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Carlson Of The Raider Marines   
Brigadier General Evans F. Carlson, USMC
(August, 1999)
"Evans F. Carlson got an early start in his career as a maverick. He
ran away from his home in Vermont at the age of 14 and two years later bluffed his way past the recruiters to enlist in the Army. When war broke out in 1917, he already had five years of service under his belt. Like Merritt A. Edson, he soon won a commission, but arrived at the front too late to see combat. After the war he tried to make it as a salesman, but gave that up in 1922 and enlisted in the Marine Corps. In a few months he earned a commission again. Other than a failed attempt at flight school, his first several years as a Marine lieutenant were unremarkable.
In 1927 Carlson deployed to Shanghai with 4th Marines. There he became regimental intelligence officer and developed a deep interest  in China that would shape the remainder of his days. Three years later, commanding an outpost of the Guardia National in Nicaragua, he had his first brush with guerilla warfare. That became the second guiding star of his career. In his only battle, he successfully engaged and dispersed an enemy unit in a daring night attack. There followed a tour with the Legation Guard in Peking, and a stint as executive officer of the presidential guard detachment at Warm Springs, Georgia. In the latter job Carlson came to know Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Captain Carlson arrived in Shanghai for his third China tour in July 1937. Again like Edson, he watched the Japanese seize control of the city. Detailed to duty as an observer, Carlson sought and received permission to accompany the Chinese Communist Party's 8th Route Army, which was fighting against the Japanese. For the next year he divided his time between the front lines and the temporary Chinese capital of Hangkow. During that time he developed his ideas on guerilla warfare and ethical indoctrination. When a senior naval officer censured him for granting newspaper interviews, Carlson returned to the states and resigned so that he could speak out about the situation in China. He believed passionately that the United States should do more to help the Chinese in their war with Japan.
During the next two years Carlson spoke and wrote on the subject, to include two books (The Chinese Army and Twin Stars of China), and made another trip to China. With the war looming for the United States, he sought to rejoin the Corps in April 1941. The Commandant granted his request, made him a major in the reserves, and promptly brought him onto active duty. Ten months later he created the 2d Raider Battalion.
After his departure from the raiders in 1943, Carlson served as operations officer of the 4th Marine Division. He made the Tarawa landing as an observer and participated with his division in the assaults on Kwajalein and Saipan. In the latter battle he received severe wounds in the arm and leg while trying to pull his wounded radio operator out of the line of enemy fire of an enemy machine gun. After the war Carlson retired from the Marine Corps and made a brief run in the 1946 California Senate race before a heart attack forced him out of the campaign. He died in May 1947."
("From Makin To Bougainville: Marine Raiders In The Pacific War,"
By Maj Jon T. Hoffman USMCR, Marines In World War II Commemorative Series) 
The Carlson/Raiders Controversy
Most Marines remember Carlson for his raid on Makin island on August 17, 1942 with his 2d Raider Battalion. But lesser known is that "Carlson's Raiders" are also well known for their famous 31 day patrol (4Nov--4Dec 1942) behind enemy lines on Guadalcanal, usually referred to as "The Long Patrol." Thought to be the longest WWII patrol of its kind, it resulted in 488 enemy kiled, and 16 killed and 18 wounded for the 2d Raider Battalion.
Lesser known still is the fact that both Carlson and the concept
itself of the raider battalions were controversial subjects in the
Marine Corps. Many books written about Marines in the Pacific
during WWII mention Carlson only briefly and in some cases, in
rather uncomplimentary terms. I have read several books describing him (and/or quoting others as doing so) as Red but not yellow, an oddball, approaching crackpot level, etc. Others, including general officers, have referred to him as a remarkable man, wothy of better treatment than he received, etc.
There is only one book which goes very far into detail regarding Carlson, a biography, i.e., The Big Yankee: The Life Of Carlson of the Raiders, By Michael Blankfort, Little, Brown and Company, Boston 1947. Also, a book describing in detail Carlson's Long Patrol, is the book, The Island: A History of the Marines On Guadalcanal, By Captain Herbert C. Merillat, USMCR, Houghton Mifflin Company Boston 1944. These books have long since gone out of print, but may be available in libraries, and sometimes available for purchase through used-book sellers, although rare and prices a bit high. Rarer still are Carlson's books (The Chinese Army and Twin Stars of China); I found one of these on an Internet search at $250.
There is one new book on the horizon, i.e., "The First Gung-Ho Marine: Evans F. Carlson of the Raiders," By Phyliss Zimmerman; the publisher is presently due to release the book for sale on December 15, 1999 (previously scheduled for release in March 99), and at least one WWW bookseller is now taking orders. (Note: The relaese date has now been extended to May 2000).
The Donovan Connection
Another little-known item of information that I learned of, relating to the Marine raider units, is the following.
"On 14 January 1942 the Commamndant of the Marine Corps advised the Commanding General, Amphibious Force, Atlantic (Major General Holland M. Smith) and the Commanding General, Department of the Pacific (Major General Charles F. B. Price) of a proposal to appoint Colonel William J. Donovan, USA, to brigadier general USMCR with duty as commanding officer of the raider project. Both generals were requested to comment on the proposal, and both used the opportunity to comment generally on the entire raider concept.
General Smith recommended against the appointment of Donovan on grounds that the Marine Corps should not have to go outside its ranks to secure leaders. He also oppposed the raider concept on philosophical grounds, noting that all Amphibious Force, Atlantic Marines could be trained in raiding techniques by their own officers if deemed important...thereby expressing a view that would become increasingly common among senior Marine officers, namely, that there was no task that the "elite" raider units could perform any more effectively than their regular line units.
General Price's reply noted that the rapid expansion of the Marine Corps was resulting in an extreme shortage of qualified officers and senior NCOs with the requisite command experience...
On 4 february 1942, the Commanding General...ordered the formation of four company strength raider units...Concurrently, the Commandant of the Marine Corps ordered organization of the 2d Separate Battalion on the west coast....
In early February, General Holcomb wrote to General Smith, acknowledging the latter's letter, and offering some details on the matter of appointing Donovan. (*) Apparently the impetus for this appointment originated with a "very high authority" and only the Commandant's "utter disapproval" stayed the matter. It was apparent that the Marine Corps' expanded interest in raider units was at least partly the result of intense high level political pressure. General Holcomb stated:
...we must act and act quickly. We must prepare ourselves particularly for one of our most important missions, viz.; the execution of amphibious raids....In view of the situation now facing us, it is imperative that we intensify this type of training....
In a move at least partly precipitated by a desire to avoid a political appointee as leader of the raider units, Lieutenant Colonels Merritt A. Edson and Evans F. Carlson were designated to command the two battalions...
The basic mission of the two new raider units was threefold: To be the spearhead of amphibious landings by larger forces on beaches generally thought to be inaccessible; to conduct raiding expeditions requiring great elements of surprise and high speed; and to conduct guerilla type operations for protracted periods behind enemy lines."
(*)  Donovan was subsequently selected to be chief of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the wartime forerunner of the CIA.
(Re Special Marine Corps Units Of World War II, By Charles L. Updegraph, Jr., History and Museums Division, HQMC)

