89 years ago today, the signal went out "Woods now U.S. Marine Corps entirely," marking the end of the Battle of Belleau Wood. In just 26 days, US forces engaged in the fighting around the small forest suffered 9,777 casualties, including 1,811 killed in action.
This battle is also the source of two of the most colorful quotes from the Corps storied history: On their arrival in the sector as fresh troops to blunt the German attack, the green US Marines were greeted by Allied troops falling back in the face of the German onslaught. Apocryphally, when a young USMC lieutenant heard "Retreat! The Germans are coming!" he responded with the now immortal "Retreat, hell! We just got here!" Belleau Wood was also where Gunnery Sergeant Dan Daly, two-time winner of the Medal of Honor, rallied his men with the call "Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?"
After the war, the French named the forest Bois de la Brigade de Marine (Wood of the Marine Brigade.)