I believe the first Lance Cpl. rank was adopted in 1959. I have Almost every dated guidebook for Marines from that period and that is the first year it is shows. Not a positive answer.I have never heard of it as a pre Korea Rank. I would assume that it would be an attempt to get all services a standardized pay grade. All I know is is once I got promoted to "Lcpl.", I could'nt wait to get to the next promotion to get the "L" taken off my name! Also it is interesting that one stripe and a emblem such as a trumpet were used to show junior rank skill many years ago. Many changes through the years I must say. A cool topic for further dicussion. Hope this helps.
To Join the Company of Military Historians click here