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 World War 1 - Contemporary Accounts

 

THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS IN THE WORLD WAR

(Part 1 of 2)

 

by Edwin N. McClellan,  Major, U. S. Marines, Officer in Charge Historical Division, 1920


Links to main World War 1 pages:
- Military & Naval Chronology
- Naval Operations -
Merchant Navy
- Royal Navy and Army Despatches
- RN Honours and Gallantry Awards
- Royal & Dominion Navy Casualties
- Warships & Auxiliaries of the RN
- Guide to British Warship Locations
- Campaigns, Battles & Actions

(click to enlarge)

on to Part 2
or return to World War 1, 1914-1918

 

A Modern Introduction

 

Up-to-date, well-researched naval histories have an important part to play in understanding past events, but I would like to suggest they are equalled by contemporary accounts written not long after the stories they describe, and often by those who took part.

 

This original history of the US Marine Corps  in the Great War is an excellent such example. It is short, well-organised and clearly written, and a pleasure to read. It sets a standard that many "management  summaries", which in fact it is, rarely attain.

 

Books such as these are invariably out-of-print and often forgotten. It has long been my hope to see some of them re-introduced to modern readers, and so I am very grateful to the Internet Archive for making this text available, without any copyright restrictions, on the Internet.

 

photos and maps, together with USMC Medal of Honor recipient summaries, have been added to the text to help illustrate the main story.

 

All photos are courtesy the US Naval Historical Center and the Library of Congress, for which my thanks.

Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

see also

Chronology based on Major McLellan's publication





Links to United States Navy in World War 1


- Rise to Global Parity, 1900-1922
- Fleets and Stations, early 1917
- World War 1 and Major Ship Lists in outline

Those Who Served
- Navy, Coast Guard & Marine Corps Casualties
- Medal of Honor, 1915-1918
- Officer Ranks and Enlisted Man's Rates

- Flag Officers, 1914-1918

Contemporary Accounts

- Victory at Sea by R. Adm William Sims,
- On the Coast of France: US Naval Forces in French Waters
- US Marine Corps in the World War
(here)
- Chronology of US Marine Corps in the World War


- Royal Navy Log Books of the World War 1-era, includes references to USN ships escorting North Atlantic convoys, river gunboat operations in China etc

Published by

 

WASHINGTON GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
1920

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS.
(click chapter numbers)


Part 1


Chapter

I

In general

 II

Statutory and actual strength of the Marine Corps on various dates

 III

Recruiting - Applicants, rejection, enlistments - Enlistments by States

 IV

Geographical location and disposition of Marines during the war

 V

How officers were obtained and trained

 VI

Training of enlisted men in the United States and Europe

 VII

Organizations and replacements sent to Europe - Organization of the Fourth and Fifth Brigades

 VIII

Operations in general

 IX

Units composing the Second Division-Commanding generals of the Second Division-Verdun operations

 X

Aisne Defensive-Hill 142 - Bouresches - Bois de la Brigade de Marine

 XI

Aisne-Marne Offensive (Soissons)

 XII

Marbache sector, near Pont-a-Mousson on the Moselle River - St Mihiel Offensive

 XIII

The Champagne - Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge - Capture of St Etienne-March to Leffincourt

 XIV

Meuse-Argonne Offensive-Crossing the Meuse River

 XV

March to the Rhine - Army of Occupation - Summary of operations of the Fourth Brigade


Part 2


 XVI

With the Navy on board the battleships and cruisers

 XVII

The activities of the Fifth Brigade

 XVIII

Statistics concerning casualties

 XIX

Citations of Marine units by French - Days in France- Artillery captured - Prisoners captured - Kilometers advanced against the enemy - Decorations awarded Marines

 XX

Rifle practice - Rifle and pistol competitions participated in by Marines during the war

 XXI

Aviation statistics

 XXII

Marine Corps Reserve

 XXIII

Return of Marines from Europe Parades in the United States

 XXIV

Demobilization

 XXV

The Office of the Major General Commandant - The Adjutant and Inspector's Department

 XXVI

The Paymaster's Department

 XXVII

The Quartermaster's Department




 



Chapter I.

 

IN GENERAL.



 

When a state of war was declared to exist on April 6, 1917, the United States Marine Corps was composed of 462 commissioned officers, 49 warrant officers, and 13,214 enlisted men on active duty, a total of 13,725 and, while the corps was expanded to an actual strength, including reserves, of 75,101 officers and enlisted men, its high standard was never lowered. When these figures are compared with the approximate strength of 3,100 at the end of the Civil War, and of 4,800 at the end of the Spanish War, the growth of the Marine Corps is illustrated.

 

Despite the fact that on the outbreak of war, 187 officers and 4,546 enlisted men were on duty beyond the continental limits of the United States, and 49 officers, and 2,187 enlisted men were serving on board the cruising vessels of the Navy, only five weeks later, on June 14,1917, the Fifth Regiment of Marines, consisting of 70 officers and 2,689 enlisted men, approximately one-sixth of the enlisted strength of the Marine Corps, competently organized and ready for active service, sailed on the HENDERSON, DE KALB, and HANCOCK from the United States, forming one-fifth of the first expedition of American troops for service in France.

 

This regiment was soon joined by the Sixth Regiment and the Sixth Machine Gun Battalion of Marines, and the Fourth Brigade of Marines was organized, and as one of the two Infantry brigades of the Second Division of Regulars engaged in actual battle in no less than eight distinct operations in France, of which four were major operations.

 

The French Army recognized the splendid work of the Fifth and Sixth Regiments of Marines by citing them no less than three times in Army orders for achievements in the Chateau-Thierry sector, in the Aisne-Marne (Soissons) offensive, and in the Meuse-Argonne (Champagne). The Sixth Machine Gun Battalion was similarly cited for its work in the Chateau-Thierry sector and Aisne-Marne (Soissons) offensive. The Fourth Brigade received a similar citation for its work in the Chateau-Thierry sector. Since two French Army citations are sufficient to make an organization eligible for the award of the French fourragere, the high standard of the Marine units is evident. Information was received in January, 1920, that the War Department had accepted the award of the French fourragere in the colors of the ribbon of the Croix de Guerre for several Army organizations and the three units of the Fourth Brigade.

 

Within one year after the outbreak of war the Marine Corps placed about as many enlisted men in France as there were in the Marine Corps when war was declared.

 

During the month of June, 1918, when the battle deaths around Hill 142, Bouresches, Belleau Wood, and Vaux, of Americans attached to the Second Division amounted to 1,811 (of which at least 1,062 were Marines) and the nonfatal casualties to 7,252 more (of which 3,615 were Marines), the legislative strength of the Marine Corps was but 1,323 officers and 30,000 enlisted men; the actual strength on June 30, 1918, including reserves, was 1,424 officers and 57,298 enlisted men, and of this total about 300 officers and 14,000 enlisted men were in France. These latter figures include those Marines who suffered casualties in the battles of June, 1918.

 

Approximately 30,000 Marines were sent overseas to join the American Expeditionary Forces, and 1,600 for naval duty ashore.

 

During the war a great many additional Marine detachments were detailed to guard the radio stations, naval magazines, ammunition depots, warehouses, cable stations and for other naval activities, and the detachments already established were largely augmented. No call was made for additional Marines for naval purposes that was not fully met, and this is of especial interest as the Marine Corps is essentially a part of the Naval Establishment, and its first duty is to fill all naval needs and requirements. It was believed to be essential that the Marine Corps should do its full part in this war, and for that reason it was absolutely necessary that the Marines should join the Army on the western front, taking care, however, that this should not at any time interfere in the slightest degree with the filling of all naval requirements.

 

The Marine Corps, while maintaining the Fourth Brigade of Marines, a total of 258 officers and 8,211 enlisted men, that fought in eight battle operations suffering approximately 12,000 casualties, placed and maintained the Fifth Brigade of Marines of the same strength in France; supplied the commanding general of the Second Division, and many officers on his staff; furnished a considerable number of officers to command Army units of the Second and other divisions, and for staff and detached duty throughout the American Expeditionary Forces; participated in the naval aviation activities in France and in the Azores; and during the period of the war succeeded in performing in a highly satisfactory manner the naval duties required of it, including the maintenance of two brigades of prewar strength standing by to protect the Mexican oil fields, and as an advanced base force in Philadelphia; one in Cuba; one in Santo Domingo, and one in Haiti; administered and officered the Haitian Gendarmerie and Guardia Nacional Dominicana; as well as providing efficient Marine detachments for numerous naval vessels, and maintaining garrisons at the numerous navy yards and naval stations in the United States; and in the Virgin Islands; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Pearl Harbor, Hawaiian Islands; Guam; Cavito and Olongapo, P. I.; Managua, Nicaragua; Peking, China; San Juan, P. R.; London, England; Cardiff, Wales; Paris, France; and the Azores; and supplied many officers and enlisted men for special and detached duty at home and abroad.


below - Main locations (excluding northern France) associated with US Marine Corps activities and operations during World War 1

 


 

 

Chapter II.

 

STATUTORY AND ACTUAL STRENGTH OF THE MARINE CORPS

ON VARIOUS DATES.

 

Statutory Strength.

 

The act of Congress of August 29, 1916, increased the authorized strength of the Marine Corps from 344 officers and 9,921 enlisted men to 597 officers and 14,981 enlisted men, and the President was authorized in an emergency to further increase the corps to 693 officers and 17,400 enlisted men, which he did by Executive order on March 26, 1917.

 

On April 6, 1917, Congress declared "that a state of war exists between the United States and the Imperial German Government" and one and one-half months later, on May 22, 1917, temporarily increased the authorized strength to 1,197 commissioned officers, 126 warrant officers, and 30,000 enlisted men. Finally, the act of July 1, 1918, temporarily increased the Marine Corps to 3,017 commissioned officers, 324 warrant officers, and 75,500 enlisted men, which is the maximum strength ever authorized for the Marine Corps. Of this number 17,400 were permanent and 57,650 temporary. In addition to the above, the act of August 29, 1916, which established the Marine Corps Reserve, permits the enrollment of reserves without limit as to number, and on April 6, 1917, there were enrolled, subject to call to active duty, three Reserve commissioned officers, 24 National Naval Volunteer officers, 36 Reserve enlisted men, and 928 enlisted National Naval Volunteers. There were also available for recall to active duty 65 regular retired commissioned officers, one regular retired warrant officer, and 210 regular retired enlisted men.

 

Actual Strength of the Marine Corps at the Beginning and

End of the War.

 

On April 6, 1917, the strength of the Marine Corps on active duty was as follows:

 

Regular commissioned officers:

 

 Major General Commandant

1

 Brigadier Generals

 7

 Colonels

 13

 Lieutenant

 27

 Majors.

 59

 Captains.

 119

 First lieutenants

 87

 Second lieutenants

 106

 Total regular officers.

 419

 

 

Regular commissioned retired officers:

 

 On active duty.

