2nd Assault Amphibious Battalion
The mission of the 2nd Assault Amphibious Battalion is to land the surface assault element of the landing force and their equipment in a single lift from assault shipping during amphibious operations to inland objectives and to conduct mechanized operations and related combat support in subsequent operations ashore.
The Second Assault Amphibian Battalion originated with the activation of Company "A" in December 1941 at Marine Barracks Dunedin, Florida. The Battalion organization was subsequently effected on 18 March 1942 at Marine Barracks San Diego, California. The "Second Amphibian Tractor Battalion" was an Organic unit of the 2nd Marine Division, composed of a Headquarters and Service Company and three letter companies, all equipped with the Landing Vehicle Tracked-1 (LVT-1).
In 1942, the Battalion set sail from San Diego, CA with the First Marine Division to meet the Japanese tide sweeping across the South Pacific. Ever conscious of the realities of war, the island hopping campaigns with assault waves of amtracs crashing through surf and clambering onto shore remain the "glory days" for the Battalion. Elements of the 2nd Amphibian Tractor Battalion participated in assaults on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Spain, Tinian and Okinawa. After the surrender of Japan in August of 1945, the Battalion returned to the United States and deactivated on 29 November 1945. The 2nd Amphibian Tractor Battalion was reactivated on 1 May 1946. The Battalion was stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina where it participated in peace time training with the 2nd Marine Division. During this time the Battalion was equipped with the LVT-3 and consisted of a Headquarters and Service company and four letter companies. As a result of the economy program, the Battalion was once again deactivated on 16 October 1949.
The Korean Crisis during the following year changed the plans, and on 10 August 1950, the Battalion was once again reactivated. It was reassigned on 10 April 1951 to Force Troops, Fleet Marine Force. During July 1956, the LVT-3 was phased out and the Battalion was equipped with LVTP-5. Concurrently, the Battalion was reduced to a Headquarters and Service Company and two letter companies. In 1957, elements of the 2nd Amphibian Tractor Battalion sailed from Camp Lejeune with the Sixth Marine Regiment (Reinforced) for operations in the Mediterranean Sea. This was the first of what is now the Landing Force Sixth Fleet deployment. In 1958, the Battalion responded to the Middle East Crisis with the first units of the Battalion landing in Lebanon on 15 July.
Throughout the1960's the 2nd Amphibian Tractor Battalion demonstrated its readiness for assignment to any appropriate task. During the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, both letter companies embarked on amphibious shipping in preparation for assault landings. The Battalion provided on LVTR05 (retriever) Band crew to act as part of the on-site recovery force for Gemini and Apollo missions in March 1965. April 1965 found the Dominican Republic on a state of political chaos. Amtracs from 2nd Amphibious Battalion landed just west of Santo Domingo and supported operations until the political situation stabilized. In 1966, the Battalion transferred 260 Amphibian Tractor Crew men to Vietnam. Throughout the war, the 2nd Amphibian Tractor Battalion supported routine deployments and provided training support to the 2nd Marine Division.
The 1970's brought about major changes in the Battalion. On 5 April 1972, a ceremony was held to commemorate activation of the first LVTP-7 company (Company C) in the Marine Corps. Company D was activated two weeks later, giving the Battalion four letter companies in addition to Headquarters and Service Company. On 1 January 1977, the Battalion was redesigned as the Second Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, FMF.
Beginning in 1983, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion supported the 2nd Marine Division as part of the Multinational Peace Keeping Force in Lebanon. Elements of the Battalion also participated in the invasion of Grenada. In 1987, the Battalion initiated one company into the Unit Deployment Program rotation with the 3rd Marine Division. Company B, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion finalized Unit Deployment rotations for the Battalion upon its return from Okinawa, Japan in January 1992. The August 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq caused another chapter to be written in the history of 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion. Initiated by the deployment of Company "A" in support of 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade on 18 August 1990, the Battalion commenced an intensive pre-deployment training cycle in preparation for the Gulf War.
2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion deployed to Southwest Asia in December 1990 in support of Regimental Landing Team-6. Headquarters and Service Company, Company "B" First Armored Assault Battalion, and Company B 2md Assault Amphibian Battalion deployed with 2nd Marine Division (Forward) on 15 December 1990. Company "C" had previously departed for Okinawa, Japan as part of the Unit Deployment Program in May 1990. They remained with the 3rd Marine Division until their return to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in May of 1991. 2nd Platoon, Company "C" deployed from Okinawa to Southwest Asia in late December 1990 with the 2nd Marine Division (Main). With the addition of the MK-154 Mine Clearance Launcher Systems, the Battalion formed a General Engineer Support Unit (GSEU) which reinforced the Battalions strength to 248 Amphibious Assault Vehicles dedicated for combat operations. In January 1991, the Battalion began intensive training and task organization to support the 6th and 8th Marine Regiments, 2nd and 8th Tank Battalions, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion and the Division Support Group. On the morning of 24 February 1991, the Battalion commenced ground offensive operations, halting on the outskirts of Kuwait City four days later. The 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion performed with distinction, adding the new Southwest Asia Service Streamer to the unit colors.
With the Liberation of Kuwait and the end of Operation Desert Storm, the Battalion returned to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and began adjustment back into peacetime operations and training. 3rd Platoon, Company "D" began deployment in the Mediterranean, supported BLT 2/8 in Operations Provide Comfort, from April to June 1991. Marines of the 2nd Assault Amphibian have recently in Norway, the Persian Gulf, South Africa, the Pacific, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and here in the United States. The Battalion will continue throughout the 90's and beyond to be a vital part of the 2nd Marine Division and the United Stated Marine Corps.
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