Second Lieutenant Robert Emmet, USMCR

                                 Printed 1968

                        Historical Branch, G-3 Division

                        Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps

                            Washington, D. C. 20380

                               TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                           Original    On-Line
                                                             Page       Page

Preface                                                                    5

A Brief History of the 11th Marines                             1          6

Notes                                                          49         54

Appendix I                                                     52         58

Appendix II                                                    54         60

Appendix III                                                   56         62

                            DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
                            WASHINGTON, D. C. 20380


     "A Brief History of the 11th Marines" is a concise narrative of the 
activities of that regiment since its initial organization 50 years ago.  
Official records and appropriate historical works were used in compiling this 
chronicle, which is published for the information of those interested in the 
history of those events in which the 11th Marines participated.

                                            R. G. OWENS, JR.
                                   Major General, U. S. Marine Corps
                                     Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3

Reviewed and approved:   11 October 1968


                Activation of the 11th Marines and World War I

     The 11th Marines, now an artillery regiment of the 1st Marine Division, 
traces its origin back to World War I.  On 20 August 1917, Lieutenant Colonel 
George Van Orden reported to Quantico, Virginia for duty with the Mobile 
Artillery Force, which was at that time being reorganized into a brigade of 
two light artillery regiments, one of which he was to command.  On 3 January 
1918, with Van Orden as commanding officer, the 11th Regiment was activated at 
Marine Barracks, Quantico.  The units of the 11th included a Headquarters 
Detachment and three battalions.<1>  Most of the original enlisted strength of 
the 11th consisted of recruits just out of boot camp, but some experience was 
supplied to the regiment when it was decided that all reenlisted men, not 
already assigned to other organizations at Quantico, should be placed in the 
11th.  These were mostly men who had been in the Marines in the past, returned 
to civilian life, and signed on again when the United States went to war.  
These experienced Marines gave the 11th an "esprit de corps" that it otherwise 
would not have had and which benefited immeasurably its training performance.  
The veterans helped the inexperienced recruits, and as a result the 11th was 
fairly well squared-away at Quantico.

     The 11th Regiment, as an outgrowth of the Mobile Artillery Force, was 
originally meant to be an artillery regiment, but it did not remain that way 
for long.  More infantrymen were needed in France, and the 5th Marine Brigade 
was formed.  The 4th Marine Brigade had already been organized and seen 
extensive combat in France.  Lieutenant Colonel Van Orden went to Headquarters 
Marine Corps in Washington, D. C. to request that the 11th Regiment be 
converted to infantry.  His plea coincided with a request by the Assistant 
Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, to the Commandant of the Marine 
Corps to send an additional infantry regiment to France.  In anticipation of 
being switched to infantry, the 11th underwent intensive infantry training 
throughout the summer of 1918 at Quantico.  On 5 September 1918, the 11th 
Regiment was officially designated an infantry regiment, and it joined the 5th 
Marine Brigade, which included the 13th Regiment and the 5th Machine Gun 

     On 28 September, Van Orden received orders stating that the regiment was 
to leave Quantico for its port of embarkation


for France.  The 11th went to France in two sections, the first of which, 
consisting of Regimental Headquarters and 1/11, boarded the USS DEKALB in 
Philadelphia on 29 September, landed at Brest, France on 13 October, and 
arrived at Tours, France on 30 October.  The second section, consisting of 
2/11 and 3/11, did not leave Quantico until 14 October.  It embarked aboard 
the USS VON STEUBEN and the USS AGAMEMNON at Hoboken, New Jersey, arrived at 
Brest on 25 October, and entered Tours on 2 November.  The 11th had been at 
Tours for nine days when, on 11 November, the armistice was signed.  The 
Marines of the 11th saw no combat, and they were dispersed to cities like Le 
Havre, Marseilles, and Tours to take care of administrative duties.  The 
officers of the 11th undertook jobs as regulating officers, entertainment 
officers, police officers, and district athletic officers.  The enlisted 
Marines drew MP duty, or they were clerks, or they did whatever labor was 
asked of them.  In early July 1919, the 11th returned to Camp Potanegan at 
Brest, and, on 29 July, it embarked aboard the USS ORIZABA for home.  It 
disembarked at Hampton Roads, Virginia on 6 August and was deactivated there 
on 11 August.

                          Reactivation and Nicaragua

     The United States greatly decreased its military strength after World War 
I, and the 11th Regiment was one of the casualties of this decision.  The 
regiment remained out of existence until 1927, when unrest in Nicaragua, 
involving injury to United States citizens and destruction of their property, 
prompted Washington to send Marines into the area.  The 2d Marine Brigade, of 
which the 11th Regiment became a part, was organized for this purpose.  The 
11th was the last unit of the brigade to enter Nicaragua.

     The political disputes in Nicaragua involved two groups -- the 
Conservatives, who were in power and were led by President Diaz, and the 
Liberals, or revolutionaries.  The Conservative government of President Diaz 
was recognized and supported by the United States Government.  The leaders in 
the Liberal camp were Juan Sacasa, who was at that time in exile, and General 
Moncada, but the Marines of the 2d Brigade were to become more directly 
involved with a Liberal guerrilla leader named Augusto Sandino.

     One of the first actions taken by Washington in this conflict was to send 
Henry Stimson to mediate between the antagonists.


On 22 April 1927, he began negotiating with Diaz; the plan that they agreed to 
contained five main points.  First, President Diaz was to remain in office 
until after the election of 1928 in which he would be constitutionally 
ineligible to run.  Second, there was to be a general amnesty proclaimed, and 
troops of both sides were to surrender their arms to American forces.  Diaz 
was to immediately appoint influential Liberals to important positions in the 
government.  The Nicaraguan constabulary was to be disbanded, and a national 
guard was to be organized and initially trained and commanded by American 
officers.  Finally, sufficient American forces were to stay in Nicaragua to 
enforce the provisions of this agreement and to supervise the elections of 
1928 and of succeeding years.<2>  When this document was presented to General 
Moncada and other Liberal leaders, they agreed to it, and it became known as 
the Peace of Tipitapa.

     Augusto Sandino had by now become the most powerful guerrilla leader in 
Nicaragua, and he decided that the Peace of Tipitapa did not coincide with his 
own ideas.  He felt that the Liberal cause was being destroyed by Stimson 
under the cloak of friendly negotiation, and he felt strongly that the 
Liberals who concurred in the Tipitapa agreement were traitors to their own 
cause.  Sandino was not in fact violently anti-American, but he was violently 
anti-Diaz, and it was the first point in the agreement that caused him and his 
followers to take up arms.  He wanted Diaz out of power immediately.  Sandino 
once said, "I decided to fight, understanding that I was the one called to 
protest the betrayal of the Fatherland."<3>

     The 11th Regiment, as part of the 2d Marine Brigade, had a twofold 
mission in Nicaragua.  It was to help crush the resistance of Sandino and 
disarm the combatants in accordance with the Peace of Tipitapa.  The 11th was 
reactivated on 9 May 1927 with Lieutenant Colonel Arthur J. O'Leary in 
command.  The 1st Battalion, 11th Regiment was organized with a few Marines 
from Quantico and some from Haiti.  Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters 
and Service Company, 1/11 left Quantico and arrived at Corinto, Nicaragua 
aboard the USS MEDUSA on 22 May.  The other companies of 1/11 came from Port-
au-Prince and the Isle of Gonaive, Haiti.  They arrived at Corinto on 19 May.  
The 1st Battalion transferred by rail to Leon, Nicaragua to join the 2d 
Brigade.  The 2d Battalion was organized entirely at Quantico on 9 May.  It 
embarked aboard the USS AROOSTOCK on 10 May and arrived at Corinto on 21 May.  
It also went to Leon to join the 2d Brigade.<4>


     While in Nicaragua, the 11th Regiment undertook many duties, foremost of 
which was constant jungle patrolling.  Also, the Marines were used as train 
guards and for police duty, they garrisoned towns and points along lines of 
communication, they helped to train the Guardia Nacional, and they helped to 
disarm the native factions.<5>  The summer of 1927 proved to be rough for 
Sandino.  Too often, he attempted to stand his ground and fight superior 
forces.  He took defeats at Ocotal, San Fernando, and Santa Clara.  Not only 
were many of his men killed or wounded, but many deserted.  Many of the 
guerrillas who fought and survived in these defeats lost their nerve and 
decided it would be better to collect $10 for their rifle than to get killed.  
Sandino then turned to a type of fighting that has often characterized small, 
guerrilla forces fighting against numerous, disciplined troops.  He began to 
attack only when the odds were heavily in his favor.  He would only fight when 
he had overwhelming advantage in surprise, cover, and firepower.  He would 
never stand his ground when losing but would break contact and disappear as 
quickly as possible under the cover of the jungle.

     As the summer wore on, the Marines began to feel that the Sandino threat 
was ended.  The 2d Battalion, 11th Regiment wad redesignated as the 2d 
Separate Battalion in July 1927.  Headquarters and Service Company, 2/11 was 
disbanded at Leon, Nicaragua on 31 July.  The other companies of the 2d 
Separate Battalion arrived at San Diego on 6 August and were disbanded on 10 
August.  Regimental Headquarters and 1/11 embarked aboard the USS ARGONNE on 
10 August and arrived at Port-au-Prince, Haiti on 31 August.  The regiment was 
disbanded on 6 September.

     The Marines definitely underestimated the aggressiveness and tenacity of 
Sandino.  After he was defeated at El Chipote, the Marines thought that he 
would flee to Honduras or deeper into the wilderness of the Nueva Segovia and 
Jinotega departments.  Instead, he turned south toward the larger towns in 
Jinotega and Matagalpa, and he caught the remaining Marines of the 2d Brigade 
by surprise.  As the year 1928 came around, it became necessary for the 11th 
Regiment to reorganize and return to Nicaragua.  Sandino was gaining strength, 
and he loomed as a tremendous threat to the elections that were to be held 
later in the year.

     In January 1928, the 11th Regiment was reactivated under the command of 
Colonel Robert H. Dunlap.  It consisted of two battalions, one from each 
coast.  The 1st Battalion was organized


with Marines from Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Norfolk, Virginia and Marine 
Barracks, Parris Island, South Carolina.  Those from Norfolk embarked aboard 
two transports, the USS Raleigh and the USS TRENTON.  The Marines from Parris 
Island embarked aboard the USS MILWAUKEE at Charleston, South Carolina.  All 
of 1/11 arrived at Corinto on 15 January and rejoined the 2d Marine 
Brigade.<6>  The 2d Battalion was organized at Marine Corps Base, San Diego on 
5 and 6 January.  It embarked aboard the USS NITRO on 9 January and arrived at 
Corinto on 16 January to join the 2d Brigade.<7>  While 1/11 and 2/11 were in 
Nicaragua, on 21 March, a third battalion was added to the 11th Regiment.  It 
was organized at Marine Barracks, Norfolk and Marine Barracks, Charleston.  
Those from Charleston arrived at Corinto aboard the USS BRIDGE on 30 March, 
and the Marines from Norfolk arrived at Corinto on 31 March aboard the USS 

     The 11th Regiment moved into the Matagalpa region.  Sandino himself was 
not there, but he had left a force commanded by one of his most able 
lieutenants, Miguel Angel Ortez y Guillen, to terrorize the area.  Units from 
the 11th ran numerous patrols in Matagalpa to destroy Ortez' forces.  As time 
progressed, Colonel Dunlap and the 11th took increasing responsibility for 
suppressing guerrilla activities in northern Nicaragua, and Dunlap moved his 
headquarters to Ocotal to be near the fighting in the north.

     One of the main reasons for Dunlap's success in neutralizing Ortez' men 
was that he used his air support skillfully.  The planes were a far cry from 
modern types, but they nonetheless devastated Ortez' forces.  While the 
bandits were stunned by the punch of air power, the Marines of the 11th 
assaulted and killed them.  It was a deadly and powerful combination.

     It became pretty obvious that Sandino was going to do all that he could 
to hinder the running of the 1928 elections.  The primary mission of the 11th, 
as part of the 2d Brigade, was to help keep the elections orderly and make 
sure that they were run fairly.  The Marines had to work hard to keep 
Sandino's men from discouraging voting by terrorism.  In order to accomplish 
their mission, the Marines of the 11th dispersed to many different polling 
places and patrolled their areas continuously.  Supervision of the elections 
was effective.  The results were fair, and 133,000 voters, a substantial 
increase over the number of voters in the 1924 elections, turned out.  General 
Moncada, the foremost Liberal leader and that party's


candidate for president, easily defeated the Conservative candidate, Adolfo 

     The Marines again made the mistake of believing that Sandino was finished 
because the election had been a success. One factor contributing to Sandino's 
perserverance was that the Marines and the Nicaraguan peasants did not get 
along.  Many Nicaraguans regarded the Marines as a hostile, occupying force 
rather than as protectors from bandits.  Some of the peasants reversed the 
roles and thought of the bandits as protectors from the Marines.  Because of 
this resentment, which was substantial but not critical, the Marines found 
that they had to fight the "part-time" bandit.  By day, he innocuously worked 
at his job, but by night he armed himself with any weapon possible to hunt 
Marines.  Some of these embittered Nicaraguans simply organized into small, 
local groups that were for the most part entirely ineffective, but others 
joined Sandino's force, either fighting with the leader himself or with one of 
his lieutenants.  The "part-time" bandit was no more than a nuisance to the 
Marines, but it was not a very long step from "part-time" to "full-time," and 
throughout 1928 Sandino had no problem getting recruits.

