Marines In Lebanon -1958

Marines In Lebanon -1958

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

January 24th, 2003, 8:38 pm #1 ... ebanon.txt



Jack Shulimson

Historical Branch, G-3 Division

Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps

Washington, D. C. 20380



This is a history of the Marine Corps participation in the Lebanon crisis from
July-October 1958. It is published to show the role of the U. S. Marine Corps
in carrying out American foreign policy and the pacification of a country
through a successful show of force. The account is based on the records of
the U. S. Marine Corps and selected records of the U. S. Army, Navy, Air
Force, and Department of State. In addition appropriate published accounts
have been utilized. The comments of and interviews with key participants have
been incorporated into the text. It must be noted, however, that although
this monograph has been cleared for publication by the Department of Defense,
many of the documents cited still retain a security classification.

Major General, U. S. Marine Corps
Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3

Reviewed and approved:



Original On-Line
Page Page

The Political Background- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 6

The Military Response--Background - - - - - - - - - - - 7 12

The Landing--D-Day- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 11 17

The Move Into Beirut- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 16 23

The Continuing Mission and Withdrawal - - - - - - - - - 22 31


Map 1- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Inside front cover

Map 2- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - facing 9

Map 3- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - facing 12

Photo of Landing of 3/6, 16Jul58 - - - - - - - - - - - facing 18

Photo of meeting between General Chehab and
high ranking American officials, 16Jul58- - - - - facing 20

Photo of Marine Motorized Patrol - - - - - - - - - - - facing 27

Section I Notes- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 37 47

Section II Notes - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 38 48

Section III Notes- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 39 49

Section IV Notes - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 40 50

Section V Notes- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 41 51

Command Structure American Forces, Lebanon
effective 26 July 1958- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 44 54

Command and 2d Provisional Marine Force
as of 19 July 1958- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 45 55

List of Marine Units Eligible for Armed Forces
Expeditionary Medal - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 48 58

Section I
The Political Background

The waning British and French influence in the Middle East after World
War II gave rise to constant strife in this area of the world. The region was
not only stirred by the growth of local nationalism but also by the conflict
between the East and West in the Cold War. Crisis followed crisis as the
newly independent states attempted to adjust to the post war world.

In 1948, after the British had given up the attempt to pacify Palestine,
Jews and Arabs clashed in the short Arab-Israeli War of that year. The
antagonism between the Jewish state of Israel and its Arab neighbors has
become a permanent feature of Middle East relations. This hostility was
intensified by the 1952 revolution in Egypt and the subsequent rise to
undisputed power in 1954 of its strongest figure, Gamal Abdul Nasser. Sparked
by his leadership, there arose a new mutant pan-Arab movement over which Egypt
attempted to gain hegemony. "This Arab Nationalism contributed to a series of
events--the Egyptian arms deal with Russia, the withdrawal of the U. S. offer
to assist the Aswan Dam project, and Nasser's nationalization of the Suez
Canal--that culminated in the Suez crisis of 1956, when the Israelis attacked
Egypt and the British and French intervened."<2> This intervention, though
blocked by the United Nations, served to reinforce Arab anti-Western
sentiments. The Arab unrest led to civil strife in Lebanon, and the overthrow
of a Western aligned government in Iraq in 1958.

The Western Powers feared the complete disintegration of the peace in the
Middle East and the possibility of Soviet exploitation of the crisis. The
overt American reaction was to send U. S. Marines to Lebanon on 15 July 1958
at the request of that government. This Marine landing was a practical
example of the use of amphibious forces to support U. S. foreign policy by the
application of military strength and mobility.

In historic times, its geographical location at the eastern end of the
Mediterranean made Lebanon the crossroads to Africa, Europe, and Asia. The
country has been an important commercial and trading center since the time of
the ancient Phoenicians. Its mountainous barrier has enabled the nation to
maintain a distinctive identity throughout the centuries. In the 20th
century, the construction of pipelines from the oil fields of Iran and Saudi
Arabia to the Lebanese port cities of Tripoli and Sidon increased the
strategic importance of the country.


Lebanon is smaller than Connecticut, occupying an area 120 miles from
north south and 30 to 34 miles from east to west. The country consists of
four distinct regions extending eastwards from the coast: the Mediterranean
lowland, Lebanon Mountains, a fertile plateau called the El Bika and
Anti-Lebanon Mountains. Syria borders the nation on the north and east,
Israel on the south, and the Mediterranean in the west. (See Map 1)

In contrast to most Arab nations, approximately half of the 1.5 million
population of Lebanon is Christian. Christianity in this area had its roots
in the Roman Empire and by the second century A.D. Lebanon was the seat of a
Christian bishopric. In the seventh century A.D., however, Lebanon was
conquered by the Arab Moslems. The process of Islamization or the country was
never fully completed. The mountains of the region proved a sanctury to the
Christians and even to dissident Moslem sects.

Lebanon, today, is a mosaic of various religious factions. There are
Maronites, Chaldeans, and Greek, Syrian, and Armenian Catholics, all in
communion with Rome, but following their own rituals. Other Christian sects
include the Greek and Armenian Orthodox, Jacobites, Nestorians, and
Protestants. Among the non-Christian elements are Jews, Druze, and Sunni and
Shiite Moslems. The National Constitution of 1926 recognized this religious
framework by requiring the allocation of government jobs and appointments on a
religious basis. An unwritten gentlemen's agreement, worked out by Christian
and Moslem leaders in 1943 and referred to as the National Covenant, secured
the organization of the government on this "confessional" basis. The
traditional practices of selecting a Maronite president, a Sunni Moslem
premier, and a Shiite speaker of parliament, as well as allocating
parliamentary seats on the basis of the relative numerical strength of
religious communities in each electorial district, are traceable to this

Because of the existence of large Christian population, Lebanon, more
than the other Arab nations in the Middle East, has been influenced greatly by
the western world. Contact between Western Europeans and the Christian
Lebanese dates back to the Crusades. For two centuries: the coastal regions
of Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine were occupied by the Crusaders, until they
were driven out by the Mameluke Sultans from Egypt. The area then fell under
the control of the Ottoman Turks, who defeated the Mamelukes in 1517. Through
treaty with the Turks, French Jesuits established residence in Lebanon during
the 16th century. They opened schools and introduced French culture and
customs to the Lebanese Christians. King Louis XIV of France in 1649 declared
himself the protector of the Christian Maronites in Lebanon. This French
ascendency among the Christian Lebanese has been a dominant feature in the
internal history of Lebanon. When in 1860, the Druze, a Moslem sect located
in the mountains of Lebanon and Syria, massacred thousands of the Maronites,


French troops landed to intercede on behalf of the Christians. Turkey was
forced by the European powers to grant semi-autonomy to the Maronites in the
Mount Lebanon area under a Christian governor.

The founding of the American University and the French Universite de
Saint-Joseph in Beirut greatly extended Western influence during the 19th
century. After World War I, the League of Nations selected France as the
mandate power for the Levant countries of Lebanon and Syria. The French
cultural ascendency was greatly enhanced throughout Lebanon during the years

Lebanon became independent during World War II. Since then the basic
feature of Lebanese political and religious life has been the rivalry of the
Moslem and Christian communities. In the unwritten Lebanese National Pact of
1943, the leaders of the two faiths attempted to resolve the basic issues.
They agreed that the Christians were to abandon dependence on France and the
Moslems were to give up fusion with Syria. The Arab character of Lebanon was
to be recognized. A general Middle East conference on Arab unity held in
Alexandria, Egypt from 25 September to 7 October 1944 acknowledged the
independence and sovereignty of Lebanon within its existing frontiers. The
Lebanese joined the Arab League Pact on 22 March 1945. The country allied
itself with the other nations of the League in the Arab-Israeli War of 1948,
although its military contribution was insignificant.

This precarious unity of the Arab nations disintegrated under internal
and external pressures. After 1952, Egypt under Nasser moved further into the
neutralist bloc of nations and improved relations with the Soviet Union.
Nasserism became synonymous with a strident Arab nationalism opposed to all
non-Arab interests in the Middle East and especially directed against France
and England. The big split in the Arab world occurred in 1955 with the
adherence of Iraq to the Baghdad Pact with Great Britain, Turkey, Iran, and
Pakistan. The pact was a defensive alliance directed against Soviet
aggression. Other Arab nations were invited to join, but none did. The Arab
League divided into pro-Western and anti-Western groups; Egypt and Syria on
one side and Iraq and Jordan on the other.

Lebanon, because of her delicate internal situation, attempted to play
the honest broker between the two camps. President Camille Chamoun of Lebanon

Everyone of us gives due appreciation to the agreements made in
support of the Iraqi-Turkish agreement, on the one hand, and the
objections to its conclusions on the other. What is important to find
is a solution reconciling the opposite points of view, thus safeguarding
the Arab League from the danger threatening it.<3>


This attempt at mediation failed. Chamoun, who was the predominant figure in
the jungle of Lebanese politics, came under Egyptian propaganda attack. He
then led his government slowly into support of Western policy.

In 1956, Lebanon refused to break diplomatic relations with Great
Britain and France over the Suez crisis. This stand caused tension within the
Lebanese republic. The Sunni Moslem Prime Minister, Abdallah Yafi, resigned
because of Chamoun's refusal to take action against the two Western powers.
Opposition against Chamoun grew stronger as Lebanon accepted the Eisenhower
Doctrine for the Middle East in 1957. Under this program, the United States
was to send military and economic aid to any Middle Eastern nation threatened
by Communist aggression. Lebanon took a firm step into the anti-Communist
bloc of nations.

Both domestic and foreign pressures on Lebanon increase with the union of
Syria and Egypt into the United Arab Republic in February 1958. President
Chamoun had been elected in 1952 for a six-year period. According to the
Lebanese constitution, the president could not succeed himself in office.
There were indications, nevertheless, that Chamoun desired to have the
constitution amended so that he could be reelected. The president in Lebanon
is not selected in a general election, but rather by the Parliament. Here,
Chamoun had a large majority. The internal opposition to the Lebanese
President grew more vocal.

The climax to this situation occurred on 8 May 1958. Nassit el Metui,
the editor of the Beirut newspaper, AL TELEGRAF, was killed by unknown
assassins. Metui had strongly opposed Chamoun and his policies. The
opposition forces in Lebanon immediately blamed the government for the
assassination. Disorders broke out in Tripoli on the 9th and rioters burned
the United States Information Agency building in the city as a reaction to
Chamoun's sympathy with the Western powers. On 12 May, the leaders of the
Basta, the Moslem sector of Beirut, called a general strike. The Lebanese
situation developed very rapidly into an armed stalemate. The rebels in
Tripoli under the leadership of Rashid Karami controlled that predominately
Moslem city. Other rebel elements wielded power in the Moslem city of Sidon
in the south and large areas in the El Bika Valley contiguous to Syria. The
Druze under Chieftan Kamal Jumblatt, in the central region of Lebanon, the
Chouf, opposed the government. The insurgents in the Basta area of Beirut
were led by Saeb Salem, a former Lebanese premier. Most of these rebel
leaders had been defeated in local elections in 1957, through the intervention
of Chamoun.<4> Armed civilian partisans of President Chamoun were the main
support of the government. The multi-religious Parti Populaire Syrienne (PPS)
and the Christian Phalange party were the most prominent groups in Chamoun's
defense force. Even though the revolution cut


across religious differences in individual cases, the basic divergence was
between Moslem and Christian.

The Lebanese army was a reflection of Lebanese society. General Fuad
Chehab, the commander in chief and a Christian, feared a holocaust between the
two religious factions. He was afraid that any attempt to put down the revolt
by armed force would mean the dissolution of his army into Christian and
Moslem armed cliques. The Army and its commander in chief maintained a strict
neutrality. Chehab intervened only to keep certain essential communications
open and to prevent rebel sorties from their strongholds in Tripoli, the
Chouf, and the Basta area of Beirut.

The threat to Lebanon was not only internal chaos but foreign aggression
as well. There were reports that infiltrators from Syria were entering
Lebanon and aiding the rebel cause with men and materiel. The radio attacks
of the UAR became even more strident against President Chamoun.

On 14 May, the American Ambassador in response to a requests by President
Chamoun for standby aid, stated that:

...although Lebanon should not invoke American assistance
unless its integrity were generally threatened and its own
forces were not sufficient for the protection of the State,
nevertheless, the United States was prepared, upon request
both from the President and the government of Lebanon, to
send certain combat forces.<5>

The American government made it clear that it would not intervene,
however, to insure Chamoun's possibilities for reelection. The U. S. expected
Lebanon to file a complaint with the United Nations Security Council, and on 6
June, the Lebanese Foreign Minister did so. On the 11th, the council decided
to send a group of observers to Lebanon to report back concerning any foreign
interference. The U. N. group, hampered by lack of transportation and
confined largely to the few principal highways kept open by Lebanese security
forces, was unable to obtain any evidence indicating large-scale intervention
by forces of the United Arab Republic. It seemed as if the Lebanese political
situation would remain in a permanent state of instability. This was all
dramatically changed by the events of the 14th of July in Iraq.

A coup d'etat by Brigadier Abdel Karem Kassem overthrew the Iraq
government. The young Iraqi King, Faisal, was murdered and the Premier, Nuri
Said, was killed while attempting to flee. These violent happenings appeared
to threaten the entire Western strategic position in the Middle East. The
Iraqi revolution destroyed the government of the only Arab member of the
Baghdad Pact and put an end to the Iraq-Jordan


Federation, which had been formed in March to counterbalance the union of
Egypt and Syria. King Hussein of Jordan had reason to fear for his own
throne, and in Lebanon, President Chamoun appealed to the United States and
Great Britain to intervene within 48 hours.<6>

The Iraqi Revolution caught official Washington by surprise. Trouble had
been expected in Jordan or perhaps Lebanon, but not in Iraq. The oilfields in
Iraq and the oil pipeline terminating in Tripoli were extremely important to
the economy and military effectiveness of the Western nations.

The first news of the upheaval in Iraq reached Washington about 0300
(Washington time) 14 July. Early reports were fragmentary, but by early
morning the situation had clarified, and President Eisenhower was informed at
0730. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles arrived at his office at 0815 for
an intelligence briefing and a look at the most urgent cables. The President
met with the National Security Council at 0930 Secretary of State Dulles, Vice
President Richard M. Nixon, and General Nathan F. Twining, the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, joined the conference at 1030. The Secretary outlined
the situation in the Middle East and recommended that U. S. military forces
land in Lebanon in response to President Chamoun's appeal. President
Eisenhower agreed that some action must be taken. This meeting lasted until

At about 1430 the same day, the President met with the Republican and
Democratic leaders of Congress. The President is reputed to have said:

I have discussed this with my people here and in the
National Security Council but I must emphasize that no
decision has been made. I want to give you the pros and
cons. But must also emphasize that a decision must be made
in the immediate future...within the next hour or two.<8>

The President then returned to his meeting with his military and civilian
advisers. They discussed the possibility of British participation, which
President Eisenhower rejected in that he felt "that United States forces would
be adequate, and with the 3700 British troops intact on Cyprus, a reserve
would be available...."<9> General Twining informed him that the Joint Chiefs
were unanimously of the opinion that action must be taken immediately.
According to one source, at 1643 President Eisenhower turned to General
Twining and said "all right we'll send `em in. Nate, put it into
operation."<10>. The assignment to carry out President Eisenhower orders went
to the amphibious units of the Sixth Fleet.


Section II
The Military Response--Background

The Sixth Fleet on 14 July 1958 consisted of 3 carriers, 2 cruisers, 22
destroyers, and approximately 50 other support vessels under the overall
command of Vice Admiral Charles R. Brown.<2> On this date, the 2d Provisional
Marine Force (Task Force 62), consisting of three battalion landing teams
(BLTs), under the command of Brigadier General Sidney S. Wade was the landing
force of the Sixth Fleet.

The reason for the buildup of the Marine contingent stemmed in part from
a November 1957 directive of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. At that time, the
Joint Chiefs advised Admiral James L. Holloway, Commander in Chief, Naval
Forces Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean (CinCNELM) with headquarters in
London, that there were distinct possibilities of an overthrow of the
Jordanian government and to a lesser extent of a coup d'etat in Lebanon.
Admiral Holloway was directed to plan for limited action in the Middle cast in
the event these contingencies occurred. It was decided that if military
action was required, the Specified Command Middle East (SPECOMME), with
Admiral Holloway as Commander in Chief, would be activated. His authority
would extend over all U. S. forces in the area.

Headquarters, 2d Provisional Marine Force was established on 10 January
1958 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. This headquarters was to plan and
conduct COMBINE II, a combined exercise. COMBINE II was to be a practice
landing operation involving units of the U. S. Marines, British Royal Marines,
and Italian Navy off the coast of Southern Sardinia in the Western

General Wade's assignment was abruptly altered on 13 May 1958 when the
riots in Tripoli broke out. Colonel Henry W. Buse, Chief of Staff of Fleet
Marine Force Atlantic, telephoned General Wade to alert him to the dangerous
situation in Lebanon and to inform him that it was necessary to move the
headquarters of the 2d Provisional Marine Force into the Mediterranean area
immediately. General Wade and his staff departed on 14 May 1958.

The 2d Provisional Marine Force at this time was composed of two Marine
BLTs: the 1st Battalion (Reinforced), 8th Marines (1/8) commanded by
Lieutenant Colonel John H. Brickley and the 2d Battalion (Reinforced), 2d
Marines (2/2) commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Harry A. Hadd. BLT 1/8 had been
the landing force attached to the Sixth Fleet since January 1958 and was due
for reassignment to the United States. BLT 2/2


left Morehead City, North Carolina on 1 May 1958 to relieve 1/8 on 15 May at
Gibralter. Because of the mounting tension in Lebanon, however, it was
decided to keep both Marine battalions assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet.<4>

Previously in 1958, BLT 1/8 had completed a contingency plan for a
possible landing in Lebanon. Much of the plan was based on the intelligence
information gathered by the battalion operations officer, Major Victor
Stoyanow, who had travelled to Beirut incognito and had toured the beach
areas.<5> At the time of the Tripoli riots, the plan was further developed
into a two-battalion assault involving both 2/2 and 1/8. On 18 May 1958,
General Wade and Rear Admiral Robert W. Cavenagh, the amphibious task force
commander, established their headquarters on the MOUNT MCKINLEY, then off the
coast of Crete, and immediately began to draw up a Lebanon landing plan based
on the 1/8 contingency plan and revisions.<6> Wade and Cavenagh had worked
out most of the details by 21 May, when they were joined on board the MOUNT
MCKINLEY, now off the coast of Cyprus, by Brigadier J. W. C. Williams (Staff,
British Middle East Land Forces) and Brigadier John A. Read, Commander of the
British 3d Infantry Brigade, to formulate plans for an Anglo-American landing
in Lebanon. The next day at Cyprus, they were joined by Brigadier General
David W. Gray of the U. S. 11th Airborne Division. According to the latter:

On arrival in Cyprus, I was informed by a staff officer
from Admiral Holloway's headquarters that I was to preside at
a joint U.S./British meeting to develop a plan for combined
intervention in Lebanon and Jordan....During the one-day
conference, a concept of operations was rather easily developed
as it was assumed that the British would go into Lebanon with
either U. S. Army or Marine forces, but not both. The British
were therefore given the missions originally assigned to U. S.
forces in the Lebanon plan and the U. S. Forces, either Army
or Marine Corps, were given the remaining missions....Following
this conference all forces involved---developed supporting plans
for CinCNELM's Operational Plan 1-58 known as BLUEBAT.<7>

The plan called for the simultaneous landing of two Marine BLTs, one
coming ashore northeast of Beirut to secure the water supply systems, bridges,
and the northeastern sector of the city and the other striking across the
beaches south of Beirut to seize the airport. As soon as the Marine BLT had
established control of the airport, a British infantry brigade would be flown
in from Cyprus. When the first brigade units arrived the Marine BLT was to
move into the city and gain control of the port. The brigade was to take up
positions at the airport.<8> The objective of this plan was to support the
legal Lebanese government against any foreign invasion, specifically against
the Syrian First Army located between Damascus and the Israel border and only
a few hours march from Beirut.


For the 2d Provisional Marine Force and the Sixth Fleet, the rest of May
and June 1958 were periods of conferring rapid planning, and ship deployment
and redeployment. Preparations also continued for Exercise COMBINE II, which
was not cancelled until 1 July 1958. By that date, it appeared as if the
crisis in the Mediterranean had subsided for the time being. It was decided
to grant the Sixth Fleet a short in-port visit. Only Captain Victor B.
McCrea's Amphibious Squadron 6 (TransPhibRon 6) with BLT 2/2 on board, was to
remain at sea, within 12 hours sailing time from Beirut.

On 25 June 1958, the 3d Battalion (Reinforced), 6th Marines (3/6),
commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Robert M. Jenkins, left Morehead City in the
ships of TransPhibRon 2, to replace BLT 1/8 embarked in TransPhibRon 4. On 12
July 1958, Rear Admiral Howard A. Yeager in the USS POCONO, arrived off the
coast of Crete and relieved Admiral Cavenagh as Amphibious Task Force
commander. General Wade transferred his headquarters from the MOUNT MCKINLEY
to the POCONO.

On 14 July 1958 BLT 1/8, just north of Malta, was en route to the United
States; BLT 3/6 was sailing from Suda Bay, Crete to Athens. Only BLT 2/2,
located off the southern coast of Cyprus, was in a position to land on 24-hour
notice. The LSD (Landing Ship, Dock) Plymouth Rock, carrying the artillery
battery, shore party detachment, underwater demolition team, heavy equipment,
and two of the five M-48 tanks of BLT 2/2, was en route to Malta, for repairs.
Another LSD, the FORT SNELLING, carrying a similar load for BLT 3/6, was off
the coast of Rhodes, approximately 400 nautical miles from Lebanon, and was in
a position to furnish support to BLT 2/2 with less than 30-hours' notice.
(See Map 2)

These dispositions of the Marine BLTs in the Mediterranean were an
important consideration when at 0930 Washington time (1430 London time, 1530
Beirut time) on 14 July, Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, Chief of Naval Operations
(CNO), first notified CinCNELM headquarters of the possibility of intervention
in Lebanon within 48 hours. General Wade's headquarters first received
warning of a possible landing in Lebanon at 1715 Beirut time (1115 Washington
time). Shortly before 1500 Washington time (2100 Beirut time) Admiral Burke
sent to CinCNELM and the Commander of the Sixth Fleet a message advising them
of the imminence of President Eisenhower's decision. TransPhibRon 6 was aware
of the possibility of a landing in Lebanon but did not know whether the
BLUEBAT plan was to be implemented. Captain McCrea and Lieutenant Colonel
Hadd felt it necessary to continue preparation of plans for a possible landing
in the vicinity of the Lebanese city of Tripoli, the stronghold of the rebels.

At 1823 Washington time (0030 Beirut time), Admiral Burke relayed
President Eisenhower's decision to CinCNELM and the


Commander of the Sixth Fleet. The Marines were directed to land on Red Beach
near the Beirut International Airport at 1500 (Beirut time) on 15 July 1958.
The mission of the landing team was to seize the airfield and implement as
much of the BLUEBAT plan as possible.<9> Admiral Burke recalled:

I had had several discussions with President Eisenhower
that I needed at least 24 hours' warning. However, when the
time came, he actually gave us...13 hours, before the landing.
I suspected this might happen and asked the Amphibious Force
to stay out of sight from the Lebanon coast--but close. When
I told President Eisenhower that he had cut my warning time
in half, he said, "Well, I know that, but I'm sure you can do
that all right."<10>

Burke signaled Captain McCrea and Lieutenant Colonel Hadd "As you land
you will be writing another chapter in our country's history. I am confident
you will uphold the traditions of the Navy and Marine Corps. God Bless




Section III
The Landing--D-Day, 15 July 1958

TransPhibRon 6 consisted of five ships: the command ship (AGC), the
TACONIC; an Attack transport (APA), the MONROVIA; an attack cargo ship (AKA),
the CAPRICORNUS; and two LSTs (Landing Ship, Tank), the WALWORTH COUNTY and
the TRAVERSE COUNTY. Off the coast of Lebanon they were joined by two
destroyers, THE SULLIVANS and the WADLEIGH, which were to furnish direct fire
support if the landing were opposed.

The Marines did not know up to the movement of the landing whether they
would meet any opposition. Saeb Salem, the rebel leader in Beirut, was quoted
as saying: "You tell those Marines that if one Marine sets foot on the soil
of my country, I will regard it as an act of aggression and commit my forces
against them."<2> The U. S. command was not too concerned, however, about the
effectiveness of possible rebel resistance. Although the rebels numbered some
10,000 irregulars throughout the country, they were dispersed in bands of 400
to 2,000 men and lightly armed. There was no central leadership of the
anti-government forces and each group owed its loyalty only to its individual
leader. The Americans did not expect any reaction from the regular Lebanese
Army though the danger existed that it might disintegrate into pro-government
and rebel factions. Therefore, the only immediate effective threat was posed
by the Syrian First Army, composed of 40,000 men-and equipped with over 200
T-34 Russian-built medium tanks. This was why it was so important that the
airport and the approaches to the north of Beirut be secured.<3>

Khalde (Red) Beach, the site chosen for the Marine assault was four miles
from the city of Beirut and 700 yards from the Beirut International Airport.
The small village of Khalde was located 1,500 yards south of the landing
beach. On 15 July, the villagers were going quietly about their chores and a
gang of workmen was constructing a beach road. Further along the beach, some
vacationers were enjoying the sun and others were swimming in the
Mediterranean. It was a peaceful scene entirely divorced from revolutions,
coup d'etas, and the troubles of the cold war.<4>

In contrast to the mood of serenity on the beach, a sense of urgency was
present in the offices of President Chamoun, General Chehab, and Robert
McClintock, the American Ambassador in Beirut. Ambassador McClintock knew the
date and time, but not the place of the Marine landing.<5> He had been in
communication with both President Chamoun and General Chehab. The State
Department had ordered the Ambassador to inform


President Chamoun of the Marine landing no later than 1200 Beirut time on 15
July.<6> When McClintock told the President of the proposed American
intervention, Chamoun asked the Ambassador to relay this information to
General Chehab.

