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World War 1 - Contemporary Accounts

 

CHRONOLOGY OF THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS IN THE WORLD WAR

 

Compiled from "The United States Marine Corps in the World War" by Edwin N. McClellan,  Major, U. S. Marines, 1920

Private John J Kelly, USMC: left wearing the French Croix de Guerre, and right receiving the Medal of Honor from General Pershing, Commander, American Expeditionary Forces. See October, 3, 1918 (US Naval Historical Center, click to enlarge)  
 
 

Introduction

"The United States Marine Corps in the World War" (click for original version) is an excellent, easy-to-ready summary of the US Marines in World War 1, but I felt it would be helpful to present the contents as a Chronology to better understand the development of events and especially the crucial role of the Fourth Brigade of Marines in 1918. The result is in two columns:

(1) The left hand one covers just the Fourth Brigade as a unit of the Regular Army's Second Division, and including its senior officers;

(2) The right hand one covers the rest of the contents of Major McClellan's publication in four groups: United States Marine Corps, Fifth Brigade of Marines, Marine Aviation and the United States Navy.

see also

CASUALTIES of the UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, 1917- 1921, by Name and by Date

Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

 

 
 

FOURTH BRIGADE OF MARINES

2nd Regular Army Division was composed of:

 

Third Infantry Brigade: Ninth Infantry, Twenty-third Infantry, Fifth Machine Gun Battalion.

Fourth Infantry Brigade: Fifth Regiment of Marines, Sixth Regiment of Marines, Sixth Machine Gun Battalion of Marines.

Second Field Artillery Brigade: Twelfth Field Artillery, Fifteenth Field Artillery, Seventeenth Field Artillery, Second Trench Mortar Battery.

Other troops: Second Engineers, Fourth Machine Gun Battalion, First Field Signal Battalion, Second Headquarters Train and Military Police, Second Ammunition Train, Second Engineer Train, Second Supply Train, Second Sanitary Train.

 

United States Marine Corps
Fifth Brigade of Marines
Marine Aviation
United States Navy
 

Fifth Marine Brigade - carried out a variety of non-combat duties in France.
Eleventh Regiment
Thirteenth Regiment
Fifth Brigade Machine Gun Battalion

below - Main locations (excluding northern France) associated with US Marine Corps activities and operations during World War 1

     

1917

 

May, 1917 - US Army Gen. Pershing and his staff, accompanied by two Marine lieutenant colonels sailed late in the month from the United States, in advance of the first expedition to France.

 

May 29, 1917 - Major General Commandant directed to organise the FIFTH REGIMENT of Marines to serve with the Army in France.

 

June 7, 1917 - Fifth Regiment was organized at the navy yard, Philadelphia, Pa., with Col. Charles A. Doyen in command (until October 29/30), and Maj. Harry R. Lay, as adjutant.  

 

June 14, 1917 - First expedition of American troops left the United States for France, with Fifth Regiment of Marines (70 officers and 2,689 enlisted men) embarked on naval transports USS HENDERSON and HANCOCK, and auxiliary cruiser DE KALB, approximately one-fifth of the force.  USS DE KALB was in group 1, HENDERSON in group 2, and HANCOCK in group 4; all formed part of the escort and not the convoy. Rear-Admiral Albert Gleaves, convoy commander, flying his flag on the SEATTLE, commanded group 1. The fourth group, including HANCOCK, did not sail until three days later.

 

June 17, 1917 - USS HANCOCK (Group 4) sailed for France.

 

June 22, 1917 - Group 1, including USS DE KALB was attacked by enemy submarines at 10.15 p.m. DE KALB and HAVANA sighted torpedoes, but were not hit and opened fire.

 

June 26, 1917 - Group 2, including USS HENDERSON, encountered one submarine about 100 miles off the French coast at 11.50 a. m., and a second one, two hours later.

 

June 26, 1917 - USS DE KALB (Group 1) arrived at St. Nazaire, France. First Battalion (less 15th Company), Fifth Regiment disembarked next day when they were also joined by Fifteenth Company, and occupied quarters ashore

 

June 27, 1917 - USS HENDERSON (Group 2) arrived at St. Nazaire. Second and Third Battalions, Fifth Regiment, went ashore next day.

 

June 27, 1917 - Commanding officer, Fifth Regiment reported to commanding general, US Army First Division, American Expeditionary Forces. Fifth Regiment was detached for service with the Army by direction of the President, and served with First Division until the middle of September, 1917.

 

July 2, 1917 - USS HANCOCK (Group 4) arrived at St. Nazaire.

 

July 3, 1917 - The entire Fifth Regiment was ashore under canvas.

 

July 15, 1917 - Fifth Regiment, less Third Battalion, proceeded to the Gondrecourt training area as part of First Division, and stationed in Menaucourt and Naix. Until February 1918, combat training was handicapped because many of the Regiment's units were scattered along the Line of Communications performing non-combat duties.

 

July 31, 1917 - Fifth Regiment Base Detachment embarked in USS HENDERSON and disembarked in France on Aug. 22

 

August 4, 1917 - The Major General Commandant was ordered to organize the SIXTH REGIMENT of Marines for service with the Army in France.

 

August 15, 1917 - First Division, including Fifth Regiment of Marines, was reviewed by its commanding general.

