Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
1st Provisional Marine Brigade

1st Provisional Marine Brigade

Discussion
Ask a question about '1st Provisional Marine Brigade'
Start a new discussion about '1st Provisional Marine Brigade'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was a Marine infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 brigade
Brigade
A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of two to five battalions, plus supporting elements depending on the era and nationality of a given army and could be perceived as an enlarged/reinforced regiment...

 of the United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 (USMC) that existed periodically from 1912 to 1950. It was an ad hoc
Ad hoc
Ad hoc is a Latin phrase meaning "for this". It generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and not intended to be able to be adapted to other purposes. Compare A priori....

unit formed for specific operations and therefore not considered a "permanent" USMC unit.

The brigade saw five brief activations for service over a 40-year span. First created for duty in Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 following a 1912 revolution, the brigade was not activated again until 1941 when it was hastily constructed from the 6th Marine Regiment to garrison Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 after the occupation of that country
Invasion of Iceland
The invasion of Iceland, codenamed Operation Fork, was a British military operation conducted by the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines and a small Canadian task force during World War II....

 by British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 troops during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The brigade saw service once more in the war during the Battle of Guam in the Pacific War
Pacific War
The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East...

, conducting an amphibious landing on that island's southern sector and subduing resistance from Japanese
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 troops. It was activated once more in a brief organizational shift after the war.

The brigade's best-known duty came in 1950 when it was again hastily assembled, this time for service in the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

. The brigade participated in a counterattack at Masan
Battle of Masan
The Battle of Masan was an engagement between United Nations and North Korean forces, which took place early in the Korean War between August 5 and September 19, 1950, in the vicinity of Masan and the Naktong River in South Korea. It was part of the Battle of Pusan Perimeter, and was one of...

 before being called to reinforce United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 units during the Battle of Pusan Perimeter
Battle of Pusan Perimeter
The Battle of Pusan Perimeter was a large-scale battle between United Nations and North Korean forces lasting from August 4 – September 18, 1950. It was one of the first major engagements of the Korean War...

, and at the First and Second
Second Battle of Naktong Bulge
The Second Battle of Naktong Bulge was an engagement between United Nations and North Korean forces early in the Korean War from September 1 to September 15, 1950, along the Naktong River in South Korea. It was a part of the Battle of Pusan Perimeter, and was one of several large engagements...

 Battles of Naktong Bulge along the Naktong River. Following these duties, the brigade was deactivated for the last time when it was merged with the 1st Marine Division.

Organization


The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade varied in size and structure each time it was created. Headquarters and Service Company
Headquarters and Service Company
A Headquarters and Service Company is a company sized military unit, found at the battalion level and higher in the United States Marine Corps. In identifying a specific headquarters unit, it is usually referred to by its abbreviation as H&S...

, the company comprising the headquarters staff and support personnel, was much smaller than the equivalent company in standard Marine brigades
Marine Expeditionary Brigade
A Marine Expeditionary Brigade is a formation of the United States Marine Corps, a Marine Air-Ground Task Force of approximately 14,500 Marines and Sailors constructed around a reinforced infantry regiment, a composite Marine aircraft group, a logistics group and a command element...

. Each iteration of the brigade was assigned provisional military police
Military police
Military police are police organisations connected with, or part of, the military of a state. The word can have different meanings in different countries, and may refer to:...

, signal and other supporting companies and platoon
Platoon
A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two to four sections or squads and containing 16 to 50 soldiers. Platoons are organized into a company, which typically consists of three, four or five platoons. A platoon is typically the smallest military unit led by a commissioned officer—the...

s.

Component units varied considerably as well. In its first iteration in 1912, the brigade had only 1,200 men in two provisional regiment
Regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

s. When re-formed for duty in Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 in 1941, it was based around the 6th Marine Regiment and supporting units, at a strength of 4,095 men. In its larger 1944 iteration, the division was based around the 4th Marine Regiment and the 22nd Marine Regiment, with supporting units and artillery, at a strength of 9,886 men, a size far larger than a standard brigade
Brigade
A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of two to five battalions, plus supporting elements depending on the era and nationality of a given army and could be perceived as an enlarged/reinforced regiment...

.

The brigade's Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 organization was a 4,725-man force based around the 5th Marine Regiment and supported by Marine Aircraft Group 33, including military police, reconnaissance and intelligence companies. The attack force included the 1st Battalion
1st Battalion 5th Marines
1st Battalion, 5th Marines is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California consisting of approximately 800 Marines and sailors. Nicknamed Geronimo, it falls under the command of the 5th Marine Regiment and the 1st Marine Division...

, 2nd Battalion
2nd Battalion 5th Marines
2nd Battalion 5th Marines is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps consisting of approximately 800 Marines and Sailors. They are based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California and fall under the command of the 5th Marine Regiment and the 1st Marine Division...

 and 3rd Battalion
3rd Battalion 5th Marines
3rd Battalion 5th Marines is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps. The battalion, nicknamed "Dark Horse", is based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California and consists of approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors...

 of the 5th Marine Regiment as well as supporting companies from the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion
1st Combat Engineer Battalion
1st Combat Engineer Battalion is a combat engineer battalion of the United States Marine Corps. The unit, nicknamed "The Super Breed", is based at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California and falls under the command of the 1st Marine Division and the I Marine Expeditionary...

, 1st Medical Battalion
1st Medical Battalion
1st Medical Battalion is a unit of the United States Marine Corps operated by the United States Navy that provides medical support to Marine Corps forces forward deployed to operations or humanitarian missions...

