United States Marine Corps Fourth Regiment Band in World War II, Last China Band
United States Marine Corps
4th Regiment in World War II
United States Marines Fourth Regiment defend the Philippine Islands at Corregidor Island, "the Rock", and Bataan Peninsula against air raids, shelling and landings in the Empire of Japan attack on the United States of America at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and Manila Bay, the Philippines on December 7, 1941, and United States entry in to World War II, Imperial Japanese Ki-21 heavy bombers over Corregidor Island photo above
United States Marines Fourth Regiment defend the Philippine Islands at Corregidor Island, "the Rock", and Bataan Peninsula against air raids, shelling and landings in the Empire of Japan attack on the United States of America at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and Manila Bay, the Philippines on December 7, 1941, and United States entry in to World War II. Imperial Japanese Ki-21 heavy bombers over Corregidor Island photo above.
YouTube Video
Click Top for
Full Screen
Color Film of a
Japanese Army Officer
and the Forbidden City

US Marines in Beijing, China
1939 Pre-World War II
"Last China Band"
Music: In The Mood, Glenn Miller
The United States Marine Corps Fourth Regiment Band marching in Shanghai, China on November 28, 1941 only ten days before the December 7, 1941 attack by the Japanese Empire against the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and Manila Bay, Philippine Islands.
Shanghai, China
November 28, 1941
The United States Marine Corps Fourth Regiment Band marching in Shanghai, China on November 28, 1941 only ten days before the December 7, 1941 attack by the Japanese Empire against the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and Manila Bay, Philippine Islands.
Attack by the Imperial Navy of Japan against the United States Navy at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941
December 7, 1941 Attack by Imperial Japan Against the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Includes Six Aircraft Carriers Which Launch 350 Fighters, Bombers and Torpedo Bombers
Attack by the Imperial Navy of Japan against the United States Navy at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941
Attack by the Japanese Empire on Pearl Harbor Sinks or Badly Damages Eighteen US Navy Ships, Damages or Destroys 300 US Aircraft and Kills 2,403 US Military and Civilians
Tora! Tora! Tora! Air Show, Lest We Forget, Aircraft from Attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II Movie 1970
December 7, 1941 Military Offensive by Japan Against Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Continues Ten Hours Later Against Bombing Targets on Manila Bay in the Philippine Islands
March 26, 1942 Imperial Japanese Navy Aircraft Carrier Akagi at Staring Bay, Dutch East Indies (Indonesia)
March 26, 1942 Imperial Japanese Navy Aircraft Carrier Akagi at Staring Bay, Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), Fleet Refueling Point for Warships of the IJN, Sorties Out of Which Include Air Raids on Darwin, Australia February 19, 1942 and March-April 1942 Attacks Against Allied Forces and Shipping as Far West as Ceylon (Sri Lanka), South of India in Japanese Offensive Against the Allies China, Burma (Myanmar) and India, CBI Theater of Operations Before Refitting in Japan and June 1942 Fateful Rematch with US Navy Fleet at Midway
Battle of Midway, June, 4-7, 1942 dive-bombing run by just three aircraft on the Imperial Japanese Navy Aircraft Carrier Akagi led by Lt. Richard Best of VB-6.
June 4-7, 1942 US Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless Dive Bombers Destroy Imperial Japanese Navy Aircraft Carrier Akagi, Above, and Three Other IJN Aircraft Carriers, Kaga, Hiryu, Soryu, All Pearl Harbor Attack Participants, at the Battle of Midway Island
June, 4-7, 1942 Battle of Midway Island US Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless Dive Bombers Destroy Imperial Japanese Navy Aircraft Carriers Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu, Soryu
United States Marine Corps Fourth Regiment Band in Shanghai, China September 1941 before the December 7, 1941 attack by the Japanese Empire against the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and Manila Bay, Philippine Islands.
Shanghai, China September 1941
Troops of the First Battalion, Fourth Marines march down Nanking Road, on their way to the quays of the Whangpoo River preparatory to embarking on U.S. President Line ships for the Philippine Islands. The Marines share the crowded streets with examples of every mode of transportation available.
Shanghai, China
November 28, 1941
Troops of the First Battalion, Fourth Marines march down Nanking Road, on their way to the quays of the Whangpoo River preparatory to embarking on U.S. President Line ships for the Philippine Islands. The Marines share the crowded streets with examples of every mode of transportation available.
 
