General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller: A Marine First, Last and Always

“Old breed? New breed? There’s not a damn bit of difference so long as it’s the Marine breed,” General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller.

 

It’s hard to find a single individual who perfectly embodies all that the Corps represents. After all, the standards that the Marine Corps holds its people to are very high. However, there are those few individuals who have sometimes met and even exceeded those expectations. Such an individual was the late General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller. Puller led a life of distinction and service to the country that few individuals ever have. We honor his memory and his commitment to the Corps that was at the very center of who he was by offering this short biography of the man.

Lewis Burwell was born in West Point, Virginia on June 26, 1898. He was the grandson of a confederate veteran and a second cousin to General George S. Patton. In 1917 he enrolled in the Virginia Military Institute but left to enlist in the First World War. By 1924, he received his commission as a second lieutenant. He saw battle in Haiti, during WWII and Korea. His decoration and awards include:

  • First Navy Cross citation

  • Second Navy Cross citation

  • Third Navy Cross citation

  • Fourth Navy Cross citation

  • Fifth Navy Cross citation

  • Distinguished Service Cross citation

All of these have earned him the distinction of being the most decorated Marine in history. Puller would eventually retire from the Marine Corps in 1955 after having served for 37 years. He lived in Virginia for the remainder of his life with his wife Virginia Montague Evans. Gen Puller died on October 11, 1971 at the age of 73. He was buried in Saluda, in Middlesex County. As a sign of their respect to the general, Marines at Parris Island end their day by saying, “Good night Chesty Puller, wherever you are!”

Yes, General Puller represented the Marine Corps better than most inviduals. We salute his memory and honor his sacrifice. Our Marine Corps clothes also honor the spirit of the Marines as do our other Marine Corps items for sale. We know that our customers wear with pride each item we sell for what they stand for and for the men and women who sacrificed in order to build the reputation of the Marines.

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