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This Month In USMC History
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 1889:
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.

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Marines of MWHS-2 honor fallen brother

AL ASAD, Iraq (Oct. 28, 2007) -- “If the Army and the Navy ever look on Heaven’s scenes, they will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.”

Another Marine has answered the call to take his post guarding the golden streets of Heaven.

Marines from Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2 gathered to pay their final respects to their brother and comrade, Gunnery Sgt. Herman J. Murkerson, at the Al Asad Memorial Chapel, Oct. 9.

His friends remember him as someone who could be counted on to get the job done. His leadership style and knowledge set him apart from his peers, according to Master Sgt. Edwin Reid, the logistics section engineer chief for 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward).

“Honestly, with almost 20 years in the Marine Corps, I’ve worked with some really stellar Marines in that time, but Gunny Murkerson was what I always thought a (staff noncommissioned officer) should be,” said Reid. “And I hoped that when my junior Marines looked at me, they saw in me what I saw in him. He was probably the most stellar Staff NCO I’ve ever worked with.”

He believed in what he was doing. His dedication not only to the Corps, but his family, served as an example to those around him, according to Master Gunnery Sgt. Roderick Welsh, the logistics chief for Marine Aircraft Group 29.

“A man of conviction, that would probably be the best way to paint the picture of Jerome Murkerson,” said Welsh. “He was a man of conviction, he believed in what he was doing. He was as red-blooded an American as you could find.”

“He had three kids, and he was involved with each and every one of them with whatever they were doing,” added Welsh. “Me personally, I don’t know how he had the time to do it all.”

Murkerson went to his sons’ soccer and football games. He was involved with boy scouts and girl scouts with his children. The only thing he loved as much as his family was being a Marine, according to Reid.

“That was just his character,” explained Reid. “As much as I know he loved his family, being a Marine was just as important to him. And being a Marine meant being deployed. One thing I loved about him the most was he led from the front. That was just the way he was, he had to do the Marine thing.”

His friends also remember him as a man of many passions: his wife and kids, NASCAR, hunting and fishing. His favorite though was Alabama football. He would travel to the games, and while he was deployed he sent his family tickets so they could watch the games, according to Welsh.

“If ever there was a Roll Tide fan, it was Jerome Murkerson,” said Welsh with a smile. “His truck, it was as close to the shade of the Tide as you could get. Even his cell phone was the Alabama colors. He was quite the Alabama football fan.”

He was killed by hostile fire Oct. 1, while serving on his third combat deployment. He was acting as the logistics advisor for a Military Transition Team that was attacked while on patrol with an Iraqi Army unit.

“When it comes to combat leadership, he’s one of the few (motor transportation) guys that has a combat distinguishing device,” said Welsh. “He has a (Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal) with a ‘V’. That’s the type of Marine he is. He always answered the call.”

Murkerson leaves behind his wife and high school sweetheart, Windy, and their three children, Stephen, Daniel and Kristina.

He is going to be missed.

Posted by admin on Monday 29 October 2007 - 21:27:52 | LAN_THEME_20
"Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?"

The Battle of Belleau Wood (1-26 June 1918) happened during the German 1918 Spring Offensive in World War I, near the Marne River in France. The battle was fought between the U.S. Second (under the command of John A. Lejeune) and Third Divisions and a hodgepodge of German units including elements from the 237th, 10th, 197th, 87th, and 28th Divisions.


After their victories at Cantigny on May 28, 1918 and Chateau-Thierry on June 3-4, 1918, the 2nd and 3rd Divisions of the U.S. Army (including the 4th Brigade of U.S. Marines attached to the 2nd Division) moved into Belleau Wood. The Marines were forced to make six highly forceful sweeps into the meadows and trenches within the forest, as well as unoccupied portions of the wood. The Germans held out stubbornly (despite the fact that the Americans held most of the significant portions of the wood for much of the battle) and launched several counterattacks, all of which were duly repulsed. The Germans did not surrender until Prince Wilhelm ordered a general retreat of soldiers surrounding the area. The battle was characterized by the different fire superiority tactics. The Americans used sharpshooters and snipers, while the Germans attempted to rake the battlefield with machine guns.


In a battle noteworthy because of both its extremely bloody nature and its close proximity to the French capital of Paris, the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) launched a counter-attack designed to stop the German advance. The Second Division was tasked with taking the woods, and the US 4th Marine Brigade with its 5th and 6th Marine Regiments were sent forward. In order to enter and take the woods, it was necessary to advance across an open field of wheat that was continuously swept with German machine gun and artillery fire. After Marines were repeatedly urged to turn back by retreating French forces, Marine Captain Lloyd Williams of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines uttered the now-famous retort "Retreat? Hell, we just got here."