Ambassador McClintock then visited General Chehab at 1330, only an hour
and a half before H-hour. General Chehab was visibly upset by the news. The
day before he had asked the leaders of the rebel forces to take no action in
the wake of the Iraqi revolt. The general felt confident that the rebels
would not precipitate any new maneuvers against the government.<7> Chehab had
confided to the American Military Attache that some Lebanese Army officers had
proposed a coup to him that morning in order to prevent a landing but that he
had refused. The Lebanese general claimed he could not guarantee that all the
Army would remain loyal to him.<8> He feared the American intervention would
bring about the dissolution of the army and prevent any settlement of the
revolt.<9> General Chehab asked Ambassador McClintock to request the Marines
to remain on board their ships. The ships then could enter Beirut harbor and
two or three tanks and some heavy equipment could be unloaded there. The
Ambassador agreed to transmit this message to the American amphibious forces
since he believed that if "General Chehab decided to throw in the sponge, the
Lebanese army will fall apart."<10>

Ambassador McClintock then attempted to radio the American fleet, but the
radio link between the Sixth Fleet and the American Embassy was broken and the
Ambassador was unable to transmit his message.<11> He had received word,
however, from friends who had apartments overlooking the sea that it was
apparent that the TransPhibRon was approaching the beach area off the airport.
McClintock then sent the Naval Attache, Commander Howard J. Baker, to
intercept the advanced units of the assault force.<12>

At 1430 (Beirut time), a half-hour before H-hour, the seven ships of
Amphibious Squadron 6 were in position, approximately two miles off Red Beach.
Shortly before 1500, the LVTPs (Landing Vehicles, Tracked, Personnel) were
launched. Company F on board the LVTPs spearheaded the Marine landing. The
amphibian tractors reached the shoreline at 1504 and rumbled onto the
airfield. Companies G and H came ashore in landing craft and deployed on foot
to their assigned objectives. Company E followed as the battalion reserve.

The scene on the beach was perhaps one of the most colorful in the long
history of Marine Corps landings. Witnessing the assault were
bikini-clad-sunbathers, Khalde villagers that had galloped on horseback to the
site, and the beach workmen who had dropped their tools and had run to the
shore. As the fully armed Marines charged over the sand, these civilian
observers waved and some even cheered. A few of the young




boys even attempted to help the Marines in bringing ashore some of the heavier
equipment. Soft drink vendors were out in full force. The Marines were
prepared for any eventuality, but this reception was rather unexpected. As
one Marine said, "It's better than Korea, but what the hell is it?"<13>

Quickly taking control, all four rifle companies of 2/2 and the advance
echelon of the command post landed within 20 minutes. As Company E cleared
the civilians from the beach, Company G secured the airport terminal, and
Companies F and H began to establish their positions about the airfield. The
two destroyers and Navy planes from the aircraft carrier ESSEX stood by to
support the Marine troops ashore. No incidents took place and no shots were

At 1520 (Beirut time), Commander Baker arrived at the landing beach. He
relayed to Lieutenant Colonel Hadd the wishes of Ambassador McClintock and
General Chehab that the BLT reembark and then proceed to the Beirut dock area
and land only its tanks.<15> It was 0920 Washington time and President
Eisenhower had publicly announced the landing of the Marines at 0900
(Washington time). The Marines were ashore and preparing their positions.
Lieutenant Colonel Hadd decided since he was acting under orders of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff and the President of the United States, that he had no choice
but to keep his troops in their present dispositions. He then referred the
commander to Captain McCrea in the TACONIC. Commander Baker who had served a
tour as an operations officer in an AKA (Amphibious Cargo Ship) "...had no
illusions that the landing operation could be reversed after some waves had
already landed and unloaded troops, however it was still considered essential
that the Commodore (Captain McCrea) received the General's (Chehab) message,
as it conveyed essential elements of information concerning opposition to be
expected." The Naval Attache also recalled later: "I must admit I felt a
mite lonely on this particular mission, the only participant making the
landing in reverse!<16>

Captain McCrea received Commander Baker and transmitted the following
message to Ambassador McClintock:

I am operating under orders from Commander Sixth Fleet and
Commander in Chief Specific Command Mediterranean who in turn are
operating under orders U. S. President. All troops have landed
and will remain ashore in vicinity airport until further orders.<17>

The Commander of the Amphibious Squadron then radioed the Commander Sixth

...the Naval Attache came on board and stated Ambassador
did not wish landing of troops to take


place and that he wished (the ships to) enter outer harbor and land
only heavy equipment. I am continuing landing as directed.<18>

Admiral Brown replied: "Your action approved....Decision to use beach or
harbor belongs to the commander on the scene."<19>

To complicate the situation even further, reports reached President
Chamoun that he was to be assassinated at 1500, 15 July. He requested
Ambassador McClintock to send a Marine company to guard the Presidental Palace
in Beirut. The Ambassador sent his assistant military attache, Major Melvin
B. Hayes, to transmit this message to the Marine commander. Major Hayes
arrived at Lieutenant Colonel Hadd's command post 30 minutes after Commander
Baker had left for the TACONIC. The major relayed the Ambassador's request
and asked for a 100-man detail to guard the palace. Hadd considered that his
battalion was "extended to the maximum and the situation was still too obscure
to risk fragmentizing the command <20> He, did, however, transmit Major
Hayes' request to Captain McCrea and asked for instructions. At 1722, the
battalion commander received word to furnish the detail. By this time,
General Chehab had promised the Ambassador that the Lebanese Army would
guarantee the safety of the President and that the Marines were not needed.
Lieutenant Colonel Hadd, nevertheless, has stated that if the request had not
been rescinded, he would have had to inform Captain McCrea that "the Marines
could not comply with the order...." The battalion had already secured an
extensive defense perimeter and lacked proper shore party support. In
addition, the Presidential Palace was located right next to the Basta, the
stronghold of the rebels, and there was no guarantee that the Lebanese Army
could cooperate with the Marines.<21>

On the beach, Company E, after clearing the civilians out of the area,
began unloading supplies. At the terminal, Company G had halted all incoming
and outgoing air traffic. The other two companies of the battalion continued
to improve their positions about the airfield. The Lebanese airport guards
were replaced by Marines without incident, and the forward command post was
placed, near the north-south runway.

The U. S. Air Attache, Colonel Joseph C. Holbrook, arrived at the airport
at 1640 and arranged for a meeting between Lieutenant Colonel Hadd and the
Lebanese Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Toufic Salem. During this conference,
which concerned liaison arrangements that were to be made with the Lebanese
authorities, Colonel Salem was in communication with Lebanese Army
headquarters by telephone as was Hadd with Ambassador McClintock. The two
officers agreed that the airport guards would assist the Marines in guarding
the Beirut International Airport. Normal air traffic was to be permitted so
long as it was approved by a designated Lebanese air officer and a Marine


Corps officer. The Lebanese officials were to clear the terminal of all
civilians, and the Marine companies were to remain 500 yards from the Lebanese
Army barracks in the vicinity. The Marines were not to disturb Lebanese
roadblocks so long as these obstacles did not hinder the Marine mission.
Ambassador McClintock had earlier in the day requested Lieutenant Colonel Hadd
and Captain McCrea to meet with him at the American Embassy in Beirut. Such a
meeting was delayed, however, because none of the three wished to leave his
post. Lieutenant Colonel Hadd wanted to remain with his troops until they had
established their positions; Ambassador McClintock believed that he could not
leave Beirut as he was in constant contact with General Chehab and President
Chamoun; and Captain McCrea, as senior U. S. military officer present in
Lebanon, deemed his place to be on board the command ship TACONIC. Sometime
after 1800, Hadd and McCrea, in separate visits to the Embassy, did meet with
the Ambassador.<22> These two conferences helped to resolve the various
misunderstandings and provided a basis for liaison between the American
Ambassador and the military commanders.


Section IV
The Move Into Beirut

With the successful completion of the landing and the consolidation of
the Marine positions at the airfield, the more dramatic aspects of the first
day ended. Still the difficult task of unloading the ships and establishing
supply dumps ashore remained. This effort was to take the rest of the night.
Red Beach was not the most ideal site for the unloading operation. The
wheeled vehicles were unable to move over the soft sand and a sandbar located
offshore prevented beaching of the LSTs. The information about the coast and
landing beaches of Lebanon available to the amphibious squadrons were not as
complete as it should have been, but the problems that arose could not have
been so all-absorbing if the LSD PLYMOUTH ROCK had been available to the

There was need for an underwater demolition team (UDT) to breach the
sandbar. No shore party was present to emplace a pontoon causeway from the
beach to the LSTs and to lay down beach matting to facilitate the movement of
vehicles. There were no cranes to unload the supplies and equipment from the
landing craft. Both the men and equipment of the shore party and UDT
supporting BLT 2/2 were on board the PLYMOUTH ROCK.

The Marines and Navy were forced to improvise. Company E and a hastily
formed shore party from the MONROVIA manhandled the supplies from the landing
craft onto the beach.<2> LVTPs, Ontos, a bulldozer, and five mechanical mules
were used to carry the material from the waterline to the temporary supply
depots inland.<3> The versatile mules proved to be extremely effective in
negotiating the loose sand. They hauled over 75 tons of ammunition during the
first 24 hours ashore.

At 2000, 15 July, the FORT SNELLING, the LSD assigned to BLT 3/6,
arrived. The UDT came ashore immediately and searched for the best site to
beach the LCU (Landing Craft, Utility) carrying the shore party and its heavy
equipment. The LCU became hung up on the sandbar, however, and did not reach
the beach until 0230 the next morning. The shore party disembarked and a
pontoon causeway was emplaced from the beach to the LST TRAVERSE COUNTY.
Immediately thereafter, the trucks and three tanks belonging to BLT 2/2 rolled
off the ship across the floating bridge onto the shore.

The five tanks of BLT 3/6 on board the FORT SNELLING were then loaded
onto the LCU, which carried them to them to the beach. Upon their arrival,
they were attached to BLT 2/2. These tanks arrived short of ammunition.
Because of peacetime safety


regulations, the ammunition was not loaded on the LSD. This stowage would
have caused no problem if the FORT SNELLING had been in support of 3/6 as
originally planned. The tank ammunition on board an AKA would have been
unloaded simultaneously with the landing of the tanks. But as this was not
the case, the firepower available to BLT 2/2 was seriously curtailed.

By 0400 16 July, the shore party from the FORT SNELLING was Operating
with sufficient equipment to alleviate the unloading problems. The working
parties from Company E and the MONROVIA were then relieved from the
backbreaking job of removing the supplies from the landing craft by hand.
Wire matting had been placed down on the beach and the task of unloading the
TRAVERSE COUNTY was completed by 0600. Lieutenant Colonel Hadd later made the
observation: "the delay in the beaching of the causeway and the unloading of
the LSTs would have been disastrous if the landing had been opposed."<4> That
statement dramatized the political nature of the Lebanon operation. Military
logistical effectiveness on this first day of the landing had to be sacrificed
in order to meet the time limits of President Eisenhower's announcement.
Speed and surprise were the essential considerations, as the possibility of
organized armed opposition at the time of the landing was remote.

As the supplies were being unloaded onto the beach, the Marines at the
airport were consolidating their positions. By nightfall on the 15th, the
defense perimeter had been adjusted to provide the most effective security.
Liaison had been established with the Lebanese units at the airport and
certain areas there were guarded jointly by Marines and Lebanese. A motorized
platoon from Company E was placed in a standby position with orders to
proceed, if necessary into Beirut to protect the American, French, or British
Embassies. At 2100, 15 July, a member of the U. N. observer team in Lebanon
approached the command post of BLT 2/2. He asked the battalion commander
which side the U. S. forces were supporting. The Marine officer replied that
his battalion was there to give assistance to the legal government of Lebanon.
The U. N. official then implied that the U. S. was backing the wrong side.
Lieutenant Colonel Hadd asked the observer very politely to leave the area.

Small patrols from the Marine companies were sent forward to probe for
any irregular Lebanese armed groups that might be in the immediate area of the
airport. These patrols returned to the Marine lines at 0500, 16 July, and
reported they had made no contact with any hostile forces.

One hour earlier, Admiral Holloway had arrived at the Beirut airport from
London. He went on board the TACONIC after being briefed by Lieutenant
Colonel Hadd at the airfield. At 0615, the amphibious squadron carrying BLT
3/6 arrived off Red Beach. Included among the vessels of this squadron was


the command ship, the POCONO, with Admiral Yeager and General Wade on board.
The two officers joined Admiral Holloway in the TACONIC to develop existing
plans of action.

At 0730, the first waves of BLT 3/6 landed across Red Beach. Lieutenant
Colonel Robert M. Jenkins, the battalion commander, relayed to Hadd an order
from General Wade for BLT 2/2 to carry out the operational plan to enter the
city of Beirut. General Wade left the TACONIC at approximately 0800 to see
Ambassador McClintock in the city, stopping off en route at the command post
of 2/2. Lieutenant Colonel Hadd told General Wade that the battalion could be
formed up in a column and ready to move at 0930. General Wade then left with
an official from the American Embassy to meet the Ambassador.

