Biography of Major General Richard Jaquelin Marshall

Major General Richard Jaquelin Marshall, born June 16, 1895, in Markham, Virginia, played a crucial role in the Southwest Pacific theater during World War II, culminating as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Forces in the Pacific. He graduated from Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in 1915 and served in World War I. Post-World War II, he retired from the Army in 1946 after achieving the rank of major general. Marshall then became superintendent of VMI. His decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star. He married Isabel Crum in 1935 and had two children and two stepchildren.

Major General Richard Jaquelin Marshall played an exceptional role in the events transpiring in the Southwest Pacific theater of operations during World War II, during which conflict he rose to the position of Chief of Staff of the United States Army Forces in the Pacific. He has retired to civilian life to assume an equally important role as educator, being at the present time superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute, greatest of Southern military colleges.

General Marshall was born in Markham, Virginia on June 16, 1895, and is a son of Marion Lewis and Rebecca (Coke) Marshall. His father was engaged in the life insurance business. Beginning his education in local schools, he was a student at Norfolk Academy from 1907 to 1911, after which he entered Virginia Military Institute. He graduated there in 1915 with the degree of Bachelor of Science.

Beginning his career in civilian pursuits, Richard J. Marshall was assistant chemist with the Consolidated Gas, Electric Light and Power Company in Baltimore, Maryland, during 1915 and 1916. Entering the Maryland National Guard in the latter year, he was commissioned a first lieutenant; and became a second lieutenant in the regular United States Army in November of the same year. During the World War I period, he served in “B” Battery, Sixth Field Artillery, First Division, in the ranks of lieutenant and captain, seeing service with the American Expeditionary Forces in France. He was wounded in action near Fléville, France, on November 1, 1918, just before the armistice with Germany was signed. Remaining in the United States Army throughout the period between the two world wars, he advanced to the rank of major general, receiving the latter commission as a temporary grade in 1942 and holding it at the time of his retirement from the army in 1946.

During World War II, General Marshall was deputy chief of staff of the United States Army Forces in the Far East and of the Southwest Pacific area from April until July, 1942. He next became commanding general of the United States Army Services of Supply, Southwest Pacific area, and was thereafter successively chief of staff USAFFE, and deputy chief of staff and chief of staff of the United States Army Forces in the Pacific. The Pacific campaign concluded with the triumph over the Japanese. General Marshall retired in 1946 after over thirty years of distinguished service in the United States Army. The final period of his active military life was one of participation in history-making events. He was with General Douglas MacArthur when that military leader left Bataan in March, 1942 and went to Australia. His activities have been mentioned in a number of books coming out of World War II, among them being “I Saw the Fall of the Philippines” by Colonel Romulo, who now represents the Philippines in the United Nations (Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1943), Frazier Hunt’s “MacArthur and the War Against Japan” (Scribner’s, 1944); and “Our Jungle Road to Tokyo” by General Eichelberger (The Viking Press). In addition, General Marshall has been in Manila since retiring. He visited there in the summer of 1950 as deputy chief of the Economic Survey Mission dispatched by the President.

General Marshall’s decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Silver Star and the Legion of Merit. His foreign decorations include the Distinguished Service Star of the Philippines, Officer of the French Legion of Honor, and the Grand Order of Orange Nassau with Crossed Swords of The Netherlands.

Since the time of his retirement he has been superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute, an enviable post from the viewpoint of seasoned military men. He is a member of Kappa Alpha fraternity and a communicant of the Episcopal Church.

In Montgomery, Alabama, December 28, 1935, Major General Richard Jaquelin Marshall married, as his second wife, Isabel Crum, daughter of Judge Benjamin Percival and Emily (Crumpton) Crum. General Marshall had a step-son, Kenneth Roscoe Lummus, who died March 28, 1943; and a step-daughter, Dorothy Lummus, who is the wife of William DuPont Strong. A son, Richard Jaquelin Marshall, Jr., was killed in action on February 3, 1943; and a daughter, Harriette Marshall, who was born November 10, 1923, is now Mrs. John Eric Olson.


Couper, Wm. (William), History of the Shenandoah Valley, Family and Personal Records, vol. III, New York, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1952.

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