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Edward Albert Ostermann
November 23, 1882(1882-11-23) – May 18, 1969 (aged 86)
Ostermann EA.jpg  US Navy Medal of Honor (1913 to 1942).png
General Edward Albert Ostermann
Place of birth Columbus, Ohio
Place of death Huntly, Virginia
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch USMC logo.svg United States Marine Corps (1907-1943)
United States Army (1899-1902, 1904-1905)
Years of service 1899-1902, 1904-1905, 1907-1943
Rank Major General
Unit Fifteenth Company of Marines
Commands held Adjutant General/Inspector General
Battles/wars United States occupation of Haiti
Awards Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Edward Albert Ostermann (November 23, 1882–May 18, 1969) was a United States Marine First Lieutenant awarded the Medal of Honor for actions during the capture of Fort Dipitie on October 24, 1915 during the United States occupation of Haiti. Also awarded Medals of Honor for their actions at Fort Dipitie were Captain William P. Upshur, Gunnery Sergeant Dan Daly, and Major Smedley Butler.

Osterman, who began his military career in the United States Army in 1899, and was commissioned an officer in the United States Marine Corps in 1907 achieve the rank of Major General upon his retirement in 1943 after over 40 years of military service.



Edward Albert Ostermann was born in Columbus, Ohio on November 23, 1882. He attended the public schools of Milo , Columbus, and Dayton, Ohio.


U.S. Army service

After attending Ohio Northern University at Ada for two and one-half years, he enlisted in the United States Army on October 21, 1899, where he served as a musician. After three years, he was discharged at the rank of chief trumpeter. After a year and a half as a civilian, he reenlisted in the Army on April 28, 1904. He was honorably discharged on November 12, 1905 as a chief trumpeter with the First Band, Artillery Corps.

U.S. Marine Corps career

On March 20, 1907, Ostermann accepted a commission as a Marine Corps Second Lieutenant. He would go on to served continuously in the Marine Corps for almost 36 years.

On October 24, 1917, the 15th Marine Company captured Fort Dipitie during the U.S. occupation of Haiti. Ostermann, along with Major Smedley Butler, Captain William Upshur and Gunnery Sergeant Dan Daly were awarded the Medal of Honor for actions at during this battle. Later in the Haitian campaign, on November 11, 1917, Ostermann was wounded in action and returned to the United States for hospitalization.

In 1938, he was ordered to Washington, D.C where he become the Assistant adjutant and assistant inspector general of the Marine Corps. In 1939, he was advanced to the rank of Brigadier General and promoted to Adjutant General and Inspector General of the Marine Corps.

When World War II began, General Ostermann volunteered for service on the front as either a Colonel or as a Brigadier General. In rejecting this request the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Thomas Holcomb expressed his appreciation for the General.

On January 1, 1943, Ostermann retired from the Marines due to health reasons. He was promoted to the rank of Major General upon retirement by virtue of his Medal of Honor actions in combat.


A light blue ribbon with five white five pointed stars  
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Medal of Honor Purple Heart Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal w/ 2 service stars
Army of Cuban Pacification Medal Nicaraguan Campaign Medal (1912) Mexican Service Medal World War I Victory Medal w/ West Indies clasp
American Defense Service Medal American Campaign Medal World War II Victory Medal Haitian Distinguished Service Order, Officer

American Defense Service Medal, American Area Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and the

Medal of Honor citation


In company with members of the Fifteenth Company of Marines, all mounted, First Lieutenant Ostermann left Fort Liberte, Haiti, for a 6-day reconnaissance. After dark on the evening of 24 October 1915, while crossing the river in a deep ravine, the detachment was suddenly fired upon from 3 sides by about 400 Cacos concealed in bushes about 100 yards (91 m) from the fort. The Marine detachment fought its way forward to a good position, which it maintained during the night, although subjected to a continuous fire from the Cacos. At daybreak, First Lieutenant Ostermann, in command of one of the three squads which advanced in three different directions, led his men forward, surprising and scattering the Cacos, and aiding in the capture of Fort Dipitie.

Retirement and death

After his retirement from the Marine Corps, General Ostermann retired to Wakefield Manor in Huntly, Virginia. He died on May 18, 1969.

See also



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