Thursday, November 10, 2005

History of the Marine Corps

Historical timeline of the United States Marine Corps:
  • 1775: Continental Congress authorizes two battalions of American Marines.
  • 1778: Captain Nichols and twenty-six Marines capture Fort Nassau in the Bahamas.
  • 1798: President John Adams signs Act establishing the United States Marine Corps.
  • 1847: Marines help seize fortress of Chapultepec, occupying the Nation Place, built on site of the Halls of Montezuma.
  • 1880: John Phillip Sousa appointed leader of the Marine Band.
  • 1885: Captain McLane Tilton leads a Marine force in naval attack on Han River forts in Korea. Marines also land in Panama to protect trans-isthmus railroad.
  • 1898: Marines land at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Marine Sgt. John Quick receives Medal of Honor. US and Spain sign Treaty of Paris.
  • 1899: Marines attack Filipino insurgents at Novaleta.
  • 1900: Marines defend Legation Quarter in Chinese capital during Boxer Rebellion.
  • 1917: US declares war on Germany. 5th Marine Regiment sails for France.
  • 1918: Marines fight against German machine guns at Belleau Wood.
  • 1942: 1st Marine Division lands on Guadalcanal turns back Japanese attack in Battle of Edson's Ridge. 2nd Raider Division raids Makin Atoll.
  • 1942: The first black Marines enlist in the Marine Corps.
  • 1943: Women's Reserve program announced. This date marks the birthday of women Marines.
  • 1944: D-day: US lands in Normandy. Marines in 2nd, 3rd and 4th Division fight on the Pacific front.
  • 1945: Marines secure Iwo Jima. Japan and Germany surrender unconditionally. Marines land in Tokyo Bay and in North China, where they disarm 630,000 Japanese soldiers.
  • 1946: Commandant Archibald Vandegrift tells Senate Naval Affairs Committee "the bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps."
  • 1948: First modern Marine Security Guard program established. Marines brought ashore in helicopters for the first time during an amphibious training exercise. First eight enlisted women sworn in as Regular Marines.
  • 1950: North Korea invades South Korea. 1st Marine Division makes assault landing at Inchon and retakes Seoul.
  • 1952: Congress sets Marine Corps' strength and gives commandant equal status on Joint Chiefs of Staff in matters of concern to the Corps.
  • 1954: The Marine Corps War Memorial dedicated next to Arlington National Cemetary.
  • 1956: Marine battalion from Sixth Fleet evacuates civilians from Egypt after country nationalizes the Suez Canal.
  • 1962: Marine Lieutenant Colonel John H. Glenn is the first man to orbit the earth.
  • 1965: 9th Expeditionary Brigade lands at Da Nang, South Viet Nam.
  • 1967: Private First Class James Anderson Jr., is the first black marine to win the Medal of Honor.
  • 1971: Last Marine ground troops leave Viet Nam.
  • 1990: Iraqi army invades Kuwait. Marines begin buildup in the Persian Gulf.
  • 1991: Operation Desert Storm begins. Marines 1st and 2nd Divisions push through Iraqi lines. Marine helicopters also evacuate 281 civilians from the American Embassy at Mogadishu, Somalia.
  • 1997: Marines help evacuate 2,500 civilians from Kinshasa, Zaire.
  • 2001: Global War on Terrorism declared. Marines deployed to various locations abroad defending our freedom.
Famous Battles featuring the United States Marine Corps:
  • Tripoli: In 1805, America assembled an expeditionary force of Marines to subdue Barbary Coast pirates who were raiding American merchant ships in the Mediterranean. Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon and his Marines marched across 600 miles of North Africa's Libyan Desert to successfully storm the fortified Tripolitanian city of Derna. The first verse of the Marines' Hymn recalls the battle, which lives in Marine tradition: "From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli."
  • Belleau Wood: America entered World War I in 1918 to reinforce the battered French and British troops waging a desperate fight against Germany. A division of Marines was sent to Belleau Wood to support the French army. As the Marines arrived, the French troops were retreating. When a French officer suggested that the Marines join the retreat, Captain Lloyd Williams responded, "Retreat, hell! We just got here."
  • Iwo Jima: On February 19, 1945, America sent the United States Marines to seize the island of Iwo Jima from the Empire of Japan. Japanese soldiers defending the island had converted it into a deadly maze of defensive fortifications, tunnels and overlapping fields of machine gun fire. The battle for the island raged for a month. According to Marine Lieutenant General H. M. Smith, it was "the toughest and hardest fight in Marine Corps history." During the battle, a group of Marines raised the American flag at the summit of Mount Suribachi, the highest point on the island. The legendary photograph of the flag raising has become a Marine icon, symbolizing the fighting spirit and unflagging dedication of United States Marines.
  • Chosin Reservoir: The North Korean invasion of South Korea in 1950 caught the free world off-guard. In fact, our forces came very close to defeat. In a bold move to reverse the tide of the war, the 1st Marine Division, supported by the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, landed at Inchon and cut off the bulk of the North Korean Army. As the Allies drove north toward the Yalu River, Chinese Communist forces poured over the Manchurian border, trapping the Marines near the Chosin Reservoir. Written off for lost, the Marines regrouped and fought their way to the sea, where they rejoined the American forces.
  • Inchon: Inchon harbor was the site of a brilliantly executed amphibious Marine assault that turned the tide against North Korean forces during the Korean War. Conceived by General Douglas MacArthur, the plan landed the 70,000 Marines in X Corps 100 miles behind the North Korean lines on September 15, 1950. Within two weeks, X Corps had destroyed most of the North Korean army and had the remainder on the run.
  • Vietnam: Khe Sanh, a remote but strategic outpost near the Laos border, was facing a full-scale siege by the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) in January 1968. The NVA finally launched its attack on the morning of January 21, 1968. The NVA predicted Khe Sanh would be an overwhelmning victory for them, one that would force the US to sue for peace. The Marines of Khe Sanh thought otherwise. Their determination and bravery prevented the North Vietnamese from ever penetrating US defenses.
Happy 230th Birthday, Marines. Semper Fidelis -- Always Faithful.

Information above was found at in the History section.

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