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1st Battalion 9th Marines

 

 

The Walking Dead Reactivated

By Trista Talton - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Apr 19, 2007

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — If Ho Chi Minh could see them now.1st Battalion, 9th Marines, reactivated Wednesday in a ceremony that drew former battalion members from all over the country.“We are so very well aware of the legacy you provided us,” Lt. Col. Bradley Vickers, the battalion commander, told a crowd of former 1/9 Marines.One of the most combat-decorated battalions in the Corps, 1/9 got its macabre nickname during a speech former Vietnamese Prime Minister Ho Chi Minh made in 1966. Minh called the Marines the “walking dead,” speaking of them as already deceased, just not buried.The battalion sustained the longest combat tour in Marine Corps history — 47 months and seven days. “The Walking Dead” also had the highest casualty rate in Corps history.The battalion was deactivated in September 1994. It was supposed to reactivate in October 2005, but the move was delayed because of significant shortfalls in personnel and equipment.Still, members of the battalion deployed to Iraq, the Horn of Africa and Afghanistan and took the lead in testing the Modular Tactical Vest and other gear while awaiting the unit’s formal reactivation.Under a grayish sky with the rippling New River Inlet as the backdrop, former 1/9 Marines proudly watched as the battalion’s current 935 leathernecks stood in formation during the ceremony.“It was something like I never felt before,” said William Manning, a retired staff sergeant who served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. “I’m proud to be a part of the 1/9 legacy. I would go to Iraq right now if they would let me go.”

 

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC by THE LOVINSPOONFUL

 

 

Sergeant Walter K. Singleton -- KIA

Alpha Company -- 24 March 1967

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The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
to

SINGLETON, WALTER K.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, Company A, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division. Place and Date: Gio Linh District, Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, 24 March 1967. Entered service at: Memphis, Tenn. Born: 7 December 1944, Memphis, Tenn.

Citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Singleton's company was conducting combat operations when the lead platoon received intense small arms, automatic weapons, rocket, and mortar fire from a well entrenched enemy force. As the company fought its way forward, the extremely heavy enemy fire caused numerous friendly casualties. Sensing the need for early treatment of the wounded, Sgt. Singleton quickly moved from his relatively safe position in the rear of the foremost point of the advance and made numerous trips through the enemy killing zone to move the injured men out of the danger area. Noting that a large part of the enemy fire was coming from a hedgerow, he seized a machinegun and assaulted the key enemy location, delivering devastating fire as he advanced. He forced his way through the hedgerow directly into the enemy strong point. Although he was mortally wounded, his fearless attack killed eight of the enemy and drove the remainder from the hedgerow. Sgt. Singleton's bold actions completely disorganized the enemy defense and saved the lives of many of his comrades. His daring initiative selfless devotion to duty and indomitable fighting spirit reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps, and his performance upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Citation Courtesy of www.HomeOfHeroes.com

 

 

 Captain Wesley Fox

Alpha Company -- 22 February 1969

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The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
to

FOX, WESLEY L.

Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, Company A, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division. Place and date: Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, 22 February 1969. Entered service at: Leesburg, Va. Born: 30 September 1931, Herndon, Va.

Citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as commanding officer of Company A, in action against the enemy in the northern A Shau Valley. Capt. (then 1st Lt.) Fox's company came under intense fire from a large well concealed enemy force. Capt. Fox maneuvered to a position from which he could assess the situation and confer with his platoon leaders. As they departed to execute the plan he had devised, the enemy attacked and Capt. Fox was wounded along with all of the other members of the command group, except the executive officer. Capt. Fox continued to direct the activity of his company. Advancing through heavy enemy fire, he personally neutralized one enemy position and calmly ordered an assault against the hostile emplacements. He then moved through the hazardous area coordinating aircraft support with the activities of his men. When his executive officer was mortally wounded, Capt. Fox reorganized the company and directed the fire of his men as they hurled grenades against the enemy and drove the hostile forces into retreat. Wounded again in the final assault, Capt. Fox refused medical attention, established a defensive posture, and supervised the preparation of casualties for medical evacuation. His indomitable courage, inspiring initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger inspired his marines to such aggressive action that they overcame all enemy resistance and destroyed a large bunker complex. Capt. Fox's heroic actions reflect great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps, and uphold the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Citation Courtesy of www.HomeOfHeroes.com

 

 

Battalion History

Active   - March 1, 1942 September 9, 1994
October 2005 — present
Country   - United States
Branch   - USMC
Type   - Infantry regiment
Role   - Locate, close with and destroy the enemy through fire and maneuver
Part of   - 6th Marine Regiment
2nd Marine Division
Garrison/HQ- Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune
Nickname  - "The Walking Dead"
Battles/wars- World War II
* Battle of Bougainville
* Battle of Guam
* Battle of Iwo Jima
Vietnam War
* Operation Deckhouse Five
* Operation Dewey Canyon
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Commanders
Current   -
commander
LtCol Bradley C. Vickers
Notable   -
commanders
Lemuel C. Shepherd

 

The 1st Battalion 9th Marines (1/9) is an infantry battalion of the United States Marine Corps. Formed during World War II it served until the mid-1990s when it was deactivated to make room for one of three light armor reconnaissance battalions. In late 2005, the battalion was once again activated and attached to the 6th Marine Regiment at Camp Lejeune. Although the first full company has deployed, 1/9 is not expected to be ready for deployment as a battalion until late 2007.

During the Vietnam War, 1/9 sustained the highest casualty rate in Marine Corps history.

Current Units

The battalion is comprised of three infantry companies and one weapons company:

Alpha Company

Bravo Company

Charlie Company

Weapons Company

Headquarters & Service Company

Vietnam War

The battalion endured the longest sustained combat and suffered the highest killed in action (KIA)" rate in Marine Corps history, especially during the Battle of July Two. The battalion was engaged in combat for 47 months and 7 days, from June 15, 1965 to October 19, 1966 and December 11, 1966 to July 14, 1969. 1/9 sustained casualties during its entire Vietnam service. Based on a typical battalion strength of 800 Marines and Navy hospital corpsmen, 93.63% (747) were Killed In Action (KIA) and 0.25% (2) were Missing In Action (MIA).

The 1980s & 1990s

Deactivated on September 9, 1994 and redesignated 2nd Battalion 1st Marines. The battalion remained inactive from 1994 through 2004.

Global War on Terror

The 1st Battalion 9th Marines was reactivated in October 2005. In April 2006, after only a 30 day work-up cycle, Alpha Company deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and completed a successful six month deployment to Forward Operating Base Grizzly in Camp Ashraf, Iraq. During this time the company conducted security and stabilization operations north of Al Khalis in the Diyala Governorate, working jointly with Military Police, Cavalry and Field Artillery units from the Army National Guard. Alpha company returned in October of 2006 without the loss of any Marines.

 Medal of Honor recipients

4 Marines from the 1st Battalion 9th Marines have received the Medal of Honor:

Wesley L. Fox

John H. Leims

Walter K. Singleton

Frank P. Witek

Unit awards

Presidential Unit Citation with One Bronze Star

Navy Unit Commendation

Meritorious Unit Commendation Streamer with One Bronze Star

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with Four Bronze Stars

World War II Victory Medal

National Defense Service Medal with One Bronze Star

Korean Service Medal

Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with One Bronze Star

Vietnam Service Medal with Two Silver Stars

Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Streamer

References

Official USMC website for 1st Battalion 9th Marines. Accessed on 2006-07-10.

History. 1stBattalion9thMarines.com. Retrieved on 2006-07-29.

 

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