1st Battalion 3rd Marines

1st Battalion 3rd Marines

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines

caption= 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines insignia
dates= May 1, 1942 - present
country=United States
type= Light infantry
role= Locate, close with and destroy the enemy with fire and maneuver
command_structure= 3rd Marine Regiment
3rd Marine Division
garrison=Marine Corps Base Hawaii
nickname= "Lava Dogs"
motto= "Fortuna Fortes Juvat"
"Fortune Favors the Brave"
battles= World War II
* Battle of Bougainville
* Battle of Guam
Vietnam War
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Iraqi Freedom
* Operation Phantom Fury

1st Battalion, 3rd Marines (1/3) is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps based out of Marine Corps Base Hawaii consisting of approximately 800 Marines and Sailors. The battalion, known as the "Lava Dogs", falls under the 3rd Marine Regiment and the 3rd Marine Division.

ubordinate units

* Headquarters and Service Company
* Alpha Company
* Bravo Company
* Charlie Company
* Weapons Company


World War II

On May 1, 1942, the 1st Training Battalion was activated at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina. A month and a half later, on June 17, the unit was redesignated as the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. The battalion received its baptismal into combat in November 1943 against the Japanese in the Battle of Bougainville. The Japanese were a formidable foe with the fighting complicated by deep swamps and dense jungles. The battalion fought with distinction for nearly two months before being sent to Guadalcanal to prepare for the next leg of the Pacific Island Hopping Campaign.

The Battle of Guam was the next combat assignment for 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines. The amphibious assault began on July 21, 1944. Once again, the battalion encountered a tenacious enemy and the fighting on the proved to be both bloody and costly. Organized resistance officially ended on August 10 and the Guam was declared “secured”. However, numerous Japanese remained at large in the jungle refusing to surrender. Subsequently, the battalion participated in “mopping-up” operation through the latter part of October.

In early 1945, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, as part of Regimental Combat Team 3, was to be the floating reserve for the amphibious assault of the Battle of Iwo Jima. The battalion, however, was never called upon to land or to take part in the battle for Iwo Jima. Instead it returned to Guam in March where it continued to remove the small pockets of Japanese resistance that still remained on the island.

The battalion remained on Guam through the surrender of the Japanese in September 1945. Although the end of the war signified the end of hostilities, there was still much work to be done. The Islands in the Pacific held by the Japanese had to be demilitarized and the Japanese forces repatriated to mainland Japan, this job fell to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, soon to be known as the “Chichi Jima” Marines. Chichi Jima was an Island fortress, often referred to as the Gibraltar of the Pacific, located in the Ogasawara Island chain 615 miles south of Tokyo. After 14 years of war in China and the Pacific, Japan had arrived at a mortifying surrender. At exactly 1015 on December 13, 1945, the Japanese flag flying over Chici Jima was lowered from its staff. The Japanese Color Guard folded the flag and presented it to the Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines. At 1025, the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps sounded Colors and everyone present, American and Japanese alike, rendered a salute as Old Glory was raised to her lofty summit. With the Japanese threat removed from Chichi Jima, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines returned to Guam where it was deactivated on February 9, 1946.

Vietnam War

1st Battalion, 3d Marines became the second American infantry unit to enter South Vietnam. The battalion began its movement, via air, to Da Nang in early March 1965 and completed its movement by mid-March. Less than six months after its arrival, 1/3 was withdrawn to Okinawa. The battalion was sent back to Vietnam on November 18, 1965. The 1968 Tet Offensive ushered in a new wave of intense combat activity for the Marines and in May, 1/3 found itself heavily engaged in fighting North Vietnamese units at the village of Dai Do near the Cua Viet River.

In 1969. the United States began to slowly withdraw combat units from Southeast Asia. One of the first Marine units to be notified to commence stand down operations was 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines. The unit departed South Vietnam for the United States on October 5, 1969. Towards the end of the month the battalion arrived in California and was located at again at Camp Pendleton. Shortly thereafter, it was reduced to zero strength, effective November 18, 1969. It then was reestablished at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii as part of the 1st Marine Brigade on November 27, 1969.

The Gulf War and the 1990s

In September 1990, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines deployed to Saudi Arabia and participated in Operation Desert Storm and the Liberation of Kuwait. The battalion was deployed to Southwest Asia from September 1990 to April 1991 at which time 1/3 returned to Kaneohe Bay.