The troops are carrying “Heavy Marching Order” packs topped with neatly blocked campaign hats, armed with Springfield 1903 rifles at the left shoulder. Beneath each hat is the standard issue foul weather gear called a “pancho” and entrenching tool. At the head of this column pictured, the Fourth Marines Band can be seen breaking out into brighter sunlight. This proved to be a false foreboding as this historic field band would cease to be one in only ten more days.
Shanghai, China Birds eye view of quays on the banks of the Whangpoo River, the port during the farewell of the Fourth Marines as it prepares to leave the International Settlement.
Shanghai, China
November 28, 1941
Birds eye view of quays on the banks of the Whangpoo River, the port of Shanghai during the farewell of the Fourth Marines as it prepares to leave the International Settlement.
 
Throngs of people are seen gathered among the limousines of the world’s diplomatic, consular force and business firms watching troops of the First Battalion arrive led by the Fourth Marines Band (note: Sousaphone base horns just to left of picture center). Plainly seen in the line of march carrying a large banner are elements of Shanghai’s Volunteer Defense Force wearing kilts and playing bag pipes. Shortly after this resounding, amazing and confusing send off, the 800 Marines of the Fourth Regiment depart for the Philippines ending their duty in Shanghai after many years.
Western Pacific Ocean
and East Asia

