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Highest Ranking Surviving World War II Vet Dies At 95

February 23, 2017

On Tuesday, a memorial service was held for retired Lt. General Lawrence Snowden who died on Saturday at the age of 95.

Snowden, a retired Lieutenant General in the United States Marine Corps, was the highest ranking survivor of World War II before passing away over the weekend at a hospice center in Florida.

“Lieutenant Snowden was a legend to the military and civilians. He was marine’s marine; quintessential, the epitome of who every young person dreams about becoming,” Commander Dennis Baker told WCTV at Snowden’s memorial service in Tallahassee.

As a captain at the age of 23, Snowden led 230 Marines as they came ashore during the second wave of assault on the island of Iwo Jima in 1945. During the battle, he was wounded and half of his company was killed. He later rejoined his unit as the battle continued on the island.

Snowden was commissioned in 1942 and retired in 1979 while serving as assistant commandant of the Marine Corps.

Snowden also served in the Korean War as a major and battalion executive. In the Vietnam War, he commanded the 7th Marine Regiment.

His military decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal with gold star, Legion of Merit with ‘V’ for Valor device and four gold stars, Purple Heart and gold star, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal.