MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. --
of Marines and civilian personnel drive on Geiger Boulevard to come arrive and depart
Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort each day. The road was named after Gen. Roy
S. Geiger, the fifth Marine aviator and first Marine to lead an Army.
Geiger enlisted in the Marine Corps as a Private in
November 1907 and attended basic training on Naval Station Norfolk, Va. After submitting
his college degree with a request to become a Marine officer, Geiger was accepted,
and earned his commission as a second lieutenant in February 1909.
In the years following his commissioning, Geiger was
stationed aboard two Navy battleships and in several foreign nations. Upon his
return to the United States, Geiger became an aviator June 9,
arrived in France approximately one year after graduating flight school, and
served with the Royal Air Force at Dunkirk, France. He commanded a squadron of
the First Marine Aviation Force attached to the Northern Bombing Group,
consisting of Navy and Marine Corps squadrons tasked with scouting and bombing
German submarine bases during World War I. He was awarded the Navy Cross for
his distinguished leadership and service.
attended various military courses and served in high roles within the Marine
Corps aviation community after World War I. In 1931, he was assigned a four–year
post as the officer in charge of Marine Corps aviation, known today as the deputy
commandant for aviation.
April 1941, Geiger was attached to a British command and became the first U.S. military
observer at the beginning of World War II. He then became the commanding general
of 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force, upon his arrival back to the U.S.
year after becoming the commanding general of 1st MAW, Geiger was stationed at
Guadalcanal to lead the Cactus Air Force, an Allied Forces air power assigned
to Guadalcanal, during the early part of
the Campaign. Geiger was the commander of the combined Army, Navy and Marine
Air Forces stationed there during a portion of his time spent on Guadalcanal. He
was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of a second Navy Cross for his leadership and service
during the conflict.
Geiger was promoted to lieutenant general and appointed as
the Commanding General of Fleet Marine Force Pacific in July 1945. Three months
later, Geiger was the only Marine Corps representative aboard the USS Missouri
for the formal surrender of Japan Sept. 2, 1945.
Upon his return back to the U.S., Geiger was transferred
to Headquarters Marine Corps in November 1946.
Months after his transfer, Geiger passed away from lung
cancer Jan. 23, 1947. Geiger was posthumously promoted to General by the 80th
Congress, Jan. 23, 1947. Geiger is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Geiger’s legacy in the Corps and aviation community is
carried on to this day, not only as a road name but in the passages of history
where he etched his name.