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For Immediate Release

February 13, 2020


Contact:
Michelle Marie McNiff
New Moon Media
754.224.1304
212.708.3988
Michellem@newmoonmediagroup.com

TURNING 100
RESTON, VA- A US Marine World War II veteran, who fought in one of the
bitterest battles in American military history, is turning 100.

Today, the Department of Veteran Affairs released a feature article, honoring


the soon-to-be American Centenarian, Albert DeLucien, a long-time resident of
Reston.

Happy 100th Birthday to WWII Veteran Albert DeLucien. The feature article is available online at:
https://www.washingtondc.va.gov/WASHINGTONDC/features/Turning_100.asp
Albert DeLucien is one of the 16 million American men who served in World War
II. All of his comrades and friends are long gone, but Albert is alive and well,
“Once a Marine, always a Marine,” he often says.

On Saturday, February 15, 2020, five generations will be in attendance to


celebrate his birthday at his church. When asked what he wants for his 100th
birthday, all he wants is birthday cards:

Albert DeLucien Sr
1780 Oak Square
Reston, VA 20190

Albert DeLucien enlisted in the Marines immediately after the bombing at Pearl
Harbor. He served in the USMC from 1942-1944 in the 1st Marine Division. He
trained as a Machine Gunner. In September of 1944, he and his unit were the
first waves of soldiers to hit the beaches at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands,
landing on the Northern beaches in Peleliu, one of the Palu Islands in the South
Pacific. The terrain was hazardous as the Japanese held the home-field
advantage, hiding in caves above the American troops and moving underground
in the tunnels. The military mission at Peleliu was clear: neutralize an airfield for
the invasion of the Japanese home islands and recapture of the Philippines.
Under massive gunfire, he and his officers joined the US Army in what was
dubbed as the “Bloody Nose Bridge”. US commanders had underestimated the
invasion and scrambled to send in more troops. Albert and his fellow officers
took refuge on the ground, waiting in fighting holes for days, and arriving in
droves to eventually push inland, to seize a vital airfield, protecting General
Douglas MacArthur’s right flank. A Navy photographer captured the landing on
Peleliu. (Frank Few photographed the soldiers. Albert is in the lower right
corner of the picture)

The Battle of Peleliu was called the bitterest battle of the war for the Marines.
His unit battled under heavy artillery and fusillades, which led to massive
casualties for the American troops. In the end, the Japanese refused to
surrender, and the entire enemy was wiped out on the island. 1,800 US
serviceman died and 4,000 were wounded.

Albert still recalls his memories of survival on the small volcanic island. The
enemy hit him several times, but he stayed in the trenches to fight on. Reaching
another unit on the island, Albert brought his machine gun down the hill.
Moments later, he heard a rumbling noise and spotted nine Japanese tanks
headed his way. He fired at the tanks and knocked them off their path.

As a result of Albert’s courage and determination, he (and the 1st division of the
USMC) was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. A ribbon awarded (1948-49)
for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy on or after
December 7, 1941, the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. “The courage and
determination displayed in these operations were of an inspiring order,” wrote
the Secretary of the Navy at the time, William Franklin Knox.

The Battle of Peleliu served as a lesson, forging the next military campaign into
Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and the recapture of the Philippines. It was the bloodiest
amphibious attack in U.S. history. The lessons learned on the South Pacific
island helped MacArthur’s campaign forge ahead. Albert’s younger brother,
Joseph, a decorated Marine served in Iwo Jima. Many years later, the DeLucien
brothers would celebrate their survival and war stories.

In 1950, Albert was recalled in support of the Korean conflict and once again
became a Drill Instructor. He was sent to Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C.,
and became part of the newly formed Silent Drill Patrol. To this day, the
renowned 24-man rifle platoon still performs unique precision drill exhibitions at
Sunset Parades in D.C.

Albert retired from the private financial sector, staying active in the local
veteran community. He is a lifelong member of the Mickey Finn Detachment in
Quantico. He attends veteran events in VA and in D.C. As one of the oldest
Marines, he is often called upon to attend ceremonies throughout the year.
Albert is a regular smiling face at the Mickey Finn Detachment in Quantico,
where the Albert De Lucien Sr Award was created in his honor, given to a young
Marine who best epitomizes commitment and giving of themselves.

His great-granddaughter, Jessica Dally, enlisted in the Marines to honor Albert’s


legacy. She will be in attendance at the 100th birthday party.

More on Albert:

Albert DeLucien appeared in a story that aired on WJLA, a few years ago:

https://wjla.com/news/local/quantico-national-cemetery-celebrates-veterans-
day?fbclid=IwAR2GJHfY5rX1kBkch8N4oziByWfKP9yZx8JcBGfbEOKT9THsVPW
d7lqepP4

Albert is an Italian American, the eldest son of Alberto “Albert” De Lucien, who
emigrated to New York via Ellis Island from Ivrea, Italy, in 1902. Albert met his
wife, Alice Copeland, when he returned home in November of 1945. He finished
his college education, graduating from Georgetown in 1945. He and his wife,
married for 50 years, were pilots and active in Civil Air Patrol.

He enjoys a glass of red wine on occasion, loves puzzles, and still writes letters
to his large family recalling his memories, which include travel tips to the various
places around the world he visited.

Albert will hold court with five generations of family members, celebrating his
birthday on Saturday, February 15, 2020, from 2 PM- 5 PM, in Northern Virginia
at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 1515 Popular Grove Drive,
Reston, VA 20194.

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