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In 2010, Retired Lt Col Oliver North, USMC, gave this speech, talking about the young warriors fighting in foreign lands for our country.

 

If you have not heard this, you should!  All the personnel in the photos are US Marines, or US Navy Corpsman and US Navy Chaplins, serving with the US Marines.

 

 

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OCTOBER 23, 1983

 

A couple weeks from now will be the 35th Anniversary of the deadliest day for the Marine Corps since the Battle of Iwo Jima.  On that day, a terrorist drove a truck full of explosives into the temporary barracks building for the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines (1/8) in Beirut, Lebanon.  The attacked took the lives of 220 US Marines and 21 other US personnel.

 

Two days later, Marines landed on Grenada to carry out Operation Urgent Fury to protect the lives of over 600 Americans who were students at a medical school.  Among other things the Marines secured Pearls Airport, Grenada's principle civilian airport and temporarily named it MCAS (Marine Corps Air Station) Douglas in honor of the 8th Marines Sergeant Major F. B. Douglas who died in the Beirut attack.

 

 

One other quick comment about Operation Urgent Fury.  The Marines who participated in Operation Urgent Fury were from the 22nd MAU (Marine Amphibious Unit).  The 22nd MAU was the reinforced 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines who were already aboard ships and heading to Lebanon to replace their brothers of 1/8.

 

You may not recall this incident but it was conducted very quickly with very little intelligence.  The first units there were the US Marines of the 22nd MAU and Army Rangers, followed shortly after by SEALS and Army Special Ops personnel.

 

 

The following notable quote came from General John Vessey, US Army, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

 

  "We have two companies of Marines running all over this island and thousands of Army troops doing nothing!"

 

This was absolutely true as the US Army commander for this operation kept ordering more 82nd Airborne battalions to the island, while a few companies of US Marines kept overrunning the island by themselves as they are known to do!

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This story is dedicated to our Commanding Officer, Captain Childs.  As you all know, the Captain is British.

 

 

When the American Congress directed that two battalions of Continental Marines be formed for service with the Continental Navy (we were not yet officially the “United States”), in 1775, we were starting something new.  To try and create a respectable military unit, the first Commandant of the Continental Marines looked to the British Royal Marines as a military organization to copy.  Over the history of the US Marines, there have been very few opportunities for the two organizations to fight together side by side.    This is one of those stories!

 

In 1950, 1st Marine Division was engaged with the Chinese army at the now famous Battle of Chosin Reservoir, North Korea.  Attached to the 1st Marine Division was 41 Commando of the Royal Marines.  In 1951, the 1st Marine Division was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (PUC).  Attached units were eligible to receive this award, however, unfortunately, at that time there was no authorization to present the award to foreign units, thereby leaving 41 Commando out.

 

Marine Chosin veterans who were displeased the Brits weren’t included petitioned to have the PUC issued to 41 Commando of the Royal Marines.  That took a great bit of doing for a couple reasons.  Not only did they need the US government to make a special authorization for a foreign unit to be issued this award, but also it required the British government to allow 41 Commando to receive it!  After fighting through many difficult diplomat channels, most of the permissions were obtained.  One final step, and the most difficult step, required the Queen to grant special “dispensation for the battle streamer representing the PUC to be displayed on the 41 Commando colours.  No British units have any streamers on their colours so this was a very big deal.  In fact on all Royal Marine Colours, the only battle represented is Gibraltar.

 

In 1957, the Queen granted the special dispensation.  41 Commando is the only organization of the United Kingdom authorized to fly a foreign streamer from its colours.

 

 

Note:  41 Independent Commando reported with around 235 men to the 1st Marine Division on 15 Nov 1950 in Hungnam to be used for reconnaissance.  They had previously worked with the Marines during the Inchon Invasion months before so this was a reunion of sorts.  Initially, they were assigned to “Task Force Drysdale” which also include a company of US Army troops, all under the command of LtCol Drysdale.  TF Drysdale was split up by a Chinese attack and less than 100 of 41 Commando emerged.  In 20 degrees below zero temperatures, the Brits assisted during the “Advance to the Sea” which started on 6 Dec.  Men of 41 Commando even conducted a unit inspection and shaved in this frozen hell, to impress their brother US Marines with their discipline.

 

 

Chosin%20Marines.jpg

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FOLLOW UP ON BRITISH ROYAL MARINES AND US MARINES AT CHOSIN.