     After the election of 1928, the duties of the 11th Regiment continued to 
include extensive jungle patrolling to find, kill, or capture Sandino's men.  
Another task was the training and developing of the Guardia Nacional, a job 
allotted to the Marines by the Tipitapa agreement.  All the units of the 2d 
Brigade provided Marines to train the Nicaraguans, and Marine staff 
noncommissioned officers became officers in the Guardia.  The purpose of this 
organization was to deal with internal problems and disputes such as the 
Sandino problem.  The hope was that, eventually, if a guerrilla like Sandino 
appeared to threaten the peace of Nicaragua, the Guardia could handle it 
rather than calling on Washington for help.

     In 1929, when it became evident that the Guardia was strengthening and 
that Sandino's strength and popularity was finally diminishing, Marines began 
to leave Nicaragua.  The companies of 3/11 were at Managua, Yali, Ocotal, and 
San Fernando, and they were disbanded in those towns on 15 June.  Regimental 
Headquarters, 1/11, and 2/11 embarked aboard the USS HENDERSON at Corinto on 
20 August and were deactivated on 31 August en route to Marine Barracks, 


                         Reactivation and Guadalcanal

     After disbanding in 1929, the 11th Regiment disappeared for over a 
decade.  It did not return until the Marine Corps, living up to its reputation 
as a force in readiness, began to greatly increase its strength in 1940.  On 1 
September 1940, the 1st Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Brigade, FMF was 
organized at Marine Barracks, Quantico.<9>  On 10 October, 1/11 left Quantico 
and sailed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, arriving there on 21 October.  On 1 
January 1941, 2/11 was activated at Guantanamo, and, three weeks later, on 23 
January, 3/11 was organized there.<10>  On 1 February, the 1st Marine Brigade 
was officially redesignated as the 1st Marine Division, and, on 1 March, 
Headquarters and Service Battery, 11th Marines, Colonel Pedro A. del Valle 
commanding, was activated in Cuba. The organization of the 11th Marines was 
then complete, although two more battalions were added at various times later.  
The 3d Battalion was temporarily disbanded at Parris Island on 1 June 1941, 
but it was reorganized on 24 January 1942.

     The 11th Marines had now become the artillery regiment of the 1st Marine 
Division.  From 1940 to the present, this has been its role.  There were a 
few, scattered instances when units of the 11th were used as infantry for 
short periods of time, but the 11th was no longer an infantry regiment as it 
had been in World War I and Nicaragua.  At Guantanamo Bay, the 11th began its 
artillery training, starting with 75mm pack howitzers, which were used by 1/11 
throughout the war and by 2/11 for most of the war.  The 3d Battalion used 
105mm howitzers at Guadalcanal and afterwards.

     On 22 October 1941, a fourth battalion was added to the 11th Marines as a 
105mm howitzer battalion at Marine Barracks, Parris Island.<11>  The 4th 
Battalion moved to New River, North Carolina in January 1942.  The 11th 
Marines was completely assembled there along with the rest of the 1st Marine 
Division, which underwent intensive combat training until June 1942.  During 
this time, the 11th exercised with its howitzers and took part in various 
training exercises learning to coordinate its fire to support the infantry.  
On 21 March 1942, 1/11 was attached to the 3d Marine Brigade, and it went to 
Samoa with the 7th Marines, but the rest of the 11th stayed together, and on 9 
June it entrained at New River for a transcontinental ride to San Francisco, 
where it arrived on 14 June.  By this time, the 5th Battalion had been 
activated as one more 105mm howitzer unit.  On 22 June, the 11th boarded the 


San Francisco and sailed for Wellington, New Zealand with the other units of 
the 1st Marine Division.

     Shortly after arriving at Wellington, Major General Alexander A. 
Vandegrift, commanding general of the 1st Marine Division, received word that 
his Marines were to conduct an amphibious operation against the Japanese at 
Guadalcanal -- Tulagi with a tentative landing date of 1 August 1942.<12>  The 
initial objective was the Japanese airfield on Guadalcanal.  General 
Vandegrift was understandably surprised that he had to get his division ready 
in such a short time because he had expected six months of training in New 
Zealand.  As a result, Wellington was the scene of much hard work and more 
than a little confusion.  The main problem was to get the transports and 
supply ships unloaded at the docks of Wellington and then combat loaded.  
General Vandegrift was disturbed at the slowness of the New Zealand dock 
workers, but he passed down the word to organize the Marines into working 
parties, and, eventually, the job of unloading and reloading the vessels was 
accomplished.  The general, in reviewing what he had to do and planning his 
time accordingly, decided that he needed one extra week to get his division 
ready to assault Guadalcanal.  He asked for and received an extension of D-Day 
to 7 August.

     On 22 July, the 1st Division left Wellington.  On the way to Guadalcanal, 
General Vandegrift had planned to rehearse amphibious landings at Koro in the 
Fiji Islands.  Upon arriving, he found that the coral surrounding the islands 
would tear the bottoms out of the landing craft.  As a result, the Marines 
practiced "wet-net" drills, and the landing craft practiced their maneuvers up 
to the reef but no further.  The Marines were never able to land on the shore.  
On 7 August, the 1st Marine Division arrived off Guadalcanal, ready for its 
first taste of combat in World War II.

     The landing itself was handled smoothly and professionally.  There was 
very little initial resistance from the Japanese, most of whom had pulled back 
into the interior of Guadalcanal conceding the Marines a landing but preparing 
to fight hard once the Marines attempted to move inland and threaten the 
airfield.  Most of the initial defenders were simply the airfield garrison, 
but many Japanese reinforcements entered Guadalcanal during the course of the 
campaign by way of the "Tokyo Express."  This large influx of Japanese troops 
after the entry of the Marines enabled the enemy to resist strongly for six 
months.  For all the Marines except for the "salts" who were veterans of



