West Chester native Smedley Butler made a name for himself in October 1899 by leading 300 men into battle as an 18-year-old during the Philippine-American War, writes Ken MacDonald for Scribol.com.
Butler had orders to capture the town of Noveleta from Filipino insurgents. By day’s end, he completed the objective, one of his many military successes.
He began school in West Chester before attending The Haverford School. At 16, he joined the Marines and saw his first action at the battle for Noveleta.
Then, he traveled to China to suppress the Boxer Rebellion. During one battle, Butler left his trench to rescue a wounded Marine. For his heroism, he was promoted to captain.
He received his first Medal of Honor in 1914 as a major in Veracruz, Mexico. His second was in 1915 during a military engagement in Haiti. There, he captured the last stronghold of rebel Haitians who had killed the country’s president.
Later in life, Butler became an outspoken critic of U.S. wars and published the book War Is a Racket.
He died in 1940 in Philadelphia at the age of 58.
Read more about Smedley Butler at Scribol.com here.