Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Third Batallion. Platoons 308, 309, and 310.
[Marine Corps Recruit Depot], pp. - ff. PDF (43.3 MB)
011I C919 together with naval landing forces formed a Naval Brigade which made glorious history in the defense of Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor. A newly organized 4th Regiment was made a part of the 3rd Amphibious Corps in the latter part of 1943 to perpetuate the deeds of San Diego's own. It received the Presidential Unit Cita- tion in the capture of Orore Peninsula in Guam, later became a part of the Sixth Division, and was again cited in the fiercely contested capture of Okinawa. The 4th Regiment was honored by special orders to be present at the surrender of Hirohito's forces in Tokio Bay. Following the surrender, it proceeded with the Sixth Division to restore order in Northern China. I T 1 I ESTABLISHMENT of a Marine Corps Base at San l)iego was initiated by the late Major General Joseph H. -Pendleron, USMC, in July 1914, shortly after his return from expeditionary duty on the West Coast of Mexico where he was in command of the Fourth Regiment of Marines during the quarrel with that nation. General Pendleton recognized in the harbor and environs at San Diego a strategic point where Marines could be trained for expeditionary duty, and where they could be ready to go aboard ship with all their expeditionary stores and equipment and be taken quickly to areas in the Pacific where their services might be needed. He worked untiringly with this idea and interested the then Assistant Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Franklin D. Roosevelt, the late Major General George Barnett, then Com- mandant of the Marine Corps as well as the late Mr. William Ketrner, then representing the Eleventh California District in the House of Representatives. Their efforts won some friends and finally after many influ- ential officials from Washington visited the Panama-Pacific Ex- position and viewed the proposed site, the purchase went before Congress and the site was acquired. The practical construction was not completed until 1924. Much of the land was reclaimed from San Diego Bay, including that portion comprising Lindbergh Field and the adjacent shore area now utilized by the Navy as a sea-plane base. The first troops moved into the partially completed barracks from a camp in Balboa Park in December 192 1. The Base became the home port of the famous Tourth Regi- ment upon its return from Santo Domingo in the latter part of 1924. In connection with the earthquake disaster at Santa Bar- bara, on 1 July 1925, the Second Battalion, Fourth Regiment, consisting of 314 officers and men proceeded to that city to render assistance to the devastated population. In October 1926, six hun- dred thirty-five personnel of the 4th Regiment were organized as the Western Mail Guard under Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler and detached for the purpose of guarding the U. S. Mails. In January 1927, the Fourth Regiment proceeded to Shanghai, China to protect lives and property during the civil war then progressing northward. Other troops organized at the San Diego base provided security at Tientsin, China. just prior to the open- ing of hostilities of World War 11 in the Pacific, the 4th Regi- ment was withdrawn from Shanghai and concentrated with Army and constabulary troops in the Philippines. The 4th Regiment During World War 11 the Marine Corps Depot served as a Training Center. Supply Depot and Embarkation Point for thou. sands of Marines who conquered the Nipponese in the Pacific. The first expansion of Marine activities in the San Diego area took place in the acquisition of Camp Elliot, which served as an advanced training center and base for the Fleer Marine Forces, Pacific Fleet. Later these activities expanded to Camp Pendleton, embracing a large area in the northern part of the County as well as a portion~ of Orange County. The Marine Corps Depot, however, continued to serve as the Center for basic training of Western recruits. At the Rifle Range, Camp Calvin B. Matthews, a part of the Base, these men received fundamental training in marksmanship. Later at Camp Elliot and at Camp Pendleton they received training in combat firing and fighting. An important adjunct to the Depot was the establishment of the Parachute Training School at Camp Gillespie, Qn the Mesa near Santee. The Sea School continued to train graduated recruits for service aboard ships of the Fleet, emphasis being placed on accurate gunnery. The Base also had schools for radio and tele- phone communications, motor transport, clerical and band. After completing training at the Base, these Marines were transferred DI 6 LI 0 oI I 0 I 7-1 Al to organized units of infantry, -artillery, air service, and sea de- tachments. All received advanced training in amphibious warfare, that complex art of coordinated underwater, sea surface, ground and air attack with its difficult logistics which drove the Japanese from the islands and waters of the vast Pacific. During the years between the ill advised Nipponese attack on Pearl Harbor and the abject signing of unconditional surrender at Tokyo Bay, there were approximately 222,364 Marines who passed through the portals of the gates at the Ma4ine Corps Recruit Depot, and who will forever proudly reminisce with other Marines over the pit- falls and rugged routines encountered there. At present, the Depot continues to perform its mission stated above with the organization as shown. An important function of the Depot has been the separation of thousands of reserves to civilian life and the redistribution of the regulars to shore stations on return from overseas. This has been accomplished with mini- mum delay by the Separation Battalion. The Recruit Depot continues to train young men pouring into the Corps. During this training, comprising a ten weeks sched- ule, the men are carefully indoctrinated in the manner of per- formance of duty of a Marine. They receive thorough training in marksmanship and familiarization with basic weapons. A few are chosen for the Sea School, communications, service units, band and paymasters school. The remainder, upon completion of train- ing at the Depot are transferred to shore stations, to aviation, to organized units for duty overseas, or to specialist schools for more advanced training. The Depot also offers facilities in general edu- cation, courses of study leading to procurement of high school diplomas and all of the correspondence courses of the Marine Corps Institute and United Service Forces Institute in vocational and professional training. These include university extension courses.
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