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"Iron Mike" - U.S.M.C. WWI Memorial

   
loupe
18900 Jefferson Davis Hwy.
Quantico
VA
USA
22134

Iron Mike is synonymous with a tough, brave American who has served for his country. Statues of Iron Mike has been used in different guises as monuments commemorating the different military branches of the United States, different wars, and even the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Iron Mike that stands at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia, is a World War I Marine holding a 1903 Springfield rifle, wearing a pack with a bayonet and trenching tool.

At the end of World War I, French sculptor, Charles Raphael Peyre, was commissioned to design a statue in honor of the American soldiers who fought in France. He used Marine Pvt. Carl J. Millard as his model and copied him exactly, right down to the Marine Corps emblem on his helmet. Army Gen. John Pershing demanded that the emblem be removed, but Peyre refused to compromise his work, and the Army would not buy it. Marine Corps Gen. Smedley Butler raised enough money to buy the statue and after being displayed at the the Exposition des Beaux Arts of the Grand Palaise des Champs-Élysées, in Paris, in 1919, the statue, entitled 'Crusading for Right', was installed in front of base headquarters at the then-new Marine Corps base at Quantico, VA. Iron Mike, as it is more commonly known, is a memorial to the Marines who gave their lives in World War I and was dedicated on December 8, 1921. Plaques were added to the base of the statue commemorating the officers and men of 5th Regiment and 6th Regiment, and the 6th Machine Gun Battalion, USMC, who lost their lives in World War I.

Iron Mike was duplicated to stand at the entrance to the Marine Corps museum. It is an exact replica of the original including the sculptor's name, 'Peyre', inscribed on Iron Mike's right boot, and the foundry where the statue was cast, 'VAL d'OSNE FONDEUR PARIS', inscribed on the left boot. Raised gold letters IRON MIKE are on the front of the 5-sided concrete base. Plaques to the 5th Regiment, the 6th Regiment, and the 6th Machine Gun Battalion are mounted on three sides. 

The original statue, 'Crusading for Right', remains in front of Butler Hall, now the home of the Marine Corps Training and Education Command, on base.

Northwest face inscription:
1775 Semper Fidelis 1918
In memory of the Officers and Men of the
6th Machine Gun Battalion
United States Marines
who gave their lives for their Country
in the World War in 1918.

West face inscription:
1775 Semper Fidelis 1918
In memory of the Officers and Men of the
6th Regiment United States Marines
who gave their lives for their Country
in the World War in 1918.

Southwest face inscription:
1775 Semper Fidelis 1918
In memory of the Officers and Men of the
5th Regiment United States Marines
who gave their lives for their Country
in the World War in 1918.

South face inscription: 
Commissioned and Donated
by Patrick F. Taylor, Cpl, USMCR
New Orleans, Louisiana

 
The Wanderer