MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER, TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- The wife of the late Col. Verle E. Ludwig, their family members, Marines and veterans gathered in Ocotillo Heights for the official unveiling of the Ludwig Court street sign August 19.
Former Combat Center Chiefs of Staff, veteran officers and retirees, including retired Brig. Gen. E.R. Reid, the last commanding general Col. Ludwig served under before he retired, were present at the morning ceremony.
"Colonel Ludwig is honored as a Chief of Staff, a longtime resident and an unofficial historian," said Brig. Gen. Christian B. Cowdrey, commanding general, MCAGCC. "His record is complete with service during World War II, combat in Korea and Vietnam."
Colonel Ludwig was the Combat Center Chief of Staff from 1973 to 1975.
A native of Kokomo, Ind., he graduated from the University of Indiana with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and a Master of Science degree in International Affairs from George Washington University. He is a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
After enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1942 Ludwig attended the University of Notre Dame under the V-12 program during World War II. After World War II, Ludwig went to Tienstin in North China with the 1st Marine Division until February of 1946 when he returned to the United States and left active duty.
He returned to the Marine Corps in 1951 after working on Indiana newspapers for five years.
During the Korean War, Capt. Ludwig served as Public Information Officer of the 1st Marine Division. Upon his return from Korea, he joined the Historical Branch, Headquarters, United States Marine Corps.
In 1965 Ludwig left for the Far East commanding the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines in the Da Nang area of Vietnam. It was Ludwig?s battalion that originated Operation Golden Fleece, the first program by Marines in Vietnam to protect the rice harvest from the Viet Cong "tax." On his second tour in Vietnam, he served as the deputy information officer, Military Assistance Command, Saigon.
Ludwig?s personal decorations included the Legion of Merit with Combat "V", the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V", Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, and three awards of the Presidential Unit Citation.
"For every single family residing in this community, this (sign of remembrance) will be a part of their Marine Corps career," said Gen. Cowdrey.
Ludwig?s wife, Gene Ludwig, had the honor of uncovering her husband?s honorary street sign and was given a commemorative picture of the sign showing it displayed in the Ocotillo housing community and a replica of the green street sign itself.
"The 'dirty shame' is what my husband called his study," said Gene explaining how his study was lined with books and signs. "So this (sign) will go up in the 'dirty shame.'"