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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

Sergeant Major Francis Drury Rauber

Sergeant Major Francis Drury Rauber, the 2nd Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, died on 19 February 1991. He served as the Marine Corps senior enlisted man from 1 September 1959, until his retirement from active duty on 28 June 1962.

Born 10 July 1901, in Rochester, New York, Sergeant Major Rauber graduated from high school there in 1918, then saw two years active duty in the National Guard. He began his first enlistment in the Marine Corps on 9 December 1921, rising to the rank of sergeant prior to his honorable discharge in February 1926. During this time, he attended recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina, then was assigned to the 1st Marine Brigade at Port au Prince, Haiti; the 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Expeditionary Force, the forerunner of the Fleet Marine Force; the Marine Barracks, Norfolk, Virginia; and the 29th Company, 4th Regiment, Marine Corps Base, San Diego, California.

Upon the outbreak of World War II, he again offered his services to the Marine Corps, and on 1 May 1942, reenlisted and was re-appointed to the grade of sergeant. In January 1943, he completed First Sergeant’s School at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

His service in the rank of Sergeant Major dates from February 1943 when he was named Post Sergeant Major at the New York Naval Shipyard, Brooklyn, and Sergeant Major of the 3d Marine Corps Reserve District.

In March 1948, he was transferred to the West Coast for assignment to Fleet Marine Force, Pacific as Sergeant Major with the 9th Marines, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade. Arriving in Guam, Mariana Islands in May 1948, he served in this capacity until November, and in Tsingtao and Shanghai China until April 1949, when he returned to Camp Witek, Guam.

In March 1950, Sergeant Major Rauber embarked for the United States for a brief assignment as Sergeant Major, Inspector-Instructor Staff, 19th Infantry Battalion, Rochester, New York. Ordered to Cherry Point, North Carolina in January 1951, he served consecutively as Squadron and Group Sergeant Major with MCGIS-5 and MACG-1, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing. In March 1952, he joined the Marine Corps Air Station, Miami, Florida as Operations Squadron 3 Sergeant Major, becoming Headquarters Sergeant Major in June 1953.

Transferred to Washington, D.C. in April 1954, the Sergeant Major began a four-year tour of duty as Sergeant Major of the Personnel Department, Headquarters Marine Corps. In May 1958, upon being transferred to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, he became Sergeant Major of Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. Following this assignment, he returned to Headquarters Marine Corps and in September 1959 assumed the Marine Corps top enlisted billet as Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps.

Source: United States Marine Corps History Division

Legendary Marines: General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr.

General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., was promoted to general and assumed the duties of Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps on 23 October 2010. A native of Boston, Massachusetts, he graduated from St. Michael’s College and was commissioned in 1977.

General Dunford’s assignments in the operating forces include Platoon and Company Commander, Co K, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines; Company Commander, Co A, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines; and Company Commander, Co L, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines. He served as the Operations, Plans, and Training Officer in 2d ANGLICO and the Regimental Executive Officer, 6th Marines. He commanded the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines and the 5th Marine Regiment. He served as the Chief of Staff, 1st Marine Division.

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Other assignments include Aide to the Commanding General, III MEF and a tour in the Officer Assignment Branch, HQMC. He has also served as the Marine Officer Instructor, College of the Holy Cross; as a member of the Commandant’s Staff Group; and as the Senior Aide to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Joint assignments include service as the Executive Assistant to the Vice Chairman, JCS; Chief, Global and Multilateral Affairs Division (J5); and Vice Director for Operations (J3).

As a general officer, he has served as the Assistant Division Commander, 1st Marine Division; the Director, Operations Division, Plans, Policies and Operations, HQMC; and the Deputy Commandant for Plans, Policies and Operations; and most recently as Commanding General, I MEF and Commander, Marine Forces Central Command.

General Dunford is a graduate of the U. S. Army Ranger School, Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, and the U. S. Army War College. He holds an M.A. in Government from Georgetown University and an M.A. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Source: United States Marine Corps History Division

Leatherneck Legends: Corporal Duane Edgar Dewey

Corporal Duane Edgar Dewey, of South Haven and Muskegon, Michigan, the first person to receive the Medal of Honor from President Dwight D. Eisenhower, earned the Nation’s highest award for heroism on 16 April 1952, when, although already wounded, he smothered an exploding enemy grenade with his own body to save the lives of his comrades.

