Opha May Johnson-US Marine

mARINE

Today marks the 100th anniversary of real girl power. Om August 13th 1918,Opha May Johnson became the first Female US Marine.

World War I was drawing to an end when the Marine Corps decided to fill some of the gaps left behind by all the men fighting overseas. In 1918, Johnson was the first of 300 women who reported for duty. They made headlines in newspapers all across the country.

Marines

Newspaper articles, OF 1918 AND ALSO the published history of Women Marines in World War I,  reported Johnson’s first duties were as a clerk at Marine Corps headquarters, managing the records of other female reservists who joined after she did.

joins

Ironically when she joined the marines she was not yet allowed to vote.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

$2.00

Resources

National Library of Congress

Washington Post

 

Canine WWII Warriors

wonded_dog_pacific_war_1944

In the late summer of 1942, the Marine Corps decided to experiment with the use of dogs in war, which may have been a new departure for the Corps, but not a new idea in warfare. Since ancient times, dogs have served fighting men in various ways. The Romans, for instance, used heavy mastiffs with armored collars to attack the legs of their enemies, thus forcing them to lower their shields. On Guam, First Lieutenant William R. Putney commanded the 1st Dog Platoon and was the veterinarian for all war dogs on Guam.

dog14

First Lieutenant William T. Taylor commanded the 2d Platoon. Both landed on the Asan-Adelup beach on Guam, while the 1st Platoon under Gunnery Sergeant L. C. Christmore landed with the 1st Provisional Brigade at Agat.

Man and dog searched out the enemy, awaited his coming, and caught him by surprise around the Marine perimeter or while on patrol. In addition, they found snipers, routed stragglers, searched out caves and pillboxes, ran messages, and protected the Marines’ foxholes as they would private homes. The dogs ate, slept, walked, and otherwise lived with their masters. The presence of dogs on the line could promise the Marines there a night’s sleep, for they alerted their handlers when the enemy came near. Overall, some 350 war dogs served in the Guam operation.

1809639695eb98cf1fe467bf59d9c9ed

Early on in the Guam operations, some dogs were wounded or killed by machine gun and rifle fire, and incoming mortars were as devastating to the dogs as they were to the Marines. When the dogs were wounded, the Marines made a point of getting them to the rear, to the veterinarian, as quickly as possible. In the liberation of Guam, 20 dogs were wounded and 25 killed.

From the end of the campaign to the end of the war in the Pacific, Guam served as a staging area for war dogs, of which 465 served in combat operations. Of the Marine Corps war dogs, 85 percent were Doberman Pinschers, and the rest mainly German Shepherds. At the end of the Pacific War, the Marine Corps had 510 war dogs.

Marine-war-dogs

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

$2.00

William G. Walsh and Ross F. Gray two selfless heroes of Iwo Jima.

In these days when we have very few heroes left it is good to be reminded of some real heroes who made a difference by selfless actions and not self promotion.

William G. Walsh

walsh_wg

Gunnery Sergeant William Gary Walsh (April 7, 1922 – February 27, 1945) was a United States Marine who heroically sacrificed his life to save the lives of his fellow Marines during the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. For his actions on February 27, 1945, he posthumously received the Medal of Honor.

moh_right

 

William Walsh was born on April 7, 1922, in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He attended public schools in Boston before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in April 1942. He went to boot camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, and advanced training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

From Camp Lejeune, he went to Samoa and was assigned to a unit of Marine scouts. His next assignment was with the 2nd Marine Raider battalion, the famed Carlson’s Raiders. During the United States’ war with Japan in the Pacific, he saw action at Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Tarawa, and in the Russell Islands.

Following two years of service in the Pacific theatre, he returned to the United States. He returned overseas later with the 5th Marine Division in time for the Iwo Jima invasion

37mm_gun_fires_against_cave_positions_at_iwo_jima.

It was at Iwo Jima, while leading his men against a fortified hill on February 27, 1945, he threw himself on a hand grenade, sacrificing his life to save the lives of fellow Marines. For this heroic act, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Initially buried in the 5th Marine Division Cemetery on Iwo Jima, GnySgt Walsh’s remains were later reinterred in Arlington National Cemetery on April 20, 1948.

img

Ross F. Gray

image-ross-gray_rf-medal-of-honor-20apr13

 

Sergeant Ross Franklin Gray (August 1, 1920 – February 27, 1945) was a United States Marine who posthumously received the Medal of Honor — the highest military honor of the United States — for his heroic service in the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II — he single-handedly disarmed an entire mine field while under heavy enemy fire. He was killed in action six days later.

Gray enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in Birmingham, Alabama on July 22, 1942, and was assigned to active duty the same day. After receiving his recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina, he went to New River, North Carolina, and in September joined the 23rd Marines, 4th Marine Division. Promoted to private first class in April 1943, he was transferred to Company A, 1st Battalion 25th Marines, a month later.

Private First Class Gray left for overseas duty on January 13, 1944 and landed at Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands where he took part in the Roi-Namur campaign.

usmc-c-marshalls-p13a

He was made an engineering corporal in March and in June made another assault landing — this time at Saipan. At the conclusion of the fighting at Saipan, Cpl Gray took part in the landing on Tinian Island, also in the Marianas.

Promoted to sergeant in August, he attended the 4th Marine Division Mine and Booby Trap School, upon completion of which he was rated qualified to instruct troops in the laying of mine fields; the reconnaissance of enemy minefields, day and night; the location, neutralization, disarming, and removal of mines; the neutralization of booby-trapped mines; and the day and night clearance of lanes through minefields. Examined and found qualified for promotion to the rank of staff sergeant, Sgt Gray, due to the lack of openings for that rate in his organization, was never promoted to the third pay grade.

