2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment
The mission of 2/24 4th Marine Division is to provide trained combat and combat support personnel and units to augment and reinforce the active component in time of war, national emergency, and at other times as national security requires; and have the capability to reconstitute the Division, if required.
The origin of 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division (Rein) USMCR, "Chicago's own" can be traced back to the establishment of the 9th Reserve Battalion in 1922. They were mobilized in November 1940 as part of the preparation for World War II. Many of Chicago's reservists became part of the newly founded 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division, Fleet Marine Forces USMCR.
The 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines were activated on 26 March 1943 as part of the 4th Marine Division. Their first action was the invasion of the Marshall Islands on 1 February 1944, securing the first portion of the Japanese empire to be conquered by the United States in World War II.
On 15 June 1944, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines landed on Saipan in the Marianas. Fifteen days after Saipan was secured, they assaulted the island of Tinian, securing that island in eight days. The 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines, received its first Presidential Unit Citation for the capture of Saipan and Tinian.
On 19 February 1945, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines landed on Iwo Jima with the island finally being secured. On 19 March 1945, the 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines was awarded a second Presidential Unit Citation for its participation in the capture of Iwo Jima. Captain Joseph J. McCarthy, Commanding Officer Co. G 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines, a former chief in the Chicago Fire Department was awarded the Medal of Honor for his Gallantry on Iwo Jima. The battalion was demobilized on 31 October 1945.
After World War II, the Reserve 9th Separate Infantry Battalion was activated in Chicago. In October 1950, they were mobilized and sent to Camp Pendleton, California for further transfer to Korea, where Chicago Marines saw combat during the Korean War.
On 1 July 1962, The 9th Separate Infantry Battalion was redesignated the 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division, Fleet Marine Forces, USMCR. The 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines, have subsequently participated in numerous training exercises. To ensure its readiness in any clime or place, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines has trained for desert warfare at the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center, Twenty-nine Palms, California; Arctic warfare in Norway and Fort McCoy, Wisconsin; amphibious warfare at Little Creek, Virginia and Coronado, California; jungle warfare at Camp Pendleton, California, and the Republic of Panama; as well as participating in several NATO exercises.
For its participation in Combined Arms Exercise (CAX) 7-89 at Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center, Twenty-nine Palms, California, and Operation Alpine Warrior '90 at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation.
On 30 November 1990, the battalion was mobilized as a result of the Presidential call up in support of Operation Desert Shield. Training and final preparation for the war in the desert was conducted at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, during December 1990. Upon the battalions arrival in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it was assigned the mission of security for critical facilities.
The 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines were initially assigned the mission of protecting the MEF commanders primary bases in Northern Saudi Arabia, to include the Naval Air Field at Al Jubail, the ammunition storage site near Abu Hadriah and the defense of I MEF headquarters at Ras Safanya and Marine Air Group 16 at Tanajib, thus providing security against terrorists and Iraqi Commandos for an area over 40 miles wide and 135 miles deep.
As Operation Desert Storm commenced, the area of responsibility increased further west to Kibrit and north to Al Khanjar. During the ground war, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines provided security to the largest ammunition supply point in the country, at the loss of which would have critically impaired the ground offensive. During the liberation of Kuwait, elements of 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines provided security to I Marine Expeditionary Force Command Post in Kuwait. Additionally, they took up defensive positions at Al Jaber Airfield south of Kuwait City.
While maintaining its mission of providing security, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines was also responsible for the handling and processing of over 10,300 enemy prisoners of war in a 96 hour period. The battalion returned to Chicago on 12 May 1991, after 5 months of deployment, with 31/2 months in Southwest Asia.
2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment, 4th Marine Division was mobilized in June 2004. The unit moved to at Camp Pendleton, CA, that month for training before deploying to Iraq sometime around August.
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