The very first American Marines were enlisted in 1740 from the Colonies to fight with Britain against Spain. They did not wear the green coats, buff trousers and pewter buttons ordered by Congress on 10 November 1775. Instead, they wore the redcoats of the British Foot. Their commander was William Gooch of Virginia, in due course they became known as Gooch's Marines. In actions at Boca Chica and La Quinta, and during the Cartagena expedition, Marines were present for the destruction of eight forts, six men-of-war, six galleons and some merchant ships. They helped secure Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for Britain. These actions produced several hundred casualties. Yellow fever and the brutal climate combined to make this first Marine adventure in a hostile environment an experiance for all, and a lethal one for many.
THE FIRST UNITED STATES MARINE 1740
1864 MARINE WASHINGTON NAVY YARD