On February 21, 1945, two days after the initial landing on Iwo Jima,  Gray was acting platoon sergeant of one of Company A’s platoons which had been held up by a sudden barrage of Japanese hand grenades in the area northeast of Airfield No. 1.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Gray withdrew his platoon out of range of the grenades and moved forward to get a better look at the situation.. He saw his platoon was held up by several Japanese bunkers connected by covered communication trenches  with a mine field in front of them.

With typical Gray tenacity and in spite a hail of enemy small arms fire, Gray cleared a path through the mine field up to the mouth of one of the fortifications, then returned to his own lines, where with three volunteers, he went back to the battalion dump and acquired twelve satchel charges. Placing these in a defiladed area within his platoon that was protected from immediate enemy fire, he took one weighing twenty-four pounds. Under covering fire from the three volunteers, Gray advanced up the path he had cleared and threw the charge into the enemy position in order to take it out of action.

Gray came under fire from a machine gun in another opening of the same position,  Gray returned to the defiladed spot, obtained another charge, returned to the position and this time completely destroyed it. Spotting another emplacement, he went through the mine field for the seventh and eighth time to get another charge and destroy another enemy stronghold.

He continued this one-man attack, all the time under heavy small arms fire and grenade barrage, until he had destroyed six enemy positions.  During Gray’s attack on the enemy positions , he was unarmed so that he could more easily carry the charges and accessories.

After he had eliminated all six Japanese bunkers, Gray disarmed the whole mine field before returning to his platoon.

For his personal valor, daring tactics, and tenacious perseverance in the face of extreme peril on February 21, Sgt Gray was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman

800px-truman.

The coveted award was presented to the hero’s father by Rear Admiral A. S. Merrill, United States Navy, then Commandant of the Eighth Naval District, at the football field at Centreville High School in the presence of the Governor of the State of Alabama, Chauncey Sparks, on April 16, 1946.

moh_right

Sergeant Gray was initially buried in the 4th Marine Division Cemetery on Iwo Jima, but later his remains were returned to the United States for private burial in Woodstock, Alabama.

The frigate USS Gray (FF-1054) was named after Sergeant Gray.

1200px-uss_gray_ffg-1054_sharp_turn

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

$2.00

Hill 65-Irish Vietnam Hero;Patrick Gallagher.

mi-patrick-bob-gallagher-irish-vietnam-hero

I don’t often listen to RTE Radio 1 documentaries,because they are usually about subjects I have no interest in. But today in the car stuck in traffic I listened to a documentary and it broke my heart.

Among the 58,000 names inscribed on the Vietnam war memorial wall in Washington DC is that of corporal Patrick ‘Bob’ Gallagher.

uid_107_vietnam-memorial1

Patrick grew up near Ballyhaunis in rural county Mayo before emigrating to the United States in the early 1960s. Patrick joined the US Marine Corps and was stationed in Vietnam during some of the most intense fighting of the war. Patrick was just  23 years old and a Marine Corporal when he was killed on duty in southeast Asia. Just before he died, Patrick was awarded a Navy Cross, the second highest honor in the US military. Like many war dead, Patrick is remembered by his family in Ireland and his friends and comrades who served with him in combat.

In 1962 Gallagher had traveled from Derrintogher, near Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo to stay with his aunt in New York. He worked in real estate and studied law. He also campaigned for Senator Robert Kennedy, in 1964.

2475b24000000578-2899225-sen_robert_f_kennedy_speaks_to_the_delegates_of_the_united_auto_-m-27_1420578680211

In February 1966 Gallagher returned home for three weeks. He did not tell his family that he had been drafted and joined the Marine Corps. In April 1966 he was deployed to Vietnam.

According to the petition, Gallagher and three others were “manning a defense post” when they came under attack. “Patrick kicked a grenade out of their position before it exploded” and then, according to the Navy Cross citation, “… another enemy grenade followed and landed in the position between two of his comrades. Without hesitation, in a valiant act of self-sacrifice, Corporal Gallagher threw himself upon the deadly grenade in order to absorb the explosion and save the lives of his comrades.

4134__orig

“As the three other marines ran to safety two further grenades landed in the position and exploded, ‘miraculously injuring nobody.’ Patrick’s squad leader ordered him to throw the grenade he was lying on into a nearby river. It exploded on hitting the water. ‘Through his extraordinary heroism and inspiring valor in the face of almost certain death, he saved his comrades from probable injury and possible loss of life.'”

On the 30th of March his platoon was ambushed near Hill 65 by the Vietcong

 

Seven of the men were killed,including Gallagher,were killed that day and 2 others died the following day from their injuries.

The people of Ballyhaunis heard of his bravery and planned great celebrations for his homecoming. However, instead of celebrating his valor they buried him.

http://www.rte.ie/radio1/doconone/2016/1202/835992-mayo-boy-vietnam-hero/

Bobby Kennedy wrote to Gallagher’s family after his death. He quoted Winston Churchill saying “courage is rightly esteemed as the first of all human qualities because it is the one that guarantees all others.”

“This courage Corporal Gallagher gave to all of us. To him and to his family are due the thanks of a humbly grateful nation.”

According to a report in the Irish Times, in 2013 a group of Irishmen were discussing Gallagher’s tale at Marius Donnelly’s Trinity Hall pub, in Dallas, Texas. Pilot Martin Durkan, from Ballyhaunis, was present and supplied details of Patrick Gallagher’s story. Marius Donnelly, who owns the pub, launched the campaign to have the ship named in Gallagher’s honor. The New York Daily News adds that former Marine Donald O’Keefe from the Bronx is campaigning for Gallagher to get the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The online petition which can be found at www.patrickgallagherusmc.info and is titled “Help Us Honor A Marine Corps Hero”.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

$2.00