43

 

 

Regular warrant officers:

 

 Marine gunners

 20

 Quartermaster clerks

 20

 Pay clerks

 9

 Total warrant officers

49

 

 

Total regular officers

 511

 

 

Total regular enlisted men

13,214

 

 

TOTAL strength on active duty

 13,725

 

 

On November 11, 1918, the strength of the Marine Corps on active duty was as follows:

 

Regular commissioned officers:

 

 Major General Commandant

 1

 Major generals

 2

 Brigadier generals

13

 Colonels

 43

 Lieutenant-colonels

 52

 Majors

 199

 Captains

 522

 First lieutenants

 436

 Second lieutenants

413

 Total Regular officers

 1,681

 

 

Commissioned retired officers:

 

 On active duty

 43

 

 

Reserve officers on active duty:

 

 Majors

 7

 Captains

 33

 First lieutenants

 63

 Second lieutenants

 360

 Total Reserve officers

 463

 

 

Total commissioned officers an active duty

 2,187

 

 

Regular warrant officers:

 

 Marine gunners

 109

 Quartermaster clerks

 89

 Pay clerks

 56

 Total

254

 

 

Reserve warrant officers:

 

 Marine gunners

27

 Quartermaster clerks

 2

 Pay clerks

 4

 Total

 33

 

 

Total warrant officers on active duty

 287

 

 

Total officers on active duty

 2,474

 

 

Enlisted personnel:

 

 Regular

 63,714

 Retired enlisted men on active duty

 15

 Reserves, on active duty

 6,483

 Female reservists, on active duty

 277

 

 

Total enlisted personnel

 70,459

 

 

Total strength on active duty

 72,963

 

 

On December 11, 1918, the Marine Corps attained its maximum strength on active duty, which was distributed as follows:

 

Regular commissioned officers

 1,678

Retired officers on active duty

 44

Reserve commissioned officers

 452

Regular warrant officers

 257

Reserve warrant officers

 31

Regular enlisted men

 65,666

Reserve enlisted men

 6,704

Female reservists

 269

 Total

 75,101

 

 

The maximum enlisted strength of the regular Marine Corps, not including reserves, during the period between the outbreak of war and the date the armistice became operative was 63,714 on November 9, 1918. 

 

 

 

Chapter III.

 

RECRUITING - APPLICANTS, REJECTIONS, ENLISTMENTS - ENLISTMENTS BY STATES.

 

Recruiting

 

 

The recruiting service of the corps was enlarged greatly during the war and it was so well organized and its method of procedure was so efficient that it was able to stand the enormous increase of the corps. The real test of any organization comes when a very great increase is suddenly made and the recruiting service of the Marine Corps passed that test in a commendable manner.

 

On August 8, 1918, by Executive order, volunteer enlistments in the Marine Corps and enrollments in the reserve were stopped, and from that time until October 1, 1918, no men were enlisted in the corps with the exception of those whose cases were pending when the Executive order above mentioned was issued and some whose enlistments expired and were reenlisted. On September 16, 1918, the Secretary of War approved the terms of a tentative plan proposed in an informal conference by representatives of the Navy Department, the Marine Corps, the General Staff, and the Provost Marshal General's Office.

 

This plan in part provided that the Marine Corps was accorded the privilege of individual inductions to the amount of 5,000 men, for the months of October, November, and December, 1918, and January, 1919, and 1,500 thereafter.

 

As the plan above mentioned operated the men were supplied from the selective draft, but the choice was given the Marine Corps of accepting or rejecting men according to the way they measured up to the Marine Corps standards. The inductees also had a choice in the matter, so they were really "voluntary inductees." This plan was very favorable and permitted the Marine Corps to maintain its high standard of enlisted personnel.

 

Owing to the cessation of hostilities there were but few inductions and none of the inductees ever reached France prior to the armistice becoming effective. Regular voluntary inductions into the Marine Corps (through Provost Marshal General) commenced October 1, 1918, and the last man was voluntarily inducted on December 13, 1918. Inductions occurred as follows:

 

October, 1918

 2,787

November, 1918

 3,880

December, 1918

 421

 Total

 7, 088

 

 

Owing to the signing of the armistice, no more requests were made to the Provost Marshal General for the induction of men after November 18, 1918.

 

On December 2, 1918, the President, by proclamation, directed that voluntary enlistments of registrants into the Navy and Marine Corps would be permitted without notice to local boards, and the provisions of the selective service law became inoperative so far as the Marine Corps was concerned.

 

On December 4, 1918, recruiting on a very limited scale was resumed by order of the Secretary of the Navy. On that date also, enrollments in the Marine Corps Reserve were stopped.

 

Applicants, rejections, enlistments, etc., regular Marine Corps,

not including reserves but including inductees, April, 1917,

to November, 1918.

Date

Appli-cants

Rejected by com- manding officer<1>

Rejected by medical officer<2>

Eloped

Declined oath

Enlist-ments

Strength Marine Corps.

Apr. 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

13,214

Apr. 30

14,607

 41

 11,673

10

 19

2,864

 15,813

May 31

15,498

 74

 10,039

40

 50

5,295

 20,932

June 30

15,905

 47

 11,735

16

 34

4,073

 24,772

July 31

11,778

 21

8,183

22

 44

3,508

 27,045

Aug. 31

 6,275

 37

4,006

 7

4

2,221

 29,861

Sept.30

 4,846

 29

3,996

 5

5

 811

 30,322

Oct. 31

 4,335

 33

3,661

 5

1

 635

 30,576

Nov. 30

 5,577

 14

4,942

 2

2

 617

 30,855

Dec. 31

 6,788

 22

5,305

 4

5

1,452

 32,016

Jan. 31

 5,472

 29

3,981

 5

3

1,454

 33,184

Feb. 28

 5,915

 31

5,772

 4

3

 105

 33,045

Mar. 31

 5,037

 18

4,734

 2

4

 279

 33,093

Apr. 30

15,958

 44

 12,996

 3

5

2,010

 35,690

May 31

18,336

 73

 12,956

 7

 22

5,278

 40,722

June 30

23,864

 79

 18,609

17

 36

5,132

 45,384

July 31

20,162

 224

 11,767

 9

 10

8,152

 52,712

Aug. 31

17,286

 115

 11,528

 5

 40

5,598

 57,628

Sept.30

16,175

 190

 13,484

 5

 83

2,404

 59,556

Oct. 31

12,176

2

8,923

 

1

3,250

 62,142

Nov. 30

13,284

2

9,129

 

2

4,151

 65,459

Total

 239,274

1,125

177,419

 168

373

 60,189

-

<1> Rejections by commanding officer include minors whose parents refused consent, married men whose wives refused consent, and men with criminal records or who were otherwise undesirable.

<2> Rejections by medical officer include all rejections at recruiting office as well as those rejected by the medical officer at the recruit depot to which they were transferred.

 

Enlistments By States.

 

The following table shows the number of men enlisted in the Marine Corps, not including reserves enrolled but including inductees, between April 1, 1917, and November 11, 1918. These figures do not include the 13, 214 enlisted men already in the Marine Corps on April 6,1917:

 

Alabama

 313

 Nevada

 86

Arizona

 210

 New Jersey

 1,251

Arkansas

 290

 New Hampshire

 67

California

 2,527

 New Mexico

 25

Colorado

 1,262

 New York

 6,782

Connecticut

 240

 North Carolina

 488

Delaware

 72

 North Dakota

 225

District of Columbia

 451

 Ohio

 4,968

Florida

 110

 Oklahoma

384

Georgia

 674

 Oregon

1,006

Illinois

 4,959

 Pennsylvania

 4,365

Idaho

 508

 Rhode Island

 64

Indiana

1,182

 South Carolina

66

Iowa

607

 South Dakota

 145

Kansas

 673

 Tennessee

 1,418

Kentucky

 592

 Texas

 2,205

Louisiana

832

 Utah

 898

Maine

24

 Vermont

 21

Massachusetts

 1,957

 Virginia

617

Maryland

 867

 Washington

 1,767

Michigan

 2,115

 West Virginia

598

Minnesota

 2,581

 Wisconsin

 876

Missouri

 3,721

 Wyoming

 92

Mississippi

 297

 

 

Montana

1,205

 Total

57,144

Nebraska

 461

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter IV

 

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION AND DISPOSITION OF MARINES

DURING WAR.

 

During the period of the war Marines served ashore and afloat all over the world. The following tables show where they were located at the outbreak of war and on the date the armistice became operative; also the naval vessels on which Marines were serving on both of these dates; and the geographical location of Marines during the war.

 

Location of Marines on April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918.

Location

Apr. 6, 1917

Nov. 11, 1918

 

Officers.

Men.

Total.

Officers.

Men.

Total.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Expeditionary Forces

-

 -

 -

 1857

23,698

24,555

Azores

 -

 -

 -

11

188

 199

China

8

 268

 276

 11

271

 282

England (A.E.F.). See American Expeditionary Forces.

England (not A.E.F.)

 -

 -

 -

 2

 69

71

France (A.E.F.). See American Expeditionary Forces

France (not A.E.F.)

-

 -

 -

146

 1,030

1,176

Germany (A.E.F.) See American Expeditionary Forces.

Guam

 9

 383

 392

 14

366

 380

Haiti

 62

 622

 684

 60

825

 885

Hawaiian Islands

 3

 137

 140

 10

466

 476

Holland (The Hague)

 -

 -

 -

-

 3

 3

Nicaragua

 3

 111

 114

 5

118

 123

Philippine Islands

 7

 272

 279

 12

582

 594

Porto Rico San Juan)

 -

 -

 -

 1

 77

78

Samoa

-

 -

 -

 1

-

 1

Santo Domingo

69

 1,856

1,925

 84

 1,879

1,963

Sea duty

 49

 2,187

2,236

 64

 2,009

2,073

Spain (Madrid)

-

 -

 -

 -

 1

 1

United States

 183

 6,481

6,664

 1,029

36,004

37,043

Virgin Islands

 10

 317

 327

 25

583

 608

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

419

13,214

 13,633

 2,431

70,489

72,920

 <1>Including enlisted men commissioned in Europe.

 

Marines Serving on Board Naval Vessels.

 

Marine detachments served on board all the overseas battleships and on the battleships of Battleship Force Two throughout the war. The Marines of Battleship Force One of which the MINNESOTA was flagship were temporarily withdrawn in April, 1918.

 

Marines were also on board a great many of the cruisers which acted as escorts for the vessels transporting Army troops to Europe.

 

The following table shows in detail those vessels which carried Marine detachments at the beginning of the war and on Armistice Day:

 

Ships.

Apr. 6, 1917.

Nov. 11, 1918.

 

 

Officers.

Men.

Officers.

Men.

Atlantic Fleet

1

 

1

 

Pacific Fleet

1

 

1

 

Asiatic Fleet

1

 

1

 

Battleship Force 2

1

 

1

 

Battleship Force

1

 

 

 

Cruiser Force

 

 

1

 

Division 6

1

 

1

 

Division 7

1

 

 

 

Division 8

 

 

1

 

Division 9 (Sixth Battle Squadron)

 

 

1

 

Alabama

1

49

 

 

Arizona

2

83

2

88

Arkansas

1

76

2

86

Brooklyn

2

69

2

98

Castine

 

20

 

 

Charleston

 

 

2

62

Cincinnati

1

40

1

41

Columbia

 

19

 

 

Connecticut

3

65

 

 

Constellation

 

6

 

7

Delaware

1

65

2

70

Denver

1

40

 

 

Des Moines

 

38

 

 

Dolphin

 

15

 

20

Florida

1

66

2

63

Frederick

 

2

 

64

Galveston

1

39

1

40

George Washington

 

2

 

97

Helena

1

30

1

25

Huntington

 

 

2

61

Idaho

 

 

2

19

Louisiana

1

64

 

 

Machias

 

20

 

 

Mayflower

 

15

 

5

Michigan

2

62

 

 

Minnesota

2

68

 

 

Mississippi

 

 

2

78

Montana

1

62

2

72

Nebraska

1

68

 

 

Nevada

1

77

2

79

New Hampshire

1

67

 

 

New Jersey

1

6

 

 

New York

1

77

2

20

North Carolina

 

 

2

65

North Dakota

1

64

2

65

Oklahoma

2

77

2

89

Olympia

1

40

 

 

Pennsylvania

1

94

3

133

Pittsburgh (below)

2

75

2

105

Prairie

 

19

 

 

Pueblo

1

69

2

15

Rhode Island

1

64

 

 

Seattle

1

61

 

 

South Carolina

2

65

 

 

South Dakota

 

 

2

59

St. Louis

 

 

2

62

Texas

1

72

2

78

Utah

2

62

2

72

Wilmington

1

30

1

30

Wyoming

1

78

2

82

Yorktown

 

20

 

 

Total

49

2,187

64

2,009

 

 

USS Pittsburgh, armoured cruiser, at Rio de Janeiro

 

In addition to the above-named vessels, Marines served on the LEVIATHAN, ALBANY, NEW ORLEANS, GEORGIA, KANSAS, VERMONT, SAN DIEGO, and VIRGINIA.

