This Month in Marine Corps History: January

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The following events from Marine Corps history took place in January:

Official logo for Operation United Shield
*Image info: Official logo for Operation United Shield


Marines Deployed to Somalia

On January 10, 1995, the Pentagon announced that 2,600 U.S. Marines would be deployed to Somalia for Operation United Shield to assist the final United Nations peacekeeping troops withdraw from the country. The decision came in response to the UN's request for American protection of its peacekeeping troops serving in Somalia.

MAG-24 insignia
*Image info: MAG-24 insignia


MAG-24 Arrives in Philippines

On January 11, 1945, the first elements of Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 24, commanded by Colonel Lyle H. Meyer, arrived at Lingayen, Luzon in the Philippines to provide air support for US Army forces. Over the following three month, MAG-24, along with MAG-32, flew a combined 8,842 combat sorties and dropped more than 19,000 bombs as part of the Fifth Air Force in support of the Sixth Army.

Operation Desert Storm
*Image info: U.S. Marine artillerymen set up their 155 mm howitzer for a fire mission against Iraqi positions on January 20, 1991 during Operation Desert Storm.
(USMC photo by Staff Sergeant Vance).


Operation Desert Storm Begins

On January 16, 1991, Operation Desert Shield became Operation Desert Storm as allied coalition forces launched an all-out attack air campaign against targets in Iraq and occupied Kuwait in an effort to liberate Kuwait and enforce the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. During the course of Operation Desert Storm, coalition forces included more than 415,000 American troops.

Korean Guerillas
*Image info: A column of troops and armor of the 1st Marine Division move through communist Chinese lines during their successful breakout from the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. The Marines were besieged when the Chinese entered the Korean War November 27, 1950, by sending 200,000 shock troops against Allied forces.
(U.S. government photo/released)


Marines Begin Operations Against Guerrillas in Korea

On January 18, 1951, Marines with the 1st Division began operations against guerrillas near Pohang, South Korea, following the Division's return from its monumental battle with Chinese Communist forces at the Chosin Reservoir.

Second Battle of Khe Sanh
*Image info: U.S. Marines inch their way toward the summit of Hill 881N during the Battle of Khe Sanh
(USMC photo/released)


Second Battle of Khe Sanh

On January 20, 1968, the second battle for Khe Sanh began outside the village of the same name in the Quang Tri Province, Vietnam, 14 miles south of the DMZ and six miles east of the Laotian border, when the People's Army of North Vietnam (PAVN) launched a massive artillery bombardment on the U.S. Marine garrison. For the next 77 days, until April 6, the Marines and their South Vietnamese allies, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), fought off the siege in what was the longest, and one of the bloodiest, battles in the war.

1st Aeronautical Company
*Image info: The 1st Aeronautical Company at Ponta Delgada, Azores
(USMC photo/released)


1st Aeronautical Company Arrives at Ponta Delgada, Azores

On January 21, 1918, the 1st Aeronautical Company arrived at Ponta Delgada, Azores, for anti-submarine duty. The unit was one of the first completely equipped American aviation units to serve overseas in World War I.

Operation Dewey Cannon
*Image info: Robert H Barrow as Commandant of the Marine Corps.
(USMC photo/released)


Operation Dewey Cannon

On January 22, 1969, Operation Dewey Canyon, arguably the most successful high-mobility regimental-size action of the Vietnam War, began in the A Shau/Da Krong Valleys when the 9th Marines, commanded by Colonel Robert H. Barrow, and supporting artillery were lifted from Quang Tri. By mid-March, the enemy's base area had been cleared out, 1617 enemy combatants had been killed, and more than 500 tons of weapons and ammunition were recovered. Barrow later went on to become the 27th Commandant of the Marine Corps.

Battle of Seattle
*Image info: Seattleites evacuate to the town blockhouse as USS Decatur opens fire on advancing tribal forces.
(painting by Emily Inez Denny/released.)


This Week in Marine Corps History: Battle of Seattle

On January 25, 1866, Marines and sailors from the American sloop Decatur went ashore at the village of Seattle, Washington, to protect settlers from raids by the local native population. The Native Americans launched a seven-hour attack on the settlers, but were driven off later that day after suffering severe losses. Only two civilian volunteers were killed and no Marines or sailors were lost.

MAGTF CM 2-88 Arrives in Persian Gulf
*Image info: The 2nd Marine Division insignia.
(USMC photo/released.)


This Week in Marine Corps History: MAGTF CM 2-88 Arrives in Persian Gulf

On January 27, 1988, approximately 400 Marines and sailors from the 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, and 2nd Force Service Support Group deployed for the Persian Gulf. The Contingency Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) CM 2-88 would relieve Contingency MAGTF 1-88 in the region and provide the effective landing force capability to Joint Task Force Middle East.

Operation Desert Storm Ground Combat Begins
*Image info: U.S. Marine artillerymen set up their 155 mm howitzer for a fire mission against Iraqi positions on January 20, 1991 during Operation Desert Storm.
(USMC photo by Staff Sergeant Vance).


This Week in Marine Corps History: Operation Desert Storm Ground Combat Begins

On January 29, 1991, the first serious ground-combat of Operation Desert Storm broke out when Iraqi troops mounted an attack into Saudi Arabia along a 40-mile front. Iraqi units centered their efforts on Khafji, a port city six miles south of the border. Saudi and Quatari troops, supported by artillery from the 1st Marine Division, attack helicopters, and other allied coalition aircraft, recaptured the town two days later.

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