When the general arrived at the Embassy, Ambassador McClintock was
speaking on the telephone to General Chehab. The Lebanese general was asking
the Ambassador to halt the proposed movement of the American Marines into the
city. Both the Ambassador and General Chehab were concerned that units of the
Lebanese Army might resist the Marine column. The Ambassador told General
Chehab that he would speak to President Chamoun about the situation and then
asked General bade to hold up BLT 2/2. General Wade replied that he had no
authority to cancel the order but that he would postpone the troop movement.
He sent an order to Hadd to hold up his troops, and then transmitted a message
to Admiral Holloway on board the TACONIC concerning the new developments. At
0900, BLT 3/6 relieved BLT 2/2 at the airport and attached 11 LVTPs to
Lieutenant Colonel Hadd's battalion. Thirty minutes later, BLT 2/2 was
prepared to move out when the military attache at the American Embassy relayed
General Wade's order by phone.

General Wade and Ambassador McClintock, in the meantime, went to see
President Chamoun. The Marine told the President of the plan to enter the
city and Chamoun agreed that the plan should be, executed immediately.
McClintock and Wade returned to the Embassy where the Ambassador then called
General Chehab.<5> Chehab requested that General Wade hold up the Marine
column for another 30 minutes. General Wade agreed and ordered Hadd to
prepare to get under way at 1030.

An aide informed General Wade that a detachment of Lebanese Army tanks
had set up a roadblock on the main road leading from the airport into Beirut.
The general immediately informed the Ambassador of the new turn of events.
Ambassador McClintock replied that he would speak to General Chehab. General
Wade then procured an Embassy car and proceeded towards the airport
accompanied by two interpreters.

On the way, the general's car pulled up alongside one of the Lebanese
tanks, a French-built medium armed with a 75mm gun, parked on the side of the
road and General Wade spoke to one



Landing of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines at Red Beach.


of the Lebanese crewmen. In response to a question from the American general,
the Lebanese soldier replied that he had orders to stop any movement into the
city. He also volunteered the information that he had a cousin in New York.
General Wade then asked him if he would fire upon the American Marines. The
soldier replied that he had no such orders but would have to check with his

General Wade then drove on to the airport. He told Lieutenant Colonel
Hadd that it was his opinion that the Lebanese would not fire at the Marines,
but that the battalion should proceed with caution and be prepared for any
eventuality. At 1030, as the BLT was about to start out a Lebanese captain
approached Lieutenant Colonel Hadd and General Wade. The Lebanese officer
stated that he had received a telephone call from General Chehab. The
Lebanese general and the American Ambassador were in conference and requested
that the Marines wait another 30 minutes before starting towards Beirut.
General Wade agreed to the request and postponed the movement until 1100.

The Marine general then intended to go see Admiral Holloway and advise
him of the situation ashore. As General Wade was about to leave, he received
orders to wait at the airport for Admiral Holloway and Admiral Yeager who
would join him there. Admiral Holloway upon his arrival expressed a desire to
consult with Ambassador McClintock. The general and the two admirals entered
General Wade's borrowed car, which took them towards the city.

At 1100, the Marines of BLT 2/2 boarded their tanks, LVTPs,and trucks,
and moved out in column formation. Lieutenant Colonel Hadd halted his
battalion in front of the Lebanese roadblock, one mile up from the airport.
The guns of the Lebanese tanks were pointed directly at the lead vehicles in
the Marine column.

While Admiral Holloway, General Wade, and Admiral Yeager were heading
into Beirut, the Ambassador's car, with Ambassador McClintock and General
Chehab inside, sped by going in the opposite direction, accompanied by a
motorcycle escort. The American officers' car quickly swerved about and gave
chase. Both automobiles arrived almost simultaneously at the roadblock where
the Lebanese troops and American Marines faced one another.

General Chehab suggested that the American Ambassador, the two admirals,
and the Marine general accompany him to a small schoolhouse located a short
distance from the road to discuss the confrontation between the Marine BLT and
the Lebanese unit. Thus began the conference that was to settle the role the
Marines were to play in Lebanon.


As this meeting took place on the main road, a second dangerous incident
occurred in the sector of BLT 3/6. Companies I and K had secured their
objectives, respectively to the east and south of the airport, without
incident. In contrast, Company L was unable to reach its objective, located
two miles due north of the airfield on a beach road, since the position was
occupied by a Lebanese armored detachment. (See Map 3). The Marines had been
instructed to consider all Lebanese Army units friendly unless proven
otherwise. With this in mind, Captain Richard W. Coulter, Commanding Officer
of Company L, halted his troops and advanced towards the Lebanese, accompanied
only by his first sergeant. The two Marines were immediately surrounded by
excited Lebanese troops, who kept their weapons aimed at the two Americans.
Although the captain and sergeant retained their arms, they were escorted
under armed guard to a Lebanese Army barracks nearby. There the captain
discussed the impasse with an English-speaking Lebanese Army major. The
Lebanese officer refused to allow the Marine Company to occupy the position.
He did agree to release the sergeant, who was to bring back the battalion

Lieutenant Colonel Jenkins arrived at the barracks and also was unable to
convince the Lebanese to retire. The Lebanese major finally offered to call
Lebanese Army Headquarters in Beirut to obtain the advice of General Chehab.
The major was told that General Chehab had just left with the American
Ambassador to attempt to resolve the difficulties between the Marines and the
Lebanese Army on the main road to Beirut. Lieutenant Colonel Jenkins and the
Lebanese major then made the decision that Company L and the Lebanese troops
blocking its path would remain in their present positions while the major and
Lieutenant Colonel Jenkins attempted to find General Chehab. Captain Coulter
returned to his company while the other two officers made their way to the
Lebanese roadblock on the main road.

There the conference at the schoolhouse was still going on. General
Chehab asked that the Marines take a different route into the city. General
Wade refused, however, and insisted that the Marine BLT be allowed to complete
its mission. He stated that time was an important factor and there had been
enough delays. Admiral Holloway declared that the Marine column would move
out without any further delay at 1200.<6> Ambassador McClintock resolved the
issue by suggesting that General Chehab, Admiral Holloway, and himself ride
together leading the Marines into Beirut but that they bypass the Moslem
quarter, the Basta. This proposal proved agreeable to all parties and
arrangements for the formation of the column were then ironed out. It was
decided that BLT 2/2 should be broken down into small sections. Each section
was to be led by a jeep carrying Lebanese Army officers. Company H in the
lead, was to be divided into three sections. Each section was to be
transported by three vehicles--a tank and two LVTPs. At 1230, the column
began to move with



CONFERENCE AT THE ROADBLOCK. General Chehab stands in the center of the
picture, facing the camera and speaking to Ambassador McClintock, dressed in a
business suit with his back to the camera. Admiral Holloway is to the right
of the admiral. Admiral Yeager is to the left of the Ambassador.


the Ambassador's car leading the Marines towards Beirut.

Once the BLT entered the city, Chehab got out of the lead car and Admiral
Holloway ordered all intervals closed as the movement was bogging down. The
admiral, assisted by Admiral Yeager and General Wade, assumed personal
tactical command...and even directed the units of the column to their
billeting areas from the main gate of the dock area.<7> The Marines took
control of the dock area, protected the bridges over the Beirut River on the
Tripoli road, and furnished guards for the American Embassy and the
Ambassador's residence. By 1900, the BLT had secured its objectives.

After the crisis between BLT 2/2 and the Lebanese troops was resolved,
Lieutenant Colonel Jenkins was able to settle the differences between Company
L and the Lebanese Army detachment on the beach road. Liaison arrangements
were made and Jenkins then returned to his command post at the Beirut airport.
Awaiting him there was a message from the Lebanese commander of the airport,
who requested that the Marine officer meet with him at 1300 to discuss
arrangements at the airfield. Lieutenant Colonel Jenkins arrived at
approximately 1310 at the commander's office. There he was greeted by the
commander's aide, who informed the American that the commander had tired of
waiting and had departed for lunch. The aide then told Jenkins that he should
return in 30 minutes and the airport commander would furnish orders for the
disposition of the Marines. Upon hearing this, the BLT commander stated that
he would return at 1600 with orders for the disposition of the Lebanese troops
at the airfield. The Marine won his point, and an effective liaison with the
Lebanese authorities at the airport was established.

This incident reflected the Marines' conception of their assignment.
They were to be cooperative but firm. The Marines aided by the mediation of
Ambassador McClintock and General Chehab, were able to handle the very
critical situation posed by the Lebanese roadblocks. The harassing maneuvers
of a few Lebanese soldiers ceased, and the Marines were able to proceed with
their mission.


Section V
The Continuing Mission and Withdrawal

The Marines of BLT 2/2 in Beirut and BLT 3/6 at the airport spent a
relatively peaceful night on 16-17 July. The only disturbances were small
probing attacks by Lebanese rebels against forward Marine outposts. At 1800
and 2055, 16 July, groups of four to five Lebanese sniped at the Marine
outpost south of the airfield but withdrew once the Marines returned the fire.
The rebels came fain at 0600, 17 July and retreated once more in the face of
Marine rifle fire. There were no casualties on either side as a result of
these actions.

During the morning of 17 July, two Marines of BLT 2/2 were "captured" by
rebel forces in the Basta area. The two men took a wrong turn in Beirut on
their way to pick up some equipment at Red Beach and entered the Moslem
section of the city. They were immediately surrounded by armed Lebanese
insurgents and forced to surrender their arms. The Lebanese escorted them to
a rebel command post, where they were questioned. The interrogator asked the
two Marines why they had come to Lebanon. The two Americans, not wishing to
provoke their captors, replied they did not know. Thereupon the Lebanese
rebel leader proceeded to lecture them about the "duplicity" of American
foreign policy and the evil of American "imperialism". After an hour and half
of this harangue, the two Marines were released. A Lebanese Army captain
escorted them back to their battalion. Later in the day, the Lebanese Army
returned the Marine jeep and the weapons of the two Americans.

These harassing maneuvers employed by the Lebanese rebels were to become
commonplace. The Lebanese dissidents were attempting to provoke the Marines
into rash retaliation, but were unsuccessful. The Marine forces were under
strict orders to maintain fire discipline, and to shoot only in self-defense.

In order to further Lebanese Army and Marine cooperation, General Wade
visited General Chehab on 17 July, at the latter's quarters in Juniyah, 10
miles north of Beirut. In the course of their conversation, General Wade
indicated that he did not wish to become involved in the Lebanese internal
political situation. General Chehab replied that he understood General Wade's
position and would discuss only military matters. It was not possible,
however, to divorce entirely the military presence of the Marines in Lebanon
from the political implications. Chehab stated that his army would fall apart
if the Marines continued their movements into the city. The Lebanese general
asked General Wade to group the American force: in such a manner that the
Marines would not give the appearance of being occupation troops. The Marine
general agreed to this


request. General Wade considered that the most important result of this
conference with General Chehab was the agreement to attach Lebanese Army
officers to the headquarters staff of the 2d Provisional Marine Force and to
each of the Marine battalions.

Lebanese Major Alexander Ghanem, attached to General Wade's headquarters,
proved to be extremely useful to the Americans. According to Colonel Hamilton
Lawrence, Chief of Staff of the 2d provisional Marine Force:

Was there a roadblock someplace manned by oddly dressed
irregulars? Ghanem would consider the problem silently for a
minute while seated by the phone, his fingertips pressed together.
Course of action decided, he would pick up the phone and speak
softly into it for only a few seconds. Fifteen minutes later our
reporting unit would call and say the roadblock had melted away
after a few words from some visiting Lebanese.<2>

The Lebanese officer who was attached to 2/2 requested Lieutenant Colonel
Hadd to withdraw Companies E and F from their positions at the bridges over
the Beirut river and at the eastern approaches to the city. Units of the
Lebanese Army also guarded these locations in the city, and Lebanese Army
officers believed the presence of the two Marine companies at these same sites
would mean a loss of face to the Lebanese Army. The Lebanese feared, in
addition, that the Marines might engage rebel elements that were firing
sporadically at the Marine emplacements in these areas. Hadd agreed to the
withdrawal after consulting with American Embassy officials and moved both
companies into the dock section of Beirut. He made it clear, however, that
these new positions were not satisfactory as a permanent location.

On 18 July, the Lebanese Army permitted the Marines to station Companies
E and F of 2/2 at J'Daide, approximately a mile and a half to the east of
Beirut. From there, both units would be able to move rapidly to the bridges
and to the eastern approaches of the city if the occasion arose.

At 0900, 18 July, the third battalion of the 2d Provisional Marine Force,
BLT 1/8 under Lieutenant Colonel John H. Brickley, landed at Yellow Beach,
four miles north of Beirut. Companies A and B came ashore in landing craft
and Company C, the battalion reserve, followed in LVTPs.<3> The battalion
fanned out and formed a crescent-shaped perimeter with Company B on the right
flank, Company C on the left, and Company A in the center to protect the
beachhead and the northern approaches to the city. The only problems
encountered were those posed by the usual congregation of Lebanese spectators
and ice cream and watermelon vendors. One or two of the Navy landing craft
had to swerve in order to avoid some children swimming in the water.