Map of the First Offensive, GUADALCANAL 9 the "Banana Wars," this was their first taste of jungle combat. Many of the Marines who survived contracted malaria. Not only was sickness a problem but also, from the very start, the Marines were plagued with logistical troubles. They had not been able to pack as many supplies in the ships going to Guadalcanal as they had thought necessary, and, in addition, many of the supplies that were initially packed never reached the beach because the transports and cargo ships were forced to leave the area on 9 August under pressure of Japanese naval and air strength. The initial superiority of the Japanese on the sea kept the supply situation extremely critical, and not until the U. S. Navy rallied and drove the Imperial Navy from the area were the Marines adequately supplied. The only solution to this problem at the beginning was to capture Japanese rations, which is what the Marines did. The artillerymen of the 11th, in their battery positions, were not quite as exposed as the infantry to numerous, banzai charges by the Japanese, but they were constantly harassed by naval gunfire and air attacks. The mission of the 11th Marines was to support the infantry of the 1st Marine Division with as much artillery fire as it could muster, and Colonel del Valle was able to draw the most possible from his troops and equipment in accomplishing that mission. There were two battles in which the 11th played an especially significant part on Guadalcanal, the Battle of the Tenaru and the Battle of Edson's Ridge. The Battle of the Tenaru was one of the most desperate attempts made by the Japanese to evict the Marines from Guadalcanal. Assaulting over the Tenaru River in massive, human waves, the Japanese attacked the Marine positions to no avail. One of the main reasons that the Japanese assaults were not more successful was that the artillery of the 11th, accurate and in great volume, killed many Japanese before they ever reached the Marine positions. General Vandegrift gave a very concise account of the battle. He said, "After laying down a heavy mortar barrage, enemy infantry stormed across the river, struck our wire, and were decimated from enfiladed machine gun fire and del Valle's artillery."<13> There was no question that the Marines of the 11th knew their job and were performing it to the best of their ability. The Battle of Edson's Ridge (12-13 September 1942) was the other battle at Guadalcanal in which the 11th Marines played a starring role. In this case, it was specifically the 3d Battalion that delivered most of the artillery fire in support 10 of the combined 1st Raider and Parachute Battalions, commanded by Colonel Merritt A. Edson. From approximately 0200, 12 September, to dawn, 13 September, Edson's Raiders were defending a ridge, later named Edson's Ridge in honor of the colonel for his defense of it. The 3d Battalion, 11th Marines pumped rounds from its 105mm howitzers at a rapid rate. The Raiders were forced to fall back to a series of different positions under the ferocity of the Japanese onslaught, but the enemy was never able to break Edson's force, and each assault produced more and more Japanese casualties. Many of the enemy fell to the fire provided by 3/11, over 2,000 rounds, many at ranges closer than 1600 yards. General Vandegrift later stated, "Throughout the night the 11th Marines supported the Raiders and Parachutists by nine hours of almost constant artillery fire of the greatest accuracy and effectiveness, and greatly assisted them in standing off the attacks of the enemy."<14> He labelled the effort of the 11th Marines at Edson's Ridge "a tremendous contribution to the victory brought by dawn."<15> Colonel Edson was subsequently awarded the Medal of Honor for his defense of the ridge. Aside from these two major battles, the batteries of the 11th were involved in firing missions at scattered targets, supporting infantry units anytime that they needed artillery support. These fires were augmented on 18 September when 1/11, as part of 7th Marines (Reinforced), rejoined the 1st Division from Samoa. With five battalions now, the regiment was continually firing in support of the many patrols that had made contact with the enemy. On 1 October, Colonel del Valle became Brigadier General del Valle. General Vandegrift was highly impressed with the outstanding leadership that del Valle gave to the Marines of the 11th, and he retained del Valle as commanding general of the 11th Marines. This was the only time that the 11th Marines had a general at its head. Until December, the fight for Guadalcanal was a matter of finding and destroying the remaining pockets of Japanese resistance on the island. Relief for the 1st Marine Division finally began to arrive in November 1942, and, in December, the Marines began to depart. Their physical condition was such that many were unable to climb the cargo nets to bet back into the transports. The 11th Marines left Guadalcanal on 15 December aboard the USS HUNTER LIGGETT and arrived at Camp Cable, Queensland, Australia on 20 December. 11 Australia and New Britain Camp Cable was not an ideal area for rest and rehabilitation, but the 11th Marines celebrated Christmas of 1942 there.<16> Shortly after Christmas, the 11th sailed aboard the USS WEST POINT to Melbourne, Australia, where it arrived on 12 January 1943. While on board the West Point, 5/11 was disbanded. Unlike the detestable Camp Cable, Melbourne proved to be almost a paradise for the battle-weary veterans of Guadalcanal. The first week there (12-18 January 1943) was spent getting squared away in the new camp and organizing training schedules. The men were given as much liberty as possible. The people of Melbourne were hospitable, the weather was good, and the whole atmosphere around the camp was conducive to restoring the health of those still sick from malaria. The 11th was finally able to relax. Training did not begin until 18 January, and then the program was purposely geared to start slowly, allowing the sick men to regain their strength. The 1st Marine Division embarked upon a training cycle which began with squad tactics and then expanded to the regimental level throughout the summer of 1943. The `03 rifle, which had been carried by the Marines at Guadalcanal, was replaced by the M-1, and training was conducted in the care and use of this weapon. The 11th continued its artillery training with 75mm pack howitzers and 105mm howitzers. A program of physical training was also implemented for all Marines. This consisted of daily calisthenics and distance runs and was supplemented by a series of conditioning hikes with full combat gear that reached distances of 80 miles. On 1 May, 4/11 was once again reactivated, employing 105s. The 7th Marines with 1/11 and 4/11 departed from Melbourne on 19 September 1943 and sailed to Cape Sudest, New Guinea, where it arrived on 2 October. The remainder of the 11th reached there on 24 October to prepare for the upcoming Cape Gloucester landing. Staging areas for the 1st Marine Division were at Milne Bay, Oro Bay, Goodenough Island, and Cape Sudest. Headquarters of the 1st Marine Division was at Goodenough Island, and the 11th Marines completed its training at Cape Sudest. The initial mission for the 1st Division at Cape Gloucester was to take a Japanese airdrome. A light but accurate naval gunfire bombardment preceded the amphibious assault on D-Day, 26 December 1943. Light opposition met the 11th Marines, commanded by Colonel Robert H. Pepper, as it landed on its assigned 12 Yellow Beach area. The 1st Battalion provided close artillery support for the 7th Marines while 4/11 similarly supported the 1st Marines. It quickly became evident that the terrain at Cape Gloucester was very poor for rapid displacement of the artillery. Landing the 105mm howitzers and the 75mm pack howitzers and moving to good firing positions was very difficult. The mud was often thigh-deep, and fallen trees did not make the job any easier. In fact, one of the characteristics of the fighting on New Britain was that once the artillery was set up, it was very seldom moved anywhere. The 4th Battalion never displaced from its initial position in a kunai grass patch throughout its whole stay on New Britain. LVTs were used to clear paths for the movement of artillery and often used to move the guns themselves. Immediately upon landing, the Marines moved out to take the airdrome. The men of 4/11 crossed 400 yards of swamp and mud to set up their 105s in the kunai grass patch. The first battery of 4/11 was ready to fire by 1330 on D- Day in support of the 1st Marines. All batteries of 4/11 were in place and registered by nightfall on D-Day. Meanwhile, the artillerymen of 1/11 moved their 75mm pack howitzers to Silimati Point in order to support the 7th Marines. The 2d Battalion landed at 1325 on D-Day. As the infantry pressed closer to the airdrome, which was believed to be defended by two Japanese battalions, 1/11, 2/11, and 4/11 massed their fires on the enemy. It was finally taken on 29 December by the 1st Marines, minus 2/1, and the 5th Marines. On D-Day, Landing Team 21 landed at Green Beach. LT 21 amounted to 2/1 reinforced with Lieutenant Colonel James M. Masters, Sr. in command. Included in LT 21 was Battery H, 11th Marines, organized as three platoons of infantry. The mission of LT 21 was "to cut the main coastal track to prevent the Japanese from escaping from the airdrome or to prevent reinforcement of the Japanese garrison at the airdrome, to discover and control important subsidiary trails, to create a diversion, and to destroy any Japanese encountered."<17> There was no initial need for artillery at Green Beach, and Masters felt that the men of H/11 could be better put to work as infantrymen. The Japanese attacked the Green Beach perimeter at 0155, 30 December, in an action that came to be known as the Battle of Coffin Corner. By 0700, the enemy attack was broken. On 31 December, Masters returned H/11 to its artillery role, firing in support of patrols. 13 While the 1st and 5th Marines were attacking the airdrome, well- entrenched Japanese at Suicide Creek, a small stream just inland from the Yellow Beaches, held up elements of the 7th Marines on 27 December and forced them to dig in on the opposite bank. Banzai charges across the creek by the enemy failed to push back the 7th Marines, and artillery from 1/11 was very useful in breaking the Japanese assaults. The next mission for the 1st Division, after taking the Cape Gloucester airdrome, was to push on to Borgen Bay and to destroy all Japanese resistance in its path. On 4 January, the 7th Marines was finally able to cross Suicide Creek with the support of armor and artillery and join the attack on the next pieces of key terrain -- Hill 150, Aogiri Ridge, and Hill 660, which was the key to the whole Cape Gloucester operation. If the Japanese organized on it, they could fire artillery all over the area at the Marines, and the hold on the airdrome would never be secure. The first attack was against Hill 150, and it began at 1100, 6 January. The units involved were Weapons Company, 7th Marines, 1/7, 2/7, and 3/5. All infantry units used tank support. The 1st Battalion, 11th Marines fired 15 minutes of preparation fire on Hill 150, which was taken after a short battle. Next in line was the attack on Aogiri Ridge led by 3/5. On 9 January, 1/11 and 4/11 pounded Aogiri Ridge with artillery fire. The ridge was very heavily defended, and the slopes were steep and muddy. The infantry slowly slogged up the hill and took it after a bitter fight. The Japanese attempted a banzai counterattack at 0115, 10 January, and they tried four more during the night, but each one was driven back. The 4th Battalion fired 105mm rounds within 50 yards of 3/5 during the night to help repulse the enemy. Hill 660, which was the most important objective, proved also to be the toughest to take. This attack began at 0800, 13 January, and it was spearheaded by 3/7. As at Aogiri Ridge, 1/11 and 4/11 prepared the hill for the infantry. The 105s of 4/11 alone fired 1,200 rounds in preparation. The attack on Hill 660 bogged down on 13 January because of the strength of the Japanese defense and the constant rain turning the steep slope into almost untrafficable mud. The Marines dug into the slope of Hill 660 for the night only to resume the attack at 0900 the following morning. During the day, the infantry made 14
Map of Capture of Aogiri Ridge, Night Defensive Positions 15 slow but steady progress through the slime as 1/11 and 4/11 rained fire on the Japanese positions. The Marines finally made it to the top at 1830, 14 January, and consolidated on the ridge expecting the inevitable banzai counterattack, but this time it did not come immediately because a torrential downpour prevented the Japanese from sufficiently reorganizing themselves that night. The heavy rain gave 3/7 time to consolidate effectively, and not only was the battalion dug in with interlocking fields of fire but also plenty of 81mm mortar fire and artillery fire from the 11th was called on the Japanese when they finally returned. At 0530, 16 January the Japanese threw all their reserves at Hill 660 in an attempt to expel 3/7. The attack was a disaster for the enemy and marked the end of strong Japanese resistance in the Cape Gloucester area. The 1st Battalion, 11th Marines supported the 5th Marines in the Natamo Point operations in late January 1944 while the 5th was trying to cut off Japanese withdrawal routes. In the Volupai-Talasea operation (6-11 March 1944), two batteries of 75mm pack howitzers from 2/11 landed at Red Beach on D-Day (6 March). The 11th took its worst casualties of the New Britain fighting here. The batteries of 2/11 had to set up their howitzers on the exposed beach because there was no other place to go, and they took a tremendous pounding from 90mm mortars. Out of a total of 13 Marines killed in action during this operation, nine were from 2/11. Also, 2/11 sustained 29 wounded in action, more than one-third of the total Marines wounded in the operation. An interesting and amusing sidelight to the participation of the 11th on New Britain came out of the story of the Gilnit Patrol, a battalion-size patrol led by Lieutenant Colonel Lewis B. Puller. Artillery had nothing to do with this patrol in terms of fire support, but some individuals from the 11th participated. Puller had little patience with anyone, especially junior officers who did not keep themselves in good physical condition, and fat artillery lieutenants were fair game for his wrath. Fuller ordered one bulbous artillery lieutenant from the 11th to go on the patrol because he thought "the walk would do the artilleryman's girth some good."<18> In summary, it must be said that the dense rain forest of New Britain greatly reduced the effectiveness of artillery fire on well dug-in Japanese troops. Many rounds exploded harmlessly high in the trees. During all the various landings, the 11th showed outstanding speed and proficiency in moving its howitzers over bad terrain. The proficiency of the 11th at doing this 16 earned it the Navy Unit Commendation, the only unit award issued for the New Britain fighting. Counterbattery fire by the 11th was excellent and succeeded in suppressing Japanese artillery. The Army relieved the Marines at New Britain on 25 April. The cannoneers of the 11th hoped that they would go back to Australia, but this idea was shattered when they found themselves on Pavuvu in the Russell Islands. Peleliu The Marines could not have been more disappointed when they arrived at their next camp. Training camps in the FMF have always been known for their spartan conditions, but few could match Pavuvu in the Russell Islands. It was here that not only the 11th Marines, but the whole 1st Marine Division, found itself following the rigorous fighting on New Britain. Sick troops who needed some rest were unable to get it. No preparations had been made on the island for the division. There would be no time for relaxation because camps had to be built, and, when that was done, it was necessary to begin training again. Health and morale were at an all-time low for the whole division.<19> Training was very difficult on Pavuvu. One basic problem was that the area of the island was too small for large-scale training and exercises. The terrain of Pavuvu was not at all like that of Peleliu, which was the next target for the 1st Marine Division. As far as the 11th Marines was concerned, artillery was "reduced to the pitiful expedient of firing into the water with the observers out in a boat or DUKW."