

In 1947, General Alexander A. Vandegrift, then Commandant of the Marine Corps, presented him a Gold Star in lieu of his second Legion of Merit. The award was for exceptionally meritorious service at Guadalcanal as Assistant Chief of Staff for Supply of the 1st Marine Division during the United States' first offensive against Japan.

Returning to the U.S. after the war, he was named Director of the Division of Reserve at Marine Corps Headquarters in January 1946. The following year he assumed duties as a member of the Navy General Board. In July 1948, he became Chief of Staff of the Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, VA, and two years later was named Director of the Marine Corps Educational Center. While stationed at Quantico in September 1949, he was promoted to Brigadier General.

In July 1951, Pate was assigned to the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he served as Deputy Director of the Joint Staff for Logistic Plans. He was named Director of the Marine Corps Reserves for a second time that November and, in August 1952, was promoted to Major General. The following month, he took command of the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune. Ordered to Korea in June 1953, he commanded the 1st Marine Division until May 1954.

In July 1954, Pate was appointed Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps and Chief of Staff, serving in that capacity with the rank of Lieutenant General for eighteen months. On 1 January 1956, he was promoted to the rank of General and executed the oath of office as the 21st Commandant of the Marine Corps, succeeding General Lemuel C. Shepherd. After four years as Commandant, he retired with the rank of General on 31 December 1959.

Medals and Awards

Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit with Valor Device and 1 Star
Purple Heart
Presidential Unit Citation
Navy Unit Commendation
World War I Victory Medal
Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal with 2 Stars
Yangtze Service Medal
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 3 Stars
World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal with 1 Star
Order of Military Merit, Taeguk Cordon Medal
United Nations Korea Medal
Korean Presidential Unit Citation

Death and Burial

General Randolph McCall Pate died on 31 July 1961 at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Bethesda, MD, following a brief illness,. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 3, Lot 2501-1 L.

His wife, Mary Elizabeth Bunting Pate (4 July 1899-31 December 1975), whom he married on 2 July 1926 is buried with him.

Honoree ID: 415   Created by: MHOH




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