June 1, 1918 – Retreat, Hell!

On this day in history, the 2nd Battalion 5th Marines (formed on July 1, 1914) took up positions in France south of Belleau Wood near Lucy-le-Bocage. As the Americans dug in, a French officer suggested that they withdraw. To this, Marine Captain Lloyd Williams of the 5th Marines famously replied, “Retreat? Hell, we just got here.” While the Marines were able to hold against the German offensive, Williams was killed on June 12, at the age of 31.

Marine Captain Lloyd Williams

Marine Captain Lloyd Williams

Williams was posthumously promoted to major and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

The 2nd Battalion 5th Marines (2/5), the most highly decorated battalion in the Marine Corps, adopted the first part of Williams’ rejoinder as their motto.

438px-2_5_battalion_insignia

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: