The huge coast redwood below is on the fringe of the Grove of Titans in Jedediah Smith redwoods. Other coast redwoods deeper in the grove were named by discoverers Taylor and Sillett, but not this one. Realizing that no moniker was ever assigned to this redwood by Taylor & Sillett in 1998, it's now nicknamed after the United States Marine Corps Gen. Lewis B. Puller aka "Chesty" Puller. The trunk is 25 feet wide from this view.
The inspiration for the name was four-fold. And the shapes of this coast redwood reminded me of someone in military service standing in formation or saluting.
Puller acquired the name "Chesty" on account of his build.
Accounts of Puller's service are impressive and outstanding. Likewise, this redwood is outstanding, and seems to impress some people who have seen it, as much as any of the others growing there.
Nearby, this park has a gigantic memorial grove that is almost 5000 acres: almost half the park. See WW II Memorial Grove. The other large grove is relatively unknown to most visitors, dedicated to men and women who served during WW II. Chesty Puller also served at that time.
He was the most decorated US Marine in history, and the only one to receive 5 Navy Crosses. The story of his life and service is one aspect that led me to one of my few regrets in life ..... not having enlisted while I could.
If I could roll back the forward moving calendar, without hesitation, I'd enlist. On account of this, I was proudly surprised during winter of 2010. Our son Michael told me and my wife Jan, that he was going to enlist. April, 2011, our older son Greg traveled with me to San Diego for the graduation ceremony of Kilo Company.
December 2012, Michael returned from Afghanistan, where he served with others in Charlie Company, or "Suicide Charlie", the roots of which go back to Guadalcanal, in WW II, while General (then Lt. Col.) Puller was stationed there. Charlie Company, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, is the only line company in the USMC that is allowed to fly its own flag ... the Skull and Bones ... in addition to a USMC Guidon flag used by a platoon in boot camp or Fleet Marine Force.
The story starts October of 1942 at Guadalcanal. The Battalion, then commanded by Lt. Col. Chesty Puller was assigned setting up a defensive perimeter around Henderson Field. B. Co. was on the left, A Co. on the right with C Co. in the middle. About 8:00 p.m., three Japanese regiments and a portion of a brigade breached the perimeter. Company C received the brunt of the attack.
The next day, after the attack, the Marines were still holding their position. A flag was flying over Company C’s area bearing a skull and crossbones with the words “Suicide Charley” on a Japanese white, silk parachute.