Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame

Frank B. Goettge
Class of 2001

Ohio University
Frank B. Goettge...Born December. 30, 1895, in Canton, OH,...Killed in action on Guadalcanal on August 12, 1942...

Frank B. GoettgeColonel Frank B. Goettge was born in Canton, Ohio, on December 30, 1895. He attended Ohio University for one year, playing Freshman Football while there. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in May, 1917, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant the following year.

Goettge served with the 5th Marines in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in November, 1918, and later during occupation duty at Segendorf, Germany. There he excelled as a Fullback on the 2nd Division, American Expeditionary Forces, football team.

On his return from Europe, he commanded a detachment of Marines of the 1st Provisional Brigade in Haiti until June, 1921. Following a course of instruction at the Motor Transport School at Camp Holabird, Maryland, Goettge was assigned to Headquarters, Department of the Pacific, in San Francisco from December, 1923, to March, 1924. He then served a short time in Pearl Harbor.

Following his tour of duty in Hawaii, Goettge was sent to Quantico and enrolled in the Company Officers' Course, Marine Corps Schools. It was during this period that he won gridiron fame as part of the Marine Corps Football Team at Quantico. Fans across the region knew him as "The Great Goettge." As a Fullback, Goettge dominated the field and was hailed as one of the greatest players of the day. He was even recruited by the New York Giants, but he turned them down to remain in the Marine Corps.

Goettge served at the Marine Detachment in Peking, China, from March, 1927, until September, 1929, and then was detailed as Aide to President Hoover and later to Major General Ben H. Fuller, Commandant of the Marine Corps.

A tour of sea duty aboard USS Pennsylvania in June, 1933, preceded his assignment as Commanding Officer, Marine Detachment, Annapolis, Maryland. He completed the Senior Course, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, in 1939 and then served as Executive Officer, The Basic School, in Philadelphia.

Goettge joined the 1st Marine Division in Quantico in June, 1941, and transferred with that unit to New River, North Carolina, in September of that same year. He arrived overseas in June, 1942, as the division Intelligence Officer.

Colonel Goettge was killed in action on Guadalcanal on August 12, 1942. His remains were never recovered. In addition to the Legion of Merit with Combat "V," he was awarded the Victory Medal with Meuse-Argonne clasp, Army of Occupation of Germany Medal, Expeditionary Medal, Yangtze Service Medal, Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, American Defense Services Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the Nicaraguan Medal of Merit and Diploma.

The Goettge Memorial Field at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, was named in his honor.