WW II-USMC 3rd Division TB
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Texas, United States
This is not collectible.
Use TB48Q25 to reference this item.
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About This Item
Replica Shoulder Patch. I have great respect for all the men and women who have served in the armed forces. However, I hold the Marine Corps in the highest regard. It stems some from their legendary exploits in WW II (my father's generation), but also from my contact with them after they served. I have known them as my own classmates and teachers in high school and college, as administrators and colleagues in my professional life and as recreational companions. I have also socialized with more than a few because some years ago my wife taught at the Marine Military Academy, in Harlingen, TX. Every one of those men fought at some place like Guadalcanal, Peleliu, Iwo Jima or Okinawa. And several also served in Korea and survived the Chosin Reservoir. To a person they (even those never having seen combat) believe they are part of something so much larger than themselves. I use the present tense advisedly becaue I have learned there is no such thing as an ex-marine. This particular TB is to honor the 3rd Division of the USMC.
The 3rd Marine Division is an infantry division now based at Camp Courtney, Okinawa, Japan. It is one of three active duty divisions in the Marine Corps. The division was first formed and fought during World War. It was activated on 16 September 1942 at Camp Elliott, San Diego, California.
The division moved to Auckland, New Zealand between January and March 1943. In June to Guadalcanal for additional training. On 27 September 1943 the division landed on Bougainville. They returned to Guadalcanal in January, 1944 to rest, refit and train. The next operation was the landing on Guam. When that operation finished, they trained for the landing on Iwo Jima. The 3rd Marine Division was initially in reserve for that battle, however they were committed one regiment at a time as the initial regiments that landed needed to be relieved. The first unit went ashore on 20 February and elements of the division stayed until the end of organized resistance on 16 March and the subsequent mopping up operations for the next month. The fighting on Iwo Jima would cost the 3rd Marine Division 1,131 killed in action and another 4,438 wounded.
The insignia of the Third Marine Division was adopted on 25 August 1943, when the Division was in training on Guadalcanal for the upcoming invasion of Bougainville. The insignia consisted of a caltrop on a triangular, gold-bordered scarlet shield. The caltrop was a medieval defensive weapon used against both cavalry and infantry. During the warfare of the Middle Ages, large numbers of caltrops were scattered by defenders on the ground in front of an approaching enemy. The four-pronged, forged-iron caltrop was designed so that no matter which way it landed when thrown on the ground, one point would be up with the other three points supporting it. When used on the insignia, the caltrop represented not only the 3d Marine Division, but also the motto painted on the drums carried by the Continental Marines in the American Revolution: "Don't Tread on Me."
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