Selected August Dates of Marine Corps Historical Significance


2 September 1945: The Japanese officially surrendered to the Allies on board the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay. With General Holland Smith transferred home in July 1945, the senior Marine Corps representative at the historic ceremony was LtGen Roy S. Geiger, who had succeeded Smith as Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific.

5 September 1956: Eleven Marines from the 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division, stationed near Naha, Okinawa, drowned while swimming, from an undercurrent caused by Typhoon Emma. The violent storm, with 140 mph winds, struck the Philippine Islands, Okinawa, Korea, and Japan, causing some 55 deaths and millions of dollars in property damage.

6 September 1983: Two Marines were killed and two were wounded when rockets hit their compound in Beirut, Lebanon. Heavy fighting continued for the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit peacekeeping force in the area near their positions around the Beirut International Airport.

8 September 1942: On Guadalcanal, the 1st Raider Battalion and the 1st Parachute Battalion, supported by planes of MAG-23 and two destroyer transports, landed east of Tasimboko, advanced west into the rear of Japanese positions, and carried out a successful raid on a Japanese supply base.

11 September 1992: Hurricane Iniki devastated the island of Kauai in Hawaii in one of the worst storms the islands had seen in over a century. Marines of the 1st Marine Brigade based at Kaneohe Bay, spearheaded Operation Garden Sweep, the massive cleanup effort.

11 September 2001: At 9:38a.m. a commercial airliner, piloted by terrorists, slammed into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Department of Defense, located across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. The Marines Corps was fortunate in that no Marines were killed or seriously injured in this attack. The weekend before, most of the Department of Marine Aviation, located directly above the site of impact, had been relocated to another area of the Pentagon, during building renovation. Immediately following the attack, Marines set up a “command center” under an overpass of Interstate 395, which runs beside the Pentagon. Working alongside fellow servicemen and civilians for hours, days, and weeks after the tragedy, Marines played a large role in the rescue and recovery effort. Including those aboard the hijacked Boeing 757, 189 men, women, and children were killed in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon.

15 September 1950: The 3d Battalion, 5th Marines landed on Wolmi-do Island in Inchon Harbor and secured it prior to the main landing. The 1st Marine Division under the command of Major General Oliver P. Smith landed at Inchon and began the Inchon-Seoul campaign.

16 September 1814: A detachment of Marines under Major Daniel Carmick from the Naval Station at New Orleans, together with an Army detachment, destroyed a pirate stronghold at Barataria, on the Island of Grande Terre, near New Orleans.

18 September 1990: A new 40-acre training facility for Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) was dedicated at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, by General Alfred M. Gray, Commandant of the Marine Corps.

20 September 1950: Marines of the 1st Marine Division crossed the Han River along a six-mile beachhead, eight miles northwest of Seoul, Korea. Five days later, the 1st and 5th Marines would attack Seoul and the city would be captured by 27 September.

24 September 1873: One hundred and ninety Marines and seamen from the USS Pensacola and Benicia landed at the Bay of Panama, Columbia, to protect the railroad and American lives and property during the revolution.

27 September 1944: The American flag was raised over Peleliu, Palau Islands, at the 1st Marine Division Command Post. Although the flag raising symbolized that the island was secured, pockets of determined Japanese defenders continued to fight on. As late as 21 April 1947, 27 Japanese holdouts finally surrendered to the American naval commander on the scene.

30 September 1945: Marines of III Amphibious Corps, commanded by Major General Keller E. Rockey, began landing in North China to assist the Chinese Nationalist government in accepting the surrender of Japanese forces and repatriating Japanese soldiers and civilians.

United States Marine Corps History Division