9th Marine Regiment

3rd Marine Division



On March 8, 1965, the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) landed at Da Nang. The MEB included two Marine Battalion Landing Teams (BLTs), 3rd Bn, 9th Marines, and 1st Bn, 3rd Marines. In addition, the landing included Marine Amphibious Brigade (MAB) Headquarters, and the Regimental Landing Team (RLT). All units moved into positions around the Da Nang airfield in support of Marine units arriving prior to the landing. These units included Battery "A" of the 1st  LAAM BN, Company "C" of the 7th Engineer Bn, and HMM-365 after relieving HMM-163.

Marine Aircraft Group-16 became operational on March 9th along with the arrival of HMM-162. On March 10th the 3rd  Bn, 9th  Marines established defensive positions on Hills 327 and 268 overlooking the Da Nang airfield. March 11th saw the Brigade Artillery Group (BAG) including Batteries "A" and "F" of the 12th  Marines. The Brigade Engineer Group (BEG) and Brigade Logistic Support Group (LBSG) were activated on March 12th. The 9th MEB was now fully operational and in place.

On March 14th Sub-Unit #2 was designated Marine Air Base Squadron-17 (MABS-16) and Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron-16 (H&MS-16) under the operational control of MAG-16 at Da Nang airfield.  By March 31st the 9th MEB total strength was 5,140 Marines.

On April 10th the 2nd Bn, 3rd  Marines landed on Red Beach 2 and the fighter/attack F-4 Phantoms of VMFA-531 arrived at Da Nang.

The landing of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade at Da Nang in 1965 marked the beginning of large-scale Marine involvement in Vietnam. By summer 1968, after the enemy's Tet Offensive, Marine Corps strength in Vietnam rose to a peak of approximately 85,000. The Marine withdrawal began in 1969 as the South Vietnamese began to assume a larger role in the fighting; the last ground forces were out of Vietnam by June 1971. The Vietnam War, longest in the history of the Marine Corps, exacted a high cost as well with over 13,000 Marines killed and more than 88,000 wounded. In the spring of 1975, Marines evacuated embassy staffs, American citizens, and refugees in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Saigon, Republic of Vietnam. Later, in May 1975, Marines played an integral role in the rescue of the crew of the SS Mayaguez captured off the coast of Cambodia

Today's Marine Corps stands ready to continue in the proud tradition of those who so valiantly fought and died at Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, the Chosin Reservoir, and Khe Sanh. Combining a long and proud heritage of faithful service to the nation, with the resolve to face tomorrow's challenges will continue to keep the Marine Corps the "best of the best."


1969 9th Marines Leave Vietnam






Country  - United States
Branch  - USMC
Type  - Infantry regiment
Active  - November 10, 1917April 25, 1919
-January 1, 1943Dec. 31, 1945
-October 1, 1947October 17
- 1949
-March 17, 1952July 21,
Role  - Locate, close with and destroy the enemy with fire and maneuver
Part of  - 3rd Marine Division
III Marine Expeditionary Force
Garrison/HQ - Deactivated
Nickname  - "Striking Ninth"
Battles/Wars - World War II
 * Battle of Bougainville
 * Battle of Guam
 * Battle of Iwo Jima
 Vietnam War
 * Operation Dewey Canyon
Notable  -Commanders Lemuel C. Shepherd
Robert H. Barrow


The 9th Marine Regiment was an infantry regiment of the United States Marine Corps. Formed during World War II it served until the early 1990s when it was deactivated to make room for three light armor reconnaissance battalions.

The regiment was comprised of three infantry battalions and one headquarters battalion:

 Early years

The 9th Marines were activated at Quantico, Virginia on November 20, 1917. A month later they deployed to Cuba and were attached to the 3rd Marine Brigade. That same month they redeployed with the brigade to Galveston, Texas in case of any German operation in the Carribean or in Mexico. After World War I the regiment was deactivated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 25, 1919.

World War II

The 3rd Battalion 9th Marines was reactivated at Camp Elliot, San Diego on February 12, 1942. In the following months the rest of the battalions were also reactiveted until January 1, 1942 when the regiment officially re-formed. They attached to the 3rd Marine Division at Camp Pendleton on September 16, 1943. The Regiment was deactivated at Camp Pendleton on December 31, 1945.

Vietnam War

The 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, was deployed to Vietnam in March 1965 as the first ground combat unit in Vietnam. Their mission was to defend the Air Base at Da Nang. The first significant contact was in April 1965. The regimental headquarters arrived in country in July of that year.

