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Obituaries > LIVERSEDGE, HARRY B.

Brig. Gen. Harry B. Liversedge, famed fighting Marine and former Olympic Games and University of California star athlete, died yesterday [November 25, 1951].

General Liversedge, 57, succumbed at the Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Md., after a major surgical operation. He had been a patient there since September.

One of the highlights of his illustrious military career was the leading of the 28th Regiment of the Marine Raiders in the capture of Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima.

The storming of the mountain and the raising of the American flag produced the most famous picture of the conflict in the Pacific.

After the capture General Liversedge was presented with the flag by the commander of the Fifth Amphibious Corps. It was one of the prized trophies in his home at Pine Grove, Amador County.

He was a star athlete at the University of California before enlisting in the Marines in 1917. He was later awarded the Helms Foundation trophy as Northern California’s athlete of the year.

He set an intercollegiate record with the 16-pound shot while a student at Berkeley. He placed second in the event in the 1920 Olympic Games at Antwerp while a Marine.

Born September 21, 1894 at Volcano, Amador County, he attended secondary schools there before entering the University of California.

He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marines in 1918 and served with the Fifth Marine Brigade in France.

In the interim between the World Wars he served at Marine stations and fleet duty. He was at Haiti, Quantico, the Naval Academy, China, San Diego and aboard the battleship USS California.

He took the Second Battalion of the Eighth Marines to Samoa in 1942. Promoted to full colonel, he led the Third Marine Raider Battalion ashore at Pavuvu.

At New Georgia in July-August of 1943, Colonel Liversedge led his First Marine Raider Regiment and attached Army units through dense jungles in repeated assaults against Japanese positions.

For “extraordinary heroism” in those actions he was awarded the Navy Cross.

He served occupation duty in Japan after the surrender in Tokyo Bay. After his return to the states, he served as director of the 12th Marine Reserve in San Francisco and then as assistant division commander of the First Marine Division at Camp Pendleton.

On May 1, 1948 he was promoted to brigadier general and took command of the Fleet Marine Force at Guam in May, 1949. A year later he was named director of the Marine Corps Reserve in Washington, D.C.

His decorations, in addition to the Navy Cross, include Army Letter of Commendation with ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Victory Medal with France clasp and Maltese Cross, Expeditionary Medal with Bronze Star, Yangtze Service Medal, American Defense Service Medal with base clasp, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal.

His only survivor is a sister, Mrs. Ruette Fessel, of Pine Grove.