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2nd Tank Battalion

"To provide combat power to 2nd Marine Division in the amphibious assault and subsequent operations ashore, utilizing maneuver, armor protected firepower, and shock action to disrupt, disorganize, and destroy the enemy, his command and control, communications, and logistics."

2nd Tank Battalion stood as a single company in May of 1941, using the 4th Tank Company to form its own Alpha Company. In July, that Alpha Company deployed to Iceland with the Provisional Brigade. The Battalion formed in December 20th at Camp Elliott, San Diego California, growing to the standard organization with a headquarters, service and four letter companies (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta). Bravo Company deployed to Samoa in January and Charlie Company sailed with 2D Marines to Tulagi, landing in an assault there on November 7th 1942 against heavy resistance. This completed a "hat trick" of "firsts" for the battalion: First company overseas, first company to deploy to a war theater, and first company in combat. The battalion participated in every action of the 2nd Marine Division, such as Tarawa, Saipan and Okinawa. Sgt Grant F. Timmerman of Company B was killed in action on July 8th 1944 on Saipan and was awarded posthumously the Medal of Honor. After a brief tour with the Japan occupation force, the battalion returned to its permanent garrison at Camp Lejeune, NC.

With the coming of the Korean War, most of the battalion's personnel immediately augmented the 1st Tank Battalion (forming Charlie Company of that unit) or provided replacements throughout the conflict. It also provided cadre for the 8th Tank Battalion, a wartime expansion force battalion. Garrison duty on the East Coast of the US involved support to routine deployments in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Second Tank Battalion units became involved in two interventions in Lebanon, the Cuban Missile Crisis deployment, the Dominican Republic and the Guantanemo Base defense effort. The Vietnam War again caused the battalion to provide replacements for the tank battalions deployed there.

After the Vietnam War, peacetime deployments swelled with participation in NATO exercises. Units of the battalion also saw brief combat in the invasion of Granada. But the battalion as a whole saw its first combat since the Second World War in 1991, as it moved with the 2D Marine Division to Saudi Arabia for the liberation of Kuwait. Augmented by companies of the 4th USMCR Tank Battalion, 2D Tank Battalion supported regiments and served as the division reserve for the four-day war in Kuwait. Today, the battalion continues in service in garrison at Camp Lejeune in a continuous cycle of training.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:18:01 ZULU