This Month in Marine Corps History: June

Learn about the Corps

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


German Troops Attack American Forces in France
*Image info: A recruiting poster by Charles B. Falls makes use of the "Teufel Hunden", or "Devil Dog", nickname given by German troops to American Marines for their ferocious fighting style.
(public domain image/released).

 

German Troops Attack American Forces in France

On June 2, 1918, the German 28th Division attacked American troops on the Paris-Metz Road, hitting the American 2nd Division, including the 4th Marine Brigade. The Marines opened fire with deadly accuracy, helping hand German troops a setback that set the stage for Marine victory at Belleau Wood which would soon follow.


This Week in Marine Corps History: 24th MEU Rescues Air Force Pilot
*Image info: Captains T. O. Hanford (left), Scott F. O`Grady (center), and Bob Wright (right) speak at a press conference following O'Grady's rescue after he was shot down over Bosnia in 1995 and spent six days evading enemy forces before being rescued by U.S. Marines.
(U.S. government photo/released).

 

24th MEU Rescues Air Force Pilot

On June 8, 1995, a Marine recovery team from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit stationed on board the USS Kearsarge rescued American pilot Captain Scott O'Grady, USAF, who had been shot down over Bosnia six days earlier.


This Week in Marine Corps History: Marines Land at Guantanamo Bay
*Image info: The First Marine Battalion (United States), commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Robert Huntington, landed on the eastern side of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on June 10, 1898.
(U.S. government photo/released).

 

Marines Land at Guantanamo Bay

On June 12,1898, the First Marine Battalion, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Huntington, landed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The next day, Lieutenant Herbert Draper raised the American flag over Camp McCalla where it flew for the next eleven days. Huntington later sent the flag to Colonel Commandant Charles Heywood informing him (Heywood) that, "[w]hen bullets were flying, ...the sight of the flag upon the midnight sky has thrilled our hearts."


This Week in Marine Corps History: Flag Flies Continuously at Marine Corps Memorial
*Image info: A wreath laying ceremony is held in honor of the 238th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps on Nov. 9, 2013, at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.
(USMC photo by Sergeant Marionne T. Mangrum).

 

Flag Flies Continuously at Marine Corps Memorial

On June 12, 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed a Presidential Proclamation calling for the American flag to be flown at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, "at all times during the day and night."

The proclamation came as a result of discussions between the Attorney General's office and Marine Corps officials earlier that year on improving the visibility and appearance of the monument.


This Week in Marine Corps History: Marines Assault Saipan
*Image info: The first wave of Marines to land on Saipan take cover behind a sand dune while waiting for the next three waves to come ashore.
(USMC photo by Sergeant James Burns).

 

Marines Assault Saipan

On June 15, 1944, the V Amphibious Corps assaulted the west coast of the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands. The assault was preceded by hours of naval gunfire and airstrikes and by nightfall the 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions had established a beachhead 10,000 yards wide and 1,500 yards deep despite heavy Japanese resistance.


This Week in Marine Corps History: 24th MEU Returns to Mogadishu
*Image info: 24th MEU Unit Crest.
(Public domain image/released).

 

24th MEU Returns to Mogadishu

On June 20, 1993, the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) returned to Mogadishu, Somalia, to be ready to provide support to United Nations peace-keeping troops if needed. Earlier that month, the 24th MEU had cut short Exercise Eager Mace 93-2 in Kuwait to be on hand for possible operations in Somalia.


This Week in Marine Corps History: North Korean Troops Invade South Korea
*Image info: General Douglas Macarthur.
(Public domain image/released).

 

North Korean Troops Invade South Korea

On June 20, 1950, eight divisions of the North Korean People's Army crossed the 38th Parallel and invaded the Republic of Korea shortly before dawn. Within three days, Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, had been captured.

10 days later, on June 30, President Harry S. Truman ordered a naval blockade of the Korean coast and authorized the sending of U.S. ground troops to Korea. Two days later, General Douglas MacArthur, the Commander in Chief Far East, formally requested that a Marine regimental combat team be deployed to the area.


This Week in Marine Corps History: Operation Jay
*Image info: Marines of Company H, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment take to the water as they move to join up with other elements of their battalion.
(U.S. government photo/released).

 

Operation Jay

On June 25, 1966, Operation Jay began approximately 20 miles northwest of the central Vietnamese city of Hue. The operation, which lasted nine days, saw the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines land north of the North Vietnamese 812th Main Force Battalion, while the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines landed south of the enemy's position. Caught between the two Marine units, the North Vietnamese battalion suffered more than 80 dead during the course of the operation.


This Week in Marine Corps History: Lewis
*Image info: Lewis "Chesty" Puller (public domain image/released).

 

Lewis "Chesty" Puller is Born

On June 26, 1898, Lewis "Chesty" Puller, the most decorated Marine in history, was born in West Point, Virginia.

Puller would enlist in the Marine Corps in 1918 during World War I (although he didn't see action during that war) and in 37 years of service, he served in numerous conflicts during the "Banana Wars," including the Occupation of Haiti and the Occupation of Nicaragua, World War II, including the Battles of Guadalcanal and Peleliu, and the Korean War, including the Battle of Inchon and the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir.

By the time he retired in 1955, Puller was (and still remains) the most decorated Marine in the history of the Corps. Puller is one of only two American servicemen to be awarded five Navy Crosses (the other being Rear Admiral Roy Davenport) and, with the Distinguished Service Cross awarded to him by the U.S. Army, he is the only serviceman to have been awarded the nation's second-highest military awards for valor six times.

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This Week in Marine Corps History: Battle of Belleau Wood Comes to an End
*Image info: "La Brigade Marine Americain Au Bois de Belleau" or "The American Marines in Belleau Wood" by French war correspondent Georges Scott.
(Public domain image/released).

 

Battle of Belleau Wood Comes to an End

NOn June 26, 1918, one of the most important and legendary battles in Marine Corps history--The Battle of Bois de Belleau, or Belleau Wood, came to an end after 20 days of bitter fighting.

This was a battle that exemplified the Marine Corps' core values of honor, courage, and commitment. It was a battle that catapulted the Marine Corps to worldwide prominence. And it was a battle that helped turn the tide of "The Great War" (as WWI was then known) in favor of the Allies.

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