<20> Artillery also had very little time to practice loading and unloading the 75mm pack howitzers and the 105mm howitzers in LVT-4s and DUKWs. The division was very short of equipment to practice amphibious phases of training. The summer of 1944 was chaotic and uncomfortable for the 1st Marine Division. The training program culminated in two full-scale rehearsals of amphibious landings in preparation for the Peleliu operation at Cape Esperance, Guadalcanal on 27-29 August. After returning to Pavuvu and conducing a few, long conditioning hikes, the 1st Marine Division was ready for Peleliu. D-Day at Peleliu was 15 September 1944. At Guadalcanal and Cape Gloucester, the Japanese had not seriously challenged the division on the beaches, and the landings were relatively easy compared to the fighting following the landings. At 17 Peleliu, however, the Japanese strongly opposed the assault force, especially in that portion of beach where the 1st Marines landed. Before long, the beach was littered with blazing amphibian tractors. The 1st Marines landed on the division's left, the 5th Marines in the center, and the 7th Marines on the right.<21> As a general rule, the further to the left a Marine was, the greater his chances were of being killed on the beach because that was where the Japanese had placed their greatest strength. The 1st Marines took extremely heavy casualties, but it dug in and did not lose ground. The artillery group for the landing was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel William H. Harrison, commanding officer of the 11th Marines. The group consisted of two battalions of III Amphibious Corps (IIIAC) artillery, the 3d 155mm Howitzer Battalion and the 8th 155mm Gun Battalion, in addition to the 11th Marines.<22> The 1st Battalion, 11th Marines was in direct support of the 1st Marines. It came ashore with the 7th Marines, but its mission was not altered. The 2d Battalion, the other 75mm pack howitzer battalion, supported the 5th Marines. The 3d Battalion was originally supposed to be in general support, but its mission was changed to support the 7th Marines with its 105s. The other 105mm howitzer battalion, 4/11, was employed in general support along with the two artillery battalions from IIIAC. The 5th Battalion had been disbanded again at Pavuvu. All units of the 11th Marines were ashore and registered by dark on D-Day.<23> The IIIAC artillery was unable to land on D-Day, but the 3d 155mm Howitzer Battalion landed on 16 September, and the 8th 155mm Gun Battalion came ashore the following day. After one week on Peleliu, Brigadier General Oliver P. Smith remarked: Seven days after landing, all of the southern end of Peleliu was in our possession as well as the high ground immediately dominating the airfield. All of the beaches that were ever used were in use. There was room for the proper deployment of all the artillery, including the Corps artillery. Unloading was unhampered except by the weather and hydrographic conditions. The airfield was available and essential base development work was underway.<24> In other words, although the 1st Marine Division, especially the 1st Marines, was taking heavy casualties, the fighting was going well. 18
Map of Korea, as a Battlefield 19 For the first two weeks, all artillery support was handled in a strictly conventional way. There was a lot of massed preparatory, harassing, and interdicting fire.<25> On 28 September, for instance, all of the artillery battalions except 1/11 concentrated intensive preparatory fire on Ngesebus Island in preparation for the shore-to-shore movement to take that island. After the first two weeks, however, the artillery was no longer massed. The enemy resistance was in small pockets, and massed fire was generally more dangerous to friendly troops than to the enemy in that situation. The 105s and the 155s were used effectively firing directly into the mouths of caves where the Japanese were hiding. Artillerymen not needed on the guns became infantrymen and were quickly dubbed "Infantillery." This campaign indicated the usefulness of training every Marine to be an infantryman regardless of what his normal line of work turns out to be. The Marines of the 11th proved themselves to be competent infantrymen, filling gaps where the infantry units were taking heavy casualties. The fighting on Peleliu after a couple of weeks became an infantryman's campaign, almost, but not quite, to the exclusion of supporting arms. After securing southern Peleliu, the division turned its attention to the conquest of the northern part of the island, There were three main tactical considerations involved in the drive against northern Peleliu. The first was to bypass and isolate the pocket of resistance which had effectively held up both the 1st and 7th Marines in the early fighting and to gain better approaches to this pocket. The second consideration was to gain good ground from which to launch a shore-to-shore assault on Ngesebus Island where there was an unfinished Japanese fighter strip, one of the original objectives of the campaign. The final consideration was to halt the Japanese reinforcement of the Peleliu garrison by reserves coming from islands in the north.<26> By 30 September, northern Peleliu was secured, but, by this time, the fitness of the 1st Marines for further combat in this campaign was questionable. Also, the 75mm pack howitzers had not proven to be effective against enemy taking cover in caves, and so it was decided that the 75s would no longer be needed. A convoy containing the 1st Marines, 1/11, 2/11, and the 1st Tank Battalion departed from Peleliu for the Russell Islands on 2 October. The shortcomings of the 75mm pack howitzers at Peleliu had a great bearing on the subsequent decision to use 20 105mm howitzers in three artillery battalions instead of only in two. After Peleliu, 2/11 joined the ranks of the 105mm howitzer battalions, and 1/11 was the only 75mm howitzer battalion remaining in the 11th Marines. The fighting for the remainder of the 1st Marine Division was far from over because there were still some tenacious Japanese defenders prepared to fight to the death in a region called the Umurbrogol, which proved to be one of the toughest areas to fight in that the Marines ever encountered. There is a good geological explanation for its amazing terrain. Peleliu was pushed above the surface of the ocean by the great pressure exerted by subterranean, volcanic action. Where the pressure was strongest, "the ground had buckled and cracked to form a maze of ridges and defiles, the whole littered with jagged boulders and rubble which had been torn adrift by the violent action.<27> The intense pressure accounted for the broken nature of the terrain and for many underground faults which had eroded into many natural caves. The Japanese exploited these caves skillfully in their defense. They were eventually driven from the Umurbrogol, but only at great cost in American lives and equipment. This Japanese last-ditch defense on Peleliu was a great deal more devastating, even in failure, than the most ferocious banzai charge. Massed artillery fire was not effective in the Umurbrogol because it was too dangerous to friendly troops, who, of necessity, had to be very close to the enemy, and it did not hurt the Japanese except to keep them pinned down and to reduce their visibility. Direct fire of the 105s was effective when it could be employed, but often the cannons could not be placed in the right position because of the difficulties presented by the jagged terrain. When it could be done, the effect on the defenders of a 105mm howitzer pumping high explosive rounds into a cave from 200 yards away was devastating. The 1st Marine Division was on Peleliu for one month, and it wrested the island from the Japanese, but it did not entirely finish the job. There were still many Japanese for the Army to mop up after the 1st Marine Division departed. All the Marine infantry regiments took a great number of casualties with the 1st Marines at the head of the list. The Army permanently relieved the Marines on 15 October, exactly one month after D-Day, and by 20 October all the Marines were on their way back to the Russells. The 3d and 4th Battalions, 11th Marines, joined the first two battalions at Pavuvu. 21 Okinawa Pavuvu was no better place to train during the winter of '44-'45 than it had been in the summer of '44. There was still as much mud as before, and there was still not enough room to maneuver. Pavuvu was so small that "eventually units were forced to skirmish down company streets."<28> The difficulties of training the 11th in artillery at Pavuvu were the same as they had been earlier in the year. During this time, 2/11 was converted to a 105mm howitzer battalion. The 1st Marine Division made the best of what little training area it had until March 1945 when it left Pavuvu for its final combat operation of World War II, Okinawa. When the 1st Marine Division left the Russells on 15 March 1945, Major General Pedro A. del Valle, commander of the 11th Marines at Guadalcanal, was the new commanding general of the division. New Navy transports were used to carry the men from Pavuvu to Okinawa, and this was a welcome change. They were in much better condition than the ships used to transport Marines earlier in the war. First, the division sailed to Ulithi and arrived there on 21 March. It anchored there from 21-27 March, grouping and organizing with the rest of the naval expeditionary forces headed for Okinawa. L-Day at Okinawa was 1 April. The Okinawa operation was a unique one for the 1st Marine Division in World War II in that it was "the first time it was landing as an integral part of a much larger landing force, and matters of coordination and control not met in previous campaigns had to be considered."<29> The main point to be made was that the Okinawa landing, far from being solely a Marine and Navy effort, included a great number of Army troops. The 1st and 6th Marine Divisions provided the assault elements of the III Amphibious Corps, which, together with the Army XXIV Corps, formed the Tenth Army under the command of Lieutenant General Roy S. Geiger, USMC. The 1st Marine Division was to land right in the center of the Tenth Army beaches between Yontan and Kadena airfields. Most of the Marines anticipated that the landing would be heavily opposed at the beachhead. There was a seawall that had to be scaled, and there was not a man in the assault who did not worry about getting over that wall. At 0830, 1 April, the first assault troops hit the beach. They simply stood up and moved quickly across it. There was a little, ineffective, sniper fire, nothing more. The Yontain 22
Map of Okinawa Shima 23 airfield was secured at 1130 before any unit of the 11th Marines reached the shore. Securing this airfield was expected to take four or five days, not three hours. What was even more remarkable was that the airfield was undamaged, and so were most of the Japanese planes on the runway. Colonel Wilburt S. Brown was the commanding officer of the 11th at Okinawa, and his first battalion to land was 4/11, which hit the beach at 1200. Almost all the artillery was ashore by 1530. Because the enemy was not resisting as strongly as anticipated, the infantry moved out fast putting a great strain on communications and making it almost impossible for forward observers to register their batteries.<30> The infantry was moving too quickly for the artillery to keep up. By 2 April, displacement was necessary for all four battalions of the 11th, especially 1/11. The supported units of 1/11 were beyond the effective range of its 75mm pack howitzers. Displacement on 2 April was impossible, however, because of a lack of transportation. Two battalions, including 1/11, displaced on 3 April, and the other two displaced the following day. The infantry of the 1st Marine Division was moving so fast through its zone of action that it could not have had artillery support in the first days if it had needed it. On 2 April, General del Valle said, "I don't know where the Japs are, and I can't offer you any good reason why they let us come ashore so easily."<31> The zone of action (ZOA) of the 1st Marine Division, which stretched across Okinawa, was secured in four days. Only a very few Marines had been killed or wounded, and only a few Japanese had been killed because almost none had been seen. There were two reasons for the lack of resistance encountered by the division. First, enemy strength in the division's ZOA had been greatly overestimated by the United States military authorities. The Japanese were critically short on supplies of every kind, and, not wanting to waste what little they had, they were lying low, hoping that the kamikazes would cripple the American effort. Secondly, and even more important, the bulk of the Japanese Thirty-Second Army was holding defensive positions concentrically ringed about Shuri Castle. The remainder of the enemy force was located off the Minatogawa beaches in the southeast. The XXIV Corps, therefore, encountered the real strength of the Japanese. The first days on Okinawa for XXIV Corps were not as easy as they were for IIIAC, and, on 9 April, the 11th Marines moved south to join the XXIV Corps and to provide artillery support for the Army divisions there. The battalions of the 11th fired 24 supporting missions for the Army, and they helped the Army to slowly push back the enemy in the south. On 27 April, the rest of the 1st Marine Division was attached to XXIV Corps in order to aid the Army in the south. The 1st Marine Division relieved the 27th Infantry Division, which had taken a heavy beating. One important operation in May was the seizure of Dakeshi Ridge. On 8 May, the 1st Marine Division returned to IIIAC control, but it remained in the south where it was needed. The attack on Dakeshi Ridge was scheduled for the early morning of 11 May, but the Japanese attacked the Marines just before the Marine attack was scheduled to begin. The Japanese assault was repelled largely because of a heavy volume of accurate fire from the 11th Marines. The attack on Dakeshi Ridge started on schedule, and, by nightfall of 12 May, after two days of bitter fighting, the 7th Marines, which led the attack, had a hold on the ridge. The 11th had expended many rounds in support. On 13 May, the 7th Marines was routing the Japanese out of the town of Dakeshi, and, on 16 May, the 7th again was in the lead attacking Wana Ridge. After the 7th took Wana, the enemy returned with a vicious counterattack and drove back some of the more badly battered units of the 7th. The 11th ceaselessly hurled high explosive on the ridge and helped the 7th to eventually bend back the Japanese effort. The exhausted 7th was finally relieved there on 19 May. It was really the great effectiveness of the Marine tank-infantry team that meant success in the 1st Marine Division ZOA. As it had done at Peleliu, the artillery often used direct fire to rout the Japanese out of the caves in which they were hiding. The howitzers neutralized the enemy and kept him pinned down, but even the most ardent artilleryman would have to admit that it was the tanks, grinding and crawling right up to the mouths of the caves, firing high explosive or spewing flame, that furnished the most effective support for the infantry in this type of fighting. On 28 May, a Marine patrol entered Shuri Castle itself. Japanese resistance in that area was broken. One of the greatest victories for the supporting arms of artillery and naval gunfire came on 26 May. A naval gunfire air observer spotted a few hundred Japanese soldiers walking down a road. This proved to be part of a skillfully planned Japanese withdrawal. Naval vessels pumped rounds into the area, and all available artillery, including every unit of the 11th Marines, fired on that area and on the towns of Zahana, Gisushi, and 25 Dakiton, where enemy troops were sheltered. This pummeling resulted in the loss of 3,000-4,000 Japanese lives. Japanese resistance in the IIIAC zone next centered around the town of Itoman and Kunishi Ridge. Itoman was quickly secured, and then Kunishi Ridge was divided, the 7th Marines taking the west end and the 1st Marines attacking the east end. The west end was taken in two night attacks by the 7th Marines. The first occurred at 0330, 12 June, at which time two companies from 2/7 made it to their objectives. The rest of the 7th Marines reached their objectives on the following night. The commanding officer of the 7th Marines said, "I do not believe I would have attempted the night attack without the sure knowledge that the artillery could have blunted any serious counterattack. Without artillery, without the excellent artillery we had in support, the night attack would have been too risky."