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History of the Sixth Marine Division

When the division was assembled for the first time at Guadalcanal in September 1944, its component parts were mostly veteran; it was the only Marine division to be thus organized almost entirely around battle-tried units. The three infantry regiments were the 4th Marines, which fought at Eniwetok; and a battalion of the 29th Marines, that saw fire in the fierce fighting for Mount Tapotchau on Saipan. Its artillery was the 15th Marines; the tank, engineer, pioneer, motor transport, service, and medical battalions all bore the numeral 6, as befitting their division, and included men with battle experience across the whole Pacific.

The last fact was reflected in the Divisions shoulder patch-of a design suggested by General Shepherd himself- A circle of blue upon which a gold 6 covers a Crusaders sword of silver, with a red border bearing the words Melanesia, Micronesia, and Orient.

The special reference to Melanesia is to those islands and atolls of the South Pacific where the Raider Battalions did so well. The 1st Raider Battalion fought at Tulagi and Guadalcanal, the 2nd at Makin Island and New Georgia, the 3rd at New Georgia and Bougainville, the 4th at Bairoko and Viru Harbor on New Georgia and the four were joined together as the 4th Regiment at Emirau. Micronesia geographically comprises the islands that spray like stars across the Central Pacific. In this area the 22d Marines gained its battle experience at Eniwetok; the1st Battalion of the 29th Marines on Saipan, and the First Provisional Marine Brigade (including the 4th and 22d Regiments) on Guam.

Orient, on the border of the patch, refers to the gallant stand at Batann and Corregidor made by the old 4th Marines, the China Regiment; and when it was added to the patch, represented a hope as well as a history- the hope of carrying the war to the Japanese homeland.

In the fulfillment of that hope, Orient became the most significant of the trio of names; for at Okinawa the Sixth Division fought in the last great campaign of the war, and when it was over, the new 4th Marine Regiment was chosen as one of the two units to make the fist conquerors landing on Japanese shores in three thousand years of history. Shortly after the occupation the remainder of the Division embarked for the Shantung Peninsula in North China to assist the Chinese government in accomplishing the surrender and repatriation of Japanese troops in the Tsingtao area. The task was ended on April 1, 1946, and on that date, in the Orient, the Sixth Marine Division was inactivated-the only Marine Corps division that never saw the United States-formed overseas, fighting overseas and disbanding overseas.

Origins of the Division Units

4th Marine Regiment

The history of the original 4th Regiment, the old 4th goes back to March 1911, when it was organized at Camp Thomas, California, under the command of Colonel C. A. Doyen. It was reorganized in April 1914, and embarked that same month for the West Coast of Mexico to stand off the cities of Acapulco, Mazalan, and Guymas, ready for landing in case of emergency. It was back in the States by July and the following year the 1st and 2d Battalions were sent to the Exposition at San Francisco to set up two model camps.

After expeditionary service in Santo Domingo (1916) where the troops skirmished their way from Monte Cristi, D.R to Santiago, personnel of the regiment served in the cities of Puerto Plata, Moca. Vega. Sanchez, San Francisco de Macoris, and Monte Cristi until the withdrawal of American forces of occupation, in August 1924 the 4th Marines was dispatched to Shanghai, China in 1927 on the heels of a series of incidents there. It remained on duty in the International Settlement until November 28, 1941 by which time it was known throughout the service as the China Regiment By that date Tojos government had come into power in Japan, the nation was in control of French Indo-China and was engaged in movements so aggressive that it was clear only an unexpected change of heart could avert hostilities. The 4th was ordered to the Philippines, where it arrived December 2, less than a week before Japan attacked, and the troops of the 1st Separate Battalion, already on duty in the Islands, were merged with it, bringing the regiments total strength from 48 officers and 718 enlisted to 72 officers and 1,490 enlisted.
The regiment fought all throughout the Bataan campaign, and was still holding the enemy back from the beaches of Corregidor on that last sad day in May 1942 when Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright announced that further resistance was useless. Lieutenant General Thomas Holcomb was Commandant of the Marine Corps at that time and he immediately announced that a new 4th Regiment would be formed during the next 2 years from those Marine units which distinguished themselves most highly in combat.
By January 1944 the hour had come to make the choice and it fell on the four Marine Raider Battalions. They were at type of organization new in name if not in spirit to the MC the 1st being formed at Quantico, Virginia in February-March 1942 chiefly of men drawn from the 1st Battalion 5th Marines, with the then Lieutenant Colonel Merritt A. Edson in command. The Raiders supplied the need for fast hard hitting troops particularly fitted for landings on beaches ordinarily regarded as inaccessible. Their success was dependent on the elements of surprise and they were prepared to operate from subs, destroyers, air transports or regular Navy transports. They also were used for guerrilla operations behind enemy lines as troops capable of sustaining themselves for a long period of time without access to established lines of communication.
By April 1, organization and preliminary training were complete. The battalion sailed for Samoa and intensive combat training. The July 4 that followed was one of the gloomiest in American history. A great victory had been won at Midway, but the German subs were at their peak in the Atlantic, the German armies were hurrying toward the Volga and the Nile, and the best opinion held that it would take ten to fifteen years to beat Japan. ON that date and under those auspices the new Raider Battalion embarked for a place whose name few of its men had every heard the island of Tulagi across a twenty mile channel from the equally unfamiliar island of Guadalcanal.
They struck the Tulagi beach on August 7 1942 while General Vandegrifts First Marine Division was attacking the larger island. The initial landing was accomplished easily and at light cost but then the Raiders for the first time came up against those typical Japanese defenses that called upon them to make good their boast that they would under Edson. There were caves and blockhouses, which could only be attacked on foot defended by enemies who genuinely fought to the last man. When it was over the Raiders realized they had come triumphantly through some of the most desperate fighting in the history of war; yet it was only a tentative first round of the main campaign.