 

Geographical Location of Marines During the War.

 

During the period of the war Marines were stationed at the following posts:

 

UNITED STATES.

 

Navy yards and stations. - Portsmouth, N. H.; Boston; New York; Philadelphia; Annapolis; Washington, D. C.; Norfolk, Va.; Charleston, S. C.; Key West, Fla.; Pensacola, Fla.; New Orleans; Mare Island, Calif.; Puget Sound, Wash.; and North Island, Calif.

 

Naval magazines. - Hingham, Mass.; Fort Lafayette; Iona Island, N. Y.; Lake; Fort Mifflin, Pa.; St. Juliens Creek, Va.; and Mare Island, Calif.

 

Naval ammunition depots. - Dover, N. J., and New London, Conn.

 

Torpedo stations. - Puget Sound, Wash., and Newport, R.I.

 

Radio stations, etc. - Greenbury, Md.; Point Isabell, Tex.; Radio, Va.; Key West, Fla.; Chatham, Mass.; Portland, Me.; Rye Beach, Me.; Otter Cliffs, Me.; naval radio station, Wellfleet, Mass.; French Cable Co., Orleans, Mass.; Postal Telegraph and Cable Co., Rockport, Mass.; Commercial Telegraph & Cable Co., Boston; Marconi Wireless Co., Boston; Western Union Co., Boston; Cape Cod, Mass.; Sayville, N. Y.; New Brunswick, N. J.; Belmar, N. J.; Tuckerton, N. J.; Beaufort, S. C.; Charleston, S. C.; Annapolis, Md.; Washington, D. C.; San Diego, Calif.; Chollas Heights, Calif.; Point Arguello, Calif.; Inglewood, Calif.; East San Pedro, Calif.; Eureka, Calf.; Bolinas, Calif.; Marshall, Calif.; Farallones Islands, Calif.; Marshfield, Oreg.; Astoria, Oreg.; Lents, Oreg.; Tatoosh, Wash.; North Head, Wash.

 

Naval prisons. - Portsmouth, N. H.; Parris island, S. C.; and Mare Island, Calif.

 

Naval hospitals. - Boston; New York; Washington, D. C.; Norfolk, Va.; Key West, Fla.; and Fort Lyons, Col.

 

Coaling stations. - La Playa, Calif., and Tiburon, Calif.

 

Receiving ship. - Boston.

 

Other places. - Headquarters, Washington, D. C.; Office of the Judge Advocate General; assistant paymasters' offices at New York, Atlanta, Ga., and San Francisco, Calif.; depots of supplies at Philadelphia, Pa., San Francisco, Calif., and Charleston, S. C.; naval experimental station, New London, Conn.; naval district base, New London, Conn.; advanced base force, Philadelphia, Pa.; mobilization bureau, New York City; third naval district base, New York; New Navy Building guard, Washington, D. C.; naval mine station, Yorktown, Va.; naval base, Hampton Roads, Va.; Navy rifle range, Wakefield, Mass.; rifle range, Winthrop, Md.; naval proving grounds, Indian Head Md. Wissahickon Barracks, N. J.; Navy fuel depot, Curtis, Md.; Navy ordnance plant, Charleston, W. Va.; camp of instruction, bayonet team, Lansdowne, Pa.; signal battalion, Paoli, Pa.; staff office, San Francisco Calif.; Marine barracks, Quantico, Va.; Fort Crockett, Galveston, Tex.; Gerstner Field, Lake Charles, La.; naval air station, Cape May, N: J.; naval air station, San Diego, Calif.; naval school for mechanics, Great Lakes, Ill.; naval air station, Pensacola, Fla.; Army training field, Mineola, Long island, N. Y.; Marine Corps School of Machine Gun Instruction at Utica, N. Y., and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, Mass.

 

BEYOND CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF UNITED STATES.

 

American Expeditionary Forces. - In France, England, and Germany.

 

With naval service in Europe. - Paris, France; Pauillac, France; London, England; Marine aerodromes between Calais and Dunkirk, France; Croix d'Hins, Gironde, France; naval base, Ponta Delgada, Azores Islands; Cardiff, Wales.

 

Naval stations. - Cavite, P. I.; Olongapo, P. I.; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Virgin Islands; Guam.

 

Occupation forces. - Santo Domingo, Haiti.

 

Legation guards. - Peking, China; and Managua, Nicaragua.

 

Couriers. - Madrid, Spain; The Hague, Holland; Luxembourg Jassy, Roumania; Stockholm, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark; Christiania, Norway; Petrograd, Archangel, Murman Coast, Russia; Paris, France; London, England; Athens, Greece; and Rome, Italy.

 

Constabularies. - Guardia Nacional Dominicana and Haitian gendarmerie.

 

Radio stations. - Cavite, P. I.; San Juan, Porto Rico; El Cayay, Porto Rico; Haiti; Croix d'Hins, Gironde, France.

 

Naval ammunition depot. - Olongapo, P.I.

 

Naval magazine. Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

 

Depot of supplies. - Cavite, P. I.

 

Attaches. - Paris, France; London, England; Yokohama, Japan; Petrograd, Russia; Stockholm, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Christiania, Norway.

 

 

 

Chapter V.

 

HOW OFFICERS WERE OBTAINED AND TRAINED.

 

How Officers Were Obtained.

 

The outbreak of war made it essential that the corps should be filled as far as practicable with officers who had had prior military experience and training, and immediate steps were taken to arrange for the designation and examination of Marine Corps warrant officers, noncommissioned officers, graduates of military colleges, and other civilians with military experience and training.

 

The appointment of officers subsequent to the declaration of war up to October, 1917, both for the permanent service and for the temporary increase authorized for the duration of the war, were drawn from the following sources:

 

Graduates of the Naval Academy

 6

Former officer of the Marine Corps

 1

Former graduate of the Naval Academy

 1

Warrant officers and paymaster's clerks of the Marine Corps

 89

Meritorious noncommissioned officers of the Marine Corps

 122

Reserve officers and National Naval Volunteers

36

Graduates of military colleges

 284

Other civilians with prior military or naval experience or training

 136

Other civilians passing the competitive examination held July 10, 1917

86

 

In order to expedite the training of the new officers, advantage was taken of the law providing for a Marine Corps Reserve, and successful candidates were immediately enrolled as second lieutenants in the reserve and ordered to Marine Corps posts for instruction pending the issuance of their commissions in the regular service. Candidates designated for the examination held July 10, 1917, were authorized upon designation to enroll as privates in the Marine Corps Reserve, with the understanding that upon the completion of their examination they would be ordered to the Recruit Depot at Parris Island, S. C., for training pending the receipt of the report of the examining board. This policy was carried out, and the successful candidates were commissioned second lieutenants in the Marine Corps, while the unsuccessful candidates were given the option of continuing in the service as enlisted men or of being discharged therefrom.

 

Owing to the unusually large number of young men of excellent education and fine attainments who had enlisted in the Marine Corps after the outbreak of war, it was decided that no further appointments of civilians to the rank of second lieutenant would be made during the continuance of the war, and that all vacancies occuring in that grade, not required for graduates of the Naval Academy, would be filled by the promotion of meritorious noncommissioned officers. This decision was promulgated to the service in Marine Corps Orders No. 25 (Series 1917).

 

How Officers Were Trained.

 

The officers appointed from civil life, as soon as enrolled, were ordered to the Marine barracks, Mare Island, Calif.; San Diego, Calif.; Parris Island, S. C.; and the Marine Corps rifle range, Winthrop, Md., for instruction, pending the completion of the buildings for their use at the Marine barracks, Quantico, Va. Early in July, 1917, the buildings being in readiness, the newly appointed officers, about 345 in number, were assembled at Quantico, where an officers' camp of instruction was held, and the course completed in October, 1917.

 

In carrying out the policy of obtaining officers from the ranks, orders were issued to commanding officers of every post and station of the Marine Corps, both at home and abroad, as well as those on board ship, to the effect that all commissioned officers would be taken from the ranks, and that the number of men to be designated from each post to attend the training camp would be a certain percentage of the number of men stationed at such post or station. Each commanding officer was ordered to convene a board of three officers to examine into the qualifications of the men at his post, and to report in the order of merit the names of the men considered qualified for entry to the officers' training camp at Quantico, Va. These reports were all forwarded to headquarters, where a board was convened to examine them and to select, in accordance with their standing as reported by the various boards, the number of men who it had been decided could be quartered and properly instructed at Quantico. It was found that about 600 was the limit that could be accommodated, and approximately this number was selected for the first camp, which was established at Quantico, Va., in April, 1918.

 

The officers' training camp was commanded by an officer of adequate rank. The students were divided into companies with a major in command as chief instructor and captains and lieutenants to assist him. The candidates were given a very rigid course of instruction and intensive training. Some of the studies pursued were: Infantry drill regulations, manual of interior guard duty, bayonet training, bombing, minor tactics, military engineering, military topography, administration, military law, lectures on gas and on sea duty, and a practical course on the rifle range.

 

The training at these camps was most intensive and thoroughly competitive, so that a man's position depended entirely upon himself. The material to draw from was so excellent that comparatively few of those who entered the camps failed to receive commissions and many of the young men so commissioned who were assigned to duty abroad demonstrated that their selection was fully justified.

 

Many officers also received special training in the schools of the Overseas Depot at Quantico, Va.

 

The majority of the members of the first officers' training camp were graduated in July, 1918. Three hundred of this camp were commissioned on July 15, 1918, and 91 on August 15, 1918.

 

The same proportionate allowance that was made in the United States was also designated for the Marines serving in France, and similar means were instituted there to carry out the policy of selection of men for the training camp. As a result of the camp established over there, 164 second lieutenants were appointed from the Fourth Brigade in France.

 

The second officers' training camp was opened at Quantico, Va., on August 20, 1918, the enlisted men forming its personnel having been selected in exactly the same manner as those attending the first camp and this procedure was also followed with regard to the Marines of the American Expeditionary Forces in France. Of the 570 men enrolled 432 were graduated from the second officers' training camp, December 16, 1918, and 172 from the Army candidate school in France, who, immediately upon graduating, were enrolled as second lieutenants (provisional) in class 4, Marine Corps Reserve, and subsequently appointed temporary second lieutenants in the Marine Corps. An extension of three weeks to this course in America was necessitated by the epidemic of influenza.

 

There were 235 graduated in July, 1919, from the third officers' training camp who were enrolled as second lieutenants (provisional) in class 4, Marine Corps Reserve, and immediately assigned to inactive duty.

 

There were also 48 graduates of the Army candidate school in France, who were enrolled as second lieutenants (provisional) in class 4, Marine Corps Reserve, and who were discharged or placed on inactive duty upon their return to the United States, with the exception of four who were transferred to the temporary service.

 

Sixty-nine officers were graduated from the Marine Corps school of machine-gun instruction at Utica N. Y.

