This week in Marine Corps history - Nov. 5-11

By Jim Goodwin, Pentagram EditorNovember 5, 2015

This week in Marine Corps history
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Nov. 5, 1915: Maj. Smedley D. Butler, one of only 19 service members to be awarded the Medal of Honor twice, captured the stronghold at Fort Capois, Haiti, according to the This Day in History website. Ultimately, Butler's force of 26 Marines managed to take the fort, but not before having to escape an ambush while enroute to obtain reinforcements for the Fort's invasion. During the ambush, Butler's men killed 75 enemy Cacos; only one Marine was wounded and none killed.

Nov. 6, 1854: Birth of composer and conductor John Philip Sousa in Washington, D.C. Considered the "king of marches," Sousa - who was also the conductor and director of the Marine Band for 12 years - wrote some 136 marches, including "The Stars and Stripes Forever" and "Semper Fidelis." Sousa served a total of nearly 20 years in the Corps.

Nov. 7, 1942: Commandant of the Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Thomas Holcomb approves the organization of a women's reserve. Hundreds of women Marines, part of a headquarters company for the women's reserve, were billeted at Henderson Hall during World War II.

Nov. 8, 1990: President George H.W. Bush announces the planned addition of some 200,000 U.S. troops to those already deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield in the Persian Gulf area. The number of Marines in the area would be doubled by the addition of II Marine Expeditionary Force units from the Corps' east coast bases, and the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade from California. Within the next two months, some 90,000 Marines were in the objective area in support of the operation.

Nov. 9, 2004: The second day of combat operations in Fallujah, Iraq, as a U.S. Marine, British and Iraqi military-led offensive to rid the city of insurgents. The operation lasted seven weeks and involved some 13,000 coalition forces troops. At the time, the battle, dubbed Operation Phantom Fury and Operation Al-Fajr, is considered the heaviest urban combat U.S. Marines have experienced since the Battle of Hue City in Vietnam in 1968.

Nov. 10, 1921: Marks the first formal commemoration of the birthday of the Marine Corps as Nov. 10. On Oct. 21, 1921, Maj. Edwin McClellan, officer-in-charge of the Marine Corps' Historical Section, sent a memo to Commandant Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune, suggesting that the original birthday of Nov. 10, 1775, be declared a Marine Corps holiday to be celebrated throughout the Corps. Accordingly, on Nov. 1, 1921, Lejeune issued Marine Corps Order number 47 which summarized the history, mission, and tradition of the Corps, and directed that the order be read to every command on Nov. 10 of each year.

Nov. 13, 1982: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, containing the names of more than 13,000 Marines who lost their lives in Vietnam, was dedicated at the memorial site in Washington, D.C. The dedication and parade that preceded it were part of a week-long National Salute to Vietnam Veterans.

Related Links:

Marine Corps Historical Division