As one reporter stated, "The whole operation had a smooth picnic look about

The three Marine landings in Lebanon were only part of the American
response to the crisis in the Middle East caused by the sudden eruption of the
Iraqi Revolution. The United States could not be sure how other nations would
react to the American intervention and had to be prepared for any eventuality.

On 14 and 15 July, plans were being made to provide for the assignment of
the entire 2d Marine Division at Camp Lejeune and the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing
at Cherry Point, North Carolina to the Mediterranean area. In the Far East,
BLT 3/3 on Okinawa was ordered to load on board an amphibious squadron and
sail into the Persian Gulf and to be prepared to land in Iran or Saudi Arabia
in the event the crisis spread. A regimental landing team, RLT-3 on Okinawa,
was placed on a standby alert status.

The original plan, which called for the airlift of a British brigade into
the Beirut airport, had to be revised in view of the agreement of 15 July
between President Eisenhower and Prime Minister Harold MacMillan that the
British forces remain in reserve on Cyprus.<5> Subsequently on 17 July,
British paratroops landed in Jordan at the request of King Hussein of that
country. The role of the British brigade in BLUEBAT was taken instead by the
European-based 24th Airborne Brigade of the U. S. Army under Brigadier General
David W. Gray. The U. S. Army in Europe had prepared in November 1957 and
revised in February 1958 an emergency plan for the commitment of Army troops
in the Middle East. This plan provided for employment of an Army task force
consisting of two airborne battle groups reinforced with support elements.
Composed of five forces code named Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, and Echo, the
task force had been organized to permit deployment in whole or in part. Force
Alpha was comprised of the first battle group and task force command group.
The second battle group made up Force Bravo. The other three elements
consisted of combat and service support units.

At 0330 local time, 15 July, Force Alpha, the 1st Airborne Battle Group,
187th Infantry, was placed on alert. Two hours later the battle group was
ordered to move to Fuerstenfeldbruck Aid Force Base in Bavaria at 1300 for
further deployment to the Mediterranean theater.<6> The U. S. Air Forces in
Europe was to provide the necessary lift.

The Air Force had also been prepared for a Mediterranean operation. On
16 July a Composite Air Strike Force, made up largely of B-57s and F-100s
flown from the United States, was formed at the Air Force base in Adana,
Turkey under the overall command of CinCSPECOMME.<7> Adana, located in south


Turkey, was also the staging area for the airborne battle group, which arrived
at the airbase on 17 July. The transports carrying the Army troops were then
under the operational control of the Air Force commander, Brigadier General
James E. Roberts, who in turn reported to Admiral Holloway.<8> Force Alpha
was not flown into the Beirut airport until 19 July.

The Marine Corps was preparing its own airlift. The CNO, Admiral Burke,
had decided on the 15th to reinforce the 2d Provisional Marine Force with a
battalion from Camp Lejeune. The 2d Battalion, 8th Marines, under the command
of Lieutenant Colonel Alfred A. Tillman, had been alerted for possible mount
out at 1915 (Washington time), 14 July. During 15 July, the Marines were
transported by trucks and buses to the Marine Air Station at Cherry Point.
There at 1200 (Washington time), the order came from Admiral Burke to fly the
battalion to Beirut.

Twelve R5D aircraft arrived from the West Coast to augment the 14 R4Q-2
transports at Cherry Point.<9> At 1815 (Washington time) the last echelons of
2/8 reached Cherry Point and at 2210 (Washington time), the first plane was
airborne. The aircraft initially departed at 10-minute intervals, later
15-minute intervals, and eventually 30-minute intervals. The last plane left
at 1535, 16 July. After short refueling stops at Argentia, Newfoundland and
Lajes in the Azores, the aircraft headed for Port Lyautey, Morocco. The U. S.
Naval Air Station near this Moroccan city, located about 150 miles south of
Gibralter along the Atlantic coast, was the main air transport support base
for the Sixth Fleet. From there, the Marine aircraft carrying the battalion
departed every 30 minutes for Beirut. The first plane touched down at the
Beirut International Airport at 0930 (Beirut time), 18 July. The Marines of
2/8 were at first assigned to aid in the general unloading and were quartered
on board the USS CHILTON. The command post of the battalion, however, was
established in the rear area of BLT 3/6.
Last edited by Dick Gaines on January 26th, 2003, 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

January 26th, 2003, 8:21 pm #2

The entire airlift operation went smoothly with the exception, of one R4Q
that developed engine trouble and returned to Lajes. The Marines on board the
aircraft transferred to a U. S. Air Force C-124, which carried them on to
Beirut.<10> A Marine battalion of approximately 800 men had been airlifted
from North Carolina to Lebanon in 26 transports. This was a remarkable feat
considering the slowness of the R4Qs and R5D sand their limited range. Of the
54 hours en route, approximately 34 were spent in the air.

Preparations continued at Camp Lejeune to reinforce the Marine
contingents in Lebanon. Regimental Landing Team 6 (RLT-6), composed of two
BLTs, and Marine Aircraft Group 26 (NAG-26) moved to Morehead City on 16 July
for further deployment. The MAG was to be loaded on board the aircraft
carrier ANTIETAM and two victory ships were chartered to carry the RLT. The
latter two vessels were not prepared, however, to pick up the


two BLTs until 18 July. MAG-26 and RLT-6 completed loading on 21 July. On
this date, the decision was made to send the ships, not to Beirut but to
Vieques Island, nine miles east of Puerto Rico, for maneuvers. The reason for
this change of orders was based on Admiral Holloway's situation reports.

On the 19th, the Admiral had reported:

Time is still operating for us rather than against us. The
moment may come when this is reversed but at present, patience,
consolidation of strength, acclimating the Lebanese to our presence,
and restraint characterized our actions accompanied by our great
potential military strength are paying dividends.<11>

Holloway indicated also that space ashore in Lebanon was becoming scarce.
Earlier, President Eisenhower had signified that he was not in favor of any
further sizeable reinforcement of American forces in Lebanon. This line of
reasoning, based on the desire not to over-commit American power, applied also
to the movement of BLT 3/3 from Okinawa to the Persian Gulf. The State
Department had expressed fear that a large transfer of American forces from
the Far East to the Middle-East theaters might provoke a new emergency. As
the crisis in Lebanon receded, BLT 3/3 returned to its base. The CNO decided
to send one BLT with a regimental headquarters to the Mediterranean as a
floating reserve once RLT-6 returned from Vieques.

In Lebanon, after the arrival of the Army troops on 19 July, the problem
of command of the American land forces arose. On the day of the Marine
Landing, General Wade was assigned as Commander, American Land Forces,
Lebanon, with headquarters on board the Pocono. When General Gray's 24th
Airborne Brigade arrived, the Army general became Commander, U. S. Army Troops
Assigned, Lebanon. The soldiers of the 1st Airborne Group were placed in
reserve, and occupied the olive groves just east of the airport. On 21 July,
Admiral Holloway requested the Joint Chiefs of Staff to have a major general
or lieutenant general of either the Army or the Marine Corps assigned to
coordinate the activities of the two forces. The Marine Corps had expected
that Lieutenant General Edwin A. Pollock, Commanding General, Fleet Marine
Force, Atlantic, would be made the American land commander. Apparently the
Joint Chiefs of Staff had decided to appoint an Army commander, however, since
the Army troops in Lebanon would soon outnumber the Marines now that the
decision had been made not to reinforce the Marine force. The Department of
the Army on 23 July named Major General Paul D. Adams, Commander in Chief,
American Land Forces, Lebanon. General Adams arrived in Lebanon on the next
day. Although the appointment of an Army general was a disappointment to the
Marines, General Wade, who was made Commander, U. S. Marine Corps, Troops
Assigned, Lebanon, later stated: "I think that General Adams, as commander,
was as fair to the Marine Corps as any Army general I've ever dealt with."<12>


The period of 19-26 July, from the arrival of the first Army troops to
the assumption of command by General Adams, was one of consolidation of
liaison arrangements with the Lebanese Army. The relationship between General
Chehab and the American military improved. General Wade reminisced:

He (General Chehab) objected to our coming into the city I
think because he thought we were going to get involved in the Basta
area. When it was quite clear that we were going to avoid that, it
eased the situation considerably, the tension was lifted and he was
more or less cooperative.<13>

During this period there was no combat activity with the exception of the
continued harassing of Marine forward positions. One of the most potentially
dangerous of these incidents occurred on 19 July at the airfield. Rebel
groups had periodically been firing at American aircraft when they came in for
landings. The rebel shots came from an area just south of the field. A
patrol from BLT 3/6 was dispatched to disperse the snipers. The Marine patrol
became involved in a three-cornered fire fight, not only with the rebels but
also with Lebanese police dressed in civilian clothes. There were no American
casualties, although one gendarme was wounded. A later investigation proved
that the Lebanese gendarmes had initiated the firing, mistaking the Marines
for rebels. A Lebanese Army unit moved into the area and stopped the rebel
harassment of the American planes.

On 21 July, General Wade, accompanied by the airborne commander, met once
again with General Chehab. The three made arrangements for Lebanese officers
to be assigned to the 24th Airborne Brigade staff. More importantly, it was
agreed to form an integrated military police force composed of Lebanese, and
American Army, Navy, and Marine personnel. General Chehab emphasized his
desire that only the Lebanese Army cope with the problem of the Basta area.
He stated that Lebanese units were to be placed between U. S. and rebel
positions in order to prevent any clashes between the two. The American
forces were in the unusual predicament of having to negotiate in order to
establish their positions in lieu of seizing them.

Two days after this conference, BLT 1/8 received permission to institute
motorized patrols. Air support for these patrols was furnished by the eight
Marine HRS-3 helicopters from Sub Unit 1, Detachment HMR-262, under Major
Samuel F. Roach, which had arrived in Lebanon on 19 July from the aircraft
carrier WASP.<14>

The patrols reconnoitered up to 20 miles east of the position of 1/8
north of the city. Each patrol was made up of a reinforced rifle platoon, a
forward air controller, an artillery forward observer, and the communications


necessary to call air and artillery strikes. A helicopter flew above the
three 2 1/2 ton trucks and three jeeps of each patrol, maintaining a
surveillance of the road ahead. Several Lebanese Army personnel accompanied
the Marines as interpreters and guides. The patrols met no resistance and
received an extremely friendly reception from the rural populace. On one
occasion, a helicopter was forced to land at a Christian monastery. According
to the pilots:

Monks, children, and old timers came running out to greet us
like lost relatives, some brought gifts of fruit, cold drinks,
and one offered us wine. All of them showered us with hospitality.
We've never seen anything like it.<15>

After the 19th, the U. S. Army began to reinforce the original battle
group. Lead elements of Force Charlie arrived at the Beirut airport on 20
July. On the 22d, the 3d Medium Tank Battalion departed from Bremerhaven,
Germany, by ship for Lebanon. Force Delta sailed from Bremerhaven and La
Pallice, in southern France on 26 and 27 July. The major components of
Charlie and Delta consisted of the force artillery, a signal support company,
two engineer battalions, an evacuation hospital, a military police company,
and three transportation companies.

General Adams arrived in Beirut on 24 July and assumed command on 26
July. General Wade offered him the use of the American Community School in
the northern sector of Beirut as headquarters for the joint staff. The
building had previously been used by administrative sections of the 2d
Provisional Marine Force for billeting personnel and office space. The
Marines moved their administrative staff into another school located in the
eastern portion of the city between the Basta and the Beirut River.<16> The
primary Marine headquarters, however, remained aboard the POCONO. Because of
considerations of communications and space, the unusual situation existed of a
rear headquarters located forward of the actual command post.

With the increased Army strength in Lebanon, it was necessary to make
further refinements in the disposition of the Army and Marine forces. The
Marines of 2/8, who had disembarked from the CHILTON on 23 July and proceeded
to an assembly area east of Beirut, relieved BLT 2/2 on 26 July of guarding
the dock area and key installations in the city. The rest of BLT2/2 moved out
to join Companies E and F in a defense perimeter at J'Daide. Each battalion
made arrangements with the Lebanese to furnish guides to point out rebel
strongpoints. Planning was carefully irked out to prevent any
misunderstanding with the Lebanese authorities. The two battalions entered
their new positions without any undue ramifications.



A Marine motorized patrol in the hills of Lebanon with a Marine
helicopter flying reconnaissance.


On 29 July, the Army battle group relieved BLT 3/6 at the Beirut
International Airport. The Army troops then assumed the responsibility for
protecting the southern sector of the American defense perimeter, which
included the airport, the high ground to the south, and Red Beach. BLT 3/6
redeployed through Beirut to the southern flank of 1/8, north or the city.

This latter battalion had remained in its original positions since
landing. During this time, Lieutenant Colonel Brickley had his men improve
their field fortifications. It was necessary to construct bunkers by blasting
because much of the surface of the ground in this sector consisted of solid
rock. The Marines of BLT 1/8 used nearly 23,000 sandbags to reinforce the 108
different emplacements erected by the battalion.

By the end of July, the Army and Marines had consolidated their final
dispositions. A defense perimeter extending for 20 miles protected Beirut
from attack in any direction. The main problems for the American force were
the avoidance of conflict with the local Lebanese irregulars and the provision
of the necessary staff, logistical, and combat support of the American land
force in Lebanon.

From the very beginning of the Lebanon operations, these latter
considerations were of great concern to the Marines. The headquarters
personnel of the 2d Provisional Marine Force on the day of the first landing
consisted of only 13 officers and 31 enlisted men. The staff was increased to
52 officers and 211 enlisted men on 17 July. Through a preplanned
augmentation, more than 100 officers and enlisted men had arrived by air from
the United States. Additional personnel were drawn from the battalions to
bring the staff up to adequate strength.<17> When the joint Army-Marine
command was formed under General Adams on 26 July, the Marines in the
headquarters were a small minority. This was due not to any exclusion policy
established by General Adams, but to a scarcity of immediately available
Marine staff officers. The Marines were in important positions, however, as
not only the Chief of Staff, Colonel Charles M. Nees, was a Marine but also
key members of the operations and intelligence staffs.

Logistics presented another vexing problem to the Marine forces. A
Logistics Support Group was formed by the 2d Provisional Marine Force on 18
July. The personnel of this group came from the service support elements of
the BLTs. The group headquarters, however, had to be formed from officers
airlifted from the U. S. According to the final report of the 2d Provisional
Marine Force: "This did not permit prior planning and organization, and only
a hasty estimate and familiarization with the situation ashore was possible
before actual activation."<18>


One of the first tasks was to find storage for the supplies unloaded from
the transports and the LSDs. On 17 July, agreements had been made with the
Lebanese port authorities for open and covered storage at the dock area of
Beirut. This space was inadequate, however, and the Force Supply Officer
arranged for additional open storage area at the railroad marshalling yards,
located in the southern section of the city. After the unloading of the
amphibious shipping on 23 July, the Logistical Support Group undertook a
review of its storage space ashore. The survey indicated a need for greater
dispersion of the supply installations. Admiral Holloway assigned to the 2d
Provisional Marine Force a naval officer with experience in contracting. His
negotiations, which produced seven contracts and six leases with Lebanese
merchants, provided the additional required space. All in all, 10,000 tons of
supplies were brought ashore by the Marine battalions. In addition to the
supplies brought in by ship, medical stores, ammunition, and other critical
items were flown in day and night by a MAG-35 detachment, whose 10 R4Qs and
crews had been stationed at Port Lyautey since May. Admiral Holloway
complimented the unit highly for its cooperation and efficiency in support of
the SPECOMME forces.

The main transportation headache of the Marine forces was the shortage of
trucks. A central motor pool was created from the trucks assigned to the
individual battalions. Each BLT retained only what was necessary for
day-to-day operations. Even so, the Marine force had to depend on the Army
Logistical Command for approximately 10 additional vehicles daily. During the
round-the-clock unloading of the ships, it was necessary to borrow 30 Army
trucks for each 12-hour shift.

For medical support after 29 July, the Marines were dependent upon the
facilities of the Army 58th Evacuation Hospital. Prior to that time, the
Marine medical force consisted of three medical aid stations with a total of
five general medical officers. The USS MOUNT MCKINLEY, the designated
casualty evacuation ship, had only one medical officer on board. None of the
medical officers with the Marines in Lebanon had previous experience or
training in surgery or anesthesia. Admiral Yeager made the statement: "The
capacity for even major lifesaving emergency surgery was non-existent."<19>
This situation was relieved by the arrival of three naval surgeons by 27 July
and with the opening of the Army hospital.

The biggest medical problem confronting the Marines was the outbreak of
dysentery among the battalions. During the period 18-31 July, BLT 1/8 alone
suffered 48 cases of this malady. This situation was aggravated because the
Marines had no preventive medicine team until 31 July. The Army Engineers
helped to erect screened toilet facilities for most units, and the Army made
available large quantities of insecticides to the Marine battalions in order
to stop the spread of the disease.


By the end or August, strict hygenic controls adopted by the Marine BLTs had
brought this ailment under control.

This weakness of the Marine transportation and medical support was
inherent in the makeup of the Marine task force. Its main mission was to be a
striking force. Accordingly, the Marines were not equipped for an extended
land campaign. The service support had to be augmented from other sources.
The U. S. Army Logistical Command brought into Lebanon to support the Army
airborne troops was designed to service and equip two Army battle groups. As
the second battle group was not committed to Lebanon, the Marines were able to
rely on the Army to supplement their logistical requirements. An interesting
comparison is the contrast between the percentages of support troops in each
of the two task forces sent into Lebanon. The Army troops involved in support
activities consisted of 47.1 percent of the 8,508 Army troops in Lebanon; the
Marines engaged in such activities made up only 17.2 percent of the 5,790
Marines of the 2d Provisional Marine Force.

In combat support, however, the Marines compared favorably with the Army.
During the first two weeks of the campaign, the only American armor support
was provided by the 15 medium tanks of the 2d Provisional Marine Force. These
tanks were complemented by 31 LVTPs and 10 Ontos. On 27 July, the 3d Medium
Tank Battalion arrived from Bremerhaven. Admiral Holloway had insisted on the
landing of the tank battalion because he believed the display of American
armored strength would greatly impress the Lebanese.<20> The Army battalion
brought 72 medium tanks and 17 armored personnel carriers.

The Marine armored vehicles were formed into task forces to "assure the
flow of military traffic, to protect U. S. officials and property, and to
concentrate Marines rapidly at any danger point."<21> Armored teams
consisting of two to three tanks, three LVTPs, and an infantry platoon were
deployed from time to time as a show of force.

The 2d Provisional Marine Force carried its own artillery support into
Lebanon. This support was made up of six 8-inch howitzers, eight 4.2-inch
mortars, and three six-gun 105mm howitzer batteries. The command of the
artillery units remained with the individual infantry battalion commanders
until the activation, on 31 July, of a Force Artillery Group (FAG), which
provided centralized control. The personnel of the headquarters of the FAG
were 7 officers and 23 enlisted men flown to Lebanon from Camp Lejeune. On
the same date a provisional battery was formed by drawing two howitzers from
each 105mm battery to provide general support for the Marine BLTs. The other
three 105mm Batteries, Battery B, 1/10, Battery H, 3/10, and Battery I, 3/10,
were assigned direct support and reinforcing missions. Batteries H and I


direct support to BLTs 3/6 and 1/8 north of Beirut while Battery B reinforced
Battery H and provided forward observers to BLT 2/2 at J'Daide. Two of the
8-inch howitzers were assigned to general support of the 2d Provisional Marine
Force, and the other four were assigned to the Army battle group at the

Throughout this period, Marines and Army troops remained in their
prepared positions. No liberty was granted until two weeks after the
landings. In Beirut, ropes strung across street corners marked off rebel
areas. The insurgents continued to fire occasionally at the Americans, but
the only two Marine deaths resulted from accidental shootings by other
Marines. The only American casualties from rebel bullets were two Army
sergeants, one of whom was wounded and the other killed during the month of
August. The American forces in Lebanon were in the difficult position of
being shot at, but under orders not to shoot back unless they had a clear
target. This rebel harassment did serve, according to General Wade, to
provide "the incentive necessary in constructing good foxholes and
bunkholes."<22> This successful restraint of the troops proved to be an
important stabilizing feature of the American intervention. Lieutenant
Colonel Hadd remarked:

The conduct of the individual Marine in holding his fire when
he can see who is shooting in his direction must be mentioned.
When a youngster lands all prepared and eager to fight and finds
himself restricted from firing at a known rebel who he sees
periodically fire in his direction and in every instance restrains
himself from returning the fire, it is felt this is outstanding and
indicated good small unit discipline. The situation had to be
thoroughly explained to the individual Marine and they understood
why the restriction on fire was necessary. Many innocent people
could have been killed.<23>

General Adams described the military operations in Lebanon as a "show of force
with psychological overtones."<24>

From the very beginning of its intervention, the United States, made it
clear that its main purpose was to protect the integrity of the Lebanese
government and not to support any internal political faction. President
Eisenhower, in his message to Congress on 15 July announcing the Marine
landings, called upon the United Nations to take effective action to safeguard
Lebanese independence so that the American troops could be withdrawn. The
American Government on this date asked for an immediate meeting of the United
Nations Security Council to consider the Lebanese situation. The Japanese
delegation offered a resolution which would make possible the withdrawal of
American forces by having the United Nations protect the territorial integrity
and political independence of Lebanon. This proposal was vetoed, however, by
the Soviet Union.


The U. S. President, realizing the political implications of American
intervention, sent Deputy Under Secretary of State Robert D. Murphy as
political adviser to CinCSPECOMME to coordinate the activities of the U. S.
military command and the American Embassy in Lebanon. Secretary Murphy
recalled that the President gave no specific orders except to promote the best
interest of the U. S. incident to the arrival of our forces in Lebanon."<25>
When Murphy arrived in Lebanon on 17 July, he discovered that many of the
members of the Lebanese Parliament planned to protest to the U. S. against she
American intervention. He was able to persuade the legislators to drop this
action, however, and concentrate on the problem of electing a new president.
The Deputy Under Secretary met with Admiral Holloway on a daily basis. The
two agreed that much of the Lebanese internal conflict concerned personalities
and had very little relation to international issues. It was apparent to
both of them that Communism "was playing no direct or substantial part in the
insurrection."<26> The main outside support of the Lebanese rebels came from
Egypt and Syria and direct intervention from the United Arab Republic as a
result of the American landings was unlikely. Murphy believed that the only
solution to end the anarchy was the election of a new president. He and
Admiral Holloway felt that President Chamoun had overreached himself in the
brambles of Lebanese politics and that the Lebanese Army was the only thing
holding the government together. General Chehab assured Murphy that the Army
was willing to cooperate with the American forces but was unwilling to take
any energetic action against the rebels, except to restrict rebel activity and
contain it in certain districts.

Murphy decided that the only way to create a viable government was to
bring the leaders of the dissident elements of the country together. Colonel
William A. Eddy, a retired Marine officer, who was employed as a consultant to
the American Arabian Oil Company, arranged for a meeting between Murphy and
two of Saeb Salem's associates on 24 July. The American attempted to convince
the two Lebanese that the U. S. had not intervened in order to keep Chamoun in
office. He warned them that the indiscriminate firing at American troops
should end. Murphy reassured the rebel spokesmen that the Americans wished to
avoid any serious clash, "however, we must maintain the security of our troops
and we also value American prestige."<27> Saeb Salem apparently took heed of
the American warnings since the rebel provocations against the American troops
dropped off after this date.

Murphy was also able to convince the Druze chieftan Jumblatt and the
Tripoli rebel leader Karami that the U. S. intervention was not for the
purpose of maintaining any one man in office. The way was then cleared for
the Parliament to decide on a new president. The election was held on 31 July
and General Chehab was elected president although his term of office was not
scheduled to begin until 23 September. The


Lebanese Army Commander, by not taking sides in the insurrection and by
maintaining the integrity of the national army, had the support of all the
various Lebanese political factions. With the hope of a stabilized government
for Lebanon, the Americans were able to concentrate on the problems of pulling
their troops out of Lebanon.

Secretary of State Dulles announced on 31 July that the U. S. forces
would be withdrawn as soon as the Lebanese Government requested their removal.
On 5 August, Admiral Holloway was directed to begin planning for the departure
of the American military forces. The order was based on the assumption that
General Chehab would request the Americans to to leave when he took office.
The Americans wished to keep the selection of their departure date in their
own hands. Chehab indicated, however, that he wished the Americans to make
only a token withdrawal until the internal situation in Lebanon was completely

General Wade on 6 August issued BLT 2/2 an order that placed the
battalion on a 24-hour reembarkation alert. By 11 August, Admiral Holloway
had submitted a proposed withdrawal schedule to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He
decided to withdraw the Marine BLTs in advance of the Army troops because he
was determined "knot to use Marines as `occupations' and static forces when
and wherever it could be avoided."<28> BLT 2/2 was to begin embarking
immediately. This battalion was to load on board the ships of TransPhibRon 6
and to remain as a reserve force afloat. The two battalions of the 8th
Marines were slated to depart on 15 September for the United States, and the
remaining Marine battalion, 3/6, was to leave on 30 September. The Army units
were scheduled to withdraw in the latter part of October.

On 14 August, as a gesture of American intentions, BLT2/2 completed its
reembarkation. The positions of the battalion were occupied by BLT 1/8. The
remaining Marine battalions continued to maintain security in the Beirut dock
area and to guard the northeastern approaches to the city. General Wade
instituted a 30-hour weekly training program, which stressed individual and
small-unit combat. Emphasis was also placed on cooperation with the Lebanese
Army. Lebanese officers were often invited to visit the American positions
and to observe American training techniques. The most outstanding example of
the latter was a joint Army-Marine exercise involving Company C of BLT 1/8
and an Army company from the 24th Airborne Brigade on 10 September.

