5th marine regiment

World War II Confederates and the storming of Shuri Castle,

On April 1st, 1945, over 500,000 soldiers and marines of the 10th Army invaded Okinawa with the intent of wresting control of the islands from the Japanese Army. The fighting was fierce and bloody, lasting 82 days.  One key strategic point in Okinawa was Shuri castle, and ancient fortification dating back to the Middle Ages. The Japanese had occupied the castle and were using it as a headquarters.

On May 29th, Major General Del Valle ordered the 5th Marine regiment, commanded by Capt. Julius Dusenberg to storm the castle. After a short but fierce battle, the marines wrested control of the castle from the Japanese.  Like the capture of Mount Suribachi at Iwo Jima, it was time to raise the colors over their hard won castle. However, the flag raising that occurred next was nothing like flag raising at Iwo Jima.

Capt. Dusenberg, a native South Carolinian, produced a Confederate battle flag from his helmet, which was raised above the Medieval Ryukyuan castle to the shrieks of rebel yells. One Marine (a New Englander) who witnessed the flag raising remarked, “What does he want now? Should we sing ‘Dixie?’”. If ever there was an inspiration for a Harry Turtledove alternative history novel, this would be it.

The Star and Bars flew over Shuri Castle for two days before it was replaced with the Stars and Stripes. The flag was presented to 10th Army commander Lt. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr., whose father was Gen. Simon Buckner Sr., famous for surrendering Fort Donelson to Grant during the Civil War.

As a rocket-firing LCI lays down a barrage on the already obscured beach on Peleliu, a wave of Alligators (LVTs, or Landing Vehicle Tracked) churn toward the defenses of the strategic island September 15, 1944.

The amphibious tanks with turret-housed cannons went in in after heavy air and sea bombardment. Army and Marine assault units stormed ashore on Peleliu on September 15, and it was announced that organized resistance was almost entirely ended on September 27.

Operation ‘Stalemate II’
The Peleliu operation was code-named Stalemate II, a name that seems ironic in hindsight, because initially the campaign was viewed with relative optimism. The main task of securing the island was given to the 1st Marine Division, a largely veteran unit that had seen action at Guadalcanal and New Britain. The 1st Marine Division consisted of the 1st, 5th, and 7th Marine Regiments (infantry) and the 11th Marines (artillery support).

(AP Photo)

(Colourised by Royston Leonard from the UK)


Marines with Scout Sniper Platoon, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, sight down range and fire their M40A5, M110 SASS and M107 SASR Sniper Rifles as part of an unknown distance qualification range August 18, 2014, at Bradshaw Field Training Area, Northern Territory, Australia, during Exercise Koolendong 14. 

U.S. Marines with 1st Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment stand guard during a patrol in Sangin, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Jan. 8, 2010. Marines conducted counterinsurgency operations with the International Security Assistance Force to suppress insurgent activity and gain the trust of Afghan citizens. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jorge A. Ortiz/Released)

U.S. Marines with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment conduct a census patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan, Jan. 10, 2011. The Marines conduct patrols to suppress enemy activity and gain the trust of the people. The battalion, assigned to Regimental Combat Team 2, conducted counterinsurgency operations in partnership with the International Security Assistance Force. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Dexter S. Saulisbury/Released)