, 1st Motor Transport Battalion, 1st Ordinance Battalion, 1st Service Battalion, 1st Shore Party Battalion, 1st Signal Battalion, 1st Tank Battalion
1st Tank Battalion
The 1st Tank Battalion is an armor battalion of the United States Marine Corps which is based out of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California...

, 1st Amphibian Tractor Company, and 1st Combat Service Group
1st Marine Logistics Group
The 1st Marine Logistics Group is a logistics unit of the United States Marine Corps and is headquartered at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, with detachments located at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center...

.

In each of its iterations, the brigade was not organized as a permanent formation. Typically it was created only as a temporary front-line unit while larger United States Marine units were formed. The brigade would then merge with these forces to form a Marine division
Division (military)
A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn several divisions typically make up a corps...

. The 1942 brigade merged with the 2nd Marine Division, the 1944 brigade was the basis for the formation of the new 6th Marine Division, and the 1950 brigade acted as an advance force for the newly reactivated 1st Marine Division before merging into that unit.

Cuba


The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was first created in 1912 for occupation duties in Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

. Earlier that year, the Negro Rebellion
Negro Rebellion
The Negro Rebellion, also known as the Little Race War, the War of 1912, or The Twelve, was an armed conflict in Cuba, taking place mainly in the eastern region of the island in 1912. The conflict involved the widespread massacre of Afro-Cubans, by the Cuban Army, and an intervention by the United...

 had erupted throughout Cuba among former black slaves. A 1st Provisional Marine Regiment of 450 men under Colonel Lincoln Karmany was assembled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, on 22 May. At the same time, a 2nd Provisional Marine Regiment of 750 men under Colonel James Mahoney assembled at Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida
Key West is a city in Monroe County, Florida, United States. The city encompasses the island of Key West, the part of Stock Island north of U.S. 1 , Sigsbee Park , Fleming Key , and Sunset Key...

. The two regiments sailed for Cuba aboard the USS Prairie
USS Prairie (AD-5)
USS Prairie , formerly Morgan Liner S.S. El Sol, was built in 1890 by William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was purchased by the United States Navy on April 6, 1898 from the Southern Pacific Co., and commissioned two days later at New York, Comdr. C. J...

, with 1st Battalion, 2nd Regiment, landing at Havana
Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

 and the remainder of the force at Guantanamo
Guantánamo
Guantánamo is a municipality and city in southeast Cuba and capital of Guantánamo Province.Guantánamo is served by the Caimanera port and the site of a famous U.S. Naval base. The area produces sugarcane and cotton wool...

. There they combined to form the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade in early June under Karmany, and the United States Marines fanned out in Oriente Province, occupying 26 towns and controlling all rail traffic in the area. The Marines protected United States sugar plantations in Siboney
Siboney, Cuba
Siboney is a town in Cuba east of the city of Santiago de Cuba. In 1898 Siboney and the nearby village of Daiquirí were locations where American forces came ashore in the Spanish-American War...

 and El Cobre until late July when the Cuban government was able to clamp down on the revolt. At that point, the Marines pulled back to Guantanamo, disbanded the brigade and returned home.

Another 1st Marine Brigade was created once again during the Occupation of Haiti. This brigade, however, was not considered a "provisional" unit and maintained a permanent establishment in Haiti from 1915 to 1934. The 1st Marine Brigade was considered a separate unit lineage, and it was reactivated in 1941 and expanded to form the 1st Marine Division.

Iceland


In May 1940, during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 initiated an invasion of politically neutral
Neutrality (international relations)
A neutral power in a particular war is a sovereign state which declares itself to be neutral towards the belligerents. A non-belligerent state does not need to be neutral. The rights and duties of a neutral power are defined in Sections 5 and 13 of the Hague Convention of 1907...

 Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

, fearing it would otherwise fall to the forces of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 which had recently conquered Denmark
Operation Weserübung
Operation Weserübung was the code name for Germany's assault on Denmark and Norway during the Second World War and the opening operation of the Norwegian Campaign...

. Iceland's indigenous population was generally opposed to the British occupation, instead preferring troops of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, which was neutral at that phase in the war. Iceland signed a defense agreement with the United States in which United States troops would be stationed on the island nation. The U.S. Marine Corps hastily assembled the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade in Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is the second largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It was made the county seat of Charleston County in 1901 when Charleston County was founded. The city's original name was Charles Towne in 1670, and it moved to its present location from a location on the west bank of the...

, to move to Iceland as part of the agreement. The brigade was first activated on 14 July 1941. Its elements were taken from the 2nd Marine Division, which was training at Marine Corps Base San Diego and Camp Elliott, both in San Diego, California
San Diego, California
San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest city in California. The city is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, immediately adjacent to the Mexican border. The birthplace of California, San Diego is known for its mild year-round...

. Volunteers from the division were moved into the 6th Marine Regiment's 1st
1st Battalion 6th Marines
The 1st Battalion, 6th Marines is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. It consists of approximately 1,100 Marines and Sailors...

, 2nd
2nd Battalion 6th Marines
2nd Battalion, 6th Marines is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Also known as "The Ready Battalion" or "2/6 Spartans", it consists of approximately 800 Marines and Sailors and falls under the command of the 6th Marine Regiment and...

 and 3rd Battalions
3rd Battalion 6th Marines
3rd Battalion 6th Marines is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Also known as "Teufelhunden", it consists of approximately 1000 Marines and Sailors...

, and the 10th Marine Regiment's 2nd Battalion
2nd Battalion 10th Marines
2nd Battalion 10th Marines is an artillery battalion of the United States Marine Corps comprising three firing batteries and a headquarters battery. The battalion is stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and its primary weapon system is the M777A2 howitzer with a maximum...