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Corporal Dewey earned the Medal of Honor near Panmunjom, Korea, while serving as leader of a machine-gun squad with Company E, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. He had been wounded, and was being treated by a Navy medical corpsman when an enemy grenade landed at the squad’s position. Yanking the corpsman to the ground, and warning members of the squad, Cpl Dewey flung himself on the grenade shouting, “Doc, I got it in my hip pocket!”

Suffering critical injuries, he was evacuated to Japan, and later the United States for treatment and was released from active duty on 19 August 1952. After presenting the award on 12 March 1953 at the White House, President Eisenhower told him, “You must have a body of steel.”

Duane Edgar Dewey was born 16 November 1931 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and attended school in Muskegon until 1947. He then worked for six months on a farm in South Haven, and for a year as a foundry worker at National Motors, Inc., in South Haven.

Enlisting in the Marine Corps Reserve on 7 March 1951, he completed recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, and underwent intensive combat training at Camp Pendleton, California, until embarking for Korea in September 1951. Before he was wounded he had participated in the United Nations summer-fall offensive of 1951 and the second winter of Korean fighting.

After treatment of his wounds at the front he was evacuated to the U.S. Naval Hospital, Yokosuka, Japan, then to the U.S. Naval Hospitals at Mare Island, California, and Great Lakes, Illinois. Following his recuperation at Great Lakes, he was released from active duty on 19 August 1952.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Cpl Dewey’s awards include the Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal with two battle stars, and the United Nations Service Medal.


Source: United States Marine Corps History Division

Legendary Marines: Master Gunnery Sergeant Leland “Lou” Diamond

Master Gunnery Sergeant Leland “Lou” Diamond, who was on many occasions decorated for bravery and offered a commission, lives in memory as one of the most famous of all “Old Breed” fighting Leathernecks.

Diamond, who died in 1951, represents a legend, which inscribed a colorful chapter in Marine Corps tradition and history.
“Lou” Diamond’s face, sun-bronzed and accentuated by a neatly trimmed gray goatee, was well known at posts and stations throughout the world. His comrades called him “Lou,” but he was thought of, often, as “Mr. Marine” and “Mr. Leatherneck.”

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Leland Diamond was born 30 May 1890, at Bedford, Ohio. Although he first enlisted at the age of 27, somewhat older than most recruits, the difference never was noticeable. His salty, hard-driving personality soon expressed itself in both word and deed, and no Marine ever showed more devotion to the Corps.

Because of the incredible voice, which matched his 5-foot, 11-inch, 200-pound frame, “Lou” was once dubbed “The Honker.” Though cool in training and battle, he was rarely quiet. According to his World War I buddies, “The tougher the action, the louder “Lou” would yell.” Many of his comrades at Guadalcanal considered him “a human air-raid warning system.”

Though in the military service, Diamond lived informally, going hatless and wearing dungarees practically everywhere. He even accepted one of his decorations in dungarees. When receiving the citation awarded him in Australia by General A.A. Vandergrift, “Lou” looked the general in the eye and said, “I made my landing in dungarees-guess they’re good enough to get my commendation in.”

Diamond’s informal language occasionally drew frowns from Chaplains within earshot. His earthy manner of speech, however, never appeared to detract from his role as a morale-booster for his unit, nor from his ability as an instructor and leader, as amply attested to by recruits who trained under his wing.

Self-confidence, even cockiness, was one of the sergeant’s outstanding characteristics. He considered anybody with less than ten years in the Corps a “boot.” While he bawled out recruits who sometimes instinctively saluted him, he frequently failed, himself, to salute less than a field grade officer. Despite his peculiarities and, in many ways, because of them, he was a “Marine’s Marine.”

Opportunities to apply for a commission were rejected by the grizzled campaigner, who explained that “nobody can make a gentleman out of me.” Though not a “spit-and-polish” Marine, Diamond prove himself an expert with both 60- and 81mm mortars, his accurate fire being credited as the turning point of many an engagement in the Pacific during World War II.

Diamond enlisted in the Marine Corps at Detroit, Michigan, 25 July 1917, listing as his former occupation “railroad switchman.” As a corporal in January 1918, he shipped out from Philadelphia aboard the USS Von Stuben bound for Brest, France. He saw action with the famous 6th Marines in the battles at Chateau Thierry, Belleau Wood, the Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel and the Meuse Argonne. Promoted to the grade of sergeant, he marched to the Rhine with the Army of Occupation. At war’s end, “Mr. Leatherneck” returned to America, disembarked at Hoboken, N.J., and 13 August 1919, received an honorable discharge from the Corps.

