ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

U.S. Marine Corps History: July 20th

Updated on July 19, 2016
Kevin McClernon profile image

Kevin retired from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 2014 after 32 years of service.


"Flying is hours and hours of boredom sprinkled with a few seconds of sheer terror."

-Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, USMC World War II ace and Medal of Honor recipient

Since its founding in 1775 the Marine Corps has served this nation "from the sea". From manning "the fighting tops" of the frigate navy through the bloody "island hopping campaign" of World War II, Marines have served as the nation's amphibious force in readiness.

A theme of this day in the Corps' history is Marine aviation. Included are its pre-World War II expansion, an action of the Marine component of the Cactus Air Force in the Central Pacific and supporting an U.S. Air Force operation over North Vietnam.

The Air Combat Element is an integral component of Marine Air Ground Task Forces (MAGTF). Its roles include; assault support to ground combat and support elements of the MAGTF, anti-air warfare, offensive air support, electronic warfare, control of aircraft and missiles, and aerial reconnaissance. Additionally, Marines provide squadrons and detachments to serve on aircraft carriers as part of the Navy's Carrier Air Wings.

1940 - Aviation

The United States looked on as a neutral nation as the Axis Powers rolled through Europe and the Empire of Japan expanded throughout the Pacific Basin. Feeling an imminent threat to the U.S. and its territories, the U.S. Congress passed the Two Ocean Navy Act.

This act authorized a huge expansion in the size of the navy, both in aircraft and vessels. Included in the expansion plans was a significant increase in the Marine aircraft inventory; scheduling it to expand ten-fold to 1,500 aircraft.

1940 Marine Corps aircraft

Grumman J2F-1 "Duck"
Grumman J2F-1 "Duck" | Source
Douglass SBD-1 "Dauntless"
Douglass SBD-1 "Dauntless" | Source
Grumman F4F "Wildcat"
Grumman F4F "Wildcat" | Source



1942 - Organization

The 23rd Marine Regiment (23rd Marines) was activated at New River, North Carolina and subsequently assigned to the 4th Marine Division. The regiment saw its first combat action on 1 February 1944, assaulting Roi Namur during the Battle of Kwajalien. The 23rd Marines subsequently participated in the assaults and seizures of Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. Four members of the regiment received the Congressional Medal of Honor during these battles.

The 23rd Marines is one of three infantry regiments of the Marine Forces Reserve. It is currently headquartered in San Bruno, California.

1943 - World War II

The Solomon Islands Campaign consisted of air, ground and naval battles in a relatively confined area. The campaign was the longest in the Pacific Theater and put an end to Empire of Japan's Pacific Basin expansion and the threat on Australia and New Zealand.

On this date, Marine ground-based aircraft sortied from Guadalcanal and attack a Japanese destroyer squadron in "The Slot", immediately south of Choiseul. The air raid sinks one destroyer and damages a cruiser.

Solomon Islands:
Solomon Islands

get directions

U.S. Marine F4F "Wildcats" lined up at Henderson Field, Guadalcanal in 1943. These aircraft provide support to air, ground and naval operations during the Solomon Island Campaign.
U.S. Marine F4F "Wildcats" lined up at Henderson Field, Guadalcanal in 1943. These aircraft provide support to air, ground and naval operations during the Solomon Island Campaign. | Source


1st MAW F-8 "Crusader" conducting a close air support mission in South Vietnam, 1966.
1st MAW F-8 "Crusader" conducting a close air support mission in South Vietnam, 1966. | Source

1966 - Vietnam Conflict

The 7th Air Force begins Operation Tally Ho in Vietnam. The operation consists of air strikes in the southern portion of North Vietnam in order to neutralize the North Vietnamese Army's capability to influence the fighting in South Vietnam.

Flying out of the Da Nang Air Base, the 1st Marine Air Wing (1st MAW) supports this operation by providing fighter escorts for U.S. Air Force bombers and conducting ground attack sorties.


get directions


USAF O-2A forward air control aircraft flying over Vietnam.
USAF O-2A forward air control aircraft flying over Vietnam. | Source


Operation TALLY HO was a U.S. 7th Air Force air interdiction operation along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Vietnam which was conducted during the period of 20 July - 31 August 1966. The objective of the operation was to interdict the flow of North Vietnamese Army (NVA) troops and supplies infiltrating across the DMZ into South Vietnam.

Over 3,800 missions were flown during the operation, approximately 1,100 were conducted by the 1st MAW. Three U.S. Air Force aircraft were shot down during the operation. Results included the destruction of; 27 anti-aircraft batteries, 20 bridges, and 500 buildings, however, it failed to stop the infiltration of NVA forces into South Vietnam.

In the air, on land, and sea...

That concludes significant events in which Marines participated on the 20th of July.

Keep checking back as I have, and will continue, writing these "This Day In Marine History" articles. Weekly, I’ll give you more of the Corps' facts and history. In the meantime, visit my profile page where you can find all of my Marine Corps and physical fitness articles.

Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment with concerns, feedback or questions.

Here's health to you and to our Corps..

Semper Fidelis
Semper Fidelis | Source


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)