L/CPL Robert J. Slattery, Det #206, "SCUTTLEBUTT NEWS", Jan 2021 - #8
This Month in USMC History
JANUARY
  • 10 January 1995: The Pentagon announced that 2,600 U.S. Marines would be deployed to Somalia for Operation United Shield to assist in the final withdrawal of UN peacekeeping troops from Somalia. The decision came in response to a UN request for American protection of its peacekeeping forces serving in the war-torn African nation.
  • 11 January 1945: The first elements of Marine Aircraft Group 24, commanded by Colonel Lyle H. Meyer, landed at Lingayen, Luzon, Philippine Islands, to provide close air support for Army forces. Over the next three months, MAG-24 and MAG-32 would fly a total of 8,842 combat sorties and drop more than 19,000 bombs as part of the Fifth Air Force in support of the Sixth Army.
  • 16 January 1991: Operation Desert Shield became Operation Desert Storm as forces of the allied coalition launched an all-out air campaign against targets in Iraq and occupied Kuwait in an effort to liberate Kuwait and enforce the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. Overall, in the theater of operations, the coalition forces included more than 415,000 U.S. troops.
  • 18 January 1951: Marines of the 1st Marine Division began mopping-up operations against guerrillas in the Pohang area, South Korea, following the Division's return from its epic battle with Communist Chinese troops at the Chosin (Changjin) Reservoir.
  • 20 January 1968: The second battle for Khe Sanh began when Marines from the 3d Battalion, 26th Marines attacked a North Vietnamese battalion between Hill 881 South and Hill 881 North. More than 100 of the enemy were killed.
  • 21 January 1918: The 1st Aeronautical Company arrived at Ponta Delgada, Azores, for anti-submarine duty. That unit was one of the first completely equipped American aviation units to serve overseas in World War I.
  • 22 January 1969: Operation Dewey Canyon, perhaps the most successful high-mobility regimental-size action of the Vietnam War, began in the A Shau/Da Krong Valleys when the 9th Marines, commanded by Colonel Robert H. Barrow, and supporting artillery were lifted from Quang Tri. By 18 March the enemy's base area had been cleared out, 1617 enemy dead had been counted, and more than 500 tons of weapons and ammunition unearthed.
  • 25 January 1856: Marines and seamen from the U.S. sloop DECATUR went ashore at the village of Seattle, Washington, to protect settlers from Indian raids. The Indians launched a seven-hour attack but were driven off later that day after suffering severe losses. Incredibly, only two civilian volunteers were killed and no Marines or sailors were lost.
  • 27 January 1988: About 400 Marines and sailors from the 2d Marine Division, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, and 2d Force Service Support Group deployed for the Persian Gulf. The Contingency Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) CM 2-88 would relieve Contingency MAGTF 1-88 in the volatile Persian Gulf and provide the effective landing force capability to Joint Task Force Middle East.
  • 29 January 1991: The first serious ground fighting of Operation Desert Storm broke out when Iraqi troops mounted an attack into Saudi Arabia along a 40-mile front. Iraqi units centered their efforts on Khafji, a port city six miles south of the border. Saudi and Quatari troops, supported by artillery from the 1st Marine Division and attack helicopters and other allied coalition aircraft, recaptured the town two days later.
  • FEBRUARY
  • 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.
  • MARCH
  • 2 March 1867: Jacob Zeilin, Colonel Commandant of the Marine Corps from 30 June 1864, was this date promoted to the rank of Brigadier General Commandant, the first time Congress authorized this rank for the Marine Corps. The statute, however, was repealed in June 1874 so that the rank of Commandant would again revert to colonel upon Zeilin's retirement.
  • 8 March 1965: The 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade landed at DaNang, Republic of Vietnam as the first U.S. ground combat troops to be committed to that conflict. The 3,500 men arrived both across the beach with Battalion Landing Team 3/9, and at DaNang Airfield with Battalion Landing Team 1/3.
  • 11 March 1778: Marines participated the action when the Continental Navy frigate BOSTON, enroute to France, sighted, engaged, and captured the British merchant ship MARTHA. As the drum of the BOSTON beat to arms, John Adams seized a musket and joined the Marines on deck until the frigate's captain, Samuel Tucker, sent him below for safety.
  • 13 March 1943: The first group of71 Women Marine officer candidates arrived at the U.S. Midshipmen School (Women's Reserve) at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. The Navy's willingness to share training facilities enabled the Marine Corps to begin training Marine Corps Women's Reserve officers just one month after the creation of the MCWR was announced.
  • 17 March 1967: The first woman Marine to report to Vietnam for duty, Master Sergeant Barbara J. Dulinsky, began her 18-hour flight to Bien Hoa, 30 miles north of Saigon. MSgt Dulinsky and the other officer and enlisted Women Marines that followed were assigned to the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) based in Saigon. Most worked with the Marine Corps Personnel Section providing administrative support to Marines assigned as far north as the DMZ, but two Lieutenant Colonels, Ruth Reinholz and Ruth O'Holleran, served as historians with the Military History Branch, Secretary Joint Staff, MACV.
  • 25 March 1945: After 35 days of bitter fighting, the amphibious assault on the rocky fortress of Iwo Jima finally appeared over. On the night of 25 March, however, a 300-man Japanese force launched a vicious final counterattack in the vicinity of Airfield Number 2. Army pilots, Seabees and Marines of the 5th Pioneer Battalion and 28th Marines fought the fanatical Japanese force till morning but suffered heavy casualties --more than l00 killed and another 200 American wounded. Nearly all of the Japanese force was killed in the battle.
  • 27 March 1953: The 5th Marines, supported by the 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, in the first full day of fighting after the Chinese assault the previous evening of Outpost Vegas on Korea's western front, counterattacked to regain enemy-held positions. Companies E and F of 2/7 , down to only three platoons between them, managed to regain partial control of Outpost Vegas that day.
  • 31 March 1801: On this date, LtCol Commandant William W. Burrows rode with president Thomas Jefferson to look for "a proper place to fix the Marine Barracks on." President Jefferson was a personal friend of the Commandant, and deeply interested in the welfare of the Corps and accompanied Burrows on horseback on the morning of 31 March. They chose a square in Southeast Washington, bounded by 8th and 9th streets, and a & I streets, because it lay near the Navy Yard and was within easy marching distance of the Capitol.