Military Wiki
Merwin Hancock Silverthorn
Merwin H. Silverthorn as a Lieutenant General
Born (1896-09-22)September 22, 1896
Died August 14, 1985(1985-08-14) (aged 88)
Place of birth Minneapolis, Minnesota
Place of death Bethesda Naval Hospital
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch USMC logo.svg United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1917 - 1954
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Commands held Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps

World War I

World War II
Awards Navy Cross
Distinguished Service Cross
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Silver Star (2)
Purple Heart

Merwin Hancock Silverthorn (September 22, 1896—August 14, 1985) was a highly decorated the 3rd Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps with the rank of Lieutenant General.

He was an expert in amphibious warfare and taught courses at Marine Corps training facilities in the 1930s. He served in numerous conflicts including World War I and World War II.

Early years

Silverthorn was born September 22, 1896 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and enlisted in the Marines as a private on 27 April 1917. After attending of basic training, Silverthorn was assigned to the newly created 5th Marine Regiment and was sent to the France within American Expeditionary Forces.

Silverthorn was commissioned as a second lieutenant on 9 June 1918. Subsequently participated in the Battle of Château-Thierry, Aisne-Marne Offensive and Meuse-Argonne Offensive. For his actions, Silverthorn was decorated with the Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars and Purple Heart. After the war, Silverthorn remained in the Europe for occupation duties until September 1919. After return to the States, Silverthorn attended a Tour of duty at Washington, D.C., Mare Island Naval Shipyard and Marine Corps Base Quantico and then, in May 1923, was sent to Haiti, where he helped in organizing of police units.

By the time he retired he had achieved the rank of Lieutenant General. He died August 14, 1985 in Bethesda naval Hospital and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Lieut. Gen. Merwin Hancock Silverthorn died August 14 at Bethesda Naval Medical Center.


Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
1st Row Navy Cross
2nd Row Distinguished Service Cross Navy Distinguished Service Medal Silver Star with Oak leaf cluster Legion of Merit with "V" Device
3rd Row Purple Heart Army Commendation Medal Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation with one star Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal
4th Row World War I Victory Medal with four clasps Army of Occupation of Germany Medal Haitian Campaign Medal American Defense Service Medal with fleet clasp
5th Row American Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three battle stars World War II Victory Medal National Defense Service Medal

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

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