My Dad the U.S. China Marine

My Dad the U.S. China Marine

Friday, October 15, 2010

History Shows Marines in China and Japan Nearly Century Ago

History Shows Marines in China and Japan Nearly Century Ago
Honolulu Advertiser: November 10, 1945. Page 17, Section 2.

When the Marine Corps observes its 170th anniversary, it will have reassumed its familiar role as guardian of American interests in the far corners of the world.

After having spearheaded victory in the Pacific from Guadalcanal to Okinawa, Marines have taken over posts in China and Japan and on scattered islands such as Truk and Guam to make sure that the peace so bitterly won is not disturbed.

The Marines were no strangers to China, for they first landed there more than 100 years ago. Nor, for that matter, were they strangers to Japan, for Marines landed there with Commodore Perry in 1853.

More than any other branch of America’s armed forces, the Marines have a reputation for being on hand when trouble arises. The world has been their beat and it still is.

Although best known as the “fightin’est outfit on earth,” the Marine Corps has augmented the defenses of our country since the Revolutionary War, both at home and abroad. Marines have acted as guards aboard ships of the navy and in navy yards. They have safeguarded American embassies and protected Presidents of the United States from possible harm.

Early Duties
One of the earliest duties of the Continental Marines was to guard prisoners taken by the American fleet, in addition to participating in the battle itself.

History records that back in 1800 during the naval war with France, Marines marched a miscellaneous collection of prisoners and buccaneers from the Atlantic coast to Frederick, Md., where a prison camp was maintained.

During the Revolution mutinies were not infrequent among the unreliable crews of the period, and the Marines were expected to be the force behind the captain in dealing with these serious breaches to discipline. Whenever the crew was called to quarters, the Marines habitually were mustered on the quarter-deck near the arms chest in the event of an emergency.

When vessels were engaged in actual battle, both during this period and later years, Marines armed with muskets and bayonets were used to enforce discipline over the gun crews and were expected to use the weapons for such purpose if necessary.

Far East Duties
The last century is marked with many instances were Marines were called upon to protect American interests and nationals in the Far East.

Names that are in the news today –Seoul, Tientsin, Shanghai, Pekin- are not new to the Corps. In the shifting rebellions and banditry that scarred China in the days before a stable government was finally produced, Marines, though few in number, were always ready to “take steps” to protecting U.S. interests. And “taking steps” frequently meant fighting.

In addition to serving as protectors of American interests in far-places, Marines have on numerous occasions been called upon to safeguard life and property in the wake of disasters at home.

No comments: