USMC in Europe?

Discussion in 'US Units' started by Ropi, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. Ropi

    Ropi Biggest retard of all

    Hi there! This may sound weird, but I was wondering wether any US Marine Corps units were deployed in Europe. If there was any, which?
    Arthur:marine8point:
     
  2. Formerjughead

    Formerjughead Senior Member

    There we no Marine Units involved in the ETO. The closest thing was during D-Day a detachment of Marines from the USS Alabama(?) was standing by to go ashore if the assault on Point du Hoc faultered.

    Most American Naval Ships ( Cruisers, Battleships, Carriers, maybe a Destroyer) had a detachment of Marines on them.

    Other than that it seems there was one Major assigned to the OSS/ SOE that did some work with the Maqui.

    JCFalkenberg III posted a thread about this very subject on WW2F. As was typical with JCF he didn't cite his source:
    Marines in the Atlantic, Europe and Africa - World War II Forums
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I've posted some pictures on here of US Marines training in the UK with British Commandoes in what looks like Scotland.....Weren't some involved in Dieppe or am I thinking of US. Rangers?
     
  4. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    A fully-trained USMC detachment was indeed stationed in the UK at the very start of the U.S. deployment to the ETO.

    U.S. Navy Established First European Base in Northern Ireland

    On 5 February 1942, the U.S. Navy established its first base on the European side of the Atlantic, in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, on the banks of the River Foyle. That forward base had become necessary because the fleet could not operate efficiently for any length of time more then 2,000 miles from a naval base.

    Orders quickly followed for a Marine unit to provide security for this "Naval Operating Base" ( NOB ) and the 1st Provisional Marine Battalion, was organized in 1941 at Quantico, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Lucian W. Burnham. His executive office was Major Louis C. Plain.

    In preparation, the Marines of that battalion received some rigorous and varied training, because one could not predict what duties their assignments would require of them.

    The 400-man battalion left the U.S. in May 1942, on the Santa Rosa, a converted Cruise Ship of the Italian American Line, and headed across the North Atlantic for a destination known to very few. A month later, an augmentation force of 152 enlisted Marines arrived on board the SS Siboney, led by Second Lieutenant John S. Hudson. Upon arrival in Ireland, the unit was designated the Marine Barracks, NOB, Londonderry, and assigned the mission to guard the dispersed facilities of the large base, which was about three miles from the city.

    Original Marine Barracks

    Initially, the Marine Barracks was organized as follows: Headquarters and Service Company, under command of Major James J. Dugan; Company A, commanded by Captain John M. Bathum; and Company B, with Captain Frank A. Martincheck in command.

    In late October 1942, another draft of more than 200 men, with Second Lieutenant James B. Metzer in charge, arrived from the States on board the U.S. Army transport Bonnguen. It became Company C. Meanwhile, several promotions took place in the unit - Bathum to Major. Plain and Dugan to Lieutenant Colonel, four company officers to Captain - and the battalion reorganized at add an additional company. Captain Donald R. Kennedy took over Company B and Captain George O. Ludcke received command of Company C.

    Headquarters and Service Company was billeted at Springtown Camp, as was Company B, which was assigned to guard the repair facilities. Company C, which guarded the Quonset Storage ammunition dump at Fincairn Glen (five miles outside 'Derry), was billeted on the grounds of an old estate called "Beech Hill". Company A guarded the Naval Field Hospital at nearby Creevagh, a couple of strategically located radio stations, and a major supply depot of Lisahally. Those Marines were billeted in Quonset huts on the grounds of "Lisahally House" an estate on the River Foyle.

    Marines Protect from Local Infiltrators Too

    The Marines were needed in Londonderry not only to protect the naval base from Sabotage from German units which might have been landed by submarine, but also from local infiltrators. The Irish Free State (Eire), just across the border from Ulster maintained its neutrality throughout the war. With German and Japanese embassies in full operation in Dublin, there was the fear of sabotage attempts against Allied installations, prepared with the cooperation of militant elements of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

    There were no IRA-supported sabotage attempts, however, and history reveals that the number of voluntary Irish enlistments in the British Army from Erie equaled the number from Ulster, where the draft was in effect. An interesting incident took place during this period, which under-scored the high degree of cooperation between the two Irish governments. A New Zealand bomber crash landed in Erie and its crew expected to be interned for the duration of the war by the Irish Free State. However, with the unofficial blessing of the Irish Government, the RAF, with the assistance of a detail from the Marine Barracks, dismantled the plane and removed it and it's crew across the border.

    Major James J. Dugan, the barracks adjutant, was a colorful member of the original " Irish Marines", a nickname given to the Marines serving in Londonderry. He was a red head from Boston who brought with him several members of his Boston reserve unit. He retained good rapport with the Irish and formed, from the barracks drum and bugle corps, a Bagpipe Band which became a trademark of this unit.

    The Marines were a welcome sight to this area, which had sent most of its young men off to war in 1939 in the British Army, and from which many never returned. Since rain falls, on average, 240 days per annum in this area, Marines learned quickly to do without clear days.

    The Marine On-Shore Patrol Duty, commanded by Captain William P. Alston, established a good working relationship with the RUC, and also with Garda Superintendent Tom Collins, from Londonderry's neighboring County Donegal, who became a frequent guest at battalion social events.

    Hotels Derry Northern Ireland, Derry Hotels - Beech Hill Country House Hotel - Marines

    On a puely technical note - I'd presume there were the normal Marine detachments aboard any USN vessels assigned to the Iceland garrison after the U.S. took over responsibility for the Occupation from the British earlier in 1941.
     