The US forces had lost control of the sea in the Battle of Savo Island on the night of August 8th. The Japanese counter invaded Guadalcanal in great force and Edsons Raiders were called across the channel to be the keystone of the American defense in the Battle of Bloody Ridge, on the night of September13-14. In that struggle, which lasted almost continuously for 48 hours the Raiders and the 1st Parachute Battalion were together under the command of Colonel Edson. They roke the strength of the Japanese brigade and their commander won the Medal of Honor, as did his executive, Major Kenneth Bailey, who was killed at the Matanikau before receiving his decoration.

Colonel Edson was now assigned to command the 5th Marine Regiment and command of the battalion passed to Lieutenant Colonel Samuel B Griffith, who led the organization throughout more hard jungle fighting until October 14th when the 1st Raiders were withdrawn to New Caledonia, worn by wounds and malaria. The 2d Raider Battalion had been organized at the same time as the 1st, but at Jacques Farm, near Camp Elliott, California, under Lieutenant Colonel Evans F. Carlson an old China Hand,long and lean. They had a battle- cry GUNG HO!which is Chinese for WORK TOGETHER. Actually, this organization was at the front before the 1st Battalion, sailing from Hawaii in April of 1942 and being sent to Midway to bolster the defenses there in anticipation of the Japanese attack.
That attack was beaten off at sea. As soon as it was clear that it would never reach the beaches. Two companies of Carlsons men were embarked on submarines for a raid on Makin Island. As a cover and diversion for the attack on Guadalcanal-Tulagi farther south, They landed early in the morning of August 17th from rubber boats, wiped out the Japanese garrison and destroyed all its installations including the radio station. After a brief period of rest in the Hawaiian area the battalion was moved down to Guadalcanal. There it operated for thirty-seven days behind the Japanese lines in thickest jungle, cost the enemy more casualties than its own total strength, and in December was withdrawn to Espiritu Santo Island for a needed rest. The 1st and 2d Raiders were already in action when the 3d were being formed in Samoa under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Harry B. Liversedge. Their first combat assignment was the attack on the Russell Islands, west of Guadalcanal., four months later, but the Japanese had left only outposts there and the conquest was almost bloodless. This battalion joined the 2d Battalion in September 1943, to form the 2d Provisional Raider Regiment under Lieutenant Colonel Alan Shapley, who had succeeded Colonel Carlson at the head of the 2d raiders
The first action of the new regiment was on Bougainville in the northern Solomons, where attached to the 3d Marine Division, it landed with them on November 1, 1943. This was one of the most difficult of all amphibious operations, in which nature more than cooperated with the 50,000 Japanese from the garrison. The landing beach was so narrow that even jeep's encountered difficulty. Inland were waist deep mangrove swamps, tangled jungle, and incoherent ridges. Ammunition dumps disappeared from sight, even the light pack howitzers went down under water, there was no means of transportation but the back of the men, and to cap all, enemy air raids were frequent. Conditions improved when the troops worked throughout to night, drier ground on December 10 and spread out in the campaign that ultimately secured the whole area around Empress Augusta Bay. While Bougainville was never completely occupied till the war ended, the 2d Provisional Raiders were withdrawn to Guadalcanal in January 1944,

