Our Marine Corps birthday usually gets lost in the shuffle since it falls on Nov. 10, the day before Veterans Day. Our American Revolution opened with the battles of Lexington and Concord. This began on April 19, 1775.
On May 9, soldiers from Brig. Gen. Benedict Arnold’s Massachusetts force capture a British sloop at Skenesborough on Lake Champlain and rename her Liberty. Massachusetts soldiers, turned sailors and Marines, man her.
The very next day, Liberty participates in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga from the British. A week later, Marines from Liberty assist Arnold’s force in capturing another British sloop, which was renamed Enterprise, and it was reinforced with 18 Marines.
Six months later, the Continental Congress formally establishes the first force structure of Marines, consisting of two battalions. The Congress authorizes one colonel, two lieutenant colonels, two majors and other officers on Nov. 20, 1775.
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The Marines wrote their own valiant history, of which most Americans are well aware. Happy Birthday, Marines. Semper Fidelis. Being 240 years old ... you’re looking better than ever.
Bill Ward, Meridian