 

August 17, 1917 - SIXTH MACHINE GUN BATTALION (initially designated First Machine Gun Battalion) was organized at Marine barracks, Quantico, Va. under the command of Maj. Edward B. Cole until June 10, 1918, when he was mortally wounded.

 

August 19, 1917 - Gen. Pershing and Gen. Petain, commander-in-chief of all French forces, inspected the Marines as a unit of First Division.

 

September 23, 1917 - First Battalion of the Sixth Regiment sailed on USS HENDERSON from New York and landed at St. Nazaire, France, on October 5, 1917.

 

September 24, 1917 - The part of Fifth Regiment available for training arrived in the Bourmont training areas, and stationed at Damblain and Breuvannes.

 

October, 1917 - The Army's First Division was the first element of the American Expeditionary Force to enter the frontline, in the Toul sector.

 

October 17, 1917 - Seventy-third Machine Gun Company, Headquarters, and Supply Companies, and Col. Albertus W. Catlin, commanding officer of the Sixth Regiment, with his Staff, sailed from Philadelphia, Pa., on USS DE KALB, and from New York on October 18, 1917, arriving at St. Nazaire, France, on November 1, 1917.

 

October 23, 1917 - FOURTH BRIGADE of Marines was formed, and Col. Charles A. Doyen (commander of Fifth Regiment), appointed Brigadier General. He was in command until May 6, 1918.

 

October 26, 1917 - Fourth Brigade was part of US Army SECOND DIVISION until August 8, 1919. The only exception was from October 20-23, 1918, when the Brigade was provisionally at the disposal of the Ninth French Army Corps, in the vicinity of Leffincourt. Brig. Gen. Charles A. Doyen, USMC, assumed command of Second Division as its first commanding general. Lieut. Col. Logan Feland, USMC, was first chief of staff.

 

October 30, 1917 - Following Col. Charles A. Doyen's promotion to Brigadier General and command of Fourth Brigade/Second Division, Lieut. Col. Hiram I. Bearss was appointed commander of Fifth Regiment.  He remained in post until December 31, 1917.

 

October 31 1917 - Third Battalion of the Sixth Regiment sailed from New York on board USS VON STEUBEN, reaching Brest on November 1 2,1917.

 

November 8, 1917 - Major General Omar Bundy, United States Army, took over command of the Army's Second Division from Brig. Gen. Charles A. Doyen, USMC, and remained in command during the operations in the Verdun and Chateau-Thierry sectors.

 

December 14, 1917 - First Machine Gun Battalion sailed from New York on USS DE KALB, arrived at St. Nazaire, France on December 28, 1917.

 

1917

 

April 6, 1917 - United States of America declared war on Germany

 

April 6, 1917 - United States Marine Corps totalled 13,633 officers and men, of whom 2,236 were on sea duty, the rest serving in China, Guam, Haiti, Hawaiian Islands, Nicaragua, Philippine Islands, Santo Domingo, and Virgin Islands, with 6,644 in the United States.

During the war, one Marine brigade was based in Texas in case troubles in Mexico endangered Allied oil supplies, another Brigade was scattered throughout Cuba, and other Marine units were stationed in the Azores. Active operations were carried out in Haiti and Santo Domingo against bandits. By November 11, 1918, four Marines had been killed and 14 wounded in Santo Domingo.

 

Maj. Gen. Commandant George Barnett of the United States Marine Corps, who was appointed on February 25, 1914,remained in command for the entire war. Brig. Gen. John A. Lejeune was his Assistant from December 14, 1914 until September 26, 1917.

September 26, 1917 - Brig. Gen. John A. Lejeune, Assistant to the Major General Commandant from December 14, 1914 transferred to Quantico, Va., to command the Marine barracks. He was relieved by Brig. Gen. Charles G. Long.

 

Dec. 8, 1917 - Twelfth and Twenty-sixth Replacement Marine Unit (later disbanded in France) embarked in USS DE KALB and disembarked in France on December 31.

 


 

April 6, 1917 - Thirteenth Regiment had been activated on July 3, 1916, under the command of Col. Smedley D. Butler, and was deactivated September 1, 1919. The Regiment arrived in France near the end of the war as part of Fifth Brigade to carry out a variety of non-combat duties.

 


 

April 6, 1917 - Marine section of naval aviation, consisting of five officers and 30 enlisted men, was stationed at naval air station, Pensacola, Fla. Transferred to the navy yard, Philadelphia, Pa., the unit was designated the Marine Aeronautic Company.

 

October 12, 1917 - The Marine Aeronautic Company, now totalling 34 officers and 330 enlisted men, was divided into First Aviation Squadron (24 officers and 237 enlisted men), and First Marine Aeronautic Company (10 officers and 93 enlisted men).

 

October 14, 1917 - First Marine Aeronautic Company transferred to Cape May, N. J., and took over the naval air station.

 

October 17, 1917 - First Aviation Squadron transferred from the Marine flying field, navy yard, Philadelphia, Pa., to the Army training field at Mineola, Long Island, to train in land flying.

 

December 7, 1917 - First Marine Aeronautic Company (now 12 officers and 133 enlisted men) ordered to Naval Base 13, Ponta Delgada, Azores, arriving there January 21, 1918.

 

December 31, 1917 - First Aviation Squadron transferred to Gerstner Field, Lake Charles, La., for advanced training.

