George C. Thorpe
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George C. Thorpe
George Cyrus Thorpe
Born(1875-01-07)January 7, 1875
Northfield, Minnesota
DiedJuly 28, 1936(1936-07-28) (aged 61)
Bethesda Naval Hospital Bethesda, Maryland
Place of burial
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Marine Corps
Years of service1898-1923
Unit1917-1918, Chief of Staff, 2nd Marine Brigade[1]
Commands held
Battles/warsSpanish-American War
Philippine-American War
Negro Rebellion
RelationsAmy Elizabeth Thorpe, daughter
Other workAuthor, lawyer

George Cyrus Thorpe (January 7, 1875 - July 28, 1936) was a United States Marine Corps officer during the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War. He was an early writer on military logistics.[5] He was one of 23 Marine Corps officers awarded the Marine Corps Brevet Medal for bravery. He was also an author and lawyer after he retired from the Marine Corps.


Thorpe as a captain, standing fourth from the left in the back row in this photograph of the officers of the protected cruiser USS Chicago, c. 1903.

Thorpe was born January 7, 1875 in Northfield, Minnesota and in 1894 received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

He resigned in November 1896 but when the Spanish-American War started he applied for a commission in the Marine Corps and was appointed a Second Lieutenant.

In 1903-1904, Captain Thorpe commanded the Marine guard of the American diplomatic mission to Abyssinia, and photographed the emperor Menelik II.[4][5]

He married Cora Wells of Minnesota, and the marriage produced daughter Amy Elizabeth Thorpe, who became an American spy, codenamed "Cynthia", who worked for William Stephenson during World War II, director of British Security Coordination, a cover organization in New York City set up by British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) in May 1940.

While serving in the Marine Corps he earned his Bachelor of Science from New York University in 1910. In 1912 he served in Cuba during U.S. intervention in the Negro Rebellion.[6] Thorpe also graduated from the Naval War College in 1915 before serving on its staff, earned a Master of Arts from Brown University in 1916, and completed the General Staff College in 1921.

He was a Major when he was assigned to the Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. in 1917.

In 1922 or 1923 he was found not physically qualified for further service because several toes from both feet had been amputated. He was placed on the retired list as a Colonel.

After retiring from the Marine Corps he became a lawyer and author, writing several books on legal subjects. He had previously written on military matters.

George Thorpe died July 28, 1936 at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. His grave can be found in section 6, site 9287. He married[1] Cora Edna Wells, on April 8, 1908,[7] the daughter of a Minnesota senator.[] They had had three children; the eldest, Amy Elizabeth Thorpe, was a successful World War II spy.

Presidential citation


The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Marine Corps Brevet Medal to George Cyrus Thorpe, First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for distinguished conduct and public service in the presence of the enemy at Novaleta, Philippine Islands. On 28 March 1901, appointed Captain, by brevet, from 8 October 1899.[3]

Secretary of the Navy citation


The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in transmitting to First Lieutenant George Cyrus Thorpe, United States Marine Corps, the Brevet Medal which is awarded in accordance with Marine Corps Order No. 26 (1921), for distinguished conduct and public service in the presence of the enemy while serving with the Second Battalion of Marines, at Novaleta, Philippine Islands, on 8 October 1899. On 28 March 1901, First Lieutenant Thorpe is appointed Captain, by brevet, to rank from 8 October 1899.[8]


  • Military
    • Thorpe, George C. Pure Logistics: The Science of War Preparation (Kansas City, MO: Franklin Hudson Pub. Co., 1917) (multiple formats at Google; US access only, page images at HathiTrust) At the Federal Depository Library Program Electronic Collection Archive of the US Government Publishing Office.
    • Thorpe, George C. (1919). Recruit Manual. Philadelphia and London: J.B. Lippincott company. LCCN 19005873. OCLC 3719304. (page images at HathiTrust)
  • Law
    • Thorpe, George C. Federal Departmental Organization and Practice (Kansas City, Vernon law book co.; St. Paul, West publishing co., 1925) (page images at HathiTrust)
    • Thorpe, George Cyrus. National and State Prohibition under Eighteenth Amendment: Including Industrial Liquor Regulations, Digest of Cases, Forms and Words and Phrases, Peculiar to the Liquor Industry, Judicially Defined (1926)
    • Thorpe, George Cyrus. Prohibition Digest: Statutory References and Digest of Decisions of the Courts of the United States Relating to Intoxicating Liquor (1926)
    • Thorpe, George C.; Ellis, Challan B. (1933). The Federal Securities Act Manual: A Treatise Based on the Federal Securities Act of 1933 and the Corporation of Foreign Bondholders Act, 1933, with Forms, Rules and Regulations. Cincinnati: W.H. Anderson Co. LCCN 33023822. (page images at HathiTrust)
    • Thorpe, George C. "Contracts payable in gold", showing the legal effect of agreements to pay in gold (Document / 73d Congress, 1st session, Senate). (1933)

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "George Cyrus Thorpe, at the Arlington National Cemetery Website". Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b c Frank, Benis M. (1968). "Appendix A - COMMANDING OFFICERS, 3D MARINES, 1911-1961". A Brief History of the 3d Marines. Washington, D. C.: Historical Branch, G-3 Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. Retrieved . previous editions in 1958, 1961
  3. ^ a b Sterner, C. Douglas. "U.S. Marine Corps Recipients of the Brevet Medal" (MS Word). Home of Heroes. Retrieved .
  4. ^ a b UNCLE SAM'S MISSION TO KING MENELEK, in the Tacoma Times (via Chronicling America); published March 15, 1904; retrieved February 22, 2015
  5. ^ a b Simmons, Edwin H. (Spring 1987). "Marine Corps Logistics in World War II" (PDF). Fortitudine. XVI (4). Marine Corps Historical Center. p. 4. Retrieved .
  6. ^ Clark, pg. 97-99
  7. ^ Jania, Karen (November 20, 2007). "Alumni Records, University of Michigan, Cora Thorpe". Letter to Jeff Shear. Archived from the original on 2015-04-11. Retrieved . her father was H. H. Wells, a Banker and Merchant in Morris, Minnesota. She was born in Morris, MN on August 5, 1899 (sic), graduated from the University of Michigan in 1903 and was a graduate student at Columbia.Wells married George Cyrus Thorpe, an officer in the Marine Corps, on April 8, 1908.
    According to a biography that appeared in the April 1935 Michigan Alumnus, "she published her book on Hawaii, entitled In the Path of the Tradewinds. During the World War her talents as a speaker and organizer came to the fore and made her services valuable to the Red Cross. Since then they have found frequent opportunity in civic and political expression. She was a member, in 1932, of the Republican National Committee and Chairman of Speakers for the League of Republican Women of the District of Columbia in 1933. Her three children, she declares are the best of her 'accomplishments.' One, Betty Thorpe Pack, who is married to a diplomat in the British Embassy, was a literary prodigy at twelve. Another daughter is studying voice in Paris and her young son is a collegian at Yale."
  8. ^ "George Thorpe". Military Times. Hall of Valor. Retrieved .

External links

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