SPOTLIGHT ON MARINE HEROES #2

The 2nd Marine Division at Tarawa
20-23 November 1943

Presidential Unit Citation


(above) Marines wading ashore at Tarawa
USMC Photo

THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY
WASHINGTON, D. C.

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION to the

SECOND MARINE DIVISION(REINFORCED)

consisting of
Division Headquarters, Special Troops (including Company C, 1st Corps Medium Tank Battalion, Service Troops, 2nd, 6th, 8th, 10th and 18th Marine Regiments in the Battle of Tarawa, as set forth in the following

CITATION:

"For outstanding performance in combat during the seizure and occupation of the Japanese-held Atoll of Tarawa, Gilbert Islands, November 20 to 24, 1943. Forced by the treacherous coral reefs to disembark from their landing craft hundreds of yards off the beach, the Second Marine Division (Reinforced) became a highly vulnerable target for devastating Japanese fire. Dauntlessly advancing in spite of rapidly mounting losses, the Marines fought a gallant battle against crushing odds, clearing the limited beachheads of snipers and machine guns, reducing powerfully fortified enemy positions and completely annihilating the fanatically determined and strongly entrenched Japanese forces. By the successful occupation of Tarawa, the Second Marine Division (Reinforced) has provided our forces with highly strategic and important air and land bases from which to continue future operations against the enemy; by the valiant fighting spirit of these men, their heroic fortitude under punishing fire and their relentless perseverance in waging this epic battle in the Central Pacific, they have upheld the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

For the President

JAMES FORRESTAL
Secretary of the Navy


(above) The Hard Road to Triumph: depicting the 2nd Marine Division
at Tarawa - November 1943 by Kerr Eby US Navy Art Collection

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