Fifty years ago, a group of mostly 17- and 18-year-olds from the Philadelphia and New Jersey area walked out onto Franklin Field for a rare appearance.
On October 15, 1967, 86 young men were sworn into the Marine Corps at the halftime of the 49ers-Eagles game. The momentous event marked the first and only swearing-in ceremony at an Eagles game to this day. This squad of young men would forever be known as the Philadelphia Eagles Platoon.
By enlisting in the Marines and signing up to be a part of the Platoon, the purpose of the ceremony wasn't to just hand the recruits free tickets to the game. Instead, it was to celebrate the young men as special guests in front of the fans at Franklin Field. At halftime, the Platoon marched to the 50-yard line to take the oath on that sunny afternoon.
As history would have it, there is very little physical remaining evidence of the formation and current whereabouts for all of the members of this historic group. Photographs and inscriptions of the group were difficult to track down. At the time, these young boys received no special badges or memorabilia to carry off to war with them. But as a group, they were presented with a banner that read "2062 U.S. Marine Corps Eagles Platoon" to show the support from Philadelphia as well as commemorate their service to the country.
The teenagers-turned-privates were proud to be members of the Eagles Platoon as they headed off to war. While true, there was no official designation, this was a moment to let these young men stand before the hometown crowd.