 

 

I intentionally did not include the following with the last post about 41 Commando and the US Marines at the Chosin Reservoir to keep the length of the text from getting too long.  I did however want to share this so after waiting a few days, I am posting this now.

 

The Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division, MajGen Oliver Smith, sent the following message to LtCol Drysdale of the 41 Independent Commando.

 

 

As Commanding General of the First Marine Division, I desire to take this opportunity to acknowledge the high qualities of leadership, heroism, devotion to duty, and self-sacrifice displayed by officers and men of the 41 Independent Commando of the Royal Marines while serving with this division in North Korea.  I am familiar with the long and glorious history of the Royal Marines. This history records many outstanding feats of heroism, devotion to duty, and self-sacrifice by units and individuals alike. The performance of the 41 Commandos during the drive from Koto-ri to Hagaru-ri, during the defense of Hagaru-ri, and during the advance from Hagaru-ri to the south will, in the perspective of history, take equal rank with the past exploits of the Royal Marines.

 

I can give you no higher compliment than to state that your conduct and that of your officers and men under your command was worthy of the highest traditions of Marines.

 

 

Following the battle, 41 Commando spent Christmas with the 1st Marine Division at Masan.  41 Commando suffered 50 percent casualties, killed, wounded or taken prisoner.  It was decided they would be withdrawn to Japan to await reinforcements.  LtCol Drysdale, RM, sent the following message to the Marines of the 1st Division.

 

This is the first time that Marines of the two nations had fought side by side since the defense of the Peking Legation in 1900. Let it be said that the admiration of all ranks of 41 Commando for their Brothers in Arms was and is unbounded. They fought like tigers and their morale and esprit de corps is second to none.

 

 

Note:  Before the Korean War, LtCol Drysdale had been an instructor at the Royal Marines Officer School.  He retired a Colonel in 1961.  Drysdale would say, the Battle of Chosin Reservoir was the highlight of his career.

 

Col%20Drysdale.jpg

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Short clip from the movie, "WORLD TRADE CENTER".  I have not seen the movie.  I don't know anything about the movie except this clip, which my Marine son sent me.  It shows two Marines who responded to the WTC.

 

The reactions in the comments from people who saw this clip clearly were moved by what was called, the best movie line ever.

 

Watch for yourself.

 

This is a true story.  These were two Marines who responded on their own to help out.  

 

 

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For any of you interested, information about my father’s destroyer during World War II, the most decorated destroyer in the US Navy, Pacific Theater, the USS Buchanan DD484.

484buchanan_03.jpg

The USS Buchanan, aka the “Buke” was a Benson – Gleaves class destroyer.  Ships were ordered based on a plan, but different ship builders added their own modifications to improve the original plans.  No two ships were exactly the same.

The Buchanan and Aaron Ward, DD485 were built together and launched in November 1941.  These were the destroyers that were designed to hold off the Japanese Navy.  Note, the Ward, known as the “Double A”, was attacked by Japanese dive bombers in April 1943 in Iron Bottom Sound near Tulagi, and sunk.  In 1994 divers discovered the Ward in 240 feet of water in remarkably good condition.

The Buchanan was dispatched to the South Pacific where she was assigned a multitude of assignments as were all the destroyers at that time.  The Area of Operation was so large, and the US Navy so small, these fighting ships became the work horses of the Navy when things were most desperate.  She was assigned carrier escort duty with the carrier, USS Wasp, CV 7, but was detached on another assignment before the Wasp was attacked and sunk.  The Ward was with the Wasp at the time.  The Buke was attached to the newly created Destroyer Squadron 12 (Desron 12). This fighting squadron of destroyers participated in the entire Solomon’s campaign and were involved in numerous naval engagements.

During the invasion of Guadalcanal, the Buchanan supported the 1st Marine Raiders and a Paramarine battalion who assaulted Tulagi.  While the 1st MarDiv was landing unopposed on Guadalcanal across the sound, the Marine Raiders encountered heavy resistance from  Japanese Rikusentai, Japanese Marines, the toughest fighters Japan had.  The fighting at Tulagi was brutal with both of these two elite fighting forces slugging it out; neither side willing to accept defeat.  The Buchanan’s Captain saw the heavy fighting and ordered his ship in dangerously close to shore so they could put direct fire on Japanese fortified positions.   The Marines later commended the Buchanan for her daring and heroic action which saved many Marine lives.

