Category Banana Wars

Sergeant William R. Button, USMC

At the time of this action, William Robert Button was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his role in tracking down and killing the Haitian nationalist leader Charlemagne Peralte during the night of October 31—November 1, 1919. Sergeant (later Brigadier General) Herman H. Hanneken was […]

The Banana Wars Part II

Reasons for War The reasons for the so-called Banana Wars varied, but they were largely economic in nature. The term Banana Wars came from the connection between these conflicts and the preservation of commercial interests in the region —specifically, the United Fruit Company and Standard Fruit. I think, however, that in order to understand this […]

The Banana Wars Part I

The Banana Wars were a series of occupations, police actions, and interventions in Central America and the Caribbean between the Spanish American War (1898) and the inception of Franklin Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor Policy (1934). However, to understand how the Banana Wars transpired, we have to return to an earlier time. We will have to begin […]

Close Air —Part I

Marine Corps Aviation began with a few good men that really did want to fly air machines. One of the first of these was a first lieutenant whose name was Alfred A. Cunningham. He was not only the first Marine Corps naval aviator, he was also a visionary able to develop the concept of an […]

Brigadier General Hanneken

The number of colorful, legendary figures of the United States Marine Corps is amazing. One of these legends was Herman Henry Hanneken, who hailed from St. Louis, Missouri —born there on 23 June 1893. He enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps in 1914 at the age of 21 and after serving five years attained […]

Growing a Marine Hero: Haiti, 1919

The island of Hispaniola has a long and troubled history. Spanish colonization disposed of the native inhabitants and imported African slaves in their place. In 1697, the French took over the western one-third of the island and christened it Haiti—an area consisting of 11,000 square miles, three-quarters of which is mountainous interior, the rest being […]