The Regiment saw action in Vietnam’s I Corps, primarily in Quang Tri and Thua Thien provinces, although a number of its earlier operations were also conducted in the southern I Corps provinces of Quang Nam, Quang Tin, and Quang Ngai. The 9th Marines served as a vital stop to the North Vietnamese penetrations across the DMZ and from along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Cambodia.

Some of its early operations included Double Eagle, Macon and Prairie.

In April and May 1967, elements of the regiment defeated two NVA Regiments In The Hills north of Khe Sanh). In Operation Buffalo, elements of the 1st Battalion made contact north of Con Thien with regimental size NVA forces in an engagement that lasted through May, accounting for over 1300 enemy dead.

In one of the most successful operations of the war, the regiment conducted Operation Dewey Canyon in the A Shau Valley, cut by the Song Da Krong river. The 9th Regiment exacted a deadly toll on the NVA. These actions precluded another build-up and assault from Route 622 from Laos into South Vietnam as the NVA had the year before during the Tet Offensive.

Operation Dewey Canyon netted, among other weaponry, 16 artillery pieces, 73 anti-aircraft guns, hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition, 92 trucks, and hundreds of thousands pounds of rice.

In the words of Gen Stillwell in his report to Gen Abrams on Operation Dewey Canyon:

“...this ranks with the most significant undertakings of the Vietnam conflict in the concept and results...”

The 9th Marines were redeployed from Vietnam in August 1969 as part of the first redeployments.


The first Battalion was reactivated in 2005, 2nd Battalion will stand up in 2007, while 3rd Battalion, will reactivate in fiscal year 2008.


8 Marines from the 9th Marine Regiment serving during the Vietnam War were awarded the Medal of Honor:

1st Battalion

2nd Battalion

3rd Battalion

Sgt. Walter K. Singleton -- KIA

Lt. Harvey Barnum Jr.

2nd Lt. John Paul Bobo -- KIA

Alpha Company -- 24 March 1967

Hotel Company -- 18 December 1965

India Company -- 30 March 1967

Cpt. Wesley Fox

L.Cpl. Thomas Noonan Jr.-- KIA

L.Cpl. Thomas E. Creek -- KIA

Alpha Company -- 22 February 1969

Hotel Company -- 5 February 1969

India Company -- 13 Feb. 1969


Cpl. William Morgan -- KIA

Alfred M. Wilson -- KIA


Hotel Company -- 25 February 1969

Mike Company -- 3 March 1969


Unit awards

United States Marine Corps Portal


  1.  Rottman, Gordon L. (2002). U.S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle – Ground and Air Units in the Pacific War.. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-31906-5. 
  2. Marines: 9th Marines Returns From the Dead. Strategy Page. Retrieved on 2007-01-08.

External links

Early history of the 9th Marines




While the 3rd Marine Division was in New Zealand during WWII preparing for operations against the Japanese strongholds in the Pacific, the division commander, Major General Charles D. Barrett, directed a contest be held within the Division to pick the best design for a shoulder patch to be worn on the uniform. An unknown Marine came up with a design based on the CALTRAP and this was selected as the best. The design was approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps as the official insignia of the 3rd Marine Division and he authorized that a shoulder patch embodying this insignia could be worn on the left shoulder of the uniform by all members of the Division. The official insignia is a scarlet triangle shield with a narrow gold line near the outer edge. In the center of the shield is a gold and black  CALTRAP, an ancient instrument of war with four metal points so disposed that any three of them being on the ground the fourth projects upward thereby impeding the advance of infantry or cavalry. As adopted for the insignia it means literally: "DON'T TREAD ON  ME" or 'ALWAYS READY." The three foundation points of the CALTRAP represent the division number. This ancient device was used by the Germans during WWII when they manufactured it of metal tubing and deposited hundreds of them in traffic ways and it impeded the movement of even those enemy vehicles equipped with self-seal tires, since, being of hollow tubing the punctures could not self-seal. Shortly after WWII the Marine Corps abolished the wearing of division patches on the uniform and the 3rd Marine Division was inactivated. During the Korean War the 3rd Marine Division was again activated and for practical and sentimental reasons the old CALTRAP insignia was painted on all combat vehicles and used generally for marking other items of organizational equipment and it again became the recognized insignia of the "Fighting Third" In 1952 the words: "FIDELITY-HONOR-VALOR" were added to the insignia and the CALTRAP has remained the insignia of this famous combat division ever since.