But railroading and civilian life in general did not suit his fancy, and on 23 September 1921, “Lou” again walked into a Marine recruiting office. Promotions were rapid for him and while serving as Assistant Armorer at Parris Island, South Carolina, in February, 1925, he regained his sergeant’s stripes.

“Mr. Marine” itched for more action and he soon got it-in Shanghai with Company M, 3d Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment. But the Sino-Japanese controversy, in “Lou’s” opinion, was “not much of a war,” and on 10 June 1933, he returned to the United States, disembarking from the USS Henderson at Mare Island, California. By then he was a gunnery sergeant.

Diamond returned to Shanghai with his old outfit, the 4th Marines, ten months later; was transferred to the 2d Marines in December 1934; and returned to the States February 1937. Two years after his promotion to Master Gunnery Sergeant, 10 July 1939, he was assigned to the Depot of Supplies at Philadelphia to help design a new infantry pack.

Following the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, “Lou” shipped out to Guadalcanal with Company H, 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, arriving at the beaches 7 August 1942. He was 52 years old. Among the many fables concerning his “Canal” service is the tale that he lobbed a mortar shell down the smoke stack of an off-shore Japanese cruiser. It is considered a fact, however, that he drove the cruiser from the bay with his harassing “near-misses.”

An indication of Sergeant Diamond’s value to the Corps is found in a letter of commendation for “outstanding performance of duty on Tulagi and Guadalcanal,” from General Alexander A. Vandegrift, Commander of the 1st Marine Division, and later Commandant of the Marine Corps. The letter states in part:

“To every man in your company you were a counselor, an arbiter of disputes, and an ideal Marine. “Your matchless loyalty and love of the Marine Corps and all it stands for, are known to hundreds of officers and men of this Division, and will serve as an inspiration to them on all the battlefields on which this Division may in the future be engaged.”

After two months on Guadalcanal, physical disabilities dictated “Mr. Leatherneck’s” evacuation by air against his wishes. He was moved to the New Hebrides and later to a hospital in New Zealand, where he proved to be a somewhat obstreperous patient. Somehow, he acquired orders to board a supply ship for New Caledonia, where a friend ordered him back to Guadalcanal-the supposed location of his old outfit. Upon his arrival, however, Diamond discovered that the 1st Marine Division had shipped out to Australia, a distance of over 1,500 miles. “Lou” made the trip, without orders, by bumming rides on planes, ships and trains.

But “Mr. Marine” was destined to see no more combat. On 1 July 1943, he disembarked from the USS Hermitage at San Pedro, California, and twelve days later was made an instructor at the Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. He was transferred to Camp Lejeune on 15 June 1945, and joined the 5th Training Battalion with the same duties.

A familiar sight in the early morning on the company street thereafter was “Old Lou,” standing with watch in hand and whistle in mouth, awaiting the first note of reveille to break the men out.

Master Gunnery Sergeant Leland Diamond retired on 23 November 1945, and returned to his home in Toledo, Ohio. His death at the Great Lakes, Illinois, Naval Training Center Hospital, 20 September 1951, was followed by a funeral, with full military honors, at Sylvania, Ohio.


Source: United States Marine Corps History Division

Marine Corps History: From Sea To Bloody Streets

During a time of severe post-World War II cutbacks and uncertainty for the Marine Corps, a new war began in the Far East, bringing the experience and fighting spirit of the Corps back into the fold. This forged a new legacy in the world’s expeditionary force-in-readiness.

In 1950, The Communist Army of North Korea swept into South Korea in an effort to unite the estranged nations as a single communist entity. In response, the United Nations landed at the Port of Pusan to help defend the weaker democratic nation. The 1st Marine Provisional Brigade, drawing from Marine forces worldwide, was soon raised to support the small force holding the perimeter around the Port of Pusan, the last free place in Korea.

In an effort to turn the tide, UN Supreme Commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur decided a surprise attack on the Port City of Inchon would put the odds back into the allies’ favor. Codenamed “Operation Chromite,” an amphibious assault and a breakout from the Pusan Perimeter had the potential of landing a one-two punch that would cut the communist’s already stretched supply lines and throw the proverbial “stick in the wheel” of their relentless advance.

