1stLt VICTOR F. BLEASDALE USMC
Enlisted 14 May
1915. Sgt ID #108347; 2nd Lt ID #085. Wounded in action, awarded Distinguished Service Cross,
Navy Cross, and three 2nd Division Silver Star Citations, as well as
Haitian Campaign Medal.
His Distinguished Service Cross citation reads: "For repeated acts of extraordinary heroism in action near Blanc-Mont,
France, October 8, 1918. On several occasions, regardless of his personal
safety, he led his machine gun platoon through heavy machine gun and
artillery fire. When the infantry company he was supporting was halted by
the fire of two enemy Maxims, he formed his platoon as infantry, and
assaulted and captured both the enemy guns."
Residence at appointement: Janesville, Wisconsin.
Thanks to Therry Schwartz for this information.
Mark Henry, one of our founding members, and author of US Marine Corps in World War I,
1917-1918, by Osprey Military (Men-at-Arms Series), recently discovered the following article
while researching in the archives at Quantico. (the article appears to have been
written sometime during WWII; as soon as I know the journal in
which the article appeared, and its precise date, I will provide them).
A veteran of 28 years of service and decorated 18 times, the new chief of staff of the training center at Camp Lejeune is well equipped for the task. Serving under Brigadier General Henry L. Larsen, he is Colonel Victor F. Bleasdale.
The colonel has had duty in six foreign countries, including active service against the German horde in World War I and more recently in the South Pacific theater.
He believes the Germans are well trained and well led, "and to defeat them we've got to know our stuff and be able to do it." As a member of the Sixth Machine Gun Battalion,
Second Division, AEF, Colonel Bleasdale fought under the late Marine Corps Commandant, John A. Lejeune, for which Camp Lejeune was named. A part of the Fourth Brigade, three times decorated by the French for conspicuous action at Chateau Thierry, Meuse-Argonne, and Aisne-Marne, Colonel Bleasdale's battalion engaged in eight operations, four of them major offensives.
The colonel was born in New Zealand in 1895. His father was from Janesville, Wisconsin. The colonel's brother, Redwald Hector Bleasdale, was disabled by shell fire while serving with the army in the Meuse-Argonne and the two are believed to be the only brothers to receive the Distinguished Service Cross.
Only 21 years old during World War I, the colonel who stands five feet, nine inches and weighs 155 pounds, was then promoted from sergeant to first lieutenant. He received his basic training at Norfolk, Virginia, and attended sea school after the war.
He later served on the battleship 'Oklahoma' (Japanese victim at Pearl Harbor), aboard which he commanded a detachment of Marines in 1933 and 1934.
Colonel Bleasdale has had a hand in checking many a Latin-American revolution and insurrection, among them the upheavals in Haiti, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. He was in the West Indies from 1915 to 1916 and from 1922 to 1924, in Central America from 1927 to 1930 and again in 1932.
He was promoted from lieutenant colonel to colonel by President Roosevelt, effective in October 1941.
Decorations which Colonel Bleasdale holds are the Navy Cross, received for heroism in action near Blanc Mont, France, October 8, 1918; the Navy Cross Gold Star for bravery at San Fernando, the second Nicaraguan campaign.
The Silver Star Medal was awarded him for bravery in battle near Soissons, France, September 18,1918; the Purple Heart for wounds received in action; the U.S. Army Distinguished Service Cross, and the Victory Medal.with five battle clasps.
Other decorations include the Army of Occupation Medal, Germany; the American Defense Service Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the American Theater Campaign Medal.