 

Information regarding the training of Marine officers for aviation duties will be found in Chapter XXI.

 

Marine Sections, Student Army Training Corps.

 

In the act approved August 31, 1918, provision was made for a Student Army Training Corps, and under date of September 12, 1918, the Secretary of War directed the Provost Marshal General to allot 1,500 of the registrants authorized for induction into the Student Army Training Corps to the Marine sections under that organization. On September 23, 1918, with the approval of the Navy Department, Marine Corps headquarters designated the following institutions for the organization of Marine sections of the Student Army Training Corps and allotted quotas to each ranging from 100 to 190:

 

 Leland Stanford Junior University

110

 Georgia School of Technology

100

 Harvard University

120

 University of Minnesota

110

 Cornell University

170

 University of Washington

160

 University of Texas

100

 Yale University

100

 University of Kansas

140

 University of Wisconsin

190

 Virginia Military Institute

100

 University of North Carolina

100

 

A Marine officer was ordered to each of the designated institutions and charged with the duties of administration, instruction, and discipline of the Marine section, with the assistance of a noncommissioned officer of the Marine Corps.

 

It was intended to transfer, from time to time, well-qualified students who were inducted into Marine sections of the Student Army Training Corps to aviation duty, or to one of the two recruit camps, and in both cases men thus recommended, who proved themselves qualified to become officers, would be ultimately commissioned in either the Marine Corps Reserve Flying Corps or for general service in the Marine Corps. In either case after finishing their course in the Student Army Training Corps they would have been sent to a recruit camp for the regular course of training, because this would make it possible to imbue them with the necessary esprit de corps and indoctrinate them with the Marine Corps methods of procedure and training, both essential to the making of a Marine officer of the highest type. Owing to the ending of active hostilities there were no graduates from the Marine sections of the Student Army Training Corps at the different universities and colleges as they were ordered abandoned shortly after the armistice became operative

 

 

 

Chapter VI.

 

TRAINING OF ENLISTED MEN IN THE UNITED STATES AND

EUROPE.

 

 


Private
 
Sergeant

 

In United States.

 

The Marine Corps system of training for the enlisted personnel during the war was thorough and excellent in every respect, and resulted in the turning out of men who proved themselves well fitted for the arduous duties of Marines.

 

For a short time after the outbreak of the war temporary recruit depots were opened at the navy yards at Philadelphia, Pa., and Norfolk, Va., with a capacity of 2,500 at the former and 500 at the latter. These were used until the regular recruit depots at Parris Island, S. C., and Mare Island, Calif., could accommodate the recruits. These two recruit depots were greatly enlarged both in size and scope, to take care of the temporary increase in strength authorized for the war, and were soon able to meet all demands made upon them.

 

At the beginning of the war the course of recruit instruction at the recruit depot, Parris Island, was of 8 weeks duration, and with but very few exceptions every recruit passing through this depot received 8 weeks instruction. At the Mare Island recruit depot, the recruits received 12 weeks training from April 6 to 28, 1917, 9 weeks from April 29, 1917, to June 21, 1918, and 8 weeks from June 22 to November 11, 1918.

 

The following table gives a list of the special schools at the Parris Island recruit depot and the number of graduates from each during the period between the outbreak of war and the date the armistice became operative:

 

 Noncommissioned Officers School

 2,144

 Field Musics School

 493

 Radio School

 143

 Signal School

 232

 Band School

 247

 Clerical School

 236

 Pay School

 78

 Cooks, and Bakers, School

 150

Total

 3, 723

 

The following table illustrates what was accomplished by the two recruit depots:

 

 

Depot

In training Apr. 6, 1917

In training Nov. 11, 1918

Maximum strength of post.

Maximum Number of recruits at one time.

Total recruits handled.

Maximum capacity.

Parris Island

835

4,104

16,601

13,286

46,202

13,060

Mare island

358

1,143

2,799

2,470

11,901

3,009

Total

1,193

5,247

19,400

15,756

58,103

16,060

 

After leaving the recruit depots at Parris Island and Mare Island, advanced training was given the men at Quantico Va. This training was most intensive and as a result all the organizations which were trained there attained a high state of efficiency. It was made to approximate as nearly as practicable the real service which the men would have in the American Expeditionary Forces in France. Officers who were engaged in this training showed great ingenuity and efficiency in their attempts to make the training approach as nearly as possible what the men would be subjected to in actual service. That they succeeded was shown by the work done by the Marines in France and other places.

 

The first troops arrived at the Marine barracks, Quantico, Va., on May 18, 1917. The maximum enlisted strength was 9,849 on September 1 2,1918. The maximum number of officers present at one time was 484, on August 16, 1918. The strength on November 11, 1918, was 329 officers and 8,798 enlisted men. From May, 1917, to November 11, 1918, approximately 1,000 officers and 40,000 enlisted men passed through Quantico, Va.

 

In addition to giving the enlisted men general training at Quantico in preparation for overseas and other duty, the Overseas Depot was established on May 19, 1918, for the double purpose of organizing and training units of the Marine Corps for service with the American Expeditionary Forces.

 

Prior to the organization of this depot the Fifth and Sixth Regiments, the Sixth Machine Gun Battalion, the Base Battalion of the Fifth Regiment, and two replacement battalions had left the United States and had become part of the American Expeditionary Force.

 

The Overseas Depot consisted of an administrative staff and the various sections as follows:

 

(a) The specialists' schools for the technical training of the infantry and machine gun, and the coordination of these specialists' arms;

 

(b) the tactical department for the instruction and training of overseas units in new tactical principles;

 

(c) the enlisted staff school for the training of first sergeants, mess sergeants, cooks, company clerks, armorers, etc: Two French and four Canadian officers, who had abundant experience in the fighting in Europe, were assigned as advisors of the commanding officer.

 

The basic independent unit of organization was the platoon, and the platoon therefore became the principal training unit. In the organization of this unit the scheme followed was to assure to each a certain nucleus of enlisted instructors trained in the various specialties, in addition to the platoon commanders, who were qualified to carry on the instruction along approved lines within the unit. This nucleus was taken from the graduates of the specialists' schools of the depot. When four such platoons had been formed they were assembled into a company. The company headquarters, trained in the enlisted staff school, was added to the four platoons and the company organization was turned over to the company commander complete in all details. Battalions were likewise formed by the consolidation of companies. In every instance the platoon, company, and the battalion, carried out a regular schedule of drills and institutions under the supervision of the depot, but all administrative details were left in the hands of the company and the battalion commanders. These training schedules were made up in the tactical department, approved by the commanding officer, and were based on the most approved methods in effect at the time. In the cases of the formation of regimental organizations, of which there were two formed during the existence of the Overseas Depot, the battalions upon being formed were turned over to the regimental commander, and in this case direct supervision by the depot ceased, but all facilities on hand, such as material, officers acting in an advisory capacity, training areas, etc., directly attached to the depot, were placed at the disposal of the regimental commanders who were at all times in active liaison with the depot.

 

About 85 per cent of the troops forming the detachments arriving at the Overseas Depot for service in France had undergone not less than 8 nor more than 12 weeks' training at the regular recruit depots of the Marine Corps. The preliminary training received at these recruit depots was such as to fit the men for general service throughout the Marine Corps, and resulted in the men being well disciplined, considering the short time they had been in the service. This facilitated the more advanced and specialized training they were to receive at the Overseas Depot. These detachments were composed entirely of qualified riflemen, having undergone during the recruit period a most thorough and comprehensive course in the use of the rifle. Upon the arrival of these detachments they were organized as outlined above, and the commissioned personnel was assigned to the units from the officers' school. The schedule and drills and instructions were provided them and were carried out under the supervision of specially selected officers of the tactical department of the Overseas Depot, including the foreign officers. This training continued until the units departed for France. Training in open warfare was given precedence over that of trench warfare from the very beginning in the proportion of about four to one.

 

The following units were organized by the Overseas Depot: Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh Separate Battalions; Second and Third Machine Gun Battalions; Fifth Brigade Machine Gun Battalion; Second and Third Separate Machine Gun Battalions; Eleventh and Thirteenth Regiments; total, approximately, 16,000 officers and enlisted men. The Seventh and Eighth Separate Battalions were organized and sent to France from Marine Barracks, Parris Island, S. C.

 

The following table shows the schools conducted by the Overseas Depot and the number of graduates:

 

School.

Officers.

Noncommissioned officers.

Privates.

Total.

Officers

294

 

 

294

Bayonet

 

360

220

580

Bombing

 

200

150

350

Gas

 

180

 

180

Automatic Rifle

 

150

650

809

Scout Snipers

 

75

375

450

Machine Gun

120

145

295

560

Miners and Sappers

 

70

80

150

Enlisted Staff

 

105

300

405

Total

414

1,285

2,070

3,769

 

In addition to the training described above, 69 officers and 2,084 enlisted men, a total of 2,153, graduated from the Marine Corps school of machine-gun instruction at Utica, N. Y.

 

Never before in the history of the corps have better drilled and trained or more generally efficient men been turned out, ready for duty, upon completion of their training, and to this factor is largely due the splendid record made by the Marines during the war.

 

The work of the officers training the Marines was not spectacular, and they wear no war chevrons, nor decorations for bravery, perhaps, but they were, nevertheless, a vital factor in whatever success the Marine Corps met with in the great struggle.

 

Information with reference to the training of enlisted men for aviation will be found in Chapter XXI.

 

Training In France.

 

On June 27, 1917, the First Battalion of the Fifth Regiment actually landed in France and on July 3, 1917, the entire Fifth Regiment was under canvas on French soil. From that date every effort was made to train the men and officers. Elements of the Fifth Regiment trained as a part of the First Division of Regulars from July 15, 1917, to September, 1917, in the Gondrecourt training area. From September, 1917, on, the training of the available units of the Fourth Brigade as a unit of the Second Division of Regulars was conducted in the Bourmont training area.

 

Until February, 1918, the training of the Marines in France was handicapped by the fact that units of the Brigade were engaged in duties along the Line of Communications (Services of Supply), one company and a battalion commander being absent in England until March, 1918. It was not until the middle of February, 1918, that the Fourth Brigade of Marines (less the company in England) was conducting its training as a brigade with any degree of satisfaction. Owing to the well-trained condition of the individual Marine this condition did not vitally affect his professional ability as was so distinctly shown by his later accomplishments.

 

The Fourth Brigade continued its training in the Bourmont training area until the middle of March, 1918, when it entered the front line trenches in the Verdun sector.

 

The Marine replacements received little or no training in a training area in France as most of them were hurried into the fighting immediately upon arrival overseas.

 

To summarize, the average Marine who arrived in France received at least six weeks' training in the United States in a recruit depot and a very short period at Quantico. This is a contrast to the six months' training received by the average enlisted man of the Army After arrival in France the Marines, except those of the original Fourth Brigade, received practically no training in a training area since they joined the brigade almost immediately. The Marines comprising the Fifth Brigade of Marines received no training in a regular training area in France.

 

in France, wearing French gasmasks

 

 

 

Chapter VII.

 

ORGANIZATIONS AND REPLACEMENTS SENT TO EUROPE - ORGANIZATION OF THE FOURTH AND FIFTH BRIGADES.

 

The Fourth Brigade of Marines.

 

The Fourth Brigade of United States Marines was composed of the Fifth and Sixth Regiments of Marines, and the Sixth Machine Gun Battalion of Marines.

 

The companies forming the battalions were as follows:

 

 

Fifth Regiment.

 

 

 

 

First Battalion.

Second Battalion.

Third Battalion.

17th (A) Company.

18th (E) Company.

16th (I) Company.

49th (B) Company.

