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Friday, November 24th, 2017

 

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On This Day
Marine Corps History

Today is November 24, 2017

1982 The last F-4 “Phantom” fighters departed Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS), El Toro, California. Flight operations have been slowly phased out at MCAS El Toro due to the noise levels of modern aircraft and their incompatibility with neighboring communities. This marked the end of a twenty-year era at the air station.

1982 The 32nd Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) arrived at Morehead City, North Carolina, from Beirut, Lebanon, concluding its Mediterranean deployment. The 32nd MAU was relieved in Beirut on 29 October 1982 by the 24th MAU and participated in a training exercise in Morocco prior to its return.

1984 The USS Vandegrift (FFG-48) was commissioned in Seattle, Washington. Built by Todd Pacific Shipyards Corporation, the USS Vandegrift was named in honor of the late General Alexander A. Vandegrift, the eighteenth Commandant of the Marine Corps. An Oliver Hazard Perry-class ship, the Vandegrift's single arm launcher is capable of firing standard and Harpoon missiles.

1985 The Marine Corps Astronaut Selection Board selected 18 Marines to represent the Corps as potential candidates for the NASA astronaut training program. Captain E. Deborah Elke stationed at Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, was selected as a mission specialist candidate marking the first time a woman Marine was selected. NASA will screen applications from all services in early 1986.

1992 Marines lowered the flag at Subic Bay, U.S. Naval Facility, Republic of the Philippines for the last time during ceremonies to turnover the facility to the government of the Philippines. The withdrawal from the Philippines came 14 months after the Philippine Senate rejected the proposed treaty of friendship, cooperation, and security on 16 September 1991, ending almost a century of U.S. presence in the Philippines.

2001 The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), aboard the Bataan amphibious ready group (ARG) arrived in the Arabian Sea after receiving orders to deploy from the Mediterranean Sea. The Bataan ARG joins the Peleliu ARG (with the 15th MEU on board) and brings the total number of Marines on standby in the area to more than 4,000. The 26th MEU deployed in late September, relieving the 24th MEU.

2001 The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), aboard the Bataan amphibious ready group (ARG) arrived in the Arabian Sea after receiving orders to deploy from the Mediterranean Sea. The Bataan ARG joins the Peleliu ARG (with the 15th MEU on board) and brings the total number of Marines on standby in the area to more than 4,000. The 26th MEU deployed in late September, relieving the 24th MEU.

2001 About 250 World War II Navajo Code Talkers were recognized for the vital role they played in defeating the Japanese in the Pacific campaigns and were awarded the Congressional Silver Medal. The medal, in commemoration of the Navajo code, which remained classified until 1968, depicts two Marine Navajo Code Talkers communicating a message by radio and also bears the Code Talkers emblem alongside the Marine Corps emblem. The original 29 Code Talkers were awarded Congressional Gold Medals earlier this year.

2003 The last CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter was delivered to the Marine Corps Air Station New River by officials from the manufacturer, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 (HMH-461), the first squadron to receive the CH-53E in December 1980, was also the last. The Marine Corps received 172 of the second-generation CH-53 helicopters over the past 23 years and has utilized the CH-53E in nearly every engagement and humanitarian operation since Vietnam.

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Chesty Puller, USMC

November 24, 2017

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