The ranks of the United States Marine Corps began to swell in the early March of 1917, shortly after the Kaiser launched his campaign of unrestricted submarine warfare. When Congress declared war the following April, the expansion began is earnest:
"The Act of Congress making naval appropriations for the present fiscal year carries a proviso increasing the Marine Corps from its permanent legal enlisted strength of seventeen thousand and four hundred to a temporary war strength of seventy-five thousand and five hundred with a proportional increase in commissioned and warrant officers and the addition of two major generals and six brigadier generals."
This article is illustrated with 12 photographs.
Click here to read about the African-American soldiers who served in France.
A British journalist encountered the United States Marine Corps and found them to be an impressive curiosity that spoke an odd, nautical language. One Marine in particular was singled out and, although anonymous some of you will recognize right away that he could only be one man: Sergeant Dan Daily of the Fifth Marines.
Click here to read about the high desertion rate within the U.S. Army of 1910.
A U.S. Army officer was ordered to march with the Marines during their first engagement of the war and explained all that he saw:
"True to their tradition of ever being the first to fight, the Marines made up, in part, the first fighting unit of the A.E.F. to reach foreign shores... It was my fortune to to be assigned to the Marines and my privilege to go with them into the front line for their first hitch."
Attached are a smattering of photos of the U.S. Marines as they appeared shortly after their arrival in France.