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R.W. “Dick” Gaines
GnySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952 (Plt #437) –1972
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U. S. MARINES AND THE FLAG
~History, Flags, Flag Raisings, etc.~
“You can be in the Army, you can join the Air Force, but you become a Marine. All of the other uniformed services have songs; the U.S. Marines have a hymn. The basic pattern of Marine Corps uniforms comes from the late nineteenth century; our emblem “the Eagle, Globe and Anchor” has remained largely unchanged since 1868. The buttons on our dress blues, whites and greens date back to the founding of our Corps. The Marine Corps is the only service that requires its officers to carry a sword, whose pattern dates back to 1805.”
“I think that the path of being a Marine was established long ago. On the 10th of November 1775, the Marine Corps was first established…in a tavern. To this day, no matter where in the world, Marines celebrate the founding of our beloved Corps, much to the confusion of the other services.”
GyG’s FURL Archive
The following is a quotation of remarks on this subject by the famous “Marine’s Marine,” General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller.
(From the book, A Fellowship Of Valor, by Col Joseph H. Alexander, USMC Ret, 1997, Harper Collins, we learn the following regarding the flag raising in Seoul, Korea on 27 Spetember, 1950…)
“An envious Army officer from Almond’s staff chided Chesty Puller: ‘Ever since that flag-raising picture on Iwo Jima got published, I’m convinced you Marines would rather carry a flag into battle than a weapon.’ Puller regarded the man icily, ‘Not a bad idea,’ he growled, ‘a man with a flag in his pack and the desire to run it up on an enemy position isn’t likely to bug out!”
Pfc Leguirre Shown With Flag
Marines have indeed been carrying and raising our colors since their beginning in 1775.
In his book, The United States Marines: A History, General Simmons writes of The New Providence Raid,
“…on 3 March, 1776, the landing party went ashore…Nicholas ran up the Grand Union flag (not yet the Stars and Stripes)…”
(“…possible that the Rattlesnake flag was also carried on this expedition.”
First Navy Jack
I do not know how many total combat-related flag raisings (and others of note) there have been for the Corps.The following examples are those I have thus far found documented, listed here in random order. In some cases, some text is provided together with links to the source; but generally I have not attempted to directly support remarks and/or pictoral representations with direct links, as I would very much like to do. Why? Well, the Internet is not forever, and it has been my observation and experience that attempting to provide URLs/links to up-to-date websites is fruitless. To be sure, there are many really great websites out there–but they come and go as with the wind–here today, and gone tomorrow. For further information beyond what is found here, I recommend that the interested viewer simply use Google, and/or another search engine, to find those current sites to obtain information in addition to what is available here.
From the book, Marine Corps Book Of Lists, Nofi, 1997…
NINE NOTABLE PLACES WHERE MARINES HAVE RAISED OLD GLORY!
1.Fortress Derna, North Africa, 24 April, 1805
2. Customs House, Monterey, California, 7 July, 1846
3. The Palacio Nacional, Mexico City, 13 September, 1847
4. Customs House, Cavite, Luzon, Phillipine Islands, 3 May, 1898
5. Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, 23 February, 1945
6. Shuri Castle, Okinawa, 28 May, 1945
7. U.S. Embassy, Seoul, Korea, 27 September, 1950
8. The Citadel, Hue City, Vietnam, 19 February, 1968
9. U.S. Embassy, Kuwait City, 28 February, 1991
MORE FLAG RAISINGS!The following are additions to my listing of documented flag raisings. I will add information here as discovered.
WOLMI-Do Island, September 15, 1950
Taplett requested that the Sowolmi-do lighthouse area be hit. Floeck’s planes bore down on the area, and five 500-pound bombs and many rockets showered down into the area…”
SS MAYAGUEZ, May 16, 1975
“…In a scene reminiscent of swashbuckling Barbary pirates, 48 Marines, 6 Air Force explosive disposal experts and 6 Civil Service crewmen from MSC’s USNS GREENVILLE VICTORY went over the rail of the destroyer escort USS Harold E. Holt onto the captured American vessel SS MAYAGUEZ and raised the American Flag…”
Marines Raising Flag On Mayaguez
TARAWA, November 20, 1943
“…Both armies showed magnificent courage in the vicious and bloody Battle of Tarawa. The Marines lost 1,090 men killed and 2,300 wounded…The British Resident landed on D-day plus two; and on the following day the American commander, General Julien Smith, hoisted the Stars and Stripes and the Union Jack together on adjoining coconut palms…”
Go To: TarawaOn The Web, Here!
SAIPAN, JULY 10, 1944
Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, USN, Commander, Fifth Fleet (left), and Lieutenant General Holland M. Smith, USMC,
Commander, Fifth Amphibious Corps Attend flag raising ceremonies at Smith’s headquarters, Charan Kanoa, Saipan, marking the end of organized Japanese resistance on the island, 10 July 1944. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.
OKINAWA, July 2, 1945
“…Buckner was hit and killed by a coral fragment thrown up by a Japanese artillery shell fire on June 18. Geiger assumed temporary command of 10th Army until relieved five days later by Army Lieutenant General Joseph A. Stilwell. On June 19, the Japanese commander ordered all remaining defenders to fight to the death. On the 21st, the 10th Army pushed through to the southernmost point on Okinawa. Ushijimi and his chief of staff committed hari kari, ritual suicide, rather than accept defeat. Geiger announced the island secured and a formal flag-raising ceremony took place on June 22. The 82-day
Okinawan campaign was officially declared over on July 2…”
Re Campaign ForOkinawa
“LtCol Richard P. Ross, commander of 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, braves sniper fire to place the division’s colors on a parapet of Shuri Castle on 30 May. This flag was first raised over Cape Gloucester and then Peleliu.
Department of Defense Photo (USMC) 121832″
Victory On Okinawa, Here!!!!!
SURRENDER OF WAKE ATOLL, September 4, 1945
“…Raising the U.S. flag over Wake Island on 4 September 1945, as a U.S. Marine Corps bugler plays “Colors”. This was the first time the Stars and Stripes had flown over Wake since its capture by the Japanese on 23 December 1941. The officer saluting in the right foreground is Rear Admiral Shigematsu Sakaibara, Japanese commander on Wake. Colors carried by the U.S. party, right background, include the U.S. Marine Corps flag…”
Surrender, Wake Island, 1945
SURRENDER Of MILI ATOLL, August 4, 1945
“…The U.S. flag was formally raised over Mili on 28 August, and most of the Japanese there began the trip home to Japan on the following day…”
The Citadel, Hue City, Vietnam
19 February, 1968
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