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Forgotten chapter of Marine Corps history recalled in ceremony

A forgotten chapter of U.S. Marine Corps history was highlighted during Sunday’s Veterans Day program at the Gloucester Veterans Memorial Wall.

About 100 attended the program and wreath laying in the observance that was held by Middle Peninsula Detachment 1317 of the Marine Corps League.

Commandant Dave Clements announced that Sunday’s program was dedicated to the memory of Marine Staff Sgt. Leland L. “Lee” Blanding III, a Korean War veteran who was a drill instructor at the time of the Ribbon Creek incident at Parris Island, and who later testified at the trial after six recruits drowned during a disciplinary night hike into the swamp, training in a place that had been considered off limits.

The aftermath of this tragic 1956 incident brought about changes in the way that Marine training is conducted, with Blanding and another local Marine—Lt. Gen. Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller of Saluda—providing testimony that helped exonerate the respon...

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