Formed on Guadalcanal in September 1944, the Sixth Marine Division was composed of three infantry regiments: 4th Marines, 22nd Marines, 29th Marines, an artillery regiment: 15th Marines, and several support units.
The 4th MARINES was originally formed in 1911 and spent many years in China prior to WWII. They were known as THE CHINA MARINES. They were decimated during the early part of WW II on Bataan, but were reactivated to become part of the First Provisional Marine Brigade in time for the invasion of Guam in 1944. The regiment was composed of the Raider Battalions that won fame earlier in the war but were changed into a regular unit for the later stages.
The 22nd MARINES was formed on April 1, 1942. It was assigned to duty on Samoa, and in February 1944, it distinguished itself in the Eniwetok Campaign. It became part of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade and participated in the invasion of Guam.
The 29th Marines were a new unit for the most part and fresh from the States. They joined with the 1st Battalion to become a full regiment in time to complete the major infantry components of the 6th Marine Division. The 2nd and 3rd Battalions had recruits just out of boot camp along with seasoned veterans overseas for the second time sprinkled throughout the ranks. The 1st Battalion was drawn from veterans of the 2nd Marine Division that had participated in the Battle for Saipan, and A Co. had even fought on Tinian.
The artillery units of the 4th, 22nd, and 29th Marines were consolidated to form the 15th MARINES. The 6th MARINE 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.
It has a record of DISTINGUISHED SERVICE second to none and was awarded the coveted PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION as a result of its SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE during the Battle of Okinawa.
The word MELANESlA Is a collective name for the islands in the Pacific Ocean northeast of Australia. It was selected to commemorate the fighting in the Solomons of the Raider Battalions, which later comprised the 4th Marines.
MICRONESIA covers islands in the West Pacific Ocean, including the Marianas, Carolines, Marshalls, Palau and the Gilberts east of the Philippines, It was selected to commemorate the fighting of the 22nd Marines at Eniwetok, the Ist Provisional Marine Brigade at Guam, and the 1st Battalion, 29th Marines at Saipan.The word ORIENT was selected for two reasons: First, because China was the home of the 4th Marine Regiment, lost on Bataan, and later reactivated as a unit of the Sixth Marine Division. Second, it was anticipated that the final stages of the war would have to be fought in the Orient. The Crusader's sword is symbolic of the struggle against the tyrany of the Axis powers.
The 2016 Reunion will be held August 22-28
at the Embassy Suites in Norman, Oklahoma.
To join the Sixth Marine Division Association, please complete a membership application and mail with check made payable to:
"Sixth Marine Division Assn."
704 Cooper Court
Arlington, TX 76011