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China, Samar, and Vera Cruz Marine Group


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This group has been in the collection for a bit more than a year and I've only recently started to research it.  The search for the complete service file continues in St Louis. 


Michaeal Fitzgerald was born 27 September 1874, he enlisted in the Marine Corps on 27 September 1899, his twenty-fifth birthday.  He retired on

2 November 1922 after serving 23 years. 


In those 23 years he served in Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Regiment Peking, China, in Company D, 1st Regiment Basey Samar, P I and was active in the capture of Vera Cruz, Mexico where he was seriously wounded.  In the interim of those points in his career he was a Marine recruiter, he served at the Naval Base in Guam, in Panama, at Guantanamo, and several ships. Fitzgerald’s last assignment was that of a courier at the American Embassy in London.


In July 1900 Private Fitzgerald was enroute to the far east for duty as part of the relief force in China, he remained part of that force through September 1900. 


In October Company C was enroute to the Naval Station, Cavite, Philippines but eventually being posted at Subig (Subic) Philippines. May 1901, Fitzgerald was transferred to Company D, 1st Regiment.  November 1901, Company D was posted to Basey Samar, Philippines.  Fitzgerald is credited in the November 1901 Muster Roll with engagement action on the Cadacan(?) River and on the expedition to Sohoton(?).  He is also credited in December’s Roll for engagements while in the field. He remained in Samar to April 1902 when Company D returned to the Cavite Naval Station.


During April 21-22, 1914, as part of the Marine landing force, Fitzgerald assisted in the capture of Vera Cruz, Mexico.  He was wounded on the 22nd and evacuated to the USS Solice on the 23rd. From the Solice he spent the next several months at the Naval Hospital in New York, he eventually returned to duty, recruiting, in September 1914 in New York City.


In April 1918 he was assigned to the American Embassy in London preforming courier duty, returning in September 1919, to Marine Barracks in Washington DC.  He retired in November 1922.  










Muster April 1914-3 Vera Cruz - 1.jpg

Muster Dec 1901 - Samar -1.jpg

Muster Nov 1901 Samar - 1.jpg
















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Stand Gentleman, he served on Samar! What an incredible grouping! One of the finest more historical Marine medal groupings I have seen in a  long while, thanks for sharing! 

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Wow, not often a real Samar grouping shows up and this is one of the best I have seen in years!  The whole "Stand gentlemen, he served on Samar!" still elicits a strange emotion in me, even though I am not a USMC collector exclusively.  Just a remarkable group and thanks so much, Bill, for sharing it with us here!

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  • 1 month later...

A bit of a follow-up here, I received the Fitzgerald service file, (big shout out to Geoff at Golden Arrow Research it was a hard file to locate) and I wanted to share some additional information.  There is a detailed write up describing Fitzgerald's field action in Samar, PI. For his action at Vera Cruz there is just a short note in his record regarding being wounded by gunfire. The torso sketch in the record indicates three "new" scars, Right Shoulder, Right Collar Bone area, and a rather large one Back Right Shoulder. That's enough to support the several months in the Naval Hospital in New York.  I also show the letter from the Ambassador of the United Staes at Rome, Italy.  I was really hoping that his service file had a photograph, but it did not I did find his Diplomatic Passport application from 1918/1919 that did have a photo.  

Thanks for looking.







Passport App 1919 1.jpg

Passport App 1919 2 - Copy.jpg

Passport App 1919 2.jpg

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