This Month in Marine Corps History

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  • 01 May 2018 5:05 PM | Anonymous

    Marine Corps History May

    2 May 1946: Marines from Treasure Island Marine Barracks, under the command of Warrant Officer Charles L. Buckner, aided in suppressing the three-day prison riot at Alcatraz Penitentiary in San Francisco Bay. WO Buckner, a veteran of the Bougainville and Guam campaigns, ably led his force of Marines without suffering a single casualty.

    5 May 1983: In Beirut, Lebanon, a UH-1N helicopter carrying the commander of the American peace- keeping force, Colonel James Mead, was hit by machine gun fire. The six Marines aboard escaped injury. Colonel Mead and his crew had taken off in the helicopter to investigate artillery and rocket duels between rival Syrian-backed Druze Moslem militiamen and Christian Phalangists that endangered French members of the multinational force.

    8 May 1995: In the wake of the most devastating storm to hit the New Orleans area in more than 200 years, a group of Marines and sailors from Marine Forces Reserve demonstrated the quick response synonymous with the Navy/Marine Corps team. Within 24 hours of being called, Marines assisted in the evacuation of 2,500 civilians, and Navy corpsmen treated scores of flood victims.

    10 May 1945: The 22d Marines, 6th Marine Division, executed a pre-dawn attack south across the Asa River Estuary and seized a bridgehead from which to continue the attack toward Naha, the capital of Okinawa.

    15 May 1862: Corporal John Mackie, the first Marine to earn the Medal of Honor, was commended for service in the USS Galena during action against Confederate shore batteries at Drewry's Bluff which blocked the James River approaches to Richmond.

    16 May 1945: The 22d and 29th Marines continued the attack against Half Moon Hill, a day characterized by the 6th Marine Division as the "bitterest" of the Okinawa campaign. By the 18th, the famed "Shuri line" had been broached.

    22 May 1912: First Lieutenant Alfred A. Cunningham, the first Marine officer to be assigned to "duty in connection with aviation" by Major General Commandant William P. Biddle, reported for aviation training at the Naval Aviation Camp at Annapolis, Maryland, and Marine aviation had its official beginning.

    23 May 1988: The V-22 Osprey, the world's first production tilt-rotor aircraft, made its debut during rollout ceremonies at Bell Helicopter Textron's Arlington, Texas, facility. More than 1,000 representatives from the military, industry, and media, gathered to hear various speakers, including Gen Alfred Gray, Commandant of the Marine Corps, praise the versatile rotor craft designed to meet the needs of 21st Century battlefields.

    26 May 1969: Operation Pipestone Canyon began when the 1st Battalion, 26th Marines and 3d Battalion, 5th Marines began sweeps in the Dodge City/Go Noi areas southwest of Da Nang. It terminated at the end of June with 610 enemy killed in action at a cost of 34 Marines killed.

    29 May 1991: Elements of a joint task force that included the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade departed the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Bangladesh after nearly two weeks of disaster relief operations following a devastating cyclone. The joint task force delivered tons of relief supplies using helicopters, C- 130s, and landing craft in Operation Sea Angel. 

  • 01 Feb 2018 5:01 PM | Anonymous

    1 February 1967: Operation Prairie II was begun in Quang Tri province by elements of the 3d Marine Division. During the 46-day search-and-destroy operation which terminated 18 March, 93 Marines and 693 of the enemy were killed.

    2 February 1944: The 4th Marine Division, as part of the first assault on islands controlled by the Japanese before the start of World War II, captured Namur and eight other islands in the Kwajalein Atoll.

    6 February 1968: Two reduced Marine battalions, the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines with two companies, and 2d Battalion, 5th Marines with three, recaptured Hue's hospital, jail, and provincial headquarters. It would take three more weeks of intense house to house fighting, and nearly a thousand Marines killed and wounded, before the imperial city was secured.

