History of the U.S. Marine Corps Chronology-Part 3


Conflicts Other Events Inclusive Date(s) Explanation
1940s
Marine disarmament of Japanese
September 30, 1945
Marines of the 3rd Amphibious Corps began landing in North China, disarmed 630,000 Japanese.
Marines assaulted Chinese
October 6, 1945
On Tientsin ­Peiping road, Marines had first fire fight with Chinese Communists.
French Indochinese war began
November 23, 1946
French invaded Vietnam.

National Security Act of 1947
July 26, 1947
President Truman signed National Security Act, which organized the armed forces under a single Secretary of Defense, and established a separate Air Force.

First Marine amphibious helicopter exercise
May 23, 1948
First Marines were brought ashore by helicopter for amphibious exercise at New River, North Carolina.

Regular women marines / First black women marines
November 10, 1948
First eight enlisted women were sworn in as regular marines. The following summer, the first black women marines enlisted.

Vacancies filled throughout Marine Corps
November 18, 1949
All male marines, regardless of race, were assigned to vacancies in any unit.
1950s
North Korean forces invaded South Korea
June 25, 1950
North Korean invasion of South Korea started a civil war.

Marines landed at Pusan
August 2, 1950
1st Marine Provisional Brigade landed at Pusan, South Korea.
Korean War
September 15, 1950
1st Marine Division conducted assault landing at Inchon on west coast of Korea, retook Seoul.
Marines took on the Chinese in North Korea
November 2, 1950
Marines engaged Chinese Communists in North Korea near the Chosin Reservoir.
Marines controlled Yudam-ni
November 23, 1950
7th Marines took Yudam-ni, Korea.
Marines gained momentum against the Chinese
November 28, 1950
After repulsing eight Chinese divisions, Marines began an epic "breakout" on December 1.

President Truman relieved Gen. Douglas MacArthur
April 9, 1951
Due to egotistical tendencies, MacArthur was ordered to step down as commanding officer of UN forces.
Marines advanced into South Korea
June 20, 1951
1st Marine Division reached "The Punchbowl" in Korea. The Punchbowl is a geologic bowl several miles across, ringed by steep mountains on three sides, and contains the richest farmland in South Korea.

Armistice signed at Panmunjon, Korea
July 27, 1953
The armistice agreement ending the Korean War was signed.
French were defeated at Battle of Dien Bien Phu
May 8, 1954
French strong point of Dien Bien Phu fell in Indochina.

Marine War Memorial
November 10, 1954
Marine Corps War Memorial was dedicated next to Arlington National Cemetery.
Marine recruits drown
April 8, 1956
Six recruits drowned in Ribbon Creek at Parris Island, South Carolina.
Marines landed at Beirut
July 15, 1958
2nd Marines landed near Beirut and seized airport at Lebanese government's request.

Castro took control in Cuba
January 16, 1959
Fidel Castro overthrew Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.
1960s

Bay of Pigs
April 17, 1961
Anti-Castro Cubans repulsed at Bay of Pigs.

Marine orbits earth
February 20, 1962
Marine Lt. Col. John H. Glenn Jr. orbited earth in American space capsule.
Cuban Missile Crisis
October 20, 1962
Cuban Missile Crisis brought the U.S. and Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear conflict at the height of the Cold War.
Assassination of President Kennedy
November 22, 1963
President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

Vietnam War began for the U.S.
March 8, 1965
9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade landed at Da Nang, South Vietnam.

Marines landed in Dominican Republic
April 28, 1965
6th Marines landed in Santo Domingo.

Marines landed in Dominican Republic
February 28, 1967
Pfc. James Anderson Jr. became the first black marine to win the Medal of Honor.
Battle for Khe Sanh
January 20, 1968
North Vietnamese opened battle against 26th Marines for Khe Sanh.
Tet Offensive
January 31, 1968
Vietnamese Communists launched an offensive on Chinese New Year.
Khe Sanh Offensive
July 5, 1968
After an unsuccessful attempt at baiting the North Vietnamese (using Marines as bait), U.S. gave up Khe Sanh base because of ongoing communist shelling.

President Richard M. Nixon planned withdrawl
June 8, 1969
President Nixon announced first sizable withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam.
1970s
Marines faced court martial
February 19, 1970
Combat patrol of 7th Marines charged with deaths of 11 civilians at Son Thang, North Vietnam.
Marines "unofficially" entered Cambodia
April 30, 1970
President Nixon ordered troops into Cambodia.

