Marine Corps legend Gen. Victor Krulak dies at 95

This guy was BRILLIANT in his times of three wars

Marine Corps legend Gen. Victor Krulak dies at 95

By Blanca Gonzalez (Contact) Union-Tribune Staff Writer
Originally published 4:54 p.m. December 30, 2008, updated 2:00 a.m., December 31, 2008

Lt. Gen. Victor H. "Brute" Krulak, shown during the Vietnam War, at one time commanded all Marine Corps forces in the Pacific. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy as an undersized teenager, but Victor H. “Brute†Krulak rose to command all Marine Corps forces in the Pacific, helped develop a boat crucial to amphibious landings during World War II and spoke his mind in disagreeing with a president over Vietnam War strategy.

Lt. Gen. Krulak, a decorated veteran of three wars, died of natural causes late Monday night at the Wesley Palms Retirement Community in San Diego. He was 95.

Standing barely 5 feet 5 inches tall, he was jokingly nicknamed Brute by his academy classmates. The moniker stuck, reinforced by his direct, no-nonsense style.

“There was nothing undersized about his brain,†Time magazine later said.

One of Gen. Krulak's three sons – retired Gen. Charles Krulak of Wilmington, Del. – said his father “was proud of just being a Marine . . . He never forgot that at the end of the day, everything he did was in support of them.â€

As a major in the years before World War II, the senior Gen. Krulak helped create the amphibious-war doctrine that the Marines used to defeat Japan in the Pacific. He championed the Higgins boat landing craft that was involved in every World War II amphibious assault, as well as the prototype for the Amtrack vehicle still used by Marines today.

Gen. Krulak was known as a master strategist, said Mike Neil, a San Diego lawyer and retired reserve Marine brigadier general.
“He brilliantly orchestrated the 1st Marine Brigade to save the day at Pusan Peninsula (during the Korean War),†Neil said.


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