Lieutenant Colonel James Roosevelt had been the executive officer of Carlsons 2d Raider during the Makin attack. He formed the 4th Raider Battalion at Camp Pendleton, California, and it was promptly incorporated with the 1st Raider Battalion and two Army battalions (3d Battalion, 145th Infantry and 3d Battalion, 148th Infantry) in June 1943 to form the 1st Provisional Raider Regiment, with Colonel Liversedge in command. Colonel Griffith still had the 1st Battalion and Lieutenant Colonel Michael Currin took over the 4th.

Exactly a year after the 1st Raiders embarked from Tulagi, on Independence Day of 1943, the 1st Raider Regiment sailed from Guadalcanal for New Georgia. Colonel Currins battalion landed on the southern shore of the island to secure the outlying posts of Segi, Vangunu and Wickham Anchorage. While Colonel Griffiths men, supported by two Army units, was slipped around into Kula Gulf to go ashore in the heart of the Japanese positions at Rice Anchorage in the dark hours of July 5th. Their first objective was an enemy post at Enogai Inlet.

Captain Clay A. Boyd had conducted two reconnaissance missions here, the second from June 14-July 5th making arrangement with natives to guide the raiders. IN landing the troops took a circuitous route to trap Japanese forces in the area. They encountered tropical rain, forest, swollen streams that could be crossed by only one man at a time and wee forced to carry all their supplies. Their march was one of the most difficult experienced by a marine unit during the war.

Enogai was taken on July 11th after a hard fight. The two Army battalions were brought up to join the 4th, and all together pushed on toward Bairoko in order to cut off the only escape and supply route from the enemy now besieged in the Munda area to the south. After this action, the battalions were withdrawn to New Caledonia, until the 2d Provisional Raider Regiment completed its assignment on Bougainville. The four battalions were then brought together on Guadalcanal, becoming the 4th Marine Regiment, under the command of Colonel Shapley.

It was a football-tinged regiment. Colonel Shapley had led the Naval Academy team to a national championship in 1926, and had been widely named for the mythical All-American team. While in his command were at least ten others from the All-American lists, including Lieutenants Dave Schreiner, Al Bauman, Max Belko, Al Hofer, Bill Lazetich and Robert Herwig.

In the new 4th Marine Regiment the 1st and 4th Raider Battalions became its 1st and 2d battalions, the 3d Raiders and 3d battalions, while the old 2d Raider Battalion was reorganized into the Regimental Weapons Company. The Raiders had been lightly armed throughout for swift movements, now the received the heavier weapons that served as standard Marine regiment equipment. An artillery battalion was brought in from the 3d Division, tank, medical, engineer, and service units were attached.

The camp of the new regiment wasnt an easy place to live in due to the shortages of all types of material caused by the build-up for the European invasion had top priority.

On March 1st 1944 the regiment went ashore to Emirau there was no opposition from the Japanese. When the 4th had landed and hence the capture of the island became known as the jawbone campaign In the strategy of the Pacific War, however, there were few places more important, for Emirau became an air base from which Truk, Rabaul and Kavieng were placed under effective attack. In April the 4th Marines returned to it unfinished camp at Guadalcanal to await their next assignment


22d Marine Regiment

The 22d were the first Marine regiment organized for independent duty after Americas entry into the war. It was formed early in 1942 at Linda Vista, a tent camp near San Diego, California, under the command of Colonel John T. Walker, later Chief of Staff of the First Provisional Brigade, who was to win a Navy Cross as its commander.

Not long after its formation in Jun 1942, the regiment was sent to garrison duty in Samoa, where it remained for eighteen months. This outpost duty produced some scattering of the unit-two battalions to Upolu, the 3d to Wallis Island and a small group to Savii-but did not in the least interfere with an energetic and arduous program of training for war under jungle conditions, carried on at the separate posts. Unfortunately, it was also accompanied by the attack of numerous tropical diseases, particularly filariasis, and dengue fever, and numerous replacements were necessary before the regiment received its first battle order.

On November 1, 1943 the 22d Marines were brought together at Maui in Hawaii under orders to prepare for action, with tanks, engineers, a medical company and service units added, and the 2d Separate Pack Howitzer Battalion attached as supporting artillery.