And, in 1943....
Interestingly enough, on page 319 of The Big Yankee, is found the
"...he went to Washington. He had decided to take his fight to Headquarters. He saw General Holcomb, the Commandant...They listened and asked him questions...But nothing was said about sending him back to the Pacific. In short, he had lost the final round for the Raider idea.

...Holcomb saw him again and suggested perhaps General William J. Donovan of the Office of Strategic Services might have a task for Carlson. He conferred with Donovan,..., then General Stillwell's adviser in China, and a job was offered to him, the details of which are still, and may well be for a very long time to come, top secret.

Carlson, however, saw that the mission had certain political aspects which were repugnant to him, and he begged to be relieved. 'I'd rather go back to the Pacific,' he told a friend, 'and get a good clean bullet right in the heart.' "

Other Information
The interested reader here will, as I have, find an abundance of interesting information regarding Carlson, the Raiders and other related material by researching those writings I have already mentioned as well as others that I will list at the bottom of this webpage. I was seven years old when Carlson's Raiders went ashore on Makin; I still remember not too long thereafter seeing the movie "Gung Ho!, " the movie about the Makin raid. My favorite uncle, shortly after Pear Harbor, had turned seventeen and went to the Marines. After boot camp at PISC, he went to Quantico for training as a water purification specialist, then to 2dMarine Division where he made the Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and Saipan/Tinian campaigns.
I have always been interested in the subject of WW II Marines, and especially Carlson and his raiders; but it has taken me many years to arrive at the point of seeking out those resources with the answers to my specific questions regarding these things. 

