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Smedley Darlington Butler



Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky,
    Gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh,    
    Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hills,
    From the sky.
All is well, safel
y rest,
    God is nigh.

Then good night, Peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn
    Shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear,
  Friend, good night.

Oakland Cemetery

Born:  July 30, 1881 at West Chester, PA

Entered Service in the US Marine Corps from Pennsylvania

FIRST Medal of Honor Awarded  during the Mexican Campaign For heroism April 22, 1914 at Vera Cruz,

SECOND Medal of Honor Awarded during the Haitian Campaign 1915 For heroism November 17, 1915 at Fort Riviere, Haiti

Died:  June 21, 1940 at the age of 58

First Award
In an effort to force out General Victoriano Huerta, who had seized the presidency of Mexico in a bloody coup d' etat, President Woodrow Wilson sent three Navy vessels to Vera Cruz under the command of Rear Admiral Frank Friday Fletcher. On the morning of April 21 nearly 1,500 American combat troops were put ashore, and that night another 1,500 reinforcements landed. By noon on April 22nd the American forces had taken control of the city. In the two day action Fletcher lost 17 men killed, 63 wounded. The Mexicans had nearly 800 dead or wounded. Major Smedley Butler was one of 55 men awarded the Medal of Honor for this action, and was cited as commander of a battalion of the ground forces for "courage and skill in leading his men through action on the second day of the campaign, and for subsequent leadership in the final occupation of Vera Cruz. 
Though the United States occupied Vera Cruz for seven months following the initial landing, the men who landed at Vera Cruz on April 21 - 22 accomplished their mission in two days, and returned to their vessels within the same week.
Second Award
As Commanding Officer of detachments from the 5th, 13th, 23d Companies and the Marine and sailor detachment from the U.S.S. Connecticut, Major Butler led the attack on Fort Riviere, Haiti, 17 November 1915. Following a concentrated drive, several different detachments of marines gradually closed in on the old French bastion fort in an effort to cut off all avenues of retreat for the Caco bandits. Reaching the fort on the southern side where there was a small opening in the wall, Major Butler gave the signal to attack and marines from the 15th Company poured through the breach, engaged the Cacos in hand-to-hand combat, took the bastion and crushed the Caco resistance. Throughout this perilous action, Major Butler was conspicuous for his bravery and forceful leadership. Smedley Butler earned his FIRST award of the Medal of Honor during the Mexico Incursion at Vera Cruz in 1914. Others earning Medals of Honor for heroism in this action were: Sergeant Ross Iams and Private Samuel Gross.


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