Colonel Bruce F. Ogden, USMC (Ret), 79, died Jan. 7 after a 10-month struggle
following a devastating stroke that was suffered during open heart surgery in March of
2009. He was born Jan. 18, 1930, in Melrose, Mass., to Harold and Hazel
During WWII he accompanied his parents to U.S. Army posts and duty stations in Ohio
and Alabama while his father served on wartime active duty. During this period he
acquired a lifelong passion for hiking, camping, boating and fishing, which contributed to
his attainment of the rank of Eagle Scout.
While a student at Western High School (1948) in Washington, D.C., Bruce enlisted in
the Marine Corps Reserve on his 17th birthday.
He served as an aviation Ordnanceman in VMF-321 at Anacostia Naval Air Station for
two years before earning a competitive appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. He
entered the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1949 and was appointed second lieutenant of
Marines upon graduation on June 5, 1953. He attended the Basic School at Quantico
and the Artillery Basic Officers' Course at Ft. Sill, Okla. before reporting to "B" Battery,
1st Bn, 12th Marines, 3rdMarDiv on the slopes of Mt. Fujiyama in Japan.
He later commanded an 8-inch howitzer platoon on Okinawa, the 1stBn, 11th Marines in
Vietnam, and the 11th Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton. He served on two
occasions at Marine Corps Headquarters, Washington, D.C.; as Officer Selection Officer
in Pittsburgh, Pa.; Assistant G-4 and Recruit Training Battalion Executive Officer at
MCRD, San Diego, Calif.; Senior Marine Corps Representative at the U.S. Naval
Academy; and Assistant G-4 (Logistics) Operations at HQ, FMFPac in Hawaii before
retiring after 27 years of military service.
Wartime service with the First Marine Division included consecutive assignments as
Operations Officer of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 11th Marines in Vietnam (1965-66),
Commanding Officer of 1st Bn, 11th Marines in Vietnam (1970-71), and Commanding
Officer, 11th Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton (1971). Colonel Ogden's decorations
and awards include the Legion of Merit with Combat "V", Bronze Star with Combat "V",
the Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, two Presidential Unit Citations,
Meritorious Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal with bronze star, Korean
Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal with 3 stars, RVN Meritorious Unit Citation,
RVN Civil Action Meritorious Unit Citation, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Gold star,
Vietnam Honor Medal First Class, Vietnam Staff Service Medal First Class, United
Nations Service Medal (Korea) and Vietnam Service Medal. Following military
retirement, he worked as a Senior Systems Engineer with various Department of
Defense support contractors for 30 years. He was a life member and past Trustee of the
U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association and life member of the First Marine Division
Bruce is survived by his wife of 45 years, the former Diane Purdy of Edgewater; two
daughters; two sons; and seven grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 22 at 10 a.m. at the Main Chapel of the U.S.
Naval Academy. Interment will be held at 11 a.m. Feb. 22 at Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of the Chesapeake