It is hoped that by my writing of these things here, I may provide other interested readers with the information needed to delve into the Carlson saga. And, perhaps, those reading this (Carlson's Raiders, etc.) with knowledge of this subject will be inclined to advise me concerning this.

The following are a few more of the topics of interest to be found in the resources as noted.
Gung Ho!
The basis of Carlson's thinking was what he called Gung Ho, basically, "work together." But his concept of this was not merely a battle cry, a slogan or a motto, etc.; it is an ideal that goes to the very root and core of leadership and the social structure of the military unit. He held open " Gung Ho Talks" with his troops with all hands having a say in the matters at hand. Leaders were those who were recognized by their ability to lead, rather than being appointed to rank. Of course, this all came from his experience with the Chinese 8th Route Army, where he had first recognized that the true basis of leadership was ethics itself (something he had pondered upon all his life to that point). Thus he attempted to teach and guide his raiders in what he referred to as Ethical Indoctrination. Some thought that he carried this too far, but not his own men. He did not carry his ideals of leadership and organization beyond the confines of Marine Corps regulations, but others feared that he would. Carlson insisted on officers and enlisted alike eating the same food, being provided the same quarters, etc. They sang hymns and patriotic songs together, often with Carlson playing his harmonica. He not only allowed, he insisted  each of his own men make decisions on their own.

Carlson had a grasp of what it is that makes men fight. His long and varied service plus his constant study and reflection upon the subject left him with beliefs and theories that he had been developing for many years. These he used in establishing his 2d Raider Battalion. He knew it was necessary for men to know why and for what they were fighting. He taught his Marines the implications involved between the war in Europe and the war in the Pacific. And every man could ask questions and state his views. They also discussed matters such as what kind of society they wanted after the war, etc.

Interviewed by Robert Sherrod aboard ship just prior to the Tarawa invasion Carlson said, "You spoke about espirit de corps...the Marine Corps has it to a high degree. But when the going gets toughest, when it takes a little more drive to stay sane and to keep going, and a man is hungry and tired, then he needs more than espirit de corps. It takes conviction....Our greatest weakness is the caliber of our officers, and that, of course, is a reflection of our system of education." Carlson went on to state that the best officers were enlisted men after they had proven themselves in battle.

Within a few days after the battle for Tarawa, Carlson was flown home. He spoke before a meeting of one thousand officers at Camp Pendleton. "Tarawa was won," Carlson told them, "because a few enlisted men of great courage called out simply to their comrades, 'Come on, fellows. Follow me!' And then went on, followed by men who took heart at their example, to knock out, at great sacrifice, one Jap position after another, slowly, until there were no more. Tarawa is a victory because some enlisted men, unaffected by the loss of their officers, many of whom were casualties in the first hour, became great and heroic commanders in their own right.

"But--" He paused for a long time. "But with all that courage and fortitude and willingness to die on the part of some of the men, too many others lacked initiative and resourcefulness. They were not trained to understand the need for sacrifice. Too many men waited for orders--and while they waited they died. What if they had been trained not to wait for orders?"

He was deeply angry. Lives could have been saved. It was this very matter he had mentioned to Robert Sherrod of Time...."What if they had been trained not to wait for orders?" Carlson had asked. And how extraordinary was the resourcefulness of the few!...But if all had been trained to act by themselves...."Our leaders did not give them that chance," Carlson told the thousand Marine officers at Camp Pendleton."

The Makin Island Raid-August 17&18, 1942
See Former Marine Raider, Dan Marsh's Marine Raiders Site (Click below)

Makin Island Raid Update-December 1999
Return From Makin (Here!)

Carlson reorganized his squads into "fire groups" of three men each, three units to a squad, with an M-1 rifle, a BAR, and a Thompson SMG in each unit for more firepower and maneuverability. Although this organization was later terminated (when a new Battalion Commander replaced Carlson), returning to the standrd 10 man Marine squad,  Carlson's  concept of the rifle squad with three "fire teams" later became standard Marine Corps organization. He also insisted on a weapons platoon at company level vice battalion level, better radio communication, etc.. 
(As described by Gen. Twining in No Bended Knee)
"....He used the main body as his enveloping force, striking momentarily at a right angle to his permanent line of advance in what I described in the final report as an eccentric form of attack, 'eccentric' being used in the mechanical, not the psychological sense of the word. Carlson used this maneuver several times in the course of his pursuit, always to good effect. It was clearly recognizable from his dispatches.