The Buchanan and her sister destroyers fought the Japanese navy while being outgunned, outnumbered and with less experience.  They held the line during the most desperate time of the war.  Desron 12 later made a daring raid on Kavieng and Rabual for which they were commended, and given the nickname, the “Scrappers.”  Desron 12 later was referred to as The Scraperoos”.

The Buchanan participated in the entire Solomon’s campaign, including Guadalcanal, Bougainville, raids on Rabaul and Kavieng, and supported the invasions at Pelilu, Philippines, Formosa, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and raids on Japanese mainland with the 3rd and 5th Fleets.

Admiral Halsey remembered two of his old war horse destroyers with special honors during the surrender ceremony in Japan in August 1945; the Buchanan and Lansdowne.  The Buchanan was assigned to escort the flagship for Admiral Nimitz, the battleship, USS South Dakota into Tokyo Bay.  The Buchanan was assigned to ferry Admirals Nimitz and Halsey around Tokyo Bay and a couple days later transported General McArthur to the surrender ceremony on the USS Missouri.

Eleven Benson-Gleaves class destroyers were decorated for action in WWII, two for actions in the Solomons; the Laffey and the Buchanan.  The Laffey was sunk during the battle of Cape Esperance (Guadalcanal) in November 1942.  Sixteen Gleaves class destroyers were lost during the war.

The Buchanan was awarded 16 battle stars, the Presidential Unit Citation and Navy Unit Commendation for Task Force 38, and ended up being one of the most decorated Navy ships of WWII, and the most decorated Navy Destroyer in the Pacific Theater.

Note:  My father joined the Buchanan as an 18 year old new sailor shortly before the invasion at Guadalcanal.  He was a signalman.  His station on ship was the radio room directly behind and connected to the ship's bridge and the bridge wings where the signal lamps were mounted.  I have often wondered if my father is in the photos of the Buchanan taken from the carrier Wasp while she was alongside taking on fuel and provisions.  You can see the Buchanan briefly in the famous John Wayne movie, “The Sands of Iwo Jima”.  My father saw the US Marines in action many times in the war.  The night before I went to Boot Camp we sat and he told me stories about what he saw.  He said the Marines were the toughest fighters he ever saw.  He said everyone knew, once the Marines landed the battle was won!  The Marines would not accept defeat and it was just a matter of time.

More stories for another day. 

 

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The "Scraperoos" returning from THE famous raid on Rabaul.  Savo Island in background, Guadalcanal to their south (or right).  

 

 484buchanan_05.jpg

Along side CV7, USS Wasp in Coral Sea area south of Solomon Island chain.

 

PS  I wasn't even a twinkle in my father's eye yet !!!

 

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Sgt Reckless:  "She wasn't a horse.  She was  a Marine"

PFC Reckless was purchased by a Marine Lieutenant who was the platoon commander of a 106 recoilless rifle platoon in Korea in 1953.  The Lieutenant purchased the mare using $250 of his own money, to use as a pack horse to haul the heavy ammunition for the recoilless rifles up the large steep hills his Marines had to climb.  

This horse was so loved by her Marines she even slept with them in their tents on cold nights, ate with them, drank beer with them after battles, loved eating eggs and pancakes when it was available and had a voracious appetite.  Reckless was trained to avoid barbed wire and dangerous obstacles, crawl under obstacles, go to a  bunker during shelling, lay down and take cover on battlefields, and after being shown a route to hilltops where her Marines were fighting, could and often did, make the trips unescorted.  During one day of a three day battle at Outpost Vegas, she made 51 trips up the hills to her Marines, unescorted, carrying over 9000 pounds of recoilless rifle ammunition, often carrying a wounded or dead Marine back down the hill on the return trip.

She was wounded twice and always continued on her mission.  She received two battlefield promotions, first to Corporal, then to Sergeant.  She retired as a SSgt at Camp Pendleton, CA, where she was stationed after the war.  There are literally dozens of stories about her and now a bronze statue of her is on display at the National Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico, VA.  

Watch the following short video for more information and photo's of this heroic Marine, who is listed as one of the top 100 military heroes of the 20th Century.

 

Sgt%20Reckless.jpg

 

 

 

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Marines are famous for their courage and efficiency in winning battles.  They nearly always do more with less and have a world wide reputation for toughness and discipline.  While I have numerous stories I could tell about Marines in battle, I am going to deviate and tell a few stories about the character of Marines.  This side of the US Marine story is well known to many, but possibly not you guys.  These stories, while different, are great examples of the kind of young men the US Marine Corps tends to attract.

 

AFTER FLIGHT 77 HIT THE PENTAGON ON 9/11, THE FOLLOWING HAPPENED. 

 A daycare facility inside the Pentagon had many children, including infants who were in heavy cribs. The daycare supervisor, looking at all the children they needed to evacuate, was in a panic over what they could do.

 There were many children, mostly toddlers, as well as the infants that would need to be taken out with the cribs. There was no time to try to bundle them into carriers and strollers.

 Just then a young Marine came running into the center and asked what they needed. After hearing what the center director was trying to do, he ran back out into the hallway and disappeared. The director thought, "Well, here we are, on our own."

 About 2 minutes later, that Marine returned with 40 other Marines in tow. Each of them grabbed a crib with a child, and the rest started gathering up toddlers.

 The director and her staff then helped them take all the children out of the center and down toward the park near the Potomac .

 Once they got about 3/4 of a mile outside the building, the Marines stopped in the park, and then did a fabulous thing - they formed a circle with the cribs, which were quite sturdy and heavy, like the covered wagons in the Old West.

 Inside this circle of cribs, they put the toddlers, to keep them from wandering off. Outside this circle were the 40 Marines, forming a perimeter around the children and waiting for instructions. There they remained until the parents could be notified and come get their children.

 The chaplain then said, "I don't think any of us saw nor heard of this on any of the news stories of the day. It was an incredible story of our men there.” There wasn't a dry eye in the room.

 The thought of those Marines and what they did and how fast they reacted; could we expect any less from them? It was one of the most touching stories from the Pentagon.

 

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PENTAGON FLAG RAISING, 911

The Full Story

 

Since Louis Daguerre took the first photograph of a person accidentally while sitting at a Paris cafe, it has become so that an event, no matter how significant, does not seem to be reality unless a camera makes it so. A little known event that occurred at the Pentagon on that horrific day of September 11, 2001, proved this idea to be true. A young Marine Lance Corporal raised the first battle flag on the still very unstable section of the building that was hit. I had the honor of helping the young man get to his objective.

I was now officially out of the Corps and was a member of 20th Special Forces Group. Of course, my heart still belonged to my beloved Marine Corps. In fact, one of the SSG chevrons I wore had the crossed rifles I had earned as a Marine. As it goes, in the midst of the chaos of the surreal scene on September 11th, a Special Forces General approached me and ordered me to accompany a young Marine who had appeared on the scene with a small US flag to the roof of the Pentagon. To defiantly hoist our Colors for the world to see?!? I eagerly agreed. What an honor! It was reminiscent of the flag raising on Iwo that had become our symbol of courage and honor.

I had the gear to facilitate the posting of the Colors (duct tape, 550 cord, etc). He had the flag. We were supposed to represent the Army and the Marine Corps but above all our Nations spirit. We climbed into a cart suspended by a cable with the operator. The cart began to sway erratically. It was clear that only two could ascend. That meant either the Marine would have to leave or I would. The general ordered me to tell the Marine to get out of the cart.

“...if anyone
was going to
raise that flag,
it would be
a Marine
in uniform.”

Every part of me recognized how wrong that was. Every part of me recognized that if anyone was going to raise that flag, it would be a Marine in uniform. I approached the Marine and told him what happened. At the point of seeing his shock and disappointment I informed him that I served in the Corps for nine and a half years. I went on to further explain that the general had picked the wrong soldier for this mission. With a "Semper Fi", a wink, and a smile, I handed him my gear and tearfully walked away from the now ascending cart.

In the darkness, the general watched as the cart climbed higher and higher. Then, at the moment it was near the top, he realized what had transpired. The Army did not get theirs that day. He angrily turned toward me, trying to make out my name, while scolding me at the same time. I told him that I apologize but I was a Marine at heart. He furiously walked away from me.

I only saw the Lance Corporal when he returned. He too had tears of pride in his eyes. I shook his hand and asked him if he was now a "lifer". He smiled and answered in the affirmative.

I can not find the words to describe how blessed I feel that I was in that spot that day and at that time where I could help my Marine Corps one more time. So, to all my brothers and sisters in and out of uniform...Semper Fidelis! Know that that day, when the firemen were immortalized in New York raising our Flag, a young anonymous Marine had done the same in Washington D.C. in the spirit of our great Nation and United States Marine Corps.