. It took troops from A Company of the 2nd Tank Battalion
2nd Tank Battalion
The 2nd Tank Battalion is an armored battalion of the United States Marine Corps which is based out of the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina...

, A Company of the 2nd Service Battalion, and parachute and antitank platoons. This brought the force up to a strength of 4,095 men. The brigade was to move to Iceland as the first element of a 28,000-man force which would occupy Iceland under Major General Holland M. Smith and his 1st Marine Division. While the 1st Marine Division was building its forces, though, the Provisional Brigade would hold Iceland. However, priorities soon changed and the 1st Marine Division was moved elsewhere. The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was instead joined by units of the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

.
Under the command of Colonel Leo D. Hermle and Brigadier General
Brigadier general (United States)
A brigadier general in the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, is a one-star general officer, with the pay grade of O-7. Brigadier general ranks above a colonel and below major general. Brigadier general is equivalent to the rank of rear admiral in the other uniformed...

 John Marston, the brigade sailed from San Diego to Charleston aboard the attack transport
Attack transport
Attack Transport is a United States Navy ship classification.-History:In the early 1940s, as the United States Navy expanded in response to the threat of involvement in World War II, a number of civilian passenger ships and some freighters were acquired, converted to transports and given hull...

s , , and . There, they met with additional ships which sailed with their supplies as well as the remaining elements of the brigade, the 5th Defense Battalion
Marine defense battalions
Marine defense battalions were United States Marine Corps battalions charged with coastal defense of various naval bases in the Pacific during World War II...

. These elements were joined by the , , and on 27 June. They were escorted by Task Force 19, a fleet of 25 United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 warships including the battleship
Battleship
A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

s and as well as the cruiser
Cruiser
A cruiser is a type of warship. The term has been in use for several hundreds of years, and has had different meanings throughout this period...

s and . The force stopped at Newfoundland, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, before continuing to Iceland, landing in Reykjavík
Reykjavík
Reykjavík is the capital and largest city in Iceland.Its latitude at 64°08' N makes it the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay...

 on 7 July. There they relieved the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division of control of some areas of the country.

The British commanders distributed the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade throughout camps around the Reykjavik area, to act as an emergency force which could quickly counter any German invasion. The British gave their division patch to the brigade, and it was worn for the remainder of the Marines' time in Iceland. The Marines were joined by units of the U.S. Army and Army Air Corps
United States Army Air Corps
The United States Army Air Corps was a forerunner of the United States Air Force. Renamed from the Air Service on 2 July 1926, it was part of the United States Army and the predecessor of the United States Army Air Forces , established in 1941...

 in August 1941. The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade troops spent much of their time in Iceland building infrastructure and bases to fortify Iceland against potential German attack. On 22 September, the British division departed Iceland and command was assumed by the United States Army. During the winter of 1941–1942 the brigade saw no combat and spent much of its time attempting to construct fortifications and drill for combat, hampered by a lack of supplies, communications equipment, transportation, and good weather. Aside from the occasional German reconnaissance aircraft, no German forces came to Iceland.

The 7 December attack on Pearl Harbor
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

 substantially changed morale as the men were informed they would be redeployed from Iceland at the beginning of 1942 and would likely see combat in the Pacific Theatre. In January 1942, the Brigade began deploying back to the United States, one battalion at a time. Elements of the brigade were gradually relieved by Army units and returned to New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 aboard the USS McCawley
USS McCawley (APA-4)
USS McCawley was a McCawley-class attack transport that served with the U.S. Navy during World War II. Named after Charles G. McCawley, eighth Commandant of the U.S...

 and the USS Boringuen until March 1942, when the entire brigade was in New York. The brigade was disbanded in New York City on 25 March 1942, and its component elements were reassigned to the 2nd Marine Division. Most of them were immediately dispatched to California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 and by the end of the year most of the Marines had been transferred to units fighting in the Guadalcanal Campaign
Guadalcanal campaign
The Guadalcanal Campaign, also known as the Battle of Guadalcanal and codenamed Operation Watchtower by Allied forces, was a military campaign fought between August 7, 1942 and February 9, 1943 on and around the island of Guadalcanal in the Pacific theatre of World War II...

.

Guam



On 18 April 1944, the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was again activated, this time at Guadalcanal
Guadalcanal
Guadalcanal is a tropical island in the South-Western Pacific. The largest island in the Solomons, it was discovered by the Spanish expedition of Alvaro de Mendaña in 1568...

. In July of that year, it was moved to the Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands
The Republic of the Marshall Islands , , is a Micronesian nation of atolls and islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, just west of the International Date Line and just north of the Equator. As of July 2011 the population was 67,182...

 for an anticipated invasion of Guam, as Guam had been captured by the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

. The brigade was created this time because of a fear that reinforcements would be needed for the invasion, and it was placed in reserve
Military reserve
A military reserve, tactical reserve, or strategic reserve is a group of military personnel or units which are initially not committed to a battle by their commander so that they are available to address unforeseen situations or exploit suddenly developing...

 for a time. The brigade at this point was commanded by Brigadier General Lemuel C. Shepherd.


The brigade was assigned to III Amphibious Corps, a force almost 67,000 strong, in anticipation of the 15 July invasion. This time, the brigade was formed around the 4th Marine Regiment and the 22nd Marine Regiment
22nd Marine Regiment (United States)
The 22nd Marine Regiment is an inactive infantry regiment of the United States Marine Corps. Activated for service in World War II, they fought in the battles of Eniwetok, Guam and Okinawa. The regiment was under the command of the 6th Marine Division; took part in the occupation of Northern...