Carlson's companies moved separately and fluidly through the jungle. When one of them was confronted with an enemy delaying position, it would maintain contact throughout the remainder of the day and sometimes the entire next day, continuously making a show of great activity all along the hostile front by fire and movement, suggesting but not making an attack.

Meanwhile Carlson would deliberately assemble all his uncommitted forces, weapons, and supplies at a point well off the main line of advance but near the enemy flank chosen as the object of his assault. The assault came on the following day, well planned, fully supported, and delivered by an overwheming force of rested troops. Furthermore, he had not exposed his base; he had simply moved it behind him momentarily.

The Japanese were never able to comprehend what Carlson was doing and at each confrontation showed a steadily diminishing capacity for effective resistance..."

(From The Big Yankee, The Raiders Tell Their Story)
"...Day after day we followed the Old Man's jungle-guerrilla tactics, putting into practice his theory of the mobile fire team. The team worked wonders. Toward evening we'd make a base; then next morning fan out patrols to find the enemy as well as the site of a forward base. The Old Man would okay it, and we'd all move up to it. The next day would be the same....the Old Man led the whole battalion over the ridge...Carlson called out, Let's sing, 'Onward, Christian Soldiers.' It was right. That's what we wanted...we sang...We didn't care whether or not the Japs heard us. We felt good singing...The old Man ordered a double envelopment with a squad on each flank of the enemy...soon our flanks were outflanked, The Old Man ordered a platoon to flank the enemy flankers, but not being satisfied with that, he told them to move to the rear of the enemy and surround them. As the battle report put it: 'This was accomplished in due course'....

...We had spent a month in the jungle, and marched one hundred and fifty miles, met the enemy daily, captured and destroyed his guns and ammunition and food and medical supplies; we reassured the command that nothing important was going on in the interior; we mapped out his exit-west route; we destroyed 'Pistol Pete,' and finally we killed officially 488 Japs, but the Seabees who went in later to bury them said we killed 700. For all this, we lost 17 men, and 17 wounded.

And that's why we loved Carlson--because we could kill the enemy 40 to 1."

(From the book, The Island: A History of the First Marine Division on Guadalcanal, by Capt H.L. Merillat USMCR)
"...Most significant, though, was the demonstration of the ability of American troops, properly trained and indoctrinated, to operate independent of established supply lines in the jungle. In the thirty engagements it fought, the battalion had been surprised only twice. On the other occasions it gained complete surprise over the enemy. This fact, plus its skill in jungle fighting and its tremendous fire power, explain the low casualties we sustained in comparison to those of the enemy. The heroes of Makin Island had added another exceptional feat of arms to their history." 

Gung Ho-The Movie
Carlson had been requested to assist as technical adviser in the making of the movie "Gung Ho" starring the veteran actor Randolph Scott in the part of Carlson. Unlike other films, the supporting roles in this one depicted actual characters (Marines in the 2d Raider Bn). On location at San Clemente, California,  hotel reservations had been made for Carlson, staff and principal actors involved in the film, while the workers were billeted in lesser quarters; Carlson insisted that they all should be bunking together since the movie was about Gung Ho, they should all try living it. Carlson got his way and they all moved to the temporary quarters. To this day the stage hands, extras and bit players used in that picture remember Carlson, not so much for Makin and Guadalcanal, but for what he did when they all went on location at San Clemente. On the back lots of Hollywood they still talk about it. 