“There were only 70,000 Marines at the time,” said Richard Olson, a veteran of the 1st Marine Provisional Brigade at the Pusan Perimeter. “MacArthur wanted a whole division, but that was funny because Camp Pendleton didn’t even have a full battalion.”

Various Army units had been hastily trained in amphibious warfare to conduct the assault, but they were getting called back to the perimeter at Pusan due to manpower shortages. Finally, it was elements of the 1st Marine Provisional Brigade at Pusan that got the job. MacArthur needed a professionally trained amphibious force that could undertake the task head-on, and the Marines were there to answer the call.

Inchon was lightly garrisoned by North Korean forces, but the biggest challenges posed were natural to the harbor itself. The channel was narrow and long, the current strong, tides had a 32-foot-range and a 10-foot seawall rounded the harbor. Not to mention it was on the northwestern coast of South Korea across the country from Pusan on the southeastern coast of the peninsula.

In the face of all that stood before them, at 6:30 a.m. on Sept. 15, 1950, the Marines of Battalion Landing Team 3 landed on Green Beach at Wolmi-do Island, supported by nine tanks from 1st Marine Division. After landing, the Marines held the causeway to the mainland, where Inchon was located.

Later that day at 5:30 p.m., when the tides returned to a passable level, Marines of Regimental Combat Team 5 launched their assault on Red Beach, filing over the seawall with bamboo ladders. They covered the advance of Marines on Green Beach across the exposed causeway. It was in this landing that a legendary image of the Korean War came to be, as 1st Lt. Baldomero Lopez led the way over the seawall. Marines pushed into the city, fighting door to door in the city’s streets.

As the battle was unfolding, elements of 1st Marine Regiment, led by Col. Lewis “Chesty” Puller, landed far to the south of Green Beach at Blue Beach. Facing little resistance upon landing, Puller’s men quickly reconsolidated with the landing forces, and staged for the push toward the ultimate objective: the South Korean capital city
of Seoul.

“We cut in behind the North Koreans, crossed the country and closed their resupply lines to North Korea,” said Wiedhahn. “Inchon definitely turned the tables.”

With the Marines taking Inchon, and the Army breaking out of the Pusan Perimeter, the North Koreans were effectively cut-off and forced into retreat. Operation Chromite was a great upset to the communists, but the war had only just begun.

First African-American Marines To Be Purple Heart Recipients

Staff Sgt. Timerlate Kirven and Cpl. Samuel J. Love read an award citation for the Purple Heart they each received for wounds sustained during the Battle of Saipan in 1944.
They were the first African-American Marines to receive the Purple Heart.

The Marine Corps is a fighting force that owes its effectiveness in part to the diversity of the Marines who serve in it.

Unfortunately, this was not always the case. Up until World War II, African-Americans were denied the right to serve in the Marine Corps.

In 1941, Executive Order No. 8802, issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941, began to address the discrimination in employment practices to include the armed forces.

During the second world war, the nation was segregated under the Jim Crow laws, and the Marine Corps was no exception. Black recruits were not sent to either recruit depots in Parris Island, S.C., or San Diego for training but were completely segregated at a new training facility in Montford Point, N.C.

Initially, the drill instructors were white, but as recruits with prior service from other branches of the armed forces graduated training, they replaced the white drill instructors. The officers, however, remained white. The Marine Corps did not have a black officer until Frederick C. Branch was commissioned in 1945.

The first black recruits volunteered in early June 1942, and three months later stepped foot on Montford Point Camp to begin training as the 51st Composite Defense Battalion.

“A lot of pressure was put on these young men to perform to a very high caliber,” said Robert B. Bruce, associate professor of history at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. “Any imperfection would have been seen as a failure of black people in general.”

Two battalions, the 51st Composite Defense Battalion, and later, the 52nd, were specifically trained for combat. The battalions were deployed in the Pacific Theater.

A total of nine black Marines died in World War II, and these Marines had jobs other than infantry, according to the National Archives.

Before the desegregation of the Marine Corps in 1949, more than 20,000 Marines passed through the gates of Montford Point.

Gunnery Sgt. William D. Mike III, drill band instructor at the Navy School of Music, Norfolk, Va., said he believes his success and the way Marines view each other can be directly credited to the example set by the Montford Point Marines.

“These men paved the way,” said Mike. “They set the precedent for the African-American Marine today. They are the backbone of what we have today for our Marines.”

