Marine Corps Reserve Association


This Month in History


Selected October Dates of Marine Corps Historical Significance

Oct 1
1880 - John Phillip Sousa was named leader of the Marine Band.

Oct 2
1918 - Marines participated in the Battle of Blanc Mont in France.
Private John Kelly received the MEDAL OF HONOR for actions at BLANC MONT RIDGE, France. (Navy Award)
Private John Kelly received the MEDAL OF HONOR for actions at BLANC MONT RIDGE, France. (Army Award)
1942 - Major J.L. Smith shot down his 18th Zero, making him the highest scoring ace to date and received the MEDAL OF HONOR for his actions.
1952 - Private Jack W Kelso received the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously for actions with I/3/7 in Korea.

Oct 3
1918 - Corporal John H Pruitt received the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously for actions at Blanc Mont Ridge, France. Corporal Pruitt single-handed attacked two machine-guns, capturing them and killing two of the enemy and then capturing 40 prisoners in a dugout nearby.
1944 - PFC Richard E Kraus received the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously for actions with the Eighth Amphibian Tractor Battalion on Peleliu.
PFC Wesley Phelps received the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously for actions with 3/7 on Peleliu.
 

Oct 5
1775 - The first time the Continental Congress mentioned the Marines was when it directed General Washington to give order for the "Proper encouragement to the Marines and seamen- who served on two armed vessels under "Continental risqué and pay".
2004 - More than 3,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops, including the 24th MEU, launched an offensive operation in the southern approaches to Baghdad and took control of a bridge across the Euphrates River. Numerous weapons caches were discovered and 35,000 pounds of explosives were destroyed.

Oct 6
1945 - In China, Major General Keller E. Rockey, commanding the III Amphibious Corps, accepted the surrender of the 50,000 Japanese troops in the Tientsin-Tangku, Chinwangtao area.
1950 - In Korea, after being relieved in place by other forces, the 1st Marine Division moved back to Inchon in preparation for further action. The division's losses in the Inchon-Seoul campaign totaled 411 dead and missing and 2,029 wounded.
1952 - Major Alexander J. Gillis, of VMF-311, on his last day as an exchange pilot with the Air Force, shot down two MIGs. During the fray, he, too, was shot down and spent four hours in the Yellow Sea before being rescued. During his 90-day tour with the Air Force he destroyed three MIGs.

Oct 7
1952 - S/Sergeant G Watkins received the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously for actions with a Rifle Platoon of I/3/7.

Oct 8
2004 - The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 was passed. The bill called for the increase in the end strength of the Marine Corps from 175,000 Marines to 178,000. The extra 3,000 Marines would be phased-in over three years and two-thirds of them would be used to bring the 24 infantry battalions up to full strength.

Oct 9
1917 - The 8th Marine Regiment was activated at Quantico, VA. Although the regiment would not see combat in Europe during World War I, the officers and enlisted men of the 8th Marines participated in operations against dissidents in Haiti for over five years during the 1920s. During World War II, the regiment was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division and participated in combat operations on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa, and earned three Presidential Unit Citations.
 
Oct 10
1968 - The 1st Marine Division and 1st MAW were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.

Oct 11
1951 - In Korea, for the first time, a Marine battalion, 3/7 and its equipment was flown by transport helicopter (HMR-161) to a front line position in Operation BUMBLEBEE northeast of Yanggu.
1968 - The Department of Defense announced that 17,500 men would be drafted in December and that 2,500 would go into the Marine Corps. This was the first time since May that the Marines were required to use draftees.

Oct 12
1920 - Men of the 4th Marine Regiment helped fight a severe fire in the center of the business district of Santiago, Dominican Republic.
1967 - Corporal William T Perkins Jr. received the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously for actions as a combat photographer with C/1/1, RVN, during Operation -Medina-.

Oct 13
1911 - Ten Marines and seamen from the USS -Helena' landed at Hankow, China, to protect Standard Oil Company property from violent elements.

Oct 14
1918 - Gunnery Sergeant Robert G Robinson received the MEDAL OF HONOR for actions as an observer in the 1st Marine Aviation Force at the front in France.
2nd Lieutenant Ralph Talbot received the MEDAL OF HONOR for actions with Squadron "C", First Marine Aviation Force, in France.

1964 - 1st Lt Billy Mills won the gold medal in the 10,000 meter race at the Tokyo Olympics.
1967 - Sgt Paul Foster received the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously for actions with an Arty Battalion from 2/4, RVN.
2004 - Marines launched air and ground attacks against an insurgent stronghold in Fallujah, Iraq, after peace talks were suspended.

Oct 15
1940 - Orders mobilizing the Marine Reserve were by Headquarters Marine Corps.




 

Oct 16
1820 - LtCol Anthony Gale, 4th Commandant of the Marine Corps, was found guilty during a general court martial and was dismissed from the Corps.

Oct 17
1949 - Commandant of the Marine Corps General Clifton B. Cates maintained that the Army general staff was attempting to "destroy" the Marine Corps. Marine authorized strength stood at 100,000 men but would be reduced to 67,000 by 30 June 1950. Cates stated that the Army wished to cut this to 50,000 or 60,000. Cates' views were supported by retired Marine Commandant Alexander A. Vandergrift.

