On 3 May 1946, a little-known battle fought off the coast of San Fransisco on the infamous Alcatraz Island would determine the fate of the U.S. Marines.

To understand the importance of the battle on “The Rock,” we need to first set the stage for what life was like for the Marines in post-war America during the mid-1940s.

 

Back From the War

When the calendar flipped over to 1946, WWII had just concluded and battle-hardened troops were returning stateside to their families and a new normal. These men had been a part of ferocious battles in Africa, Italy, and all over the Pacific on islands like Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The men who returned home had made it through what many consider to be the toughest war in human history. By the time the war ended, the men who had survived these battles were hardened, decorated, and skilled weapons of war.