The regiments first assignment was as reserve for the V Amphibious Corps in its assault on Kwajalein Atoll. The place was taken without the necessity of employing reserves and the 22d accordingly was detailed for the attack on Eniwetok in the Northwestern Marshalls, together with the 106th Infantry from the Armys 27th Division. Both were under the command of Brigadier General Thomas E Watson, later to become commander of the Second Marine Division.

Eniwetok is a typical Central Pacifc atoll, nearly circular in form, with numerous small islets flanking the principal islands of Eniwetok , Parry and Engebi. The 22ds assignment was the capture of the last of these, at the northern rim of the atoll, where the Japanese had built a 4,000-foot runway. The supporting fleet steamed into the lagoon on February 17, 1944 and patrols from the regiment seized the islands laying off Engebi, where artillery was placed in support of the main attack, scheduled for the next morning.

The assault was made with the 1st and 2d Battalions abreast, going in across the beaches on the southern face of the island with one company of the 3d Battalion on their extreme right flank. A devastating preliminary bombardment and the tactical surprise of landing where the defenses were weakest drove the Japanese forces into well-concealed positions under ground and made resistance relatively light in the beginning. This mad the mopping up operation a costly and hazardous task, and although the remainder of the 3d Battalion was committed to this phase it was called on the next day when the Army troops encountered unexpectedly heavy resistance on Eniwetok Island.

With this reinforcement the American forces cut across the latter island at its waist, the Army troops swinging in one direction to sweep it to the end, while the Marines cleared the way in the other direction. In fighting that lasted two days. Parry Island remained. Air reconnaissance and photos had shown it apparently lightly held, but it proved to be the Japanese headquarters. More heavily fortified than either of the others, with coconut-log revetments that almost bad defiance to naval gunfire.

The 1st and 2d Battalions landed abreast on the northern end of the island, followed closely by the 3d Battalion, which was committed by noon of the first day

At 1:00 p.m. the 2d and 3d Battalions had entered a maze of undergrowth in which it was impossible to see Japanese snipers or even their emplacements more than a few yards distant. The fighting was bitter and nearly two days were required to complete the conquest of the island. One notable tactical innovation, much used in later operations, appeared when destroyers lying off shore fired star shells at night to put a damper on the favorite Japanese tactic of infiltrating under cover of darkness. Between 1,500 and 2,000 Japanese died in defense of Eniwetok. The 22ds casualties were 184 killed 540 wounded. Months later, as the men of the 22d staged though the island on their way to the Guam attack, they had an opportunity to judge the value of the hard fighting they had done, and to see how unrecognizable the Seabees had rendered the torn ground.

The regimen was not yet through with the Marshalls, however. The group was composed of literally dozens of atolls, on most of which the Japanese had small outposts or observations posts, and the task of mopping up these fell to the 22d, Before the regiment sailed for its new base on Guadalcanal in April 1944. Its troops had made no less than twenty-six amphibious landings, many of them against opposition.

At Guadalcanal the 22d joined the 4th Regiment and began that endless and laborious task of building another camp. The job completed while the 4th was in Emirau, when the latter returned, the two were brought together in the First Provisional Marine Brigade with General Shepherd arriving to take command


Sixth Division Special Troops

The 6th Tank, Engineer, Pioneer, Motor Transport, Medical Service and Headquarters Battalions were formed from the reinforcing units of the three-infantry regiments. The changes were mainly organizational, as these troops had participated in the operations of their parent units, and were well versed in their own specialties.

29th Marine Regiment
The 29th was the last infantry regiment formed by
The Marine Corps during the war being activated (except for its 1st Battalion) at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in May 1944 by Colonel Victor F. Bleasdale. The officer and non-coms, hand picked from returned veterans were mostly instructors in various training schools. The two battalions and their supporting elements embarked August 1 for Guadalcanal, where they were attached to the First Provisional Brigade, pending formation of the Sixth Division.
The 1st Battalion was formed in the spring of 1944 around cadres from the Second Marine Division men who had fought at Guadalcanal and Tarawa. Under command of Lieutenant Colonel Guy E. Tannyhill it was originally called the 2d Separate Infantry Battalion, the designation being changed to 1st Battalion, 29th Marines in June 1944 when it was already aboard transports, en route to join the Second Division in the assault on Saipan. In the hard fighting on this island the battalion was the first to force its way to the summit of Mount Tapotchau, which was so tough a nut to crack. Lieutenant Colonel Rathvon M. Tompkins led the battalion in this latter assault. Over fifty per cent of the battalions personnel fell casualties in the 24-day campaign before it was relieved and sent down to Guadalcanal to join the other two battalions and await formation of the new division.

