Chuck enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on October 1, 1942 at the age of 17. He graduated from Boot Camp at Parris Island SC in November 1942 and was transferred to Camp Lejeune where he completed Pre-Combat Training and qualified on the M1 rifle. He was then transferred to the 15th Replacement Battalion.
In March of 1943, Private Barbee was transferred to Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA. where he then reported to USS Lurline to be transported to American Samoa. He arrived April 1943 where he trained for 6 arduous weeks at the Marine Raider Training Camp, the predecessor to Marine Corps Reconnaissance. Upon completion of the Marine Raider course, the members of the 15 Replacement Battalion departed for New Caledonia to join the new 3rd Marine Division at Guadalcanal. He joined the 3rd Amphibian Tractor Battalion where served as the crew chief at the rank of private first class. His combat tours from 1943 to mid-1944 included Bougainville and Emirau Island where he was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal before returning to his home base of Guadalcanal. During his combat tour in Guam he earned the rank of Corporal and remained there until 1945. He began his fourth combat tour during the battle of Iwo Jima from February 19 to March 26th 1945 with the 5th division on D-Day 3rd wave assault on Mt Suribachi. He was later shipped to Maui, Hawaii where the 3rd Amtrac Battalion was attached to the 4th division.
Corporal Barbee was training to conduct an amphibious assault on mainland Japan when the war ended. Cpl Barbee reported to Camp Pendleton in November 1945 where 3rd Amtrac Battalion was disbanded. Cpl Barbee was transferred back to Camp Lejeune where he received an honorable discharge from the United States Marine Corps on December 7, 1945.
Horace (Chuck) Barbee, our founder, passed away on December 21st, 2015. A memorial plaque honoring Chuck was presented to his family at the Iwo Jima Memorial Luncheon on February 20th, 2016. The plaque can be seen here.