Wilbur Bestwick


Wilbur Bestwick

Infobox Military Person
name= Wilbur Bestwick
born= Birth date|1911|11|27
died= Death date and age|1972|7|10|1911|11|27
placeofbirth= Sabetha, Kansas
placeofdeath= Palo Alto, California


caption=1st Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps (1957-1959)
nickname=
allegiance= United States of America
branch= United States Marine Corps
serviceyears= 1934-1959
rank= Sergeant Major
commands=Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
unit= 3rd Marine Division Mare Island Shipyard Marine Corps Depot of Supplies MCRD Parris Island 1st Marine Division 1st Air Delivery Company HQMC
battles= World War II *Battle of Bougainville *Battle of Guam Korean War
awards= Navy Commendation Medal
laterwork=

Sergeant Major Wilbur Bestwick was the first Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. He served in the post of senior enlisted U.S. Marine from 1957 to 1959.

Bestwick was born on 27 November 1911, in Sabetha, Kansas, and graduated from high school there in 1932. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1934 and received his basic training at San Diego, California. He died 10 July 1972, at Stanford University Hospital and was interred at the Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto, California.

Military career

Bestwick saw pre-World War II duty at sea aboard the USS "Louisville", and served at Marine posts in Bremerton, Washington; San Diego, and Camp Elliott, California. Appointed a Sergeant Major in 1943, he saw World War II combat while serving in this capacity with the 3rd Marine Division in the Bougainville and Guam campaigns.

On his return to the States, in December 1944, Bestwick served as Sergeant Major of the Mare Island (California) Shipyard. He was transferred to San Francisco in 1945, and completed a four-year tour of duty there as Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Depot of Supplies. In 1949, he became Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

During the Korean conflict, he joined the 1st Marine Division in Korea in October 1952 as Division Sergeant Major, and after a year overseas returned to the States. For excellent service in Korea he was awarded the Navy Commendation Ribbon with Combat "V". In 1954, he began a two-year assignment as Sergeant Major, Inspector and Instructor Staff, 1st Air Delivery Company, San Jose, California.

Transferred to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., in June 1956, Sergeant Major Bestwick served as Sergeant Major to the Secretary of the General Staff until 23 May 1957, when he assumed the newly-established post of Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. He served in this capacity until he retired from active duty on 1 September 1959.

His personal decorations include the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V", the Navy Unit Commendation, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three Bronze Stars, the World War II Victory Medal, the Korean Service Medal with three bronze stars, the United Nations Service Medal, and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation.

ee also

*Former Sergeants Major of the Marine Corps

References

:Marine Corps
* [http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/HD/Whos_Who/Bestwick_W.htm Official Marine Corps biography]
*cite web
accessdate=2007-10-28
url=http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/HD/Whos_Who/Bestwick_W.htm
title=Sergeant Major Wilbur Bestwick, USMC
work=Who's Who in Marine Corps History
publisher=History Division, United States Marine Corps


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