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Marine Corps News From World War Two: Explosives Found Hidden On Bodies

CAPE GLOUCESTER, New Britain (Delayed)

Marines have been heard to observe that the only “good” Jap is a dead Jap, but even that isn’t true any longer.
Marine burial parties here have discovered hand grenades hidden under the arms of corpses, armed and ready to explode the minute pressure was removed from the striker pin.

Sgt. Arthur E. Mielke, combat correspondent.

From the 11March1944 issue of the Marine Corps Chevron

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Marine Corps News From World War Two: Wisecracking Jap Refuses Surrender

ROI ISLAND, Kwajalein (Delayed)

Marines who splashed ashore here to snuff out Jap sniper opposition, ran into an American-educated enemy with a flair for wisecracks and a desire to end it all the hard way.
Sgt. Bob Cooke of Metuchen, N. J,, a combat correspondent, reports the Leathernecks got this reply from a pillbox entenched Jap they called upon to surrender:

“Come in and get me, you damn souvenir-hunting Marine tourists.”


From the 18March1944 issue of the Marine Corps Chevron

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Marine Corps News From World War Two: Mortars Blast Enemy On Namur

NAMUR, Kwajalein Atoll (Delayed)

“Our assault elements pushed the Japs back so fast on this small island that we were unable to bring up heavy concentrations of infantry supporting weapons for fear of hitting our own troops,” said 2dLt. William Capers James Jr., a mortar platoon leader in the Marine unit that took this island in 27 hours of bloody fighting.
Lt. James was able to register some telling fire on Jap pillboxes on the morning of the second day of fighting when troops called for mortar concentrations on the three remaining Jap pillboxes on the northeast shore of the island. Mortars softened up cornered Japs preliminary to the final assault by lumbering tanks.

From the 11March1944 issue of the Marine Corps Chevron

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Marine Corps News From World War Two: Japs Hauled From Holes By Marines On Eniwetok Atoll

ENIWETOK ATOLL, Feb. 21 (Delayed)

When Corporal Robert H. Thompson of Detroit landed on the beach at Engebi, some four hours after the assault wave, he couldn’t wait to get at the enemy. He joined a mopping up party and stayed with them to rout the Japs from their holes. Every time the party saw a movement under some debris or in the bush they would go after it with entrenching tools, rifles ready. “Some we had to blast out of their tin lined boxes and others we could drag out,” said Corp. Thompson. “One time after we threw a hand grenade in what appeared to be one of their positions, four Japs ran from the hole and into the water.

JAPS EVERYWHERE

The island was honeycombed with these two, three, and four man nests and it seemed every place the men looked, they found Japanese. Corp. Thompson believes that some of the Japanese they found are either brave or crazy. “We found one,” he says, “who kept wanting us to bayonet him and indicating the place on his chest. Another turned back as he ran and laughed when a Marine swore over a jammed rifle. We threw a grenade in one position and watched as a Jap jumped out of his hole, the grenade going off, and then jumped right back in again.”

Sgt. Benjamin J. Masselink, combat correspondent.

From the 11March1944 issue of the Marine Corps Chevron

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Marine Corps News From World War Two: Miramar Depot Gets WR Group

MCAD MIRAMAR

New assignments of 48 WRs to this depot were announced this week. Of the total, 18 were assigned to the communications office, 11 to WR PX, seven to the post office, four to the garage, two to the Depot sergeant major’s office, one each to the personnel office, auditor’s office, QM Dept., “Log” office, personnel group and to the Depot mess officer.

Recent arrival of 29 enlisted women from MCAS, Cherry Point, N. C. increased the total serving here to 226 enlisted and 14 officers.

From the 18March1944 issue of the Marine Corps Chevron

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Marine Expeditionary Force – 2014 Highlights

Contains highlights from exercises during 2014 and is not limited to exercises like Steel Knight, Valiant Mark, Dawn Blitz, Koru Kiwi, Large Scale Exercise and Pacific Horizon.

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USMC News From WWII: American Flag Flown In Hail Of Enemy Lead

ENGEBI ISLAND, Eniwetok Atoll, Feb. 19 (Delayed)

Less than 24 hours after landing on this island, the American flag was raised by a of Marines who were among the attacking troops. Using a palm tree whose foliage had been knocked off in the furious naval bombardment which preceded the landing of the American forces, for a flagpole, Marines ran up Old Glory at 0800, with “To the Colors” being sounded on a captured Jap bugle. Snipers made the flag-raising a risky business, but PFC. David B. Whitehurst of Birmingham, Ala., a communications man, climbed the pole and attached the lanyards with Japanese sniper bullets flying all around his head.

BLOWS JAP BUGLE

Corp. Arthur P. Wright of Culver City, Calif., sounded the colors on the Japanese bugle. He also had the satisfaction of knocking off four of the enemy the previous day. SgtMaj. Bernard R. Dumas of South Paris, Me., and StfSgt. Joseph L. (Larry) Bennett of Adrian, Mich., were color bearers. As “To the Colors” sounded this morning Leathernecks, oblivious of the cracking sniper fire, stood at attention and saluted. They then continued their work of cleaning out the holes where the enemy was dug in.

Sgt. Thomas A. Fisher, combat correspondent.


From the 11March1944 issue of the Marine Corps Chevron

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Bravo Battery Marines Tour Washington

QUANTICO, Va.

Marines with Bravo Battery, 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, packed their bags and headed to Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., for a lesson on Marine Corps history and a tour of the nation’s capital, Dec. 15-19.

According to 1st Sgt. Wesley O. Turner, the first sergeant for Bravo Battery, the trip was designed to give the battery’s Marines a chance to learn about the lineage of Marines past and to honor the sacrifice of previous generations of service members.

“The trip was designed to give the Marines background on their history and put it into perspective,” said Turner, a native of Kansas City, Mo. “Each day of the trio was intended to teach the Marines something different.”

During the trip, the Marines of the battery occupied a squad bay at the Marine Corps’ Officer Candidates School at Quantico. After claiming their racks and sorting out their gear, they prepared for day one, which included tackling the Tarzan Course at OCS.

According to Capt. Konrad N. Reese, commanding officer of Bravo Battery, the course gave the junior leaders within the battery a chance to challenge their Marines and build camaraderie.

“We chose to have the Marines take on the course to build unit cohesion and assess their mental courage,” said Reese. “Nothing makes a Marine more willing to overcome their fears than having everyone he knows cheering him on.”

The Tarzan Course was a blast, said Pfc. Isaac E. Moir, a gunner with the battery.

“The course wasn’t a cake walk,” said Moir, a native of Aurora, Colo. “Once you make it to around the half way point there is very little feeling left in your forearms. However, for me, the best part was after I finished and watching everyone else’s different approaches to the obstacles and cheering them on.”

On day two, the Marines visited the National Museum of the Marine Corps, outside the main gate of the Crossroads of the Marine Corps, as Quantico is known. According to Sgt. Anthony J. Zeitz, a section with 2nd Platoon, the visit gave the Marines a chance to learn about and view the history of the Corps and help give perspective to the junior leaders within the battery.

“I think for many of the Marines, myself included, going to the museum brought out who we are as Marines and reignited the flame that inspired us to join,” said Zeitz, a native of Olcott, N.Y.

During the third day, the Marines visited Arlington National Cemetery and toured the National Mall.

At the nation’s cemetery for service members, the Marines trod hallowed ground where more than 400 thousand service members are buried. During the tour, the battery’s Marines viewed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a living monument to the sacrifice of service members across the generations, and stood solemnly during a burial ceremony.

“Visiting the cemetery opened my eyes,” said Moir. “It’s one thing to hear how many lives were lost but it is and completely jaw dropping to see it. It was an intense atmosphere.”

After touring the cemetery, the Marines explored the other monuments and memorials around the National Capital Region, a city rich with history, said Zeitz.

“A lot of guys bonded over the memorials,” said Zeitz. “Many of the Marines had family who fought in pervious wars but didn’t know about it until then.”