    11 February 1922: BGen John H. Russell was appointed U.S. High Commissioner and personal representative of the President to the government of Haiti. This nine-year assignment placed this future Commandant in supreme command of both the occupying American force and the Haitian Gendarmerie.

    15 February 1898: On this date, 28 Marines and 232 seamen lost their lives when the battleship Maine was mysteriously sunk by an explosion in the harbor of Havana, Cuba. Though no definitive evidence linked the Spanish with the sinking, the cry went up, "Remember the Maine!", and by late April the U.S. and Spain were at war.

    17 February 1967: The first full day of Operation DECKHOUSE VI, which lasted until 3 March, was conducted near Quang Ngai city. The Special Landing Force (BLT 1/4 and HMM-363) accounted for 280 enemy killed.

    23 February 1945: Four days after the initial landings on Iwo Jima, 1stLt Harold G. Schrier led 40 men from Company E, 2d Battalion, 28th Marines, up Mt. Suribachi to secure the crest and raise the small American flag that battalion commander LtCol Chandler Johnson had given Schrier. Within an hour, the patrol reached the rim of the crater. After a short fire-fight with Japanese defenders emerging from several caves, the small American flag was attached to an iron pipe and raised over the island.

    24 February 1991: The I Marine Expeditionary Force and coalition forces began a ground assault on Iraqi defenses in the final chapter of Operation Desert Storm. The 1st and 2d Marine Divisions stormed into the teeth of Iraqi defenses while heavily armored allied forces attacked the Iraqi defenses in Iraq from behind. In 100 hours, U.S. and allied forces defeated the Iraqi Army.

    28 February 1991: Operation Desert Storm ended when the cease- fire declared by President George Bush went into effect. I Marine Expeditionary Force has a strength of more than 92,000 making Operation Desert Storm the largest Marine Corps operation in history. A total of 24 Marines were killed in action during the Gulf War.

  • 01 Oct 2017 5:13 PM | Anonymous

    1 October 1997: The first African-American female colonel in the Marine Corps was promoted to that rank during a ceremony at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. Colonel Gilda A. Jackson, a native of Columbus, Ohio, made Marine Corps history when she achieved the rank of colonel. She was serving as Special Projects Officer, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing at the time of her promotion.

    5 October 1775: Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the 2d Continental Congress used the word "Marines" on one of the earliest known occasions, when it directed General George Washington to secure two vessels on "Continental risque and pay", and to give orders for the "proper encouragement to the Marines and seamen" to serve on the two armed ships.

    6 October 1945: Major General Keller E. Rockey, Commanding General, III Amphibious Corps, accepted the surrender of 50,000 Japanese troops in North China on behalf of the Chinese Nationalist government.

    8 October 1899: A force of 375 Marines under command of future Commandant George F. Elliott, attacked and captured the insurgent town of Novaleta, Luzon, Philippine Islands, and linked up with U.S. Army troops. There were 11 Marine casualties.

    9 October 1917: The 8th Marines was activated at Quantico, Virginia. Although the regiment would not see combat in Europe during World War I, the officers and enlisted men of the 8th Marines participated in operations against dissidents in Haiti for over five years during the 1920s. During World War II, the regiment was assigned to the 2d Marine Division and participated in combat operations on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa, and earned three Presidential Unit Citations.

    11 October 1951: A Marine battalion was flown by transport helicopters to a frontline combat position for the first time, when HMR-161 lifted the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, and its equipment, during Operation Bumblebee, northeast of Yanggu, Korea.

    19 October 1968: Operation Maui Peak, a combined regimental-sized operation which began on 6 October, ended 11 miles northwest of An Hoa, Vietnam. More

    than 300 enemy were killed in the 13-day operation.

    23 October 1983: At 0622 an explosive-laden truck slammed into the BLT headquarters building in Beirut, Lebanon, where more than 300 men were billeted. The massive explosion collapsed the building in seconds, and took the lives of 241 Americans--including 220 Marines. This was the highest loss of life in a single day for Marines since D-Day on Iwo Jima in 1945.