Western Pacific Ocean ad East Asia map
World War II in the Pacific
April 1941 Until July 1942 Flying Tigers, American Volunteer Group (AVG), US Pilots, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk Fighters, Initially Resupplied Through Burma (Myanmar) and French Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia), Defend Yunnan Province, Republic of China from Bombing and Invasion by Imperial Japanese Army Moving West Through Major Cities Since 1937 Against Strong Chinese Resistance and Causing High Civilian Casualties as in Nanking (Nanjing, Jiangsu Province)
Flying Tigers Curtiss P-40 Warhawk Fighter
South China Sea Region French Colonial Map
French map of Indochina region
French Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia) and Southwest Republic of China Major Railroad Link from Haiphong Harbor (Hai Phong) Through Hanoi (Ha Noi) to Kunming (Yunnan Fou), Largest City in Yunnan Province
Nazi Germany occupies Paris, France
June 23, 1940 Hitler in Nazi Germany Occupied Paris, France
Tripartite Pact signed between Germany, Japan and Italy
September 27, 1940 Germany, Japan and Italy Sign Tripartite Pact Military Alliance and Hitler Controlled Vichy France Government is Forced to Allow Japanese Empire to Occupy French Colony of Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia), Starting with the Northern Tonkin Gulf Coast Region and Major Port of Haiphong, If Any Doubt Remained Before, Now Truly World War
American Volunteer Group Flying Tigers P-40 Warhawks attack Japanese Bombers
September 26, 1940 Japan Blocks Haiphong Harbor and Rail Route Through Hanoi in French Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia) to Kunming, Yunnan Province, Republic of China to Further Military Supplies for Chinese Resistance Against Brutal 1937 Imperial Japanese Army Invasion and Continued Incursion West, While US Government Concerned About Access to South China Sea Resources Such as Rubber, Oil and Minerals, Demands Japanese Military Withdraw from French Indochina, Seizes Japanese Assets in US and Imposes Sanctions Against US Exports to Japan such as Refined Petroleum Products and Scrap Metal, Pictured Above, Flying Tigers, American Volunteer Group (AVG) US Pilots, Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk Fighters with Republic of China Wing Markings Strafing Attack on Imperial Japanese Army Heavy Bombers at Forward Airbase
November 28, 1941 United States Marine Corps Fourth Regiment Ship Out from Shanghai, China for Corregidor Island and Bataan Peninsula, Top of Photo Above, in Manila Bay on Main Island of Luzon, the Philippines, Still Seemingly at Peace Only Ten Days Before the Empire of Japan Initiates Near Simultaneous Major Military Attacks there and at Pearl Harbor, Oahu Island, Hawaii
November 28, 1941 United States Marine Corps Fourth Regiment Ship Out from Shanghai, China for Corregidor Island and Bataan Peninsula, Top of Photo Above, in Manila Bay on Main Island of Luzon, the Philippines, Still Seemingly at Peace Only Ten Days Before the Empire of Japan Initiates Near Simultaneous Major Military Attacks there and at Pearl Harbor, Oahu Island, Hawaii
Bataan Luzon map
 Japanese Attack Pearl_Harbor and Manila Bay
December 7, 1941 Imperial Japanese Government Preempts Expected US Oil Embargo Enforcement by Attempting to Eliminate US Navy Pacific Fleet in Hawaii and the Philippines as well as Attacking British Military at Hong Kong and Singapore
Japanese Attack Pearl_Harbor and Manila Bay
US B-17 Bomber and Fighter Aircraft at Iba Field, Luzon Island, The Philippine Islands in October 1941 Prior to the Imperial Japan Attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
October 1941 US Boeing B-17 Bomber and Fighter Aircraft at Iba Airfield, Luzon Island Which is Attacked Among Other Philippine Islands Targets Just Ten Hours After the December 7, 1941 Imperial Japanese Attack at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
B-17 versus Zero
US Boeing B-17 Bomber and Japanese A6M Zero Fighter
December 7, 1941, Across International Date Line December 8, Still on Same Day as Attack Against Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Imperial Japanese Marines (Rikusentai) Special Naval Landing Forces (SNLF) Initiate First Infantry Assault on Philippine Islands at Batan Island North of Luzon Island, Photo Above a Year Later, December 1942, Stage Landing for Cameras in Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), Identified by Anchor Insignia and Rising Sun Naval Ensign Used as Flag and on Armored Vehicles and Other Shore Equipment While Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) Use White Flag with Red Circle for Similar Purposes
December 7, 1941, Across International Date Line December 8, Still on Same Day as Attack Against Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Imperial Japanese Marines (Rikusentai) Special Naval Landing Forces (SNLF) Initiate First Infantry Assault on Philippine Islands at Batan Island North of Luzon Island, Photo Above a Year Later, December 1942, Stage Landing for Cameras in Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), Identified by Anchor Insignia and Rising Sun Naval Ensign Used as Flag and on Armored Vehicles and Other Shore Equipment While Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) Use White Flag with Red Circle for Similar Purposes
US Curtiss P-40 Warhawk Fighter Strikes Back at Imperial Japanese Navy Dive Bomber during Attacks on Pearl Harbor and Manila Bay
US Curtiss P-40 Warhawk Fighter Strikes Back at Imperial Japanese Navy D3A Val Dive Bomber
Flying Tigers AVG Sayonara Sally Ki-21 Bomber over Rangoon Burma 12-23-41
December 23, 1941 Flying Tigers, American Volunteer Group (AVG) US Pilots, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk Fighters with Republic of China Wing Markings Over Rangoon, Burma (Yangon, Myanmar) Repel Sixty Japanese Ki-21 Sally Heavy Bombers
Radar First Combat Uses by US at Pearl Harbor and Manila Bay
Radar, the Word Still Classified, First Combat Uses by US Army and Marines Mobile Air Warning Services During Initial Imperial Japanese Attacks at Pearl Harbor and Manila Bay
General Douglas MacArthur on Corregidor Island in 1942
March 11, 1942 US Army General Douglas MacArthur, Vowing to Return, Leaves Malinta Tunnel on Corregidor Island in Manila Bay, the Philippine Islands for Australia by PT Boat and B-17 Bomber While Imperial Japanese Army Continues Siege of Shelling, Air Raids and Landings Against Surrounded US Marines, Army, Navy and Philippine Personnel on Corregidor Island During Five Months of Allied Armed Resistance
Corregidor map
Bataan falls newspapers April 9, 1942 Surrender of Allied Forces on Bataan Peninsula to Imperial Japanese forces
April 9, 1942 Surrender of Allied Forces on Bataan Peninsula of Luzon, Main Island of the Philippines, Directly North of Corregidor Island, Imperial Japanese Army Adds Shore Artillery Attacks Across Narrow Channel in Manila Bay, and One Month Later is Finally Able to Land Tanks on Corregidor May 6, 1942
Type 97-Kai ShinHoTo Chi-Ha medium tank
May 6, 1942 Two Type 97-Kai ShinHoTo Chi-Ha Medium Tanks and One M-3 Stuart Tank Captured on Luzon Island Are Landed by Imperial Japanese Army Assault Forces on Corregidor Island
Imperial Japanese Ki-21 Sally Heavy Bombers Over Corregidor, Phillipine Islands
May 6, 1942 the 4,000 US and Allied Forces, Including 1,500 US Marines, Are Ordered to Surrender After Defending Corregidor Island for Five Months Since December 7, 1941, Ki-21 Sally Heavy Bombers Over Corregidor Photo Above, with Sustained Imperial Japanese Army Shelling and Bombing and Increasing Casualties on Both Sides in Close Combat, IJA is Embarrassed by Unexpected Delay in the Announced Immediate Collapse of US Armed Resistance on Corregidor Against Overwhelming Odds While Running Out of Ammo and Repulsing Waves of Enemy Landings, Japanese High Command Diverts Such Significant Resources to the Philippines that Other Postponed Offensives as Against Australia Prove Impossible to Continue
May 6, 1942 surrender to Imperial Japanese on Corregidor Island
Honor Versus Dishonor: The Pacific’s 4th Marine Regiment
 