<32> One battalion commanding officer of the same regiment said, "It /artillery/ gave them /infantry/ a real sense of security at Okinawa. If the tank-infantry team was the offensive weapon, our artillery was our best defense. Not since Guadalcanal had the average infantryman realized how important it was to him."<33> After effectively supporting the attack by the 7th on the west end of Kunishi Ridge, the 11th hit the east end with its cannon in support of the 1st Marines, which gained its objective on 15 June. The 11th was really most important in a defensive role at Okinawa, steadily suppressing all Japanese attempts to counter-attack objectives won by the infantry of the 1st Marine Division or units of the various Army divisions that it at times supported. The 11th was also effective in counterbattery fire. The Japanese were very strong in 70mm guns, 75mm and 150mm howitzers, and 5-inch coast defense guns. This Japanese artillery was often silenced by the 11th. The batteries of the 11th supported many attacks by infantry battalions, and the fire that they provided was more than useful, but, in a role of offensive support, they had to take second place behind the tanks. Major General Lemuel C. Shepherd, commanding the 6th Marine Division, said, "If any one supporting arm can be singled out as having contributed more than any others during the progress of the campaign, the tank would certainly be selected."<34> The number of artillery rounds fired on Okinawa was extraordinary and indicated in itself the vast importance of artillery as a supporting arm in that campaign. For example, 1/11 alone fired 100,330 rounds as compared with the 120,000 26 round total of the whole 11th Marines on Peleliu.<35> The fact that 1/11 fired almost as many rounds with its 75mm pack howitzers on Okinawa as the 11th Marines fired on Peleliu was indicative of the great amount of work accomplished by the artillerymen in this campaign because the 75s were used only very sparingly against enemy in caves. The other battalions fired many more rounds than the 1st in that capacity. When the fighting on Okinawa was over, a rumor circulated that the 1st Marine Division was going to Hawaii. Like most other hopeful word, this was false. The division had to remain on Okinawa, where it constructed its own camp on Motobu Peninsula. The Marines turned to the new task with an attitude of, "Well, dammit, if they can dish it out, I can take it."<36> The division figured prominently in the plans for the invasion of Japan, but these were unnecessary because, on 14 August, the cease-fire was proclaimed. The next step for the 11th Marines and the rest of the 1st Marine Division was North China. North China On 26 September 1945, the 1st Marine Division departed Okinawa for North China. Arriving at the mouth of the Hai River, the 11th Marines disembarked and moved to Tientsin, where it was billeted in the East French Arsenal. The Marines received a hearty welcome from the Chinese populace, and the Japanese garrison that was to be relieved was docile and polite. The mission of all the Marines in North China, according to James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, was "to accomplish the disarmament of the Japanese and to provide for their repatriation up to the point where General Wedemeyer considers that the Chinese Nationalist government troops can alone carry out this mission."<37> Officially, the Marines were to take no part in the struggle for power going on in China between the Nationalists and the Communists. They were simply supposed to assist the Nationalists in solving the problem of relieving and repatriating the Japanese soldiers who remained in China following the surrender. The Marines, nevertheless, found themselves involved in many activities necessary to allow the Nationalist government to bring about at least some vestige of control over the people in the countryside. The Chinese Communists in late 1945 were conducting guerrilla warfare effectively among the peasantry. They were not strong enough yet to face the Chinese Nationalist Army in a pitched battle, but they were adept at harassment. 27 The 1st and 11th Marines initially took responsibility for the bivouacking and repatriation of the Japanese soldiers at Tientsin. Units from the 11th and other regiments of the 1st Marine Division were sent out along the railroads to Peiping and Chinwangtao in order to suppress the numerous Communist attempts to disrupt rail traffic. They guarded all lines of communication around Tientsin, the coal fields, and the coal shipments on the railroad. Without the Marines to guard all of this, the Nationalists would have been unable to keep utilities or factories running. In handling this guard duty, the Marines became involved in many incidents with the Chinese Communists. The personnel situation for the Marines, as well as for the rest of the 1st Marine Division, was very poor. Because of a demobilization effort conducted by all the Services following the end of the war, the Marine Corps suffered a large cutback of personnel. It was not long before many Marines of the 1st Division were eligible to go home under the point discharge and rotation plans. By December 1945, there was a large decrease of Marines in China. There were some replacements for the veterans who were sent home, but these were little more than "boots," who were young and still had much to learn in basic military subjects.<38> By January 1946, the Marines were no longer responsible for the custody of Japanese personnel and equipment, or Japanese subsistence and repatriation, a job that they had efficiently carried on throughout the fall of 1945. They still continued to aid and advise the Chinese on this project, and, by the midsummer of 1946, all the Japanese except for a small group of technicians had been repatriated. The Marines then increased their concentration on protecting the railways to Chinwangtao and Peiping and the coal fields in the area, since the Communists were becoming increasingly bold in their attacks. During August and September, however, the Chinese Nationalist Army took over full responsibility for the security of the coal fields and the railway between Peiping and Chinwangtao. In September 1946, 3/11 moved from Tientsin to barracks in the Peitaiho- Chinwangtao area joining the 7th Marines. The rest of the 11th remained at Tientsin. Many of the Marines who had been spread out along the railways were pulled back into the city of Tientsin, and the Chinese Nationalist Army undertook greater responsibility for security against the Communists. On 1 October, Colonel Eugene F. C. Collier relieved Colonel Brown, 28 who had led the 11th since the start of the Okinawa campaign, as commanding officer. On 20 December, 4/11 left Tientsin and joined 3/11 and the 7th Marines at Chinwangtao. On 2 January 1947, 3/11, 4/11, and the 7th Marines departed from Chinwangtao for the United States, arriving at San Diego on 22 January. The 4th Battalion was disbanded on 17 February. The rest of the 11th Marines left North China for Guam, joining the 3d Marine Brigade. They remained in Guam just long enough to construct a camp of Quonset huts before going home. Camp Pendleton, California, May 1947-July 1950<39> On 1 May 1947, the 11th Marines arrived at Camp Pendleton from Guam. The artillerymen were billeted in the 17 Area, but immediately leave was awarded to almost all of them. For the most part, the officers received 30 days leave, and the enlisted men were given 60 days. By 8 May, almost 200 men from the 11th had gone home for one or two months. The 11th was still part of the 3d Marine Brigade, but, on 17 July, when the remainder of the 1st Marine Division returned from China, the 3d Brigade was disbanded, and the 11th Marines reverted to the control of the 1st Marine Division. Throughout the summer of 1947, the size of the 11th was drastically reduced until it consisted of only a Headquarters and Service Battery and the 1st Battalion plus one 4.5-inch rocket battery. The rocket battery was a new addition to the 11th Marines while at Camp Pendleton. Its purpose was to provide highly mobile general support for the infantry. The other weapons of the 11th were 75mm pack howitzers, and 105mm howitzers. The three years at Camp Pendleton between occupation duty in North China and the Korean War were an endless succession of amphibious exercises, field problems, firing on the artillery range, parades, and inspections. It was three years of routine training and garrison duty, but the work included much of value that enabled 1/11 to maintain itself as an artillery battalion ready for action anywhere in the world. Between 20 October and 10 November 1947, the 11th Marines practiced amphibious landings at Coronado Strand, San Clemente Island, and Aliso Beach, preparing for the full-scale, combined, amphibious exercises that were to take place at Aliso Beach on 10-14 November. This was to be Operation DEMON I, the first of three DEMON operations between 1947 and 1950 that helped to maintain the 1st Marine Division as a force in readiness. The 29 landing itself was to take place on 10 November, but extremely inclement weather forced a postponement until 13 November. The landing was accomplished with no major problems, and reviewing officers felt that the whole exercise was excellently handled. This landing was typical of all Camp Pendleton amphibious exercises between 1947 and 1950. The other DEMON exercises occurred in October 1948 and April 1950. May 1948 was a period of parades and inspections for the 11th, and it began with a dress blue parade for the Inspector-General. The 11th was complimented for its performance and appearance, and Private First Class Billy D. Glass was personally congratulated on his appearance and named outstanding. On 13 May, Lieutenant General Thomas E. Watson, the commanding general of the Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, inspected the 11th Marines and other units at Camp Pendleton. It was a time for sparkling brass and mirror-like shoes, and every Marine was a poster Marine. It was not long, however, before the Marines of the 11th again found themselves in contact with good California earth. In the end of January and early February 1949, 1/11 accompanied the 7th Marines to Kodiak Island off Alaska for cold weather amphibious operations. The purpose was to acquaint the Marines with combat in cold temperatures and to test the reaction of both men and equipment to the rigors of an Arctic winter. The exercise was highly satisfactory and was good experience for the men, some of whom found themselves at the "Frozen Chosin" two years later. Training in cold climates was a new idea that was more thoroughly explored after the Korean War. On 28-29 June 1949, the 11th Marines conducted a two-day, 100-mile field exercise, the purpose of which was to improve the speed of the Marines at laying and registering the cannon and to improve the skill of the truck drivers who were required to tow the weapons along narrow, steep, twisting mountain trails. On 28 June, the 11th travelled to Camp Talega in the northwest corner of the Camp Pendleton reservation. Very little of this trip was over hard-surface road. The cannoneers layed and registered the cannon and spent the night there. The next day, the truck drivers received the most demanding part of the exercise as they towed the howitzers through the roughest terrain at Camp Pendleton to Horno Ridge, where the artillery once again set up and registered the weapons. The problem was secured on the evening of 29 June. 30 During July 1949, the most hard-charging Marine of all time, the man who has assaulted more heavily defended beaches on celluloid than anyone else in history, the one who always made it through the grazing, enfilade machine gun fire to display the ultimate in small-unit leadership, John Wayne, arrived at Camp Pendleton to film "Sands of Iwo Jima." The 11th Marines, along with other units of the 1st Marine Division, assaulted Aliso Beach while Hollywood cameras recorded all of the action. "Airlift 1949," a new type of tactical exercise, was conducted on 24 October 1949. The 1st Battalion, 5th Marines assaulted San Nicholas Island, 130 miles off the California coast, from the air. The 11th Marines flew in with 75mm pack howitzers, which were the only artillery weapons that could be airlifted into combat at that time. On 15 February 1950, the 11th participated in "Airlift 1950A," which was simply a repeat performance of the 1949 exercise. These two exercises were concrete evidence of the birth of the idea that to move artillery by air was feasible. This idea was exploited a great deal more fully with the increased development of heliborne movement between the Korean War and the Vietnam conflict. On 3 July 1950, the 11th Marines took part in a combat parade and review to demonstrate its readiness. It was well that 1/11 was as ready as it was. Korea On 5 July 1950, the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was organized at Camp Pendleton for duty in Korea. This brigade consisted of the 5th Marines, Marine Aircraft Group 33, and 1/11. All the units prepared to move out, and, on 13 July, they sailed for Pusan, Korea. The North Korean People's Army (NKPA) had swept into South Korea, routing the South Koreans and the understrength U. S. Army troops who were supporting them. By the time that the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade arrived on 2 August, all of Korea was under the control of the NKPA except for a small area around Pusan. It was the job of the 1st Brigade to reinforce the Army and to help hold the perimeter. Four days after arriving at Pusan, 1/11 found itself at Chindong-ni, where it relieved the Army's 8th Field Artillery Battalion. The battalion position was partly in the center and partly on the outskirts of the town. NKPA artillery was already registered on Chindong-ni, and initially 1/11 was heavily shelled. Nevertheless, 1/11 trained its 105s on the NKPA 31 artillery and successfully outdueled it. As the 5th Marines moved against NKPA troops, 1/11 was forced to displace often. Because of the terrain, the 105s had to be placed much closer to the infantry lines than is normally recommended. When 2,000-3,000 yards would have normally been the distance between the artillery and frontline infantry positions, often in the Pusan perimeter the distances were 500-1,500 yards. By 12 August, 1/11 had built up positions on the outskirts of Kosong, and 12 August proved to be a great day of triumph for these cannoneers. They were adjusting fire on a crossroad when an enemy motorized force, camouflaged in the houses near the crossroad, began to move out. The 105s fired on the convoy until it was out of range, damaging or destroying almost every vehicle. The artillerymen returned to Chindong-ni briefly on 14 August and then moved to Miryang, at that time 17 hours away by truck and rail. After an unusually uncomfortable and grueling trip, 1/11 set up battery positions at Miryang in order to support the 5th Marines, which was about to launch an offensive to push the NKPA troops over the Naktong River. The 5th crushed the NKPA soldiers, and, as the Communists attempted to retreat across the river, 1/11 had a good shoot. One battery was firing with fuze quick, one with variable-time (VT) fuze, and the others with fuze delay to kill the North Koreans under the surface.<40> Many North Koreans were shelled to death attempting to ford the river. Following the Naktong rout, the 5th Marines moved to Masan for a very brief rest. The cannoneers, however, moved back to Chindong-ni to support RCT-5 (Army), which was heavily attacked by NKPA forces from midnight, 31 August, to daylight, 1 September. The 105s of 1/11 were indispensable in crushing the NPKA assaults on the Army positions. Almost immediately, 1/11 returned to Miryang. This time, the trip took only six hours because of many improvements made in the road. The reason for the move was that the NKPA was threatening Yongsan, and, if they took that town, they could break down the whole defense of the Pusan perimeter. The battle for Yongsan was crucial in the effort made by the South Koreans and the U. S. soldiers and Marines to maintain a foothold on Korea, and, from 1-4 September, 1/11 fired approximately 5,000 rounds in helping deny Yongsan to the Communists. The targets were generally mortar, machine gun, and artillery positions, plus a few large troop concentrations. 