Date With History

December seventh 2011 marked the 70th anniversary of the attacks at Pearl Harbor. After the United States declared war following the event, the country was not prepared.
The United States Marine Corps formed a special unit to conduct raiding operations. Those “Marine Raiders” were the focus of Cantigny’s first division museum’s most recent date with history event.

Crowds came in on the exact 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor to learn about the Raiders’ roles in some of world war two’s most famous battles.

Two veterans and an author led the evening’s discussion.

“We were really to go in as the front line troops,” said Harold Berg, a former Marine Raider. “After we established a beach head, we were to withdraw. That was really the idea of how the Raiders were to be used. That isn’t the way it happened.”

“When you’re operating as a guerilla, you’re not getting daily supplies of food and clean water and what not,” said Jon Hoffman, a retired Colonel of the U.S. Marine Corps. “So the end result is there’s a very high illness rate among the second raiders.”

The Marine raiders were disbanded in 1944.

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