University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Third Batallion. Platoons 308, 309, and 310.
([1954])

[Marine Corps Recruit Depot],   pp. [4]-[96] ff. PDF (43.3 MB)


Page [6]-[7]

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.


Go up to Top of Page