On the final day of the trip, the Marines visited Marine Barracks Washington, home of the Commandant of the Marine Corps. A special tour guide, First Lady of the Marine Corps Ellyn Dunford, explained the history and significance of the installation at 8th and I.

“The tour was amazing,” said Zeitz. “The house is full of history and Mrs. Dunford explaining everything to us, which made the experience even more unique.”

According to Reese, the battery’s leaders see the benefits of connecting their Marines to the past and providing a link to the Corps’ history and hope to make similar trips in the future.

“I believe the trip had a great impact on the Marines,” said Reese. “Our goal now is to make this experience an annual event for the battery.”

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U.S. Marines Visit Normandy

MORÓN AIR BASE, Spain – The waves crashed onto Normandy beach and the wind blew strong, waving flags displayed near the monuments, as U.S. Marines and Sailors visited the sites, remembering the thousands of men who fought and died in the Allied Invasion of Normandy during World War II.

The Marines and Sailors were assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response – Africa. They visited historical sites in Normandy, France, from Dec. 27-28, 2014, as part of a professional military education battlefield study of the Allied Invasion of Normandy, commonly known as D-Day. While there, they visited Omaha Beach, Utah Beach, and the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.

The first day was spent on Omaha Beach, where the Marines and Sailors were able to walk the coast, observe the landing sites from German defensive positions, and tour the gravesites of the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. On the second day, the Marines and Sailors visited the site of the famed Ranger assault at Pointe du Hoc, toured the memorials and museum at Utah Beach, and drove through the drop zones used by the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions.

One Marine, Cpl. Robert Bowden, an infantryman assigned to SPMAGTF-CR-AF, found a personal link to D-Day on his visit. His great-uncle, Pvt. Barney B. Bowden, was a member of the 313th Infantry Regiment 79th Infantry Division. Pvt. Bowden fought heroically against the Nazi German Army and died on June 7, 1944, being posthumously awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

“When I told my father about our opportunity to visit Normandy, he told me to look for my great uncle,” said Bowden. “I looked for his name at visitor’s center and was able to find his headstone where I said a little prayer and thought about what he did that day.”

When asked about the overall experience of visiting Normandy, Bowden responded, “When we went to Omaha beach I was able to get some sand and stop to think. I was humbled thinking about all the soldiers fought on the very sand I was standing on.”

The battlefield study provided historical context and enhanced appreciation for the challenges and successes regarding the Allied landings on Normandy, from the planning to the execution.

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Marine Corps News From World War Two: Air Aces ‘Gripe’ For More Action

SAN FRANCISCO

Famous as “Last Man Off Wake Island,” Col. Walter Bayler of Lebanon, Pa., recently returned here after two months’ official tour of air stations in the Central and South Pacific and conveyed only one gripe—that from men with outstanding combat records who, since rests in the U.S., have been placed in charge of overseas air units.

Among those he met were Lt.Col. John L. Smith, 19 Zeros; Lt.Col. Robert Galer, who shot down 13 at Guadalcanal and was downed three times himself, and Maj. Marion Carl, 18.
All of them, he said, are eager for more action against the Japs than they are getting.


From the 18March1944 issue of the Marine Corps Chevron

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Marines Recruit For Warrant Officer Program

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII — Coordinators helped Marines consider their future beyond 2015 by organizing a USMC Warrant Officer Program Seminar held Dec. 23, 2014.

Several chief warrant officers shared their stories of how they successfully applied and personally spoke to Marines interested in joining their ranks. The senior leaders discussed how choosing this career path offers opportunities to directly create Corps policies and to switch military operational specialties.

“If a Marine is putting an application into the program (only to) wear the warrant officer rank, they are not wanted or needed,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Smith, an airfield services officer with U.S. Marine Forces, Pacific and one of the seminar’s coordinators. “We want Marines that are passionate about their MOS and willing to work to ensure the Marine Corps stays the premier fighting force.”

The seminar covered both the history of the warrant officer program and entry requirements. Marine sergeants can apply for the administrative warrant officer program after serving eight years. Those who served 16 years and are gunnery sergeants or higher ranking can apply to the weapons warrant officer program.

