U.S. Marine Commands an Army for the First Time

On June 18, 1945, U.S. Marine General Geiger assumed command of the Tenth U.S. Army at Okinawa. This was the first time a Marine ever commanded an Army.

In early April, Tenth Army commander LtGen Simon B. Buckner, Jr., USA, left, and Marine MajGen Roy S. Geiger, Commanding General, III Amphibious Corps, met to discuss the progress of the campaign. Upon Buckner's death near the end of the operation, Geiger was given command of the army and a third star. Department of Defense Photo (USMC) 128548

Between the fall of Shuri Castle and the collapse of the enemy front at Yaeju-Dake, Tenth Army lost another 1,555 killed and 6,602 wounded. Among the dead were the Tenth Army commander, Lt. Gen. Simon Buckner, killed in action on 18 June, and Brig. Gen. Claudius M. Easley, assistant commander of the 96th Division, killed the following day. Maj. Gen. Roy S. Geiger, USMC, senior commander on Okinawa, assumed command of the Tenth Army and ably directed the campaign to its conclusion.

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(Archive - Week of June 18, 2005)

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