Vietnam: 1st Battalion 9th Marines
The 1st Battalion 9th Marines (1/9) was an infantry battalion of the United States Marine Corps. Formed during World War I, it served until the mid-2000s when it was deactivated to make room for one of three light armor reconnaissance battalions. During the Vietnam War, 1/9 sustained the highest casualty rate in Marine Corps history. This earned them the nickname “The Walking Dead”.
In late 2005, the battalion was once again activated and attached to the 8th Marine Regiment at MCB Camp Lejeune. Although the first full company has deployed, 1/9 was not expected to be ready for deployment as a battalion until May 2008. On 19 April 2007, 1/9 was officially stood up with all of its subordinate units fully manned.
As of 29 August 2014 the battalion has once again been deactivated due to a force shaping initiative and downsizing of the Marine Corps.
On the occasion of this deactivation, one of its former officers lauded: “Not a better battalion in the world”.
During the Vietnam War, the unit earned the name “The Walking Dead” for its high casualty rate. The battalion endured the longest sustained combat and suffered the highest killed in action (KIA) rate in Marine Corps history, especially during the Battle of July Two. The battalion was engaged in combat for 47 months and 7 days, from 15 June 1965 to 19 October 1966 and 11 December 1966 to 14 July 1969. Based on a typical battalion strength of 800 Marines and Navy hospital corpsmen, 93.63% (747) were Killed In Action (KIA) and 0.25% (2) were Missing In Action (MIA).
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