The cameras were not there. All that remains are the image in our hearts and minds of the Marine pridefully planting our Colors and saluting while a crowd stopped watched, saluted, and fought back tears and were newly inspired to dig through the still smoldering debris.

Semper Fi!

 

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The Greatest Play in Baseball History

Watch the video to see the play that has been called, "The Greatest Play in Baseball History".  This happened 43 years ago this past Thursday.

Now you are wondering, what is Spencer doing putting this in the Marine History thread.  Well, here is the rest of the story.

Rick Monday was a Marine.  This incident occurred just a few years after Monday was released from the Marine Corps Reserves.  During an interview Monday said this:

Monday said of his legacy: "It's a good thing I did get it, because I did not want any of my former drill instructors from the Marine Corps to come and say, ‘Hey Marine! Why did you stand there and watch when they ignited the American flag?’"

Now you know why I posted this story.   Semper Fi Rick Monday.

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Staff Sergeant Timothy S. Williams sprinted 60 meters under fire through open terrain to rescue his team leader after an AK-47 round shattered the Marine’s femur and sent him tumbling into a canal full of water.  SSgt Williams scooped him up, stabilized his leg, then carried the Marine 3 football fields to a medevac chopper.  He took charge of the patrol and led the force two miles over mountainous terrain toward friendly forces, killing Taliban the whole way.  For his courage, he was awarded the Silver Star.  “...as Reconnaissance Section Assistant Team Leader, Combat Support Advisor Team, Regimental Combat Team 6, 1st Marine Division (Forward), I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), on 10 July 2012 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.  While a member of a 15 man joint Afghan National Army and Marine force, the patrol came under intense and accurate fire from a numerically superior force.  Throughout the following 10 hour engagement Staff Sergeant Williams took direct action to counter the ambush and repeatedly displayed superior leadership while directing his team under heavy small arms fire from fixed Taliban positions.

(If he were in the Army, he would've gotten the Medal of Honor.  He at least deserved the Navy Cross.)

 

SSgt Spencer Sig.png

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It's been awhile since a posted a real story from US Marine history, so I thought it was about time.  I don't have a clue how many people read these, but for the few who are readers, here is another story few if any of you have ever heard.

US MARINES AT NORMANDY INVASION

As the pioneers and masters of amphibious invasions, the question arises, why weren't US Marines at the Normandy invasion.  The obvious answer is that the US Marines were already heavily committed in the Pacific theater, but you might be surprised to learn the following.

US Marines trained and provided guidance to the US Army in Europe during WWII.  Not only did they train Army units before the North Africa invasion, a small force of US Marines actually landed and fought for a short time in North Africa.  US Marines trained and provided guidance to US Army units for the Sicily and Italian, and Normandy landings.  US Marines were on Eisenhower's staff until after the Normandy invasion.  Prior to the invasion of Normandy in June 1944, US Marines were assigned to the OSS (predecessor of CIA) and inserted into France.  They conducted sabotage and resistance operations, assisted French resistance fighters and helped pave the way for US and British Airborne pathfinders who were the first of the airborne infantry to land in Normandy.

US Marine observers were attached to Army landing forces and in some cases US Marine riflemen were placed in the superstructures of US Navy warships where they shot at floating anti-ship mines.

When Army Rangers assigned to take Point du Hoc began to take heavy casualties, there was brief consideration to sending in the 84 man detachment of Leathernecks from the battleship, USS Texas.  The Marines began making last minute preparations.  They geared up, sharpened Ka-bars, cleaned rifles, issued grenades and ammo, and ate the traditional pre-landing breakfast. 

"At the last minute, word was passed down through the Army chain of command that no Marines would be allowed to go ashore, not even riding shotgun on landing craft ferrying Army troops or supplies. Rumors quickly spread that the Army leadership feared a repeat of the media gaffes in 1918. They did not want to see headlines that read, Marines save Rangers at Normandy. Consequently, the Marines were ordered to “stand down.”"  (from article, "Rivalry at Normandy", National Review, June 2004)

 

Did you know that a small unit of Marines fought the Germans in France in WWII?  I'll tell that story another time!

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I haven't posted any Marine history lessons in a long time.  As it's the 245 birthday of the world's finest fighting force, it's a good day to give another lesson.

This time it's part history lesson and part book review.  As most of you know, I'm an avid reader and reading about Marines and Marine history are my favorite topics.