James Roosevelt
Captain James "Jimmy" Roosevelt, USMCR,  had previously served on the staff of "Wild Bill" Donovan's Coordinator of Information(COI), predecessor to the OSS. He was later assigned as XO of the 2d Raider Bn. He was the eldest son of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and had been commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the USMCR in 1936 without any previous military experience. He resigned amid political criticism in 1939, and was recommissioned a captain soon afterward in the reserves, his Los Angeles reserve battallion being mobilized in November 1940. Capt Roosevelt was an advocate of raids on Japan proper, and the establishment of the British "commando" concept in Marine Corps units. Roosevelt served with Carlson on the Makin Island Raid, etc.,  and  later became CO of another raider battalion. At the time of the Tarawa operation, Roosevelt again returned to Makin with an Army unit. Roosevelt at once contacted natives on the island regarding arrangements Carlson had made with them upon departing the island the previous year, to bury 2dRaiderBn dead on that island; it had been done. (Re Ludwig) 
Lt. Evans Charles Carlson, Jr.
 Carlson's son, Lieutenant Evans C. Carlson, Jr., had volunteered four times to join the 2d Raiders; four times Major Carlson had turned down his request, although his officers tried to persuade him otherwise. Shortly before the unit's departure for Hawaii and the raid on Makin, the young Carlson submitted his fifth request. This time Carlson's officers won--and he accepted his son.

Note: On October 20, 1999 I was honored to receive a most interesting telephone call from Evans C. Carlson Jr., Col USMC (Ret.). Col Carlson stated to me that although he had previously asked his father several times about his joining the raider battalion, and been been refused each time, he had actually joined the 2dRaiderBn "by accident," as he put it, while serving as a cargo officer charged with unloading ships at Espiritu Santo island. Another ship with 2dRaiderBn aboard had come in. Young Evans had taken this opportunity to speak with the raider battalion XO, Major Roosevelt, who then put through TAD orders for Lt. Carlson to the 2dRaiderBn. This was unknown to the senior Carlson at the time. He said that Roosevelt had a great sense
of humor and wanted to surprise the colonel with the new Raider arrival--and the colonel was indeed surprised! Col Evans C. Carlson also served with the 2dMarines and 21stMarines during WWII. He retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1967. He had been a Marine Aviator since 1946.

Raiders Executed!
Another item of controversy is the question of nine Marines of the 2d Raider Battalion said to have been executed (beheaded) by the Japanese after allegedly being stranded on the Makin Island Raid. This was not reported until May 22, 1946 by A.P. as a result of a war crimes trial on Guam. Carlson had responded to this report and his report concluded with the words "...If I had had knowledge that any Raiders remained on the island at the time we left, I would either have evacuated them or remained with them." It is noted here that at one point in the Makin operation, Carlson, unable to evacuate his people, and not knowing the true enemy strength on the island,  may have considered the possible surrender of his command.
See Marine Raiders Executed! Here!
Note on the above:
On 10/24/99 I received the following e-mail from Sgt. K.L. McCullough, B Co, 2ndRaiders: "Just finished reading your page on Carlson. I was his radioman on Makin and with him on The Long Patrol, but Co B radioman. I have never met to my knowledge a finer person or a more dedicated American. (I don't believe we left any men on Makin.) We all started off the island with a native outrigger and three rubber boats lashed together and one 6hp Johnson motor. Our progress was too slow for the boat on the far right and they talked the Old Man into letting them cut loose and go on their own. They pulled away from us and that is the last I saw of them. I think they got lost and went back to the island. This may be wrong but until someone proves me wrong I will believe that is what happened. I have read a good many reports on leaving the men on the island. Every one of the Marines knew we were going to leave that evening after I got the subs to come around to the other side. The island was too small to miss anyone."

I emailed Sgt McCullough back asking his permission to use his writings here and asking if he had known Sgt Henry Herrero, a former Carlson's Raider I had known at HQMC around 1959 when he was then a CWO and Personnel Officer for HqBn at Henderson Hall.
On 10/25/99 I received his reply...
" Yes I knew Henry. I believe he did have a Silver Star. You may use any of my stuff. I just wish some of the writers had checked closer before they condemned Carlson. I don't know how I had not found this site sooner but I guess getting old makes you slow. Peatross' book, Bless 'Em All, has a pretty accurate account of the last day on Makin. When the boat with Allard got strafed we decided it was too risky to get off in daylight, then Carlson decided to wait until that evening then try and contact the subs and have them move to the lagoon side of the island. Then we went about getting the natives to bury our dead and checking out the island until it got time to contact the sub which I did and went out to meet. And just assumed that the men that pulled away got on the Argonaut. So it was some time before we knew they were missing. I don't remember who all the people were the last day but someone else should remember this incident. Won't bend your ear any more. I went in June 1940 and got out April 1948.
Note: See Mac McCullough's pics of The Long Patrol on Guadalcanal with Carlson's Raiders (and many others) at
Dan Marsh's Marine Raiders Site-Here!