 


 

July 17, 1917 - Col. Carl Gamborg-Andresen, fleet Marine officer of the Asiatic Fleet from August 25, 1915, was relieved by Col. Louis McC. Little.

 

November 24, 1917 - Division 9 of the Atlantic Fleet, NEW YORK (flagship), WYOMING, FLORIDA, and DELAWARE, detailed for service with British Grand Fleet, rendezvoused in Lynnhaven Roads, Chesapeake Bay and sailed next day.

 

December 7, 1917 - Division 9 of Atlantic Fleet anchored with the British Grand Fleet in Scapa Flow, Orkney Islands, after taking the northern passage. The 13 days on passage, included four days fighting a 90-mile gale off the Newfoundland coast.

 

December 26, 1917 - Division 9 of Atlantic Fleet was designated Sixth Battle Squadron of the British Grand Fleet. Operating with the Grand Fleet, based most of the time in Scapa Flow and then at Rosyth in the Firth of Forth, the squadron was at sea for an average of 8 to 10 days each months. It took part in convoy and patrol duties, target practice and fleet exercises. Grand Fleet procedures were followed including signalling methods. Maj. Nelson P. Vulte was division Marine officer of the division the entire time it served with the Grand Fleet.

 

December 29, 1917 - Lieut. Col. James McE. Huey, force Marine officer of Battleship Force One, Atlantic Fleet from September 3, 1917, was relieved by Maj. Edwin N. McClellan who continued until March 28, 1918, when the Marines were temporarily withdrawn from the force.

 

 

     

below - Départements of Northern France and main locations associated with Fourth Brigade training and combat areas


Belleau Wood - Chateau Thierry area

     

1918

 

January 1, 1918 - Having arrived on on board USS DE KALB at St. Nazaire, France, on December 28, 1917, Col. Wendell C. Neville reported to Fourth Brigade for duty and assumed command of Fifth Regiment, from  Lieut. Col. Hiram I. Bearss. Col. Neville remained in command until July, 1918.

 

January 3, 1918 - First Machine Gun Battalion arrived at Damblain in the Bourmont area to begin training.

 

January 12, 1918 - Col. Albertus W. Catlin established headquarters for the Sixth Regiment at Blevaincourt in the Bourmont training area. Third Battalion and headquarters units arrived in the area the same day, First Battalion later in the month, and Second Battalion on February 10, 1918.

 

January 20, 1918 - The First Machine Gun Battalion was designated Sixth Machine Gun Battalion.

 

January 24, 1918 - Second Battalion of the Sixth Regiment sailed on USS HENDERSON from New York and arrived at St. Nazaire, France, on February 6.

 

February 6, 1918 - With the arrival of the Second Battalion, the entire Sixth Regiment of Marines was in France.

 

February 10, 1918 - Fourth Brigade of Marines was in the Bourmont training area, with the exception of one company on duty in England.

 

March 16-17, 1918 - Fourth Brigade entered the front-line on the Verdun (X1 - see map above) front during the night, having left the Bourmont training area on March 14, and remained there until May 13/14. Casualties in this period included 58 officers and men killed and died of wounds.

 

March 21, 1918 - From this date until July 15, the German Army launched five major offensives in attempt to break through the Allied lines and bring the war to a conclusion. The First German offensive (Somme) was stopped within a few miles of Amiens. US Army Second Division, including the Marines, helped to hold the Third Offensive in the Chateau-Thierry sector.

  

March 28, 1918 - The American commander in chief placed all American forces at the disposal of Marshal Foch, commander in chief, Allied Armies.

 

April 9, 1918 - Lasting until April 27, the Second German offensive (Lys) overran Armentieres. Approximate 500 American troops took part.

 

April 23, 1918 - Lieutenant Commander (Dental Corps) Alexander Lyle USN, serving with 5th Regiment on the French Front was awarded the Medal of Honor.

 

May 6, 1918 - Brig. Gen. James G. Harbord assumed command of Fourth Brigade from Brig. Gen. Doven who was invalided back to the United States, worn out preparing the Brigade for battle.

 

May 13/14, 1918 - Fourth Brigade moved out of the Verdun front and proceeded to the Vitry-le-Francois area for open warfare training. Because Vitry-le-Francois was found to be unsuitable, the Brigade moved on to the Gisors-Chaumont-en-Vexin area. From here it received sudden orders to move to the Chateau-Thierry sector.

 

May 27, 1918 - Brig. Gen. John A. Lejeune and Maj. Earl H. Ellis sailed from New York on board USS HENDERSON and arrived at Brest, on June 8, 1918.

 

May 31, 1918 - Aisne Defensive: The Third German offensive from west of Rheims at the end of May, crossed the Chemin-des-Dames, captured Soissons, and by May 31 was heading along the Marne Valley for Paris. Second Division, including the Marine Brigade, together with elements of 3rd and 28th Divisions, were thrown into the line in the Chateau-Thierry sector (X2) . "The Second Division, then in reserve northwest of Paris and preparing to relieve the First Division, was hastily diverted to the vicinity of Meaux on May 31, and, early on the morning of June 1, was deployed across the Chateau-Thierry Paris road near Montreuil-aux-Lions in a gap in the French line, where it stopped (by June 5) the German advance on Paris." Total casualties in the Chateau Thierry/Belleau Wood sector through to July 9, included some 1,095 USMC officers and men killed, died of wounds and missing.