43d (F) Company.

20th (K) Company.

66th (C) Company.

51st (G) Company.

45th (L) Company.

67th (D) Company.

55th (H) Company.

47th (M) Company.

 

 

 

 

8th Machine Gun Company.

 

 

Supply Company.

 

 

Headquarters Company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sixth Regiment.

 

 

 

 

First Battalion.

Second Battalion.

Third Battalion.

74th (A) Company.

78th (E) Company.

82nd (J) Company.

75th (B) Company.

79th (F) Company.

83rd (K) Company.

76th (C) Company.

80th (G) Company.

84th (L) Company.

95th (D) Company.

96th (H) Company.

97th (M) Company.

 

 

 

 

73d Machine Gun Company.

 

 

Supply Company.

 

 

Headquarters Company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sixth Machine Gun Battalion.

 

 

 

 

15th (A) Company.

23d (B) Company.

77th (C) Company.

 

81st (D) Company.

 

 

From June 27, 1917, to the middle of September, 1917, the Fifth Regiment was a unit of the First Division of Regulars. Although the Fifth Regiment was the only organization of Marines in France at the time, the Fourth Brigade of Marines was formed on October 23, 1917, when Col. Charles A. Doyen cabled acceptance of his appointment as Brigadier General. From October 26, 1917, to August 8, 1919, the Fourth Brigade was a part of the Second Division of Regulars, except from October 20-23, 1918, when the Brigade was provisionally at the disposal of the Ninth French Army Corps, in the vicinity of Leffincourt. On August 8, 1919, the brigade was transferred back to the naval service.

 

On May 29, 1917, in accordance with directions issued by the President, the Secretary of the Navy directed the Major General Commandant "to organize a force of Marines to be known as the Fifth Regiment of Marines for service with the Army as a part of the first expedition to proceed to France in the near future." The Fifth Regiment was accordingly organized at the navy yard, Philadelphia, Pa., on June 7, 1917, with Col. Charles A. Doyen in command, and Maj. Harry R. Lay, as adjutant.

 

Gen. Pershing and his staff, accompanied by two Marine officers, proceded the first expedition to France, sailing late in May, 1917, from the United States.

 

The final report of the American commander in chief includes the following:

 

The offer by the Navy Department of one regiment of Marines to be reorganized as Infantry was accepted by the Secretary of War, and it became temporarily a part of the First Division.

 

On June 14, 1917, the first expedition of American troops left the United States for France and the Fifth Regiment of Marines embarked on the naval transports HENDERSON and HANCOCK, and the auxiliary cruiser DE KALB (former PRINTZ EITEL FRIEDRICH), formed approximately one-fifth of it. The fourth group, including the HANCOCK, did not sail until June 17, 1917.

 

The orders received by the convoy commander on the day prior to sailing read in part: "A military expedition is to be embarked on the above-named transports, augmented by a regiment of Marines embarked in naval vessels, for transportation to a destination already communicated."

 

The DE KALB was in group 1, the HENDERSON in group 2, and the HANCOCK in group 4; all were part of the escort and not the convoy.

 

Rear-Admiral Albert Gleaves, the convoy commander, flying his flag on the SEATTLE, personally commanded the first group, while Maj. Gen. W. L. Sibert in the TENEDARES, was the senior Army officer embarked.

 

The passage of the four groups across the Atlantic was successfully accomplished without a single disaster, or the loss of a life due to enemy causes.

 

At 10.15 p. m., June 22, 1917, the first group, including the DE KALB was attacked by enemy submarines. The wake of a submarine was sighted crossing 50 yards ahead of the Seattle's bow from starboard to port. A few seconds later the DE KALB and HAVANA sighted torpedoes and opened fire. Two torpedoes passed close to the HAVANA, and one passed ahead and one astern of the DE KALB. The second group encountered two submarines, the first at 11.50 a. m., June 26, 1918, about 100 miles off the French coast and the second two hours later.

 

The DE KALB arrived at St. Nazaire, France, on June 26, 1917, the HENDERSON on June 27, 1917, and the HANCOCK on July 2, 1917. On June 27, 1917, the commanding officer of the Fifth Regiment reported to the commanding general, First Division, American Expeditionary Forces, and from that date the Fifth Regiment was considered as being detached for service with the Army by direction of the President.

 

Five hundred negro stevedores had been brought from the United States by the Army to discharge ships, but they were found inadequate for the large number of ships concerned. The Marines relieved the situation somewhat by turning to and discharging their own vessels.

 

On June 27, 1917, the First Battalion, less the Fifteenth Company which joined the battalion the following day, disembarked from the DE KALB and occupied quarters ashore. On this date Lieut. Col. Logan Feland joined the Fifth Regiment. On June 28, 1917, the Second and Third Battalions went ashore from the HENDERSON for a practice march, and the following day the First Battalion erected tents for the regiment on a camp site a short distance outside of St. Nazaire. By 8 p. m., July 3, 1917, the entire Fifth Regiment was ashore under canvas.

 

On July 15, 1917, the Fifth Regiment, less the Third Battalion, which remained behind to perform guard duty and other detached units and officers, proceeded to the Gondrecourt training area, and was stationed in Menaucourt and Naix. On August 1, 1917, Gen. Pershing inspected the battalions at the two towns where they were billetted.

 

On August 15, 1917, the First Division, including the Fifth Regiment of Marines, was reviewed by its commanding general on a plateau 12 miles distant from the training area.

 

On August 19, 1917, Gen. Pershing and Gen. Petain, commander-in-chief of all the French forces, inspected the Marines, as a unit of the First Division. Gen. Petain congratulated the colonel of the regiment on the splendid appearance of its officers and men, as well as the cleanliness of the towns.

 

Every opportunity was taken advantage of to perfect the regiment for combat duty, but this work was handicapped by the fact that many units of the regiment were scattered along the Line of Communications performing duty of a necessary but of a nontraining nature. One company and one battalion commander left the regiment until March 11, 1918. Many other officers and men were placed on detached duty.

 

On September 24, 25, 1917, that part of the Fifth Regiment available for training arrived in the Bourmont training areas and was stationed at Damblain and Breuvannes.

 

The following letter dated November 10, 1917, addressed by Gen. Pershing to the Major General Commandant is both complimentary and explanatory as to why the Marines were used along the Line of Communications.

 

Your Marines having been under my command for nearly six months, I feel that I can give you a discriminating report as to their excellent standing with their brothers of the Army and their general good conduct. I take this opportunity, also, of giving you the reasons for distributing them along our Line of Communications which, besides being a compliment to their high state of discipline and excellent soldierly appearance, was the natural thing to do as the Marine Regiment was an additional one in the Division and not provided for in the way of transportation and fighting equipment in case the Division should be pushed to the front. When, therefore, service of the rear troops and military and provost guards were needed at our base ports and in Paris it was the Marine Regiment that had to be scattered, in an endeavor to keep the rest of the organized division intact.

 

I have been obliged to detach a number of your officers as assistant provost marshals in France and in England, all of which I take it you will agree with me was highly complimentary to both officers and men, and was so intended. I can assure you that as soon as our service of the rear troops arrive, including a large number of officers and men for the specific duties now being performed by your men, the Marines will be brought back once more under your brigade commander and assigned to the duties which they so much desire in the Second Regular Division under General Bundy.

 

It is a great pleasure to report on your fine representatives here in France.

 

Col. Charles A. Doyen was in command of the Fifth Regiment from the date of its organization on June 7, 1917, to October 29, 1917; and Lieut. Col. Hiram I. Bearss from October 30, 1917, to December 31, 1917. Col. Wendell C. Neville having arrived on on board the DE KALB at St. Nazaire, France, on December 28, 1917, reported to the Fourth Brigade for duty on January 1, 1918 and on that date assumed command of the Fifth Regiment, continuing in command until July, 1918.

 

The Sixth Machine Gun Battalion of Marines was organized at the Marine barracks, Quantico, Va., by order of the Major General Commandant on August 17, 1917. The battalion was designated the First Machine Gun Battalion, but on January 20, 1918, after arrival in France, was renamed the Sixth Machine Gun Battalion. On December 14, 1917, the battalion sailed from New York on the DE KALB, arriving at St. Nazaire, France, December 28, 1917. On January 3, 1918, the battalion arrived at Damblain in the Bourmont training area and began training with headquarters at Germain-villiers.

 

Maj. Edward B. Cole was in command of the Sixth Machine Gun Battalion of Marines from the date of its organization until June 10, 1918, when he received a mortal wound.

 

On August 4, 1917, in accordance with directions issued by the President, the Secretary of the Navy directed the Major General Commandant "to organize a force of Marines, to be known as the Sixth Regiment of Marines, for service with the Army in France," and the regiment was organized as directed.

 


USS Von Steuben, transport

 

On September 23, 1917, the First Battalion of the Sixth Regiment sailed on the HENDERSON from New York and landed at St. Nazaire, France, on October 5, 1917. On October 17, 1917, the Seventy-third Machine Gun Company, Headquarters, and Supply Companies, and Col. Albertus W. Catlin, commanding officer of the Sixth Regiment, with his Staff, sailed from Philadelphia, Pa., on the DE KALB, and from New York on October 18, 1917, arriving at St. Nazaire, France, on November 1, 1917. On October 31 1917, the Third Battalion of the Sixth Regiment sailed from New York on board the VON STEUBEN and anchored at Brest, France, on November 1 2,1917. On January 24, 1918, the Second Battalion of the Sixth Regiment sailed on the HENDERSON from New York and arrived at St. Nazaire, France, February 6, 1918, and with the arrival of this last battalion, the entire Sixth Regiment of Marines was in France.

 

On October 23, 1917, the Fourth Brigade of Marines was organized, with Brig. Gen. Charles A. Doyen in command. Brig. Gen. Doyen continued in command until May 7, 1918, when he published in General Orders No. 5, that he had relinquished command. Maj. Harry R. Lay was the first brigade adjutant, and performed the duties of that office from October 24, 1917, to August 9, 1918, except during the period February 7 to May 9, 1918, when Maj. Holland M. Smith was brigade adjutant.

 

On October 26, 1917, Brig. Gen. Charles A. Doyen, United States Marine Corps, assumed command of the Second Division as its first commanding general, and announced his staff in General Orders No. 1, with station at Bourmont, Haute-Marne, serving as such until relieved by Maj. Gen. Omar Bundy, United States Army, who announced that he assumed command in General Orders No. 4, November 8, 1917.

 

Like the Fifth Regiment, the Sixth Regiment spent several months performing the necessary but undesired duties along the Line of Communications. On January 12, 1918, Col. Albertus W. Catlin established headquarters for the Sixth Regiment at Blevaincourt in the Bourmont training area. The Third Battalion arrived in this area on January 12, 1918, the headquarters units the same date, the First Battalion during January, 1918, and the Second Battalion on February 10, 1918.

 

Therefore, on February 10, 1918, the Fourth Brigade of Marines was in the Bourmont training area intact, with the exception of one company on duty in England, training industriously as an infantry brigade of the Second Division. While the brigade had been organized on October 23, 1917, and had actually functioned as a brigade with elements of all three of its units present from January 12, 1918, it was not until February 10, 1918, that the Brigade organization was perfected.

 

Fifth Brigade of Marines.

 

On September 5, 1918, the Major General Commandant directed the post commander, Marine barracks, Quantico, Va., to organize brigade headquarters of the Fifth Brigade, United States Marine Corps.

 

This brigade was accordingly organized and was composed of the Eleventh and Thirteenth Regiments and the Fifth Brigade Machine Gun Battalion. The companies of the Fifth Brigade were designated by letters and not by numbers.

