SPOTLIGHT ON MARINE HEROES #3


THE 4TH MARINE DIVISION

"THE FIGHTING FOURTH"

The 4th Marine Division served 63 days in combat during World War II. That does not sound like much time and there were many other outfits that spent much longer in battle. But, the Fighting Fourth achieved one of the finest combat reputations in its short history. Over 80% of the original Marines assigned to the division became casualties in the Central Pacific campaigns against the Empire of Japan.

The Fighting Fourth earned the distinction of the Presidential Unit Citations in two of its campaigns. It was also the first Marine division to be committed from the continental United States directly into combat.

DATE OF ACTIVATION
16 August 1943
at Camp Pendleton, California

CAMPAIGN PARTICIPATION
Roi–Namur Assault
31 January–8 February 1944
(Operation FLINTLOCK)

Capture and Occupation of Saipan
15 June–24 July 1944
(Operation FORAGER)

Capture and Occupation of Tinian
24 July–7 August 1944
(Operation FORAGER)

Assault and Occupation of Iwo Jima
19 February–26 March 1945
(Operation DETACHMENT)

UNIT AWARDS TO
THE 4TH MARINE DIVISION


Presidential Unit Citation w/ 2 Bronze Stars
Navy Unit Commendation
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/4 Bronze Stars
World War II Victory Medal



(above) Marines of the 4th MarDiv hit the
beach on Namur. USMC Photo

PERSONAL AWARDS TO
4TH DIVISION MARINES

The Medal of Honor

8 awards

The Navy Cross

111 awards

The Silver Star

646 awards


The Bronze Star

2,517 awards

 

The Purple Heart

17,722 awards


INFANTRY REGIMENTS
23rd Marines
24th Marines
25th Marines

ARTILLERY REGIMENT
14th Marines

ENGINEER REGIMENT
20th Marines
(Activated June 1943–deactivated August 1944)

DIVISIONAL UNITS
Headquarters Battalion
4th Tank Battalion
4th Engineer Battalion
4th Pioneer Battalion
4th Service Battalion
4th Medical Battalion
4th Motor Transport Battalion

4TH MARINE DIVISION CASUALTIES
IN WORLD WAR II

 
Officer
Enlisted
Total
Killed in Action
155
2,619
2,774
Died of Wounds
29
495
524
Wounded
613
13,811
14,424
Total
797
16,925
17,722


(above) 4th MarDiv Marines move out across the shattered
landscape of Roi–Namur, February 1944 USMC Photo


(above) A Marine tank–infantry team on the
Saipan beachhead 15 June 1944 AP Photo


(above) Marine infantrymen move to contact on Saipan
June 1944 AP Photo


(above) Gyrenes of the 4th MarDiv open the division
post office on Iwo Jima–February 1945 USMC Photo

To learn more about the 4th MarDiv, visit
the Fighting Fourth website.

SOURCES:

The 4th Marine Division in World War II
US Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle

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