By MATTHEW M. BURKE | STARS AND STRIPES
Published: April 5, 2018

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Army Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright ordered the surrender of U.S. forces in the Philippines on May 6, 1942, following an overwhelming six-month Japanese onslaught.

Marine Col. Sam Howard — commander of the 4th Marine Regiment — ordered the national and regimental colors burned rather than see them fall into enemy hands. The Marines reluctantly went into a brutal captivity at the hands of the Japanese.

The 4th Marine Regiment hasn’t been stationed in the continental United States since then. It is the only regiment whose lineage is rooted on the American mainland to deploy to the Pacific and never be rotated back, Marine officials said.

Rumors have swirled among Marines that the regiment is doomed to wander the Pacific — much like the mythical ghost ship The Flying Dutchman — due to the dishonor over surrendering. It is the largest organized Marine unit to ever do so in battle.

Before elements of the regiment traveled to South Korea recently for exercises Foal Eagle and Key Resolve, current 4th Marine Regiment commander Col. Kevin Norton pushed back against that myth, saying it is because of honor, not dishonor, that his Marines are stewards of the Pacific.

“Like most things, there’s rumor and misconception,” said Norton, who has spent more than 10 years with the regiment in various leadership positions. “We were still reeling from Pearl Harbor and we had to pick and choose where we were going to send forces to, so in many ways, the Marines and the U.S. Army and the Filipinos kind of got left hung out to dry a little bit out of necessity, because the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army had to kind of get their act together and mobilize in order to get over here.”

The 4th Marine Regiment was activated at Puget Sound, Wash., on April 16, 1914, with Col. Joseph Pendleton — namesake for Camp Pendleton, Calif. — as its inaugural commanding officer. The unit’s first duty station was San Diego.

In June 1916, 4th Marines was dispatched to the Dominican Republic to intervene on behalf of the government in their civil war, the Marine Corps said. This would be the first time the unit would see combat, and it was awarded two Medals of Honor for heroism.

The unit was then dispatched to Shanghai, China, in March 1927 to protect American interests in the face of yet another civil war. Known as the “China Marines,” they stayed in country for nearly 15 years.

