PACIFIC OCEAN -- Sailors, and Marines with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8), commemorated the 80th anniversary of the ship’s namesake during a celebration aboard the ship, Aug. 16.
The daylong celebration began with a 5K run along the flight deck in observance of the raid on Makin Island. The ship’s name is in honor of Marine Raider Companies A and B, Second Raider Battalion on Japanese-held Makin Island, in the Gilbert Islands, Aug. 17-18, 1942.
The celebration continued as Makin Island’s commanding officer, Capt. Tony Chavez, delivered a historical account of the raid followed by a cake cutting on the mess decks.
“All the hard work that we are doing as the blue-green Raider team is showcased in the success of each event and through the morale of the crew,” said Chavez. “I am proud of all of our hard work and dedication and proud to be serving alongside you.”
The purpose of the raid was to destroy installations, gain intelligence on the area and divert Japanese attention and reinforcements from Guadalcanal. The raid was launched from the submarines USS Nautilus and USS Argonaut and succeeded in routing enemy forces and gaining valuable intelligence. The transformational nature of the raid is regarded by many as the U.S. Marine Corps’ first action in the realm of special operations.
After dinner, Makin Island’s Junior Enlisted Association (JEA) hosted an ice cream social for the crew, offering an opportunity for Sailors and Marines aboard to build and strengthen camaraderie.
Personnel who attended each event will receive a custom patch commemorating Makin Island’s 80th anniversary of the ship’s namesake.
Makin Island, flagship of Amphibious Squadron (CPR) SEVEN, along with 13th MEU, is currently underway conducting integrated training in the U.S. 3rd fleet to prepare for an upcoming deployment.