 ("22nd Marines"), with supporting units and artillery. This much larger brigade comprised 9,886 Marines and was to be the leading force invading the southern beaches of Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

 in conjunction with the Army's 4,500-man 305th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division. The southern landings were to coincide with the landings of the balance of III Amphibious Corps on the island's northern beaches. The brigade commenced training at Guadalcanal for the anticipated invasion, in conjunction with the 3rd Marine Division. Then, in early July, the two formations staged through the Marshall Islands and the Eniwetok Atoll in preparation for the invasion.

On 21 July the 22nd Marines landed on beaches around Agat
Agat, Guam
Agat is a village on the island of Guam, an unincorporated territory of the United States. It is located south of Apra Harbor on the island's western shore. The village's population has decreased since the island's 2000 census....

 while the 4th Marines landed at Bangi Point to the north. Opposing them were 22,000 Japanese troops. The most intense fighting struck the III Amphibious Corps to the north, which held through heavy Japanese counterattacks. The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade encountered lighter resistance on the southern beaches, but nonetheless fought a substantial Japanese force. Japanese troops occupied Gaan Point
Agat Bay
Agat Bay is a bay on the west coast of Guam. It is located immediately south of the Orote Peninsula, and stretches south past the village of Agat to Facpi Point. With a length of some seven kilometres, the bay stretches for nearly one fifth of the west coast of Guam...

, between the two regiments' landing zones. Japanese defenders had built fortifications into the point, including Type 41 75 mm Mountain Gun
Type 41 75 mm Mountain Gun
The Type 41 75 mm mountain gun is a Japanese license-built copy of the Krupp M.08 mountain gun. Originally it was the standard pack artillery weapon. After it was superseded by the Type 94 75 mm mountain gun, it was then used as an infantry "regimental" gun, deployed 4 to each infantry...

s, using them to pin down 20 amphibious vehicles
Landing Vehicle Tracked
The Landing Vehicle Tracked was a class of amphibious vehicles introduced by the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Army during World War II. Originally intended solely as cargo carriers for ship to shore operations, they rapidly evolved into assault troop and fire support vehicles as well...

 of the 22nd Marines and prevent the troops from advancing. That regiment subsequently spent most of the day capturing the point against stiff Japanese resistance. In the meantime, the 4th Marines advanced to Mount Alifan
Mount Alifan
Mount Alifan is a peak on the island of Guam. It is located in the southwest of the island.-References:*Bendure, G. & Friary, N. Micronesia:A travel survival kit. South Yarra, VIC: Lonely Planet....

 but were delayed by fierce Japanese resistance inland. At nightfall the Japanese mounted a large, coordinated counterattack which was eventually unsuccessful. The 305th Regimental Combat Team supported the Marines for several days before rejoining the rest of the 77th Infantry Division to the north. The 1st Brigade was 7 miles (11.3 km) south of the 3rd Marine Division and 77th Infantry Division landing zones to the north at Asan
Asan, Guam
Asan is a village located on the western shore of the U.S. territory of Guam. The municipality of Asan-Maina combines Asan with Maina, a community in the hills to the east. It was a primary landing site for United States Marines during Guam's liberation from the Japanese in World War II. Asan...

. On 25 July, the two forces cut off Orote Peninsula
Orote Peninsula
The Orote Peninsula is a four kilometre-long peninsula jutting from the west coast of Guam. It forms the southern coast of Apra Harbor, and its westernmost tip, Point Udall, is also Guam's westernmost point...

 between the two landing zones, and the brigade turned west and cleared the peninsula until 29 July against heavier resistance. It killed some 2,500 Japanese in the process.

By 28 July, the 3rd Marine Division and 77th Infantry Division had formed a continuous flank and were advancing north. On 6 August, the brigade joined them on the left, western flank. Here, Japanese forces staged last stand
Last stand
Last stand is a loose military term used to describe a body of troops holding a defensive position in the face of overwhelming odds. The defensive force usually takes very heavy casualties or is completely destroyed, as happened in "Custer's Last Stand" at the Battle of Little Big HornBryan Perrett...

s in their remaining fortifications, and holdouts on Mount Santa Rosa were cleared on 8 August, Ritidian Point
Ritidian Point
-References:*Bendure, G. & Friary, N. Micronesia:A travel survival kit. South Yarra, VIC: Lonely Planet....

 on August 10, and Pati Point
Pati Point
Pati Point is the easternmost point of Guam. It is located in the far north of the island, close to Anderson Air Force Base. A long reef-protected bay lies to the west of Pati Point, separating it from the island's northernmost point, Ritidian Point....

 the same day. The island was declared "officially" secure at 11:31 on 10 August, after 11,000 Japanese dead had been counted. However, thousands of Japanese troops fled to the woods of Guam after the fight, and mop-up operations continued long after the island was declared secure. By V-J Day, the island had cost 18,400 Japanese killed, 1,250 captured, 1,700 Americans killed and 6,000 injured. The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, however, only assisted in mop-up operations for a month.

On 9 September 1944, the brigade was disbanded and its elements were moved to Guadalcanal where the new 6th Marine Division was forming. That division was activated on 25 September 1944. Most of the Provisional Marine Brigade units were transferred to the command of the 6th Marine Division. The 29th Marine Regiment was added to form the division.

After the war


The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was briefly re-formed in the post-war
Post-war
A post-war period or postwar period is the interval immediately following the ending of a war and enduring as long as war does not resume. A post-war period can become an interwar period or interbellum when a war between the same parties resumes at a later date...

 era on 1 June 1947, by enlarging the 1st Battalion, 11th Marines. The force served as a contingency force for the Pacific Ocean area, based in Camp Witek, Guam. However, as post-war military spending was drastically cut, the brigade at this time was far undermanned, and considered only a "paper unit." It was again "downsized" and re-designated the 1st Provisional Artillery Battalion on 1 October 1947.

