1st Bn, 5th Marines
World War I
The United States entered WWI on April 6, 1917
The WW I Honor Roll for 1/5 does not include machine guns and supply as this support is shown at a regimental-level and assignment to company or even battalion is not shown. Some company rosters were not shown or available for certain months so there may be additional casualties for one or more companies that are not included below.
When the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment was formed during World War I and the troops shipped over to the U.K. and then to France, the infantry units in the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines consisted of the 17th , 49th , 66th and 67th companies. The World War I records reviewed indicate that by April 1918, the 17th Company was being referred to as the “A” company. By early Summer 1918, the 17th , 49th , 66th and 67th companies were being referred to as A, B, C and D companies, respectively. The size of each infantry company in 1/5 appears to have been 250 Marines.
The last date shown for each name is the date that the person enlisted in the Marine Corps. Some Marines shown as MIA may have been hospitalized for wounds and later reappeared to continue service with their unit. After a battle, unit commanders frequently did not know the whereabouts of some of their men. As seen below, the remains of some men were discovered on the battlefield in 1919. The records available for research did not always show the ultimate fate of some of those listed as MIA.
On June 6, 1918, Marines of 1/5 entered back-to-back battles of Belleau Wood and Chateau Thierry where the Germans began to call them “Devil Dogs” because they could not stop their advance. The records show individual notations of men who ran across the battlefield under intense small arms, machine gun and artillery fire to get a resupply of ammo and they returned to their unit at, to quote, “a most opportune moment”. In mid-July, 1/5 was engaged in the Battle of Soissons when the British made decisive use of tanks in warfare. In August, a large number of 1/5 Marines went AWOL for about one week. They may have decided to escape to Paris while they had a chance … and perhaps to avoid getting killed as the end of the war neared. Upon their return, it appears from the records that the ring leaders were sentenced to 2 to 3 months hard labor and most of the others were fined and/or busted in rank. In mid-September, the battalion was engaged in the St. Michel Salient. During the months of September thru November, a large number of 1/5 Marines were hospitalized for the Spanish flu epidemic. Their ultimate fate is not mentioned in the 1/5 records as men who were hospitalized or missing were transferred to a “Replacement Battalion.” On November 11, 1918, the Armistice was declared.
17th Co ("A")
49th Co ("B")
66th Co ("C")
67th Co ("D")
In Flanders fields, the poppies blow
We are the Dead. Short days ago
Take up our quarrel with the foe!
The torch. Be yours to hold it high!