 

June 5, 1918 - Second Division was now established on the Marne salient nearest Paris, but excluding Hill 142, Bois de Belleau, Bouresches, and Vaux. Also the Germans held Chateau-Thierry on the right of Second Division, and continued to do so until about July 17, 1918.

 

June 6, 1918 - Second Division went over to the attack, launching an offensive, lasting until July 1, 1918. That day, the Marine Brigade captured Hill 142 and Bouresches.

During the first attack on Belleau Wood, Col. Albertus W. Catlin, in command of Sixth Regiment was severely wounded, and relieved by Lieut. Col. Harry Lee. He remained in post until the regiment was demobilized in August, 1919.

 

Gunnery Sergeant Charles F. Hoffman USMC, serving with 49th Company, 5th Regiment near Chateau-Thierry and  Lieutenant, Junior Grade (Dental Corps) Weedon E Osborne USN, serving with 6th Regiment during the advance on Bouresches, were awarded the Medal of Honor. Lt Weedon's award was posthumous.

June 10, 1918 - Maj. Edward B. Cole, in command of the Sixth Machine Gun Battalion was mortally wounded, and relieved by Capt. Harlan E. Major. Next day, Capt. Major was relieved by Capt. George H. Osterhout.

 

June 11, 1918 - Lieutenant (Medical Corps) Orlando H Petty, USNRF, serving with 5th Regiment in the Battle of Belleau Wood was awarded the Medal of Honor.

 

June 21, 1918 - Capt. George H. Osterhout, in command of Sixth Machine Gun Battalion, was relieved by Maj. Littleton W. T. Waller, Jr.

 

June 26, 1918 - After severe fighting, the Marine Brigade completely cleared Bois de Belleau - the Battle of Belleau Wood.

 

July 1, 1918 - As part of the  Army's 3rd Brigade, Second Division captured Vaux.

 

July 5-6, 1918 - After being relieved by elements of 26th Division during the night, Fourth Brigade moved to the rear of the lines and occupied the Line of Defense or Army Line, remaining there until July 16.

 

July 5, 1918 - Brig. Gen. John A. Lejeune USMC assumed command of the Army's 64th Infantry Brigade of the 32nd Division, then in the front line on the Swiss border, and continued in command until July 25, 1918. During this period, he also commanded three French infantry regiments.

 

June 9, 1918 - The Fourth German offensive, lasting until June 15, was held by the Noyon-Montdidier defensive.

 

July 15, 1918 - Having been held in the Marne salient, the Fifth and last German offensive was launched and held in what American historians call the Champagne-Marne defensive.

 

July 17, 1918 -  1st French Moroccan and the US Army 1st and 2nd Divisions were rushed to the Bois de Retz, near Soissons.

 

July 18, 1918 - Aisne-Marne Offensive (Soissons): The initiative now passed to the Allies, when Marshal Foch launched his first major offensive. 1st French Moroccan, and 1st and 2nd US Army Divisions led an Allied attack towards Soissons(X3). Second Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. James G. Harbord, took Beaurepaire Farm and Vierzy, and reached Tigny at the end of day two. The Germans started a fighting withdrawal from the Marne.  Fourth Brigade casualties included 341 officers and men killed, died of wounds and missing from the 19th to the 25th.

Sergeant Louis Cukela USMC and Sergeant Matej Kocak USMC (both Austro-Hungarian immigrants), serving with 66th Company, 5th Regiment in the Forest or Bois de Retz, near Viller-Cottertes were awarded the Medal of Honor. Sergeant Kocak's award was posthumous.

July 19, 1918 - Now in front of Tigny, Second Division was relieved that night by a French division. Fourth Brigade moved to a reserve position until July 22nd.

Lieutenant (Medical Corps) Joel T. Boone USN and Pharmacist's Mate First Class John H Balch USN, both serving with the 6th Regiment at Vierzy, were awarded the Medal of Honor. Pharmacist Balch's citation also refers to his service at Somme-Py (Sommepy) on October 5, 1918.

July 22, 1918 - From its first reserve position, Fourth Brigade marched to an area farther in the rear. From the 24th/25th, it was billeted in the Nanteuil-le-Haudouin area, remaining there until July 31.

 

July 25, 1918 - Brig. Gen. John A. Lejeune USMC, commanding the Army's 64th Infantry Brigade, took over Fourth Brigade from Col. Neville. Three days later he assumed command of Second Division until its demobilization in August, 1919. Next day, on July 29, Col. Neville resumed command of Fourth Brigade.

 

July 30, 1918 -St Mihiel Offensive: Fourth Brigade spent the last two days of July moving to the Nancy area by train, where they rested and refitted until August 9.

 

August 5, 1918 - Fourth Brigade started to move to the Marbache sector, near Pont-a-Mousson, on the Moselle River. The move was completed by the 8th. The only activity was a German raid which was successfully repulsed.

 

August 7, 1918 - Brig. Gen. Lejeune, commanding Second Division was promoted to major general and Col. Neville, commanding Fourth Brigade, to brigadier general, both to date from July 1, 1918.

 

August 8, 1918 - Lieut. Col. Earl H. Ellis appointed Fourth Brigade adjutant, in succession to Lieut. Col. Harry R. Lay.

 

August 9 to August 18, 1918 -  Fourth Brigade in Marbache sector (X4), near Pont-a-Mousson on the Moselle River. Casualties in this period included 2 officers and men killed and died of wounds through to August 22.

