Historic Markers Across Tennessee

General Clifton Bledsoe Cates ~ 1893 - 1970

Marker ID: THC 4B 37
Location: at the intersection of South Court Street and Haynes Street, Tiptonville, TN
County: Lake
Coordinates: N 36° 22.64    W 089° 29.027
  36.37733333    -89.48378333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM2BGA


General Clifton Bledsoe Cates
1893 - 1970
— United States Marine Corps —

Clifton B. Cates, born on August 31, 1893, in Cates Landing, Tennessee, attended school in Lake County and the Missouri Military Academy in Mexico, Missouri. A graduate of the University of Tennessee's School of Law, Cates served as a Marine in both the First and Second World Wars. His service included combat duty in five operations in World War I and four operations in World War II. After service in China with the fabled Fourth Marines, he commanded the Second Battalion, Sixth Marines in 1937. Then Colonel Cates led the First Marine Regiment, First Marine Division, on Guadalcanal during World War II.
Continued on opposite side

As a Major General, Cates commanded the Fourth Marine Division during the conquest of Tinian and Iwo Jima in 1944. Cates was the first Tennessean to achieve the rank of full general. From 1948 to 1952, he served as the 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps. Wounded seven times, General Cates received many American and foreign medals. A marine for thirty-seven years, General Cates died on June 4, 1970. His remains are interred in Arlington National Cemetery.

Erected by Tennessee Historical Commission.