The 8th & I Reunion Association

An organization of Marines
who served at
Marine Barracks
8th & I Streets, S.E.,
Washington D.C.

Historical Events of the 1950's

1953 - A Proud Moment For the Barracks


On September 9, 1953, Vice-President Richard M. Nixon appeared at a Sunset Parade at which he formally presented posthumous Medals of Honor to the families of five Marines honoring their heroism in the Korean War. To see the program of the Parade and their Medal of Honor citations, click here.

"Drumming Out"

To be "drummed out" is an age-old humiliating public ceremony reserved for those convicted and sentenced to be dishonorably discharged from an armed service. The earliest recorded reference to drumming out comes in a figurative use of the phrase, in Thomas Amory's 1766 The life of John Buncle: "They ought to be drummed out of society."

The earliest specific reference to drumming out in a military scenario is Lord Thomas Macaulay's 1829 Critical and miscellaneous essays: "Another is drummed out of a regiment."

When this ceremony was begun at the Barracks is presently unknown, but we now know that it was done in 1957, and that a similar ceremony was used at some other posts. The account can be seen by clicking here.

(Above items submitted by Joe Larkin)
(Additional comments submitted by Dom DeVito, Nick Bailey and Chet Russo)

Leatherneck article - 1955
Notice the "squads drill" [pre-WWII]
To view the article, click here.

(submitted by Wayne Pilny)

To view an interesting in-depth 1954 Leatherneck article on the Barracks,
its history, parades and other ceremonies, click  here.

(submitted by Wayne Pilny)
The end of 1958 was a time of significant changes at the Barracks. Col (later Commandant) Leonard F. Chapman was replaced by Col Jonas Platt, the number of drill teams was reduced from four to one, and CGC moved its living quarters from the Barracks to Building #58 at the Naval Gun Factory. In 1959, Leatherneck issued an excellent article on the Barracks which reflected many of these changes. To view the article, click here.

(submitted by Dave Melchior)

In May of 1957, the First Platoon performed in the Bermuda Tattoo.  It was a significant trip, as the experience there weighed heavily in the decision to schedule an Evening Parade, which was done on July 5, 1957, and, due to its popularity, has been repeated since then every Friday night during the summer months.  To view the original roster for the First Platoon's trip to Bermuda, click here.

1957 - The Visit of the Black Watch

In September of 1957, The Regimental Band, Pipes, Drummers and sword dancers of England's 42nd Regiment Afoot (Scotland's Black Watch), having just returned from fighting the Mau Mau insurgents in Kenya, stayed at the Barracks for a week while practicing for their tour of the Uniited States. Their visit was noteworthy (including many funny incidents happened during their stay), and culminated in a joint parade reviewed by Gen. Randolph McCall Pate, Commandant of the Marine Corps. To review the Parade program, click here.

(Item submitted by Joe Larkin)

Barracks History during the 1950's
(The Evolution and Move of Ceremonial Guard Company)

The mess pass above is a reminder of the evolution of CGC during the 1950's and later. The silent drill team was formed in 1948 from the first platoon, one of three platoons in "Barracks Detachment." That situation remained until 1955, when increasing demands for appearances caused the second and third platoons to also be constituted as silent drill teams, each with their own drill. In addition to their 24-man drill, each had a 12-man drill designed for smaller spaces such as TV studios, hotels, etc. The silent drill routines were practiced in the Barracks gymnasium and at local playgrounds and parks near the Barracks.

This continued until early 1957, when "Barracks Detachment" was re-named "Ceremonial Guard Company" (or "CGC"), and, due to the increased use of Camp David by President Eisenhower and improvements being made there, it was decided to keep a platoon at Camp David for guard duty at all times. Accordingly, a fourth platoon was added, which was also a silent drill team, and the four platoons rotated to Camp David for guard duty. In the fall of 1958, the situation changed, and the fourth platoon was selected to be the silent drill platoon, and the other platoons were assigned other ceremonial duties within CGC. At the same time, CGC moved from the Barracks to Building #58 in the Naval Gun Factory.

This continued until the early the Spring of 1975, when CGC moved to the then-new quarters on I Street, and because of the great reduction of MCI troops due to the change to computers, that the two companies (CGC and MCI) were merged in December of 1977 and re-named as "Company A" and "Company B" and were assigned ceremonial duties. Training the drill team has been formalized, first being removed to Quantico for intensive practice, and in later years to locations in the Southwestern US, and at present is using the Marine Air Station in Yuma, AZ.

