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Samuel Jaskilka
General Samuel Jaskilka, USMC
Born (1919-12-15)December 15, 1919
Died January 15, 2012(2012-01-15) (aged 92)
Place of birth Ansonia, Connecticut
Place of death Arlington County, Virginia
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1942–1978
Rank General
Commands held 2nd Marine Division
Nov. 11, 1989 at Ukrainian American Veterans Post 23, 10th Anniversary Banquet, Buffalo, N.Y. From left: Roman Rakowsky, Dmytro Bykovetz, General Samuel Jaskilka USMC, Jerry Fedoryczuk, Harold Bochonko, Stephen M. Wichar, Edward A. Zetick.

Gen. Sam Jaskilka met with representatives of the Ukrainian American Veterans at Buffalo, N.Y. in 1989.

Samuel Jaskilka (December 15, 1919 – January 15, 2012) was a four-star general whose last assignment was Assistant Commandant of the United States Marine Corps (1975–1978). General Jaskilka is a highly decorated veteran of the Korean War, having led the landing at Inchon as a company commander with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1978 after 34 years of service.


Samuel Jaskilka was born on December 15, 1919, in Ansonia, Connecticut, in a family of Ukrainian-Americans. He graduated from Ansonia High School in 1937. In May 1942, he graduated from the University of Connecticut, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.

On September 26, 1942, Jaskilka accepted an appointment as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and was assigned to active duty. He completed the Reserve Officers' Class, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia in 1942, and completed the Sea School at Portsmouth, Virginia, in 1943. He accepted an appointment in the regular Marine Corps in March 1943.

World War II

During World War II, Jaskilka served aboard the USS Princeton and participated in the Tarawa Island raid, the Gilbert Islands Operation, the Marshall Islands Operation, Palau, Yap, Ulithi, Wolei raids, Marianas Operation, Western Caroline Islands Operation and the Leyte Operation. He served on the USS Princeton and survived its sinking in the Battle of Leyte Gulf On October 24, 1944. He was promoted to first lieutenant on June 22, 1943.

Upon his return to the United States, he was assigned duty as Instructor, Headquarters Company, Troop Leaders Battalion, Camp Pendleton, California until August 1945. He was promoted to captain in January 1945.

After the war

From September 1945 until May 1947, Captain Jaskilka saw tours of independent duty with District Headquarters Recruiting Station, Manchester, New Hampshire, and District Headquarters Recruiting Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In January 1948, he completed the Amphibious Warfare School, Junior Course, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, and became Commanding Officer, Marine Detachment, U.S. Naval Air Activities, Port Lyautey, French Morocco.

Korean War

In September 1949, Jaskilka joined the 1st Marine Division and later embarked with the division for Korea serving successively as Battalion Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of Company E, 2nd Battalion, Fifth Marines. He led the first wave of Marines onto Red Beach on September 15, 1950 in the Invasion of Inchon, Pusan Perimeter as CO of Company E of the 2/5. For heroism in combat in Korea, he received two awards of the Silver Star and a Bronze Star with Combat "V". He was promoted to major in January 1951

Post Korean War

Jaskilka returned to the States in February 1952 and served as Monitor, Detail Branch, Personnel Department, Headquarters Marine Corps. In July 1954, he was transferred to Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, for duty as Operations Officer, Marine Corps Test Unit #1. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in December 1955.

Upon completion of the Amphibious Warfare School, Senior Course, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, in June 1957, LtCol Jaskilka had a three-year tour of duty as Assistant G-3 Operations and Plans Officer with Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. He returned to Quantico in July 1960 and served as an Instructor at the Senior School.

He reported to the 3rd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force in July 1963, and was assigned duty as Executive Officer, Third Marines, and later, Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, SEATO Expeditionary Brigade. Following his return to the United States, he assumed duty as Joint Staff Officer in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and earned the Joint Service Commendation Medal. He was promoted to colonel in July 1964.

In August 1966, he was reassigned to Headquarters Marine Corps where he served consecutively as Deputy Manpower Coordinator for Research and Information Systems, G-1 Division; as Director, Data Systems Division; and as Director, Management Analysis Group. He earned the Legion of Merit for his service during the latter two assignments, and was promoted to brigadier general on October 18, 1968.

Vietnam War

Ordered to the Republic of Vietnam in February 1969, BGen Jaskilka served as Assistant Division Commander, 1st Marine Division, and CG, Task Force Yankee. In August 1969, he was reassigned duty as J-3, Operations, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV). He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his Vietnam service.

1970s: Assistant Commandant

General Jaskilka returned to the United States in August 1970, and reported to Quantico, where he served as Director, Command and Staff College, then as Deputy for Development/Director. Development Center, Marine Corps Development and Education Command.

Following his promotion to major general in August 1972, he became Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, Headquarters Marine Corps. He served in this capacity until his transfer in July 1973, to Camp Lejeune, where he served as Commanding General, 2nd Marine Division. He was promoted to lieutenant general on January 2, 1974 and was assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower at Headquarters Marine Corps.

He remained in that position until July 1, 1975 when he was named Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. While serving in that capacity, General Jaskilka was advanced to the grade of general, to rank from March 4, 1976. He retired on June 30, 1978 after thirty-six years of service.


Samuel Jaskilka died on January 15, 2012, at the age of 92 of pneumonia.[1] His funeral was held on January 26, 2012; he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.[2]

Awards and decorations

General Jaskilka holds the following personal decorations:

Gold star
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star w/ 1 award star Legion of Merit Bronze Star w/ valor device Joint Service Commendation Medal w/ 1 oak leaf cluster
Navy Presidential Unit Citation w/ 2 service stars Meritorious Unit Citation American Defense Service Medal American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 9 service stars World War II Victory Medal National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 service star Korean Service Medal w/ 3 service stars
Vietnam Service Medal w/ 6 service stars National Order of Vietnam, Knight Vietnam Army Distinguished Service Order, 1st Class Philippine Liberation Medal w/ 1 service star
Korean Presidential Unit Citation Vietnam Gallantry Cross unit citation United Nations Korea Medal Vietnam Campaign Medal

See also


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

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