Information on this webpage reflects my own opinions and conclusions, unless noted otherwise and/or in quotes, resulting from my research into available resources on this subject. Many of the books, etc. (The Big Yankee, for instance) contain numerous references to speeches and/or interviews by Carlson, and other information. Out-of-print books may be ordered through your local library's Inter-Library Loan program.

And so, was Carlson uncoventional? Yes.
Was he ahead of his time? Yes.
Was he controversial? Yes.
Was he politically incorrect? Hell,  yes!
All great men are criticized by their enemies, and the greatest even by their friends and associates sometimes.
I think it is interesting that in the section at the beginning of this webpage that the writer uses the phrase "like Merritt A. Edson," and "Again like Edson" in reference to Carlson's career.
For both these Marines  were much at odds with each other, and even refused to speak to one another at times. (Re Twining).
Both men resigned their commissions in order to speak out on issues affecting our Corps and country.

In Carlson's case, it was in 1939 over the issue of the situation in China, and our political and business relationships with the Japanese; and in 1946, in the case of Edson, he "...headed the effort to preserve the Marine Corps in the face of President Truman's drive to "unify" the services. He waged a fierce campaign in the halls of Congress, in the media, and in public appearances across the nation . Finally, he resigned his commission in order to testify publically before committees of both houses of Congress. His efforts played a key role in preserving the Marine Corps. (Re Hoffman)

In both cases, each Marine demonstrated the courage of his convictions for a cause that he passionately believed in.
General Merrill B. Twining, speaking of Carlson's advocating of assignment of leadership positions based soley on a basis of merit rather than fixed military rank, stated that "Carlson's system would never be successful on a service-wide scale simply because there are not enough Carlsons."
Perhaps General Samuel Griffith explained it best speaking of Carlson, "...He was quite a guy...there was a lot more to the man than raw courage. He was quite well-read and had a deep belief in people and their ability to overcome obstacles...Unfortunately, this was a period when it was easy to label someone like he was anything from a pinko to a card-carrying Communist. I think he was just an extremely brave and intelligent man who didn't like to bend on principle."

Sgt Jim Lucas, a Marine combat correspondent, had spent several weeks with Carlson and the raiders at Camp Gung Ho and in the field with them. Carlson had told him of his experiences in China, his realization of the Japanese menace, his resignation of his commission and his unsuccessful effort to awaken his country to the danger, etc. He had attended Carlson's Gung Ho Meetings and heard the men discuss "The Kind of Social Order We Want After The War." He describes in his book, Combat Correspondent, the scene when Carlson's Raiders learned Carlson was to leave them. They were just returning from a training mission. "...I stumbled with them up the beach, tears in their eyes, and heard them curse the fate that had robbed them of their old man. I sat in their tents and heard them cry like babies....I found them supremely confident that Colonel Carlson will some day take them to China, there to annihilate the Japs on the heat-baked plains where the old man first learned to hate them. The ambition to fight in China is uppermost in the heart of every Carlson Marine. It is in mine...The combat correspondent had become a Carlson Marine."

Carlson died in May, 1947. Just three years later, Marines were surrounded and fighting the same Chinese Communist Army in Korea that Carlson had learned so much from years before. This was the now famous breakout at a place called the Chosin resevoir. Had he lived, how invaluable his service might have been at that time; but would they have listened to him? Indeed, how would Carlson today in 1999 teach young Marines "What We Are Fighting For!" in our present world situation?

The Carlsons, Pullers, Pattons and MacArthurs are gone now. Their voices still. But every now and then, if you listen carefully, a similar voice may be heard if only faintly and briefly. It's only for those with the eyes and ears for it, the vision to catch it.

In a recent e-mail to me Sgt. Mac McCullough said, (speaking of The Long Patrol and Carlson's conduct, etc.) "...that helps me as to what kind of man Carlson was...I spent a lot of time around him on the 'Canal march. I thought an awful lot of him."

