Original U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam War Named Mameluke Sword to Silver Star Medal Recipient

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Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is an incredible Korean War era USMC Mameluke Officer Sword Named to U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Lane Rogers. Lt. Col. Roger's Silver Star Citation for actions during the Vietnam War can be found at this link. It reads:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Major Lane Rogers (MCSN: 0-61169), United States Marine Corps, for gallantry in action while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict with an enemy during Operation QUYET THANG 518, in Quang Tin Province, Republic of Vietnam, 18 - 19 April 1965. On 18 April 1965, Major Rogers, Infantry Battalion Advisor to the 3d Vietnamese Marine Battalion, through his own diligence, personal courage, and with total disregard for his own personal safety was instrumental in dislodging the Viet Cong from excellent defensive positions by inspiring the Vietnamese Marines to continue the impetus of the attack and by coordinating supporting air strikes. On 19 April 1965, when the 3d Vietnamese Marine Battalion made contact with a much stronger Viet Cong force using extremely heavy fire including 4.2 inch mortars, Major Rogers, exposing himself to deadly fire, attempted to steady the unnerved troops and succeeded initially in stopping their withdrawal and in organizing a hasty defense. With continuing heavy enemy mortar and automatic fire, with no friendly artillery fire or air support, command and control disintegrated and the entire task force became immediately in danger of being overrun. Major Rogers organized a small rearguard force of U.S. and Vietnamese Marines, and firing point blank at the onrushing Viet Cong who were now in the process of encircling and outflanking them, slowed the enemy's advance and inflicted heavy casualties. This delaying action saved the entire task force from total annihilation by allowing the Task Force Commander time to reorganize his forces and fight an orderly withdrawal. Major Rogers' personal leadership, coolness under extremely heavy fire, disregard for his personal safety, courage and example, and acts of heroism above and beyond the call of duty, prevented this chaotic situation from becoming a crushing Viet Cong victory. The Viet Cong experienced heavy losses, with 53 bodies found and 297 others claimed as killed. By his daring actions and loyal devotion to duty in the face of extreme personal risk, Major Rogers upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

This 1950s era USMC Officer's Mameluke sword with scabbard features natural handle grip scales that have yellowed with age but have no cracks or chips. Sword alone is approximately 35.5“ long overall and in scabbard is approximately 37“ overall. Blade is approximately 29" long, curved, and unsharpened. Blade is engraved on both sides with UNITED STATES MARINES and various other military motifs. The blade is engraved with the name LANE ROGERS on one side. Scabbard is missing the brass throat, but retains the ring mounts and drag.

A fantastic USMC Mameluke Officer Sword named to a Silver Star recipient from the early years of the Vietnam War!

Marine Corps history states that a sword of this type was presented to Marine First Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon by the Ottoman Empire viceroy, Prince Hamet, on December 8, 1805, during the First Barbary War, in Libya, as a gesture of respect and praise for the Marines' actions at the Battle of Derna (1805). Upon his return to the United States, the state of Virginia presented him with a silver-hilted sword featuring an eaglehead hilt and a curved blade modeled after the original Mameluke sword given to him by Hamet. Its blade is inscribed with his name and a commemoration of the Battle of Tripoli Harbor.

Perhaps due to the Marines' distinguished record during this campaign, including the capture of the Tripolitan city of Derna after a long and dangerous desert march, Marine Corps Commandant Archibald Henderson adopted the Mameluke sword in 1825 for wear by Marine officers. After initial distribution in 1826, Mameluke swords have been worn except for the years 1859–1875 (when Marine officers were required to wear the U.S. Model 1850 Army foot officers' sword), and a brief period when swords were suspended during World War II. Since that time, Mameluke swords have been worn by Marine officers in a continuing tradition to the present day.
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