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Collins, Joseph Lawton "Lightning Joe"

Date of birth:
May 1st, 1896 (New Orleans/Louisiana, United States)
Date of death:
September 12th, 1987 (Washington, D.C., United States)
Buried on:
Arlington National Cemetery
Plot: 30. Grave: 442.
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major General
Awarded on:
1942
"For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Chief of Staff, Hawaiian Department, from 1941 to 1942."
War Department, General Orders No. 67
Distinguished Service Medal - Army (DSM)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major General
Unit:
25th Infantry Division "Tropic Lightning", U.S. Army
Awarded on:
March 17th, 1943
Silver Star Medal (SSM)
"For gallantry in action on 11 January 1943 at Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. To visit the command post of an infantry battalion of the Division commanded by him, General Collins walked through some 800 yards of recently captured ground infested with enemy snipers. Upon arriving on Hill 52, to gain better points of observation, he voluntarily exposed himself to intermittent rifle, machine gun and mortar fire, without regard for his own personal safety. From there, he located an enemy machine gun nest and personally assisted in placing mortar fire on it and on other areas likely to be occupied by the enemy, while bursts of enemy machine gun fire hit many times but three yards away. His calmness and fearlessness under fire was an inspiration to the officers and men of the infantry regiment in that sector. His example and words of praise and encouragement with which he continually encouraged the men in the forward units spurred them on and contributed materially to the success of the offensive operation. His gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army."
Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces in the South Pacific Area, General Orders No. 63
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major General
Unit:
25th Infantry Division "Tropic Lightning", U.S. Army
Awarded on:
1943
Distinguished Service Medal - Army (DSM)
"For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Commanding General of the 25th Infantry Division from 1942 to 1943."
War Department, General Orders No. 19. This award was obtained in the form of a Oak Leave to be attached on the ribbon of the first award.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major General
Unit:
VII Corps, 1st Army, U.S. Army
Awarded on:
July 21st, 1944
Distinguished Service Medal - Army (DSM)
"For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Commanding General, VII Corps from 1944 to 1945."
War Department, General Orders No. 64. This award was obtained in the form of a second Oak Leave to be attached on the ribbon of the first award.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major General
Unit:
VII Corps, 1st Army, U.S. Army
Awarded on:
1945
Silver Star Medal (SSM)
Headquarters, 1st Army, General Orders No. 75. This award was obtained in the form of a Oak Leave to be attached on the ribbon of the first award.
Rank:
General
Unit:
Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
Awarded on:
1953
"For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 16 August 1949 to 14 August 1953."
Department of the Army, General Orders No. 72. This award was obtained in the form of a third Oak Leave to be attached on the ribbon of the first award.
Distinguished Service Medal - Army (DSM)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major General
Unit:
25th Infantry Division "Tropic Lightning", U.S. Army
"For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commanding General of the 25th Infantry Division from 1942 to 1943."
Legion of Merit - US Military
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Major General
Unit:
VII Corps, 1st Army, U.S. Army
"For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commanding General of the VII Corps from 1944 to 1945."
This award was obtained in the form of a Oak Leave to be attached on the ribbon of the first award.
Legion of Merit - US Military
Period:
Korean War (1950-1953)
Rank:
General
This award was obtained in the form of a second Oak Leave to be attached on the ribbon of the first award.
Legion of Merit - US Military

Sources