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Samuel Jaskilka, four-star general and Marines’ second-ranking officer, has died

Samuel Jaskilka, a four-star general and combat veteran of three wars who ended his 36 years in the Marine Corps as the service’s second-ranking officer, died Jan. 15 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington County. He was 92.

He had pneumonia, said his daughter, Diane Jaskilka.

Gen. Jaskilka, an Annapolis resident, retired in 1978 as assistant commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. He fought as a platoon leader in the Pacific during World War II and served as a company commander in the Korean War. He later held command positions of increasing responsibility during the Vietnam War.

For his Korean service, Gen. Jaskilka was twice awarded the Silver Star — the military’s third-highest decoration for valor. According to the citation, Gen. Jaskilka received his second Silver Star for “for repulsing endless assaults and killing hundreds of the enemy.”

In 1950, the syndicated columnist Joseph Alsop wrote that Gen. Jaskilka “coolly” led his men after landing at Inchon, and destroyed pockets of enemy resistance in a methodical fashion.

Samuel Jaskilka, a four-star general and combat veteran of three wars who ended his 36 years in the Marine Corps as the service's second-ranking officer, died Jan. 15 at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. He was 92. (Courtesy of Maj. Thomas Shields, U.S. Marine Corps.)

Gen. Jaskilka served as a technical adviser for “Inchon” (1981), the Korean War epic starring Laurence Olivier as Gen. Douglas MacArthur and largely funded by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church.

Samuel Jaskilka was born Dec. 15, 1919, in Ansonia, Conn., and was a 1942 business administration graduate of the University of Connecticut.

In addition to his two Silver Stars, Gen. Jaskilka’s military decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star.

His wife of 57 years, Norma Blick Jaskilka, died in 2000. Their daughter Anne Stalker died in 2008.

Survivors include three children, Michael Jaskilka of Eugene, Ore., Diane Jaskilka of Arlington and Mark Jaskilka of Colorado Springs; eight grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

T. Rees Shapiro is an education reporter.

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