William Phillips Biddle
Major General Commandant
United States Marine Corps
on December 17, 1853 in Philadelphia, he graduated from the University
of Pennsylvania in 1875 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the
United States Marine Corps.
He was advanced to First Lieutenant in 1884 and to Captain in 1894. He was in command of a detachment of Marines aboard the cruiser USS Olympia, Admiral George Dewey's flagship, at the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898 during the Spanish-American War.
He was promoted to Major in 1899, and in 1900 he commanded the 1st Regiment, 1st Marine Brigade in the Peking Relief Expedition during the Boxer Rebellion there. He was in command of the Marine Corps Barracks at Cavite Naval Base in Manila Bay, Philippines, until 1903, in which year he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.
During 1903-04, he commanded his regiment in Panama, then in the throes of a revolution; in 1904-05, he had charge of the Marine Barracks,Phildelphia, advancing to Colonel in 1905. He commanded the 1st Brigade in Manila, 1906-08, and the Marine Corps Barracks, New York City City, 1908-09. He was again in Panama, 1909-10.
In February 1911, he was promoted to Major General and Commandant of the Marine Corps, a post that he held for three years until his retirement in Februry 1914. He returned to active duty at the San Diego Naval Base during World War I.
He died in Nice, France, on February 25, 1923 and was buried in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Martha Reynolds Adger Biddle (September 25, 1865-August 20, 1949), whom he married on April 12, 1908, is buried with him.
BIDDLE, WILLIAM PHILLIPS
Page Updated: 9 April 2000 Updated: 9 March 2003 Updated: 3 October 2004