This training operation was held near J'Bail, 20 miles north of Beirut
and near the Biblical town of Byblos. While 13 Marine company rushed across
the beach, 13 Marine and Army helicopters landed the Army company on two hills
about 3,000 yards in from the beach.


The preparation for this operation had been well publicized and
approximately 3,000 Lebanese had gathered to witness the landings. The Marine
Ontos rolled off the two LCUs and Lebanese officers riding on top waved to the
crowd. The Marine company linked up with the Army troops and the entire
exercise was secured by 1000. The Marines and soldiers were then taken on a
guided tour of the Byblos ruins. This was to be the last American landing of
the Lebanon operation. On 15 September, the Marines of 1/8 and 2/8 sailed for
the United States. The Army brigade took over the responsibility of the
Beirut dock area and BLT 3/6 remained in the positions guarding the
north-eastern approaches.

Chehab succeeded Chamoun as President of Lebanon on 23 September. The
Lebanese general chose as prime minister, Rashid Karami, who had formed a
cabinet composed mainly of former rebel leaders. This action triggered
further political dissension, which resulted in the supporters of former
President Chamoun calling for a general strike and the dissolution of the new
government. The American forces did not intervene but established Army-Marine
tank-infantry task forces to meet any emergency. The Lebanese Army on the
24th broke up a major clash between irregular forces favoring Chamoun and
those of the former rebels. Both sides, impressed by the determination of the
Lebanese Army to end the fighting, commenced negotiations to end the political

On 29 September, RLT 6, commanded by Colonel William B. McKennan and
composed of BLT 2/6 and a regimental headquarters staff, arrived in Beirut
harbor on board the ships of TransPhibRon 8, commanded by Captain Charles L.
Werts. The CAMBRIA, the command ship of the Amphibious Squadron tied up at
the docks alongside of Admiral Holloway's flagship, the TACONIC. On the same
day, 3/6 departed, leaving the RLT as a ready reserve to the Army troops in
Lebanon. General Wade and Admiral Yeager left Beirut for the United States on
3 October, and Colonel McKennan and Captain Werts assumed command of the
Marines in Lebanon and the Amphibious Task Force respectively.

The United States announced on 8 October that it was withdrawing all its
forces from Lebanon. Through the period of 18 October, however, the date of
departure of the RLT, nearly 2,000 Marines remained in the Beirut dock area
and Captain Werts and Colonel McKennan "conducted considerable reconnaissance
work throughout the Lebanese coastal area at Admiral Holloway's personal
direction."<29> On 23 October, the Lebanese formed a government which
included representatives from each of the major political parties and the last
U. S. Army troops departed the country two days later.

From the vantage of today there seems to have been little connection
between the Iraqi Revolution and the unrest in Lebanon, but it must be
emphasized that this was not known at


the time. There was a precarious political situation in Lebanon and also a
real fear on the part of the loyalist supporters of Chamoun for the safety of
his life and for the independence of the country.<30> Even if the events of
14 July were not the result of an international conspiracy, the balance of
power in the Middle East could have been destroyed, creating a situation
susceptible to Soviet exploitation.

The American intervention did succeed in proving the ability of the
American military forces to react boldly and effectively, although the Marine
battalion landed and remained without full logistical and combat support for a
period of some 16 hours. Political necessity had forced President Eisenhower
to disregard Admiral Burke's request for 24 hours notice and the BLUEBAT
concept of a two-battalion landing had to be modified.

Though political factors determined the military commitment, there was an
incomplete liaison between the American diplomat on the scene and the military
commanders. The American Ambassador in this age of immediate communication,
was dependent upon information about the movement of the Amphibious Squadron
from modern day "cliff dwellers" in Beirut. This lack of communication was
largely responsible for the bizarre disagreements between the military and the
Embassy on 15 July. As one observer has stated:

...ideally there should be close contact between the
Ambassador and the Commander in a developing crisis. Reports
should be maintained between the mission and the command. But
once under way, a military intervention cannot be radically
shifted at the last minute without affecting its efficiency and
possible success in gaining positions necessary for the presence
of American forces.<31>

Despite the misunderstandings on the first day, the Marines were able to
complete their initial missions within a few hours of landing. Through the
cooperation of Ambassador McClintock and General Chehab on the next day, BLT
2/2 consolidated American strength in the city of Beirut. As events turned
out, 16 July was the climax of the entire operation. The remaining period was
confined to a holding action until the Lebanese could settle their differences
among themselves. The American forces provided a stabilizing influence on the
Lebanese political scene. The Marine landings in Lebanon vividly demonstrated
the close interplay between American military preparedness and the success of
U. S. diplomacy.



Section I

(1) Unless otherwise noted the material in this section is derived from
Human Relations Area Files, Inc., Special Warfare Area Handbook for Lebanon
dtd 15Jan58 (Lebanon File); Cdr James T. Alexander, Jr., "The U. S.
Intervention in Lebanon 1958," Student Thesis, dtd 25Jan61, U. S. Army War
College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania (Lebanon File), hereafter Alexander,
"The U. S. Intervention in Lebanon"; Robert McClintock, "The American Landing
in Lebanon," "United States Naval Institute Proceedings," v. LXXXVIII, no. 10
(Oct62), pp. 65-79, hereafter McClintock, "The American Landing." Unless
otherwise noted, all documentary material cited is located in the Historical
Reference Section, Historical Branch, G-3, HQMC.

(2) Ambassador Robert McClintock, Comments on draft manuscript, "circa"
11Oct65 (Lebanon Comment File, hereafter "McClintock Comments."

(3) "Lebanon Handbook," op. cit., p. 348.

(4) Leila M. T. Meo, "Lebanon, Improbable Nation, A Study In Political
Development" (Bloomington, Indiana: University of Indiana Press, 1965), pp.
150-151, hereafter Meo, "Lebanon."

(5) McClintock, "The American Landing," p. 66.

(6) Dwight D. Eisenhower, "Waging Peace" (Garden City, New York: Doubleday &
Company, Inc., 1965) p. hereafter Eisenhower, "Waging Peace."

(7) Eleanor Lansing Dulles, "John Foster Dulles: The Last Year" (New York:
Harcourt, Brace, and World Inc. 1963), pp. 142-143.

(8) "Time, The Weekly News Magazine," v. LXXII, no. 4 (28Jul58) p. 6.

(9) Eisenhower, "Waging Peace," p. 273.

(10) "Time," op. cit.


Section II

(1) Unless otherwise noted the material in this section is derived from
Transcript of BGen Sidney S. Wade Presentation to the Commandant Marine Corps,
on 4Nov58, Subj: Recent Operations in Lebanon (Lebanon File), hereafter "Wade
Presentation"; G-3 Div, HQMC, Lebanese Journal, dtd 14Jul-30Sep Lebanon File),
hereafter "G-3 Journal"; Hq, 2d Provisional Marine Force, Lebanon Final
Report, Task Force 62 and Marine Corps Troops assigned SPECOMME 18May-3Oct58
(Lebanon File), hereafter "Lebanon Final Report;" CinCSPECOMME, Command Report
Operation BLUEBAT 15Jul-25Oct58, dtd 5Dec58 (Lebanon File), hereafter
CinCSPECOMME, "Command Report"; Hq, American Land Forces, Lebanon,
After-Action Report 15Jul-25Oct58, dtd 25Oct58 (Lebanon File), hereafter
AmLanFor, "After-Action Report"; BLT 2/2, Command Diaries for Jul-Aug58
(Lebanon File), hereafter "2/2 CmdDs"; Col Harry A. Hadd, "Orders Firm But
Flexible"; "United States Naval Institute Proceedings," v. LXXXVIII, no. 10
(Oct62), pp. 81-89; hereafter Hadd, "Orders Firm But Flexible"; BGen Sidney S.
Wade, "Operation Bluebat"; "Marine Corps Gazette," v. XLIII, no. 7 (Jul59),
pp. 10-23, hereafter Wade, "Operation Bluebat"; Alexander, "The U. S.
Intervention in Lebanon."

(2) Press Release, Units of the Sixth Fleet, dtd 14Jul58 (Clipping File,

(3) General Wade had been briefed on 31 March and 14 April for possible
deployment of his headquarters in connection with the Lebanese unrest, but the
main mission of the 2d Provisional Marine Force had remained the planning of
COMBINE II. There was no special significance to the name given to the
headquarters. It was the "2d" as it was from the 2d Division and it was
"provisional" and it was a "Marine forced." See Maj Duncan D. Chaplin,
"Planning Breeds Success," MS. n.d. (Lebanon File), p. 15, hereafter Chaplin,
"Planning"; and LtGen Henry W. Buse, Jr., interview by HistBr, G-3, HQMC, dtd
25Mar65 (Lebanon File).

(4) Chief of Naval Operations msg to Commander in Chief Atlantic Fleet and
CinCNELM, dtd 15May58 (G-3 Division, HQMC, Messages and Orders re: Lebanon

(5) Capt Howard J. Baker, USN, Comments on draft manuscript, dtd 13Dec65
(Lebanon Comment File, hereafter "Baker Comments."

(6) Chaplin, "Planning," pp. 11-18.

(7) MajGen David W. Gray, USA, Comments on draft manuscript, dtd 10Dec65
(Lebanon Comment File), hereafter "Gray Comments."

(8) G-3 Division, HQMC, Staff Brief of Amphibious Operation BLUEBAT, dtd
9Jun58 (Lebanon File).


(9) CNO msg to CinCNELM and Commander Sixth Fleet, dtd 14Jul58 in "G-3

(10) Adm Arleigh Burke, Comments on draft manuscript, dtd 29Nov65 (Lebanon
Comment File).

(11) "Time, The Weekly News Magazine," v. LXXII, no. 4 (28Jul58), p. 11.

Section III

(1) Unless otherwise noted the material in this section is derived from
"Wade Presentation; G-3 Journal"; CinSPECOMME, "Command Report; Lebanon Final
Report; 2/2 CmdDs"; Hadd, "Orders Firm But Flexible;" McClintock,"The American

(2) Philip N. Pierce, "Show of Force: Lebanon," "Leatherneck," v.XLV, no. 9
(Sep62), p. 36.

(3) Col Harry A. Hadd interview by Historical Branch, G-3, HQMC, dtd 20Dec65
(Lebanon File), hereafter "Hadd Interview."

(4) "Washington Post and Times Herald," 16Jul58, p. 12.

(5) Charles W. Thayer, "Diplomat" (New York: Harper & Bros., 1959) p. 29,
hereafter Thayer, "Diplomat."

(6) CNO msg to CinCNELM and Commander Sixth Fleet, dtd 15Jul58 in "G-3

(7) Ambassador McClintock msg to Dept of State, dtd 14Jul58 (Lebanon File).

(8) U. S. Army Attache, Beirut msg to Department of the Army, Headquarters
US Air Force, and to CNO, dtd 15Jul58 in Dispatches Relative to U. S.
Landings, Lebanon (Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Division).

(9) Ambassador McClintock msg to Dept of State, dtd 15Jul58 (Lebanon File).

(10) Ambassador McClintock msg to Dept of State, dtd 14Jul58 (Lebanon File).

(11) Thayer, "Diplomat," p. 29.

(12) "Baker Comments."

(13) "New York Times," 27Jul58, Pt. 4, p. 1.


(14) There is some dispute as to the time of the arrival of the support
aircraft from the ESSEX. The commander of the ESSEX stated that the aircraft
arrived on station at 1450 Beirut time), 10 minutes before the landing.
Admiral Holloway on the other hand claims that the planes did not arrive until
15 minutes after the landing. See the Cruise Report of the ESSEX for Feb to
Nov58, dtd 11Feb59 (Operational Archives, Naval Historical Division);
CinSPECOMME, "Command Report," Enclosure 6, Operations, p. 8.

(15) "2/2 CmdDs Jul58," p. 2; "McClintock Comments."

(16) "Baker Comments."

(17) Quoted in Ambassador McClintock msg to Dept of State, dtd 15Jul58
(Lebanon File).

(18) Commander Task Unit 61.1.3 msg to Commander Sixth Fleet, dtd 15Jul58 in
Dispatches Relative to U. S. Landings, Lebanon (Operational Archives Branch,
Naval Historical Division).

(19) Commander Sixth Fleet msg to Commander Task Unit 61.1.3 dtd 15Jul58 in
Sixth Fleet Dispatches Relative to U. S. Landings, Lebanon (Operational
Archives Branch, Naval Historical Division).

(20) Hadd, "Orders Firm but Flexible," p. 84.

(21) "Hadd Interview."

(22) "Ibid."; RAdm Victor B. McCrea, Comments on draft manuscript, dtd
10Dec65 (Lebanon Comment File), hereafter "McCrea Comments."

Section IV

(1) Unless otherwise noted the material in this section is derived from
"Wade Presentation"; Col Robert M. Jenkins interview by Historical Branch,
G-3, HQMC, dtd 9Oct64 (Lebanon File); "G-3 Journal"; CinCSPECOMME, "Command
Report"; "Lebanon Final Report"; "2/2 CmdDs"; 3/6 CmdDs for Jul-5Oct58
(Lebanon File), hereafter "3/6 CmdDs"; Hadd, "Orders Firm But Flexible";
McClintock, "The American Landing"; Wade, "Operation Bluebat."

