On 13 January 1944, the Fourth Marine Division – including the First Battalion, 24th Marines aboard the USS DuPage – departed California for an undisclosed destination in the Pacific. The cynics among them thought they were off for another mock landing on Catalina Island and would be back at Camp Pendleton in a day or two. In fact, they were headed out of the continental United States for good – first to Pearl Harbor, then to the Japanese-held Marshall Islands. When they landed – first at the tiny islands of northern Kwajalein atoll, then at the larger twin islands of Roi-Namur – they made history as the first military unit to deploy directly from the United States into combat. It was their first experience in combat – but far from the last.
It seemed appropriate, therefore, to announce that this website is also shipping out. After spending several months migrating Missing Marines to a more powerful platform, it’s time for the First Battalion site to follow suit. All the posts and pictures and battle stories will be there – just better organized and easier to follow and a lot more sophisticated. (Or at least, that’s the plan. I keep finding issues with the WordPress export files and some things have to be done manually – and there is a LOT of content on this site. Several thousand pages worth.)
The site will also have a new URL, so if you’re the type to keep bookmarks now’s the time to update. (Or not – I’ll have a redirect set up, too.
We’ll be flipping the switch on 1 February 2021 – the anniversary of 1/24’s first combat action on Namur. It’ll also coincide with my first ever article in Leatherneck Magazine – can’t say much more about it before it’s published, but followers of the battalion will hopefully find it interesting.
I’ve been collecting more stories and photographs, too, so we’ll get kicked off with some new material to go along with the redesign, too.
Thanks for reading, for remembering, and helping tell the battalion’s story. Onwards!