WASHINGTON – Maj. Gen. Merritt A. Edson, retired Marine Corps officer and one-time head of the Vermont State Police, is dead of carbon monoxide poisoning.
His wife found the body of the Marine hero fully clothed in the front seat of his car in the garage of their home yesterday [August 14, 1955]. Both doors were closed and the ignition switch on the car was turned on.
Marine Capt. Merritt A. Edson, Jr. said his father had been “very tired” and feeling “very badly about the American prisoner of war question.”
Police Capt Richard J. Felber said a recent medical checkup showed Gen. Edson had not suffered from any serious ailments.
Edson retired from the Marine Corps in 1947 after 30 years. He won the Medal of Honor in defending Henderson Airfield on Guadalcanal in World War II.
He also won several other medals for heroism.
Edson was born in Rutland, Vt., attended the University of Vermont and was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1917.
After his retirement he became director of Vermont State Police, a post he held until 1951 when he assumed the post of executive director of the National Rifle Assn.
Edson’s younger son, Lt. Herbert R. Edson, also is stationed at the Quantico base. A sister, Mary L. Edson, lives at Burlington, Vt.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday at nearby Ft. Myer, Va. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery.