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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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Colonel Archibald Henderson
Colonel (Brevet Brigadier General) Archibald Henderson, fifth Commandant of the Marine Corps, was born in Colchester, Virginia, on 21 January 1783. He was appointed a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps on 4 June 1806; promoted to first lieutenant 6 March 1807; to captain 1 April 1811; and was appointed a major, by brevet, in the year 1814.

As a captain during the War of 1812, he participated in the engagements with the Cyane and Levant on 20 February 1815. He received a silver medal and was included in the thanks of Congress to the officers and men of the Constitution for gallant service. He was later presented with a jeweled sword by the State of Virginia.

During the years subsequent to the second war with Great Britain, until the year he was appointed Commandant, Brevet Major Henderson was on duty at such posts and stations as Boston, Massachusetts; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps; and at New Orleans, Louisiana.

On 17 October 1820, at the age of 37, LtCol Henderson was appointed as the Commandant of the Marine Corps. He served in this position for a little over 38 years--the longest of any officer to hold that position. The years 1820 to 1835 were marked by no very unusual or outstanding activities on the part of the Marine Corps other than its part in the suppression of piracy in the West Indies, and the operations in the early 1830's against the pirates of Quallah Battoo.

During the 1836-37 war with the Seminole and Creek Indians in Georgia and Florida, in which the Marine Corps took an active part, Col Henderson, as Commandant, went in person into the field with his command sharing in the dangers and exposures of that campaign. For his services in checking Indian hostilities, he was advanced to the brevet rank of brigadier general.

During the Mexican War, which was preceded by much military activity on the part of the Marine Corps during the years 1845-46 on the West Coast, Col Henderson ably administered the affairs of the Marine Corps. The success attained by the Corps during the war, including its expansion and development from a small fighting force into a well recognized and very formidable arm of the nation's military forces, was due in no small measure to the leadership and ability of its Commandant.

During the years subsequent to the Mexican war and prior to the Civil war, the Marine Corps, under the ever-watchful eye and direction of its venerable Commandant, was by no means an idle organization. In 1852-53, the Marines took part in the famous expeditions of Commodore Perry to Japan. In 1855 they participated in an expedition to Uruguay as a result of an insurrection at Montevidio, and in 1856 had an engagement with hostile Indians at Seattle, Washington Territory. Also, during the same year, they took part in the capture of the Barrier Forts in China.

In the year 1857 during the "Know Nothing" political excitement, the Marines were ordered upon the request of the mayor of Washington, D.C., to suppress an armed mob of "hired roughs and bullies" that had been imported from Baltimore to take possession of the election booths, the situation having beyond the control of the civil authorities. During the serious riot, when a cannon was put into position by a large crowd of "Plug Uglies" and others who threatened the Marines, Col Henderson deliberately placed his body against the muzzle, thereby preventing it from being aimed at the Marines, just at the moment when it was about to be discharged.

Colonel Henderson passed away quietly on the afternoon of 6 January 1859. His remains were interred in the Congressional Cemetery in southeast Washington, D.C.

The Navy transport, USS Henderson, was named in his memory.




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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