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USMC Marine Museum - Artillery
"Rumors that reinforcements were on the way…spread rapidly…" Lt. Woodrow M. Kessler, USMC, Wake Island

It was Christmas Eve 2013 and one arduous year had passed. A shoulder surgery in the Winter of 2012 had postponed my long needed wrist surgery until the Fall of 2013. All of which added to a leg and hip diagnosis of pain induced stroke level high blood pressure.

Such preceded the death of my un-diagnosed autistic Uncle Buddy, (images right). One of extraordinary intelligence, who loved God, baseball statistics and electronics, would pass away due to a major nursing home error by November of 2013.

Once the 2014 New Year had passed, my wife thought a trip to Washington D.C would brighten up our spirits. So a few weeks later, we visited The Marine Museum...


To Washington D.C.

 

 

 

 

The following narratives highlight America's un-preparedness following Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. America would overcome the deficit and go on to victory in the Pacific and shared victory in Europe. America would also add a unique perspective to human history when she assisted in the rebuilding of two conquered countries. All of which created two allied relationships for future generations to build on.

 
 

America entered the Second World War when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, on 7 December 1941. An attack that shocked complacently isolationist America.

 
   

 

American President Roosevelt aptly called "a date that will live in infamy". So devastating had been Japan’s surprise strike against Pearl Harbor that even six months later the U.S Pacific Fleet was still unable to mount a credible relief expedition to the Philippines to rescue the besieged garrison at Corregidor.

   

The Japanese had smothered every Marine outpost west of Midway, including China, Guam, Wake Island, and northern Luzon. The Marines’ stout-hearted defense burnished the Corps’ legend and inspired the American public, but in the end their sacrifice produced little more than a certain immortality and long years of brutal imprisonment. 


 
The Marines’ wartime mission endured high-level tinkering as the Roosevelt administration struggled to fight a global war. Roosevelt wanted the Corps to form commando units. Other officials sought to deploy small units of Marines to the Azores, North Africa, or the Caribbean.
   
The Joint Chiefs of Staff ended the debate by committing the Corps to the Pacific as amphibious assault troops. The Marines welcomed the mission but worried about attaining the means to accomplish it.
   
The Pacific War changed dramatically on 20 November 1943 when an enormous U.S. fleet appeared unexpectedly in the heart of the Japanese-occupied Gilbert Islands and launched concurrent amphibious assaults against Tarawa and Makin Atolls.
   

To this point the United States had fought desperately with limited resources in the South Pacific while waiting for the nation’s industry to reach full wartime production. That day had come.

   
Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet, abruptly found himself possessing more ships and planes than any commander in history. Included in this new arsenal were enough Marines, amphibious ships, and landing craft for the Leathernecks to spearhead a drive across the vast Central Pacific to the very doorstep of Japan.

   
Yet first it was essential that the Marines validate their still unproven doctrine of offensive amphibious assault against a heavily defended shoreline. Betio Island, in Tarawa Atoll, the first objective in the new campaign, would provide that trial by fire.
   

By war’s end, nearly 19,000 Women Marines constituted the majority of permanent personnel at all major Marine bases in the country. They served in 225 different military specialties, ranging from truck mechanics to parachute riggers. Their contributions made it possible for the Commandant to deploy 90% of all male Marines overseas, the highest percentage of any other armed force.

   
 
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