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    USMC Trooper William Relmond Nichols
    circa 1926
    Quantico, Virginia

    Location Map ~ Quantico, Virginia

    USMC Baseball Team ~ "Devil Dogs" ~ Wm. R. Nichols 1924 Quantico

    1923 Quantico Virginia USMC

            USMC Regiment Bugler
            Wm. R. Nichols 1923
            Quantico, Virginia

    William Relmond Nichols was the youngest of four children born to William MacDaniel Nichols and Mary Jo Willoughby Nichols on May 19, 1907, in Aulander, NC. When William was 15 years old, he and two of his friends decided they were going to join the U.S. Navy and traveled by train together into Norfolk, Virginia to enlist. Not only was his age an issue, but William couldn't make the minimum weight requirement necessary for a new recruit. The Navy recruiter suggested that William visit a local grocery store and buy bananas. The recruiter told William to eat as many bananas as he could and then come back for a weigh in. William followed the recruiter's advice and ate as many bananas as he could. When he returned to see the Navy recruiter to be weighed in, the Navy recruiter was gone from the office. A Marine recruiter talked with William and managed to sign him up with the USMC. William's young friends decided to forgo their military plans and took the train back home to Aulander that same evening. William R. Nichols was on his way to Parris Island for boot camp.

    W.R. Nichols enlisted in the Marine Corps for first time on March 16, 1923 in Norfolk, VA. He received firearm training in Detch Company at Quantico, Virginia's Rifle Range, and attained the Rank of Trooper. During that tour of duty, he was the USMC Bugler for his regiment, gained recognition as an excellent rifleman, and also was a member of the Quantico USMC Baseball team, the "Devil Dogs." He was Honorably Discharged with Excellent Character ratings on March 15, 1927 from the USMC.

    During the summer of 1924, William was assigned with the 5th Regiment at Quantico. They, along with approximately 3,500 other Marines, undertook a trek to reenact the Battle of Antietam in Maryland. He kept a fairly remarkable pictorial account of that trip. I've coupled his pictures with additional newspaper articles which covered the facts of the exercise and subsequent events. I trust that you will find the following to be an interesting glimpse back into the 1920s and particularly this adventure! ~ Marianne

    A tale begun in other days, when summer suns were glowing ~


            A simple chime that served to time
            the rhythm of our rowing ~

                +++++++ 2003 +++++++