Between 1801 and 1958, CGC (and MCI) and their predecessors were housed and fed at the barracks. In September of 1958 CGC marched to the Naval Gun Factory and took up residence in Building # 58, where it was to stay until the quarters across from the Barracks on I Street were constructed.

Because of the move to the Gun Factory, CGC troops soon became "strangers" to Barracks personnel, and mess passes such as that above were necessary. They were used in conjunction with separate scheduling for meals as between CGC, MCI and H&S companies.

(Mess pass submitted by Bob Job)

The 4th Plt. 12-man drill team performs at an exclusive award ceremony.
The signatures are those of Bob Capeci (plt. sgt.) and the team.

(Submitted by Nick Bailey)

The First Evening Parade
(July 5, 1957)

(From the "Evening Star," Washington, D.C.
Saturday, July 6, 1957)

Prince Phillip visits the Barracks - November, 1957

(Above items submitted by Steve Trimble)

(photo submitted by Jay Campbell)

Pass in Review ceremony for Prince Phillip.
Denny Harris is 3rd flag bearer from the right,
and Bob Hughes of the Color Guard is 4th bearer from the left.

(Item submitted by Denny Harris)

Interment of the Unknowns (WWII & Korea) - May, 1958
1st Lt. Thomas J. Lapham - 3rd Plt. CGC
U.S. Capitol Rotunda
(above items submitted by Steve Trimble)

Ceremonial Guard Company in the funeral cortege for the Unknowns of World War II
and Korea, led by Capt. Richard Lee Hatch (KIA - Vietnam). Cpl. Jim Balderson carrying
the guidon, and across the front rank were Lt. Dick Noll, SSgt Bob McKensie, SSgt Bill Keller,
Lt. Tom Lapham, SSgt. Jim Donovan, and Lt. Art Stewart.

(Item submitted by Murdock "Mac" MacGregor)

With President Eisenhower at Newport, Rhode Island.
The two corporals on the halyards are Ed Finn (left) and Ken Arp (right).
Cpl. Joe Rodino is in the center, and Sgt. Ron Burton in the rear.
All were of the 4th Plt. CGC.
September, 1958

(Photo submitted by Joe Rodino)

Sgt Ben Juneau (2nd Plt. CGC) - The first Drill Team rifle inspector - 1957

(Item submitted by Ben Juneau)

Scottish Poster Announcing the Edinburgh Tattoo
(in which the 1st Plt. CGC participated)

(Item submitted by Bob Flick)

1st platoon CGC parading through the streets of
Edinburgh, Scotland, prior to performing in the
Edinburgh Tattoo in 1958 (the platoon leader is 1st Lt. Richard Noll)

(items submitted by John Wellman)

Tattoo Grand Finale - Edinburgh Castle
(Items submitted by Hoke Kidney)

For some excellent photos submitted by Bob Flick, including close-up shots
of the Marines during the actual ceremony, click here.
Note: Jim Meskan, 2nd plt. MCI Company, which accompanied the 1st plt of CGC on the Edinburgh trip, has located many interesting photos, including a number devoted to their performances at the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels, Belgium. This extended two-country trip was a first, and Jim's photos may be seen by clicking here.
Two highly unusual events happened during two of the Edinburgh ceremonies.
 To view newspaper accounts of them, click here.

For Leatherneck's account of 8th & I's participation
in the Edinburgh Tattoo, click here.

For an interesting article about the historical aspect of the Edinburgh trip
by the head of the HQMC Historical Section, click here.
(Item submitted by Jerry Van Riper)

For a short film clip of the 1st Platoon performing in the Edinburgh Tattoo, click here.

Nikita Kruschev, Chairman of the Soviet Union
with President Eisenhower - MATS Terminal, 1959
(submitted by Fred Kirven)

Members of the first 4th Platoon, CGC., 1957 are as they appeared in the USMC GuideBook For Marines, 1957, 6th Edition.
Front Row: Left to Right - Ledford, Hannon, & Gaydosh, 2nd Row: Wagner, Schroeder, Barger & Garland
3rd Row: Feeney, Cuffe & Kaminsky

(Submitted by NICK BAILEY, 4th Plt, CGC, 1957-1958, Greenwich CT.)




Dick Robert's memorial photo

Submitted by Richard Robert, Barracks Detachment, 1954-1955, Bethlehem, CT

Chosin Reservoir
November - December 1950

Make sure thar you click on each day on the calendar and also the other websites.

Semper Fi, JIM

Submitted by James Meskan

Anyone having additional submissions for this page should send them to

Contact us at:, 8th&I Reunion Association

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