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WWII

December 7,1941 - August 15,1945

SELECTED WORLD WAR II MARINE CORPS CHRONOLOGY 1941 - 1946

1 February 1941 - 1st and 2d Marine Divisions activated on east and west coast, respectively, by redesignation of the 1st and 2d Marine Brigades.

16 June 1941 - 1st Marine Brigade (Provisional), consisting of the 6th Marines and 5th Defense Battalion, organized at Charleston, South Carolina, for duty in Iceland.

30 June 1941 - The active duty strength of the Marine Corps was 54,359 (3,339 officers and 51,020 enlisted men).

7 July 1941 - 1st Marine Aircraft Wing activated at Quantico.

7 July 1941 - 1st Marine Brigade (Provisional) landed in Iceland.

10 July 1941 - 2d Marine Aircraft Wing activated at San Diego.

27-28 November - 4th Marines evacuated from Shanghai, China, for the 1941 Philippines.

7 December 1941 - Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and Midway.

8 December 1941 - U.S. declares war on Japan.

8 December 1941 - Japanese attack American garrisons, including Marines, at Wake, Guam, and Philippines.

10 December 1941 - Japanese land on and capture Guam, including Marine Barracks defenders.

23 December 1941 - Japanese land on and capture Wake, including 1st Defense Battalion detachment and VMF-211.

24 December 1941 - 2d Marine Brigade activated at Camp Elliott, California, for duty in Samoan Islands.

25 March 1942 - 1st Marine Brigade (Provisional) disbanded in New York upon its arrival from Iceland. Components returned to parent units.

5-6 May - Japanese landed on Corregidor in the Philippines and the 1942 garrison, including the 4th Marines (Reinforced), was captured.

1 June 1942 - Recruiting of black Marines began.

4 June 1942 - Japanese attacked Midway whose defenders included Marine Aircraft Group 22 and the 6th Marine Defense Battalion (Reinforced).

30 June 1942 - The active duty strength of the Marine Corps was 142,613 (7,138 officers and 135,475 enlisted men).

7 August 1942 - 1st Marine Division landed in assault against Japanese forces on Guadalcanal and Tulagi, Solomon Islands.

15 August 1942 - Headquarters, Marine Aircraft Wings, Pacific activated at San Diego.

17-18 August - 2d Raider Battalion landed from submarines on Makin 1942 Island in the Gilberts and destroyed Japanese garrison.

20 August 1942 - Forward echelon of Marine Aircraft Group 23 arrived on Guadalcanal.

22 August 1942 - 4th Marine Base Defense Aircraft Wing activated at Ewa, Oahu, Hawaii.

3 September 1942 - The command echelon of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing arrived at Guadalcanal.

16 September 1942 - 3d Marine Division activated at Camp Elliott, California.

1 October 1942 - I Marine Amphibious Corps activated at San Diego.

7 November 1942 - U.S. Marine Corps Women’s Reserve authorized.

10 November 1942 - 3d Marine Aircraft Wing activated at Cherry Point, North Carolina.

5 December 1942 - All volunteer enlistments in the Armed Forces for men 18-37 halted. All men in this age bracket, starting in January 1943, would be drafted through the Selective Service System. The Marine Corps continued to enlist 17-year-old volunteers and to encourage Selective Service volunteers.

9 December 1942 - 1st Marine Division relieved at Guadalcanal and departed for Australia. 2d Marine Division remained.

25 January 1943 - Composite Army-Marine Division (25th Infantry and 2d Marine units) established to complete defeat of Japanese on Guadalcanal.

9 February 1943 - Guadalcanal declared secure.

13 February 1943 - Organization and recruitment of Marine Corps Women’s Reserve officially announced.

21 February 1943 - Army troops and Marines of the 3d Raider Battalion seize the Russell Islands.

21 March 1943 - 3d Marine Brigade activated at New River, North Carolina, for duty in Western Samoa.

31 March 1943 - 2d Marine Brigade deactivated at Pago Pago, Samoa.

21-22 June - 4th Raider Battalion, with Army reinforcements, landed 1943 at Segi Point in the New Georgia Group, beginning the New Georgia campaign.

30 June 1943 - The active duty strength of the Marine Corps was 308,523 (21,384 officers and 287,139 enlisted men and women).

