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    Marines and Sailors remember Midway at sea

    24th MEU Marines remember Battle of Midway

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Devin Nichols | Cpl. Lathan Faver, an amphibious assault vehicle crewman with Kilo Company, Battalion...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Devin Nichols 

    24th Marine Expeditionary Unit

    USS FORT MCHENRY, AT SEA — Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Sailors assigned to the dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) paid homage to the Battle of Midway during a ceremony while at sea in the Gulf of Aden, June 6, 2015.

    Seventy-three years ago, the Battle of Midway was fought in the Pacific and is considered one of the most significant naval battles of World War II because it effectively halted the Imperial Japanese Navy's advance across the Pacific. The Marines and Sailors aboard the Fort McHenry, deployed to maintain regional security in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, took time to reflect on the battle.

    “This ceremony reminds us of our great Navy-Marine Corps heritage,” said Capt. Bryceson Tenold, the company commander for Kilo Company, Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 24th MEU. “We want to honor those who gave their lives as well as remember what it took to realize this great victory.”

    Several Marines and Sailors gave speeches during the ceremony, each highlighting an individual who fought in the battle. First Sgt. John Beckett, the company first sergeant for Kilo Co., said it made him very proud to hear the Marines and Sailors speak since they did the research and wrote the words themselves.

    “It made it much more personal and I’m proud of the Marines,” he said.

    Sgt. William Norris, a data network specialist with Headquarters and Service Company, BLT 3/6, gave a speech about Maj. Lofton R. Henderson, a Marine aviator who received a Navy Cross on the first day of the battle. After losing a wing on his plane, he continued an attack and crashed into an enemy carrier.

    “I feel honored to be able to bring to light the actions and heroism of Maj. Henderson, and to hear the other speeches about Marines who gave the ultimate sacrifice,” said Norris. “I am very proud to be a part of the ceremony.”

    Sgt. David Parslow, a joint terminal attack controller for Kilo Company, spoke about Capt. Richard E. Fleming, another Marine aviator, who received the Medal of Honor. Parslow said Capt. Fleming was on a reconnaissance flight when his aircraft was hit by Japanese enemy fire over 170 times. Fleming suffered wounds but still successfully deployed his ordnance on an enemy carrier. The following day, he led a dive-bombing assault upon a Japanese battleship and hit his target before crashing into the sea.

    Cpl. Lathan Faver, an assault amphibian crewman with Kilo Co. gave a speech highlighting 1st Lt. Daniel T. Iverson, who received the Navy Cross when he was forced to land his aircraft on one wheel after a bombing run only to take off again the next day into heavy anti-aircraft fire.

    “I hope the Marines are inspired by [these Marines’] acts of courage and valor,” said Tenold. “When we hear such stories, it sets an example for us to follow. Fear often makes our enemies more powerful in our minds than they really are, and remembering warriors who knew they were outgunned, yet attacked the enemy ferociously, exploited their advantage and won, helps us press on to great things.”

    To conclude the ceremony, seven Marines fired a 21-gun salute while dressed in their service Charlie uniform in the Gulf of Aden. The ceremony ended with the playing of “Taps.”

    The 24th MEU is embarked on the ships of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and deployed to maintain regional security in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. The 15th MEU and USS Essex Amphibious Ready Group are scheduled to replace them this later this summer.



    Date Taken: 06.06.2015
    Date Posted: 06.08.2015 22:43
    Story ID: 165921

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