Sixth Marine Division
Official Website
History of the Sixth Marine Division


A Marine scans what remains of Naha on the island of Okinawa during the 1945 battle

From Guadalcanal to China

The Sixth Marine Division was the last to be formed in World War II. It knew no other time. It lasted only six months after the war ended. Built around the First Provisional Marine Brigade following the attack on Guam, the division coalesced in the late summer and fall of 1944. Guadalcanal became its home. The Marine Corps had reached its full strength. Though no one knew it, the war had reached its final phase.

As the needed troops were accumulated, training accelerated. Veterans of previous battles were not headed home as they had hoped. There was still fighting for them to do. Newcomers from the States arrived straight from advanced training, and others from what they had thought were safe posts. The overseas orders for this last group were made possible by the Women Marines who replaced them.

There also were some Marines again in the U.S. after a combat tour. They may have thought they were through with the war. They weren't. "Once more into the breach, dear friends...." That was Shakespeare, but war is still war. It was hard coming back.

We'll tell you all about it: From Guadalcanal to Okinawa to Guam to China and Japan, some more from other units and Back Home. From memory, history, various reports, tall tales, USMC records and any sources we can find. The division web site may be unique in this regard. The other five Marine Division web sites have either gone on to other wars or have eased up after so many years have passed.

Our story begins in 1944 and ends when we stood down in 1946. For continuity's sake we will be mentioning some things from earlier in the war. There are not many of us left at this writing in 2016, but we remember. It was one hell of a time. It is 70 years later, but we hope you find it interesting. It certainly was interesting to us back then.

~ JWS
    1/2/16

More History

We're just getting started. Look for this section to expand as we add new material.

Here's what we have so far:

☆ Formation of the Division

☆ The Battle of Okinawa

☆ Other History