  5. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    There we no Marine Units involved in the ETO. The closest thing was during D-Day a detachment of Marines from the USS Alabama(?) was standing by to go ashore if the assault on Point du Hoc faultered.

    Most American Naval Ships ( Cruisers, Battleships, Carriers, maybe a Destroyer) had a detachment of Marines on them.


    It wouldn't be the Alabama, she was in the Pacific then. Possibly the Texas, her fire station was off of Omaha beach.

    Marine detachments also guarded the various embassies.
     
  6. Ropi

    Ropi Biggest retard of all

    Marine detachments also guarded the various embassies.

    As they do now, don't they?
     
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Yep...I went to the London one in Grovenor Square in the 80's with some doc's I found to be met by two in dress blues one with a M16 the other with a side arm-I was rather impressed but miffed off I never got a thank you in the post for not taking it to the papers instead.
     
  8. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    As they do now, don't they?

    Yes.
     
  9. Formerjughead

    Formerjughead Senior Member

    It wouldn't be the Alabama, she was in the Pacific then. Possibly the Texas, her fire station was off of Omaha beach.

    Marine detachments also guarded the various embassies.

    Alabama....Texas.......meh, same difference.*

    * the above is not intended to spark debate over the differences between "New York Class" and "South Dakota Class" Battleships.
     
  10. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Alabama....Texas.......meh, same difference.*

    * the above is not intended to spark debate over the differences between "New York Class" and "South Dakota Class" Battleships.

    Them thars fighting words..
     
  11. Formerjughead

    Formerjughead Senior Member

    Them thars fighting words..

    Don't blame me, I didn't create the stereo type; I just perpetuate it.....:D
     
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I've posted some pictures on here of US Marines training in the UK with British Commandoes in what looks like Scotland.....Weren't some involved in Dieppe or am I thinking of US. Rangers?


    Yeah, they were US Army Rangers , Andy.
     
  13. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Plans for WWII US Naval base monument
    image.png
    An artist's impression of the proposed model Nissen hut

    Plans are being made for a new monument to remember Springtown Camp in Londonderry - a naval base where people squatted for years.

    Springtown Camp was heavily guarded by US Marines during World War Two but locals moved in when the Americans left.

    People in the city could not get adequate housing so they squatted in the camp in the 1940s, '50s and '60s.

    The camp closed in 1967 and some of the residents reunited in October 2017.

    The proposed model Nissen hut would be based at the junction of the Springtown and Northland roads.

    Derry City and Strabane District Council said it has received a planning application for the proposed monument.

    image.png
    Springtown Camp with Pennyburn church in the far distance

    Willie Deery, who lived at the camp, is behind the proposed monument.

    "This would be a fitting tribute," Mr Deery told BBC News NI.

    "Hugo McConnell and myself thought about it for a long time and everyone has been really supportive.

    "Yes, there were extremely difficult times and people even died on the camp. But there are so many lovely stories too.

    "There's a team of people behind the scenes working on funding and we're hoping the model hut would attract visitors to the area.

    "It would mark a very important era and the local people would appreciate it."

    image.png
    Kitty Lynch waves goodbye to the media in 1967

    The site had 302 Nissen huts, a chapel, gym, laundry, canteen, barber's shop, theatre and even a jail.

    But the huts had no water, electricity or heating.

    image.png
    Inside Sammy Holden's hut in December 1955

    After a public outcry, the Unionist Majority Corporation, which had obtained power through gerrymandering, granted temporary rentals to the new residents and charged rent.

    That agreement was to last six months and the families were to be allocated housing. That didn't happen.

    Actress Jane Russell sparked an international furore in 1951 when she adopted a child from a mother living in poverty within the camp.
     
  14. Dave55

    Dave55 Very Senior Member

  15. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    Not to split hairs but you seem to be implying here that there was conscription in Northern Ireland during the war years. This would not be correct, due to the sensitivity of the political situation pertaining in Ireland, conscription was never introduced anywhere in on the Island in either WWI or WWII. There was some talk about bringing conscription into Northern Ireland towards the end of WWII and I think something formal might have been done about it, but it was never truly put into effect. That said huge numbers of people, on both sides of the border, did indeed volunteer for the British Army during both wars.

    Also, the Irish free state did a lot to facilitate Allied operations including returning many downed RAF Airmen to Northern Ireland, operating an Air corridor through Donegal for allied aircraft and marked Malin Head with very large white carins which spelt out the word EIRE for all allied (and enemy) aircraft to see!

    There was indeed a contingent of US Marines aboard ship ready to step in should the Pont Du Hoc operation go awry, at one stage they were geared up and ready to go following a shore to ship communication that indicated "the issue was in doubt". However, the Army brass was determined that the Marines should not be seen to be saving the Army's ass. The Army was just a little sick and tired of the Marines getting all the Press attention, and glory, for the Island hopping campaign when the army was afforded little to nothing. For instance it is still very little known that whilst the Marines in the Pacific mounted all the Beach Assaults from Tarawa onwards it was the Army who followed up, moved inland and calmed the islands, enduring some incredibly tough battles and suffering horrendous casualties in the process. So, when it came to Normandy the Army was determined that it would be an all Army affair and that the Marines would stay on their boats!
     
  16. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Marines trained in Scotland alongside the early Commandos, also some marines deployed to France pre D-Day as part of the SOE/OSS Inter Allied Missions, Major Peter Ortiz of the Union Mission later starred in several John Ford Westerns. The book Herringbone Cloak - GI Dagger relates clandestine US Marine activity during WWII
     
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  17. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

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