16 August 1943 - 4th Marine Division activated at Camp Pendleton, California.

25 August 1943 - Bairoko Harbor captured on New Georgia, ending Japanese resistance on the island.

25 August 1943 - V Amphibious Corps activated at Camp Elliott, California.

28 October 1943 - 2d Parachute Battalion landed on Choiseul Island in a diversionary raid prior to the Bougainville operation.

1 November 1943 - 3d Marine Division (Reinforced) landed in assault on Bougainville at Cape Torokina as part of I Marine Amphibious Corps.

8 November 1943 - 3d Marine Brigade deactivated at Apia, Western Samoa.

16 November 1943 - Tactical Group I activated under V Amphibious Corps for the Eniwetok operation.

20 November 1943 - 2d Marine Division (Reinforced) landed in assault on Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, as part of the V Amphibious Corps.

23 November 1943 - All organized Japanese resistance on Betio ceased.

28 November 1943 - Last organized Japanese resistance on Tarawa Atoll ceased.

15 December 1943 - Army XIV Corps assumed control of Bougainville operation from I Marine Amphibious Corps.

26 December 1943 - 1st Marine Division landed in assault on Cape Gloucester, New Britain.

1 January 1944 - LtGen Alexander A. Vandegrift became the 18th Commandant of the Marine Corps relieving LtGen Thomas Holcomb.

16 January 1944 - The withdrawal of the 3d Marine Division from Bougainville was completed.

21 January 1944 - 5th Marine Division activated at Camp Pendleton, California, as part of the V Amphibious Corps.

31 January 1944 - Troops of the 4th Marine Division, as part of V Amphibious Corps, landed on and captured adjoining islands to Roi-Namur, Kwajalein Atoll. 7th Infantry Division, also under V Amphibious Corps, similarly captured islands lying off Kwajalein Island.

1 February 1944 - 4th Marine Division assault troops landed on Roi-Namur. 7th Infantry Division troops assaulted Kwajalein.

2 February 1944 - All organized Japanese resistance on Roi-Namur ceased.

8 February 1944 - Kwajalein Atoll declared secure.

10 February 1944 - Operations in the Cape Gloucester area of New Britain were declared ended.

17 February 1944 - Units of the 22d Marines began landing on islands of Eniwetok Atoll under command of Tactical Group 1, V Amphibious Corps.

22 February 1944 - Capture of Parry Island by 22d Marines completed successful capture of Eniwetok Atoll by Marine and Army assault forces.

20 March 1944 - 4th Marines (Reinforced) landed on and secured Emirau, St. Matthias Islands, completing isolation of Japanese stronghold at Rabaul, New Britain.

22 March 1944 - Tactical Group 1 deactivated in the Marshalls. 22d Marines became separate regiment again.

22 March 1944 - Headquarters, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade activated at Pearl Harbor for the Guam operation.

1 April 1944 - 9th Marine Aircraft Wing activated at Cherry Point, North Carolina.

14 April 1944 - I Marine Amphibious Corps redesignated III Amphibious Corps.

4 May 1944 - Last elements of the 1st Marine Division withdrew from New Britain.

5 June 1944 - Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet issued a dispatch naming the Commanding General, V Amphibious Corps as commanding general of all Marine units in the Pacific Ocean Area and providing for the establishment of Fleet Marine Force, Pacific under his command.

15 June 1944 - Assault troops of the V Amphibious Corps (2d and 4th Marine Divisions) landed on Saipan, Mariana Islands.

30 June 1944 - The active duty strength of the Marine Corps was 475,604 (32,788 officers and 442,816 enlisted men and women).

9 July 1944 - Saipan declared secure.

21 July 1944 - Assault troops of the III Amphibious Corps (3d Marine Division and 1st Provisional Marine Brigade) landed on Guam, Mariana Islands.

24 July 1944 - Assault troops of the 4th Marine Division, followed by those of the 2d Marine Division, landed on Tinian in a shore-to-shore amphibious attack mounted from Saipan.

1 August 1944 - Tinian declared secure.

10 August 1944 - All organized resistance on Guam ceased.

7 September 1944 - 1st Provisional Marine Brigade redesignated 6th Marine Division on Guadalcanal.

15 September 1944 - 1st Marine Division (Reinforced), as part of the III Amphibious Corps, landed in assault on Peleliu, Palau Islands.

16 September 1944 - Marine Aircraft Wings, Pacific redesignated as Aircraft, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific.

17 September 1944 - Headquarters, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific was formally activated and took control of all Fleet Marine Force commands.

