David Dixon Porter
Major General, United States Marine Corps
on April 29, 1877, the son of Lieutenant Colonel
Carlile Patterson Porter and the grandson of Admiral
David Dixon Porter, he was the sixth generation of a military family.
As a Captain, he earned the Medal of Honor in the Philippines when at Samar, he led his men up a 200-foot cliff using bamboo ladders, and drove the enemy from nearly impregnable positions. He then cross the river and did the same thing on the other side, destroying positions that it took the enemy three years to construct.
He later served in Panama, Haiti, Santo Domingo and World War I. Upon his retirement he was promoted to Major General on the retired list.
He died at home in Philadelphia, Pennsyvlania,
on February 25, 1944 and was buried in Section 2 of Arlington National
Cemetery, not far from his famous grandfather.
PHILADELPHIA, February 25, 1944 – Major General David Dixon Porter, retired, Marine Corps officer who wore the Congressional Medal of Honor, died in the Naval Hospital here today after a long illness. His age was 66.
General Porter, who was appointed a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps when he was 21, retired in 1937. His great-great-grandfather, David, and his uncle, Samuel, commanded American ships during the Revolutionary War, and his grandfather served in the Mexican and Civil Wars.
In 1898 he was a member of the relief expedition to Peking at Tientsin, China, during the Boxer Rebellion. He was made a Captain in 1901, and in 1907 was station in Cuba. Upon his return to Washington he was appointed assistant adjutant and inspector with the rank of Major. He was executive officer in Marine Headquarters in Washington for a year, and then was appointed adjutant and inspector of the corps with the rank of Brigadier General. He was promoted to Major General on his retirement.
He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for “extraordinary heroism and eminent and conspicuous conduct” in the Philippines. He was awarded also a special letter of commendation by the Secretary of the Navy in 1920, for services rendered during the First World War.
He leaves a widow and a daughter, Miss Carlile Patterson Porter.
Photo Courtesy of the Home of Heroes
PORTER, DAVID DIXON
Rank and organization: Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 29 April 1877, Washington, D.C. Appointed from: District of Columbia.
For extraordinary heroism and eminent and conspicuous conduct in battle at the junction of the Cadacan and Sohoton Rivers, Samar, Philippine Islands, 17 November 1901. In command of the columns upon their uniting ashore in the Sohoton Region, Col. Porter (then Capt. ) made a surprise attack on the fortified cliffs and completely routed the enemy, killing 30 and capturing and destroying the powder magazine, 40 lantacas (guns), rice, food and cuartels. Due to his courage, intelligence, discrimination and zeal, he successfully led his men up the cliffs by means of bamboo ladders to a height of 200 feet. The cliffs were of soft stone of volcanic origin, in the nature of pumice and were honeycombed with caves. Tons of rocks were suspended in platforms held in position by vines and cables (known as bejuco) in readiness to be precipitated upon people below. After driving the insurgents from their position which was almost impregnable, being covered with numerous trails lined with poisoned spears, pits, etc., Col. Porter led his men across the river, scaled the cliffs on the opposite side, and destroyed the camps there. He and the men under his command overcame incredible difficulties and dangers in destroying positions which, according to reports from old prisoners, had taken 3 years to perfect, were held as a final rallying post, and were never before penetrated by white troops. Col. Porter also rendered distinguished public service in the presence of the enemy at Quinapundan River, Samar, Philippine Islands, on 26 October 1901.
Photo courtesy of Raymond L. Collins
WINIFRED MATTINGLY W/O DAVID DIXON
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