The Brigade at Guam

The First Provisional Marine Brigade was formed on Guadalcanal late in March 1944, by joining two veteran reinforced regiments, the 4th and the 22d, under the command of General Shepherd. The 4th had recently returned from its occupation of Emirau and the 22d from the seizure of Eniwetok Atoll. The two regiments immediately began training as a team for the attack on Guam.

The brigade staff, hastily formed at Pearl Harbor during the early part of April, consisted of Colonel, John T.Walker, Chief of Staff; Lieutenant Colonel Robert S. Shaw, G-2; Lieutenant Colonel Thomas A Culhane, Jr., G-3; and Lieutenant Colonel August Larson, G-4. Major Addison B. Overstreet, G-1, joined the brigade staff at Guadalcanal on April 23. The staff had little over a month in which to perfect the organization of the brigade and to prepare plans for the coming operation.

On the other side of the world the invasion of Europe was just getting under the way. The brigades troops moved upon the southernmost of the Marianas in a mission that was also one of liberation, prepared to avenge the loss of the small Marine garrison that had fallen there in the early days of the Pacific War.

The landing was originally planned to take place three days after the attack on Saipan, June 15,1944. The difficulties encountered by the V Amphibious Corps on Saipan and the approach of the Japanese Fleet forced a postponement of the Guam landing, and the brigade was ordered to remain afloat as the mobile reserve. The last two weeks of June and the first part of July were thus spent cruising around Point Oak, one hundred miles off Saipan. When finally released by the Amphibious Force commander, the ships in which the brigade was embarked returned to Eniwetok for the logistical replenishment. The opportunity to stretch their legs on the beach was joyfully welcomed by the men aboard the crowded APAs and LSTs, who had been aboard for over a month.

The plan of maneuver of the III Amphibious Corps, called for the landing of the Third Marine Division on the northwest coast of Guam in the vicinity of Asan, with the mission of establishing a beachhead and seizing the dominating Mount Tenjo, prepared for further operations to the north. The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was to land on the mountainous Southwest coast of the island, between Agat and Bangi Point and secures a beachhead extending south of Facpi Point. Then turn north to capture the Orote Peninsula. The 305th Regimental Combat Team of the Armys 77th Division, in the Corps reserve was initially attached to the brigade.

W-Day was July 21,1944 as the transports rounded the southern tip of Guam on that hot morning these Marines would take place in the widest and most difficult yet to be encountered in the advance across the Pacific.

The experience of Tarawa was still fresh in these Marines minds and General Shepherds first concern was whether his men could get ashore through the murderous fire the defenders were capable of delivering on the beaches. His second was whether if they were successful in establishing a beachhead they could be supplied across five hundred yards of surf covered reef.

For ten days supporting ships and aircraft had pounded the beach defense for three days Navy demolition teams had been working at the removal of underwater entanglements and mines along the reefs, so transport ships could pass.

The beach defense of the Japanese was well organized. Concrete pillboxes were built in the coral cliffs and an elaborate trench system extended along the waters edge. Machine gun emplacements and tank traps bolstered the defenses and several guns in concrete blockhouses infiltrated the beaches, which were pocked with mines and studded with booby traps.

Assault troops of the 22d Marines moved rapidly ahead under Colonel Schneider with the successive waves of mopping up pockets of enemy resistance. Two hours after the first men were on the beach; the brigade had advanced 1000 yards inland between the southern outskirts of Agat and Bangi Point. The town of Agat was reduced to rubble by the pre-invasion bombardment, was overrun

In the southeast elements of the 4th Marines under Colonel Shapley worked toward Mount Alifan. While accompanying tanks neutralized pillboxes in front the infantry eliminated snipers in coconut trees and rice paddies. Beyond the line of ridges leading to Alifan were covered with Japanese strong points. It was a poor country for tanks and for the infantry who had to make their way up the hillside clutching roots among the sliding shale. By night the 4th Marines were along a thin, twisted line extending 1,600 yards from the beach to Harmon Road. During that night the men of the 4th and 22d Marines withstood several abortive night attacks from the Japanese. Under the cover of darkness about a company of Japanese soldier reached the vicinity of the regimental command post. At dawn sentries who gave the alarm detected them. When the smoke cleared 66 Imperial soldiers and 3 officers were found dead and six Marines wounded. The last of the counter attacks along the beachhead line ceased at dawn. The troops pushed forward with local reserves and restored their positions. More than 600 enemy dead were counted. In the morning the 4th Marines resumed their advance up the heights of Alifan. On July 22 the attack of the 22d Marines north of Agat was meeting moderate resistance and by late afternoon the regiment had gained its objectives. The Marines movement advanced along the ridge north of Maanot Pass. The 4th Marines continued mopping up operations in the Mount Alifan area, in preparation for relief by the 306th Infantry yet to land.