Yes, the above I find very understandable. I know Carlson only through those who knew him and wrote about him; and also through a few others,  Mac and those I have corresponded with. I have read everything I can find on Carlson, his quotes, battle reports, etc. And I have read the two books written by Carlson himself. I am convinced that his leadership, beliefs and philosophy were sound, proven and demonstrated. This Carlson website exists, in part, because I think people should know what an exceptional and good man this Marine was. And here's to all you Marines who aspired to be numbered among Carlson's Raiders, to learn and live Gung Ho!
Semper Fidelis,

Note: Comments from the Marines of
Carlson's Raiders are both welcome and invited!
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Former Marine Raider Dan Marsh has an excellent comprehensive Marine Raiders WW II Site encompassing all the Marine Raider units of WW II. (Click Here!)
Marine Raiders Last Man Committee
Re Carlson's Raiders
Re Marine Raider Battalions
"Gung Ho Raider: The Philosophy and Methods of
BGen Evans F.  Carlson, U.S. Marine Corps Raider"
(32+page download, new research)
Carlson: Marine Corps Learning...
Re Marine Raider In The Pacific-Carlson Raiders at Midway
Raider Knives/Gung Ho Knives, etc.
Makin Island WebPage
Kribati: Butaritari (Makin Is.)
Re Carlson's Raiders
Gilbert Islands Campaign: Takin' Makin (USA)
New Book: The First Gung-Ho Marine: Evans F. Carlson of the Raiders
Michael A. Monestersky PHOTOS!
Sgt Clyde Thomason (MOH)
Lt Jack Miller of Carlson's Raiders (Navy Cross)
Sgt Mitchell Red Cloud of Carlson's Raiders (MOH)
GySgt Victor "Transport" Maghakian

(Not all of the publications listed below are entirely related to the Marine Raider Battalions; they are listed here, however, because they do contain very good supplemental and/or related information).
1. Special Marine Corps Units Of World War II, By Charles L. Updegraph, Jr., History and Museums Division, HQMC 1972

2. From Makin To Bougainville: Marine Raiders In The Pacific War, By Maj Jon T. Hoffman USMCR, Marines In WWII Commemorative Series

3. The Big Yankee: The Life of Carlson of the Raiders, By Michael Blankfort, Little, Brown and Company, Boston 1947

4. The Island: A History Of The Marines On Guadalcanal, By Capt Herbert C. Merillatt USMCR, Houghton Mifflin Company*Boston 1944

5. History of  U.S. Marine Corps Operations In WW II, Vol. 1, Pearl Harbor To Guadalcanal, By LtCol Frank O. Hough, USMCR, Maj Verle E. Ludwig, USMC, and Henry I. Shaw, Historical Branch, G-3 Div, HQMC; also History of USMC Operations In WW II, Vol. 5, Victory and Occupation, By Frank, Shaw, Historical Branch, G-3 Div, HQMC

6. No Bended Knee: The Battle For Guadalcanal, By Gen. Merrill B. Twining, USMC, Presidio Press 1994

7. Once A Legend: "Red Mike" Edson of the Marine Raiders, By Jon T. Hoffman, Presidio Press 1994

8. Semper Fi, Mac, By Henry Berry, Quill William Morrow, NY 1982

9. Archie Smallwood and the Marine Raiders, By Verle E. Ludwig, Fithian Press 1998

10. Strong Men Armed, By Robert Leckie, DeCapa Press 1990

11. The U.S. Marine Corps Story, By J. Robert Moskin, Little Brown and Company 1992

12. Line of Departure: Tarawa, By Martin Russ

13. The Battle For Guadalcanal, By Samuel Griffith

14. Bless 'Em All: The Raider Marines of WWII, By Oscar Peatross

15. NEW!!!!! Herringbone Cloak--GI Dagger: Marines of the OSS, By Major Robert Mattingly USMC, Occasional Paper, History And Museums Division, HQMC 1989

16. Guadalcanal Remembered, By H.C. Merillat, Dodd, Mead & Co 1982

17. Tarawa, The Story of a Battle, By Robert Sherrod, Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1944

18. Commandos and Rangers of World War II, By James Ladd, St. Martin's Press, 1978

19. Braiding The Cord: The Role of Evans F. Carlson's Marine Raider Battalion in Amphibious Warfare, By Phyllis A. Zimmerman, Marine Corps Gazette, November 199421.

20. The Right Kind Of War, By John McCormick, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Md 1992

21. Combat Correspondent, By James Lucas, NY, Reynal and Hitchcock, 1944

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