Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

U.S. Marine Corps

 

To combat Germany's Army, the U.S. Marine Corps served with the American Expeditionary Forces in France as part of the U.S. Army's Second Division.   General John J. Pershing, USA, led the forces, which included U.S. Marines, U.S. Navy Hospital Apprentices and Pharmacist's Mates, and Navy Nurses.    Upon entry into the war, the Marines had 462 commissioned officers, 49 warrant officers, and 13,214 enlisted men on active duty.   The first U.S. Marines departed onboard USS Henderson, USS De Kalb, and USS Hancock for Europe, arriving June 1917.   These Marines were from the 5th Regiment, consisting of 70 officers and 2,869 enlisted men.   The Second Division grew to include the Fourth Marine Brigade, which was composed of the Fifth and Sixth Regiments and the Sixth Machine Gun Battalion.   Marine Major General John A. Lejeune, USMC, was the first Marine to command a division when he took command of Second Division on July 28, 1918, remaining until July 15, 1919.    On November 11, 1918, the U.S. Marine Corps had 2,474 officers on active duty, including reserve and warrant.  For enlisted personnel, there were 70, 849 on duty, with more than 30,000 serving in Europe. 

 

Image:  NH 121642:   U.S. Marines stand outside the entrance to Versailles, France in winter during World War I.    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.