 

August 18, 1918 - Fourth Brigade moved out of the Marbache sector, to an area 20 kilometers southeast of Toul to train for the upcoming St. Mihiel offensive.

 

September 2, 1918 - Fourth Brigade started to move out of the Toul area in a series of night marches, and established itself just outside Manonville.

 

September 12 to September 16, 1918.  Fourth Brigade, still serving with Second Division (First Corps, First Army) took part in the St. Mihiel offensive, in the Thiaucourt area (X5), including Remenauville,   Xammes, and Jaulny. Casualties included 157 officers and men killed, died of wounds and missing.

 

September 15, 1918 - Hospital Apprentice First Class David E. Hayden USN, serving with the Second Battalion, Sixth Regiment at Thiaucourt was awarded the Medal of Honor.

 

September 20, 1918 - Fourth Brigade moved back to an area south of Toul, and stayed there until September 25, when it moved by rail to an area south of Chalons-sur-Marne.

 

September 27, 1918 - Meuse-Argonne (Champagne) Offensive and Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge: In preparation for the offensive, and at the request of Marshal Foch, Second Division, including Fourth Marine Brigade, was placed at the disposal of the Fourth French Army under Gen. Gouraud until October 10. Fourth French Army was to attack between the Argonne and the Suippes River.

 

September 28, 1918 - Fourth Brigade moved by bus and foot to the Souain-Suippes area.

 

October 1 to October 10, 1918.  Fourth Brigade took part in the Meuse-Argonne (Champagne) offensive including the capture of Blanc Mont Ridge and St. Etienne(-à-Arnes) ((X6) both NE of Reims). Casualties in this period included 523 officers and men killed, died of wounds and missing. Second Division, including Fourth Brigade marched to the front line near Somme-Py (Sommepy) on the night of October 1-2, to relieve elements of a French division.

 

October 3-9, 1918 - Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge fought by Second Division as a unit of French Fourth  Army. The main operations were cleaning the Essen Hook, capture of Blanc Mont Ridge, and the capture of St. Etienne.

 

October 3, 1918 - Corporal John H. Pruitt USMC and Private John J Kelly USMC, both serving with the 78th Company, 6th Regiment at Blanc Mont Ridge were awarded a Medal of Honor. Corporal Pruitt's award was posthumous

 

October 5, 1918 - Pharmacist's Mate First Class John H Balch USN, serving with the 6th Regiment at Somme-Py, and earlier, on July 19 at Vierzy was awarded the Medal of Honor.

 

October 10, 1918 - Fourth Brigade was relieved in the Blanc Mont sector, and moved to the Suippes-Somme Suippes-Nantivet (all Suippes area) area to rest and refit as part of French Fourth  Army reserve.

 

October 14, 1918 - Fourth Brigade marched to the Vadenay-Bouy-la-Veuve-Dampierre area, north of Chalons-sur-Marne as part of French Ninth Army Corps.

  

October 20-23, 1918 - Fourth Brigade was provisionally at the disposal of the French Ninth  Army Corps, in the vicinity of Leffincourt. Then returned to Second Division to prepare for the next phase of the Meuse-Argonne offensive.

 

October 24, 1918 - Maj. Littleton W. T. Waller, jr., in command of Sixth Machine Gun Battalion, was relieved by Maj. Matthew W. Kingman.

 

October 26, 1918 - Meuse-Argonne Offensive: Fourth Brigade arrived in the Exermont area remaining in bivouac until the night of October 30-31.

 

October 30, 1918 - Fourth Brigade, with the rest of Second Division (assigned to Fifth Corps, First Army) moved into the line to take part in the Meuse-Argonne offensive which had started on September 26.

 

November 1 to November 11, 1918 -  Fourth Brigade in Meuse-Argonne offensive ((X7). Casualties in this period included 278 officers and men killed, died of wounds and missing. On the 1st, Fourth Brigade, relieved elements of 42nd Division and over the next 10 days, advanced 30 kilometers and reached the far bank of the Meuse River.

 

November 11, 1918 - Armistice becomes operative.

On "the eleventh hour, the eleventh day of the eleventh month, of the year 1918," Brig. Gen. Wendell C. Neville, commanding general of the Fourth Brigade of Marines, published a tribute to the officers and men of the Brigade.

November 17, 1918 - Second Division joind the March to the Rhine, passing through Belgium and Luxembourg.

 

November 25, 1918 - Second Division reached the German frontier, on December 1 crossed the German frontier, and on the 10th reached the River Rhine.

 

December 13, 1918 - Second Division crossed the River Rhine. Fourth Brigade of Marines started its duties in Germany with the Army of Occupation. Headquarters of Fourth Brigade for most of the occupation was at Nieder Bieber. Amongst its duties was the establishment of a Rhine River patrol, commanded and manned by Marines.

 

1918

January 21, 1918 - Marine detachment for naval base No. 13, arrived at Ponta Delgada, Azores.

February 5, 1918 - First Replacement Battalion embarked in USS VON STEUBEN and arrived in France on February 25.

February 25, 1918 - Maj. Gen. Commandant George Barnett of the United States Marine Corps, was reappointed for a second term of four years.

 

March 14, 1918 - Second Replacement Battalion embarked in USS HENDERSON and arrived in France on March 27.