 

Brig. Gen. Eli K. Cole was designated as the brigade commander and on September 15, 1918, he and the Brigade Staff sailed from Hoboken, N. J., on board the VON STEUBEN, arriving at Brest, France, on September 24, 1918.

 

The Thirteenth Regiment left the Overseas Depot at Quantico, Va., on Friday, September 13, 1918, and on September 15, 1918, sailed from Hoboken, N. J., on board the HENDERSON and VON STEUBEN, arriving at Brest, France, on September 25, 1918.

 

On September 29, 1918, Eleventh Regiment Headquarters and the First Battalion sailed on the DE KALB from Philadelphia, Pa., and arrived at Brest, France, on October 13, 1918. On October 16, 1918, the Second and Third Battalions of the Eleventh Regiment sailed from Brooklyn, N. Y., on board the AGAMEMNON and VON STEUBEN and arrived at Brest, France on October 25, 1918.

 

On October 28, 1918, the Fifth Brigade Machine Gun Battalion sailed from South Brooklyn, N. Y., on board the HENDERSON and arrived at Brest, France, on November 9, 1918. With the arrival of this unit the entire Fifth Brigade was in France.

 

Aviation Units.

 

On January 21, 1918, the First Marine Aeronautic Company arrived at naval base No. 13, Ponta Delgada, Azores.

 

On July 30, 1918, the First Marine Aviation Force (less Squadron D) disembarked at Brest, France, and formed the Day Wing of the Northern Bombing Group. Squadron D joined the Day Wing in October, 1918.

 

Marine Detachments For Naval Bases.

 

On January 21, 1918, and on July 20, 1918, detachments for the naval base No. 13, arrived at Ponta Delgada, Azores.

 

On September 30, 1918, the detachment for naval base No. 29, arrived at Cardiff, Wales.

 

On December 29, 1918, the detachment for the naval forces in France, staff office, Paris, France, landed at St. Nazaire, France.

 

Replacements for American Expeditionary Forces.

 

The following table will show the names of the replacement organizations sent to the American Expeditionary Forces, dates of sailing and arrival, and names of vessels:

 

 

Name of organization

Date embarked in U. S.

Date disembarked in France.

Name of vessel.

Fifth Regiment Base Detachment

July 31, 1917

Aug. 22, 1917

Henderson.

Twelfth and Twenty-sixth (disbanded in France).

Dec. 8, 1917

Dec. 31, 1917

De Kalb.

First Replacement Battalion

Feb. 5, 1918

Feb. 25, 1918

Von Steuben.

Second Replacement Battalion

Mar. 14, 1918

Mar. 27, 1918

Henderson.

Third Replacement Battalion

Apr. 22, 1918

May -, 1918

Do.

Casual Company

do

do

Do.

First Machine Gun Replacement Battalion

May 26, 1918

June 8, 1918

Do.

First Casual Replacement Battalion

do

do

Do.

Second Casual Replacement Battalion

June 30, 1918

July 9, 1918

Do.

Third Separate Battalion

Aug. 13, 1918

Aug. 26, 1918

Do.

Fourth Separate Battalion

Do.

do

do

Fifth Separate Battalion

Aug. 17, 1918

Aug. 27, 1918

Von Steuben.

Sixth Separate Battalion

do

do

Do.

First Separate Machine Gun Battalion

Aug. 21, 1918

Sept. 2,1918

De Kalb.

Seventh Separate Battalion

Oct. 20, 1918

Nov. 3, 1918

Pocohontas.

Eighth Separate Battalion

Do.

do

do

Ninth Separate Battalion

Oct. 27, 1918

Nov. 9, 1918

Henderson.

In addition to the above the Twelfth Replacement Battalion sailed from the United States on board the HANCOCK in June, 1919, arrived in France in June, 1919, and joined the American Expeditionary Forces.

 

Number of Marines Sailing from the United States to Europe for Duty with the American Expeditionary Forces and for Shore Duty with the Naval Service.

 

There were 834 officers, not including observers, and 30,481 enlisted men, or a total of 31,315 Marines, sent overseas for shore duty with the American Expeditionary Forces and naval service. The following tables give details:

 

 For duty with American Expeditionary Forces.

 

Month of Departure from United States.

Officers.

Enlisted men.

Total.

May, 1917

2 <1>

 -

2

June, 1917

70

2,689

2,759

July, 1917

29

1,054

1,083

September, 1917

27

1,045

1,072

October, 1917

45

1,536

1,581

December, 1917

23

637

660

January, 1918

31

1,031

1,062

February, 1918

24

1,041

1,065

March, 1918

23

1,034

1,057

April, 1918

22

1,284

1,306

May, 1918

24

1,565

1,589

June, 1918

6

751

757

August, 1918

32

4,362

4,394

September, 1918

172

5,275

5,447

October, 1918

132

5,809

5,941

Total

662

29,113

29,775

 

 <1> Accompanied Gen. Pershing.

 

Sixty officers of the Medical Corps, twelve officers of the Dental Corps, five hundred enlisted men of the Medical Corps, and eleven Chaplains, of the Navy, not included in the above figures, were sent to France and served with the Marines in the American Expeditionary Forces.

 

In addition to the above the Twelfth Replacement Battalion, consisting of 9 officers and 500 enlisted men, joined the American Expeditionary Forces in June, 1919.

 

 For duty with naval service ashore.

 

Month of departure from United States.

Officers.

Enlisted men.

Total.

December, 1917

2

59

61

January, 1918

13

172

185

June, 1918

2

75

77

July, 1918

107

654

761

August, 1918

4

120

124

September, 1918

4

288

332

 Total

172

1,368

1,560

 

 

 

Chapter VIII.

 

OPERATIONS IN GENERAL.

 

 

below - Départements of Northern France and main locations associated with Fourth Brigade training and combat areas

 

 

 

While the battle operations of the Fourth Brigade as an infantry brigade of the Second Division of Regulars overshadowed all others taken part in by Marine Corps personnel, those operations were by no means the only ones participated in by officers and men of the Marine Corps.

 

The commanding general of the Second Division from early in August, 1918, to the date of demobilization, and several officers on his staff were Marine officers. Officers of the Marine Corps were at various times attached to the First, Second, Third, Fourth Sixth Twenty-sixth, Thirty-second, Thirty-fifth, Ninetieth, and Ninety-second Divisions, and in some cases engaged in operations with them. Brig. Gen. John A. Lejeune assumed command of the Sixty-fourth Infantry Brigade of the Thirty-second Division, then in the front line on the Swiss border in the Suarce sector, on July 5, 1918. He was in command of this brigade on July 22, 1918, when it was withdrawn from the above-mentioned sector and continued in command until July 25, 1918, when he left to command the Fourth Brigade of Marines. Between July 5, 1918, and July 22, 1918, Brig. Gen. Lejeune, in addition to the Sixty-fourth Brigade, commanded three French infantry regiments. Col. Robert H. Dunlap was in command of the Seventeenth Field Artillery Regiment of the Second Field Artillery Brigade, Second Division, from October 30, 1918, to February, 1919. Col. Hiram I. Bearss commanded the One hundred and second Regiment of the Fifty-first Infantry Brigade, Twenty-sixth Division, in the St. Mihiel offensive. Col. Frederic M. Wise commanded the Fifty-ninth Regiment of the Eighth Infantry Brigade, Fourth Division, from September 5, 1918, to January 4, 1919, during which period he participated in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne major operations. From January 1, 1919, to February 9, 1919, Col. Wise commanded the Eighth Infantry Brigade of the Fourth Division.

 

A few Marine officers and enlisted men engaged in Army aviation operations and suffered casualties. About 20 Marine officers were sent to France as observers and as such participated in operations with American, French, and British forces. Marine aviation personnel served in France as the Day Wing of the Northern Bombing Group of the Navy. Marine flyers served with Squadrons 213 (pursuit squadron), 217, and 218 (bombing squadrons), Royal Flying Corps of England; and with pursuit, observation, and bombing squadrons of the French Flying Corps. Quite a few casualties were suffered by the Marine aviation personnel.

 

The First Marine Aeronautic Company, naval base No. 13, Ponta Delgada, Azores, equipped for water flying only, performed patrol duty from January, 1918, until November 11, 1918.

 

The Marine Aviation Section, naval air station, Miami, Fla., performed arduous patrol duties in the Florida Straits in connection with the Navy from July, 1918, until the date the armistice went into effect.

 

Marine detachments served on board all the American battleships attached to the British Grand Fleet and also on the American battleships which based at Castletown Berehaven, Bantry Ba, Ireland. Marines also served on board many of the cruisers which escorted the vessels transporting Army troops to Europe. They were also attached to many other naval vessels such as the BROOKLYN, HELENA, and WILMINGTON, in China and Siberian waters, at one time landing at Vladivostok in conjunction with other naval forces; on the GALVESTON on the Murman Coast; and on the PITTSBURGH in South American waters. Marines were also on the SAN DIEGO when that vessel was sunk, and the MINNESOTA when that ship was damaged by German mines. Marines were in intimate contact with the Germans in Guam and Philadelphia in conjunction with the Navy in the first hours of the war.

 

One brigade of Marines was held in readiness in Texas for possible trouble in Mexico which might endanger the Allies' oil supply. Another was scattered throughout the island of Cuba. Large detachments of Marines were stationed in the Azores and Virgin Islands in the nature of advanced base forces, while an advanced base force at Philadelphia was available at all times for naval needs.

 

Marine forces were also stationed in Guam, Philippine Islands, Peking, Pearl Harbor, and Nicaragua and they assisted materially, under the limited conditions, in the war.

 

Active operations were conducted in Haiti and Santo Doiningo against bandits during the period of the war by Marine forces, the Haitian Gendarmerie and the Guardia Nacional Dominicana, the two latter organizations being composed of natives and administered and officered by the Marine and Navy personnel. Casualties were suffered by Marines in the operations in Santo Domingo, 4 Marines being killed, 13 wounded, and 1 officer wounded, between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918.

 

 

 

 

Chapter IX.

 

UNITS COMPOSING, AND THE COMMANDING GENERALS OF, THE

SECOND DIVISION-VERDUN OPERATIONS.

 

The Second Division of Regulars.

 

The first unit which ultimately formed a part of the Second Division arriving in France was the Fifth Regiment of Marines which landed in France with the first expedition of American troops in June, 1917. One Marine lieutenant colonel, who afterwards was the first chief of staff of the Second Division, and another Marine lieutenant colonel, who later commanded the Seventeenth Field Artillery of the Second Division, accompanied Gen. Pershing and his staff when they sailed from the United States late in May, 1917.

 

The Second Division was composed of the following units:

 

 Third Infantry Brigade:

 Ninth Infantry.

 Twenty-third Infantry.

 Fifth Machine Gun Battalion.

 Fourth Infantry Brigade:

 Fifth Marines.

 Sixth Marines.

 Sixth Machine Gun Battalion of Marines.

 Second Field Artillery Brigade:

 Twelfth Field Artillery.

 Fifteenth Field Artillery.

 Seventeenth Field Artillery.

 Second Trench Mortar Battery.

 Other troops:

 Second Engineers.

 Fourth Machine Gun Battalion.

 First Field Signal Battalion.

 Second Headquarters Train and Military Police.

 Second Ammunition Train.

 Second Engineer Train.

 Second Supply Train.

 Second Sanitary Train.

