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Lore of the Corps - 1983 Grenada Invasion

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  • Lore of the Corps - 1983 Grenada Invasion

    The Lore of the Corps



    Marines played major role in 1983 Grenada invasion
    By Fred L. Borch and Robert F. Dorr - Special to the Times
    Posted : October 06, 2008

    On Oct. 25, 1983, Marines landed in Grenada as part of Operation Urgent Fury, the first major military operation since Vietnam.
    A small island in the Caribbean, Grenada gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1974. By 1979, the Marxist-oriented New Jewel Movement was in power. Its leader, Maurice Bishop, invited Cuba, the Soviet Union and other Communist nations to assist the young island nation.
    In “U.S. Marines in Grenada, 1983,” Ronald H. Spector wrote that members of the Revolutionary Military Counsel murdered Bishop, imposed a round-the-clock curfew and closed Grenada’s airport.
    Believing that he must act before harm came to U.S. citizens in Grenada, President Reagan announced that forces of six Caribbean nations and the U.S. had landed on the island to “restore order and democracy.”
    Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Metcalf III headed a joint task force of Marines, paratroopers and special operations personnel. After a Navy SEAL team advised against an amphibious landing, the 22nd Marine Amphibious Unit conducted a heliborne assault of Grenada’s eastern shore.
    With AH-1 Cobra gunships providing support, troop-carrying CH-46s made successful landings, and by 7:30 a.m., the Marines had captured Pearls Airport, the principal civilian airfield on Grenada’s east coast.
    While Rangers and troopers from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division took control of the southern half of the island, the Marines moved to take key terrain on the northern half of the island, including the towns of Grenville and St. George’s. They encountered little or no resistance.
    Unfortunately, not all Marines escaped harm. Cobra co-pilot Capt. Jeb F. Seagle was killed while seeking help for his pilot, Capt. Timothy D. Howard, who was badly hurt when their helicopter was shot down.
    For his heroism that day, Seagle was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
    Within days, fighting on Grenada was at an end. With the main island secure, the Marines moved to seize the smaller island of Carriacou, just northeast of Grenada. They landed Nov. 1 and confiscated a large store of arms and ammunition.
    By late afternoon the next day, the unit was back onboard ships, headed for Beirut, Lebanon, where fellow Marines had just suffered horrendous losses after the bombing of their barracks.
    Operation Urgent Fury was a decisive military victory. Combat was over in a week, the Marxist government was gone, and U.S. citizens had been rescued.
    Fred L. Borch, an Army veteran, can be reached at [email protected]. Robert F. Dorr, an Air Force veteran, can be reached at [email protected].
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    ...And shephards we shall be. For thee my lord, for thee. Power hath descended forth from thy hand. That our feet may swiftly carry out thy command. So we shall flow a river forth to thee. And teeming with souls shall it ever be. E Nomini Patri, E Fili, E Spiritu Sancti.

  • #2
    My Tribe had one guy who jumped into Grenada...I didn't know him, he died back home after he got out of the Rangers in a boat accident. On his headstone it said his body was claimed by Columbia River, and he was never found.
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    R.I.P. my Bros from the 1st MAR DIV, 3rd MAR DIV, 25th I.D., 10th MTN DIV, V Corps, 170th IBCT who gave their lives in the Cold War, Marines we lost in Korea during Team Spirit '89 & Okinawa '89- bodies never recovered, Panama, 1st Gulf War, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq...





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    • #3
      I did know some Marines in 1/5 who had served in Beruit though...3 of them. A SSGT, a L/CPL, and a LTCOL. Hard charging Marines they were.
      sigpic
      R.I.P. my Bros from the 1st MAR DIV, 3rd MAR DIV, 25th I.D., 10th MTN DIV, V Corps, 170th IBCT who gave their lives in the Cold War, Marines we lost in Korea during Team Spirit '89 & Okinawa '89- bodies never recovered, Panama, 1st Gulf War, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq...





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