National Geographic : 1950 Nov
660 National Geographic Phi "The World's Deadliest Weapon . . . a Marii So said the late General of the Armies John J. Persi mander's remark was inspired by Marine exploits in battles as Belleau Wood, Soissons, Chateau Thierry, St Argonne. For 175 years Leathernecks have seen ac world's odd corners than any other American fightin train at Quantico (pages 647 and 663). Bonhomme Richard, Marines beat down the British crew of the Serapis and boarded that prize on the day John Paul Jones said, "I have not yet begun to fight!" In this kind of fighting originated a distinc tive feature of Marine uniform-the cruciform braid knot on officers' caps. Tradition says Marines first sewed bits of line on their head gear so that comrades firing from the rigging could distinguish friend from foe. Wars End, but Training Doesn't For 175 years Marines have never ceased training. That training carried them from Guadalcanal and Tarawa to Iwo Jima and Okinawa in the last war-and now to Korea (pages 648, 649, 658, 669, 672).* Now they're training harder than ever, but with new weapons and new tactics. I know. I've just flown to their principal bases-Quan tico in Virginia, Cherry Point and Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, Parris Island in South Carolina, and San Diego, Camps Del MIar and Pendleton and El Toro, in southern California. I spent a week with Maj. Gen. A. Houston Noble, at that time com mander of Parris Island boot camp. He and his gracious wife, fondly known to the whole camp as "Miss Addie," are heart-warming ex amples of that respect and affection which the best type of enlisted Marines feel for their officers and families. You see here with what regard and protective understanding officers treat their men. Marine Corps history is full of heroic cases in which officers lost their lives trying to save their men. Marines are made, not otographer Willard R. Culver born. You see how ne and His Rifle" they're made, here on thing. The AEF com- Parris Island (pages such World War I 650, 651, 655, 670) . Mihiel, and Meuse- and at the other boot tion in more of the and at the other boot g force. These men camp in San Diego. Traditionally, in peace time or in wartime, they're all hand-picked volunteers. In the standard ten weeks of tough, trying, back breaking training they suffer, die, and are resurrected. Only the fit survive! "Sure, we first shingle their heads close as a mule's tail," said General Noble. "That's a mighty social leveler; that and the rough dungarees make 'em all look and feel alike. Then you can't tell a millionaire socialite from a Brooklyn paper-hanger's son." And here the DI, or drill instructor, a hard-boiled old sergeant with a voice like a mad bull, drives them incessantly down the hard path to physical and disciplinary per fection. * For additional articles on the Marine Corps, see "NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Cumulative Index, 1899-1949."