This Month in Marine Corps History: October

Learn about the Corps

The following events from Marine Corps history took place in October:


Gilda Jackson Becomes First African-American Female Marine Colonel
Colonel Gilda A. Jackson.
(USMC photo)

 

Gilda Jackson Becomes First African-American Female Marine Colonel

On October 1, 1997, Colonel Gilda A. Jackson, of Columbus, Ohio, became the first African-American female Marine to achieve the rank of Colonel during a ceremony at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. Prior to her promotion, Jackson served as the Special Projects Officer of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.


One of Earliest Known Uses of
An artist's sketch of Tun Tavern, the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps.
(released)

 

One of Earliest Known Uses of "Marines" by Continental Congress

On October 5, 1775, the Second Continental Congress held a meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in which they used the word "Marines" on one of the earliest known occasions.

The word was used in direction to General George Washington when it directed him 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.


Marines Assist China in Surrender of Japan
Major General Keller E. Rockey.
(USMC photo)

 

Marines Assist China in Surrender of Japan

On October 6, 1945, U.S. Marines under the command of Major General Keller E. Rockey accepted the surrender of 50,000 Japanese troops in North China on behalf of the Chinese Nationalist government.


Marines Capture Noveleta, Luzon, Philippines
George F. Elliott.
(USMC image)

 

Marines Capture Noveleta, Luzon, Philippines

On October 8, 1899, 375 Marines under the command of future Commandant of the Marine Corps George F. Elliott captured the insurgent town of Noveleta, Luzon, in the Philippines during the Philippine Revolution. There were 11 Marine casualties.


Eighth Marine Regiment Activated
Eighth Marine Regiment crest.
(USMC image)

 

Eighth Marine Regiment Activated

On October 9, 1917 the 8th Marine regiment was activated at Quantico, Virginia.

While the regiment didn't see combat in Europe during World War I, the regiment did participate in operations against dissidents in Haiti for more than five years during the 1920s.

During World War II, the regiment was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division and participated in combat operations on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa, earning three Presidential Unit Citations in the process.


Operation Bumblebee
U.S. Marine Corps Sikorsky HRS-1 helicopters from transport squadron HMR-161 launching from the U.S. escort carrier USS Sicily during "Operation Marlex-5" off the west coast of Korea in the Inchon area, on 1 September 1952.
(U.S. Navy photo)

 

This Week in Marine Corps History: Operation Bumblebee

On October 11, 1951, a Marine battalion was flown by transport helicopters to a front-line combat position for the first time when Marine Helicopter Transport Squadron-161 (HMR-161) lifted the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, as a part of Operation Bumblebee, northeast of Yanggu, Korea.


Operation Maui Peak
Elements of the 5th Marine Regiment stand by at the An Hoa Base waiting to board Sea Knight helicopters of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 164 [HMM-164].
(USMC photo)

 

Operation Maui Peak

On October 19, 1968, Operation Maui peak ended nearly two weeks after it began 11 miles northwest of An Hoa, Vietnam. More than 300 enemy forces were killed in the 13-day operation.


Beirut Bombing
The Marine barracks building in Beirut, Lebanon, prior to the bombing.
(Photo Courtesy of II MEF)

 

Beirut Bombing

October 23, marks the anniversary of the single deadliest day for the Marine Corps since Iwo Jima in World War II. However, the chain of events that led up to this tragic event began more than a year prior, in June of 1982.

On June 6, 1982, the Israeli Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon in response to an assassination attempt on Israel's ambassador to the UK by Palestinian terrorists, in an attempt to create a buffer zone between Israel and a joint Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Syrian force stationed in Lebanon. After two and a half months of fighting, a 2,000 member multinational peacekeeping force, including 800 Marines from the 32d Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU), was deployed to Beirut to oversee the withdrawal of PLO guerillas on August 25.


5th MEB Heads to Cuba
Aerial view of Guantanamo Bay.
(U.S. Navy photo)

 

5th MEB Heads to Cuba

On October 28, 1962, 11,00 Marines of the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade left Camp Pendleton by sea en-route for the Caribbean during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

A week prior, the entire Marine Corps had been put on alert and elements of the 1st and 2d Marine Divisions were sent to Guantanamo Bay to reinforce the U.S. Naval Base.


Marines Raid Caco Stronghold in Haiti
Sergeant Hermann H. Hanneken.
(USMC photo)

 

Marines Raid Caco Stronghold in Haiti

On October 31, 1919, a Marine and gendarme, led by Sergeant Herman H. Hanneken, disguised themselves as Cacos and entered the headquarters of the Haitian Caco Leader, Charlemagne Peralte, killing Peralte and dispersing his followers. Sergeant Hanneken and Corporal William R. Button were each awarded the Medal of Honor for their respective roles in the mission.


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