18 of the greatest photos of Marines fighting America's wars

The Marine Corps celebrates its 241st birthday on Nov. 10, 2016. Since it was formed in 1775, the Marines have fought in every major American conflict — and most of its minor ones.

Since World War I, photographers have worked to capture the bravery, grit, and tenacity that Marines bring to the battlefield. Here are 18 of the best that military journalists have captured of Devil Dogs in action:

1. Iraq

U.S. Marines with Task Force Spartan, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, on Fire Base Bell, Iraq, fire an M777A2 Howitzer at an ISIS infiltration route March 18, 2016. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Andre Dakis)

 

U.S. Marine Cpl. Spencer Knudson, vehicle commander with the Combined Anti-Armor Team, Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, scouts for various avenues of approach and egress points on Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 23, 2015. The unit is the ground combat element of Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force--Crisis Response--Central Command 16.1, which supports Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR). CJTF-OIR is a coalition of regional and international nations who have joined together to enable Iraqi forces to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, reestablish Iraq’s borders and re-take lost terrain thereby restoring regional stability and security. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Akeel Austin/Released)

U.S. Marine Cpl. Spencer Knudson, vehicle commander with the Combined Anti-Armor Team, Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, scouts for various avenues of approach and egress points on Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 23, 2015. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Akeel Austin)

 

 

041117-M-4329J-006 Fallujah, Iraq (Nov. 17, 2004) - An Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) drives through a wall and locked gate to open a path for Marines assigned to 2nd Platoon, India Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, as they gain entrance to a building that needed to be cleared in Fallujah, Iraq, during Operation Al Fajr (New Dawn). Operation Al Fajr is an offensive operation to eradicate enemy forces within the city of Fallujah in support of continuing security and stabilization operations in the Al Anbar province of Iraq. U.S. Marines photo by Lance Cpl. Ryan L Jones (RELEASED)

An Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) drives through a wall and locked gate on Nov. 17, 2004, to open a path for Marines assigned to 2nd Platoon, India Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, as they gain entrance to a building that needed to be cleared in Fallujah, Iraq, during Operation Al Fajr (New Dawn). (Photo: U.S. Marines Lance Cpl. Ryan L. Jones)

2. Afghanistan

A Marine with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, prepares to load onto a KC-130 aircraft on the Camp Bastion flightline, Oct. 27, 2014. The battalion was the final Marine Corps infantry battalion to serve in Helmand province, Afghanistan, as the United States Marine Corps ended their operations.

A Marine with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, prepares to load onto a KC-130 aircraft on the Camp Bastion flightline, Oct. 27, 2014. The battalion was the final Marine Corps infantry battalion to serve in Helmand province, Afghanistan, as the United States Marine Corps ended their operations. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps)

 

040506-M-7034A-040 South Central Afghanistan (May 6, 2004) - Lance Cpl. Mike Carro holds security for the Marines assigned to Battalion Landing Team 1/6, after disembarking a Marine CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter during the initial surge of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) into South Central Afghanistan. During the 22 MEUÕs deployment to Afghanistan, they served as the main effort of Combined Joint Task Force One Eight ZeroÕs (CJTF-180) Operation Mountain Storm. The operation was designed to preempt a long-anticipated Taliban Òspring offensiveÓ and help set the conditions for successful voter registration and national-level elections. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jemssy Alvarez Jr. (RELEASED)

Lance Cpl. Mike Carro holds security for the Marines assigned to Battalion Landing Team 1/6, after disembarking a Marine CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter during the initial surge of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) into South Central Afghanistan on May 6, 2004. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jemssy Alvarez Jr.)

 

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Bob J. Sise talks with Afghan children during Operation Northern Lion II in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on July 3, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alejandro Pena)

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Bob J. Sise talks with Afghan children during Operation Northern Lion II in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on July 3, 2013. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Alejandro Pena)

3. Desert Storm

Marines from Company D, 2nd Tank Battalion, drive their M-60A1 main battle tank over a sand berm on Hill 231 while rehearsing their role as part of Task Force Breach Alpha during Operation Desert Storm. The tank is fitted with reactive armor and an M-9 bulldozer kit.

Marines from Company D, 2nd Tank Battalion, drive their M-60A1 main battle tank over a sand berm on Hill 231 while rehearsing their role as part of Task Force Breach Alpha during Operation Desert Storm. The tank is fitted with reactive armor and an M-9 bulldozer kit. (Photo: U.S. Department of Defense)

 

A member of Co. A., Marine Barracks, Eighth and Eye Streets, mans an M-249 squad automatic weapon at the 2nd Marine Division Combat Operations Center (COC) during Operation Desert Storm. The company is providing security for the COC. Camera Operator: STAFF SGT. J. R. RUARK Date Shot: 8 Feb 1991

A member of Co. A., Marine Barracks, Eighth and Eye Streets, mans an M-249 squad automatic weapon at the 2nd Marine Division Combat Operations Center (COC) during Operation Desert Storm on Feb. 8, 1991. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. J. R. Ruark)

4. Vietnam

Marine-corps-sniper-vietnam-archives

A U.S. Marine Corps sniper scans his sector through his optics in the Vietnam War. (Photo: US Marine Corps archives)

 

Marines with Company G, 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, direct a concentration of fire at the enemy during Operation Allen Brook, 8 May 1968. (Official Marine Corps Photo # 371490).

Marines with Company G, 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, direct a concentration of fire at the enemy during Operation Allen Brook May 8, 1968. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps)

 

Vietnam....A Marine is helped to an evacuation point by two buddies after he was wounded during an enemy probe of his unit's position during Operation Dewey Canyon. Marines killed 12 North Vietnamese in the fighting northwest of the A Shau Valley.