The China Marines departed for the Philippines on Nov. 27 and 28, 1941, after being surrounded by the invading Japanese. They had been in the Philippines for nine days when the Japanese attacked to coincide with the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Fourth Marines Flag Corregidor
May 5, 2017 US Marine with Okinawa Based 4th Marine Regiment Takes Photo of Unit Colors at the Pacific War Memorial Museum at Corregidor Island, Philippines
Surrender

The 4th Marine Regiment engaged the Japanese for the first time on Dec. 12, 1941, the Marine Corps said. After arriving at Subic Bay, it had been tasked with guarding Olongapo Naval Station and a naval base at Mariveles.

As the Japanese bore down on Manila from the north and defeat seemed all but assured, 4th Marines in Olongapo evacuated to Mariveles and then to Corregidor, the fortified island off the southern coast of the Bataan Peninsula. They prepared and strengthened defensive positions as the Japanese closed in.

The Japanese made landfall on Corregidor Island on May 5, 1942, the Marine Corps said. The regiment inflicted heavy casualties on the Japanese invaders, decimating the first two attempted landings; however, they were no match for Japanese planes, tanks and Bataan-based artillery. The Japanese gained a foothold on the beach and expanded it, pushing toward Wainwright’s headquarters.

The Marines lost all of their heavy guns and were almost out of ammunition. All seemed lost.

“Feeling that further resistance was useless and fearing a possible massacre of 1,000 sick and wounded personnel in Malinta Tunnel, Gen. Wainwright decided to surrender,” a unit history said.

Isolated pockets of Marines continued to fight four hours after the surrender went into effect, until news of the order trickled down.

“The Marines were beside themselves,” Norton said. “They fought valiantly for several days and then ultimately Gen. Wainwright ordered the surrender because the higher headquarters folks were inside of a tunnel and they didn’t have all the information and the communications had been severed.”

Norton said Wainwright did what he thought was right, and the Marines had to follow orders. The 4th Marine Regiment ceased to exist.

“I don’t think the United States nor Gen. Wainwright understood how the Japanese were going to view prisoners,” Norton said. “There were some big-time atrocities. There were executions regularly. It was a brutal captivity. Most of those Marines who we refer to as the ‘old 4th Marine Regiment’ spent all of World War II in prisoner of war camps or they simply died in POW camps; it was that horrific.”
Fourth Marine Regiment Patch American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Patch
Proud Lineage
 
While Howard’s Marines tried to stay alive in brutal prison conditions, the 4th Marines was resurrected Feb. 1, 1944, with members of the 1st Marine Raider Regiment, a commando-style unit that had fought with distinction in the Makin Island, Guadalcanal, Central Solomons and Bougainville campaigns.

“If you talk to World War II vets, there was such a proud lineage of the 4th Marines that it was a big deal for them to rename that Raider regiment the 4th Marines,” Norton said.

The “new” 4th Marines participated in the recapturing of Guam and the seizure of Okinawa at the cost of 4,000 of their lives, the Marine Corps said. World War II ended with Japan’s surrender Aug. 15, 1945, following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The 4th Marines — who were awarded five Medals of Honor for service during the war — were chosen as the first American combat unit to land in Japan for the occupation. They were there to welcome the “old” 4th Marines, emaciated and in poor health, as they were liberated from POW camps.

“They held a parade for many of the prisoners,” Norton said. “It was a good homecoming for those guys because they realized the regiment was still alive.”

The 4th Marines was deactivated in 1949 only to be reactivated three years later for the Korean War. However, they arrived in Japan after the armistice that ended the conflict was signed. They were sent to Hawaii, the closest they would ever get to the continental United States.

Through the years, the regiment has served with distinction in combat in Vietnam and through advisers sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, leading to nearly another dozen Medals of Honor. They were the last Marine regiment to depart Vietnam in 1969 and have been on Okinawa ever since.

Today, 4th Marines is the anchor for the unit deployment program, accepting stateside battalions into their ranks on six-month rotations to the Pacific.

“Unlike units stationed in the United States permanently, we’re kind of on the tippy, tippy part of the spear and our readiness is at the highest levels permanently,” Norton said.

