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 Sixth. They were composed of the former Raider Battalions which distinguished themselves during the early stages of the War.
The 22nd MARINES was formed on April 1, 1942. It was assigned to duty on Samoa and in February 1944, distinguished itself in the Eniwetok Campaign. It became part of the 1st Provisional Marine
Brigade and participated in the invasion of Guam.The: 1st Battalion, 29th MARINES, was blooded in the Saipan Campaign, being instrumental in the capture of Mount Topatchau. "A" Company landed 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.
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