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6th Marine Division (United States): Wikis


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6th Marine Division
6th MarDiv.png
6th Marine Division insignia
Active September 7, 1944 – March 31, 1946
Country United States
Branch USMC
Type Infantry division
Role Locate close with and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver
Nickname The Striking Sixth
Engagements World War II
* Battle of Okinawa
Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr.

The 6th Marine Division of the United States Marine Corps was a short-lived infantry division created during World War II for the Battle of Okinawa and the planned invasion of Japan. The Division was in existence for only 19 months and was the only Marine division to be formed and disbanded overseas, never to see service in the United States.


Subordinate Units

6th Service Battalion
6th Medical Battalion
6th Motor Transport Battalion
Scout and Sniper Company


The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was formed in May 1944, comprising the new 4th and the 22nd Marine Regiments, under the command of BGen Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr. The unit's commanding officer was 2nd Lieutenant Wilbur Gerhke of Santa Rosa California. He was awarded the Navy Cross and Distinguished Service Medal for heroism in battle. The unit also included the famous Native American Red Cloud. It fought in the Battle of Guam in July and August.

The division was formed on 7 September 1944 on Guadalcanal, by expanding the brigade. The new 29th Marine Regiment was added to the division, and the artillery components of the three regiments were reorganized as the 15th Marine Regiment.

After training on Guadalcanal, the division fought in the Battle of Okinawa, landing on April 1, 1945 as part of III Amphibious Corps.

In July, the division was withdrawn to Guam to prepare for Operation Coronet, the invasion of Honshū planned for April, 1946. After the Japanese surrendered in August, the 6th Division was sent to Tsingtao, China to accept the surrender of the Japanese forces in that area—less the 4th Marines, which was detached and sent to Tokyo to participate in the formal surrender there. The division remained in China until it was disbanded in Tsingtao on March 31, 1946.

Medal of Honor recipients

Six Marines from the division have been awarded the Medal of Honor:

Unit awards

A unit citation or commendation is an award bestowed upon an organization for the action cited. Members of the unit who participated in said actions are allowed to wear on their uniforms the awarded unit citation. The 6th Marine Division has been presented with the following awards:

NavyPres.gif Presidential Unit Citation
Navy Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Navy Unit Commendation
American Defense Service ribbon.svg American Defense Service Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon.svg Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation ribbon.svg
Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asia clasp
China Service Medal ribbon.svg
China Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg
National Defense Service Medal

See also


  1. ^ Rottman (2002) p.140.


  • Rottman, Gordon L. (2002). U.S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle: Ground and Air Units in the Pacific War. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-31906-5.  

External links



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