 

April 22, 1918 - Third Replacement Battalion and Casual Company embarked in USS HENDERSON and arrived in France in early May.

 

May 26, 1918 - First Machine Gun and First Casual Replacement Battalions embarked in USS HENDERSON and arrived in France on June 8. (Note: the original First Machine Gun Battalion had been redesignated the Sixth, and served with Fourth Brigade)

 

June 30, 1918 - Marine Corps totalled 1,424 officers and 57,298 enlisted men, of which about 300 officers and 14,000 enlisted men were in France.

 

June 30, 1918 - Second Casual Replacement Battalion embarked in USS HENDERSON and arrived in France on July 9.

 

July 20, 1918 - A second Marine detachment for naval base No. 13, arrived at Ponta Delgada, Azores.

 

August 13, 1918 - Third and Fourth Separate Battalions embarked in USS HENDERSON and disembarked in France on August 26.

 

August 17, 1918 - Fifth and Sixth Separate Battalions embarked in USS VON STEUBEN and arrived in France on August 27.

 

August 21, 1918 - First Separate Machine Gun Battalion embarked in USS DE KALB and arrived in France on September 2.

 

September 5, 1918 - Col. Frederic M. Wise USMC commanded the Army's 59th Regiment of the 8th Infantry Brigade, 4th Division, until January 4, 1919, taking part in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne operations.

 

September 12, 1918 - Col. Hiram I. Bearss USMC commanded the Army's 102nd Regiment of the 51st Infantry Brigade, 26th Division, in the St. Mihiel offensive.

 

September 29, 1918 - Maj. Gen. Commandant George Barnett, sailed from New York on board USS LEVIATHAN, and arrived at Brest on October 7, to inspect Marines units serving with the American Expeditionary Forces. Catching influenza, he was unable to do carry out his tour, and arrived back in the United States on December 16.

 

September 30, 1918 - Marine detachment for naval base No. 29, arrived at Cardiff, Wales.

 

October 6, 1918 - Brig. Gen. Smedley D. Butler, took over command of the Pontanezen Camp of the American Expeditionary Force at Brest, which became the "largest embarkation camp in the world". He was awarded the Army's Distinguished Service Medal.

 

October 20, 1918 - Seventh and Eighth Separate Battalions embarked in USS POCOHONTAS and disembarked in France on November 3.

 

October 27, 1918 - Ninth Separate Battalion embarked in USS HENDERSON and disembarked in France on Nov. 9.

 

October 30, 1918 - Col. Robert H. Dunlap USMC, took command of the Army's 17th Field Artillery Regiment of the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade, Second Division, until February, 1919.

 

November 11, 1918 - The US Marine Corps totalled 72,920 officers and men, of whom 24,555 were serving with the American Expeditionary Force in Europe, with 2,073 on sea duty. The rest were serving in the Azores, China, Guam, Haiti, Hawaiian Islands, Nicaragua, Philippine Islands, Porto Rico, Santo Domingo, Virgin Islands, with 37,043 in the United States.

 

December 29, 1918 - Marine detachment for the naval forces in France, and staff office, Paris, landed at St. Nazaire.

 


 

January 3, 1918 - Eleventh Regiment was activated. Commanded by Col. George Van Orden until it was disbanded in August 1919, it arrived in France near the end of the war as part of Fifth Brigade to carry out a variety of non-combat duties.

 

September 5, 1918 - Major General Commandant directed post commander, Marine barracks, Quantico, Va., to organize Fifth Brigade headquarters. The Brigade was to be composed of Eleventh and Thirteenth Regiments, and Fifth Brigade Machine Gun Battalion. Brig. Gen. Eli K. Cole was designated brigade commander.

 

September 13, 1918 - Thirteenth Regiment left the Overseas Depot at Quantico, Va., for Hoboken, N. J.

 

September 15, 1918 - Thirteenth Regiment sailed from Hoboken, N. J., on board USS HENDERSON and VON STEUBEN for Brest. Brig. Gen. Eli Cole, Fifth Brigade commander and Brigade Staff sailed on VON STEUBEN.

 

September 24, 1918 - Fifth Brigade commander and Staff arrived at Brest. Brigade units (Eleventh Regiment, Thirteenth Regiment and Fifth Brigade Machine Gun Battalion) never operated as a brigade in France or were assigned to a division. General Cole was given additional duties in the American Expeditionary Forces.

 

September 25, 1918 - Thirteenth Regiment arrived at Brest.

 

September 29, 1918 - Eleventh Regiment Headquarters and First Battalion sailed from Philadelphia, Pa. on USS DE KALB for Brest.

 

October 13, 1918 - Eleventh Regiment Headquarters and First Battalion arrived at Brest.

 

October 16, 1918 - Second and Third Battalions of the Eleventh Regiment sailed from Brooklyn, N.Y., on board USS AGAMEMNON and VON STEUBEN for Brest.

 

October 25, 1918 - Second and Third Battalions of the Eleventh Regiment arrived at Brest.

 

October 28, 1918 - Fifth Brigade Machine Gun Battalion sailed from South Brooklyn, N. Y., on board USS HENDERSON for Brest.

 

November 9, 1918 - Fifth Brigade Machine Gun Battalion arrived at Brest. The Battalion had been commanded by Maj. Ernest A. Perkins from its organization until November 4. Maj. Allen H. Turnage took over command on November 12. The Battalion was on duty at Camp Pontanezen, during its stay in France. With their arrival the entire Fifth Brigade was in France.