Mike said he has never felt discriminated against in the Marine Corps, or felt as though his heritage has had any impact on his career as a Marine.

“I strongly feel that the Marine Corps has made tremendous strides across the board for all Marines,” he said. “All Marines are now given an opportunity to do things that back when segregation played a part, they would not be able to.”


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Women In The United States Marine Corps

Women Marines became a permanent part of the regular Marine Corps on 12 June 1948 when Congress passed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act (Public Law 625), but they had already proved themselves in two world wars.

During World War I, Opha Mae Johnson was the first of 305 women to be accepted for duty in the Marine Corps Reserve on 13 August 1918. Most women filled clerical billets at Headquarters, Marine Corps to release male Marines qualified for active field service to fight in France. Other women filled jobs at recruiting stations throughout the United States. On 30 July 1919, after the war was over, orders were issued for separation of all women from the Corps.

Twenty-five years later, women were back to “free a man to fight.” The Marine Corps Women’s Reserve was established in February 1943. Before World War II ended, a total of 23,145 officer and enlisted women reservists served in the Corps. Unlike their predecessors, women Marines in World War II performed over 200 military assignments. In addition to clerical work, their numbers included parachute riggers, mechanics, radio operators, map makers, motor transport support, and welders. By June 1944, women reservists made up 85 percent of the enlisted personnel on duty at Headquarters, Marine Corps and almost two-thirds of the personnel manning all major posts and stations in the United States and Hawaii. Following the surrender of Japan, demobilization of the Women’s Reserve proceeded rapidly, but a number of them returned to service as regulars under the 1948 Act.

In August 1950, for the first time in history, the Women Reserves were mobilized for the Korean War where the number of women Marines on active duty reached a peak strength of 2,787. Like the women of two previous wars, they stepped into stateside jobs and freed male Marines for combat duty. Women continued to serve in an expanding range of billets and by the height of the Vietnam War, there were about 2,700 women Marines on active duty serving both stateside and overseas. During this period, the Marine Corps also began opening up career-type formal training programs to women officers and advanced technical training to enlisted women. By 1975, the Corps approved the assignment of women to all occupational fields except infantry, artillery, armor and pilot/air crew. Approximately 1,000 women Marines were deployed to Southwest Asia for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990-1991.

Milestones for women officers include: Col Margaret A. Brewer was appointed to a general officer’s billet with the rank of brigadier general becoming the first woman general officer in the history of the Corps (1978); Col Gail M. Reals became the first woman selected by a board of general officers to be advanced to brigadier general (1985); BGen Carol A. Mutter assumed command of the 3d Force Service Support Group, Okinawa, becoming the first woman to command a Fleet Marine Force unit at the flag level (1992); 2dLt Sarah Deal became the first woman Marine selected for Naval aviation training (1993); BGen Mutter became the first woman major general in the Marine Corps and the senior woman on active duty in the armed services (1994); LtGen Mutter became the first woman Marine and the second woman in the history of the armed services to wear three stars (1996); 1stLt Vernice Armour became the first female African-American combat pilot in the Marine Corps as well as any other U.S. armed service (2002).

Today, women account for 4.3 percent of all Marine officers and women make up 5.1 percent of the active duty enlisted force in the Marine Corps. These numbers continue to grow as do opportunities to serve. Ninety-three percent of all occupational fields and 62 percent of all positions are now open to women. Like their distinguished predecessors, women in the Marine Corps today continue to serve proudly and capably in whatever capacity their country and Corps requires.

Reprinted with the authorization of the Marine Corps History Division

Legendary Marines: Lieutenant General Thomas E. Watson

Lieutenant General Thomas E. Watson, who retired on 1 July 1950, after completing nearly 38 years in the Marine Corps, died 6 March 1966 in a hospital in the Panama Canal Zone. His last command, beginning on 1 January 1948 was Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. Prior to retirement, he assumed his final rank. Previously, he had commanded the Second Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and was Commanding Officer of the famed Second Division in the battle for Saipan and Tinian during World War II. For outstanding services in this capacity, he was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of a second Distinguished Service Medal. His citation reads in part, “As Commanding General of the Second Marine Division during the assault on the capture of Saipan and Tinian Islands, from 15 June to 1 August 1944, Major General Watson welded his unit into an effective striking force.
“Fearlessly moving ashore with his men during the critical period of the landing operations, he established his headquarters near the Japanese lines and personally directed his troops with brilliant tactical skill and aggressive determination against vigorous opposition, successfully routing the enemy.