(2) "McCrea Comments."

(3) The Ontos is a lightly-armored, tracked antitank vehicle carrying six
106mm recoilless rifles. The mechanical mule is a four-wheel drive, flat-bed,
open-body vehicle with a 1/2 ton load capacity.

(4) "2/2 CmdDs."


(5) MajGen Sidney S. Wade, Comments on draft manuscript, dtd 26Nov65 (Lebanon
Comment File).

(6) Adm James L. Holloway, Jr., Comments on draft manuscript, dtd 2Dec65
(Lebanon Comment File), hereafter "Holloway Comments."

(7) Ibid.

Section V

(1) Unless otherwise noted the material in this section is derived from "Wade
Presentation"; "G-3 Journal"; G-3 Div, Lebanon Crisis File, dtd 14Jul-13Aug58
(Lebanon File); Lebanon Final Report; CinCSPECOMME, "Command Report";
AmLanFor, "After-Action Report"; HQMC, Commandant Marine Corps Briefing
Notes-Lebanon, dtd Jul-Sep58 (Lebanon File), hereafter "CMC Briefing Notes";
Col Charles W. Harrison, Notes from Middle East Briefings at HQMC, dtd
18Jul-10Nov58 (Lebanon File); Robert D. Little and Wilhelmine Burch, "Air
Operations in the Lebanon Crisis of 1958," dtd Oct62 (U. S. Air Force
Historical Division Liaison Office, Silver Spring, Maryland); G-3 Div, Hq, U.
S. Army, Europe, "The U. S. Army Task Force in Lebanon," dtd 1959 (Lebanon
File); 2d Provisional Marine Force, CmdDs for Jul-Oct58 (Lebanon File); "2/2
CmdDs"; "3/6 CmdDs"; BLT 1/8, CmdDs for Jul-15Sep58 (Lebanon File; Plans and
Readiness Branch, Aviation Division, HQMC memo for file, dtd 8Jan59, Subj:
Recap on Airlift (Lebanon File); Wade, "Operation Bluebat."

(2) Col Hamilton Lawrence, Comments on draft manuscript, dtd 28Nov65 (Lebanon
Comment File).

(3) Provisional Table of Organization 1038, dtd 14Feb58 provided for a four
rifle company Marine battalion. As BLT 17 was in the Mediterranean area at
this time, its organization has not affected.

(4) "Washington Evening Star," 18Jul58, p. 1.

(5) Eisenhower, "Waging Peace," p. 273.

(6) "Gray Comments."

(7) The B-57 is a twin-jet Canberra medium bomber, and the F-100 is a North
American Super-saber single-engine fighter-bomber.

(8) General Roberts was replaced by Major General Henry Vicellio on 21 July.

(9) The R4Q-2 is the Fairchild Flying Boxcar twin-engine transport and the
R5D is the Douglas Skymaster, four-engine transport. In Nov62 DOD directed a
new all-service designation


system for aircraft. The R4Q-2 is now the C-119F and the R5D is now the C-54.

(10) The C-124 is the Douglas Globemaster four-engine transport, larger and
with a greater load-carrying capacity than the R5D or R4Q.

(11) CinCSPECOMME msg to CNO, dtd 19Jul58 in G-3 Journal.

(12) "Wade Presentation."

(13) Ibid.

(14) HMR is the Marine Corps designation for a medium helicopter transport
squadron. The HRS-3 is the Sikorsky single-rotor transport helicopter with a
load capacity of eight troops. The HRS-3 is now designated the CH19E.

(15) Department of Defense Press release, dtd 19Aug58, entitled "Choppers
Steal the Show" (Clipping File, Lebanon).

(16) LtCol Thomas B. Sparkman, Comments on draft manuscript, dtd 13Dec65
(Lebanon Comment File).

(17) Ibid.

(18) "Lebanon Final Report," p. 41.

(19) Commander Amphibious Group 4 Report on Amphibious Operations in Lebanon,
dtd 15Sep58 (Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Division). In his
comments dtd 23Nov65 on the draft manuscript, Admiral Yeager made the
statement: "I had asked for Medical Officers trained in surgery or anesthesia
prior to our landing, but had not received any." (Lebanon Comment File).

(20) "Holloway Comments."

(21) "Lebanon Final Report," p. 17.

(22) Wade, "Operation Bluebat," p. 20.

(23) "2/2 CmdDs" Jul58, Command Evaluation, p. 2.

(24) Hq, AmLanFor, "After-Action Report," Part III, p. 3.

(25) Robert D. Murphy, "Diplomat Among Warriors" (Garden City, New York:
Doubleday and Co., Inc., 1964) p. 398.

(26) Ibid., p. 404.

(27) "CMC Briefing Notes," Sep58.


(28) "Holloway Comments."

(29) Col William J. McKennan, Comments on draft manuscript, dtd 18Jan66
(Lebanon Comment File).

(30) Meo, "Lebanon," p. 197.

(31) Harold G. Josif, "Civil-Military Coordination in a Country That Requests
Limited Military Intervention," "Air War College Supplement," v. II, no. 1
(Sep63), p. 21.





AS OF 19 JULY 1958

Commanding General. . . . . . . . . . . . . . BGen Sidney S. Wade

Chief of Staff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Col Hamilton Lawrence

G-1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maj Thomas B. Sparkman

G-2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LtCol Nathan R. Smith

G-3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LtCol James B. Glennon, Jr.

G-4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LtCol Martin C. Roth

Battalion Landing Team 2/2

Commanding Officer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . LtCol Harry A. Hadd

Executive Officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maj Paul R. Nugent

S-3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maj Samuel A. Cox

Commanding Officer,
Headquarters and Service
Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maj Wendall M. Waskom

Commanding Officer,
Company E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capt Gerald H. Hyndman

Commanding Officer,
Company F . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capt George E. Shepherd

Commanding Officer,
Company G . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capt Terence M. Allen

Commanding Officer,
Company H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capt Thomas E. Bulger

Commanding Officer,
Battery B, 1/10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capt Robert D. Boles

Battalion Landing Team 3/6

Commanding Officer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . LtCol Robert M. Jenkins

Executive Officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maj Hoyt C. Duncan

S-3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maj Edwin W. Killian


Commanding Officer,
Headquarters and
Service Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capt Hershel B. Jones

Commanding Officer,
Company I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capt Floyd A. Karker

Commanding Officer,
Company J . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capt Robert A. Cronk

Commanding Officer,
Company L . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capt Richard W. Coulter

Commanding Officer,
Company M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capt Leonard E. Wood

Commanding Officer,
Battery H, 3/10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capt William H. Thurber

Battalion Landing Team 1/8

Commanding Officer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . LtCol John II. Brickley

Executive Office. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maj Richard L. Michael, Jr.

S-3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maj Victor Stoyanow

Commanding Officer,
Headquarters and
Service Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1stLt Clyde E. Taylor

Commanding Officer,
Weapons Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maj Donald A. Chiapetti

Commanding Officer,
Company A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1stLt Richard B. McLaughlin

Commanding Officer,
Company B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capt Andrew E. Andersen

Commanding Officer,
Company C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capt Clyde A. Trowbridge

Commanding Officer,
Battery I, 3/10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capt Ronald P. Dunwell


2d Battalion, 8th Marines (Reinforced)

Commanding Officer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . LtCol Alfred A. Tillman

S-3 and Acting
Executive Officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maj David D. Powell

Commanding Officer,
Headquarters and
Service Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1stLt Raymond A. Yakaitis

Commanding Officer,
Company F . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capt Robert L. Zuern

Commanding Officer,
Company G . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capt Wells L. Field III

Commanding Officer,
Company H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capt Owen J. Butler

Commanding Officer,
Company K, 3/8, attached. . . . . . . . . . . Capt William P. Howley

Logistics Support Group

Commanding Officer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maj Lawrence J. Bradley
(Relieved on 31 Aug 1958 by
LtCol Carl E. Fulton)

Sub Unit 1, HMR (L) 262

Commanding Officer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Major Samuel "C" Roach, Jr.


LEBANON 1 July--1 November 1958

2d Provisional Marine Force (Headquarters)
16 Jul - 30 Sep

Battalion Landing Team, 2d Battalion, 2d Marines
15 Jul - 13 Aug

2d Battalion, 2d Marines
Battery B, 3d Battalion, 10th Marines
3d Platoon (Reinf), Company B, 2d
Pioneer battalion
Platoon (-) (Reinf), 1st Shore Party Team,
Company A, 2d Shore Party Battalion
1st Platoon (Reinf), Company B, 2d Motor
Transport Battalion
Detachment, Headquarters Battalion, 2d Marines
Detachment, Anti-Tank Company, 2d Marines
Detachment, Headquarters Battalion, 2d Marine Division
Detachment, 2d Medical Battalion
Detachment, 2d Service Regiment
Detachment, Force Troops, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic
Detachment, 2d Force Service Regiment
Detachment, Explosive Ordnance Demolition Platoon,
8th Engineer Battalion
Detachment, Ordnance Maintenance Company
Detachment, 8th Communication Battalion
Detachment, 2d ANGLICO
Platoon, 3d Amphibian Tractor Battalion
Detachment, Marine Aircraft Group 26

Battalion Landing Team, 3d Battalion, 6th Marines
16 Jul - 1 Oct

3d Battalion, 6th Marines
Battery H (Reinf), 3d Battalion, 10th Marines
3d Platoon, Company B, 2d Pioneer Battalion
Truck Platoon, Company B, 2d Motor Transport Battalion
1st Platoon (Reinf), Company B,
2d Anti-Tank Battalion
1st Platoon, 2d 8" Howitzer Battery,
(Self-Propelled) (Provisional)


3d Platoon (Reinf) Company A, 2d Force
Tank Battalion
Detachment, Headquarters Battalion, 2d Marine Division
Detachment, 2d Service Regiment
Detachment, Force Troops, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic
Detachment, Explosive Ordnance Demolition Platoon,
8th Engineer Battalion
Detachment, 8th Communication Battalion
Detachment, 2d ANGLICO
Detachment, 2d Force Service Regiment
Detachment, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Base,
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (Stewards)

Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines
18 Jul - 18 Sep

1st Battalion, 8th Marines
Battery I (Reinf), 3d Battalion, 10th Marines
1st Platoon (Reinf), Company A, 2d Pioneer Battalion
Platoon (Reinf), Company C, 2d Tank Battalion
Platoon (-) (Reinf), 1st Shore Party Team,
Company B, 2d Shore Party Battalion
Platoon (-) (Reinf), Company A, 2d Motor
Transport Battalion
Detachment, Headquarters Battalion, 8th Marines
Detachment, 2d Service Regiment
Detachment, Force Troops, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic
Detachment, 2d Force Service Regiment
Detachment, Explosive Ordnance Demolition Platoon,
8th Engineer Battalion
Detachment, 8th Communication Battalion
Detachment, 2d ANGLICO
Platoon, 2d Amphibian Tractor Battalion
1st Platoon, Company B, 2d 8" Howitzer Battery

2d Battalion, 8th Marines (-106mm Recoilless Rifle Platoon) (Reinf)
18 Jul - 18 Sep

1st Platoon, Company A, 2d Tank Battalion
2d Platoon, Company B, 2d Amphibian Tractor Battalion
Detachment, 2d ANGLICO
Detachment, Assault Gun Platoon Headquarters Company,
187th Airborne Battle Group, USA


Regimental Landing Team, 6th Marines (-)
1 - 10 Oct

2d Battalion 6th Marines
Battery G (-) (Reinf), 3d Battalion, 10th Marines
Detachment, Headquarters Battalion, 2d Marine Division
Detachment, 2d Service Battalion
Detachment, 2d Dental Company
Detachment, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Base,
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (Stewards)
Detachment, Explosive Ordnance Demolition Platoon,
8th Engineer Battalion
Detachment, 2d Anti-Tank Battalion
Detachment, 2d ANGLICO (Provisional) (Reinf)
Detachment, 8th Communication Battalion
Detachment, 2d Force Service Regiment
Detachment, 2d Force Tank Battalion
Detachment, Regimental Headquarters
2d Truck Platoon, Company C, 2d Motor Transport Battalion
3d Platoon, Company A, 2d Amphibian Tractor Battalion
4th Platoon, 2d 8" Howitzer Battery
(Self Propelled) (Provisional)

Marine Transport Squadron 153
18 Jul - 28 Jul

Marine Transport Squadron 252
18 - 21 Jul

Marine Transport Squadron 352
18 - 20 Jul

Marine Transport Squadron 353
18 - 27 Jul

Sub Unit #1 Marine Helicopter Transport Squadron
(Light) 262
19 Jul - 16 Sep

Regional Headquarters Region 2, Marine Security Guards,
American Embassy, Beirut, Lebanon
14 Jul - 18 Oct

Marine Security Guard, American Embassy,
Beirut, Lebanon
14 Jul - 18 Oct