Seventy-five years ago, on Aug. 7, 1942, the Allied offensive against Japan began with the invasion of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. The fight for the small tropical isle became a grueling half-year campaign, with the U.S. Marines locked in an unforgiving struggle against the Japanese troops. But a newly formed American unit was there to meet them: the Marine Raiders. Here’s how the elite force persevered, as told by one of its last surviving members.
A routine traffic stop and speeding ticket in June became the catalyst for a patriotic display on Aug. 6, when police officers escorted 96-year-old Marine Corps vet Harold Sheffield from Bristol, New Hampshire, to the state line in a “rolling salute.”
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Alex A. Quiles
To Hershel “Woody” Williams, the Medal of Honor he wears around his neck does not belong to him. It’s not because he isn’t worthy of it, he undoubtedly is. For Williams, the medal belongs to the men who never made it home.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Provost
Marine Raiders, past and present, look back on their legacy in a video celebrating the 10th anniversary of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, or MARSOC. Marine Raiders operate as small teams, far behind enemy lines, with little help or support beyond the men to their left and right.