“When the Marines really learn the history, all that rumor and conjecture of, ‘Hey, the surrender was dishonorable,’ you just have a totally different perception … the Marines had nothing to do with the surrender. There was no dishonor in it.”
September 15, 1944 US Marine Corps LVT (Landing Vehicle Tracked) Assault on Fortified Imperial Japanese Army Garrison at Peleliu Island in Allied Pacific Ocean Island Hopping Campaign from Guadalcanal August 1942 to Okinawa April 1945
September 15, 1944 US Marine Corps LVT (Landing Vehicle Tracked) Assault on Fortified Imperial Japanese Army Garrison at Peleliu Island in Allied Pacific Ocean Island Hopping Campaign from Guadalcanal August 1942 to Okinawa April 1945
United States Marine Corps LVT landing at Peleliu 1944
October 25, 1944 Escort Aircraft Carrier USS Kitkun Bay CVE-71 Damaged by Japanese Kamikaze A6M Zero Fighter in Largest Naval Battle in World History at Leyte Gulf, Philippine Islands
October 25, 1944 Escort Aircraft Carrier USS Kitkun Bay CVE-71 Damaged by Japanese Kamikaze A6M Zero Fighter in Largest Naval Battle in World History at Leyte Gulf, Philippine Islands
November 25, 1944 Aircraft Carrier USS Essex CV-9 Hit by Imperial Japanese Kamikaze Aircraft off Coast of Philippines
November 25, 1944 Aircraft Carrier USS Essex CV-9 Hit by Imperial Japanese Kamikaze Aircraft off Coast of Philippines
November 25, 1944 Aircraft Carrier USS Intrepid CV-11 Hit by Kamikaze, One of Three Japanese Aircraft Strikes on Intrepid During the Philippine Islands Liberation Operation
November 25, 1944 Aircraft Carrier USS Intrepid CV-11 Hit by Kamikaze, One of Three Japanese Aircraft Strikes on Intrepid During the Philippine Islands Liberation Operation
November 25, 1944 Aircraft Carrier USS Intrepid CV-11 Hit by Kamikaze, One of Three Japanese Aircraft Strikes on Intrepid During the Philippine Islands Liberation Operation
April 1, 1945 USMC 2nd Battalion, 22nd Regiment, LVT (Landing Vehicle Tracked) at Green Beach on Okinawa Island, Last Major Battle of WWII, an Amphibious Invasion by Many Metrics Larger than D-Day at Normandy, France and 98 Day Long Final Reckoning for Conventional Imperial Japanese Military Forces
April 1, 1945 USMC 2nd Battalion, 22nd Regiment, LVT (Landing Vehicle Tracked) at Green Beach on Okinawa Island, Last Major Battle of WWII, an Amphibious Invasion by Many Metrics Larger than D-Day at Normandy, France and 98 Day Long Final Reckoning for Conventional Imperial Japanese Military Forces
April 1, 1945 Riflemen of the 29th Marine Regiment Ride a M4A3 Sherman 105mm of Company A, 6th Tank Battalion During the 6th Marine Division Drive on Chuda, Okinawa
April 1, 1945 Riflemen of the 29th Marine Regiment Ride a M4A3 Sherman 105mm of Company A, 6th Tank Battalion During the 6th Marine Division Drive on Chuda, Okinawa
May 9, 1945 US Marines use 37mm Gun to Pound Imperial Japanese Pill Boxes During the Battle of Okinawa
May 9, 1945 US Marines use 37mm Gun to Pound Imperial Japanese Pill Boxes During the Battle of Okinawa Island
May 1945 US Marines Control Ridge at Naha, Okinawa
May 1945 US Marines Control Ridge at Naha, Okinawa
750_F4U_Corsair_1559197048133
April 9, 1945 Pilots from US Marine Corps Fighter Squadron, VMF-312 Checkerboarders, First to Land Their Vought F4U-1D Corsairs on Kadena Airfield, Okinawa Soon Followed by VMF-323 Death Rattlers, VMF-322 Fighting Gamecocks and a Single Night Fighter Squadron, VMF(N)-543 Night Hawks, Operating Grumman F6F(N) Hellcats to Provide Interception and Close Air Support for the Liberation of the Island of Okinawa
United States Marine Corps FG-1D Corsair VMF-323 rockets Okinawa 04-03-45
April 3, 1945 United States Marine Corps Vought FG-1D Corsair of VMF-323 Death Rattlers Fires Rockets in Close Air Support of Allied Ground Troops on Okinawa Island
United States Marine Corps FG-1D Corsair VMF-323 rockets Okinawa 06-10-45
June 10, 1945 United States Marine Corps Vought FG-1D Corsairs of VMF-323 Death Rattlers Patrol Okinawa Island
History Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323 VMFA-323 Death Rattlers Insignia
August 1943 United States Marine Corps Vought F4U-1 Corsairs of VMF-323 Death Rattlers get Their Name from a Rattle Snake Encounter While Training in North Carolina, Now VMFA-323  Based with Other Squadrons of Third Marine Aircraft Wing, 3D MAW, at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, San Diego, CA
January 2020 Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II Stealth Fighter, Aircraft Carrier Variant (CV), Third Marine Aircraft Wing, 3D MAW, Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, San Diego, CA
January 21, 2020 Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II Stealth Fighter, Aircraft Carrier Variant (CV), Third Marine Aircraft Wing, 3D MAW, Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, San Diego, CA
China Bell Master Sergeant Donald LeRoy Versaw United States Marine Corps Retired / WWII POW Last China Band Fourth Marines Musicians Memorial Band Hall 3D MAW Band Third Marine Aircraft Wing Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, San Diego, CA
China Bell
Master Sergeant
Donald LeRoy Versaw
United States Marine Corps
Retired / WWII POW