32 Lieutenant Colonel Ransom M. Wood, the commanding officer of 1/11, had some complaints about Korea with regard to the terrain and the difficulties that it presented for the artillery. He said, "The Korean terrain certainly is not the best for artillery position areas. Mountains and rice paddies see to that. Ground which often looked favorable was found later to be inaccessible due to lack of solid ground approaches, principally because of ubiquitous rice paddies."<41> On 6 September, 1/11 left Miryang for Pusan. From 6-10 September, the battalion assimilated new men and equipment. On 10 September, 1/11 left Pusan for Inchon. If the artillerymen of 1/11 throught things had been rough on the Pusan perimeter, it is best that they did not know what awaited them only a few months away. In any case, their morale was high. They were ready to leave Pusan. Lieutenant Colonel Wood felt that he had learned six, valuable lessons as an artillery battalion commander in Korea. They were: 1) Stay out of villages and towns if at all possible in selecting position areas for artillery. 2) Wherever possible, so site one gun from each battery that it may be used in an anti-tank role. Our 155mm high explosive anti-tank ammunition will stop a T-34 or similar tank. 3) As part of the battalion's standing operating procedure, carry local security personnel on the battalion commander's reconnaissance for position. Place local security posts on the hills commanding the valleys, especially those to the rear and the flanks. Establish your own patrols, and always have an aggressive patrol policy in operation. It's good life insurance. 4) Keep civilians, refugees, and especially children, out of the position area or camp if in a rear area. Children were used extensively, especially in the early days of the war, to enter camps for the sole purpose of leaving an armed hand grenade near some unsuspecting person. 5) Wherever possible, select and organize positions to be occupied by the battalion so that at least one battery will be able to fire in any direction. 33 6) Every Marine, regardless of his rank, primary MOS, or job, is essentially an infantryman when it comes to shooting the weapon with which he is armed.<42> Meanwhile, in the States, the rest of the 1st Marine Division was preparing to mount out, a job that proved to be practically an administrative miracle. The fact that the job got done testifies to the ability of Marines to work very long hours at very tedious jobs to get a task done when the chips are down. As far as the individual Marine was concerned, from the moment he entered the gates of Camp Pendleton to the moment he departed, he was in a continuous rush. The 1st and 2d Battalions, 10th Marines, 105mm howitzer battalions from Camp Lejeune, arrived at Camp Pendleton and were redesignated 2/11 and 3/11; a 155mm howitzer battalion, 3/10,became 4/11. The 11th Marines was now organized with three direct support battalions using 105mm howitzers and one general support battalion using 155mm howitzers. There was practically no artillery training for the cannoneers of 2/11, 3/11, and 4/11, the ranks of which were greatly augmented by inexperienced reserves while at Camp Pendleton. Korea was to be real on-the-job training for them. The 2d Battalion did a little practice firing, but 3/11 and 4/11 did not have the time to do any. These three battalions, along with Headquarters and Service Battery, 11th Marines, sailed from California to Kobe, Japan, and, on 9 September, they left Kobe to take part in the Inchon landing. Six 1sts and one AKA, the USS WASHBURN, were used to move 2/11, 3/11, and 4/11 to Inchon. Three 1sts transported 1/11 from Pusan to Inchon. Colonel James H. Brower was now in command of the 11th, and his first battalions to land in the Inchon operation were 1/11 and 2/11, which moved onto Wolmi-do in DUKWs at 1845, D-Day, 15 September. These two battalions were prepared to fire by 2145 in support of the infantry units that assaulted Inchon itself. The following day, 1/11 and 2/11 moved over to Inchon and were trailed by 3/11 and 4/11. The 1st Battalion was in direct support of the 5th Marines, as it had been at Pusan, and 2/11 was in direct support of the 1st Marines. When the 7th Marines, which was reorganized and prepared for battle a little later than the 1st Marines, arrived in Korea, 3/11 took over as the direct support artillery battalion for that regiment. The 4th Battalion, with its 155s, was in general support. The artillery was forced to displace frequently in the first days after landing because of the rapid advances made by the infantry. The 11th always displaced one battery at a time so that good support could be provided at all times. Ammunition resupply was 34 very good at this time, and the 11th broke up many enemy troop concentrations along the Inchon-Seoul highway. Communications were initially the greatest problem for the 11th because of the great number of inexperienced men handling worn-out equipment. This problem was alleviated as the men became more experienced and newer equipment was supplied. Artillery was of very limited use to the Marines inside Seoul, but the 5th Marines received good support from the 105s of 1/11 and the 155s of 4/11 in the hills west of Seoul. After taking Seoul, the 1st Marine Division withdrew and was ordered to land at Wonsan in an attempt to deliver the "coup-de-grace" to the rapidly retreating NKPA. Actually, while the Marines were steaming around to the east coast of Korea, the U. S. Army and the South Koreans were doing such a good job that by the time the Marines landed at Wonsan everybody else had already arrived ahead of them, including Bob Hope and the USO. The day that the Marines landed administratively at Wonsan was a bitter one for the hard- chargers who considered it almost a disgrace for the Marines not to be the first ones in enemy territory. Once at Wonsan, the units of the 1st Marine Division began to spread widely apart to the north. Major General Oliver P. Smith, commanding the 1st Marine Division, tried to pull them closer together, but he was limited in doing this by his own superiors. The great dispersal of the infantry regiments made it necessary to attach artillery battalions to regimental combat teams (RCTs). As a result, 1/11 joined RCT-5, 2/11 joined RCT-1, and 3/11 joined RCT-7. The 4th Battalion remained in general support and went furthest north with RCTs 5 and 7 to Yudam-ni on the Chosin Reservoir. The 2d Battalion was able to stay a little further south along the Main Supply Route (MSR) with the 1st Marines. Battery D was at Hagaru-ri with 3/1, Battery E was at Koto-ri with 2/1, and Battery F was at Chinhung-ni with 1/1. At Yudam-ni, the 1st, 3d, and 4th Battalions had many problems, most all of which stemmed from the bitter cold that the Marines experienced there. When the temperatures hovered around -20 degrees Fahrenheit, the efficiency of every Marine was greatly reduced. All of the battalions experienced a shortage of ammunition. Most of it was air-dropped, but during the whole time at Yudam-ni only 1,200 rounds of 105mm ammunition was delivered, and 4/11 was never resupplied with 155mm ammunition. The 4th Battalion was limited to counterbattery fire and firing on especially heavy troop concentrations. The extreme cold had an adverse effect on the cannons themselves, and it made 35
Map of Peleliu, Scheme of Maneuver 36 air-dropping of ammunition a wasteful practice. Atmospheric conditions such as those of a North Korean winter greatly decreased the maximum effective range of the artillery pieces. "The 105mm howitzer, once fired, will not leap back instantly into battery. It will creep back in 30 seconds or more. Ammunition freezes too. Shells do not go off, and, if they have been air- dropped, perhaps only 25 percent will survive the impact of collision with that rocklike earth."<43> While the Marines were strung out along the MSR with the 5th and 7th Marines along with three battalions of the 11th and other supporting units extended far to the north, the Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) penetrated across the Yalu River into Korea and furiously drove back the U. S. Army troops there. Exploiting the gaps in the American lines that this created, many Chinese divisions soon surrounded the 1st Marine Division, which was forced to withdraw. The only way to do this was to move south along the MSR through the Chinese positions in the crippling cold of a North Korean winter. The Marines held several, isolated points along the MSR, but the Chinese controlled the MSR itself. The problem was to secure high ground along the route so that men and equipment could travel south along it to safety. The 11th Marines displaced southward in such a way as to give maximum, continuous, fire support to the infantry fighting for the high ground. Most of the artillerymen became infantrymen during this march. Only skeleton crews manned the 105s and the 155s. From 1-11 December, the troops doggedly continued south, the Marines leaving no scrap of equipment behind for the Chinese to use. Each battalion of the 11th remained with the RCT to which it had initially been assigned. On 11 December, all the surviving Marines, carrying many of their dead and all their equipment, arrived at Hungnam to embark for South Korea. The basic problem at Hungnam was to evacuate many thousands of American Marines and soldiers, South Korean troops, and North Korean refugees who could not be left to the mercy of the starving, freezing Chinese.<44) With regard to the enemy situation, Marine air observation showed "continued movement southward to reinforce, with the presence of a considerable number of artillery pieces reported for the first time."<45> The evacuation at Hungnam amounted to a large scale amphibious landing in reverse. In spite of the great number of Communist forces in the area, surprisingly little Chinese and North Korean resistance was encountered, and, by 15 December, all the Marines were gone from Hungnam and North Korea. 37 The men of the 1st Division spent Christmas of 1950 around Masan, which was a town within what once had been the Pusan perimeter. The 5th Marines had already spent time there the previous August. The division trained and reorganized. On 8 January 1951, General Smith was ordered to move the 1st Marine Division to the vicinity of Pohang in order to block Communist penetrations south of the Andong-Yongdok Road and to protect the Andong- Yongchon MSR. The division moved to the Pohang area on 10 January, and the three RCTs occupied small towns there. The organization of the artillery was the same as it had been in North Korea, 1/11 supporting the 5th, 2/11 supporting the 1st, 3/11 supporting the 7th, and 4/11 in general support. The artillery battalions remained attached to the RCTs. The hardest job was finding the enemy, and this was accomplished by ceaseless and extensive patrolling. The 11th fired in support of these patrols. This action continued until mid-February. On 16 February, the Marines started on a new offensive along with U. S. Army and other United Nations (UN) troops. They moved to the town of Chungju by truck and rail at the start of Operation KILLER. The 1st and 5th Marines, with 2/11 and 1/11 in direct support respectively, led the attack on Wonju on 21 February. The 2d Battalion, 11th Marines engaged in a lot of counterbattery fire as Chinese artillery attempted to break the attack of the 1st Marines. On 1 March, the 1st Marine Division was ordered to secure a ridgeline running east and west, north of Hoengsong. This time the 1st Marines and the 7th Marines were in the lead with 2/11 and 3/11 in direct support. The 3d Battalion fired 54 missions on 24 target areas during 1 March. By 4 March, all of the objectives for Operation KILLER were secured, and, on 7 March, Operation RIPPER began. RIPPER was simply a continuation of the previous effort. On 13 March, 2/11 and 3/11 supported the 1st and 7th Marines leading the Hongchon envelopment. Hill 356 fell to the 7th with the help of 3/11 on 14 March, as did Hills 246 and 428 to the 1st after 2/11 had worked on them. All the objectives for Operation RIPPER were taken by 24 March. In a little over a month, the UN forces had sent the confident Chinese reeling northward. After 24 March, the 1st Marine Division moved very briefly into Corps Reserve. RCT-1, including 2/11, went to Hongchon, where the Marines recuperated. The units took on replacements and did some training. RCT-7, however, was attached to the 1st Cavalry Division and crossed the 38th Parallel moving north. On 8 April, the 1st Marine Division crossed the 38th Parallel and relieved the 1st Cavalry Division, regaining control of 38 RCT-7. The offensive continued, until, on 22 April, the CCF rallied and smashed through the 6th Republic of Korea (ROK) Division on the left of the 1st Marine Division. This was the start of the CCF Spring Offensive of 1951 in which the UN forces traded ground for live bodies. The first four days were tough, especially for RCT-1 and 2/11, which were on the left of the division. There was intense pressure on the 1st Marines until 26 April, but the accurate, voluminous fire of 2/11 prevented the Chinese from mounting a really conclusive attack. RCTs 1 and 5 dropped back to Chunchon across the Pukhan River before the Communist onslaught. The 11th rained fire on the Communist attacks. The 1st Marine Division gave ground, as did other of the UN forces, but only a small number of lives were lost considering the strength of the attacks, and the morale of the Marines remained high. Eventually, the Chinese offensive simply ground to a halt, incapable of further progress. On 17 May, the Chinese launched a severe assault against the 7th Marines during which the Communists were battered by the 105s of 3/11. This victory by the 7th Marines marked the end of the CCF Spring Offensive. The UN forces reorganized after absorbing the best punch that the Chinese could offer and marched north again. The Marines moved to Yanggu, and the 7th Marines controlled that town by 31 May. The infantry regiments hopped northward from hill to hill while the 11th prepared the ground for them. The cannoneers had to do almost all of the preparatory work because the weather was usually too cloudy for close air support. One trick that the 11th found effective in this offensive was to fire colored smoke rounds. North Korean and Chinese prisoners said that they believed the colored smoke to be poisonous gas because that is what they were told by their officers. The Chinese sacrificed the NKPA as they retreated northward. The North Koreans were shoved into the front lines, and they held as long as they could while the Chinese ran to the north. Negotiations for peace began in the village of Kaesong on 25 June 1951. The fighting slackened during these negotiations, and the Chinese used this time to consolidate and reorganize their routed legions. At the end of July, 3/11 was under the control of the 2d Infantry Division, and the rest of the 11th moved into X Corps Reserve. While in reserve, the Marines of the 11th underwent training, much of which was conducted at night. An order was issued stating that a minimum of 33 percent of all technical training was to be at night. The Communist 39 delegates walked out of the Kaesong talks on 22 August, satisfied that their troops were now reorganized and ready to carry on the fight. This meant a renewal of activity for the 1st Marine Division. The 11th Marines, minus 3/11, along with the 196th Field Artillery Battalion, made up the 11th Regiment Group, commanded by Colonel Curtis Burton, Jr., USMC. As the Marines pushed northward again to the Punchbowl area, the 11th often dueled with the Chinese artillery. Artillery was one of the areas in which the Chinese were able to make great improvements during the lull in the fighting while negotiations were being undertaken at Kaesong. The 11th used up an extraordinary amount of ammunition from 1-4 September, and this caused some logistical problems. There was a six-day halt in the offensive in order to allow the Marines to build up a reserve of artillery and mortar ammunition. Until 20 September 1951, the Marines continued to hop hills moving northward, always supported by the 11th. On 20 September 1951, the Marines continued to hop hills moving northward, always supported by the 11th. On 20 September, "the warfare of movement came to an end, and the warfare of position began."