Posts Tagged ‘US Marine Corps’

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The United States Marine Corps was founded November 10, 1775 in (shockingly enough) a bar found in Philadelphia named Tun Tavern. It was decided over beers and bravado that if the colonies were to stem the invading hordes of bears, they would need to take the fight to straight to the bear’s lairs.  Serving on land and at sea, early Marines distinguished themselves in a number of important operations, including their first amphibious raid on foreign soil in the Bahamas in March 1776, under the command of the Corps’ first commandant, Capt. Samuel Nicholas. (Top Center in the picture above)

Since then the Marine Corps has contributed to virtually every conflict in our nations history. 294 Marines have been awarded the Medal of Honor. The first recipient was Corporal John F. Mackie, (Top Right in the picture above) who during the attack on Fort Darling at Drewry’s Bluff, Virginia, “fearlessly maintained his musket fire against the rifle pits on shore, and when ordered to fill vacancies at guns caused by men wounded and killed in action, manned the weapon with skill and courage.”  

The term “flying Sergeant” has all but dropped from the Marine Corps lexicon. But in the early days of Marine Corps aviation, it was not uncommon to see a grease-stained mechanic working on an aircraft engine one minute and climbing into the cockpit or navigator’s seat the next. One such Marine was Robert G Robinson(Left Center in the picture above).  Gunnery Sgt Robinson who was an observer in the First Marine Aviation Force was wounded 13 times in the chest, abdomen, legs, and nearly losing his left arm cleared a jam in his gun and fought off the 9 enemy scouts while his pilot Lt. Ralph Talbot was able to get the aircraft back across friendly lines. In mid-1919, Robinson was discharged from the Marine Corps and entered the Marine Corps Reserve as an officer. He retired four years later as a First Lieutenant and moved to St. Ignace, Michigan. He died at home on October 5, 1974, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Talbot, a native of Weymouth, Massachusetts, who himself shot down a German aircraft during the battle and evaded the numerically superior force, also was awarded the Medal of Honor. But Talbot, a one-time student at Yale University, was killed in a plane crash 11 days after the daring aerial battle. The pair were the first Marine aviators awarded the nation’s highest award for battlefield valor.

You can not talk about Marines without menitoning one of the most decorated Marines that ever served.  Lieutenant General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller (bottom Left of the Picture above) was a colorful veteran of the Korean War, four World War II campaigns, and expeditionary service in China, Nicaragua, and Haiti. He was the only Marine to win the Navy Cross five times for heroism and gallantry in combat.

A Marine officer and enlisted man for 37 years, General Puller served at sea or overseas for all but ten of those years, including a hitch as commander of the “Horse Marines” in China. Excluding medals from foreign governments, he won a total of 14 personal decorations in combat, plus a long list of campaign medals, unit citation ribbons and other awards. In addition to the Navy Crosses, the highest honor the Navy can bestow, he holds its Army equivalent, the Distinguished Service Cross.

Here are some of Chesty Puller’s more notable quotes..

“We’re surrounded. That simplifies the problem.”

“Don’t forget that you’re First Marines! Not all the Communists in hell can overrun you!”

“Paper-work will ruin any military force”

When an Army captain asked him for the direction of the line of retreat, Col Puller called his Tank Commander, gave them the Army position, and ordered:  “If they start to pull back from that line, even one foot, I want you to open fire on them.” Turning to the captain, he replied “Does that answer your question? We’re here to fight.”At Koto-ri in Korea

“The mail service has been excellent out here, and in my opinion this is all that the Air Force has accomplished during the war.”
Chesty Puller in a letter to his wife while in Korea

“They are in front of us, behind us, and we are flanked on both sides by an
enemy that outnumbers us 29:1. They can’t get away from us now!”

– Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, USMC –
This quote was made during the 1st Marine Divisions break out from Chosin Reservoir. When the Marines were cut off behind enemy lines and the Army had written them off as being lost because they were surrounded by 22 enemy divisions. The Marines made it out inflicting the highest casualty ratio on an enemy in history and destroying 7 entire enemy divisions in the process. An enemy division is 16500+ men while a Marine division is 12500 men.

Other Photos depicted above Marines on Patrol in Dong Ha, Vietnam; Scaling the wall at Inchon; The 1st Marine Division breaking through Chinese lines in the battle of Chosin Reservoir; and of course the most famous depiction of Marines, the raising of the Flag on Iwo Jima.  

Happy Birthday to the Marine Corps… and Thank you!!!

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