 

November 19, 1918 - Col. Smedley D. Butler, commander of Thirteenth Regiment, was relieved by Col. Douglas C. McDougal.

 


 

January 21, 1918 - First Marine Aeronautic Company arrived at Naval Base 13, Ponta Delgada, Azores to operate as an anti-submarine patrol station with 10 R-6 seaplanes, 2 N-9 seaplanes, and later 6 HS-2-L flying boats. Maj. Francis T. Evans was in command from January 9 to July 18, 1918.

Marine detachment for naval base No. 13, arrived at Ponta Delgada, Azores.

March 31, 1918 - First Aviation Squadron transferred from Lake Charles, La to the newly-established Marine flying field at Miami, Fla. Four Marine squadrons of land-fighting planes and a HQ company were organized to operate under the Navy as the Day Wing of the Northern Bombing Group in northern Franc. This operated from the Dunkirk area against German submarines and their bases at Ostend, Zeebrugge, and Bruges. Maj. Alfred A. Cunningham commanded the Day Wing from the date of its organization to December 7, 1918, except for a week in August 1918.

 

July, 1918 - Marine Aviation Section, naval air station, Miami, Fla., carried out patrol duties in the Florida Straits until November 11, 1918.

 

July 13, 1918 - First Marine Aviation Force (Day Wing), consisting of Squadrons A, B, C, and HQ Company, left Miami, Fla., and boarded DE KALB at New York City for France, July 18, 1918.

 

July 19, 1918 - Maj. Francis T. Evans, in command of the First Marine Aeronautic Company at Naval Base 13, Ponta Delgada, Azores, was relieved by Maj. David L. S. Brewster through to January 20, 1919.

 

July 30, 1918 - First Marine Aviation Force (Day Wing), less Squadron D, disembarked at Brest, moved to its aerodromes between Calais and Dunkirk, and was ready for service two weeks after arrival in France.

 

July 20, 1918 - A second Marine detachment for naval base No. 13, arrived at Ponta Delgada, Azores.

 

August 2, 1918 - Sometime after this date and while awaiting for their planes to be delivered, Marine pilots of the Day Wing flew with local British squadrons until the end of the war.

 

October 5, 1918 - Squadron D of the First Marine Aviation Force (Day Wing), arrived at Le Franc aerodrome, to bring the number of squadrons to the planned four. Fourteen independent raids were carried out behind German lines.

 

October 8 and 14, 1918 - Second Lieutenant Ralph Talbot USMC, a Squadron C pilot and Gunnery Sergeant Robert G. Robinson USMC, an aircraft observer, both with First Marine Aviation Force in France were awarded the Medal of Honor.

 

November 11, 1918 - Since April 6, 1917, the Marine Aviation section had grown from 35 to 2, 462 officers, warrant officers and enlisted men.

 

December 6, 1918 - Day Wing boarded USS MERCURY at St. Nazaire, France, and reached Newport News, Va. on the 21st.

 


 

February 11, 1918 - Battleship TEXAS joined US Sixth Battle Squadron with the British Grand Fleet.

 

April 25, 1918 - Col. Louis McC. Little, fleet Marine officer of the Asiatic Fleet from July 17, 1917, was relieved by Col. Eli T. Fryer who remained in post until after the armistice.

 

June 14, 1918 - USS Cyclops, collier (No.4) disappeared in the western Atlantic after leaving Barbados on March 4, 1918, declared lost on this date. Two Marines were lost with her.

 

June 29, 1918 - With most of Siberia under Russian Bolshevik control, USS BROOKLYN, flagship, Asiatic Fleet, took part in activities around Vladivostok. On this date Czecho-Slovakian forces, which had fought there way across Siberia, took control of the port. A detachment of US Marines were ordered ashore by Rear Admiral Austin M. Knight, commander in chief, Asiatic Fleet to guard the American consulate and, as part of an Allied force of British, Japanese, Chinese, and Czecho-Slovaks, patrolled the city.

 

July, 1918 - Battleship DELAWARE replaced USS ARKANSAS in the US Sixth Battle Squadron, serving with the British Grand Fleet.

 

July, 1918 - Marines from USS BROOKLYN, Asiatic Fleet guarded German and Austrian prisoners of war on Russian Island, about 5 miles from Vladivostok, Siberia. More marines from BROOKLYN joined British marines, Japanese and Chinese bluejackets, and Czecho-Slovak soldiers, to prevent a threatened strike by workmen in the Russian navy yard at Vladivostok.

 

August 14, 1918 - Col. John F. McGill, force Marine officer of the Battleship Force and later force Marine officer of Battleship Force Two, both Atlantic Fleet, was relieved by Maj. Harold C. Wirgman. The force was suspended in September, 1918.

 

August 23, 1918 - Col. (Brig. Gen.) John T. Myers, Fleet Marine officer, Atlantic Fleet from before the outbreak of the war, was relieved by Col. Frederic L. Bradman, who continued in post until after the armistice.

 

August 1918 - towards the end of the month Division 6 of the Atlantic Fleet, UTAH (flagship), NEVADA, and OKLAHOMA, arrived at Berehaven, Bantry Bay, Ireland to protect US troop convoys from possible enemy raiders. Maj. Leon W. Hoyt was division Marine officer of the division during its entire stay in European waters.

