Major General George Harlon Cloud, who saw World War II service in the defense of Pearl Harbor, and in the Peleliu and Okinawa campaigns, retired from active service in the United States Marine Corps on Thursday, 2 January 1964.
Born on Tuesday, 27 September 1904 in Goldthwaite, Hill County, Texas, General Cloud graduated in 1992 from Rogers High School located in Rogers, Bell County, Texas. He then attended the University of Texas at Austin.
He began his Marine Corps career as an enlisted man in May 1927. Shortly thereafter, he embarked for China duty with the 4th Marines under the late Major General Smedley D. Butler, and retuned in June 1929.
Commissioned a Second Lieutenant on Wednesday, 12 March 1930, he later entered the Basic School at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, completing the course in June 1931. That month he joined the 1st Marine at Quantico, Virginia, and participated with them in the early experimental joint fleet amphibious exercises in Hawaii, which laid the ground work for amphibious techniques used successfully by Marines during their island-jumping operations of World War II.
Going aboard the Battleship USS New York (BB-34) in July 1932, Lieutenant Cloud served a tour of sea duty as the Marine Detachment Commander. The New York was assigned to the Pacific Fleet at San Diego, her homeport. She trained off Hawaii and the West Coast, occasionally returning to the Atlantic and Caribbean for brief missions or overhauls.
On General Cloud’s return to Quantico in July 1934, he served with the 5th Marines in the newly formed Fleet Marine Force. He was promoted to First Lieutenant in December 1934, and in October 1935 was assigned duty at the Marine Barracks in Washington, DC. In January 1937, he returned to Shanghai, China where he commanded the Machine Gun Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment. That September he was promoted to Captain.
Ordered to the United States in July 1939, Captain Cloud began his first tour at Parris Island, South Carolina, as a Battalion Supply Officer. Embarking for the Pacific area with the 4th Marine Defense Battalion in February 1941, he was stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and in October moved to Pearl Harbor where he subsequently witnessed the Japanese attack. He later served in the New Hebrides and was promoted to Major in February 1942 and to Lieutenant Colonel in August 1942.
In February 1943, Lieutenant Colonel Cloud was assigned to the First Base Depot in Noumea, Caledonia, returning to the United States in Jun 1943 to become Post Quartermaster at Parris Island. He returned to the Pacific area in July 1944 and served as Assistant Supply Officer with the 1st Marine Division, then preparing for the Peleliu invasion. While serving in that capacity, he joined the 25th Division, 6th Army, as an observer during the Luzon invasion, before returning to the 1st Marine Division for the Okinawa campaign. For outstanding performance of duty on Okinawa during the period 1 April to 9 Jun 1945, he was awarded the Letter of Commendation with Commendation Ribbon and Combat “V”.
Shortly after, Lieutenant Colonel Cloud rejoined the 6th Army Staff to aid in the advance planning for the Japanese mainland invasion and subsequent occupation. Returning to the United States in December 1945, he served as Assistant Post Supply Officer at Parris Island until February 1947, when he assumed command of the Supply School at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. While at Camp Lejeune, he was promoted to Colonel in February 1948.
Assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, DC, in November 1949, Colonel Cloud saw duty there as Chief, Administrative Branch, Supply Department. In June 1952, he reported to the Marine Corps Supply Center, Albany, Georgia, where he served four years as Chief of Staff. He was then transferred to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, in June 1956, and served there as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4/Depot Supply Officer, for two years.
General Cloud was promoted to Brigadier General in July 1958 upon assuming command of the Marine Corps Supply Center, Barstow, California. While serving in this capacity, he was promoted to Major General in August 1962.
In April 1963, after his detachment from Barstow, he assumed duty in Korea as the Senior Member of the Military Armistice Commission, United Nations Command. He held this post until November 1963, when he returned to Camp Pendleton, where he retired from active service in the United States Marine Corps.
A complete list of the general’s medals and decorations include: the Letter of Commendation with Commendation Ribbon; the Presidential Unit Citation with one bronze star indicative of a second award; the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal; the Yangtze Service Medal; the China Service Medal; the American Defense Service Medal with Base clasp; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three bronze stars; the American Campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal.
General Cloud and his wife, Marion E. Sorensen Cloud of Rockford, IL had two children: a son, David F. Cloud who was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1961 following graduation from the University of Texas at Austin; and a daughter, Christine Cloud McHale. His parents were: Thomas F. Cloud (b. 1882 - d. 1968) and Mollie O. ____________ Cloud (b. 1881 - d. 1922) of Cameron, Texas. They are both buried in the McCann Cemetery in Milam County, Texas.
He died on Saturday, 30 December 1995 in Elizabethtown, KY and was buried at the Beaufort National Cemetery with full military honors at 1400 hours (2:00 p.m.) on Friday, 5 January 1996.
Created on 29 May 2001 and last revised on 11 Aug 2003