Last China Band
Fourth Marines Musicians
Memorial Band Hall

3D MAW Band
Third Marine Aircraft Wing
Miramar
Marine Corps Air Station
San Diego, CA

Battleship USS Missouri off Okinawa kamikaze 04-11-45
April 11, 1945 Battleship USS Missouri BB-63 off Okinawa Japanese A6M Zero Fighter Kamikaze Causes Minor Damage
USS Sangamon CVE-26 kamikaze 05-04-45
May 4, 1945 Escort Aircraft Carrier USS Sangamon CVE-26 Operating off Okinawa Coast Imperial Japanese Army Air Force Hien Ki-61 Tony Fighter Kamikaze Attack
Imperial Japanese Army Air Force Hien Ki-61 Tony Fighters Attempt to Intercept US Boeing B-29 Superfortress Bomber
Imperial Japanese Army Air Force Hien Ki-61 Tony Fighters Attempt to Intercept US Boeing B-29 Superfortress Bomber
Imperial Japanese Ki-51 Sonia Light Bomber/ Dive Bomber
July 26, 1945 British Heavy Cruiser HMS Sussex Sustains Minor Damage in Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) Japanese Ki-51 Sonia Light Bomber/Dive Bomber Kamikaze Strike to Armored Hull
Heavy Cruiser HMS Sussex Kamikaze strike 07-26-45
US Navy Task Force 38 off the coast of Japan 1945
August 17, 1945 Task Force 38 of US Navy Third Fleet off Coast of Japan Two Days After Empire Agrees to Surrender
Ronald Searle Drawing August 28, 1945 Planes Dropping Pamphlets Announcing End of War Over Changi Gaol Prisoner of War Camp Singapore to Allied POW Personnel from Britain, Australia and Canada
August 28, 1945 Planes Dropping Pamphlets Announcing End of War Over Changi Gaol Prisoner of War Camp Singapore to Allies from Britain, Australia and Canada in this Contemporaneous Drawing by Fellow POW Ronald Searle, British Army
Battleship USS Missouri Japan WWII Surrender
September 2, 1945 Empire of Japan Officials Sign World War II Surrender to US Army General Douglas MacArthur Aboard Battleship USS Missouri BB-63 in Tokyo Bay as Japanese War Crime Suspects are Investigated and Prisoner of War Camps in Japan are Liberated After Three Years of Combat, Captivity, Deprivation and Forced Labor for Many Allied Personnel
Battleship USS Missouri Japan WWII Surrender
United States of America and Allied military personnel stationed in the Pacific Theater of World War Two before the December 7, 1941 Empire of Japan attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and Manila Bay, the Philippine Islands, turn the tide of momentum from aggressive Japanese expansion to concern for the survival of the Emperor, himself before the cavalry from the United States mainland actually show up.