Marine involvement in Indochina ended
June 25, 1971
Last Marine ground troops departed South Vietnam leaving only a token force at the U.S. Embassy.
Easter Offensive
March 30, 1972
North Vietnamese swept south in Easter offensive.

Nixon forced to resign
August 8, 1974
Due to the Watergate Scandal, President Nixon resigned the most powerful office on the planet. Incoming president Gerald R. Ford pardoned him.
Marines defended Cyprus embassy
August 19, 1974
Marines defended U.S. embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus, after sniper killed U.S. ambassador Roger Davies; mob action ensued.
Marines evacuated Cambodian foreigners
April 12, 1975
Marines evacuated innocent civilians, including Americans, before Khmer Rouge seized Phnom Penh.
Fall of Saigon
April 30, 1975
4th Marines under Col. Alfred M. Gray, completed evacuation by helicopters from U.S. Embassy and Tan Son Nhut airfield.

Communism remained in Vietnam
July 2, 1975
North and South Vietnam were united as Socialist Republic of Vietnam with its capital at Hanoi.

200 years of service
November 10, 1975
Marine Corps celebrated its 200th birthday.
Marines were taken hostage in Iran
November 4, 1979
Mob overran embassy in Teheran, Iran; 13 Marines were among 65 Americans taken hostage; 52 were held captive for 444 days.
Marines defend Pakistan embassy
November 21, 1979
In Islamabad mob burned embassy as seven marines defended building.
1980s
Marines died in Iran
April 24, 1980
Three Marines were killed in desert accident during effort to rescue Teheran hostages.
Marines rescued U.S. ambassador to El Salavador
May 12, 1980
Embassy Marines in San Salvador used tear gas to rescue U.S. ambassador from mob.
Invasion of Lebanon
June 6, 1980
Israel invaded southern Lebanon to root out PLO terrorists.
Marines landed in Lebanon
June 23, 1980
Marines landed in Lebanon to evacuate civilians.
Terrorists killed marine at Beirut Embassy
April 18, 1983
One marine killed (among 63 in the attack, with several wounded) when terrorists blew up U.S. Embassy in Beirut.
Marines killed at Beirut headquarters
October 23, 1983
Terrorist truck bomb blew up headquarters of 1st Battalion, 8th Marines at Beirut airport, killing 241 Americans, of whom 220 were marines.
Marines deployed for West Indies
October 25, 1983
Marines and Army intervened in Grenada, West Indies.

Marines departed Lebanon
July 31, 1984
All marines, except embassy guard, left Lebanon after 533-day intervention.

Berlin Wall was torn down
November 9, 1989
As a symbol of an end to the Cold War, the Berlin Wall was torn down.
Marines pursued Noriega
December 20, 1989
Marines were part of a force that tried to capture Panama's dictator, Manuel Noriega.
1990s
Invasion of Kuwait
August 2, 1990
Saddam Hussein's Iraqi Army invaded Kuwait.
Marines saved Liberian civilians
August 5, 1990
Marines landed in Monrovia, Liberia, and evacuated civilians threatened by civil war.
Marine pilots saved Somalian U.S. Embassy personnel
January 4, 1991
Marine helicopters evacuated 281 people from U.S. Embassy at Mogadishu.
Operation Desert Storm
January 16, 1991
Marines flew in first waves of allied planes in Operation Desert Storm.
Marines breached Iraqi lines
February 24, 1991
Lt. Gen. Walter Boomer led Marine 1st and 2nd divisions into Iraq.
Persian Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm) officially ends
February 28, 1991
President George H.W. Bush called for an end to the Gulf War and directed military efforts to humanitarian objectives.
Marines moved to northern Iraq
April 14, 1991
Marines were deployed to Iraq/­Turkey border to assist in a multinational relief force to protect Kurdish civilians.
Marines assisted in Bangledesh
April 30, 1991
Marines assisted millions of starving and homeless Bangladeshi, after a tornado wiped out 125,000 civilians.

