This Month in Marine Corps History: September

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

Lieutenant General Roy S. Geiger Attends Japanese Surrender to Allied Forces
The USS Missouri. (U.S. Navy photo by PHAN Andrew Brown/released).


Lieutenant General Roy S. Geiger Attends Japanese Surrender to Allied Forces

On September 2, 1945, the Japanese Empire officially surrendered to Allied forces on board the battleship USS Missouriin Tokyo Bay, officially bringing World War II to an end.

With General Holland Smith having been transferred stateside in July of 1945, Lieutenant General Roy S. Geiger, who had succeeded Smith as Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, was chosen by Admiral Nimitz as the lone representative from the Marine Corps to attend the surrender ceremony.

Beirut Attack
The Marine barracks building in Beirut, Lebanon, prior to the bombing. (USMC photo/released).


Marines Attacked in Lebanon

On September 6, 1983, two Marines were killed and a further two were wounded when rockets hit their compound in Beirut, Lebanon.

Heavy fighting continued for the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit near their positions around the Beirut International Airport, culminating in the militant group Hezbollah bombing the Marine barracks in Beirut the following month.

Guadalcanal Raid
U.S. Marines rest in a field on Guadalcanal, sometime between August and December, 1942. (Image released).


Marine Raiders Strike Guadalcanal

On September 8, 1942, the 1st Raider Battalion and the 1st Parachute Battalion, carried out a successful raid on a Japanese supply base.

The Marines, who were supported by planes from Marine Air Group-23 and two destroyer transports, landed east of the village of Tasimboko, before advancing west into the rear of Japanese positions.

Marines Capture Wolmi-do Island
U.S. Marines stand guard over Korean prisoners of war on Wolmi-do Island after capturing the Island in 1950.
(USMC photo)


Marines Capture Wolmi-do Island

On September 15, 1950, the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines captured Wolmi-do Island in Inchon Harbor prior to the main landing.

That same day, the 1st Marine Division under the command of Major General Oliver P. Smith landed at Inchon in what is widely viewed as one of, if not the greatest, amphibious assaults of the 20th Century, and began the Inchon-Seoul campaign.

Joseph Vittori Medal of Honor
Marine Corps Corporal Joseph Vittori.
(USMC photo/released).


Joseph Vittori Medal of Honor

On September 16, 1951, Corporal Joseph Vittori, 22, of Beverly, Massachusetts, earned the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of the Punchbowl near Songnae-dong, South Korea.

During the battle, Vittori's company was attacking Hill 749, on which North Korean troops had several entrenched positions. Following a North Korean counter-attack that resulted in heavy Marine Corps casualties, Vittori, along with two other volunteers, charged into oncoming enemy troops, engaging them in hand-to-hand combat to give his company time to consolidate its positions.

Later, Vittori volunteered to defend an isolated machine gun position on his company's flank. Over the next three hours, Vittori single-handedly fought to prevent enemy troops from breaking through Marine lines. Vittori repeatedly made trips through enemy fire to replenish his ammunition, manned a machine gun after the gunner was killed, and, despite North Korean troops closing to within feet of his position, Vittori continued to fight until he was killed. The following morning, Marines counted nearly 200 dead enemy soldiers in Vittori's vicinity.

Marines Raid Pirate Stronghold
Marine Corps Major Daniel Carmick.
(USMC photo/released).


Marines Raid Pirate Stronghold

On September 16, 1814, a detachment of Marines from the Naval Station at New Orleans under the command of Major Daniel Carmick, together with an Army detachment, destroyed a pirate stronghold at Barataria, on the Island of Grande Terre, near New Orleans. The stronghold was commanded by the famous pirate Jean Lafitte.

Military Operations in Urban Terrain Training Facility Dedication
Corporal Tanner Pollock, holds security while Lance Corporal Ryan Zerites calls in a 9-line medical evacuation request during Military Operations in Urban Terrain, or MOUT, training aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, April 8, 2015.
(USMC photo by Corporal Krista James).


Military Operations in Urban Terrain Training Facility Dedication

On September 18 1990, the dedication of a 40-acre training facility for Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The dedication took place in a ceremony presided over by then-Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray.

Han River Crossing
American and Korean Marines cross the Han River in an LVT-3c of the Marines' 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion. (USMC photo/released).


Marines Cross Han River

On September 20, 1950, Marines of the 1st Marine Division crossed the Han River eight miles northwest of Seoul,South Korea. Five days later, the 1st and 5th Marines attacked Seoul and, by the 27th, had captured it.

Marines Land in Colombia
The USS Pensacola in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1861.
(U.S. Navy photo/released).


Marines Land in Colombia

On September 24, 1873, 199 Marines and seamen from the USS Pensacola and the USS Benicia landed at the Bay of Panama in what is now Colombia, South America, to protect the railroad and American lives and property as local groups fought for control over the government of Panama.

Marines Secure Peleliu
Marines wait in their foxholes as artillery shells are launched at a Japanese held cave in the nearby hill.
(USMC photo/released).


Marines Secure Peleliu

On September 27, 1944, US Marines secured and raised the American flag over the island of Peleliu. Despite Marines securing the island, pockets of Japanese soldiers held out and continued to fight against American forces until April of 1947, nearly two years after the war ended.

Marines Assist China in Surrender of Japan
Major General Keller E. Rockey.
(USMC photo/released).


Marines Assist China in Surrender of Japan

On September 30, 1945, U.S. Marines under the command of Major General Keller E. Rockey began landing in Northern China to assist the Chinese government accept the surrender of Japanese forces and repatriate Japanese soldiers and civilians.

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