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 2nd Battalion 5th Marines History

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Join date : 2014-01-27

PostSubject: 2nd Battalion 5th Marines History   Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:16 pm

The battalion has seen combat in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Gulf War and has deployed many times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the current War on Terror.

2/5 is the most highly decorated battalion in the Marine Corps and their motto, "Retreat, Hell!", comes from the French trenches of World War I, when a Marine officer named Lloyd W. Williams was ordered to retreat and replied, "Retreat? Hell, we just got here!"

2nd Battalion 5th Marines was formed on July 1, 1914 and immediately sailed to the Caribbean to quell political turmoil in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. In June 1917, as part of the United States' entry into World War I, the battalion sailed for France with the rest of the 5th Marine Regiment and the American Expeditionary Force. At the time the battalion was composed of four companies; the 18th, 43rd, 51st and 55th.[1] They fought during the Battle of Belleau Wood, Soissons, and the Meuse-Argonne campaign and were twice awarded the French Croix de guerre with Palm. To this day, members of the Battalion wear the French Fourragère representing this award. Following the armistice of 1918, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines was assigned to occupation duties in Germany until their return to Quantico, Virginia in August 1919.


Beginning in 1920, the Battalion began guarding US Mail trains throughout the United States. In 1927, the Battalion was sent to Nicaragua to fight bandits and to supervise the 1928 Nicaraguan national elections.

During World War II the battalion fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal, Battle of Cape Gloucester, Battle of Peleliu, and the Battle of Okinawa. Following the Japanese surrender, the battalion was assigned to occupation duty in Northern China until 1947, at which time they returned to the United States.

2nd Battalion, 5th Marines sailed from Camp Pendleton, California to defend the Pusan Perimeter as a part of the famous "Fire Brigade". The Battalion also participated in the landing at Inchon, the liberation of Seoul, the Chosin Reservoir Campaign, and the defense of the East, Central, and Western Fronts before the war was over. From July 1953 to February 1955, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines assisted in the defense of the Korean Demilitarized Zone, after which they again returned to Camp Pendleton.


n April 1966, the Battalion deployed to the Republic of Vietnam and served there until 1971. During this time, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines participated in combat operations at Huế, Quế Sơn, Phu Bai, Đông Hà and Phú Lộc. Immediately after their return to Camp Pendleton in 1971, the Battalion joined Operation New Arrivals, the relocation of Southeast Asian refugees to the United States.


In December 1990, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines sailed for the Persian Gulf in support of Operations Desert Shield / Desert Storm. They were staged in Saudi Arabia and participated in the liberation of Kuwait. During the return transit to the United States, the battalion was diverted to Bangladesh where it provided humanitarian relief as part of Operation Sea Angel.

In 1993, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines deployed as the ground combat element of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and participated in Operation Distant Runner, the Non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO) of Rwanda and Operation Restore Hope and Operation Quick Draw in Somalia. In 1995, the battalion began regular deployments to Okinawa for service as the Battalion Landing Team for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and participated in several operations in East Timor.



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