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Foster C. Lahue

Foster C. Lahue

Lieutenant General Foster C. LaHue, USMC (September 2, 1917 – February 12, 1996), retired from active duty on 1 September 1974. He was born in Corydon, Indiana; graduated from Corydon High School, and from DePauw University in 1939 with a BA Degree and held a MA Degree in Personnel Management and MS Degree in Business Administration from George Washington University. Upon completing Officers’ Candidate School at Quantico, Virginia, in May 1941, he was commissioned a Marine second lieutenant and subsequently completed the Reserve Officers Course. He was promoted as follows: first lieutenant, June 1942; captain, September 1942; major, May 1943; lieutenant colonel, January 1951; colonel, October 1959; brigadier general, December 1966; major general, August 1969; and lieutenant general, August 1972.

During World War II, he served as a platoon commander, company commander and battalion staff officer with the First and Fourth Raider Battalions, participating in operations on New Georgia and in the Admiralty Island landings in the Pacific.
Returning to the United States in August 1944, he reported to Camp Pendleton, California, where he was Commanding Officer of the Instructor Training School, until his release to inactive duty in February 1946.

Major LaHue continued his service with the Organized Marine Corps Reserve and at the outbreak of the Korean conflict, he was serving as the Commanding Officer of Company D, 16th Infantry Battalion in Louisville, Kentucky. He returned to active duty with Company D in August 1950 and arrived in Korea in November for duty with the First Marine Division where he first served on the division staff as Division Adjutant.

From June to November 1951, when he departed Korea, Lieutenant Colonel LaHue commanded the Third Battalion, First Marines, winning the Silver Star Medal, a Legion of Merit with Combat “V” and the Air Medal. Returning to the United States, Lieutenant Colonel LaHue was Aide-de-Camp to General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., the 20th Commandant of the Marine Corps from January 1952 until August 1954. After completing the Command and Staff College course at Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, in June 1955, he became Academic Supervisor, then Assistant Director of the Amphibious Warfare School, a position he held at Quantico until May 1957.

Following two years duty as Commanding Officer of the Second Battalion, Fourth Marines, and later Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, with the First Marine Brigade in Hawaii, he was designated Director of Protocol on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific with headquarters in Hawaii in July 1959. Colonel LaHue returned to Quantico, in September 1961, to become Assistant Director and later Director of the Amphibious Warfare School until February 1963, when he was assigned as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, at the Marine Corps Development and Education Command.

Following a year of study at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, he was ordered to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., to become Military Secretary to the Commandant of the Marine Corps and was promoted to Brigadier General in December 1966. For meritorious achievement while serving as Military Secretary from August 1965 until February 1967, General LaHue was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal.

From March 1967 until April 1968, General LaHue served with the First Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam as Assistant Division Commander, Division Commander, and as Commanding General, Task Force X-Ray. During the enemy TET offensive in February 1968, General LaHue commanded the Marine forces who recaptured the city of Hue. For services in South Vietnam, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by the United States and the National Order of Vietnam Fifth Class, the Army Distinguished Order First Class, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm by the government of South Vietnam. In May 1968, upon his return to the United States, he assumed command of Force Troops, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

General LaHue was promoted to Major General in August 1969 and reassigned to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans. He was promoted to Lieutenant General on 1 August 1972, and was assigned as Chief of Staff, remaining in that position until his retirement on 1 September 1974.

A complete list of his medals and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal with gold star in lieu of a second award; the Silver Star Medal; the Legion of Merit with Combat “V”‘; the Air Medal; the Navy Commendation Medal; the Army Commendation Medal; the Purple Heart; the Presidential Unit Citation; the Navy Unit Commendation; the American Defense Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three bronze stars; the American Campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; the National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star; the Korean Service Medal with four bronze stars; the Vietnam Service Medal with four bronze stars; the Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon; the National Order of Vietnam Fifth Class; the Vietnamese Army Distinguished Service Order First Class; the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm; the Order of the White Elephant Degree of Commander (Thailand); the United Nations Service Medal; the Korean Presidential Unit Citation; and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

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