Warrant officers are technical experts in their field and have the qualifications to become a commissioned officer. Onak said he especially wanted to dispel the misinformation some may have about the program including that the path isn’t as challenging as becoming a staff noncommissioned officer.

“There’s a misconception that the Marines in their MOS can only continue to do that job for the rest of their Corps career,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Matthew Onak, a mobility officer with 3rd Marine Regiment and who also assisted in coordinating the seminar. “This is not true at all in the warrant officer field. People don’t realize all the different (military operational specialties) that need specially trained people. It’s not impossible to find a new way to still serve the Marine Corps.”

Onak said warrant officers join an even more select service of fellow Marines who can depend on each other as a networked group of subject matter experts. Smith and the other coordinators said they felt this seminar was important to put together to continue the networking process while recruiting new warrant officers.

“Some young Marines don’t have any interaction with warrant officers in their MOS or help in finding a mentor that can steer them to the program,” Onak said. “There isn’t someone to guide them.”

An estimated 2,049 warrant officers are actively serving in the Marine Corps according to a June 2014 report from the Total Force Planning and Requirements Directorate.

The seminar also covered how to craft fitness reports when applying to the program. Onak and Smith said it is important for applicants to continually do what is necessary to be competitive, which includes being proactive and regularly checking for guideline changes. The information was especially helpful for Gunnery Sgt. Michael Sandall, an Asian/Pacific cryptological linguist with 3rd Radio Battalion. He is in the process of applying and said he felt the seminar offered practical information as well as continued inspiration while he goes through the process. He said he was motivated to join so he could have a direct role in future policy.

“I felt it was time to start making decisions on a larger scale,” Sandall said. “This is the time to make those decisions while I can supervise how those decisions can come to fruition.”

Many chief warrant officers who spoke during the seminar said they applied so they could best positively influence in their MOS.

“I felt that we needed change, and I wanted to have a greater impact on the direction we went,” he said. “For Marines that are looking to put in for the program, ensure they are putting it in for the right reasons.”

In addition to time in service, there is another trait essential for all warrant officer program applicants according to the informational Marine Corps Administration Message: To be of unquestionable moral integrity.

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Marine Corps News From World War Two: First Marine Raider Dog Killed On Bougainville

BOUGAINVILLE (Delayed)—

Rollo, a brave-hearted Doberman-Pinscher attached to a Raider unit, became the first dog to be killed in action on the battlefield when it was machine gunned to death by Japs here.

The dog’s handler, PFC. Russell* T. Friedrich of Andover, Conn., was wounded in the same skirmish. Another handler, PFC. James H. White of New York City related:
“We were assigned to an army patrol which wanted Rollo to point Jap positions in dense jungle along the Torokina River. When we got near the Japs, Rollo alerted and pointed. Then the dog attacked and threw the Japs into an uproar. We were on the ground up near a Jap pillbox.

JAPS CALL DOG
“We could hear the Japs hollering, ‘Doggie, doggie. Fredericks whistled and Rollo came back unharmed. He was just about to send Rollo back out of danger when the Japs began firing at him and he sent Rollo over to me. “The Japs were intent on getting the dog. I don’t think they knew I was down there in the grass, too. The Jap fire grew intense. The bullets as they crossfired kept coming closer to me. “I was debating how to get out. Friedrich was only eight feet from me but behind a tree. I sent Rollo to him as the bullets came closer. I thought I was a goner. Just as Rollo got to Friedrich he was hit. Rollo whined for a minute and then died.”

JAP FIRE CONTINUES

Friedrich was shot again a few seconds later. White narrowly escaped death when a Jap bullet tore through his helmet and grazed his scalp. Rollo, who celebrated his second birthday Dec. 7, was regarded as the best “point” dog in the Raider unit. Caesar, a shepherd, once wounded, is the best messenger dog, according to the Marines.

By TSgt. Theodore C. Link, Combat Correspondent

From the 18March1944 issue of the Marine Corps Chevron

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