“From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli; we will fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea: First to fight for right and freedom/And to keep our honor clean; We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine.”
That is the first, and most well known, verse of the Marine Corps anthem. I have written many stories about Marine grunts and Reconners and about the unique brotherhood of the Navy and the Marine Corps at sea, but it occurs to me that I had not written stories exclusively about the Marine Corps Airwing.
The second phrase of the hymn speaks to the unique and diverse fighting arenas that the United States Marine Corps, the smallest of the major services, is missioned to do. The Marine Corps fighting ethic and skill is brought to the field of battle, not just on land and sea, but from the air.
This video is instructive as to the kind of aircraft that the Marine Corps employs in support of the troops on the ground. The Marine Corps airwing has been and continues to be the warriors and the angels in the sky for those Marine Corps ground pounders and Recon teams.
Those of us who have served in combat as Marines and Navy Corpsmen can tell a hundred stories about the courage, the skill and the determination of those Marine Corps airwing assets that supported us in the field with fire support in the form of helicopter gunships, fighter planes from sea based carriers, and medevac and transport helicopters. They were the force of our protection in battle and our salvation on many occasions.
Of course, behind every helicopter or V2 Osprey, or Harrier fighter jet pilot there are the crews that support, arm and maintain those various aerial assets. Their skill, excellence and dedication to the mission, is at the heart of every successful flight and mission from carrier based assets to ground assets.
Learn more in the video below.
The Veterans Site sends its gratitude and respect to the pilots, crews and maintenance personnel of the United States Marine Corp Airwing. “We will fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea.” This is the Marine Corps mission. And, it is true, every Marine is proud to wear that title.
To the Marine Corps Airwing we say, “Semper Fidelis!” OoRah.
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.