On 6 June, the casualties were the highest in Marine Corps history (and remained so until the capture of Tarawa in November 1943). Overall, the woods were taken by the Marines (and the US Army 3rd Infantry Brigade) a total of six times before they could successfully expel the Germans. They fought off more than four divisions of Germans, often reduced to using only their bayonets or fists in hand-to-hand combat. In order to rally his platoon of pinned-down Marines, Gunnery Sergeant Dan Daly encouraged them with what would become another famous phrase "Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?"

On 26 June, a report was sent out simply stating, "Woods now U.S. Marine Corps entirely," ending the bloodiest and most ferocious battle U.S. forces would fight in the war.

After the battle

In the end, U.S. Forces suffered a total of 9,777 casualties, 1,811 of them fatal. Many are buried in the nearby Aisne-Marne American Cemetery. There is no clear information on the total number of Germans killed, although 1,600 troops were taken prisoner.

After the battle, the French renamed the wood "Bois de la Brigade de Marine" ("Wood of the Marine Brigade") in honor of the Marines' tenacity. The French government also later awarded the 4th Brigade the Croix de Guerre. Belleau Wood is also where the Marines got their nickname "Teufel Hunden" allegedly meaning "Devil Dogs" in poor German, for the ferocity with which they attacked the German lines. An official German report classified the Marines as "vigorous, self-confident, and remarkable marksmen..."

General Pershing, Commander of the AEF said, "the Battle of Belleau Wood was for the U.S. the biggest battle since Appomattox and the most considerable engagement American troops had ever had with a foreign enemy".

Another side note is that the Marines spent over 40 days in the trenches awaiting orders to take the woods.

Posted by admin on Thursday 23 August 2007 - 18:03:33 | LAN_THEME_20
Fuji Marines, sailors continue relationship with local orphanage

CAMP FUJI, Japan (July 12, 2007) -- Since he was four-years-old, Akira Tanaka has visited the Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji to interact with the Marines and sailors here, who he said he likes to call his family.

Tanaka, now 11, and 36 other Japanese children living at the Seishin Orphanage visited the camp again July 8 to attend a day of sporting events and a barbecue.

When the children arrived, it didn’t take them long to unload their bus and pick up a bat and wiffle ball or climb all over the Marines and sailors.

Navy Lt. Carl B. Muehler, the Camp Fuji chaplain, said the visits have been ongoing for nearly 30 years, and despite a language barrier, they always prove to be enjoyable.

“The orphanage has been bringing children here for a long time, and we plan to keep it that way,” he said. “Sure, we might not understand each other’s language, but when there are smiles on the Japanese and American faces, you know they are having a good time together.”

The relationship between service members at the camp and children and staff at the orphanage began when Tadaniro Yoshikawa, the director of the orphanage, met a Marine officer and the two organized the first visit. But when the Marine changed duty stations, the visits briefly stopped.

In 1982, the former Camp Fuji commanding officer’s secretary rekindled the relationship, said Hiromi Ozawa, the current commanding officer’s secretary.

“Back then, the children loved being with the Marines and sailors here according to my predecessor, Shigeko Nakai,” Ozawa said. “She felt the need to start inviting the orphanage back because the Marines and sailors bring light into the children’s world.”

At first, the children only visited the camp twice a year, but as the relationship progressed, the visits became more frequent, she said. Now the children visit the camp at least 12 times a year including some holidays.

Sgt. Gerald S. Salvacruz, the camp’s career retention specialist, said he enjoys the visits, but it’s difficult knowing at the end of the day the children will have to go back to the orphanage.

“I tell the Marines when they play with the children that it will be painful to watch them leave,” he said. “Some of the guys here have kids back in the States, and when they see the little kids it reminds them of their own.”

After spending about eight hours with the Marines and sailors, the children had to leave. Tanaka said before the number of visits increased, he used to get emotional when getting back on the bus. Now, he remains cheerful because he knows he will visit again soon.

“Since I can remember, I have always had a good time with them,” he said. “I have never met my real family, but the Americans have always made me feel welcome, and that’s why I call them my family.”

Posted by admin on Thursday 12 July 2007 - 21:19:33 | LAN_THEME_20
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Marine Of The Month

Lance Cpl. James M. Gluff

20, of Tunnel Hill, Ga.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Jan. 19 in Ramadi, Iraq, while conducting combat operations.


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