The 9th Marine Regiment was an infantry regiment of the United States Marine Corps. Formed during World War II, it served until 1994, when it was deactivated during the post Cold War drawdown. Battalions of the Ninth Marine Regiment, but not the regiment itself, were reactivated from 2007 to 2014 as part of the Marine Corps' growth during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The battalions have subsequently been deactivated again.
The regiment was composed of three infantry battalions and the regimental headquarters company:Headquarters Company, 9th Marines (HQ/9)
1st Battalion 9th Marines (1/9)
2nd Battalion 9th Marines (2/9)
3rd Battalion 9th Marines (3/9)
The 9th Marines were activated at Quantico, Virginia on November 20, 1917. A month later, they deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and were attached to the 3rd Marine Brigade. That same month, they redeployed with the brigade to Galveston, Texas in case of any German operation in the Caribbean or in Mexico. After World War I, the regiment was inactivated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 25, 1919.
On December 1, 1925, the regiment was reactivated as a reserve organization whose mission was to train and maintain at a high degree of preparedness a group of “civilian” Marines.
The 3rd Battalion 9th Marines was reactivated at Camp Elliot, San Diego on February 12, 1942. In the following months, the rest of the battalions were also reactivated on January 1, 1942 when the regiment officially re-formed. They were attached to the 3rd Marine Division at Camp Pendleton on September 16, 1943. The 9th Marines fought as part of the 3rd Marine Division on the islands of Bougainville, Guam, and Iwo Jima during WW2. The regiment was inactivated at Camp Pendleton on December 31, 1945.
The regiment was reformed on 17 March 1952 at Camp Pendleton, California and assigned to the 3d Marine Division. It was deployed during August 1953 to Camp Gifu, Japan and then in June 1955 to Okinawa. The regiment alternated between Japan and Okinawa in the 1950s.
On March 8, 1965, 9th Marines came ashore at Red Beach as the first conventional ground combat unit in South Vietnam, their mission was to defend the Danang Air Base. The first significant contact was in April 1965. The regimental headquarters arrived in country in July of that year.
The regiment saw action in Vietnam’s I Corps, primarily in Quang Tri and Thua Thien provinces, although a number of its earlier operations were also conducted in the southern I Corps provinces of Quang Nam, Quang Tin, and Quang Ngai. The 9th Marines served as a vital stop to the North Vietnamese penetrations across the DMZ and from along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Cambodia.
Some of its early operations included Operation Double Eagle, Macon and Prairie.
In April and May 1967, elements of the regiment defeated two NVA regiments in The Hill Fights north of Khe Sanh Combat Base. In Operation Buffalo, elements of the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines made contact north of Con Thien with regimental-size NVA forces in an engagement that lasted through May, accounting for over 1300 enemy dead.
The regiment successfully conducted Operation Dewey Canyon in the A Shau Valley, cut by the Song Da Krong river. The 9th Regiment killed many of the NVA, preventing another build-up and assault from Route 622 from Laos into South Vietnam as the NVA had the year before during the Tet Offensive.
Operation Dewey Canyon netted, among other weaponry, 16 artillery pieces, 73 anti-aircraft guns, hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition, 92 trucks, and hundreds of thousands pounds of rice. This operation earned the regiment an Army Presidential Unit Citation.
Gen Stillwell wrote in his report to Gen Abrams on Operation Dewey Canyon: “...this ranks with the most significant undertakings of the Vietnam conflict in the concept and results...”
The 9th Marines were part of the first redeployments from Vietnam in the summer of 1969. In July 1969 the regiment deployed to Camp Schwab, Okinawa and was reassigned in August 1969 to the 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade. The 9th MAB was then reassigned during November 1969 to the 3rd Marine Division (3 MarDiv).
The 9th Marines were inactivated in the budget cuts of 1994. A nucleus of staff and support personnel were maintained to reconstitute the regiment when needed. This was done in the belief that the necessary riflemen would be easily recruited in time of emergency or war.
On September 2, 1994 the 2nd Battalion was inactivated and redesignated the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines and the 3rd Battalion was inactivated and re-designated the 3d Battalion, 4th Marines. On September 9, 1994 the 1st Battalion was inactivated and redesignated as the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines.
As part of the effort to expand the Marine Corps to 202,000 Marines by the end of 2011, the battalions of the 9th Marines began reactivation in 2007. The 1st Battalion, 9th Marines (1/9) reactivated on April 18, 2007, the 2nd Battalion reactivated in July 2007, and the 3rd Battalion reactivated in May 2008. Each battalion falls under existing regimental headquarters — 1/9 with the 8th Marine Regiment, 2/9 with the 6th Marine Regiment and 3/9 with the 2nd Marine Regiment.
10 Marines from the 9th Marine Regiment have received the Medal of Honor:Thomas P. Noonan
Thomas E. Creek
John H. Leims
Wilson D. Watson
Louis H. Wilson
Frank P. Witek
Wesley L. Fox
William D. Morgan
Alfred M. Wilson
John P. Bobo
Walter K. Singleton
Harvey C. Barnum
The 9th Marines earned the following awards:Robert H. Barrow, commanding officer, later became 27th Commandant of the Marine Corps