2nd Battalion 4th Marines

2nd Battalion 4th Marines

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment

caption= 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment insignia
dates= *April 1914 - October 4, 1927
*September 18, 1932 - May 6, 1942
*February 1, 1944 - February 1946
*September 2, 1952 - present
country= United States
branch= USMC
type= Infantry battalion
role= Locate, close with and destroy the enemy
command_structure= 5th Marine Regiment
1st Marine Division
garrison= Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
nickname= Magnificent Bastards
motto= "Second to None"
battles= 'Banana Wars
* Occupation of the Dominican Republic
World War II
* Battle of Guadalcanal
* Battle of Okinawa
Vietnam War
* Operation Hastings
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Desert Fox
Operation Iraqi Freedom
* Battle of Ramadi (2004)

2nd Battalion, 4th Marines (2/4) is an infantry battalion of the United States Marine Corps. The battalion, nicknamed the "Magnificent Bastards", is based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California and are a part of the 5th Marine Regiment and 1st Marine Division.


Early years

2nd Battalion, 4th Marines began in April 1914 during World War I when it was activated as one of the three battalions of the 4th Marine Regiment. Shortly after being activated, the battalion deployed to Mexico for expeditionary duty. The presence of American forces offshore proved to be sufficient enough pressure on the Mexican government to act to end the threat to Americans.

In 1916, civil war broke out in the Dominican Republic and the Dominican Government was unable to end the strife. President Woodrow Wilson dispatched American forces. 2/4 went ashore in the Dominican Republic and, after several clashes with rebel forces, successfully put down the revolution. Occupation duty followed pending the establishment of an elected government. The battalion departed the Dominican Republic in August 1924 for San Diego, California.

During October 1926 the Federal government directed the Marine Corps to furnish units to guard the mail because the postal service had experienced several robberies. The battalion was directed to safeguard mail transported by rail and truck west of the Mississippi river. The robberies promptly stopped.

April 1927 found the battalion en route to Tientsin, China. Their mission was to reinforce American forces already in place against rebelling Chinese nationalist forces. On October 4, 1927, 2/4 was re-designated as 2nd Battalion, 12th Marines. With this re-designation, 2/4's lineage and honors were transferred to 2/12. A new 2/4 would be activated in the future, but for lineage and honors purposes it would in no way be connected with the old 2/4.

On September 18, 1932 in Shanghai, China the new 2/4 was activated. This began the lineage of the 2/4 we know today. The battalion supported the American sector of Shanghai after fighting nearby had broken out between Chinese and Japanese forces. The battalion's presence deterred a Japanese takeover of the settlement after they had driven Chinese forces from the surrounding area.

World War II

Deteriorating relations between the United States and Japan caused the 4th Marines to be withdrawn from China in November 1941. The battalion transferred to Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines and was given the task of protecting the Olongapo Naval Station. The battalion was ordered to move to the island fortress of Corregidor in the mouth of Manila Bay after the attack on Pearl Harbor. After unrelenting bombardment the Japanese launched an amphibious assault on the island in May 1942. Though under-equipped and outnumbered, the Fourth Marine Regiment fought valiantly; they were eventually forced to surrender on May 6, 1942 under orders from Major General Jonathan M. Wainwright, U.S. Army.

On February 1, 1944, the battalion was reactivated on Guadalcanal with the Marines from Fourth Battalion, First Raider Regiment. The battalion's first assignment was to take part in the assault on Emirau Island. During the remainder of WWII the battalion saw action in the Battles of Guam (2/4 was the first ashore) and of Okinawa. On Okinawa, the battalion was involved in the fighting for the Motobu Peninsula, the capture of Naha, and the assault on the Oruku Peninsula. Once organized resistance ended, the regiment was redeployed to Guam to prepare for the assault on mainland Japan.

Following the surrender of Japan, Fourth Marines seized and occupied the large naval base at Yokosuka in Tokyo Bay. This gesture was designed to avenge the capture of the "Old Fourth" on Corregidor. The Marines of Second Battalion, Fourth Marines were the first American combat troops to set foot in Mainland Japan, landing on Futtsu Cape. They were sent ashore to ensure the approaches to Tokyo Bay were secure. During the latter part of 1945 the battalion maintained perimeter defense for the Yokosuka Naval Base. On January 1, 1946 the battalion was relieved of all duties in Japan and sailed for Camp Pendleton, California. In February, as part of the demobilization, 2/4 was deactivated. 2/4 was reactivated on March 8, 1946 in Tsingtao, China. Its first mission was to assist in repatriation of Japanese civilian and military personnel, as well as provide security for the American Naval base at Tsingtao. The battalion was relieved of this mission and sailed for Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in September 1946. 2/4 was again deactivated on November 18, 1947.