 

On October 26, 1917, Brig. Gen. Charles A. Doyen, United States Marine Corps, assumed command of the Second Division as its first commanding general and announced his staff in General Orders, No. 1, with station at Bourmont, Haute-Marne, France. Lieut. Col. Logan Feland, United States Marine Corps, was the first chief of staff. On November 8, 1917, Maj. Gen. Omar Bundy, United States Army, assumed command, published such fact in General Orders, No. 4,. November 8, 1917, and was in command of it during the operations in the Verdun and Chateau-Thierry sectors. Maj. Gen. James G. Harbord, United States Army, commanded the division in the Aisne-Marne (Soissons) offensive in July, 1918. Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune assumed command of the division on July 28, 1918, and retained command until its demobilization in August, 1919. Many Marine officers occupied positions of importance and responsibility on the staff of the commanding general, Second Division. A Marine officer commanded the Seventeenth Field Artillery during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, and other Marine officers commanded battalions of the Ninth Infantry and Fifteenth Field Artillery for a time.

 

Neither the Marine Brigade nor any other element of the Second Division was the first American unit to enter the front line's since the First Division enjoyed that honor in October, 1917, when it entered the line in the quiet Toul sector.

 

The Fourth Brigade remained in the Bourmont training area, with headquarters at Damblain, until March 14, 1918, when it commenced movement into subsectors of the Verdun front (X1 - see map above), the first units of the brigade entering the front line during the night of March 16-17, 1918, with headquarters at Toulon. On April 1, 1918, brigade headquarters was changed to Moscou. The brigade remained on the Verdun front until May 14, 1918, when it proceeded to an area around Vitry-le-Francois for open warfare training, with headquarters at Venault-les-Dames. In the meantime, on May 6, 1918, Brig. Gen. James G. Harbord assumed command of the brigade relieving Big. Gen. Doyen who has been ordered to the United States on account of his physical condition. Brig. Gen. Doven relinquished command of the brigade most unwillingly, and the reasons for his relief are best set forth in the words of the citation of a Navy Distinguished Service Medal posthumously awarded to him, reading as follows.

 

By reason of his abilities and personal efforts, he brought this brigade to the very high state of efficiency which enabled it to successfully resist the German army in the Chateau-Thierry sector and Belleau Woods. The strong efforts on his part for nearly a year undermined his health and necessitated his being invalided to the United States before having the opportunity to command the brigade in action, but his work was shown by the excellent service rendered by the brigade, not only at Belleau Woods, but during the entire campaign when they fought many battles

 

Gen. Pershing in a letter to Brig. Gen. Doyen stated in part:

 

Your service has been satisfactory and your command is considered as one of the best in France. I have nothing but praise for the service which you have rendered in this command.

 

On May 14, 1918, the brigade left the area around Vitry-le-Francois as it was unsuitable and proceeded to an area around Gisors-Chaumont-en-Vixen, with headquarters at Bou-des-Bois. The brigade was in this area when sudden orders came to move to the Chateau-Thierry sector.

 

On May 27, 1918, Brig. Gen. John A. Lejeune and Maj. Earl H. Ellis sailed from New York on board the HENDERSON and arrived at Brest, France, on June 8, 1918.

 

Medal of Honor April 23, 1918 - Lieutenant Commander (Dental Corps) ALEXANDER GORDON LYLE USN. Born: 12 November 1889, Gloucester, Mass. Appointed from: Massachusetts. Other Navy award: Legion of Merit. Citation: For extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving with the 5th Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps. Under heavy shellfire, on April 23, 1918, on the French Front, Lt. Comdr. Lyle rushed to the assistance of Cpl. Thomas Regan, who was seriously wounded, and administered such effective surgical aid while bombardment was still continuing, as to save the life of Cpl. Regan.

 

 

 

Chapter X.

 

AISNE DEFENSIVE, HILL 142, BOURESCHES, AND BOIS DE LA BRIGADE DE MARINE, IN THE CHATEAU-THIERRY SECTOR.

 

Chateau-Thierry/Bois de Belleau sector

 

In order to appreciate understandingly the importance of the early operations participated in by the Marine Brigade as a unit of the Second Division it is necessary to remember that in 1918, prior to the middle of July, the offensive was in the hands of the Imperial German Staff, and that between March 21, 1918, and July 15, 1918, the Germans directed no less than five major offensives against the Allied lines in efforts to bring the war to a successful conclusion for the Central Powers. American troops assisted in breaking up every one of these drives, but the Second Division, including the Marines, opposed only one, that in the Chateau-Thierry sector (X2). It should also be noted that on March 28, 1918, the American commander in chief placed all of the American forces at the disposal of Marshal Foch, who had been agreed upon as commander in chief of the Allied Armies, to be used as he might decide.

 

The first offensive (Somme) of the Germans was stopped within a few miles of Amiens, and the second (Lys) overran Armentieres. In this second German offensive, which lasted from April 9 to 27, 1918, and which has been designated by the Americans as a major operation, there were approximate 500 American troops engage.

 

Chateau-Thierry

 

Then late in May, 1918, with startling success, which brought a corresponding depression to the morale of the Allies, the Germans launched their third offensive, west of Rheims, crossed the Chemin-des-Dames, captured Soissons, and the last day of May found them marching in the direction of Paris down the Marne Valley. Again the American commander in chief placed every available man at the disposal of Marshal Foch. It was at this critical time, when the Allies were facing a grave crisis, that the Second Division, including the Marine Brigade, together with elements of the Third and Twenty-eighth Divisions, were thrown into the line and, in blocking the German advance in the Chateau-Thierry sector, rendered great assistance in stopping the most dangerous of the German drives.

 

The first report of the American commander in chief states that "the Third Division, which had just come from its preliminary training area, was hurried to the Marne. Its motorized machine-gun battalion preceded the other units and successfully held the bridge-head at the Marne opposite Chateau-Thierry. The Second Division, in reserve near Montdidier, was sent by motor trucks and other available transport to check the progress of the enemy toward Paris."

 

The final report of the American commander in chief with reference to this third German offensive stated in part

 

On reaching the Marne that river was used as a defensive flank and the German advance was directed toward Paris. During the first days of June something akin to a panic seized the city and it was estimated that 1,000,000 people left during the spring of 1918. * * *

 

The Second Division, then in reserve northwest of Paris and preparing to relieve the First Division, was hastily diverted to the vicinity of Meaux on May 31, and, early on the morning of June 1, was deployed across the Chateau-Thierry Paris road near Montreuil-aux-Lions in a gap in the French line, where it stopped the German advance on Paris.

 

Without minimizing in any way the splendid actions of the Twenty-sixth Division at Seicheprey and Xivray in April 1918, or the brilliant exploit of the First Division at Cantigny on May 28, 1918, the fact remains that the Second Division, including the Marine Brigade, was the first American division to get a chance to play an important part on the western front, and how well it repelled this dangerous thrust of the Germans along the Paris-Metz highway is too well known to be dwelt upon at length in this brief history.

 

The fighting of the Second Division in the Chateau-Thierry sector was divided into two parts, one a magnificently stubborn defensive lasting a week and the other a vicious offensive. The defensive fighting of the Second Division between May 31 and June 5, 1918, was part of the major operation called by the Americans the Aisne defensive. Without discussing at this time the tactical or strategical significance of the work of the second Division in the Aisne defensive, suffice to say that its psychological effect upon the morale of the Allies was tremendous and has been recognized in practically every writing worthy of consideration up to the present date.

 

The close of the Aisne defensive on June 5, 1918, found the line of the Second Division well established at that point of the Marne salient nearest Paris, but not including Hill 14 2, Bois de Belleau, Bouresches, or Vaux, and the Germans were in possession of Chateau-Thierry on the right of the Second Division, and continued to hold that town until about July 17, 1918.

 

Bois de Belleau

 

On June 6, 1918, the Second Division snatched the initiative from the Germans and started an offensive on its front which did not end until July 1, 1918. The Marine Brigade captured Hill 142 and Bouresches on June 6, 1918, and in the words of Gen. Pershing, "sturdily held its ground against the enemy's best guard divisions," and completely cleared Bois de Belleau of the enemy on June 26, 1918, a major of Marines sending in his famous message: "Woods now U. S. Marine Corps' entirely." The American commander in chief in his first report calls this fighting "the battle of Belleau Wood" and states, "our men proved their superiority, and gained a strong tactical position with far greater loss to the enemy than to ourselves." In his final report he states: "The enemy having been halted, the Second Division commenced a series of vigorous attacks on June 4, which resulted in the capture of Belleau Woods [on June 26] after very severe fighting. The village of Bouresches was taken soon after [on June 6] and on July 1 Vaux was captured. In these operations the Second Division met with most desperate resistance by Germany's best troops." On July 1, 1918, the Third Brigade captured Vaux. The Artillery, Engineers, and the other elements of the Second Division assisted materially in these successes, while the Seventh regiment of the Third Division was in Belleau Wood for a few day about the middle of June.

 

During these 31 days of constant fighting, the last 26 of which has been defined by general headquarters of the American Expeditionary Forces as a "local engagement," the Second Division suffered 1,811 battle deaths (of which approximately 1,062 were Marines) and suffered additional casualties amounting to 7,252 (of which approximately 3,615 were Marines). It was that fighting and those 9,063 casualties that first made the name Chateau-Thierry famous.

 

The achievements of the Fourth Brigade of Marines in the Chateau-Thierry sector was twice recognized by the French. The first, which changed the name of the Bois de Belleau, was a beautiful tribute spontaneously made to the successes and to the losses of the Fourth Brigade of Marines, and shows the deep effect that the retaking of Belleau Wood and other near-by positions from the Germans had on the feelings of the French and the morale of the Allies. Official maps were immediately modified to conform with the provisions of the order, the plan directeur used in later operations bearing the name "Bois de la Brigade de Marine." The French also used this new name in their orders, as illustrated by an ordre general dated August 9, 1918, signed by the commanding general of the Sixth French Army, reading in part as follows:

 

Avant la grande offensive du 18 Juillet, les troupes americaines faisant partie de la VIe Armee francaise se sont distinguees en enlevant a l'ennemi le Bois de la Brigade De Marine et le village de Vaux, en arretant son offensive sur la Marine et a Fossoy.

 

 

The order changing the name of Bois de Belleau reads as follows:

 

VI ARMEE, ETAT-MAJOR, au Q. G. A.,

le 30 Juin, 1918.

 

ORDRE.

 

En raison de Ia brillante conduite de la 4eme Brigade de la 2eme D. U. S. qui a enleve de haute lutte Bouresches et le point d'appui important du Bois de Belleau, defendu avec 6930/2.] acharnement par un adversaire nombreux, le general commandant la VI Armee decide que dorenavant, dans toutes les pieces officielles, le Bois de Belleau portera le nom de "Bois de la Brigade de Marine."

 

Le General de Division Degoutte,

Commandant la VI Armee.

(Signed) DEGOUTTE

 

A. M. le GENERAL CDT. la 4ME BRIGADE de MARINE.

s/c. de M. le General Cdt. La 2me D. U.S.

