OPENING MOVES: Marines Gear Up For War
by Henry I. Shaw, Jr.
The basic source work for this period is the first
volume of the series History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World
War II, titled Pearl Harbor to Guadalcanal and written by
LtCol Frank O. Hough, Maj Verle Ludwig, and Henry I. Shaw, Jr.
Historical Branch, G-3 (Washington: Division, Headquarters U.S. Marine
Other histories of value for this period include: Col
Robert D. Heinl, Jr., Soldiers of the Sea: The United States Marine
Corps, 1775-1962 (Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute, 1962); Allan R.
Millett, Semper Fidelis: The History of the United States Marine
Corps (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1980); and Robert
Sherrod, History of Marine Corps Aviation in World War II
(Washington: Combat Forces Press, 1952).
All oral history transcripts addressing the prewar
years in the Oral History Collection, Marine Corps Historical Center,
Washington, D.C., were examined. The interviews with the following
officers were found particularly useful:
Col James R. Aichele; BGen Charles L. Banks; MajGen
Robert Blake; Col Justice M. Chambers; Maj Gen John P. Condon; Gen
Robert E. Cushman, Jr.; LtGen Karl S. Day; MajGen Marion L. Dawson;
LtGen Pedro A. del Valle; BGen Lester A. Dessez; BGen Edward C. Dyer;
LtGen George F. Good, Jr.; MajGen Louis R. Jones; MajGen Raymond L.
Murray; LtGen Herman Nickerson; MajGen Omar T. Pfeiffer; LtGen Donn J.
Robertson; and LtGen Julian C. Smith.
The Personal Papers Collection of the Historical
Center was also consulted for relevant material. The correspondence of
Gen Thomas Holcomb, MajGen William P. Upshur, and Gen Alexander A.
Vandegrift contain many significant letters that bear upon the prewar
In addition to researching, writing, and editing
significant portions of the prewar years narrative in the above
mentioned Pearl Harbor to Guadalcanal, the author also consulted
the histories of the 1st and 2d Marine Divisions and was fortunate
enough to talk with many of the Marines mentioned in the oral history
references about their experiences.
About the Author
Henry I. Shaw, Jr., former chief historian of the
History and Museums Division, was a Marine Corps historian from
1951-1990. He attended The Citadel, 1943-1944, and was graduated with a
bachelor of arts cum laude in history from Hope College, Holland,
Michigan. He received a master of arts degree in history from Columbia
University. Mr. Shaw served as a Marine in both World War II and the
Korean War. He is the co-author of four of the five volumes of the
official history of Marine Corps operations in World War II and was the
senior editor of most of the official histories of Marines in
In addition, he has written a number of brief Marine
Corps histories. Mr. Shaw has written many articles on military history
for professional publications and has had more than 50 signed book
reviews appearing in such publications as Military Collector &
Historian, Military Affairs, Marine Corps Gazette, Leatherneck, The
Washington Post, New York Historical Society Quarterly, and the
United States Naval Institute Proceedings.
THIS PAMPHLET HISTORY, one in a series devoted
to U.S. Marines in the World War II era, is published for the education
and training of Marines by the History and Museums Division,
Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., as a part of the U.S.
Department of Defense observance of the 50th anniversary of victory in
Editorial costs of preparing this pamphlet have been
defrayed in part by a bequest from the estate of Emilie H. Watts, in
memory of her late husband, Thomas M. Watts, who served as a Marine and
was the recipient of a Purple Heart.
WORLD WAR II COMMEMORATIVE SERIES
DIRECTOR OF MARINE CORPS HISTORY AND MUSEUMS
Brigadier General Edwin H. Simmons, USMC (Ret)
WORLD WAR II COMMEMORATIVE SERIES
Benis M. Frank
George C. MacGillivray
EDITING AND DESIGN SECTION, HISTORY AND MUSEUMS DIVISION
Robert E. Struder, Senior Editor; W. Stephen Hill, Visual
Catherine A. Kerns, Composition Services
Technician, R.D. Payne, VolunteerWeb Edition
Marine Corps Historical Center
Building 58, Washington Navy Yard
Washington, D.C. 20374-5040
PCN 190 003115 00