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Today In Marine Corps History:12 June 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.” Discussions between the Attorney General’s office and Marine Corps officials earlier in 1961 on improving the visibility and appearance of the monument led to the proposal to fly the Flag continuously, which by law could only be done by Congressional legislation or by Presidential proclamation.

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Today In Marine Corps History:10 June 1898

The First Marine Battalion, commanded by LtCol Robert W. Huntington, landed on the eastern side of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The next day, Lt Herbert L. Draper hoisted the American flag on a flag pole at Camp McCalla where it flew during the next eleven days. LtCol Huntington later sent the flag with an accompanying letter to Colonel Commandant Charles Heywood noting that “when bullets were flying, …the sight of the flag upon the midnight sky has thrilled our hearts.”

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Today In Marine Corps History: 3 June 1918

The 4th Marine Brigade fought at Les Mares Farm, Belleau Wood, Chateau-Thierry, France.

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Today In Marine Corps History: 1 June 1918

“Retreat Hell! We just got here,” said the 5th Marine Regiment in France.

Marine Corps Recruiting Posters Marine Corps Moto Photo

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Today In Marine Corps History: 15 March 1944

Marine medium bombers struck Japanese positions at Rabaul.

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Today In Marine Corps History: 13 March 1943

The first group of 71 Women Marine officer candidates arrived at the U.S. Midshipmen School (Women’s Reserve) at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. The Navy’s willingness to share training facilities enabled the Marine Corps to begin training Marine Corps Women’s Reserve officers just one month after the creation of the MCWR was announced.

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Today In Marine Corps History: 11 March 1778

Marines participated the action when the Continental Navy frigate Boston, en-route to France, sighted, engaged, and captured the British merchant ship Martha.
As the drum of the Boston beat to arms, John Adams seized a musket and joined the Marines on deck until the frigate’s captain, Samuel Tucker, sent him below for safety.

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Marine Corps Legends: Private First Class Frank Witek

Private First Class Frank Witek was killed in action on 3 August 1944, in the battle of Finegayan, Guam. He was the 28th Marine to receive the Medal of Honor during World War II.

Frank Peter Witek was born 10 December 1921, in Derby, Connecticut. He was of Polish ancestry. When he was 9, the family moved to Chicago. It was there he finished his student days at Crane Technical High School and went to work at the Standard Transformer Company.

On 20 January 1942, he left for recruit training after enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. He left almost immediately for Pearl Harbor and in January 1943, his family heard from him while he was in New Zealand. From there he went to Bougainville where he fought in three major battles. Then he went to Guadalcanal for a rest. On 21 July 1944, the 3d Division Marines invaded Guam. PFC Witek was a Browning automatic rifleman and scout behind the Japanese lines.

On 8 September 1944, his mother received a telegram from Washington informing her that her son had been killed on 3 August. According to a combat correspondent’s release, he was slain at the battle of the Mount Santa Rosa road block. He had only eight cartridges left on an original 240 rounds when he was found.

On Sunday, 20 May 1945, 50,000 persons, including his mother and Gen Alexander A. Vandegrift, Commandant of the Marine Corps, met in Soldier’s Field, Chicago, to do honor to his memory. PFC Frank Peter Witek, 23 years old, had earned the highest military award his country could give him – the Medal of Honor.
Initially buried in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps Cemetery on Guam, PFC Witek’s remains were reinterred in the Rock Island National Cemetery, Rock Island, Illinois, in 1949.

Reprinted with the authorization of the United States Marine Corps History Division

Marine Corps Photos: Talking Guns

Marine Corps Moto Photo 88

PFC Sebastian Rodriguez, machine gunner, Weapons Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force – Darwin, fires an M240 machine gun during a night squad-attack exercise. MRF-D Marines used machine gunners, snipers and rifleman to suppress a simulated squad-sized enemy attack.

Photo by Sgt Sarah Fiocco.

Marine Corps History Photos: Chin Up

Marine Corps Moto Photo 90

Jiawei Fan, a 19-year-old Milford, Conn., native, grimaces while preforming pull-ups during the 2013 Annual Field Meet, at Chicopee High School’s Football Field, May 4, 2013. Approximately 600 newly enlisted men and women from across New England, to include; Western Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Rhode Island, attended the event. The annual Marine Corps event is designed to test the Poolees’ physical fitness with a pull-up and sit-up competition to ensure that they are prepared for the rigors of Marine Corps Recruit Training.

Photo by Sgt Richard Blumenstein.

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Marine Corps History Photos: Cloud Cover

Marine Corps Moto Photo 100

Cpl Berkeley Lewis, a rifleman with 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, fires his M4 carbine during training at the SR-7 range at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. The 26-year-old, who has been with the battalion for about a year, said he always wanted to join a reconnaissance battalion because of the training and missions. “We are doing this training to stay proficient with our M4 (carbine) and M9 (pistol) to keep up with the standards of our training and readiness manual,” said Manchester, N.H. native, SSgt Matthew Sullivan, a team leader with Bravo Company.

Photo by Cpl Jeff Drew.

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