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Lemuel C. Shepherd papers

Identifier: MS-0006
The Lemuel C. Shepherd papers consist primarily of the following:
  • Unpublished memoirs and accompanying documents
  • Photograph albums and scrapbooks dating from Shepherd's years as a VMI cadet, as Commandant of the Marine Corps, and from his service as President of the Inter-American Defense Board
  • An interview with General Shepherd conducted by the archivist of the MacArthur Library regarding Shepherd's role during the Korean War - assault at Inchon
  • Miscellaneous correspondence
  • Clippings
  • Certificates and resolutions
  • Printed material
The unpublished memoirs include detailed information about Shepherd's early USMC career and his participation in World War I. They include copies of his World War I diary and personal correspondence.


  • 1913-1990


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Manuscript collections in the VMI Archives are made available for educational and research use. The VMI Archives should be cited as the source. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright holders. Materials from our collections may not be redistributed, published or reproduced without permission from the VMI Archives. Contact the VMI Archives for additional information.


6 cubic feet

Biographical / Historical

Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr. (1896-1990) was a United States Marine Corps four-star general, and saw distinguished service in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. He was appointed the 20th Commandant of the Marine Corps in 1952.
1896 February 10
Born in Norfolk, Virginia
1917 May
Graduated from the Virginia Military Institute. Shepherd, along with many other classmates, were declared graduates a month early, having been called into active duty.
Served with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, American Expeditionary Forces, France
Aide to the Commandant of the Marines Corps; Junior White House aide
Married Virginia Tunstall Driver. They had four children.
Served on U.S. Ships, Idaho and Nevada
Served with the 4th Marines in China
Commander, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Brigade, Fleet Marine Force
Staff member, Marine Corps School
Regimental Commander, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division
Assistant Division Commander, 1st Marine Division
Commanding General, 6th Marine Division
Assistant Commandant and Chief of Staff, Marine Corps
Commandant, U. S. Marine Corps Schools
Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific
Commandant, USMC
1956 January 1
Retired from Marine Corps.
1956 March
Recalled to active duty
Chairman, Inter-American Defense Board, 1956-1959
1959 October
Retired from active duty for second time
1990 August 6
Died at his home in La Jolla, California. Buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.

Physical Location

Manuscripts Stacks

Existence and Location of Originals

The memoirs and addenda were copied from originals that are no longer extant, according to family sources. The Shepherd family believes that the originals once held by Lemuel C. Shepherd were lost following his death.

Related Materials

Other repositories holding papers relating to General Shepherd include the United States Marine Corps History Division (Quantico, Virginia).
A Guide to the Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr. Papers, 1913-1970
© 2002 Virginia Military Institute
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2015: reviewed

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450