b. 23/06/1893 St Louis, Missouri. d. 23/08/1986 La Jolla, California.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 31/10 - 01/11/1919 Grande Riviere, Haiti.
Herman Henry Hanneken was born on June 23, 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 United States invaded Haiti in 1915 and occupied the country for 19 years. In the years following the initial invasion, rebel forces under Charlemagne Péralte conducted an armed resistance to the occupation. On the night of October 31–November 1, 1919, Hanneken assassinated the resistance leader, Péralte. In another raid just five months after the death of Charlemagne, he shot and killed Osiris Joseph, another Haitian rebel leader who succeeded Charlemagne. He was awarded the Navy Cross for this act.
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. 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 2nd Brigade of Marines. The United States had invaded this Central American country in 1912 and had been occupying it since. A month after his arrival Hanneken captured another leader of the rebel forces resisting the invasion by the United States. He was awarded his second Navy Cross for "bringing in" General José María Jirón Ruano, the Guatemalan Chief of Staff of the Nicaraguan General Augusto César Sandino.
He served with the 1st Marine Division from June 1941 until November 1944, when he returned to the United States to command the 2nd 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 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.
He retired on July 1, 1948, concluding a thirty-four-year career in the Marine Corps. He was advanced to his final rank of brigadier general upon his retirement for having been specially commended for service in actual combat.
For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in actual conflict with the enemy near GRANDE RIVIERE, Republic of Haiti, on the night of October 31st-November 1st, 1919, resulting in the death of Charlemange Peralte, the supreme bandit chief in the Republic of Haiti, and the killing and capture and dispersal of about 1200 of his outlaw followers. Second Lieutenant Hanneken not only distinguished himself by his excellent judgement and leadership, but unhesitatingly exposed himself to great personal danger, and the slightest error would have forfeited not only his life but the lives of the detachments of Gendarmerie under his command. The successful termination of his mission will undoubtedly prove of untold value to the Republic of Haiti.
BURIAL LOCATION: FORT ROSECRANS NATIONAL CEMETERY, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA.
Section C, Grave 166D