    28 October 1962: An 11,000-man 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade left Camp Pendleton by sea for the Caribbean during the Cuban Missile Crisis. One week earlier, the entire 189,000-man Marine Corps had been put on alert and elements of the 1st and 2d Marine Divisions were sent to Guantanamo Bay to reinforce the defenders of the U.S. Naval Base. Other 2d Division units and squadrons from five Marine Aircraft Groups were deployed at Key West, Florida, or in Caribbean waters during the Cuban crisis.


    31 October 1919: A patrol of Marines and gendarmes, led by Sergeant Herman H. Hanneken, disguised themselves as Cacos and entered the headquarters of the Haitian Caco Leader, Charlemagne Peralte, killing the bandit chief, and dispersing his followers. Sergeant Hanneken and Corporal William R. Button were each awarded the Medal of Honor. 

  • 01 Sep 2017 5:03 PM | Anonymous

    Marine Corps History: Sept

    2 September 1945: The Japanese officially surrendered to the Allies on board the battleship MISSOURI in Tokyo Bay. With General Holland Smith transferred home in July 1945, the senior Marine Corps representative at the historic ceremony was LtGen Roy S. Geiger, who had succeeded Smith as Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific.

    5 September 1956: Eleven Marines from the 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division, stationed near Naha, Okinawa, drowned while swimming, from an undercurrent caused by Typhoon Emma. The violent storm, with 140 mph winds, struck the Philippine Islands, Okinawa, Korea, and Japan, causing some 55 deaths and millions of dollars in property damage.

    6 September 1983: Two Marines were killed and two were wounded when rockets hit their compound in Beirut, Lebanon. Heavy fighting continued for the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit peacekeeping force in the area near their positions around the Beirut International Airport.

    8 September 1942: On Guadalcanal, the 1st Raider Battalion and the 1st Parachute Battalion, supported by planes of MAG-23 and two destroyer transports, landed east of Tasimboko, advanced west into the rear of Japanese positions, and carried out a successful raid on a Japanese supply base.

    11 September 1992: Hurricane Iniki devastated the island of Kauai in Hawaii in one of the worst storms the islands had seen in over a century. Marines of the 1st Marine Brigade based at Kaneohe Bay, spearheaded Operation Garden Sweep, the massive cleanup effort.

    15 September 1950: The 3d Battalion, 5th Marines landed on Wolmi-do Island in Inchon Harbor and secured it prior to the main landing. The 1st Marine Division under the command of Major General Oliver P. Smith landed at Inchon and began the Inchon-Seoul campaign.

    16 September 1814: A detachment of Marines under Major Daniel Carmick from the Naval Station at New Orleans, together with an Army detachment, destroyed a pirate stronghold at Barataria, on the Island of Grande Terre, near New Orleans.

    18 September 1990: A new 40-acre training facility for Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) was dedicated at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, by General Alfred M. Gray, Commandant of the Marine Corps.

    20 September 1950: Marines of the 1st Marine Division crossed the Han River along a six-mile beachhead, eight miles northwest of Seoul, Korea. Five days later, the 1st and 5th Marines would attack Seoul and the city would be captured by 27 September.

    24 September 1873: One hundred and ninety Marines and seamen from the USS PENSACOLA and BENICIA landed at the Bay of Panama, Columbia, to protect the railroad and American lives and property during the revolution.

    27 September 1944: The American flag was raised over Peleliu, Palau Islands, at the 1st Marine Division Command Post. Although the flag raising symbolized that the island was secured, pockets of determined Japanese defenders continued to fight on. As late as 21 April 1947, 27 Japanese holdouts finally surrendered to the American naval commander on the scene.

    30 September 1945: Marines of III Amphibious Corps, commanded by Major General Keller E. Rockey, began landing in North China to assist the Chinese Nationalist government in accepting the surrender of Japanese forces and repatriating Japanese soldiers and civilians. 

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