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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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M2 .50 Caliber Machine Gun

Builder: Saco Defense
Length: 61.42 inches (156 centimeters)
Gun: 84 pounds (38 kilograms)
M3 Tripod (Complete): 44 pounds (19.98 kilograms)
Total: 128 pounds (58 kilograms)
Bore diameter: .50 inches (12.7mm)
Maximum effective range: 2000 meters with tripod mount
Maximum range: 4.22 miles (6.8 kilometers)
Cyclic rate of fire: 550 rounds per minute
Unit Replacement Cost: $14,002

Features: The Browning M2 .50 Caliber Machine Gun, Heavy barrel is an automatic, recoil operated, air-cooled machine gun with adjustable headspace and is crew transportable with limited amounts of ammunition over short distances. By repositioning some of the component parts, ammunition may be fed from either the left or right side. A disintegrating metallic link-belt is used to feed the ammunition into the weapon. This gun is has a back plate with spade grips, trigger, and bolt latch release. This gun may be mounted on ground mounts and most vehicles as an anti-personnel and anti-aircraft weapon. The gun is equipped with leaf-type rear sight, flash suppressor and a spare barrel assembly. Associated components are the M63 antiaircraft mount and the M3 tripod mount.

Background: Numerous manufacturers originally produced the M2 Heavy Machine Gun.

Posted by admin on Tuesday 27 March 2007 - 00:53:05 | LAN_THEME_20
The Battle of Guadalcanal August 7, 1942 - February 1943

In July 1942, the combatants in the Pacific were in a stalemate. The Japanese advance had been slowed at Midway, but they held a temporary numerical and tactical advantage. Nimitz knew that he could not sustain an advance for at least another year. Likewise, Yamamoto did not want to advance on Australia or Hawaii because he did not have the forward bases denied him in the Coral Sea and Midway operations.

That month the Imperial Japanese Navy began construction on a small airstrip in the former British Solomons, now the Japanese-held Solomons. Guadalcanal was a 90-mile long island in the South. It was in close proximity to Tulagi, a much smaller island with a seaplane base.

Photographic reconnaissance located the construction, and a decision was made to occupy the base. With the airfield in Japanese hands, this was more of a mission of denial than of long term occupancy. MacArthurís move up the backbone of New Guinea was thought to be the primary military advantage. He received the lionís share of equipment, men and materiel.

With only the escort carrier USS Long Island providing air cover, the 1st Marine Division was embarked in Virginia and shipped to Australia, then the division was combat-loaded into a range of transports and landed on Tulagi and Guadalcanal on August 7, 1942. It was the largest Marine operation in history up to that time. A Japanese naval fighter flew over the airstrip and reported the landing. By nightfall, 12,000 men were onshore, but much of their equipment was aboard ship. In the early morning, Imperial Japanese Navy Rear Admiral Gunichi Mikawa steamed around the southern shore of Savo Island, to the west of Tulagi. He slipped in and sank four heavy cruisers, the HAMS Canberra, USS Quincy, USS Astoria, and USS Chicago. This, the first battle of Savo Island, led to three months of heavy fighting. Eventually more men would die at sea than on Guadalcanal.

Without either side having a long-term strategy, Guadalcanal became the true test of initiative. Each side lost 23 ships in four months. The Japanese could not replace these losses, while the Americans could and did. It was during the Guadalcanal campaign that the outcome of the war was decided.

In a series of battles along the airfield perimeter, first Colonel Kyono Ickichiís detachment and then the Kawaguchi detachment were destroyed. The Japanese chronically underestimated the number of Allied forces on the island. Yet the Marines never had enough forces to adequately cover the entire perimeter. Army units arrived in October 1942 to reinforce the Marines.

By early September there was a sizable air force, called the Cactus Air Force. It operated from the airstrip, named for Marine Major Lofton C. Henderson, who was killed during the Battle of Midway. Army and Navy planes joined the Marine fighters. The effect of the airpower on the Japanese was immediate. Efforts to reinforce the defenders of Guadalcanal switched from daylight large transports to night landings by fast destroyer and submarine.

But you cannot supply 20,000 troops for combat missions with destroyers and submarines. By November 1942, both sides were without operational carriers and built combat groups around battleships. Unfortunately for the Japanese, the American battleships were new and theirs were World War I vintage. In a series of night engagements, the Americans sank two battleships and damaged several destroyers.

The Japanese abandoned Guadalcanal in December, and the island was declared secure in February 1943. 1500 Americans and 25,000 Japanese died on the island and many more died at sea. The Solomons campaign would continue to the end of the war, but with Guadalcanal in their possession the Americans had a base to exert control over the entire Solomons.

Posted by admin on Monday 19 March 2007 - 22:54:03 | LAN_THEME_20
Marines Of WWII

In World War II, the Marines played a central role in the Pacific War; the Corps expanded from two brigades to two corps with six divisions, and five air wings with 132 squadrons. In addition, 20 defense battalions and a parachute battalion were set up. The battles of Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa saw fierce fighting between U.S. Marines and the Imperial Japanese Army.

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, by Joe Rosenthal / The Associated PressDuring the battle of Iwo Jima, photographer Joe Rosenthal took the famous photo Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima of five Marines and one Navy corpsman raising the American flag on Mt. Suribachi. Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, who had come ashore earlier that day to observe the progress of the troops, said of the flag raising on Iwo Jima, "...the raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years." The acts of the Marines during the war added to their already significant popular reputation, and the USMC War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia was dedicated in 1954. By the warís end, the Corps had grown to include six divisions, five air wings and supporting troops totaling about 485,000 Marines. Nearly 87,000 Marines were killed or wounded during World War II and 82 received the Medal of Honor.

Despite Secretary Forrestal's prediction, the Corps faced an immediate institutional crisis following the war. Army generals pushing for a strengthened and reorganized defense establishment also attempted to fold the Marine mission and assets into the Navy and Army. Drawing on hastily assembled Congressional support, the Marine Corps rebuffed such efforts to dismantle the Corps, resulting in statutory protection of the Marine Corps in the National Security Act of 1947. Shortly after, in 1952, the Douglas-Manfield Bill afforded the Commandant an equal voice with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on matters relating to the Marines, and established the structure of three divisions and air wings that remains today. This allowed the Corps to permanently maintain a division and air wing in the Far East and participate in various small wars in Southeast Asiaóin the Tachen Islands, Taiwan, Laos, Thailand, and South Vietnam.

Posted by admin on Monday 12 March 2007 - 22:31:07 | 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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