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US Marine Corps

The Continental Marines in two battalions were formed 10 November 1775 as an infantry fighting force. The Continental Marines were disbanded in 1783. Resurrected in 1798 the Unites States Marine Corps, Marines had been designated as fighting forces on newly created frigates. From 1801-1805 during the First Barbary War, Marines distinguished themselves battling Barbary pirates. William Eaton and Presley O'Bannon led eight Marines and 500 mercenaries in an attack to capture the pirate stronghold at Tripoli.

During the War of 1812, Marine detachments on the Navy ships engaged the British at places such as the Champlain Valley, Defense of Plattsburgh, Sacket's Harbor, New York, Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia and the Battle of New Orleans.

In the Mexican-American War (1846–1848), the Marines made their legendary assault on the Chapultepec Palace in Mexico City, Mexico. This action would be immortalized as the "Halls of Montezuma" in the Marines' hymn.

Marines made small contributions during the Civil War and shortly after its conclusion on 19 November 1868, the Corps adopted their emblem comprised of the eagle, globe and anchor (EGA). During this timeframe 'The Marines Hymm' made its debut and in approximately 1883 their current motto, "Semper Fidelis" meaning Always Faithful was adopted.

Marines participated in a number of engagements over the next decades including the Spanish-American War (1898), Philippine-American War, Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901), Across the globe the Marines were found in the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, China, Panama, Morocco, Veracruz, Santo Domingo, Haiti and Nicaragua.

World War I took the Marines to Europe as part of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) under the overall command of General John Pershing. In mid-1918 they fought with distinction at the battle of Bellau Wood. During the war they gained the nickname "Devil Dogs".

World War II in the Pacific put the Marines front and center as they formed the assault forces that would land on enemy held islands. Epic battles were fought at Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Tarawa, Guam, Tinian, Makin, Cape Gloucester, Saipan, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Wake Island and Midway. During WW2 the Corps grew to six divisions and five air wings a force of nearly 500,000.

In the Korean War (1950-1953) the Marines formed a defensive line at the Pusan Perimeter, made and amphibious landing at Inchon and pushed the North Koreans back to the Yalu River. The 1st Marine Division was caught in the frigid Battle of Chosin Reservoir. At the time of the armistice they would find themselves dug in around the 38th Parallel.

Vietnam brought a new challenge and type of conflict to the Marines. They fought in the Battle of Hue and Battle of Khe Sanh, but many engagements were mostly of the guerrilla warfare type.

They continued their exemplary service in Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom.

There have been many notable Marines throughout the Corps' existence. Alexander Vandegrift, R.V. Burgin, Eugene Sledge, Jack Lucas, Pappy Boyington, John Basilone, Chesty Puller, John Glenn, Joe Foss and in more recent times James Mattis.


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Honor Roll

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Education

One way we promote public education of military history is through our exhibits. View some pictures of recent Exhibits.



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