Korean War


The U.S. Marine Corps, which had been drastically reduced in size after World War II, was unprepared for another war at the outset of the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 on 25 June 1950. The Joint Chiefs of Staff
Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Joint Chiefs of Staff is a body of senior uniformed leaders in the United States Department of Defense who advise the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and the President on military matters...

 ordered the Marine Corps to ready a 15,000-man division
Division (military)
A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn several divisions typically make up a corps...

 for duty in Korea as a part of the United Nations Command
United Nations Command (Korea)
The United Nations Command is the unified command structure for the multinational military forces supporting the Republic of Korea during and after the Korean War...

 being created there. The Marine Corps began rebuilding the 1st Marine Division to wartime strength, but in the meantime assembled a 4,725-man force around the 5th Marine Regiment to assist in the war effort as quickly as possible. On 7 July the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was reactivated in California. One week later it sailed from Long Beach
Long Beach, California
Long Beach is a city situated in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the nation and the seventh-largest in California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257...

 and San Diego
San Diego, California
San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest city in California. The city is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, immediately adjacent to the Mexican border. The birthplace of California, San Diego is known for its mild year-round...

. The regiment, which had originally been slated for landing in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, bypassed that country and landed at Pusan in South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

 on 3 August. It was put under command of Brigadier General Edward A. Craig
Edward A. Craig
Edward A. Craig was a commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps, and a decorated combat veteran of World War II and the Korean War who eventually attained the rank of Lieutenant General. Craig is best known as the general who commanded the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade during its...

 as it sailed to Korea. Craig met the brigade in-country. The brigade was supported by Marine Aircraft Group 33. It became a subordinate unit of the Eighth United States Army under Lieutenant General Walton Walker
Walton Walker
Walton Harris Walker was an American army officer and the first commander of the U.S. Eighth Army during the Korean War.-Biography:...

, who placed it in his reserve
Military reserve
A military reserve, tactical reserve, or strategic reserve is a group of military personnel or units which are initially not committed to a battle by their commander so that they are available to address unforeseen situations or exploit suddenly developing...

.

Task Force Kean



The brigade was immediately moved to Masan
Masan
Masan was a formerly a municipal city in South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea. The city was situated on Masan Bay , approximately 35 km west of Busan. It was known for its textile industry, and it was the site of Hite Brewery's production facilities.During the control of the Mongolians, the...

, the western-most flank of the Pusan Perimeter which the Eighth Army had set up to resist the North Korean Army which was attempting to overrun the UN forces. The brigade joined the U.S. 25th Infantry Division and the 5th Regimental Combat Team, under Major General William B. Kean. The three units together formed "Task Force Kean."

General Walker and the Eighth Army began preparing a counteroffensive, the first conducted by the UN in the war, for 6 August. It would kick off with an attack by the U.S. reserve units on the Masan area to secure Chinju from the North Korean 6th Division, followed by a larger general push to the Kum River in the middle of the month. One of Walker's goals was to break up a suspected massing of North Korean troops near the Taegu area by forcing the diversion of some North Korean units southward. On 6 August, the Eighth Army issued the operational directive for the attack by Task Force Kean, a force of about 20,000 men. The plan of attack required the force to move west from positions held near Masan, seize the Chinju Pass, and secure the line as far as the Nam River. However, the offensive relied on the arrival of the entire U.S. 2nd Infantry Division, as well as three more battalions of American tanks.

Task Force Kean kicked off its attack on 7 August, moving out from Masan. It surged forward to Pansong, inflicting another 350 casualties on the North Koreans. There, they overran the North Korean 6th Division's headquarters. However the rest of the Task Force was slowed by North Korean resistance. Task Force Kean pressed on the Chindong-ni area, resulting in a confused battle where the fragmented force had to rely on air strikes and airdrops to keep it effective. Task Force Kean's offensive had collided with one being delivered simultaneously by the North Korean 6th Division.

Heavy fighting continued in the area for three days. By 9 August, Task Force Kean was poised to retake Chinju. The task force, aided by air power, initially advanced quickly though North Korean resistance was heavy. On 10 August, the Marines picked up the advance, inadvertently encountering the North Korean 83rd Motorized Regiment of the 105th Armored Division. F4U Corsair
F4U Corsair
The Vought F4U Corsair was a carrier-capable fighter aircraft that saw service primarily in World War II and the Korean War. Demand for the aircraft soon overwhelmed Vought's manufacturing capability, resulting in production by Goodyear and Brewster: Goodyear-built Corsairs were designated FG and...

s from the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing
1st Marine Aircraft Wing
The 1st Marine Aircraft Wing is an aviation unit of the United States Marine Corps that serves as the Aviation Combat Element of the III Marine Expeditionary Force. The wing is headquartered at Camp Foster on the island of Okinawa, Japan...

 strafed the retreating column repeatedly, inflicting 200 casualties and destroying about 100 of the regiment's equipment vehicles. However, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade forces were withdrawn from the force on 12 August to be redeployed elsewhere on the perimeter. Task Force Kean continued forward, supported by naval artillery and field artillery, capturing the area around Chondong-ni. At that time, Eighth Army requested several of its units to redeploy to Taegu to be used elsewhere on the front, particularly at the Naktong Bulge.

At the end of the counteroffensive on 14 August, Task Force Kean had failed in its objective of diverting North Korean troops from the north, and failed in its objective of reaching the Chinju pass. The NK 6th Division had been reduced to 3,000–4,000 and had to replenish its ranks with South Korean conscripts from Andong
Andong
Andong is a city in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, South Korea. It is the largest city in the northern part of the province with a population of 167,821 in October 2010. The Nakdong River flows through the city...

. Fighting in the region continued for the rest of the month.

First Naktong Bulge




Immediately north on the line, the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was desperately needed to break a stalemate between the U.S. 24th Infantry Division
U.S. 24th Infantry Division
The 24th Infantry Division was an infantry division of the United States Army. Before its most recent inactivation in 2006, it was based at Fort Riley, Kansas....

 and the NK 4th Division. Beginning at midnight on the night of 5–6 August, North Koreans had begun crossing the Naktong River at the Ohang ferry site, 3.5 miles (5.6 km) south of Pugong-ni and west of Yongsan, carrying light weapons and supplies over their heads or on rafts. At 02:00 on the morning of 6 August, the North Koreans began engaging the forces of 3rd Battalion, U.S. 34th Infantry Regiment
34th Infantry Regiment (United States)
The 34th Infantry Regiment is a Regular Army infantry regiment of the United States Army. It saw combat in World War I, in the Pacific Theater of Operations in World War II, and was the first full American regiment deployed in combat in the Korean War...

 and moved forward after a small fight, attempting to penetrate the lines to Yongsan. The North Korean infantry forced 3rd Battalion back, and the American battalion abandoned its command post to consolidate its positions. The North Korean attack caught the Americans, who were expecting an attack from further north, by surprise. Subsequently the North Koreans were able to capture a large amount of American equipment. The attack threatened to split the American lines and disrupt supply lines to the north.

Repeated American attacks resulted in a stalemate. By the morning of 7 August, North Koreans were able to press forward and capture the Cloverleaf Hill and Oblong-ni Ridge, critical terrain astride the main road in the bulge area. By 16:00 that day, the U.S. 9th Infantry Regiment, U.S. 2nd Infantry Division, a newly arrived unit, was sent to the region. 24th Infantry Division commander Major General John H. Church
John H. Church
Major General John H. Church was a U.S. Army officer who fought in World War I, World War II and in the Korean War.-Early Life:...

 immediately ordered it to attack the bulge salient
Salients, re-entrants and pockets
A salient is a battlefield feature that projects into enemy territory. The salient is surrounded by the enemy on three sides, making the troops occupying the salient vulnerable. The enemy's line facing a salient is referred to as a re-entrant...

. Despite a tenacious attack, the 9th Infantry was only able to regain part of Cloverleaf Hill before intense fighting stalled its movement.
The NK 4th Division, in the meantime, had constructed underwater bridges of sandbags, logs and rocks, finishing the first one the day before. It moved trucks and heavy artillery across the river through this bridge, as well as additional infantry and a few tanks. By the morning of 10 August an estimated two North Korean regiments were now across the river and occupying fortified positions. After a series of unsuccessful counterattacks The threat to Yongsan necessitated more U.S. reinforcements. As U.S. casualties mounted, a frustrated Walker ordered the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade to the area to turn the tide.

The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade mounted a massive offensive on Cloverleaf Hill and Obong-ni on 17 August. The offensive began at 08:00 on 17 August, with U.S. forces unleashing all heavy weapons available to them against the North Korean positions; artillery, mortars, M26 Pershing
M26 Pershing
The Heavy Tank M26 Pershing was an American heavy tank briefly used in World War II and in the Korean War. It was named after General John Pershing, who led the American Expeditionary Force in Europe in World War I....

 tanks, and airstrikes.
At first, tenacious North Korean defense halted the Marines who responded with artillery, raking Cloverleaf Hill. Heavy indirect fire forced the North Koreans out of their positions before the Marines and Task Force Hill eventually overwhelmed them, one hill at a time. The Marines approached Obong-ni first, destroying resistance on the slope with an airstrike and a barrage from U.S. tanks, but strong resistance caused heavy casualties, and they had to withdraw. The 18th North Korean Regiment, in control of the hill, mounted a disastrous counterattack in hopes of pushing the Marines back. The division's tactics of cutting off supplies and relying on surprise, which had provided them so much success up to this point, failed in the face of massive U.S. numerical superiority.

By nightfall on 18 August, 4th North Korean Division had been annihilated; huge numbers of deserters had weakened its numbers during the fight, but by that time, Obong-ni and Cloverleaf Hill had been retaken by the U.S. forces. Scattered groups of North Korean soldiers fled back across the Naktong, pursued by American planes and artillery fire. The next day, the remains of 4th Division had withdrawn across the river. In their hasty retreat, they left a large number of artillery pieces and equipment behind which the Americans later pressed into service.

The battle caused heavy casualties for both sides. By the end of the fight, the NK 4th Division had been completely destroyed, with only 300 or 400 men in each of its regiments. Of its original 7,000 men, the regiment now had a strength of only 3,500, having suffered over 1,200 killed
Killed in action
Killed in action is a casualty classification generally used by militaries to describe the deaths of their own forces at the hands of hostile forces. The United States Department of Defense, for example, says that those declared KIA need not have fired their weapons but have been killed due to...

. Several thousand of the members of the division deserted during the fight. Most of these men were South Korean civilians forcibly conscripted into the North Korean army. The 4th Division would not recover until much later in the war. The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade reported 66 Marines dead, 278 wounded, and one missing. In total, American forces suffered around 1,800 casualties during the war, including about a third them killed.

Second Naktong Bulge



By 1 September, the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was down to 4,290 men, having suffered 500 casualties in its month of Korean service. At that point, it was preparing to move back to Pusan to evacuate to Japan. There, the brigade was to join with more Marine reinforcements to reform the 1st Marine Division, which would then be a part of X Corps for a counterattack at Inchon
Battle of Inchon
The Battle of Inchon was an amphibious invasion and battle of the Korean War that resulted in a decisive victory and strategic reversal in favor of the United Nations . The operation involved some 75,000 troops and 261 naval vessels, and led to the recapture of the South Korean capital Seoul two...

. However, the North Korean Great Naktong Offensive delayed these plans, as the brigade was needed to repel one more North Korean crossing of the Naktong River.

At the same time, the 1st and 2nd Regiments of the NK 9th Division, in their first offensive of the war, stood only a few miles short of Yongsan after a successful river crossing and penetration of the American line. Division commander Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 Pak Kyo Sam felt the chances of capturing Yongsan were strong.

On the morning of 1 September, with only the shattered remnants of E Company at hand, the U.S. 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division had virtually no troops to defend Yongsan. Division commander Major General Lawrence B. Keiser formed ad-hoc units from his support troops but they were not enough to counter the North Korean attack.

On 2 September, Walker spoke by telephone with Major General Doyle O. Hickey, Deputy Chief of Staff
Chief of Staff
The title, chief of staff, identifies the leader of a complex organization, institution, or body of persons and it also may identify a Principal Staff Officer , who is the coordinator of the supporting staff or a primary aide to an important individual, such as a president.In general, a chief of...

, Far East Command
British Far East Command
The Far East Command was a British military command which had 2 distinct periods. These were firstly, 18 November 1940 – 7 January 1942 succeeded by the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command , and secondly, 1963 – 1971 succeeded by Australia, New Zealand, and United Kingdom Force...

 in Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

. He described the situation around the Perimeter and said the most serious threat was along the boundary between the U.S. 2nd and 25th Infantry Divisions. He said he had started the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade toward Yongsan but had not yet released them for commitment there and he wanted to be sure that General of the Army
General of the Army
General of the Army is a military rank used in some countries to denote a senior military leader, usually a General in command of a nation's Army. It may also be the title given to a General who commands an Army in the field....

 Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

 approved his use of them, since he knew that this would interfere with other plans of the Far East Command. Walker said he did not think he could restore the 2nd Division lines without using them. Hickey replied that MacArthur had the day before approved the use of the Marines if and when Walker considered it necessary. A few hours after this conversation Walker, at 13:15, attached the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade to the U.S. 2nd Division and ordered a coordinated attack by all available elements of the division and the Marines, with the mission of destroying the North Koreans east of the Naktong River in the 2nd Division sector and of restoring the river line. The Marines were to be released from 2nd Division control as soon as this mission was accomplished.

Counteroffensives


A conference was held that afternoon at the U.S. 2nd Division command post attended by leaders of the U.S. Eighth Army, 2nd Division, and 1st Provisional Marine Brigade. A decision was reached that the Marines would attack west at 08:00 on 3 September astride the Yongsan-Naktong River road; U.S. Army troops would attack northwest above the Marines and attempt to re-establish contact with the U.S. 23rd Infantry
23rd Infantry Regiment (United States)
The 23rd Infantry Regiment is an infantry regiment in the United States Army originally formed on June 26th 1812. The 23rd saw action in 14 battles during the War of 1812...

; the 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion
2nd Engineer Battalion (United States)
The 2nd Engineer Battalion is an engineering battalion in the United States Army which can trace its lineage back to 1861.-Lineage:Organized 31 December 1861 in the Regular Army at Washington, D.C., from new and existing companies of engineers as a provisional engineer battalion Expanded 14 March-7...

, remnants of the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry, and elements of the 72nd Tank Battalion would attack on the left flank, or south, of the Marines to reestablish contact with the 25th Division.
The troops holding this line on the first hills west of Yongsan were G Company, 9th Infantry, north of the road running west through Kogan-ni to the Naktong; A Company, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, southward across the road; and, below the engineers, F Company, 9th Infantry. Between 03:00 and 04:30 3 September, the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade moved to forward assembly areas. The 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines assembled north of Yongsan, the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines south of it. The 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines established security positions southwest of Yongsan along the approaches into the regimental sector from that direction.

Fighting began the night of 2 September, and at dawn 3 September, U.S. troops gained the high ground which was part of the designated Marine line of departure. G Company with help from Marine tank fire eventually overcame heavy resistance, but this early morning battle for the line of departure delayed the planned attack. The Marine attack started at 08:55 toward North Korean-held high ground 0.5 mile (0.80467 km) westward. The 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, south of the east-west road, gained its objective when North Korean soldiers broke under air attack. Air strikes, artillery concentrations, and machine gun and rifle fire of the 1st Battalion now caught North Korean reinforcements in open rice paddies moving up from the second ridge and killed most of them. In the afternoon, the 1st Battalion advanced to Hill 91.
North of the road the 2nd Battalion had a harder time, encountering heavy North Korean fire when it reached the northern tip of Hill 116, 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Yongsan. The North Koreans held the hill during the day, and at night D Company of the 5th Marines was isolated there. In the fighting west of Yongsan Marine armor knocked out four T-34 tanks, and North Korean crew members abandoned a fifth. That night the Marines dug in on a line 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Yongsan. The 2nd Battalion had lost 18 killed and 77 wounded during the day, most of them in D Company. Total Marine casualties for 3 September were 34 killed and 157 wounded. Coordinating its attack with that of the Marines, the 9th Infantry advanced abreast of them on the north.

Just before midnight, the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, received orders to pass through the 2nd Battalion and continue the attack in the morning. That night torrential rains made the troops miserable and lowered morale. The North Koreans were unusually quiet and launched few patrols or attacks. The morning of 4 September, the weather was clear. The counterattack continued at 08:00 4 September, at first against little opposition. North of the road the 2nd Battalion quickly completed occupation of Hill 116, from which the North Koreans had withdrawn during the night. South of the road the 1st Battalion occupied what appeared to be a command post of the NK 9th Division. Tents were still up and equipment lay scattered about. Two abandoned T-34 tanks in excellent condition stood there. Tanks and ground troops advancing along the road found it littered with North Korean dead and destroyed and abandoned equipment. By nightfall the counterattack had gained another 3 miles (4.8 km).

That morning, 5 September, after a 10-minute artillery preparation, the American troops moved out in their third day of counterattack. It was a day of rain. As the attack progressed, the Marines approached Obong-ni Ridge and the 9th Infantry neared Cloverleaf Hill where they had fought tenaciously during the First Battle of Naktong Bulge the month before. There, at midmorning, on the high ground ahead, they could see North Korean troops digging in. The Marines approached the pass between the two hills and took positions in front of the North Korean-held high ground. At 14:30 approximately 300 North Korean infantry came from the village of Tugok and concealed positions, striking B Company on Hill 125 just north of the road and east of Tugok. Two T-34 tanks surprised and knocked out the two leading Marine M26 Pershing tanks. Since the destroyed Pershing tanks blocked fields of fire, four others withdrew to better positions. Assault teams of B Company and the 1st Battalion with 3.5-inch rocket launchers rushed into action, took the tanks under fire, and destroyed both of them, as well as an armored personnel carrier following behind. The North Korean infantry attack was brutal and inflicted 25 casualties on B Company before reinforcements from A Company and supporting Army artillery and the Marine 81-mm. mortars helped repel it. September 5 was a day of heavy casualties everywhere on the Pusan Perimeter. Army units had 102 killed, 430 wounded, and 587 missing in action for a total of 1,119 casualties. Marine units had 35 killed, 91 wounded, and none missing in action, for a total of 126 battle casualties. Total American battle casualties for the day were 1,245 men.

The American counteroffensive of 3–5 September west of Yongsan, according to prisoner statements, resulted in one of the bloodiest and most terrifying debacles of the war for a North Korean division. Even though remnants of the NK 9th Division, supported by the low strength NK 4th Division, still held Obong-ni Ridge, Cloverleaf Hill, and the intervening ground back to the Naktong on 6 September, the division's offensive strength had been spent at the end of the American counterattack. The NK 9th and 4th divisions were not able to resume the offensive.

Deactivation


During the previous night, at 20:00 4 September, Walker had ordered the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade released from operational control of the 2nd Division effective at midnight, 5 September. At 00:15, 6 September, the Marines began leaving their lines at Obong-ni Ridge and headed for Pusan. They would join the 1st Marine Regiment and 7th Marine Regiment in forming the new 1st Marine Division.

Walker had protested in vain against releasing the brigade, believing he needed it and all the troops then in Korea if he were to stop the North Korean offensive against the Pusan Perimeter. The order prompted a heated disagreement between Walker's command and MacArthur's command. Walker said he could not hold the Pusan Perimeter without the Marines in reserve, while MacArthur said he could not conduct the Inchon landings without the Marines. MacArthur responded by assigning the 17th Infantry Regiment
17th Infantry Regiment (United States)
The 17th Infantry Regiment is a United States Army infantry regiment. While the 17th Infantry Regiment was organized on January 11, 1812, it was consolidated with the 3rd Infantry due to extremely heavy losses at Frenchtown, and lost its identity two years later until May 3, 1861, when it was...

, and the 65th Infantry Regiment to Walker's reserves, but Walker did not feel the inexperienced troops would be effective. Walker felt the transition endangered the Perimeter at a time when it was unclear if it would hold. The brigade completed its merging with the 1st Marine Division in Japan and was deactivated as an independent unit on 13 September.

Unit awards


Though not considered a "permanent" unit, the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was awarded campaign streamers for each of its missions, creating a lineage for the unit. Those streamers include:
Streamer Award Year(s) Additional Info
Presidential Unit Citation Streamer 1950 Pusan Perimeter
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Streamer 1950 Pusan Perimeter
Navy Unit Commendation
Navy Unit Commendation
The Navy Unit Commendation of the United States Navy is an award that was established by order of the Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal on 18 December 1944...

1944 Guam, Marianas Islands
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Streamer
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal is a service decoration of the Second World War which was awarded to any member of the United States military who served in the Pacific Theater from 1941 to 1945 and was created on November 6, 1942 by issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The medal was...

1944 Guam
World War II Victory Streamer
World War II Victory Medal
The World War II Victory Medal is a decoration of the United States military which was created by an act of Congress in July 1945. The decoration commemorates military service during World War II and is awarded to any member of the United States military, including members of the armed forces of...

1945 Pacific War
Pacific War
The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East...

National Defense Service Streamer
National Defense Service Medal
The National Defense Service Medal is a military service medal of the United States military originally commissioned by President Dwight D. Eisenhower...

1950 Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

Korean Service Streamer
Korean Service Medal
The Korean Service Medal is an award of the United States military and was created in November 1950 by executive order of President Harry Truman. The Korean Service Medal is the primary United States medal for participation in the Korean War and is awarded to any U.S. service member, who...

1950 Korean War

See also


  • 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade (United States)
    1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade (United States)
    1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade is a unit in the I Marine Expeditionary Force and is the "middleweight" crisis response force of choice in the European and Southern Command Areas of Operation...