Book:  "THE WARRIORS OF ANBAR:  THE MARINES WHO CRUSHED AL QAEDA" (the greatest untold story of the Iraq War).

This book is about the warriors of 2/3 (2nd Batt, 3rd Marines, 3rd MARDIV), who deployed to Anbar Province and specifically to the Haditha Triad, aka The Triad.  The AO including not only the city of Haditha, but also surrounding towns and villages, notably, Barwana, Haqlaniyah and Albu Hyatt.  This area is located at the critical point along the Euphrates River corridor between the Syrian border and Iraq cities of Fallujah and Ramadi.

Ranked as one of the most vital locations for Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) because it was AQI’s base of operations and lifeline in the war in Iraq.

2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 2/3, conducted a relief in place of its sister battalion, 3/3 in late summer, 2006.  At that time, AQI, eviscerated from blow after blow in key strongholds like Fallujah and Ramadi, fell back to the Triad, like a cornered, mortally wounded animal.  AQI transformed the Triad into a theater for its last desperate gasps for survival when 2/3 arrived to take over the AO from 3/3.

AQI blended in among the residential areas and people, knowing the Marines would not hit back with overwhelming force, because they knew the Marines highest priority was the safety of the people.

2/3 was a blooded combat veteran heavy unit having been deployed to Afghanistan the previous year.  However, the Triad would become their toughest and most brutal fight in modern warfare.

BOOK/quote:

“ . . . their actions proved their resolve to the people of the Triad, winning their steadfast allegiance over any obedience coerced by AQI.  When moments demanded caution in the face of potential harm or loss of innocent Iraqi life, they kept their trigger fingers straight.  When moments demanded action, they struck swiftly and decisively.     . . . they acted with utmost fidelity to mission, to the Iraqi people, and to each other, even in the darkest of hours – and each and every member of the battalion experienced some of the bleakest most horrifying of moments during this tour.”

At times it was heartbreaking to read this book.  Those men of 2/3 took heavy losses, primarily due to IED’s, snipers, mortars, and hit and run tactics.  They never faltered;  they never slowed down;  they showed incredible courage and resolve, even when the enemy activity grew, inflicting death and injury on these Marines and locals.

When 2/3 first arrived in this AO they found an odd, dark quasi-ghost town.  Stores and schools were closed.  Streets were often empty, and nothing really going on.

In 2005, 3/25 lost 48 personnel in the Triad, the largest number of lost by a Marine Battalion in the war in Iraq, in all the Global War on Terror, and since the 1983 Beirut bombing.

2/3 pushed on and gradually won over the civilian population in an incredible example of a COIN operation.  The people saw how the Marines would do anything, even at the risk of death, to protect and care for them.  When intel started trickling in, the Marines began hunting down the Al Qaeda terrorists and their leadership.

BOOK/quote:

“When we got there, it was hell.  There was no law and order.  Al Qaeda ruled the place.  The people lived in fear.  When we left, the place was safer than most cities in the United States.  The locals would run out and hug us on the streets.  They’d bring food and invite us inside.  They started calling us the Angels of Anbar.”

BOOK/quote:

  “One of the things I’m most proud of in my entire life was the transformation of Haditha.  When we got there, there was no market.  Nobody was out.  Women couldn’t be seen in public without being accompanied by a man, and they had to wear all black and cover their face.  At the end we couldn’t go twenty five feet down a street without someone pulling us into their store or house and feeding us.  Women were free to be out alone, or in groups of other women, and they could dress however they liked.  There was color and life.  We brought life to a city of death.”

BOOK/quote:

“The final days leading up to the official, April 3, 2007 turnover of the AO to 1/3, was met with colors and crying locals.”

“With the new faces of the 1/3 Marines, the locals realized that those of 2/3 would soon depart.  Residents, notably the IP (Iraq Police) and mayor and his staff, swarmed members of 2/3, from the lowest ranks to SgtMaj Wilkinson and LtCol Donnellan, crying.  They begged them to stay, not out of fear of loss of protection, but out of the spirit of friendship they’d built over the months of the Marines fighting and dying for their future.  The population understood the immense sacrifices 2/3 had made on their behalf.”

BOOK/quote:

“Twenty three members of the battalion died, and 177 sustained serious wounds.”

“History will record, 1/3 as the only Marine battalion to record not a single KIA in the Iraq War.”

 

I recommend this book.

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