 

October 14, 1918 - Col. Richard M. Cutts, fleet Marine officer, Pacific Fleet since November 1, 1916, was relieved by Lieut. Col. Charles B. Taylor on the 15th, until after the armistice.

 

November 21, 1918 - US Sixth Battle Squadron (Division 9) took part in the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet to the British Grand Fleet off the mouth of the Firth of Forth

 

November 22, 1918 - Battleship NEVADA, which had been serving with Division 6 of the Atlantic Fleet in Bantry Bay, Ireland, joined Division 9 at Rosyth and later sailed with it to Portland in the south of England. (The remainder of Division 6 - USS UTAH and OKLAHOMA - sailed direct for Portland around this time).

 

December 1, 1918 - US Sixth Battle Squadron, now with USS NEVADA, detached from the British Grand Fleet, again as Division 9 of the Atlantic Fleet, and sailed from Rosyth for Portland.

 

December 12, 1918 - Divisions 6 and 9 of the Atlantic Fleet sailed from Portland to join the USS PENNSYLVANIA which was escorting liner GEORGE WASHINGTON with President Wilson on board. He arrived in Brest on the 13th on his way to the Versailles Conference.

 

December 14, 1918 - The Atlantic Fleet battleships sailed from Brest for the United States.

 

December 25, 1918 - Atlantic Fleet battleships arrived off Ambrose Lightship, the afternoon of Christmas Day. Next morning, they steamed into New York Harbor.

 

     

below - US World War 1 Cemeteries and Monuments

     

1919

 

August 3, 1919 - Commanding general, Second Division and his staff, headquarters of Fourth Brigade, the Fifth Regiment, and the Second Battalion of the Sixth Regiment arrived in the United States on board the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON.

A large number of Marines returned in small batches after the armistice. All organizations and individuals returned to naval service soon after arrival in the United States.

August 5, 1919 - Sixth Machine Gun Battalion arrived in the United States on board USS SANTA PAULA.

 

August 6, 1919 - The remainder of Sixth Regiment arrived in the United States on board USS RIJNDAM and WILHELMINA.

 

August 8, 1919 - Fourth Brigade transferred from Second Division back to naval service

 

August 8, 1919 - Fourth Brigade paraded as a part of Second Division in New York City with Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune in command. The Brigade arrived at Quantico, Va. the same day.

 

August 12, 1919 - Fourth Brigade was reviewed by the President in a parade at Washington, D. C. Brig. Gen. Wendell C. Neville was in command.

 

August, 1919 - Fourth Brigade returned to the naval operating base, Hampton Roads, Va., for demobilization.

 

 

1919

June, 1919 - Twelfth Replacement Battalion sailed from the United States on board USS HANCOCK and arrived in France the same month to join the American Expeditionary Forces.

 

July, 1919 - Provisional Marine Battalion, under the command of Maj. Charles F. B. Price, was organized at Pontanezen Cain, Brest from personnel of the Fourth and Fifth Brigades and the Twelfth Separate Battalion.

 

August 15, 1919 - The Provisional Marine Battalion was redesignated the Fifteenth Separate Battalion.

 

September 1, 1919 - Fifteenth Separate Battalion rendered honors to Gen. Pershing at Brest upon his departure from France, and was inspected by Marshal Foch.

 

September 8, 1919 - The company of Marines and battalion commander (major) and staff, forming part of the Composite Regiment, Third Army, returned to the United States on board USS LEVIATHAN.

 

December 23, 1919 - Fifteenth Separate Battalion, sailing from Brest, arrived at Philadelphia on board USS HENDERSON, and reached Quantico, Va. on the 30th.

 


April 9, 1919 - Brig. Gen. Cole, commanding general of the Fifth Brigade, was relieved by Brig. Gen. Smedley D. Butler, who retained command until it was demobilized in August.

 

August 8, 1919 - Fifth Brigade Headquarters (Brig. Gen. Butler, in command), Thirteenth Regiment (less Company B), and Fifth Brigade Machine Gun Battalion arrived in the United States on board USS SIBONEY.

 

August 9, 1919 - Eleventh Regiment, commanded by Col. George Van Orden, arrived in the United States on board USS ORIZABA, and was disbanded on the 11th.  

 

August 12, 1919 - Company B of the Thirteenth Regiment arrived in the United States on board USS MERCURY.

 

August, 1919 - Fifth Brigade returned to the Marine barracks, Quantico, Va., for demobilization.

 

September 1, 1919 - Thirteenth Regiment commanded by Col. Douglas C. McDougal, was disbanded.

 


 

January 24, 1919 - First Marine Aeronautic Company was ordered to abandon Naval Base 13, Ponta Delgada, Azores and return to the United States.

 

March 1919 - First Marine Aeronautic Company departed the Azores and arrived at the Marine flying field, Miami, Fla. on March 15.

 


 

April 2, 1919 - USS ALBANY, Asiatic Fleet, was at Vladivostok until July 25, 1919. A small guard of Marines guarded the US Naval radio station on Russian Island.

 

 

July 25, 1919 - USS ALBANY, with the Asiatic Fleet, was relieved by NEW ORLEANS at Vladivostok. A small guard of Marines continued to guard the US Naval radio station on Russian Island.

 


     
 
 

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