A Marine is helped to an evacuation point by two buddies after he was wounded during an enemy probe of his unit’s position during Operation Dewey Canyon. Marines killed 12 North Vietnamese in the fighting northwest of the A Shau Valley. (Photo: U.S. National Archives)

5. Korea

Advancing platoons of Marines including bazookamen, flame throwers, automatic riflemen and sharpshooters, find low flying Marine "Corsair" fighter-bombers flying to their aid. AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM #: 306-PS-53-6424

Advancing platoons of Marines including bazookamen, flame throwers, automatic riflemen and sharpshooters, find low-flying Marine “Corsair” fighter-bombers flying to their aid. (Photo: U.S. Air and Space Museum)

 

First Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez, USMC, leads the 3rd Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines over the seawall on the northern side of Red Beach, as the second assault wave lands, 15 September 1950, during the Inchon invasion. Wooden scaling ladders are in use to facilitate disembarkation from the LCVP that brought these men to the shore. Lt. Lopez was killed in action within a few minutes, while assaulting a North Korean bunker. Note M-1 Carbine carried by Lt. Lopez, M-1 Rifles of other Marines and details of the Marines' field gear. Photo number NH 96876.

First Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez leads the 3rd Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines over the seawall on the northern side of Red Beach, as the second assault wave lands, Sept. 15, 1950, during the Inchon invasion. Wooden scaling ladders are in use to facilitate disembarkation from the LCVP that brought these men to the shore. Lt. Lopez was killed in action within a few minutes while assaulting a North Korean bunker. (Photo: U.S. National Archives)

6. World War II

Raising the First Flag on Iwo Jima by SSgt. Louis R. Lowery, USMC, is the most widely circulated photograph of the first flag flown on Mt. Suribachi (after the flag raising). Left to right: 1st Lt. Harold Schrier[7] (kneeling behind radioman's legs), Pfc. Raymond Jacobs (radioman reassigned from F Company), Sgt. Henry "Hank" Hansen wearing cap, holding flagstaff with left hand), Platoon Sgt. Ernest "Boots" Thomas (seated), Pvt. Phil Ward (holding lower flagstaff with both hands), PhM2c. John Bradley, USN (holding flagstaff with right hand above Ward), Pfc. James Michels (holding M1 Carbine), and Cpl. Charles W. Lindberg (standing above Michels).

Marines raise the first flag on Mt. Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima. (Photo: U.S. Department of Defense)

"Marine Pfc. Douglas Lightheart (right) cradles his 30-cal. machine gun in his lap, while he and his buddy Pfc. Gerald Churchby take time out for a cigarette, while mopping up the enemy on Peleliu Is." Cpl. H. H. Clements, September 14, 1944

Marine Pfc. Douglas Lightheart (right) cradles his 30-cal. machine gun in his lap while he and his buddy, Pfc. Gerald Churchby, take time out for a cigarette while mopping up the enemy on Peleliu Is. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. H. H. Clements)

 

Marines take cover behind one of their medium tanks while cleaning out the northern north end of the island of Saipan. The Japanese were well dug in and making their last stand. July 8, 1944. (Photo: National Park Service)

Marines take cover behind one of their medium tanks while cleaning out the northern north end of the island of Saipan on July 8, 1944. The Japanese were well dug in and making their last stand. (Photo: National Park Service)

7. World War I

World War I Marines in France. From the Photograph Collection IX (COLL/966), United States Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections World War I Marines with Gas Masks, circa 1918 OFFICIAL USMC PHOTOGRAPH

World War I Marines in France. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections)

 

U.S. Marines during the Meuse-Argonne Campaign in World War I. (Photo: U.S. National Archives)

U.S. Marines during the Meuse-Argonne Campaign in World War I. (Photo: U.S. National Archives)

TOP ARTICLES
Why Hollywood prescribes pot to its veteran characters with PTS

A new Netflix comedy takes a lighthearted look at the growing use of medical marijuana to treat veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress.

Does this picture show the US covertly moving SEALs into Korea?

The USS Michigan stopped in Busan for a "routine port visit," but pictures of the event suggest a more clandestine purpose that may involve US Navy SEALs.

How ISIS became a 'pathetic and a lost cause' after the fall of Raqqa

Special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, Brett McGurk tweeted photos of a mass ISIS surrender.

Here is how the MLRS became a 44-mile sniper

The M31 Guided Unitary Rocket can put 200 pounds of high explosive within 30 feet of its aimpoint. That'll ruin a bad guy's day.

These 10 letters kids sent to deployed troops will make you smile

From moms who drink wine to soldier kitties saying 'meow,' these hilarious letters to troops will warm your heart.

This robotic Kobra bites IEDs and can move an NFL lineman

The life-saving bite of this Kobra isn't its only impressive feature.

This is how a dress code change won us Guadalcanal

At a critical stage in the War of the Pacific, Vice Admiral William "Bull" Halsey returned to action ripping open his dress shirt like a sailor Hulk.

This is how missing or captured troops get promoted

According to the Department of Defense, prisoners of war and those under missing status continue to be considered for promotion along with their contemporaries.

6 reasons Charleston might be America's most gung-ho military city

From Charles Towne Landing to the Medal of Honor Museum, go grab a pint where George Washington drank and read about the military legacy of South Carolina's Atlantic jewel.

This is how long South Korea thinks it will take to conquer the North

South Korea says they are developing new plans to defend against advancing North Korean threats after a data breach left their outdated plans vulnerable.