The 1950s and 1960s

The battalion was reactivated on September 2 1952 for the Korean War; however, they did not see action because of the end of hostilities. The battalion arrived in Japan as part of the Fourth Marines on 24 August 1953 and was assigned the mission of defending southern Japan. To maintain its combat readiness the battalion trained in amphibious operations on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The Fourth Marine Regiment was transferred to Hawaii in 1953 and here the battalion became part of the First Marine Brigade. The battalion then settled down for a ten year tour of duty.

Vietnam War

The prersent day unit insignia was designed in October-November 1963 (less lower pennant) at the direction of Lt. Col. D.T. Doxey. Subsequently, 2nd Battalion 4th Marines was once again committed to ground combat operations, this time in Vietnam. In May 1965 the battalion landed at Chu Lai. The first major engagement for the battalion, then under the command of Lt. Col. Joseph R. ("Bull") Fisher, was Operation Starlite (the first regimental sized battle for American forces since the Korean War) in August 1965. It was a combined amphibious/helicopterborne assault on enemy fortified positions of the Van Tuong Peninsula, convert|15|mi|km south of the Chu Lai airstrip. Six days after the operation had begun; the 1st Viet Cong Regiment was decisively defeated. During Operation Starlite, Lance Corporal Joe C. Paul (Hotel Company) became the battalion's first Medal of Honor recipient.

Beginning in 1966, combat operations measurably increased with the battalion participating in Operation Utah, Operation Texas, Operation Hastings, a coordinated Marine/South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) search and destroy mission and Operation Prairie I. . During Operation Prairie I, Captain Howard V. Lee became the battalion's second Medal of Honor recipient. On June 25, 1966 Operation Jay began about 30 kilometers northwest of Hue, and lasted nine days. 2/4 landed north of the North Vietnamese 812th Main Force Battalion, and the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines landed south of the enemy's position. Caught in between the two Marine units, the enemy suffered over 80 dead in nine days of fighting [http://hqinet001.hqmc.usmc.mil/hd/Historical/This_Month_History/06_June.htm ] . After these actions, on 24 September 1966, by Battalion Order No. 5600.1B, the lower pennant with the nickname "Magnificent Bastards" was officially added to the unit's insignia per order of Col."Bull" Fisher.

The next major confrontation between 2/4 and the enemy came during the siege of Con Thien in 1967. The battalion, along with 3rd Battalion 4th Marines, was involved in stopping the enemy's attempt to overrun the American outpost. During a month of bloody fighting Sergeant Paul Hellstrom Foster and Lance Corporal Jed Colby Barker were awarded the Medal of Honor (posthumously) for their actions during the battle.

The 1968 Tet Offensive resulted in an increase in tempo of combat activity for 2/4. Bitter clashes between the battalion and NVA broke out near Dong Ha. In this area 2/4 moved forward to seize the fortified village of Dai Do. After three days of bloody fighting the cost was high for both sides; the enemy lost nearly 600 killed, while 2/4 suffered 80 dead and 256 wounded. The list of wounded included the Battalion Commander, Lieutenant Colonel William Weise. Two more Medals of Honor were awarded as a result of the fighting; Captain James E. Livingston and Captain M. Sando Vargas. (Note: Captain Vargas' name is Jay Vargas. Before his Medal of Honor award could be presented to him his mother passed away at home in Arizona. Vargas requested that his mother's name be engraved on the back of his Medal of Honor instead of his own. President Nixon honored that loving request and the name of M. Sando Vargas....Jay Vargas' mother...was added to the Honor Roll).

Late in 1969, 2/4 was withdrawn to Okinawa as part of the United States policy of gradually turning the war over to the South Vietnamese.

In the early 1970s, 2/4 participated with other units from the 3rd Marine Division in providing Battalion Landing Teams as part of the Special Landing Force (SLF) off the coast of Vietnam. During the 1972 Easter Offensive, 2/4 actively supported Vietnamese Marines, U.S. Army Rangers and U.S. advisors ashore, from nearby amphibious ships.

During the summer of 1972 the battalion participated in a massive disaster relief effort, Operation SAKLOLO conducted in the northern part of the Philippines. In April 1975, 2/4 took part in Operation Eagle Pull, the evacuation of Americans from Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Less than 15 days later they took part in Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of Saigon, followed, a short while later, by the recovery of the SS Mayaguez.

