Edwin Howard Simmons served in the United States Marine Corps for 53 years; 36 in uniform and 17 as a civilian. In 1942, he
was commission a second lieutenant and served in the World War Two Pacific Theater. He saw fighting on
Guam and later served in Japan and China. After World War II, General Simmons served as managing editor
of the Marine Corps Gazette.
During the Korean war he fought as a weapons company commander, battalion operations officer and executive
officer. Continuing with his education, General Simmons received his master's degree in journalism from Ohio State University.
He served in Vietnam
1965-66; and 1970-71 as the as assistant division commander of the 1st Marine Division, then deputy commander of the 3rd Marine
Amphibious Brigade. In 1971, he became director of Marine Corps History and Museums. His military awards include a Distinguished
Service Medal, the Silver Star, three awards of the Legion of Merit, two awards of the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service
Medal and a Purple Heart.
General Edwin Howard Simmons was a prolific writer who published more than 300 articles, authored or co-authored more than
nine books. Among the books he authored are: The United States Marines: A History; Dog Company
Six, Frozen Chosin: U.S. Marines at the Changjin Reservoir; Over the Seawall: U.S. Marines at Inchon; The United States Marines;
The First Two Hundred Years 1775 – 1975; and, The Illustrated History of the Vietnam War: Marines.
Among the books Brigadier General Edwin Howard Simmons co-authored are: Through the Wheat: A Novel of the
World War I Marines; History of Marine Observation Squadron Six; and, The Marines.
According to the book description of
The United States Marines: A History, “The third edition of Brig. Gen. Edwin H. Simmons's
popular history of the U.S. Marine Corps has been updated and revised and made available in both hardcover and paperback.
It reflects the latest scholarship on events reaching back to the Corps's beginnings in November 1775, when the Second
Continental Congress authorized two battalions of American Marines, to 2001. As updated, it includes material on the tumultuous
events of the last quarter-century in Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf, Bangladesh, Somalia, and Haiti.
With a foreword by Marine Corps
Commandant Gen. James Jones, the book provides a lively chronicle of the Corps's participation in all the nation's
wars, from the American Revolution to Desert Storm. Highlights of the work are the Marines' legendary contributions at
such places as Bladensburg, Guantanamo, Belleau Wood, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Inchon, Chosin, Hue, and Khe Sanh. While
the focus of this history is on the big wars, it never slights events in between, among them the humanitarian missions that
have helped define the Corps. Nor does the author neglect the intermittent but never-ending fight for the Corps's survival
at home where it faces periodic challenges from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and on occasion, unfriendly presidents. Few writers
know the subject as intimately as General Simmons, who writes from firsthand experience in three wars and as the longtime
head of the Corps's history division.”
According to the book description of Through the Wheat: A Novel of the World War
I Marines, “Fresh out of a Defiance, Ohio, high school, Thomas Boyd (1898–1935) joined the Marines
to serve his country in the patriotic heat of the spring of 1917. In 1919 he came home from the war with a Croix de Guerre
and a desire to write. He joined the St. Paul News as a journalist and opened a bookstore, whose patrons included F. Scott
Fitzgerald and Sinclair Lewis. Through the Wheat appeared to immediate acclaim, with F. Scott Fitzgerald calling it "a
work of art" and "arresting." Boyd wrote five other works before he died in Vermont of a cerebral hemorrhage
at age thirty-seven.”