This Month in Marine Corps History: May

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


Marines Help Put Down Prison Riot
*Image info: Alcatraz Island, 2005 (released).

 

Marines Help Put Down Prison Riot

On May 2, 1946, Marines from the Treasure Island Marine Barracks aided in suppressing a three-day prison riot at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in San Francisco Bay. The Marines were under the command of Warrant Officer Charles L. Buckner, a veteran of the Bougainville and Guam campaigns in World War II, and did not suffer a single casualty.


Marine Helicopter Comes Under Fire in Beirut, Lebanon
*Image info: A U.S. Marine Corps Bell UH-1N helicopter (U.S. government photo).

 

Marine Helicopter Comes Under Fire in Beirut, Lebanon

On May 5, 1983, a UH-1N helicopter carrying Colonel James Mead, the commander of the American peace-keeping force in Lebanon, was hit by machine gun fire in Beirut. Colonel Mead and his crew had just taken off in the helicopter to investigate artillery and rocket exchanges between Syrian-backed Druze militiamen and Christian Phalangists that was endangering French members of the multinational peace-keeping force when they came under fire.


Marines Help Evacuate New Orleans Flood Victims
*Image info: A Marine with 4th Amphibious Assault Battalion surveys the damage during a search and rescue operation in New Orleans' Ninth Ward District in 2005, 10 years after the 1995 storm hit.
(USMC photo by Corporal Rocco DeFilippis)

 

Marines Help Evacuate New Orleans Flood Victims

On May 8, 1995, Marines from Marine Forces Reserve demonstrated the Corps' quick-response capabilities in helping evacuate more than 2,500 civilians from the New Orleans area after one of the most devastating storm in more than 200 years hit the region.


Marines March Toward Naha, Okinawa
*Image info: A patrol of the 6th Marine Division searches the ruins of Naha, Okinawa looking for Japanese snipers. Spring 1945.
(USMC photo/released)

 

Marines March Toward Naha, Okinawa

On May 10, 1945, the 22nd Marines, 6th Marine Division, executed a pre-dawn attack across the Asa River Estuary and captured a bridgehead that allowed them to continue their attack toward Naha, the capital of Okinawa.


John Mackie Becomes First Marine to Earn Medal of Honor
*Image info: John F. Mackie
(released)

 

John Mackie Becomes First Marine to Earn Medal of Honor

On May 15, 1862, Corporal John F. Mackie became the first Marine to earn the Medal of Honor for his Service on the USS Galena during actions against Confederate shore batteries at Drewry's Bluff, near Richmond, Virginia.


Marines Attack Half Moon Hill
*Image info: John F. Mackie
(released)

 

Marines Attack Half Moon Hill

On May 16, 1945, the 22nd and 29th Marines continued an attack against Half Moon Hill, a day that the 6th Marine Division would later describe as the "bitterest" of the entire Okinawa campaign. By May 18, the famed Japanese "Shuri line" was breached by American forces.


Marine Aviation Program Begins
*Image info: First Lieutenant Alfred A. Cunningham (released)

 

Marine Aviation Program Begins

On May 22, 1912, First Lieutenant Alfred A. Cunningham became the first Marine officer to be assigned to "duty in connection with aviation" by Major General Commandant William P. Biddle after reporting for aviation training at the Naval Aviation Camp at Annapolis, Maryland. This marked the official beginning of the Marine aviation program.


V-22 Osprey Makes its Debut
*Image info: USMC MV-22B Ospreys aid in recovery efforts after a series of earthquakes struck the island of Kyushu, April, 2016.
(USMC photo by Corporal Samantha Villarreal)

 

V-22 Osprey Makes its Debut

On May 23, 1988 the V-22 Osprey, the world's first production tilt-rotor aircraft, made its debut at Bell Helicopter Textron's Arlington, Texas, facility. More than 1,000 representatives from the military, the aviation industry, and the media gathered to hear various speakers, including then-Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred Gray, praise the versatility of the aircraft.


Operation Pipestone Canyon
*Image info: Tankers with the 1st Marine Division man .50 caliber machine guns and 90mm cannons as they sweep through the "Dodge City" area in the heart of the Rice Triangle, 12 miles southwest of Da Nang during the early stages of Operation Pipestone Canyon.
(USMC photo by Staff Sergeant A. J. Sharp).

 

Operation Pipestone Canyon

On May 26, 1969, Operation Pipestone Canyon began when the 1st Battalion, 26th Marines and 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines began sweeps in the "Dodge City"/Go Noi areas southwest of Da Nang, Vietnam. 610 enemy troops, as well as 34 Marines, were killed during the operation, which ended approximately one month later, in late June


Operation Sea Angel
*Image info: U.S. Marines walk to the site from which they conducted, in coordination with the Government of Bangladesh and along with elements of the Bangladesh Armed Forces Division, an engineering civil action project exercise to expand the second story of a school shortly after Cyclone Marian struck the Chittagong district of southeastern Bangladesh in April, 1991.
(USMC photo/released).

 

Operation Sea Angel

on May 29, 1991, elements of a joint task force that included the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade departed the South Asian nation of Bangladesh after nearly two weeks of disaster relief operations following Cyclone Marian, which resulted in more than 136,000 fatalities. The task force delivered relief supplies using helicopters, C-130s, and landing craft in Operation Sea Angel.


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