L/CPL Robert J. Slattery,
Marine Corps League
2020 - #3
This Month in USMC History
- 1 February 1967: Operation Prairie II was begun in Quang Tri province by elements of the 3d Marine Division. During the 46-day search-and-destroy operation which terminated 18 March, 93 Marines and 693 of the enemy were killed.
- 2 February 1944: The 4th Marine Division, as part of the first assault on islands controlled by the Japanese before the start of World War II, captured Namur and eight other islands in the Kwajalein Atoll.
- 6 February 1968: Two reduced Marine battalions, the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines with two companies, and 2d Battalion, 5th Marines with three, recaptured Hue's hospital, jail, and provincial headquarters. It would take three more weeks of intense house to house fighting, and nearly a thousand Marines killed and wounded, before the imperial city was secured.
- 11 February 1922: BGen John H. Russell was appointed U.S. High Commissioner and personal representative of the President to the government of Haiti. This nine-year assignment placed this future Commandant in supreme command of both the occupying American force and the Haitian Gendarmerie.
- 15 February 1998: One hundred years ago this date, 28 Marines and 232 seamen lost their lives when the battleship MAINE was mysteriously sunk by an explosion in the harbor of Havana, Cuba. Though no definitive evidence linked the Spanish with the sinking, the cry went up, "Remember the Maine!", and by late April the U.S. and Spain were at war.
- 17 February 1967: The first full day of Operation DECKHOUSE VI, which lasted until 3 March, was conducted near Quang Ngai city. The Special Landing Force (BLT Y4 and HMM-363) accounted for 280 enemy killed.
- 23 February 1945: Four days after the initial landings on Iwo Jima, 1stLt Harold G. Schrier led 40 men from Company E, 2d Battalion, 28th Marines, up Mt. Suribachi to secure the crest and raise the small American flag that battalion commander LtCol Chandler Johnson had given Schrier. Within an hour, the patrol reached the rim of the crater. After a short fire-fight with Japanese defenders emerging from several caves, the small American flag was attached to an iron pipe and raised over the island.
- 24 February 1991: The I Marine Expeditionary Force and coalition forces began a ground assault on Iraqi defenses in the final chapter of Operation Desert Storm. The 1st and 2d Marine Divisions stormed into the teeth of Iraqi defenses while heavily armored allied forces attacked the Iraqi defenses in Iraq from behind. In 100 hours, U.S. and allied forces defeated the Iraqi Army.
- 28 February 1991: Operation Desert Storm ended when the cease- fire declared by President George Bush went into effect. I Marine Expeditionary Force has a strength of more than 92,000 making Operation Desert Storm the largest Marine Corps operation in history .A total of 24 Marines were killed in action during the Gulf War.