The 27th Marine Regiment was activated on January 10, 1944, as a result of the massive increase in the Marine Corps during World War II. The regiment first saw action during the Battle of Iwo Jima. During the course of the battle they suffered 566 killed, 1,706 wounded, and had 4 Marines receive the Medal of Honor. After the surrender of Japan the regiment was inactivated on January 10, 1946.
The 27th Marines was again reactivated during the Vietnam War on January 1, 1966, but was mainly used as a pool for new replacements before they went overseas. The 2nd and 3rd Battalions were stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA. The 1st Battalion was at Marine Corps Air Station at Kane'ohe Bay in Hawaii. During the Tet Offensive in 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson authorized an increase in U.S. troop strength in South Vietnam and the 27th Marines was one of the units sent. The 27th Marines became the first Marine regiment to fly into a combat zone. Their deployment overseas put a severe strain on manpower in the Marine Corps and they were returned to the United States before the close of 1968.
A homecoming parade was presented as a Memorial Ceremony downtown San Diego to the lives the regiment had given in Vietnam. The unit was then reassigned to MCB Camp Pendleton within the area of the base called Camp Margarita or the 33 Area.
The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in presenting the MERITORIOUS UNIT COMMENDATION TO
THIRD BATTALION, TWENTY-SEVENTH MARINES FIRST MARINE DIVISION (REINFORCED)
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For valorous achievement in action against enemy North Vietnamese Army forces during engagements on Go Noi Island. Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, from 17 to 28 May 1968. Ordered to insert two companies and a command group into an area in the southern portion of Go Noi to relieve one of its own companies which had been inserted two days before, and which was engaged in heavy fighting with an estimated enemy battalion, the Third Battalion, Twenty-Seventh Marines commenced a heliborne assault at 1500 on 17 May 1968. Immediately upon landing, the battalion was taken under heavy enemy mortar fire and, despite numerous friendly casualties, launched a series of assaults to reach the besieged company. Intensive enemy mortar, small-arms, and automatic weapons fire was encountered as the battalion aggressively moved forward in an attempt to link up with friendly forces. Only after fierce fighting, which lasted well into the night, did the enemy withdraw, allowing elements of the two forces to join. Relentlessly pursuing the enemy, the battalion continued to sweep the island, engaging North Vietnamese Army units on three more occasions and defeating them each time after fierce fighting and intensive use of tanks, artillery, and close air support resulting in the death of 225 of the enemy. Supported by Marine aviation units and artillery, the men of the Third Battalion, Twenty-seventh Marines, were materially instrumental in the clearing of the island of organized resistance, relieved the pressure on friendly units, and set an inspiring example for our own and allied forces. Through their effective teamwork, aggressive fighting spirit, and the many individual acts of bravery, the men of the Third Battalion, Twenty-seventh Marines, together with supporting Marine units, dealt the enemy a severe blow and in so doing demonstrated those qualities of valor and professional skill which were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
All personnel serving with the Third Battalion, Twenty - seventh Marines and the following attached units during the period 17 - 28 May 1968 are hereby authorized to wear the MERITORIOUS UNIT COMMENDATION Ribbon.
Detachment, Battery F, 2d Battalion, 13th Marines
Detachment, 1st Shore Party Battalion
Detachment, Company C, 1st Tank Battalion
Detachment, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion
Detachment, 1st Engineer Battalion
For the Secretary of the Navy,
Leonard F. Chapman, Jr.
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Last Updated: Dec 28, 2017
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