“Although the division was depleted in numerical strength and physical endurance by twenty-five days of heavy fighting on Saipan, he expeditiously reorganized his forces and attained a high state of combat readiness for the subsequent landing on Tinian.

“Distinguishing himself by his indomitable fighting spirit and inspiring leadership throughout these hazardous operations, Major General Watson contributed in a large measure to the success of the vital Marianas Campaign.”

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Thomas Eugene Watson was born on 18 January 1892, in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He attended Penn College in Oskaloosa and on 11 November 1912, enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps on 20 October 1916.

For the next three years he was a member of the Second Provisional Brigade in the Dominican Republic and on several occasions participated in engagements with bandits in that country.

He returned to the States in April 1919, but one year later was again on foreign shore duty. On this occasion with the Guardia Nacional of the Dominican Republic.

In 1924, the General returned to the States and was assigned to the Marine Corps Base, San Diego, California, where he was Commanding Officer of the Recruit Detachment and Officer-in-Charge, Drills and Instruction.

Three years later, in March 1927, he joined the Third Marine Brigade in China and saw service in Shanghai, Tientsin, and Hsin Ho.

Upon return to this country he attended the Field Officers’ School, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, where upon completion of the course he remained as an instructor.

From October 1930, to February 1934, he was successively U.S. Naval Attache, Santo Domingo City, Dominican Republic, a member of the Major General Commandant’s Department, Headquarters Marine Corps, Director of Operations and Area Commander, Nicaragua National Guard Detachment, and again a member of the Major General Commandant’s Department.

After a year as Commanding Officer of the Naval Prison, Navy Yard, Mare Island, California, he assumed duties as Commanding Officer, Second Battalion, Sixth Marine Regiment and in July 1936, became Assistant Chief of Staff, Four Section, and Chief of the Planning Section, Fleet Marine Force.

In August 1937, he was assigned as a student at the Army War College, Washington, D.C. and upon graduation was ordered to Headquarters Marine Corps where he became Chief of the War Plans Section, Division of Plans and Policies. In November 1941, he assumed duties as Executive Officer of the Division of Plans and Policies.

Four months after this country’s entry into World War II, the General joined the Third Marine Brigade as Chief of Staff and sailed for Samoa in April 1942, where he took command of the Brigade in August 1942.

In November 1943, he became Commanding General of Tactical Group One which included the Twenty-Second Marine Regiment and certain Army Units and led this organization in the assault and capture of Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands, from 6 February to 22 March 1944, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

General Watson became Commanding General of the Second Marine Division in April 1944, and led that organization in active operations against enemy forces at Saipan and Tinian in the Marianas Islands for which he was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of a second Distinguished Service Medal.

During the period 1-13 April 1945, the General led the Division as part of Task Group 51.2 in diversionary activities off the coast of Okinawa and as a floating reserve for the Tenth Army.

In August 1945, he returned to Headquarters Marine Corps and became Director of Personnel, which position he held until detached in June 1946. At that time he assumed command of the Second Marine Division and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

In addition to the Distinguished Service Medal with Gold Star, his decorations and medals include the Good Conduct Medal, 1912-16; Mexican Service Medal, 1914; Dominican Campaign Medal, 1916; Expeditionary Medal with Bronze Star, Dominican Republic 1916-19, 1920-24, China, 1927-28; Victory Medal with West Indies Clasp, Dominican Republic, 1918; Yangtze Service Medal, China, 1927; Second Nicaragua Campaign Medal 1931-33; American Defense Service Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four Bronze Stars; World War II Victory Medal; Dominican Military Medal of Merit with Diploma; and the Nicaraguan Medal of Distinction with Diploma.

Reprinted with the authorization of the Marine Corps History Division

Sergeant Major Daniel Joseph Daly

Part of a continuing series showcasing members of the United States Marine Corps whose names have become legendary in the annals of the USMC.

Sergeant Major Dan Daly was one of only nineteen men in history to have received the Congressional Medal Of Honor twice, and one of only two double-CMOH recipients to have received the award for actions on two separate occasions.

Daly may have made Marine Corps history simply for yelling “Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?” to the men in his company prior to charging the Germans during the Battle of Belleau Wood in World War One.