<46> After 20 September, the 11th stayed in the area of the Punchbowl for a long time. Neither the UN forces nor the Communists made any real gains. The 11th was especially important in its effective counterbattery fire and in breaking Communist assaults. The cannoneers fired many leaflets in the psychological warfare campaign hoping to win over some of the North Korean and Chinese troops to the UN side. Mainly the 11th fired at artillery, mortar, machine gun, and recoilless rifle positions, bunkers, supply dumps, truck convoys, bridges, command posts, and observation posts. It fired in support of the many patrols that were sent out to check on the enemy. On 10 November 1951, the 11th along with all other available artillery, naval gunfire, tanks, mortars, and machine guns fired a grand crescendo on Hill 1052, an important enemy observation post, in honor of the Marine Corps Birthday. The situation as the Marines approached their second winter in Korea was that: Ground forces operations throughout November seldom varied from the familiar pattern of squad size patrols nightly and an occasional daytime raid by a company size task force with the support of artillery and air. Supporting 40 arms kept enemy strongholds under almost constant fire, and North Korean activity in the construction or improvement of bunkers provided frequent targets of opportunity.<47> The Panmunjom negotiations began in November 1951, and "active defensive operations" continued. It became a static war. The Marines ran many patrols, took a few casualties, and gained little. At midnight, 31 December, the 11th along with other artillery and naval gunfire fired a New Year's toast to the enemy. Nothing different happened in January and February 1952. The 11th fired many propaganda leaflets in the never-ending psychological warfare that was carried on in the frozen mountains. As the new year began, the Korean Marine Corps organized a new artillery battalion, consisting of two 105mm and two 155mm howitzer batteries. This battalion was placed in the Punchbowl with the 11th Marines on 9 January. Operation CLAM-UP began on 9 February 1952. The Marines feigned a large- scale withdrawal. Throughout the winter, the Marines had done a lot of patrolling while the Communists for the most part remained securely in their positions. They now wanted the Communists to think that they were leaving so that the Communists would do more patrolling to look for them and in that way come out in the open. On 9-10 February, the 11th fired 471 harassing and interdicting missions as if covering a withdrawal. The Chinese came out to check the situation, and the rate of Chinese casualties did briefly increase, but the operation was not as successful as was initially hoped. Attached to the 11th Marines during this period was the 92d U. S. Army Searchlight Company, which provided lighting to enable tanks to snipe at the enemy at night. The Marines moved from East Korea to West Korea in March 1952. The artillery was repositioned across the allied front with as little interruption of support as possible. The batteries of the 11th moved into their new positions from 18-24 March. From March 1952 until 27 July 1953, almost nothing noteworthy happened to the 11th Marines. It supported patrols, fired leaflets, and engaged in counterbattery fire. During this period, the war became a fight for outposts on key terrain. The most bitter fighting during the final year before the armistice occurred over control of these outposts. One of the most famous, and certainly one of the most bitterly contested, 41 was Outpost "Vegas." The outpost changed hands many times during the final days of March 1953. The 11th expended a lot of ammunition on "Vegas" in support of the infantry. By 1 April, "Vegas" was secure. The 11th fired many rounds in the final months of the war supporting Marines both defensively and offensively on many outposts like "Vegas." On 18 April 1953, the 11th announced that it was holding a raffle. Tickets cost 25, and the prize was the casing of the 2 millionth round fired by the 11th in Korea. It had been fired during the atruggle for "Vegas." The money went to the Marine War Memorial Fund. When the armistice was signed on 27 July 1953, the 11th Marines moved to Inchon, where it remained until 1955. The Marines trained there and undertook peacetime garrison duty. The 11th fired its cannon at "Bullseye Range." Often the battalions of the 11th would accompany infantry regiments of the 1st Marine Division on amphibious training exercises to the eastern coast of Korea. When they were not on these trips, they remained at Inchon, doing enough work to remain fit and ready, generally waiting for something to happen. The various athletic teams fielded by the 11th Marines proved in almost every case to be the strongest in the 1st Marine Division. In June 1954, a stateside-type rifle range with 200, 300, and 500 yard lines was constructed in 3/11's area. Animal lovers of Battery M, 4/11 collected specimens of Korean wildlife while at Inchon. Two of the cannoneers most notable pets were "Big John," a crow whose wings had been clipped, and "Scram," a fawn that had been captured in the area. On 15 September 1954, a party was given by the NCOs of the 11th Marines for the NCOs of the 42d Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. The British NCOs gave the Americans a sign featuring a cannon, copied from the British artillery insignia, and bearing the inscription "Cannon Cocker's Inn."<48> After two years at Inchon, the 11th sailed on 7 March 1955 for Camp Pendleton, which was to be the home of the regiment for the next decade. Camp Pendleton, 1955-1965<49> The battalions of the 11th Marines arrived at Camp Pendleton from Korea at different times. The first to come home was Headquarters, 11th Marines and 3/11, which entered the gates of the base on 16 March 1955. One week later, on 24 March, 2/11 and 4/11 arrived, and, on 16 April, one month after the first of the cannoneers returned, 1/11 moved in with 42 RLT-1. The ten years spent at Camp Pendleton by the 11th Marines between 1955 and 1965 were very much like the three years between 1947 and 1950. Some of the weapons had changed, but the training routine was not very different, and the purpose was the same -- to maintain the 11th Marines in a constant state of readiness so that it could immediately move to and fight effectively in any trouble spot in the world. The amphibious phases of training for the 11th were handled in such a way that the artillery batteries would mount out with BLTs or the artillery battalions would assault the Pendleton beaches in RLT exercises. The 3d Battalion was not only the first of the 11th to get to Camp Pendleton but also it was the first to take part in an amphibious exercise. As part of RLT-5, 3/11 landed at Aliso Beach on 17 June and simulated firing its 105s in support of the 5th Marines during the exercise that followed. This was typical of all RLT amphibious exercises from 1955-1965. Operation MERRY-GO-ROUND, a five-night command post exercise (CPX), began on 1 October 1956. There were three phases to this training operation -- gunnery, non-firing CPX, and local security firing. New gunnery techniques and new equipment such as countermortar radar and a new survey system, OBSURV, were tested. The countermortar radar section was added to 4/11 on a permanent basis during the summer of 1957. Early in 1957, a new Table of Organization (T/O) was introduced, the purpose of which was to make infantry units more mobile. One of the results of the new T/O was that the 4.2-inch mortar was no longer organic to the infantry battalion, and it was placed in the artillery instead. The first four-deuce mortars among the 11th Marines appeared in the four-deuce mortar battery of 1/11. This was the first of many organizational changes that were to affect the 11th Marines during its decade at Camp Pendleton. At the end of September 1957, the 11th moved to 29 Palms for a ten-day firing exercise (FIREX) which Colonel Robert G. Hiatt, the commanding officer of the 11th Marines, called "one of the most intensive operations ever attempted by the 11th."<50> The problem consisted of three parts -- battery and battalion gunnery, a tie-in at the regimental level, and movement of the whole regiment keyed to the movement of the 1st Marine Division in the attack. During the final phase of the exercise, the 11th Marines was dispersed over 400 miles of desert. This type of exercise was conducted by the 11th Marines from battery to regimental level countless times at 29 Palms between 1957 and 1965. 43 From 3-22 October 1958, 1/11 and 3/11 conducted a FIREX to train the artillerymen of these battalions in accurately firing the cannon and to train prospective air observers in spotting targets and adjusting fire. These trainees were officers of the 1st Marine Division who were learning about aerial observation at the Aerial Observation School of the 1st Marine Division. Aerial observation had proved to be a very effective way of bringing artillery and naval gunfire to bear on the enemy during the Korean War, and training in this phase of combat was encouraged and intensified. On 11 December 1958, 1/1, accompanied by Battery A, 1/11, conducted a heliborne field exercise (HELIFEX) at Horno Ridge. Battery A practiced displacing its 105s by helicopter. This was one of the earliest exercises in which the 11th experimented with displacement by helicopter. Heliborne training increased during the 1960s for the 11th, and it proved to be a highly valuable means of displacement in the Vietnam conflict where dense jungle and rice paddies greatly hindered ground movement of heavy cannons. During this same period, 5-19 December, Battery H was with 2/7 at Cold Weather Training Center (CWTC), Bridgeport, California. It took part in a cold weather field exercise (SNOWFEX), and the Marines were instructed in survival techniques in the extreme cold, oversnow movement, and invasion procedure. All of the Marines of the 11th underwent training at CWTC at one time or another. Although the Marine Corps has predominatly fought in hot climates, the "Frozen Chosin" taught Marines that cold weather training cannot be neglected. In October 1960, the 4.2-inch howtar was introduced to the 11th Marines. It was the second new weapon placed at the disposal of the 11th since 1955, the 4.2-inch mortar being the first. The howtar was expected to combine the high angle of fire capability and the destructive punch of the 4.2-inch mortar with the great mobility of the 75mm pack howitzer. Batteries B and C initially received this weapon. Operation GREEN LIGHT, a joint, Marine Corps-Navy, amphibious, training exercise, took place throughout April and May 1961. This was the largest amphibious exercise that the 11th Marines participated in between 1955 and 1965. The 1st Marine Division was to participate in the third phase of the operation, but Marines from Headquarters and Service Battery, 11th Marines were infantry aggressors from 10-15 April during the first phase. All of the 11th Marines landed with other elements of the 1st Marine Division on 20 May in a surface-air assault of the 44 Camp Pendleton area. This was one of the many times that the 11th practiced vertical envelopment as well as conventional, amphibious assaults. Until 28 May, the 11th supported the infantry in the hills around Camp Pendleton, and then it moved to 29 Palms for desert training. The 11th Marines and the three infantry regiments of the 1st Marine Division took part in a huge, live-fire exercise from 3-4 June at 29 Palms, and the 11th remained there until 13 June for a regimental FIREX. During Operation GREEN LIGHT and the subsequent FIREX, two captains and two lieutenants from the Chinese Marine Corps undertook on-the-job training with Battery E. This was not the first nor the last time that Marines from foreign countries joined units of the United States Marine Corps in order to learn American methods and techniques of combat. The year 1962 brought an increase in antiguerrilla training exercises for all elements of the 1st Marine Division. During April, 1/11 and 2/11 fought a "guerrilla war" against each other in the De Luz Canyon area. Mainly, this exercise amounted to patrol practice to provide battery security in a guerrilla warfare situation. On 25 June 1962, the 11th Marines underwent extensive reorganization. The 1st and 4th 155mm Howitzer Batteries at 29 Palms were deactivated as Force Troops and became the new 4/11. Batteries K, L, and M of the old 4/11 remained at Camp Pendleton and were absorbed by 3/11, 1/11, and 2/11 respectively. For the rest of the time that the 11th was in the United States, 1/11, 2/11, and 3/11 continued at Camp Pendleton while 29 Palms became the permanent home of 4/11, which needed the greater space of the desert and the vast, empty wasteland of 29 Palms in order to use its larger weapons. In July 1962, 4/11 participated in Operation TIGER, which was the largest, Marine Air-Ground Reserve, live-fire exercise ever held up to that time. On 16 April 1963, Battery D took a new, tactical test which was eventually administered to every battery of the 11th Marines. It was attacked by guerrilla aggressors, air bombardment, and gas, and the reaction of the Marines to every problem encountered was noted and timed. The speed of the reaction by the Marines to each problem was most important. All of the Marines of the 11th were introduced to the combat village at Camp Pendleton during September and October 1964. They learned how to search a village for hidden weapons and 45 guerrillas, and they learned about booby traps. This was simply another phase of the guerrilla warfare training that all Marines had been undertaking with increasing intensity since 1962. Throughout the end of January and early February 1965, the 11th Marines took a tactical test in which great emphasis was placed on camouflage discipline and security. Most of January was spent by the batteries preparing for this test. On 1 March, Operation SILVER LANCE, a combined, surface-air assault on Camp Pendleton, began. All of the 11th participated, and it was the last tactical training that many of these Marines received before going to Vietnam. Vietnam<51> In the summer of 1965, most of the 11th Marines left Camp Pendleton and moved to Camp Hansen, Okinawa. The 3d Battalion, along with Battery M, 4/11, went to the Republic of Vietnam almost immediately, landing at Chu Lai with the 7th Marines on 16 August. These units took part in Operation STARLITE in the Chu Lai Tactical Area of Responsibility (TAOR) during the latter part of August. It was the first operation in which any unit of the 11th Marines participated in Vietnam. Until December 1965, the only units of the 11th in RVN were 3/11 and Battery M. The 1st Battalion remained at Camp Pendleton until 10 August and then sailed to Okinawa, arriving at Camp Hansen on 28 August. The 2d Battalion, minus Battery D, remained at Camp Pendleton throughout 1965. Battery D sailed to Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii with BLT 2/5. Battery K, 4/11 remained at 29 Palms working with the new, self-propelled, M109 155mm howitzers. Battery A entered RVN with the Special Landing Force to support infantry operations in the Chu Lai TAOR in December 1965. At the same time, Battery K departed from 29 Palms and joined 1/11 at Camp Hansen. The 1st Battalion and Battery K landed at Chu Lai on 17 January 1966. Throughout January and February, 1/11, 3/11, and 4/11 provided artillery support in the rapidly expanding Chu Lai TAOR. On 28 February, Headquarters, 11th Marines arrived at Chu Lai from Okinawa, and, in May, it moved to the city of Da Nang. The 2d Battalion, which had previously been in California and Hawaii, landed at Chu Lai. Throughout 1966, the 11th Marines 46 concentrated its efforts in the vicinity of Da Nang, displacing units to other areas whenever necessary. The vast majority of fire missions were harassing and interdicting fires. The artillery organization was such that the 1st Battalion supported the 1st Marines, the 2d Battalion supported the 5th Marines, the 3d Battalion supported the 7th Marines, and the 4th Battalion was employed in general support. In the battery positions, the artillerymen had to defend against numerous enemy probes. Battery positions were exposed to sporadic small arms fire and grenades as the Viet Cong (VC) tested defenses. As a defense against this type of activity, the artillerymen set up ambushes and conducted security patrols nightly. Security was good, and only a very few times did the VC dare to hit battery and battalion positions with a company or battalion-size force. Actually, the main problem for the artillery was incoming mortar rounds. Countermortar radar was used effectively and often to enable the artillerymen to react to mortar attacks. The conflict in Vietnam brought about a vastly increased employment of helicopters by artillery both for displacement and resupply. The rugged terrain of Vietnam, consisting of rice paddies and dense jungles, accounted for this because it restricted movement of motorized convoys. The roads were usually either in very poor repair or interdicted by VC activity. Motorized convoys were still used often because helicopters were not always available, but to fly the cannons over the many obstacles at ground level was greatly preferred by artillery commanders. As evidence of the increased use of helicopters, 3/11 depended entirely on them for displacement and resupply during Operation SIERRA in January 1967. Viet Cong activity increased at the start of 1967. In addition to normal probes and mortar attacks on artillery positions, 60-100 VC attacked 2/11 in a five-hour battle on 13 January, and an estimated 300 VC attacked 3/11 and Batteries K and M on the night of 15 January. During the latter attack, 1/11 fired almost continuous illumination and high explosive to help repel the enemy. These two events gave the artillerymen cause to respect and be thankful for their basic infantry training. Constructing strong positions and defending them with accurate small arms fire, the cannoneers repelled every VC surge. The artillerymen of the 11th Marines contributed to civic action in Vietnam in addition to their regular combat duties. 