David Monroe Shoup, World War II Medal of Honor recipient
and 22nd Commandant of the Marine Corps, was born
30 December 1904 in Battle Ground, Indiana. A 1926
graduate of DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana,
he was a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps
at the University. He served for a month as a second
lieutenant in the Army Infantry Reserve before he
was commissioned a Marine second lieutenant on 20
Ordered to Marine Officers
Basic School at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, 2dLt Shoup’s
instruction was interrupted twice by temporary duty
elsewhere in the United States and by expeditionary
duty with the 6th Marines in Tientsin, China. After
serving in China during most of 1927, he completed
Basic School in 1928. He then served at Quantico,
Virginia; Pensacola, Florida; and San Diego, California.
June 1929 to September 1931, 2dLt Shoup was assigned
to the Marine detachment aboard the USS Maryland.
On his return from sea duty, he served as a company
officer at the Marine Corps Base (later Marine Corps
Recruit Depot), San Diego until May 1932 when he was
ordered to the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington.
He was promoted to first lieutenant in June 1932.
First Lieutenant Shoup
later served on temporary duty with the Civilian Conservation
Corps in Idaho and New Jersey from June 1933 to May
1934. Following duty in Seattle, Washington, he was
again ordered to China in November 1934, serving briefly
with the 4th Marines in Shanghai and, subsequently,
at the American Legation in Peiping. He returned to
the United States, via Japan, early in June 1936 and
was again stationed at the Puget Sound Navy Yard.
He was promoted to captain in October 1936.
Captain Shoup entered
the Junior Course, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico,
in July 1937. On completing the course in May 1938,
he served as an instructor for two years. In June
1940, he joined the 6th Marines in San Diego. He was
promoted to major in April 1941.
Major Shoup was ordered
to Iceland with the 6th Marines in May 1941, and after
serving as Regimental Operations Officer, became Operations
Officer of the 1st Marine Brigade in Iceland in October
1941. For his service in Iceland during the first
three months after the United States entered World
War II, he was awarded the Letter of Commendation
with Commendation Ribbon. He assumed command of the
2d Battalion, 6th Marines, in February 1942. On returning
to the States in March, the 1st Marine Brigade was
disbanded and he returned with his battalion to San
Diego. In July 1942, he became Assistant Operations
and Training Officer of the 2d Marine Division. He
was promoted to lieutenant colonel in August 1942.
from San Diego aboard the USS Matsonia in
September 1942, LtCol Shoup arrived at Wellington,
New Zealand, later that month. From then until November
1943, he served as G-3, Operations and Training Officer
of the 2d Marine Division during the unit’s
training period in New Zealand. His service in this
capacity during the planning of the assault on Tarawa
earned him his first Legion of Merit with Combat “V.”
During this period, he also served briefly as an observer
with the 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal in October
1942 and as an observer with the 43d Army Division
on Rendova, New Georgia, in the summer of 1943, earning
a Purple Heart in the latter operation.
to colonel on 9 November 1943, Col Shoup was placed
in command of the 2d Marines, the spearhead of the
assault on Tarawa. During this action he earned the
Medal of Honor as well as a second Purple Heart. He
earned the Medal of Honor at Betio, a bitterly contested
island of Tarawa Atoll, 20-22 November 1943, while
commanding all ground troops ashore. The British Distinguished
Service Order was also awarded him for this action.
December 1943, he became Chief of Staff of the 2d
Marine Division. For outstanding service in this capacity
from June to August 1944, during the battles for Saipan
and Tinian, he was again awarded the Legion of Merit
with Combat “V.” He returned to the United
States in October 1944.
On his return to the
States, Col Shoup served as Logistics Officer, Division
of Plans and Policies, Headquarters Marine Corps.
He was again ordered overseas in June 1947. Two months
later he became Commanding Officer, Service Command,
Fleet Marine Force (FMF), Pacific. In June 1949, he
joined the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton as
Division Chief of Staff. A year later, he was transferred
to Quantico where he served as Commanding Officer
of the Basic School from July 1950 until April 1952.
He was then assigned to the Office of the Fiscal Director,
Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC), serving as Assistant
Fiscal Director. He was promoted to brigadier general
in April 1953.
In July 1953, BGen Shoup
was named Fiscal Director of the Marine Corps. While
serving in this capacity, he was promoted to major
general in September 1955. Subsequently, in May 1956,
he began a brief assignment as Inspector General for
Recruit Training. Following this, he served as Inspector
General of the Marine Corps from September 1956 until
May 1957. He returned to Camp Pendleton in June 1957
to become Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division.
Major General Shoup joined
the 3d Marine Division on Okinawa in March 1958 as
Commanding General. Following his return to the States,
he served as Commanding General of the Marine Corps
Recruit Depot, Parris Island, from May to October
1959. On 2 November 1959, he was promoted to lieutenant
general and assigned duties as Chief of Staff, HQMC.
Lieutenant General Shoup
was nominated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on
12 August 1959 to be the 22d Commandant of the Marine
Corps. Upon assuming his post as Commandant of the
Marine Corps on 1 January 1960, he was promoted to
His time in office saw
the beginning of limited operations in Vietnam with
Marine helicopter units flying from Soc Trang, an
abandoned airstrip south of Saigon.
On 21 January 1964, shortly
after his retirement, Gen Shoup was awarded the Distinguished
Service Medal by President Lyndon B. Johnson for exceptionally
meritorious service as Commandant of the Marine Corps.
General Shoup retired
to Arlington, Virginia, in 1963. He died on 13 January
1983 after a long illness and was buried in Arlington
A complete list of the
Gen Shoup’s medals and decorations includes:
the Medal of Honor; the Distinguished Service Medal;
the Legion of Merit with Combat “V” and
Gold Star in lieu of a second award; the Letter of
Commendation with Commendation Ribbon; the Purple
Heart with Gold Star in lieu of a second award; the
Expeditionary Unit Citation; the Yangtze Service Medal;
the Expeditionary Medal; the American Defense Service
Medal with Base clasp; the European-African-Middle
Eastern Campaign Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
Medal with four bronze stars; the American Campaign
Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; the National
Defense Service Medal; and the British Distinguished
Medal of Honor Citation