Oct 18
1820 - Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Henderson became the 5th Commandant of the Marine Corps.
1948 - Colonel Katherine A. Towle reported for duty as the Director of Women Marines and the first to head the regular female component of the Corps.

Oct 20
1978 - President Carter signed legislation that made the Commandant a full member of the JCS.

Oct 21
1949 - Secretary Johnson assured Congress that the Marine Corps would continue in existence. There was conflicting testimony over the reason for the forced resignation of former Navy Secretary John L. Sullivan, who claimed he was pushed out in April 1949 because he was opposed to the abolition of Marine and Navy aviation and the "slow death" of the Marine Corps.

Oct 22
1968 - Private First Class Gary W. Martini was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by Secretary of the Navy Paul R. Ignatius for action in Vietnam during Operation UNION.

Oct 23
1942 - The 4th Raider Battalion under Major James Roosevelt was organized.
1983 - In Beirut, Lebanon, a truck bomb destroyed the building housing the headquarters of BLT 1/8. Marine casualties were 220 killed and 70 wounded, with 21 other American servicemen also dead. This was the highest one-day death toll in the Corps since WWII.
Oct 24
1915 - Gunnery Sergeant Dan Daly received the MEDAL OF HONOR for actions at Fort Liberte, Haiti (2nd Award)
1st Lieutenant Edward A Walker received the MEDAL OF HONOR for actions at Fort Liberte, Haiti.
Captain William P Upshur received the MEDAL OF HONOR for actions at Fort Liberte, Haiti.
Marine Corps Recruit Depot was moved from Norfolk, Virginia, and established at Paris Island, South Carolina.
1947 - The Marine Corps first jet fighter squadron, VMF-122, was organized at Cherry Point, North Carolina, commanded by Major Marion E. Carl. It was equipped with McDonnell (Phantom) FH-1s.

Oct 25
1942 - Sergeant John Basilone received the MEDAL OF HONOR for actions with 1/7 at Lunga Area, Guadalcanal.
1951 - In Korea, for the first time, a flight of Corsairs from VMF-312 was attacked by eight enemy MIGs as the Marine aircraft attacked a railroad and three trains near Myong-dong. Sixteen other MIGs were observed in the area, but the Red planes were not aggressive and their shooting was inaccurate. A direct hit on a locomotive and two hits on rail cars were scored by the F4U-4Bs.
1967 - Major Howard V. Lee received the Medal of Honor from President Johnson for his actions in Vietnam, in August 1966.

Oct 26
1942 - Platoon Sergeant Mitchell Paige received the MEDAL OF HONOR for actions with the 2/7 on the Solomon Islands.
1952 - 2nd Lt Sherrod E Skinner Jr. received the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously for actions as an Artillery Forward Observer of Battery F, Second Battalion, Eleventh Marines in Korea.

1952 - 2nd Lieutenant George H O-Brien Jr. received the MEDAL OF HONOR for actions as a Rifle Platoon Commander of H/3/7, Korea.

Oct 28 British Royal Marines Birthday
1962 - An 11,000-man 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade left Camp Pendleton by sea for the Caribbean during the Cuban Missile Crisis

Oct 29
1918 - General Summerall, commanding the Fifth Corps, broke all precedents in operations conferences, by going through the regimental areas with a bugler, calling officers and men together and addressing them from a soap box. Among other things, General Summerall said, -The Second Division has no objective but to destroy the enemy ... You will go on and on until he is driven across the Rhine until he is broken and beaten, until he cries, -surrender.'-
1942 - During October and November, Major Joe Foss shot down 23 enemy aircraft. He was later credited with three more and received the MEDAL OF HONOR.
1968 - Captain James A. Graham was posthumously awarded the MEDAL OF HONOR by Secretary of the Navy Paul R. Ignatius for action in Vietnam during Operation UNION II.

Oct 31
Corporal William R. Button received the MEDAL OF HONOR for actions near Grande Riviere, Haiti.
Sergeant Hanneken received the MEDAL OF HONOR for actions near Grande Riviere, Haiti.
1955 - Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, who earned five Navy Crosses, retired as a lieutenant general.
1963 - The escort ship -Garcia' (DE-1040) was launched at the Bethlehem Steel Co., San Francisco. The -Garcia' was named in honor of PFC Fernando Luis Garcia, USMC, posthumously awarded the MEDAL OF HONOR for sacrificing himself to save the life of another Marine in Korea, 5 September 1952. Garcia was the first Marine of Puerto Rico to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
1969 - Vice President Spiro T. Agnew awarded, posthumously, the MEDAL OF HONOR to two Marines who were killed in separate operations in Vietnam. The nation-s highest award was given to Sergeant Alfredo Gonzalez for action during Operation HUE CITY and Lance Corporal Jedh C. Barker for action near Con Thien in September 1967.

Marine Corps Reserve Association
8626 Lee Highway
Suite 205
Fairfax, VA 22031-2135
Phone: (703)289-1204

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