Lewis Puller

Lewis Puller

Lewis Puller was born in the United States in 1898. He joined the US Marines and won two Navy Crosses for acts of bravery in Nicaragua (1931-32).

During the Second World War Puller was sent to Guadalcana and on 24th October, 1942, won a third Navy Cross for holding a mile long section of the line around Henderson Field.

Promoted lieutenant colonel he became executive officer of the 7th Marines. He also led the 1st Marine Regiment during the assault of Peleliu on 15th September 1944 where the suffered 65 per cent casualties. After being awarded a four Navy Cross he returned to the United States to command a training unit.

Puller, who won a fifth Navy Cross during the Korean War, retired from the US Marines in 1955. Lewis Puller died in 1971.

Primary Sources

(1) Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz (1947)

Last spring the Germans had constructed huge tents in an open space in the Lager. For the whole of the good season each of them had catered for over 1,000 men: now the tents had been taken down, and an excess 2,000 guests crowded our huts. We old prisoners knew that the Germans did not like these irregularities and that something would soon happen to reduce our number.