A true legend of the ‘Old Corps’, Butler was a double awardee of the MoH during two largely forgotten Marine Corps campaigns – that of the Mexican Campaign and that of the campaign in Haiti.
Smedley Darlingrton Butler
First Award – Mexican Campaign
Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 30 July 1881, West Chester, Pa. Appointed from: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 177, 4 December 1915. Other Navy awards: Second Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Medal.
Citation: For distinguished conduct in battle, engagement of Vera Cruz, 22 April 1914. Maj. Butler was eminent and conspicuous in command of his battalion. He exhibited courage and skill in leading his men through the action of the 22d and in the final occupation of the city.
Second Award – Haitian Campaign
Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 30 July 1881, West Chester, Pa. Appointed from: Pennsylvania. Other Navy awards: Second Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Medal.
Citation: As Commanding Officer of detachments from the 5th, 13th, 23d Companies and the marine and sailor detachment from the U.S.S. Connecticut, Maj. 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, Maj. 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, Maj. Butler was conspicuous for his bravery and forceful leadership.