Soviets reconstructed new diplomacy
December 21, 1991
Soviet Union was disbanded and replaced by a commonwealth of independent states.
Marines landed in Somalia
December 9, 1992
Marines landed in Somalia to rescue foreign civilians in Mogadishu.
Marines returned to Somalia
June 20, 1993
Marine unit returned to Mogadishu, to maintain peace.
Genocide in Rwanda
April 12, 1994
Marines evacuated foreign civilians from Rwanda, Africa.
Marines land in Haiti
September 20, 1994
U.S. soldiers and 1,900 marines landed in Haiti (Cape Haitian on the island's north side) to conduct Operation Uphold Democracy.
Marines withdrew from war-torn Somalia
March 3, 1995
Marines complete withdrawal of United Nations (UN) forces from clan war in Somalia.
Marines assisted Air Force pilot
June 8, 1995
40 Marines rescued an Air Force pilot shot down over Bosnia-Herzegovina on June 2.
Marines assisted Bangledesh natural disaster victoms
May 30, 1997
Marines helped to evacuate 2,500 people from Kinshasa, Zaire.
2000s
Suspected al Qaeda terrorist attacked U.S. soil
September 11, 2001
Following suspected mastermind Osama bin Laden's planned terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Marines were deployed around the world in defense of American freedom.
Air strikes in Afghanistan
October 7, 2001
U.S. began military strikes into Kabul, Kandahar, and Jalalabad.
Invasion of Iraq
March 19, 2003
The beginning of the Iraq "decapitation attack" got under way when the U.S. launched Operation Iraqi Freedom. The first air strike pin-pointed Saddam Hussein and other top officials in Baghdad.
Marines advanced in southern Iraq
March 20, 2003
U.S. 3rd Division and 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) invaded southern Iraq from Kuwait. Marines began assault on Iraqi port of Umm Qasr.
Marines ambushed in Nasiriya
March 23, 2003
An Iraqi ambush, using massive artillery, inflicted heavy casualties on U.S. Marines in the city of Nasiriya.
Marines gained "foothold" in Nasiriya
March 28, 2003
Three Marine infantry battalions occupied parts of Nasiriya. The U.S.'s longest helicopter air assault operation took place as hundreds of coalition soldiers were dropped into Baghdad suburbs.
Marines in heavy fire fight for Nasiriya
March 29, 2003
Along the Euphrates River, U.S. Marines and Iraqi fighters exchanged heavy munitions fire for control of Nasiriya.
Marines gained control of Nasiriya / Marines confronted Iraqi Republican Guard
April 2, 2003
The 1st MEF engaged the elite Republican Guard's Baghdad Division, and captured a bridge crossing the Tigris River. Other Marines in Nasiriya continued their search for Iraqi militia.
Marines gained ground for Kut
April 3, 2003
1st Battalion of the 7th Marines secured two locations on the outskirts of Kut.
Saddam's Republican Guard surrendered to Marines
April 4, 2003
U.S. forces held Baghdad's airport, 12 miles outside the city center, still facing sporadic resistance. About 2,500 Iraqi soldiers surrendered to Marines.
Marines emerged victorious in fierce Baghdad fighting
April 5, 2003
U.S. forces drove into downtown Baghdad with token resistance. The U.S. Army's V Corps, 1st MEF, and 1st Battallion, 7th Marines, also were involved. The 1st MEF emerged victorious from close-quarters combat with Iraqi infantry.
Marines were ambushed in Diwaniyah
April 7, 2003
"Chemical Ali," Saddam's first cousin, was found dead in Basra. Iraqi militia ineffectively ambushed a U.S. Marine platoon in Diwaniyah.
Marines attacked at Baghdad University
April 9, 2003
U.S. Marines were attacked at Baghdad University after initially being greeted by happy citizens three hours earlier.
Suicide bomb wounded four marines
April 10, 2003
At a U.S. Marine checkpoint in Baghdad, a Saddam loyalist with explosives strapped to his body blew himself up — wounding four marines.
Marines advanced into Tikrit
April 12, 2003
Divisions of the U.S. 1st MEF Unit left Baghdad for Tikrit. Citizens of Kut, about 40 miles southeast of Baghdad, welcomed U.S. Marines as the city came under coalition control.
Marines battled for Tikrit
April 13, 2003
U.S. Marines staged an offensive attack inside Tikrit on approximately 2,500 Iraqi fighters faithful to Saddam Hussein.
Marines controlled Tikrit
April 14, 2003
Tikrit was secured by U.S. Marines. With lighter resistance than expected, Marines established checkpoints throughout the city.
U.S. offenses in Iraq ended
April 14, 2003
Only 43 days after announcing the start of the war in Iraq, President Bush announced that major combat operations in Iraq had ended. His live speech was given from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln^.


History of Marines-Part 3

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We Were Soldiers Once...and Young: Ia Drang - The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam by Harold G. Moore.
Each year, the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps selects one book that he believes is both relevant and timeless for reading by all Marines. The Com...