The Global War on Terror

On September 11, 2001, 1/3 was on the Unit Deployment Program to Okinawa, Japan. Alpha company was one of the first infantry units to deploy to the Middle East after September 11, 2001. The company was attached to 5th Fleet out of NSA Bahrain and subsequently deployed in direct support of Combined Task Force 53 (CTF 53) for the initial phase of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In October 2002, an Army Special Forces Sergeant First Class (SFC) was killed in the Southern Philippines by an IED. Shortly after, Charlie company with some Weapons company attachments deployed to Zamboanga City, Philippines as the Marine Security Element for JTF-555/JSOTF-P in support of Operation Enduring Freedom Philippines.

April 2003, 1/3 departed Kaneohe for another UDP in Okinawa, Japan. Alpha company, with Weapons company reinforcements left for the Philippines as the MSE under the guise of JTF-510. Alpha company carried out many joint missions with Navy SEAL/s, SWCC, and the CIA in terrorist surveillance activities, and security missions in Zamboanga Bay. Also, despite the constant threat of attack from the Abu Sayf, and the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front), Alpha carried out security for many Engineering Civic Action Programs (ENCAPs) by building schools and repairing hospitals deep in the jungle. Alpha Company Navy Hospital Corpsman also carried out two major MEDCAPs seeing a total of 17,000 patients.

In June 2004, 1/3 (also known at the time as BLT 1/3, and including Battery C 1st Battalion 12th Marines - also from MCBH) set off to tour what was known as a standard deployment around the South Pacific region with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). In early October 2004, the unit arrived in Kuwait and soon after entered Iraq. The unit was engaged in support of Operation Phantom Fury alongside 3rd Battalion 1st Marines, 1st Battalion 8th Marines, 3rd Battalion 5th Marines, and two Army units in which the city of Fallujah was reclaimed by U.S. forces. BLT 1/3 has produced one of very few nominations for the Medal of Honor thus far in the Global War on Terror, Sergeant Rafael Peralta. After insurgents threw a grenade into a room with several Marines, Sgt. Peralta used his body as a shield to protect his 'brothers-in-arms' from the blast.

On January 27, 2005, a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crashed in the Al-Anbar province taking with it the lives of 27 Kaneohe Bay Marines, along with one Navy Corpsman and three Marine pilots from a mainland unit. The majority of the 27 Marines lost in the crash were from Charlie Company of Battalion Landing Team 1/3. [cite news|accessdate=
title=Day of Remembrance Honors Fallen
work=DefenseLink |publisher=U.S. Department of Defense
author=American Forces Press Service
date=February 3, 2005
] Battalion Landing Team 1/3 lost a total of 45 Marines during the course of their first combat tour in Iraq.cite news|accessdate=
title='Freedom isn't free': 10 soldiers are remembered for paying the ultimate price
author=Leone, Diana |date=January 14, 2005
work=Honolulu Star-Bulletin
] cite news|accessdate=
title=Kaneohe Marines Return From Iraq |author=Kakesako, Gregg K
work=Honolulu Star-Bulletin |date=April 27, 2005

In January 2006, the battalion deployed to eastern Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. [cite news|accessdate=2006-03-30
title=Marines win villagers' trust
author = Lindsay, Sgt. Joe
work=Marine Corps News |publisher=United States Marine Corps
date=March 28, 2006
] During this five month deployment they operated throughout the Korengal Valley and were known as "Task Force Lava." On June 1, 2006, 1/3 handed over their area of operations to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment and would soon be returning to Hawaii [cite news |accessdate=2006-06-02
title='Lava Dogs' Hand Off Afghan Ops to 'Chosin Few'
publisher=U.S. Department of Defense
author=Huvane, Capt. Dan
date=June 1, 2006
] .


* Presidential Unit Citation w/ 2 bronze star
** Guam - 1944
** Vietnam - 1965 - 1967, 1967
* Navy Unit Commendation w/ 4 bronze stars
** Bougainville - 1943
** Vietnam - 1965, 1968 - 1969
** Southwest Asia - 1990 - 1991
** III MEF - 2003 - 2005
** OEF Afghanistan - 2006
* Meritorious Unit Commendation w/ 1 bronze star
** Vietnam - 1967 - 1968, 1968
* Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 4 bronze stars
* World War II Victory Medal
* Navy Occupation Service Medal
* National Defense Service Medal w/ 3 bronze stars
* Korean Service Medal
* Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
* Vietnam Service Medal w/ 2 silver stars
* Southwest Asia Service Medal w/ 2 bronze stars
* Vietnam Cross of Gallantry w/ palm streamer
* Iraq Campaign Medal
* Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
* Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

ee also

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


* [http://www.mcbh.usmc.mil/3mar/1dbn/1-3%20INDEX.htm 1/3's official website]

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