Giants Of The Corps: Julian Constable Smith
By Tom Bartlett - Originally Published February 1976
Lieutenant General Julian Constable Smith, USMC (Ret'd), was interred November 11, 1975, with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, Va. The general died November 5th at the DeWitt Army Hospital, Fort Belvoir, Va., following a long illness. He was 90 years of age.
A veteran of more than 38 years of Marine Corps service, Julian Smith was considered to be one of the Corps' leaders in amphibious warfare.
General Smith had received the Navy Cross for heroism in Nicaragua, and, many years later, he was awarded his first Distinguished Service Medal for his part in the Tarawa Campaign of World War II. He also earned a gold star (in lieu of a second Distinguished Service Medal) as commanding general of the expeditionary troops of the Third Fleet during the capture of the Southern Palaus and Ulithi Atoll. Other decorations included the British Distinguished Service Order and awards from the Nicaraguan and Dominican governments.
Born in Elkton, Md., in September 1885, Julian Smith graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Arts degree prior to receiving an appointment as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps in January 1909.
He received his initial training at the Marine Barracks, Port Royal, S. C., and, in September 1912, he was ordered to the Marine Barracks, Philadelphia Navy Yard. The following year, he was transferred to Panama.
As a member of an expeditionary force, Smith left Panama and took part in the occupation at Vera Cruz, Mexico, from April to December 1914.
Later assignments found him serving the Marine Corps in Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Santo Domingo. He authored "The History of the Guardia Nacional de Nicaragua."
Graduating from the Army Command and General Staff School at Ft. Leavenworth, Kans., in 1928, Smith then reported to Headquarters Marine Corps. He captained the Marine Corps' Rifle and Pistol Teams in 1928 and again in 1930.
He assumed command of the Second Marine Division in New Zealand in 1943. As commanding general of the "Follow Me!" division during World War II, he planned and executed the successful capture of Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands.
General Smith retired from the Marine Corps in 1947. Two years later, he founded, and became president of the Second Marine Division Association, dedicated to the preservation of the traditions of the division.
He later developed the Second Marine Division Association Memorial Scholarship Fund for the advanced education of orphans of Second Division servicemen killed in combat.
Julian Smith was a life member of the executive council of the National Rifle Association, a past president of the Sons of the Revolution, a governor in the Society of Colonial Wars, a member of the Masonic Order and a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Second Marine Division Association Memorial Scholarship Fund in the name of LtGen Julian Constable Smith.