The advance of the 22d Marines met heavy resistance from enemy strongholds on a cluster of low hills north of Agat, and it was late afternoon before the final bunker there was neutralized.

During the afternoon the 306 Regimental Combat Team landed and the following day relieved the 4th Marines at the vicinity of Facpi Point. Upon the arrival of the 77th Division headquarters ashore, on July 24, units of that organization attached to the brigade were released and the 77th Division took over the defense of the brigade beachhead from Alifan south to Facpi Point.

The attack had now closed in far enough for direct assault on the airfield and on the morning of July 29 it began, with the usual accompaniment of air and artillery support. Toward the west the 4th Marines made rapid progress, using flame-throwers freely and capturing one thick-walled concrete tower where 125 Japanese were killed in a group. As the advance reached the tip of peninsula and mop-up operations in the rear began the usual symptoms of a Japanese break-up appeared. Some of the enemy leaped to their death from cliffs others destroyed themselves by holding grenades close to their chests while other still attempted to escape by swimming to Fort Santa Cruz in the Apra Harbor.

That afternoon throughout sporadic firing was still going on and the horizon was still seen with smoldering fires the United States flag was raised over the ruins of the former Marine Barracks, The 22d Marines who had captured the site, furnished a guard honor. Troops in the vicinity, both regimental commanders, Admiral Raymond Spruance, commander of the Fifth Fleet, and Lieutenant General Holland M. Smith, commander of the Fleet Marine Force, Pacific were all there. IT was a solemn moment when the Brigade commander paid tribute to the Marines of the Guam garrison who were overwhelmed by the Japanese landing forces during the first week of war. Colors were sounded on a Japanese bugle and the Stars and Stripes were raised on an improvised masthead.

Units of the brigade began leaving Guam on August 22 after the mop-up process was completed. By September all troops had reached their rehabilitation base at Guadalcanal. Here they were joined by the 29th Marines, Reinforced, recently arrived from the States, and on September 7, 1944 orders were received from the Commandant of the Marine Corps directing that the First Provisional Marine Brigade be redesigned the Sixth Marine Division with General Shepherd in command.

The services of the brigade in its brief career received full recognition. Both the infantry regimental commanders, Colonels Shapley and Schneider, received the Navy Cross and General Shepherd, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal. The brigade itself received the Navy Unit Commendation.
A letter given to the men that received the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * *

THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY
WASHINGTON

The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in commending the

FIRST PROVISIONAL MARINE BRIGADE

For service as follows:

For outstanding heroism in action against enemy Japanese forces during the invasion of Guam, Marianas Islands, from July 21 to August 10, 1944. Functioning as a combat unit for the first time, the First Provisional Marine Brigade forced a landing against hostile defenses and well camouflaged positions, steadily advancing inland under the relentless fury of the enemys heavy artillery, mortar and small arms fire to secure a firm beachhead by nightfall. Executing a difficult turning movement to the north, this daring and courageous unit fought its way ahead yard by yard throughout mangrove swamps, dense jungles and over cliffs and, although terrifically reduced in strength under the enemys fanatical counterattacks, hunted the Japanese in caves, pillboxes and foxholes and exterminated them. By their individual acts of gallantry and their indomitable fighting teamwork throughout this bitter and costly struggle, the men of the First Provisional Marine Brigade aided immeasurably in the restoration of Guam to our sovereignty.


Signed by James Forrestal Secretary of the Navy

All personnel serving in the First Provisional Marine Brigade, comprised of : Headquarters Company: Brigade Signal Company: Brigade Military Police Company: 4th Marines, Reinforced: 22nd Marines, Reinforced; Naval Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 515; and 4th Platoon, 2nd Marine Ammunition Company, during the above-mentioned period are hereby authorized to wear the NAVY UNIT COMMENTDATION Ribbon
.

Training the Division at Guadalcanal