 

 

The second recognition by the French of the Marines' work in the Chateau-Thierry sector were citations of the Fourth Brigade, Fifth and Sixth Regiments, and the Sixth Machine Gun Battalion of Marines, in French army orders, that of the brigade, the others being identical, reading as follows:

 

Apres approbation du general commandant en chef les forces expeditionnaires americaines en France, le general commandant en chef les armees francaises du nord et du nord-est, cite a l'Ordre de l'Armee:

 

"4 Brigade American sous les ordres du General de Brigade James G. Harbord, comprenant: Le 5e Regiment de Marine, sous les ordres du Colonel Wendell C. Neville, le 6e regiment de Marine, sous les ordres du Colonel Albertus W. Catlin, le 6e Bataillion de mitrailleuses, sous les ordres du Commandant Edward B. Cole:

 

"A ete jetee en pleine bataille, sur un front violemment attaque par l'ennemi. S'est affirmee aussitot comme une unite de tout premier order. Des son entree en ligne, a brise, en liaison avec les troupes francaise, une violente attaque ennemie sur un point important de la position et entrepris ensuite a son compte une serie d'operations offensives. Au cours de ces operations, grace au courage brillant, a la vigueur, a l'allant, a la tenacite de ses hommes que ne se sont laisses rebuter ni par les fatigues, ni par les pertes; grace a l'activite et a l'energie de ses officiers; grace enfin a l'action personnelle de son chef, le General J. Harbord, la 4e brigade a vu ses efforts couronnes de succes. En intime liaison l'un avec l'autre, ses deux regiments et son bataillon de mitrailleuses ont realize, apres douze jours de lutte incessante (du 2 au 13 Juin 1918) dans un terrain try difficile, une progression variant entre 1,500 a 2,000 metres, sur un front de 4 kilometres, capturant un nombreux material, faisant plus de 500 prisonniers, infligeant a l'ennemi des pertes considerables et lui enlevant deux points d'appui de premier importance-le village de Bouresches et le bois organize de Belleau."

 

Au Grand Quartier General, le 22 octobre 1918.

 

Le General Commandant en Chef.

Signe: PETAIN

(Ordre No. 10.805 "D.")

 

 

In addition to the above-described instances, French civilian sentiment expressed itself in the following letter from the mayor of Meaux and Resolution from the assembled mayors of the Meaux District (Arrondissement). This letter and the resolutions were published on July 10, 1918, in General Orders No. 43, of the Second Division "as indicating the appreciation of the efforts of the Second Division by the French inhabitants for our share in stemming the recent German advance in this sector."

 

MEAUX, June 26, 1918.

 

GENERAL: On behalf of all the Mayors of the Meaux District (Arrondissement), assembled yesterday in congress at the city hall, I have the honor to send you herewith a copy of the resolution they have taken in order to pay homage to the gallantry displayed by the troops under your command and to the effectiveness of the help they rendered us.

 

The civilian population of this part of the country will never forget that the beginning of this month of June, when their homes were threatened by the invader, the Second American Division victoriously stepped forth and succeeded in saving them from impending danger.

 

I am personally happy to be able to convey to you this modest token of their thankfulness and I am General,

 

Yours, respectfully,

 

(Signed) G. LUGOL,

Mayor of Meaux, Depute de Seine et Marne.

 

 

Voted in a Congress of the Mayors of Meaux District on the 25th of June, 1918.

 

The mayors of the Meaux district, who were eye-witnesses to the generous and efficacious deeds of the American Army in stopping the enemy advance, send to this Army the heart-felt expression of their admiration and gratefulness.

 

(Signed) G. LUGOL,

President of the Committee.

MEAUX, June 25, 1918.

 

 

During the first attack on Belleau Wood on June 6, 1918, Col. Albertus W. Catlin was severely wounded and was relieved in command of the Sixth Regiment by Lieut. Col. Harry Lee, who continued in command until the regiment was demobilized in August, 1919.

 

When Maj. Edward B. Cole was mortally wounded on June 10, 1918, he was relieved in command of the Sixth Machine, Gun Battalion of Marines by Capt. Harlan E. Major. On June 11, 1918, Captain Major was relieved by Capt.George H. Osterhout, who retained command until relieved by Maj. Littleton W. T. Waller, Jr., on June 21, 1918.

 

During the fighting in the Chateau-Thierry sector the headquarters of the Fourth Brigade was successively at Montreuil-aux-Lions, (in an automobile for one-half hour on the way to the front lines), Issonge farmhouse, and La Loge farmhouse. After being relieved by elements of the Twenty-sixth Division during the night of July 5-6, 1918, the brigade moved to an area in rear of the lines and occupied what was known as the Line of Defense or Army Line, with headquarters at Nanteuil-sur-Marne. The brigade remained there until July 16, 1918.

 

During the time the above-described fighting was going on the Germans were frustrated in their fourth 1918 drive (Noyon-Montdidier defensive) between June 9 and 15, 1918, and of course being busy in the vicinity of Bois de Belleau, the Marines had no opportunity of engaging in it.

 

Having been blocked in the Marne salient, the Germans attacked for the fifth time in 1918 on July 15, and as events turned out it was the last, for from the time of its failure they were on the defensive. The Allied troops including many Americans held this attack, called by the Americans the Champagne-Marne defensive, which was on a large scale, and the grand initiative passed from the Germans to the Allies on July 18, 1918, when Marshal Foch launched his initial major offensive, termed by the Americans the Aisne-Marne. In this magnificent and gigantic operation the Marine Brigade and other elements of the second Division played leading parts in the vicinity of Soissons.

 

General headquarters, American Expeditionary Forces, on May 28, 1919, credited the Second Division units with participation in the major operation of Champagne-Marne defensive, but on June 2,1919, rescinded this credit.



Medal of Honor - June 6, 1918 - Gunnery Sergeant ERNEST AUGUST JANSON USMC, near Chateau-Thierry. Rank and organization:, U.S. Marine Corps, 49th Company. (Served under name of Charles F. Hoffman) Born: 17 August 1878, New York, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. (Also received Army Medal of Honor.) Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy near Chateau-Thierry, France, June 6, 1918. Immediately after the company to which G/Sgt. Janson belonged, had reached its objective on Hill 142, several hostile counterattacks were launched against the line before the new position had been consolidated. G/Sgt. Janson was attempting to organize a position on the north slope of the hill when he saw 12 of the enemy, armed with 5 light machine guns, crawling toward his group. Giving the alarm, he rushed the hostile detachment, bayoneted the 2 leaders, and forced the others to flee, abandoning their guns. His quick action, initiative and courage drove the enemy from a position from which they could have swept the hill with machine gun fire and forced the withdrawal of our troops.

 

 

Medal of Honor (posthumous) - June 6, 1918 - Lieutenant, Junior Grade, (Dental Corps) WEEDON E. OSBORNE USN, Belleau Wood. Born: 13 November 1892, Chicago, Ill. Appointed from: Illinois. Citation: For extraordinary heroism while attached to the 6th Regiment, U.S. Marines, in actual conflict with the enemy and under fire during the advance on Bouresche, France, on June 6, 1918. In the hottest of the fighting when the Marines made their famous advance on Bouresche at the southern edge of Belleau Wood, Lt (j.g.). Osborne threw himself zealously into the work of rescuing the wounded. Extremely courageous in the performance of this perilous task, he was killed while carrying a wounded officer to a place of safety.

 

 

Medal of Honor - June 11, 1918 - Lieutenant (Medical Corps) ORLANDO HENDERSON PETTY US Naval Reserve Force, Belleau Wood. Born: 20 February 1874, HARRISON, Ohio. Appointed from: Pennsylvania. Citation: For extraordinary heroism while serving with the 5th Regiment, U.S. Marines, in France during the attack in the Boise de Belleau, June 11, 1918. While under heavy fire of high explosive and gas shells in the town of Lucy, where his dressing station was located, Lt. Petty attended to and evacuated the wounded under most trying conditions. Having been knocked to the ground by an exploding gas shell which tore his mask, Lt. Petty discarded the mask and courageously continued his work. His dressing station being hit and demolished, he personally helped carry Capt. Williams, wounded, through the shellfire to a place of safety.

 

 

 

 

Chapter XI.

 

THE AISNE-MARNE OFFENSIVE (SOISSONS).

 

On July 11, 1918, Brig. Gen. James G. Harbord, commanding general of the Marine Brigade, received notification of his appointment as a major general, and two days later left on a five days' leave of absence. As Col. Neville had been evacuated to a base hospital after leaving the Chateau-Thierry sector, Lieut. Col. Harry Lee assumed temporary command of the brigade. Maj. Gen. Harbord and Col. Neville both returned in time to enter the Aisne-Marne offensive, the former in command of the Second Division and the latter in command of the Fourth Brigade.

 

Of the six Allied offensives taking place in 1918 on the Western Front, designated by the Americans as major operations, the Fourth Brigade of Marines, with the other units of the Second Division, participated in three, the first being the vast offensive known as the Aisne-Marne, in which the Marine Brigade entered the line near Soissons (X3).

 

On July 17, 1918, the First Moroccan Division and the First and Second Divisions of American Regulars were hurriedly and secretly concentrated, by terribly fatiguing, forced night marches over roads jammed with troops, artillery, and tanks, through rain and mud, in the Bois de Retz, near Soissons. Headquarters of the Fourth Brigade was established at Vivieres.

 

The getting to the "jump-off" on time for this operation will always share in Marine Corps history with the glorious victory that followed.

 

Early on the morning of July 18, 1918, Marshal Foch threw these three picked divisions at the unsuspecting Germans with overwhelming success, and again on the following day. The American commander in chief in his first report stated:

 

The place of honor in the thrust toward Soissons on July 18 was given to our First and Second Divisions, in company with chosen French divisions. Without the usual brief warning of a preliminary bombardment, the massed French and American artillery, firing by the map, laid down its rolling barrage at dawn while the Infantry began its charge. The tactical handling of our troops under these trying conditions was excellent throughout the action. * * * The Second Division took Beaurepaire Farm and Vierzy in a very rapid advance, and reached a position in front of Tigny at the end of its second day.

 

In his final report he stated:

 

Gen. Petain's initial plan for the counterattack involved the entire western face of the Marne salient. The First and Second American Divisions, with the First French Moroccan Division between them, were employed as the spearhead of the main attack, driving directly eastward, through the most sensitive portion of the German lines to the heights south of Soissons. The advance began on July 18, without the usual brief warning of a preliminary bombardment, and these three divisions at a single bound broke through the enemy's infantry defenses and overran his artillery, cutting or interrupting the German communications leading into the salient. A general withdrawal from the Marne was immediately begun by the enemy, who still fought stubbornly to prevent disaster. * * *

 

The Second Division advanced 8 kilometers in the first 26 hours, and by the end of the Second day was facing Tigny, having captured 3,000 prisoners and 66 field guns. It was relieved the night of the 19th by a French division. The result of this counter-offensive was of decisive importance. Due to the magnificent dash and power displayed on the field of Soissons by our First and Second Divisions the tide of war was definitely turned in favor of the Allies.

 

Maj. Gen. James G. Harbord, commanding the Second Division in this operation, describes the two days' fighting of his division in these words:

 

It is with keen pride that the division commander transmits to the command the congratulations and affectionate personal greetings of Gen. Pershing who visited the division headquarters last night. His praise of the gallant work of the division on the 18th and 19th is echoed by the French high command, the Third Corps commander, American Expeditionary Forces, and in a telegram from the former division commander. In spite of two sleepless nights, long marches through rain and mud, and the discomforts of hunger and thirst, the division attacked side by side with the gallant First Moroccan Division and maintained itself with credit. You advanced over 6 miles, captured over 3,000 prisoners, 11 batteries of artillery, over 100 machine guns, minnenwerfers, and supplies. The Second Division has sustained the best traditions of the Regular Army and the Marine Corps. The story of your achievements will be told in millions of homes in all Allied lands to-night.

 

This was one of the greatest strategical successes of Marshal Foch, and that the part played by the Marines was appreciated by the French is illustrated by the Fifth and Sixth Regiments and the Sixth Machine Gun Battalion being cited in French Army orders. The citations of the Sixth Regiment (that of the Fifth Regiment being similar) and that of the Sixth Machine Gun Battalion are quoted below:

 

Apres approbation du general commandant en chef les forces expeditionnaires Americiaines en France, le general commandant en chef les armees Francaises du nord et du