Louis McCarty Little was born in 1878 and was appointed to the U.S.Marine Corps in 1899 following his graduation as an engineer from Rensselaer Poly Tech in NY. By November 1899 he was in the Phillipine Islands serving with the 3rd Bn. In July 1900 he was in China with the Boxer Rebellion Relief Force, in combat at Tientsin, along with Lt. Smedley Butler. That was the start of a long career in the Corps. He spent several more tours in China, becoming a Chinese linguist, becoming the Naval Attache' in 1914 and later Commanding the American Legation Guard at Pekin for over 4 years from 1923 to 1927. As a Colonel during WWI he was the Fleet Marine Officer, Asiatic Fleet before being ordered to the Admiral Sims' Staff. Sims was Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Operating in European Waters and was based in London, England. In 1919 he was assigned to the 1st Provisional Brigade in Haiti. He commanded the 8th Regiment of Marines there in the campaign against the Caco insurgents. Graduated fro the Naval War College in 1922 and the Army War College in 1923. He was back in Haiti in 1931 commanding the First Brigade Marines until 1934 when the Marines were withdrawn.He was appointed a Brigadier General in 1934 and a Major General in 1935, one of only three MGs in the Corps. He later served as Assistant to the Major General Commandant and then as Commanding General FMF and MCB, San Diego. He was retired for age on 1 Feb 1942 at the mandatory retirement age of 64 years, with 42 1/2 years of active service. He passed away in Newport, RI in 1960. It is interesting to note that during his long career, he never received a United States decoration, though he was nominated twice for a Navy Distinguished Service Medal, both resulting in Special Letters of Commendation from the Secty of the Navy. He received a Citation from Admiral Sims for his WWI service and this may be seen as a Silver Citation Star on his WWI Victory medal, just above the "Overseas" clasp. He was decorated with the Haitian Medaille Militaire and the Haitian Medal of Honor & Merit in the Class of Grand Officer. He was also a Member of the Military Order of the Dragon. His mounted medal bar contains his numbered and verified Phillipine Campaign Medal, China Campaign Medal, Expeditionary Medal w/ 4 bronze stars, Victory Medal w/ Overseas Clasp & Silver Citation Star, Haitian Campaign Medal (1919-20), American Defense Service Medal and the WWII Victory Medal.
NARA - While at the OMSA Convention I completed a Form SF180 and turned it in to Ms. Jaclyn Ostrowski, Archival Technician from the National Archives & Records Admistration, National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis who was there as a guest of OMSA and who made a fine presentation and set up a table to answer questions about the NARA Archival Program. When I obtained this group it came with enough information to complete the SF180 request form and I left it with Ms. Ostrowski. Two weeks ago I was notified by NARA billing that the file was ready and I paid my $50 fee. Now, in requesting a file of 42 1/2 years of service, I knew I would have a large file to review. Well, it came the other day, about 750 to 1,000 pages in a Parcel Post box which cost $12.66 to mail! Needless to say I am a happy customer, though understand that the whole file was copied, and includes many mundane and boring documents, such as travel orders, pay vouchers, leave requests, etc. Whe you get an Archival OMPF you get the WHOLE file. You cannot request specific documents. If you wan to do that you need to vist the St. Louis facility in person and select the specific documents yourself. That is a really fun experience!
The Archival Programs ORIENTATION & INFORMATION bulletin states:
"An OPMF is eligible for legal transfer to NARA 62 years after a service member separates from military service. OMPFs transferred to NARA are public records. The Archival Programs Division at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) now has the frollowing record holdings open to the public. "OPMFs from all branches of the Armed Forces for individuals who served during the 20th Century and have been separated from service at least 62 years. Retired records at NPRC include OPMFs created by the lollowing military componements: Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Army, Army Air Corps, Air Force."
Archival Files may be requested on-line. Submit an electonic request at: http"//vetrecs.archives.gov Write "ARCHIVAL" on signature page line & return as directed, to activate your electronic request.
Understand that the Archival Program is separate the NARA NPRC Program for files LESS than 62 years old as defined. Requests for those OMPFs should continue to be made using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) when completing the SF180. Also researchers must understand that the fire in 1973 destroyed millions of the U.S. Army Official Military Personnel Files (OPMFs) and when requests are made do not expect to get what I got. The Navy & Marine Corps files escaped the blaze so service for these branches is generally very good and the $50 fee will be considered well-spent. Many of the destroyed files have been reconstructed from other sources,and these are often satisfactory to family & geneological researchers but disapointing to military historians. Patience & understanding of what is there is important. There is a new govt. Publication titled Reference Information Paper 109, "Military Service Records at the National Archives" Compiled by Mr. Trevor K. Plante,2007 which I recommend that any interested researcher should request from the Government Printing Office.
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT MY COMMENTS REGARDING NARA, NPRC AND THE ARCHIVAL PROGRAM ARE MY INTERPRETATIONS ALONE. I APOLOGIZE IF ANYTHING HEREIN PROVES TO BE INCORRECT. I TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY INCORRECT INFORMATION. AND SAY IN ADVANCE "SORRY 'BOUT THAT!"
Edited by bobgee, 09 October 2008 - 08:30 AM.