12 October 1944 - The assault phase of the Peleliu operation declared over.

16 October 1944 - The last combat elements of the 1st Marine Division on Peleliu relieved by troops of the 81st Infantry Division.

10 November 1944 - 4th Marine Base Defense Aircraft Wing redesignated 4th Marine Aircraft Wing.

19 February 1945 - Assault troops of the V Amphibious Corps (4th and 5th Marine Division with 3d Marine Division in reserve) began Landing on Iwo Jima, Bonin Islands.

23 February 1945 - Combat patrol from 28th Marines raises American flag on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima.

16 March 1945 - Iwo Jima declared secured.

1 April 1945 - Tenth Army, including XXIV Corps and III Amphibious Corps (1st and 6th Marine Divisions with the 2d Marine Division in reserve) and Tactical Air Force, Tenth Army

(primarily 2d Marine Aircraft Wing) landed in assault on Okinawa.

12 April 1945 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt died at Warm Springs, Georgia. Vice President Harry S. Truman sworn into office as President.

21 June 1945 - Okinawa declared secured.

30 June 1945 - The active duty strength of the Marine Corps was 474,680 (37,067 officers and 437,613 enlisted men and women).

5 July 1945 - Philippines campaign, in which Marine air and artillery units participated, declared ended.

10 August 1945 - Fleet Landing Force (4th Marines and Marine and sailor landing forces of Task Force 31) authorized for the occupation of the Yokosuka area of Japan.

14 August 1945 - President Truman announced that a cease fire with Japan was in effect and the war had ended.

30 August 1945 - 4th Marines, as part of Fleet Landing Force, landed at Yokosuka Naval Base on Toyko Bay.

2 September 1945 - Formal signing of surrender terms took place on board the battleship Missouri in Toyko Bay.

7 September 1945 - First echelon of MAG-31 flew into Yokosuka Airfield, the first Marine aviation unit to operate in Japan.

20 September 1945 - Fleet Landing Force at Yokosuka deactivated.

22 September 1945 - 5th Marine Division, V Amphibious Corps, began landing at Sasebo, Kyushu, Japan, as part of the occupation force.

23 September 1945 - 2d Marine Division, V Amphibious Corps, began landing at Nagasaki, Kyushu, Japan, as part of the occupation force.

30 September 1945 - Leading elements of the III Amphibious Corps (1st Marine Division and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing) began landing At Tangku, Hopei, North China, for the purpose of disarming and repatriating Japanese troops.

11 October 1945 - 6th Marine Division, III Amphibious Corps, began landing at Tsingtao, Shantung, North China, for the purpose of disarming and repatriating Japanese troops.

28 November 1945 - 4th Marine Division deactivated at Camp Pendleton, California.

28 December 1945 - 3d Marine Division deactivated on Guam.

31 December 1945 - 3d Marine Aircraft Wing deactivated at Ewa, Oahu, Hawaii.

28 January 1946 - 1st Special Marine Brigade activated in Quantico and Camp Lejeune as a ready force for expeditionary service.

5 February 1946 - 5th Marine Division deactivated at Camp Pendleton, California.

15 February 1946 - V Amphibious Corps deactivated in Japan.

26 March 1946 - 4th Marine Aircraft Wing deactivated at San Diego.

31 March 1946 - 9th Marine Aircraft Wing deactivated at Cherry Point.

1 April 1946 - 6th Marine Division redesignated 3d Marine Brigade at Tsingtao, North China.

10 June 1946 - III Amphibious Corps deactivated at Tientsin, and 3d Marine Brigade at Tsingtao, North China. All remaining Marine units reorganized as Marine Forces, China, primarily 1st Marine Division, 4th Marines attached, and 1st Marine Aircraft wing.

30 June 1946 - The active duty strength of the Marine Corps was 155,679 (14,208 officers and 141,471 enlisted men and women).

1 August 1946 - Marine garrison at Tsingtao reduced to reinforced battalion strength, 3d Battalion, 4th Marines.

31 August 1946 - 1st Special Marine Brigade at Quantico and Camp Lejeune deactivated.

1 October 1946 - All Reservists and all draftees became eligible for discharge regardless of length of service.

16 December 1946 - Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, activated at Camp Lejeune. 2d Marine Aircraft Wing redesignated Aircraft, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic.

Reference Section
History and Museums Division


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