Admiral Yamamoto's warning about awakening a sleeping giant did not take in to account the determined resistance in combat of Allied soldiers, sailors and marines already at Wake Island, Corregidor, Bataan, Coral Sea and Midway stalling out Japanese military consolidation of East Asia.

No planned yet postponed major assault on Australia ever materialized and Japan was no longer able to conduct simultaneous offensives in both the north and south Pacific Ocean.

Before USS Essex CV-9 class flattops and USS Iowa BB-61 class battlewagons weigh in, keels are laid on new LST and submarine fleets and F4U Corsair and F6F Hellcat Fighter pilots and B-29 Bomber crews see action, P-40 Warhawk and F4F Wildcat Fighters, B-17 and B-25 Bombers, SBD Dauntless Dive Bombers, USS Lexington CV-2, USS Yorktown CV-5, USS Enterprise CV-6 and USS Hornet CV-8 aircraft carriers fight the first ever aircraft carrier battle May 4-8, 1942 in the Coral Sea, denying an objective to the Imperial Japanese Navy also for the first time in WWII, the occupation of Port Moresby, an Australian territory at that time, and destroy four more aircraft carriers of the IJN Fleet at the Battle of Midway Island, June 4-7, 1942.

Allied forces largely in place prior to the initiation of hostilities held fascism in check from the Battle of Britain to the Solomon Islands, turning offense to defense for Hitler's Thousand Year Third Reich, Il Duce Mussolini's Blackshirts and Tojo claiming to represent the Chrysanthemum Throne of the Mikado Hirohito before the final grim task of rolling up the Axis on an industrial scale could begin.

Former POW Don Versaw, 4th Marine Regimental Band, during repatriation from Japan by his US GI liberators via the devastation of the port of Nagasaki and huge Allied build up on the Island of Okinawa, quipped that he had never seen ships and planes so large and rifles so small.
80 Years Since Attack on
Pearl Harbor and the Philippines
December 7, 2021
Multimedia history of the United States Marine Corps Fourth Regiment Band, The Last China Band, in World War II at Beijing, Shanghai, Corregidor, Japan
Last China Band Digital Card
Copy and paste to a text or e-mail.
Below is a printable version
with eighth inch trim edges:
Last_China_Band
Business_Card.pdf
New Scans of Original Photo Prints from Third Marines Air Wing Band, Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, San Diego, CA and Marine Corps Musicians Association Historian
Last China Band Members and Former World War II Prisoners of War Martin Eichman, Jack P. Rauhof, Kenneth Marshall and Other Late 1940's and 1950's USMC Bands Original Photo Prints from Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band, 3rd MAW, Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, San Diego, CA and Marine Corps Musicians Association Historian
Band Photos After WWII
Miramar 3D MAW Band

Los Banos Rescue We Band of Angels World War II POW US Army and Navy Nurses Bataan Corregidor
Angels of Bataan
US Army and Navy
WWII POW Nurses
Rescue Feb 1945

US Marine Corps Aircraft Group 24 Douglas SBD (Scout Bomber Douglas) Dauntless Dive Bomber Planes of Fame Chino CA Angels of Bataan Corregidor
February 3, 1945 US Marine Corps Douglas SBD Dauntless Close Air Support for Santo Tomas, Philippines POW Rescue 
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Landing Vehicle Tracked
LVT Tour
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1952 TV Program

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First Lieutenant George Francis, USMC, Retired
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