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5th Marine Division Activated at Camp Pendleton 

This picture was taken in July of 1944 at Camp Joseph H. Pendleton in Oceanside, California. Colonel James Roosevelt, son of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, gave the Saint Bernard to the 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division as a mascot. 

Colonel Roosevelt had been Executive Officer of the 2nd Marine Raiders, and Commanding Officer of the 4th Marine Raiders before the raiders were disbanded near the end of 1943. Men and officers of Marine Raiders were assigned to the 4th and 5th Marine Divisions. Jack was a Marine Raider assigned to the 5th Marine Division.

The 5th Marine Division was activated on Armistice Day, November 11, 1943. Division Headquarters Battalion officially began operating at Camp Pendleton on December 1, at which time men and equipment began streaming into Pendleton. The official activation date for the Division was January 21, 1944.

The 5th Marine Division not only received a large detachment of Raiders, but on February 29, the Marine Paratroopers were disbanded, and assigned to 5th Division. The Paratroopers were the other elite-fighting group within the U.S. Marine Corps who had distinguished themselves in combat in the Pacific.


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