Post-Vietnam and the 1980s

The battalion moved to MCB Camp Lejeune to join the 2nd Marine Regiment in October 1981; they began participating in the Unit Deployment Program (UDP), returning to Camp Schawb, Okinawa after 9 months at Camp Lejeune. While there they participated in several operations and served as the Primary Air Alert Force for the Marine Corps three consecutive years in a row from 1981 to 1985. During the late 1980s, 2/4 was reassigned to the 8th Marine Regiment to participate in the dedicated Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU), rotation to the Mediterranean.

The battalion was once again called upon for a real-world contingency mission during the summer of 1990. The West African nation of Liberia was experiencing a civil war. The battalion, as the Ground Combat Element (GCE) for the 22d MEU(SOC), set sail from Toulon, France for Operation Sharp Edge. On August 5, the battalion was committed to go ashore to take defensive positions at the U.S. Embassy to protect U.S. citizens and foreign nationals. The Marines embarked on amphibious shipping on 21 August after having successfully completed a Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation of 1,650 Americans and foreign nationals.

The Gulf War and the 1990s

Before the Gulf War, in August 1990, elements of 2/4 were deployed ashore to the US Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia as part of Operation Sharp Edge.

In late December 1990, 2/4 deployed by air to Al Jabayl, Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield. During Operation Desert Storm the battalion fought as a Mechanized Infantry Armor Task force (Task Force Spartan) during the 2nd Marine Division's attack into Kuwait. After the cease fire the battalion remained in Kuwait with Eighth Marines and conducted security and contingency operations west of Kuwait City. 2/4 was the last Marine infantry battalion to withdraw from Kuwait, arriving in the U.S. on May 15 1991.

2/4 participated in Operation Sea Signal. During this deployment, over 2,500 Haitian immigrants were processed aboard the USNS "Comfort" (T-AH-20), CMV "Ivan Franco", and CMV "Griuzy". 2/4 also provided security for refugee camps aboard the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during this operation.

On July 25 1994, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, then part of the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, was redesignated 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines. From July 25 to September 1 1994, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines remained in a cadre status. On September 2 1994 the battalion’s were moved to Camp Pendleton, California. The battalion replaced 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines at the 5th Marine Regiment

In December 1998 2/4 participated as the Battalion Landing Team (BLT) for the 31 Marine Expeditionary Force Special Operations Capable (MEUSOC). The operation, named "Desert Fox", was a retaliation to Saddam Hussein's refusal to comply with U.N. Security Council Resolutions that led to a coalition air bombing campaign. The Marines of 2/4 were also set up in a defense at and around Muttla ridge, in Kuwait, to act as a deterrent for any Iraqi attack on Kuwait that might have followed the air campaign.

Global War on Terror

September to December 2001 2/4 served as the Quick Reaction Force during Operation Noble Eagle for the western half of the United States in response to the September 11th attacks. Leaving shortly after this mission for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in Okinawa, 2/4 was called upon to give humanitarian aid to East Timor and served in country from October to November 2002.

In February 2004, “The Magnificent Bastards” deployed to Ramadi, Iraq, the provincial capital of the Al Anbar Province in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The battalion conducted support and stability operations (SASO) within the city and served with distinction while engaging insurgent forces in Iraq. 2/4 returned to Camp Pendleton in September 2004.

The battalion then served as part of the Unit Deployment Program tour in Okinawa, mainland Japan, and the Philippines from April to December 2005 and in early 2006 they were designated the Battalion Landing Team for the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The battalion arrived in Iraq again as part of the 15th MEU in November 2006. During which Fox and Echo company conducted operations in Ar Ramadi, while the BLT main body operated out of the Haditha area [ [http://www.marines.mil/marinelink/mcn2000.nsf/ad983156332a819185256cb600677af3/09c43821a299a8688525725600430d9f?OpenDocument Marine Corps News -> California-based Marines, 'Magnificent Bastards,' turn up weapons caches ] ]

2/4 Medal of Honor recipients

* Lance Corporal Joe C. Paul
* Captain Howard V. Lee
* Sergeant Paul Hellstrom Foster
* Lance Corporal Jedh Colby Barker
* Captain James E. Livingston
* Captain Jay R. Vargas

ee also

* China Marines
* List of United States Marine Corps battalions
* Organization of the United States Marine Corps



:Marine Corps

*cite book
last =Condit
first =Kenneth W.
authorlink =
coauthors = Turnbladh, Edwin T.
title = Hold High the Torch - A History of the 4th Marines
publisher = Historical Branch, Headquarters Marine Corps
year = 1960
location = Washington D.C.
pages =
id =


* [http://www.i-mef.usmc.mil/msc/1mardiv/2Bn4Mar/default.htm# 2/4's official website]

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