Lt. Gen. "Brute" Krulak arrives at Tachikawa Air Base, 1964
Published: August 5, 2012
©Stars and Stripes
Tachikawa Air Base, Japan, April, 1964: Lt. Gen. Victor H. "Brute" Krulak, left, commanding general of Fleet Marines Force Pacific, is welcomed to Tachikawa Air Base by Col. Elmer E. Brackett Jr. Krulak, who assumed command March 1, was touring Marine installations in the Tokyo area on the last leg of his Far East tour.
The diminutive but feisty Krulak was an early proponent of the landing craft that became known during World War II as the "Higgins Boat," and later championed the use of helicopters in battle. He is also remembered as a fierce opponent of those who wanted to eliminate or scale back the Marine Corps.
In his book “Brute: The Life of Victor Krulak, U.S. Marine,” biographer Robert Coram tells a story about the construction of a Marine base in Vietnam. Asked what it should be called, Krulak replied "Chu Lai" ... which, as it turns out, is not a Vietnamese place name, but the Mandarin Chinese translation of "Krulak."
Krulak's son, Gen. Charles C. Krulak, was Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1995 to 1999. Another son, Victor Jr., was a Navy chaplain who served in Vietnam.
Lt. Gen. Victor Krulak's 2008 obituary.