Legend also has it that after twice turning down an officers commission, he stated:
“I would rather be an outstanding sergeant than just another officer.”

He received his first Medal Of Honor in 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion for single-handedly defending his position against repeated attacks and inflicting casualties of around 200 on the attacking Boxers.

His second Medal of Honor came fifteen years later, on the night of October 24, 1915.

He was part of a group of 35 Marines who were ambushed by a force of approximately 400 Haitian insurgents.
He led one of the three groups of men during the fight to reach a nearby fort, and was awarded the medal for his conspicuous actions.

Oh, and the question he asked of his men during the Battle of Belleau Wood?

He received the Navy Cross for his actions in that battle.

Marine Corps Legends: Lieutenant General Thomas E. Watson

Lieutenant General Thomas E. Watson, who retired on 1 July 1950, after completing nearly 38 years in the Marine Corps, died 6 March 1966 in a hospital in the Panama Canal Zone. His last command, beginning on 1 January 1948 was Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. Prior to retirement, he assumed his final rank. Previously, he had commanded the Second Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and was Commanding Officer of the famed Second Division in the battle for Saipan and Tinian during World War II. For outstanding services in this capacity, he was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of a second Distinguished Service Medal. His citation reads in part, “As Commanding General of the Second Marine Division during the assault on the capture of Saipan and Tinian Islands, from 15 June to 1 August 1944, Major General Watson welded his unit into an effective striking force.

Marine Corps Motivational,Marine Corps History

“Fearlessly moving ashore with his men during the critical period of the landing operations, he established his headquarters near the Japanese lines and personally directed his troops with brilliant tactical skill and aggressive determination against vigorous opposition, successfully routing the enemy”.

“Although the division was depleted in numerical strength and physical endurance by twenty-five days of heavy fighting on Saipan, he expeditiously reorganized his forces and attained a high state of combat readiness for the subsequent landing on Tinian.

“Distinguishing himself by his indomitable fighting spirit and inspiring leadership throughout these hazardous operations, Major General Watson contributed in a large measure to the success of the vital Marianas Campaign.”

Thomas Eugene Watson was born on 18 January 1892, in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He attended Penn College in Oskaloosa and on 11 November 1912, enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps on 20 October 1916.

Profile Of A Marine Sniper

Many are familiar with the scout sniper legend Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hathcock, who achieved notoriety for 93 confirmed kills during his tenure in the Vietnam War. But few know of Charles B. “Chuck” Mawhinney, who topped Hathcock’s feat with ten more confirmed kills during the same conflict. As impressive as his accomplishment is, it remained under wraps for more than two decades.

The story of Chuck Mawhinney is akin to something one would imagine as a plot in the action movies of today, but he is as real as it gets. The son of a World War II Marine, he followed a proud tradition of extraordinary men who did things not for themselves, but for their fellow Marines. Mawhinney saved the lives of his own by undermining the enemy’s morale and keeping North Vietnamese soldiers and Viet Cong from sending rounds downrange.

The Oregon native was an enthused hunter throughout his youth. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1967.

During his 16-month tour in Vietnam, Mawhinney broke the confirmed kill record as a scout sniper with 103 confirmed kills and attained an additional 216 possible kills. The “probables” were not confirmed due to the lack of an official third party presence or the ability to physically confirm the enemy casualty.

Mawhinney was diagnosed with combat fatigue and sent back to the U.S. to be a marksmanship instructor at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. He left the Marine Corps as a sergeant in 1970 and returned to rural Oregon. He got married and went to work for the U.S. Forest Service, slipping into obscurity, by preference, and never mentioning his experi-ences to anyone.

Mawhinney never sought recognition for his time as a sniper, however, his record was revealed in the early 1990s through a book, written by fellow Marine sniper, Joseph T. Ward entitled “Dear Mom: A Snipers Vietnam.”

When Mawhinney retired from the forest service he began to speak publicly at shooting expos, promoting a positive image of the sniper and his role as a lifesaver on the battlefield, as well as speaking to classes of professional snipers in training. He discretely continues to serve the Corps by offering his expertise to the Precision Weapons Shop, Weapons Training Battalion, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., where Marines reenacted one of his most astounding shots for the History Channel special, “Sniper: The Anatomy of the Kill.”

Although Mawhinney set the precedence for the Corps’ elite snipers, he may remain another unsung legend of the Corps.

Marines.mil

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