This Month in Marine Corps History: November

Learn about the Corps

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


22nd MAU Lands on Carriacou
Suspected members of the Grenadian People's Revolutionary Army are taken by U.S. Marines to temporary compounds at the Queen's Park Racecourse, north of St. George's, Grenada, in 1983.
(USMC photo)

 

22nd MAU Lands on Carriacou

On November 1, 1983, 300 U.S. Marines from the 22nd Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) staged an amphibious and helicopter landing on the island of Carriacou, 15 miles northeast of Grenada, in a search for Cuban military installations or personnel. 17 Grenadian soldiers were captured in the assault, and arms, ammunition, and training sites were found as well. The next day, the 22nd MAU left Grenada and headed to Beirut, Lebanon to replace the 24th MAU.


Operation Desert Shield
U.S. Marines watch from a pier as the dock landing ship USS Pensacola is assisted by a tug. Elements of the 2nd Marine Division embarked aboard the Pensacola and other ships to participate in Operation Desert Shield.
(USMC photo)

 

Operation Desert Shield

On November 8, 1990, President George H.W. Bush announced his plan to add more than 200,000 additional troops to those already deployed to the Persian Gulf area in support of Operation Desert Shield. With the addition of II MEF units from the Marine Corps' East Coast bases, and the 5th MEB from California, the number of Marines deployed to the area swelled to nearly 90,000 within two months.


First Celebration of Marine Corps' Birthday
Edwin McClellan.
(USMC photo)

 

First Celebration of Marine Corps' Birthday

November 10, 1921, marks the date of the first formal celebration of the Marine Corps' birthday as November 10. On October 21 of that year, Major Edwin McClellan sent a memo to then-Commandant of the Marine Corps, John A. Lejeune, proposing that the original date of the founding of the Marine Corps, November 10, be declared a Marine Corps holiday to be celebrated by Marines across the globe. Less than two weeks later, on November 1, Commandant Lejeune issued Marine Corps Order No. 47 summarizing the history, mission, and tradition of the Corps, and directed that it be read to all Marine commands each year on November 10.


Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Marine Corps Band member Staff Sergeant Jeffery Strong at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
(USMC photo by Staff Sergeant Rachel Ghadiali).

 

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Dedicated

On November 13, 1983, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, containing the names of more than 13,000 Marines who lost their lives in Vietnam, was dedicated during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The dedication, and the parade preceding it, were part of a week-long salute to veterans of the Vietnam War.


4th Marine Regiment Begins March to Germany
*Image info: The moss-covered "Devil Dog" fountain, located in Belleau, France, symbolizes the spirit of the Marines in World War 1.
(USMC photo by Sergeant Lisa R. Strickland).

 

4th Marine Regiment Begins March to Germany

On November 17, 1918, the 4th Marine Brigade, as a part of the 2nd Division American Expeditionary Force, began marching toward the Rhine River to provide support to American forces occupying Germany. On their march toward occupied Germany, the Marines passed through Belgium and Luxembourg.


Marines Secure Tarawa
*Image info: Major General Julian C. Smith.
(official USMC photo)

 

Marines Secure Tarawa

On November 20, 1943, the 2nd Marine Division, commanded by Major General Julian C. Smith, landed on Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, in the Gilbert Islands.

After three days of bitter fighting that saw more than 1,000 Marines lose their lives and a further 2,100 wounded, Major General Smith declared the island secure.


Subic Bay Closes
*Image info: The U.S. Military Sealift Command fleet oilers USNS Mispillion (T-AO-105) and USNS Passumpsic (T-AO-107) moored at the Naval Ship Repair Facility, Subic Bay, Philippines, on 2 January 1987.
(image from DefenseImagery.mil)

 

Subic Bay Closes

On November 24 1992, Marines lowered the flag at the Subic Bay U.S. Naval Facility in the Philippines for the last time. The lowering took place during ceremonies to turn over the facility to the government of the Philippines, ending almost a century of U.S. presence in the country.


Operation Lancaster II
*Image info: Marines from BLT 2/4 taking part in Operation Lancaster II exchange fire under smoke cover across an open field with North Vietnamese troops about 2,000 meters north of Camp Carroll.
(official USMC image)

 

Operation Lancaster II

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On November 25, 1968, the conclusion of Operation Lancaster II ended 10 months of military action against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army troops in the west-central region of the demilitarized zone region. Over 1,800 enemy were killed, 42 captured, and 913 weapons seized during the operation.


Chosin Reservoir
*Image info: A column of troops and armor of the 1st Marine Division move through communist Chinese lines during their successful breakout from the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. The Marines were besieged when the Chinese entered the Korean War November 27, 1950, by sending 200,000 shock troops against Allied forces.
(official USMC image)

 

Chosin Reservoir

On November 27, 1950, eight Chinese Communist divisions in Korea launched a massive attack intended to destroy the 1st Marine Division. This led to one of the most well-known chapters in Marine Corps history as the Marines successfully fought their way southward out of Chosin Reservoir to the coastal port of Hungnam.


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