History of the 5th Marine Regiment

Submitted by Chuck Greene, Mike 3/5 '66-67

The 5th Marine regiment was activated on 8 June 1917 at Philadelphia Navy Yard, and immediately sailed for France as part of the American Expeditionary Force. In October 1917, the Regiment was assigned to the 4th Marine Brigade in the Army's  2nd Division. 

The 5th Marines distinguished themselves during the bloody fighting in Belleau Wood and Soissons during June and July of 1918; took Blanc Mont Ridge in October and November forced a crossing over the Meuse River just before the Armistice was signed. 

On 8 July 1920, the Regiment was reactivated at Quantico, Virginia. The 5th Marines were sent to Nicaragua in 1927, and for the next three years, fought against the Sandinista Rebels. The regiment was deactivated again in 1930, but was reactivated at Quantico on 1 September 1934. The 5th Marine Regiment was assigned to the 1st Marine Division in February 1941 and participated in four amphibious assaults during W.W.II. 

On August 7, 1942, the Regiment landed on Guadalcanal in the first U.S. Ground offensive of the war, and quickly seized Lunga Point and Henderson Field. After heavy fighting at Bloody Ridge and on Tenaru, the Regiment was relieved in December. The Regiment next saw action in December 1943, when it landed on New Britain, where it fought for five months. 

On 15 September 1944, the 1st Marine Division assaulted Peleliu in one of the bloodiest fights of the war in the South Pacific. The Regiment's fourth amphibious assault was Okinawa in April 1 For three months, the 5th Marines took part in the bitter fighting against the Shuri Line and the Yuzo-Dake. After Japan surrendered, the 5th Marines served on occupation duty in north Chine; then joined the 1st Provisional Brigade in May of 1947 on Guam. In 1949, the 5th Marines rejoined the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton.

The Regiment arrived in Korea in early August 1950 with the 1st Provisional Brigade and was immediately committed to the fighting on the Pusan Perimeter. On 15 September, the 1st Marine Division made an assault landing at Inchon, then drove inland toward Seoul. In October, the Division landed at Wonson , North Korea and then moved north to the Chosin Reservoir. 

When the Chinese launched their offensive on 27 November, the 1st Marine Division broke out of Hagaru and fought its way back to Hungnam, where it evacuated with the rest of X Corps. During the stalemate of 1951 and 1952, the Regiment fought in the Punchbowl and along the Imjin River. In March 1953, the 5th Marines were engaged in some of the heaviest fighting since the stalemate began at outposts Reno and Vegas. Hostilities ended on 27 July 1953, but Regiment remained in Korea until 1955, when it returned to Camp Pendleton.

In March 1966, the 5th Marines began deploying to Vietnam and April, took part in their first operation near the Hai Van Pass. During 1966-67, the Regiment took part in Operations Nathan Hale, Union II and Swift, and engaged in counter-guerilla operations in the areas of Quang Nam, Quang Tin and Quang Nai Provinces; fighting several sharp battles in Happy Valley and the Que Son Mountains. 

During the TET Offensive in 1968, the 5th Marines took part in the battle to clear Hue. By 1969 the war had become one of ambushes and small unit actions, with the emphasis on increasing the security of the population. After the 3rd Marine Division was withdrawn in 1969, the 5th Marines operated mainly in Quang Nam; taking part in the last offensive operation in the summer of 1970. The 5th Marine Regiment left Vietnam in February of 1971.

Campaigns and Honors


Aisne*Isle-de-France*StMihiel*Lorraine*Muese-Argonne*French Croix De Guerre w/Palm*(Aisne-Marne) (Meuse-Argonne)*French Croix De Geurre Fourragere, This was the green Pogie Rope we wore*Nicaragua*


Guadalcanal-Tulagi Landings*Capture and Defense of Guadalcanal*Eastern New Guinea Operation*Bismark Archipelago Operation*Western Caroline Islands Operation*Okinawa Gunto Operation*Presidential Unit Citation (Guadalcanal ) (Peleliu)(Okinawa)*

Korean War 

UN Defensive*UN Offensive*CCF Intervention*First UN Counter Offensive*CCF Spring Offensive* UN Summer-Fall Offensive* Second Korean Winter*Summer-Fall 1952* Third Korean Winter*Summer 1953*Presidential Unit Citation (Inchon)(Chosin)(1951)*Navy Unit Commendation (1952-53)*Korean Presidential Unit Citation*

Vietnam War 

 Defensive *Counter Offensive *Counter Offensive Phase II&III *Tet Counter Offensive *Counter Offensive, Phase IV, V &VI *TET 69 Counter Offensive Summer-Fall 1969 * Winter-Spring 1970 * Sanctuary Counter Offensive * Counter Offensive, Phase VII * Presidential Unit Citation (1966-67)(67-68) * Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry w/Palm * Vietnam Meritorious Unit (Civil Action).


[Home] [Table of Contents] [What's New] [USMC Picture Pages] [FMF Corpsmen] [Combat Wives]
[Combat Histories] [Memorials] [Stories, Poems, Memoirs][Picture Gallery] [Links] [Guestbook]