47 The civic action program was designed to peacefully persuade the Vietnamese to reject the Viet Cong. In 1966-1968, the efforts of the 11th Marines in this project concentrated almost entirely on the MedCap program. The Marines set up first aid stations and treated Vietnamese civilians for illnesses or wounds. Normal participation by the cannoneers in the MedCap program was severely curtailed during June 1967 because of operational commitments, but it was fully resumed in July. The importance of the 11th Marines, in fact of artillery as a whole, as a supporting arm in Vietnam greatly increased in July 1967. The VC were beginning to rely more heavily on rockets as a means of restricting artillery and interdicting airbases. The 11th had initiated a training program including counter-rocket drills to meet this threat. A rocket attack on the Da Nang airbase in July gave the 11th its first important chance to silence VC rockets. From that point on, artillery increasingly became the major means by which VC rocket attacks were thwarted. The Tet offensive in early 1968 was responsible for a major change in the role of artillery as a supporting arm in Vietnam. The Communist forces attempted during this time to achieve far-reaching gains militarily, not only in the I Corps Area, but also throughout all of South Vietnam, in order to discredit the United States forces in the minds of the Vietnamese people. The 11th Marines in support of the 1st Marine Division, was involved only in the I Corps Area, but it was there, especially in the city of Hue, that some of the most crucial fighting occurred. In order to cope with the tremendous pressure placed on it by this Communist drive, the infantry began to rely increasingly on artillery as its major means of support. The importance of the Tet offensive as a significant event in the history of the 11th Marines in Vietnam cannot be overemphasized. Before the offensive, supporting fire by the 11th Marines was only of a routine nature at best and was often only a minor factor during the many Operations that were undertaken by the 1st Marine Division up to that time. After the offensive, artillery became the major means of support for the infantry in Vietnam. The story of the 11th Marines has been one of constant readiness and combat effectiveness. The regiment has fought in all climates of the world from the steaming jungles of Nicaragua to the frozen mountains of North Korea. At the time of this writing, the 11th is still in Vietnam where, once again, it is continuing to distinguish itself in combat. 48 NOTES <1> Subject Files, 11th Marines, 1/11, 2/11, 3/11 (Historical Reference Section, Historical Branch, G-3 Division, Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps). <2> Neill Macauley, "The Sandino Affair" (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1967), p. 61. <3> Ibid. <4> Subject Files, 2/11, op. cit. <5> "Marine Corps Gazette," vol. 26, p. 71. <6> Subject Files, 1/11, op. cit. <7> Ibid., 2/11. <8> Ibid., 1/11, 2/11, 3/11. <9> Ibid., 1/11. <10> Ibid., 3/11. <11> Ibid., 4/11. <12> General Alexander A. Vandegrift, "Once a Marine" (New York: Norton, 1964), p. 105. <13> Ibid., p. 141. <14> Ibid., p. 158. <15> Ibid., p. 155. <16> Grady Gallant, "On Valor's Side" (Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday, 1963), p. 350 <17> Lieutenant Colonel Frank O. Hough and Major John A. Crown, "The Campaign on New Britain" (Washington: Historical Branch, G-3 Division, Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps, 1952), p. 82. <18> Ibid., p. 165. 49 <19> Lieutenant Colonel Frank O. Hough, "The Assault on Peleliu" (Washington: Historical Branch, G-3 Division, Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps, 1950), p. 25. <20> Ibid., p. 28. <21> Ibid., p. 94. <22> Ibid., p. 98. <23> Ibid. <24> Ibid., p. 99. <25> Ibid., p. 103. <26> Ibid., p. 104. <27> Ibid., p. 136. <28> Major Charles S. Nichols and Henry I. Shaw, Jr., "Okinawa: Victory in the Pacific" (Washington: Historical Branch, G-3 Division, Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps, 1955), p. 33. <29> Ibid. <30> Ibid., p. 69. <31> George McMillan, "The Old Breed: A History of the 1st Marine Division in World War II" (Washington: Infantry Journal Press, 1949), p. 362. <32> Ibid., p. 418 <33> Ibid. <34> Nichols and Shaw, op. cit., p. 271. <35> McMillan, op. cit., p. 372. <36> Ibid., p. 424. <37> Henry I. Shaw, Jr., "The United States Marines in North China, 1945-1949" (Washington: Historical Branch, G-3 Division, Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps, 1962), p. 7. 50 <38> Ibid., p. 13. <39> "The Pendleton Scout," Camp Pendleton, California, 1947-1950. <40> "Marine Corps Gazette," vol. 35, January 1951, p. 20. <41> Ibid., p. 22. <42> Ibid., p. 23. <43> Robert Leckie, "The March to Glory" Cleveland: World Publishing Company, 1960), p. 25. <44> "Marine Corps Gazette," vol. 35, December 1951, p. 19. <45> Ibid. <46> Lynn Montross, Major Hubard D. Kuokka, USMC, and Major Norman W. Hicks, USMC, "The East Central Front---U. S. Marine Operations in Korea", vol. IV (Washington: Historical Branch, G-3 Division, Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps, 1962), p. 198. <47> Ibid., p. 220. <48> "The First Word," Inchon, South Korea, 16 September 1954. <49> "The Pendleton Scout," 1955-1965. <50> Ibid., 3 October 1957. <51> "The Sea Tiger," III Marine Amphibious Force, Vietnam, 1966-1967, and Edward Hymhoff, "The First Marine Division, Vietnam" (New York: M. W. Lads Publishing Company, 1967). 51 APPENDIX I COMMANDING OFFICERS, 11th MARINES LtCol George Van Orden 3 Jan 1918 - 31 Jul 1918 Col George Van Orden 1 Aug 1918 - 11 Aug 1919 REGIMENT DEACTIVATED 11 AUG 1919 REGIMENT REACTIVATED 9 MAY 1927 LtCol Arthur J. O'Leary 9 May 1927 - 18 May 1927 Col Randolph C. Berkeley 19 May 1927 - 30 Jun 1927 LtCol Arthur J. O'Leary 1 Jul 1927 - 30 Jul 1927 REGIMENT DEACTIVATED 31 JUL 1927 REGIMENT REACTIVATED 7 JAN 1928 Col Robert H. Dunlap 7 Jan 1928 - 19 Aug 1929 REGIMENT DEACTIVATED 31 AUG 1929 REGIMENT REACTIVATED 1 MAR 1941 Col Pedro A. del Valle 1 Mar 1941 - 30 Sep 1942 BGen Pedro A. del Valle 1 Oct 1942 - 28 Mar 1943 Col Robert H. Pepper 29 Mar 1943 - 31 Jan 1944 Col William H. Harrison 1 Feb 1944 - 3 Nov 1944 Col Wilburt S. Brown 4 Nov 1944 - 30 Sep 1946 Col Eugene F. C. Collier 1 Oct 1946 - 2 Jul 1947 LtCol Thomas R. Belzer 3 Jul 1947 - 31 May 1948 LtCol Claude S. Sanders 1 Jun 1948 - 15 Jun 1948 LtCol Bernard H. Kirk 16 Jun 1948 - 15 Aug 1949 Col Bernard H. Kirk 16 Aug 1949 - 28 Jul 1950 Col James H. Brower 29 Jul 1950 - 10 Dec 1950 LtCol Carl A. Youngdale 11 Dec 1950 - 10 Mar 1951 Col Joseph L. Winecoff 11 Mar 1951 - 4 Aug 1951 Col Curtis Burton, Jr. 5 Aug 1951 - 18 Nov 1951 52 Col Bruce T. Hemphill 19 Nov 1951 - 26 Mar 1952 Col Frederick P. Henderson 27 Mar 1952 - 19 Sep 1952 Col Harry N. Shea 20 Sep 1952 - 21 Feb 1953 Col James E. Mills 22 Feb 1953 - 4 Jul 1953 Col Manly L. Curry 5 Jul 1953 - 16 Dec 1953 Col Lewis J. Fields 17 Dec 1953 - 20 Apr 1954 Col John S. Oldfield 21 Apr 1954 - 29 Oct 1954 Col Ernest P. Foley 30 Oct 1954 - 10 Jun 1955 LtCol Roger S. Bruford 11 Jun 1955 - 6 Aug 1955 Col William T. Fairbourn 7 Aug 1955 - 12 Oct 1956 LtCol Alfred M. Mahoney 13 Oct 1956 - 4 Nov 1956 Col Alfred M. Mahoney 5 Nov 1956 - 6 Apr 1957 LtCol Winsor V. Crockett, Jr. 7 Apr 1957 - 1 Jul 1957 Col Robert G. Hiatt 2 Jul 1957 - 31 Jul 1959 Col Earl J. Rose 1 Aug 1959 - 19 Aug 1960 Col David R. Griffin 20 Aug 1960 - 31 Jul 1961 Col Francis F. Parry 1 Aug 1961 - 3 Jun 1962 Col Thomas L. Randall 4 Jun 1962 - 1 Jun 1964 Col Peter J. Mulroney 2 Jun 1964 - 28 May 1965 Col Peter H. Hahn 29 May 1965 - 17 Jun 1966 LtCol John B. Sullivan 18 Jun 1966 - 12 Sep 1966 Col Glenn E. Norris 13 Sep 1966 - 28 Jun 1967 LtCol Clayton V. Hendricks 29 Jun 1967 - 18 Jul 1967 Col Ernest W. Payne 19 Jul 1967 - 27 Dec 1967 LtCol Clayton V. Hendricks 28 Dec 1967 - 2 Jul 1968 Col Clayton V. Hendricks 3 Jul 1968 - 9 Jul 1968 53 APPENDIX II HONORS OF THE 11th MARINES PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION WITH ONE SILVER AND ONE BRONZE STAR (Guadalcanal, 7-9 Aug 1942) (Peleliu, 15-29 Sep 1944) (Okinawa, 1 Apr-21 Jun 1945) (Korea, 7 Aug-7 Sep 1950) (Inchon, Korea, 15 Sep-11 Oct 1950) (Chosin Reservoir, 27 Nov-11 Dec 1950) (Korea, 21-26 Apr 1951; 16 May-30 Jun 1951; 11-25 Sep 1951) NAVY UNIT COMMENDATION WITH ONE BRONZE STAR (New Britain, 26 Dec 1943-30 Apr 1944) (Korea, 11 Aug 1952-5 May 1953; 7-27 Jul 1953) WORLD WAR I VICTORY STREAMER WITH MALTESE CROSS (AEF Service, 15 Oct-11 Nov 1918) SECOND NICARAGUAN CAMPAIGN STREAMER (22 May-31 Jul 1927; 15 Jan 1928-20 Aug-1929) AMERICAN DEFENSE SERVICE STREAMER WITH ONE BRONZE STAR (1 Mar-7 Dec 1941) ASIATIC PACIFIC CAMPAIGN STREAMER WITH ONE SILVER AND ONE BRONZE STAR (Guadalcanal-Tulagi landings, 7-9 Aug 1942) (Capture and defnse of Guadalcanl, 10 Aug-22 Dec 1942) (New Guinea, 15 Oct-25 Dec 1943) (New Britain, 26 Dec 1943-1 Mar 1944) (Palau Islands, 15 Sep-14 Oct 1944) (Okinawa, 1 Apr-30 Jun 1945) WORLD WAR II VICTORY STREAMER NAVY OCCUPATION SERVICE STREAMER WITH ASIA CLASP (2 Sep-26 Sep 1945) CHINA SERVICE STREAMER (30 Sep 1945-24 Jan 1947) NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE STREAMER WITH ONE BRONZE STAR 54 KOREAN SERVICE STREAMER WITH TWO SILVER STARS (North Korean Aggression, 18 Sep-2 Nov 1950) (Communist China Aggression, 3 Nov 1950-24 Jan 1951) (Inchon Landing, 15-17 Sep 1950) (1st UN Counteroffensive, 25 Jan-21 Apr 1951) (Communist China Spring Offensive, 22 Apr-8 Jul 1951) (UN Summer-Fall Offensive, 9 Jul-27 Nov 1951) (2d Korean Winter, 28 Nov 1951-30 Apr 1952) (Korean Defense, Summer-Fall, 1 May-30 Nov 1952) (3d Korean Winter, 1 Dec 1952-30 Apr 1953) (Korean Summer-Fall, 1 May-27 Jun 1953) ARMED FORCES EXPEDITIONARY STREAMER (Cuba, 7 Nov-17 Dec 1962) VIETNAM SERVICE STREAMER WITH FOUR BRONZE STARS (Vietnamese Counteroffensive, 16 Jan 1966-30 Jun 1966) (Vietnamese Counteroffensive, Phase II, 1 Jul 1966-31 May 1967) (Vietnamese Counteroffensive, Phase III, 1 Jun 1967-29 Jan 1968) (Unnamed Campaign, 30 Jan 1968 to date) KOREAN PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION (2 Aug-6 Sep 1950) (15-27 Sep 1950) (26 Oct 1950-27 Jul 1953) 55 APPENDIX III MEDAL OF HONOR WINNERS, 11th MARINES The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to SERGEANT JAMES E. JOHNSON, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS for service as set forth in the following CITATION: "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his live above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Squad Leader in a Provisional Rifle Platoon composed of Artillerymen and attached to Company J, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces at Yudam-ni, Korea, on 2 December 1950. Vastly outnumbered by a well-entrenched and cleverly concealed enemy force wearing the uniforms of friendly troops and attacking his platoon's open and unconcealed positions, Sergeant Johnson unhesitatingly took charge of his platoon in the absence of the leader and, exhibiting great personal valor in the face of a heavy barrage of hostile fire, coolly proceeded to move about among his men, shouting words of encouragement and inspiration and skillfully directing their fire. Ordered to displace his platoon during the fire fight, he immediately placed himself in an extremely hazardous position from which he could provide covering fire for his men. Fully aware that his voluntary action meant either certain death or capture to himself, he courageously continued to provide effective cover for his men and was last observed in a wounded condition singlehandedly engaging enemy troops in close hand grenade and hand-to-hand fighting. By his valiant and inspiring leadership, Sergeant Johnson was directly responsible for the successful completion of the platoon's displacement and the saving of many lives. His dauntless fighting spirit and unfaltering devotion to duty in the face of terrific odds reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service." /s/ Harry S. Truman 56 The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to SECOND LIEUTENANT SHERROD E. SKINNER, JR., UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE for service as set forth in the following CITATION: "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as an Artillery Observer of Battery F, Second Battalion, Eleventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on the night of 26 October 1952. When his observation post in an extremely critical and vital sector of the main line of resistance was subjected to a sudden and fanatical attack by hostile forces, supported by a devastating barrage of artillery and mortar fire which completely severed communication lines connecting the outpost with friendly firing batteries, Second Lieutenant Skinner, in a determined effort to hold his position, immediately organized and directed the surviving personnel in the defense of the Outpost, continuing to call down fire on the enemy by means of radio alone until this equipment became damaged beyond repair. Undaunted by the intense hostile barrage and the rapidly closing attackers, he twice left the protection of his bunker in order to direct accurate machine gun fire and to replenish the depleted supply of ammunition and grenades. Although painfully wounded on each occasion, he steadfastly refused medical aid until the rest of the men received treatment. As the ground attack reached its climax, he gallantly directed the final defense until the meager supply of ammunition was exhausted and the position overrun. During the three hours that the outpost was occupied by the enemy, several grenades were thrown into the bunker which served as protection for Second Lieutenant Skinner and his remaining comrades. Realizing that there was no chance for other than passive resistance, he directed his men to feign death even though the hostile troops entered the bunker and searched their persons. Later, when an enemy grenade was thrown between him and two other survivors, 57 he immediately threw himself on the deadly missile in an effort to protect the others, absorbing the full force of the explosion and sacrificing his life for his comrades. By his indomitable fighting spirit, superb leadership and great personal valor in the face of tremendous odds, Second Lieutenant Skinner served to inspire his fellow Marines in their heroic stand against the enemy and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country." /s/ Dwight D. Eisenhower 58

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