HERMAN HENRY HANNEKEN, USMC
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Medal of Honor Citation
Original General Order
Brigadier General Herman H. Hanneken, while on duty in Haiti in 1919, suppressed the activities of the supreme bandit leader, Charlemagne Peralte, by killing the notorious bandit in a daring raid on his camp in Northern Haiti. It was for his outstanding feat he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
A renowned fighter of bandits, in another daring raid just five months following the execution of Charlemagne, he shot and killed Osiris Joseph, a lesser Haitian bandit chieftain who succeeded Charlemagne. He was awarded the Navy Cross for this act of heroism.
Born on 23 June 1893, in St. Louis, Missouri, he attended the Henrick Preparatory School in that city. He enlisted in the Marine Corps as a private in July 1914, and served the following five years in the enlisted ranks, rising to the rank of sergeant. He was appointed a second lieutenant in December 1919, following his deed of valor in the killing of Charlemagne.
Upon appointment as a second lieutenant he was assigned to duty with the Haitian Gendarmerie. He was ordered to return to the United States in April 1920, and following his arrival at the Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia, he was assigned to a special course at the Marine Corps Schools.
As a member of the 6th Regiment, 1stLt Hanneken sailed for Brazil to participated in the Brazilian Exposition. The unit returned to Quantico in the latter part of 1922, and several months later, he was transferred to the Marine Detachment, USS Antares, where he assumed duties as Commanding Officer.
In January 1925, he was transferred to the Marine Barracks, Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, New Jersey, and in April 1927, was detached to the Marine Barracks at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
Again ordered to foreign shore duty in December 1928, he arrived in Corinto, Nicaragua, in January of the following year. Upon his arrival in Nicaragua he was assigned to duty with the 2d Brigade of Marines.
It was in this Central American country, less than a month after his arrival, that he captured another notorious bandit leader. He was awarded his second Navy Cross for "bringing in" bandit chieftan Sandino's Chief of Staff, General Jiron.
In July 1930, he was returned to Quantico to attend the Company Officers' Course at the Marine Corps Schools. Upon graduation in January of the next year, he was transferred to the Marine Corps Base at San Diego, California, and later to the Naval Base, at San Pedro, California. His next assignment found him at the Marine Barracks, Mare Island, California, in August 1936, where during his tour of duty he was appointed a major.
Major Hanneken was ordered to Quantico in June 1938, and two months later reported for a course of instruction at that base in the Senior Course, Marine Corps Schools.
From June 1939 to December 1940, he was Commanding Officer, Marine Barracks, Naval Ammunition Depot, Hingham, Massachusetts. He was next ordered to New York to assume command of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Harry Lee with additional duties as Transport Quartermaster.
He served with the 1st Marine Division from June 1941 until November 1944, when he returned to the United States to command the 2d Infantry Training Regiment and the Headquarters Battalion, at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, California.
While with the famed 1st Marine Division his duties were varied. While Commanding Officer of the 7th Marines during the Guadalcanal campaign he was awarded the Silver Star Medal for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy. During the Peleliu action he received the Legion of Merit for meritorious conduct in action, and during the Cape Gloucester operation he was decorated with the Bronze Star Medal.
In September 1945, he was assigned as Commanding Officer of the Staging Regiment at the Marine Training and Replacement Command, San Diego Area, prior to his transfer to the Troop Training Unit, Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet.
It was as Chief of Staff of that organization that he was transferred to the retired list for Marine Corps Officers. He was advanced to his final rank of brigadier general for having been specially commended for service in actual combat when he retired on 1 July 1948, after concluding a brilliant thirty-four year career.
In addition to the Medal of Honor, Navy Cross with gold star in lieu of a second award, Silver Star Medal, Legion of Merit and Bronze Star Medal, BGen Hanneken holds the Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal, Mexican Campaign Medal, Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, World War I Victory Medal, Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, American Defense Service Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal with three bronze stars, American Area Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Haitian Medaillo Militaire with two gold stars, Nicaraguan Medal of Merit, and the Haitian Campaign Medal with Clasp.
Brigadier General Hanneken died 23 August 1986 at the Veterans Hospital in LaJolla, California, and was buried with honors four days later at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, California. He was 93 years old.