22nd Marine Regiment

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22nd Marine Regiment
22nd Marines insignia.jpg
22nd Marines’ insignia
  • June 1, 1942 - March 26, 1946
  • September 1, 1947 - October 17, 1949
Branch United States Marine Corps
Type Infantry regiment
Role Locate, close with and destroy the enemy with fire and maneuver
Engagements World War II
* Battle of Eniwetok
* Battle of Guam
* Battle of Okinawa

The 22nd Marine Regiment (22nd Marines) is an inactive infantry regiment of the United States Marine Corps. Activated for service in World War II, they fought in the battles of Eniwetok, Guam and Okinawa. The regiment was under the command of the 6th Marine Division; took part in the occupation of Northern China following the war and were subsequently deactivated in 1946. The regiment was reactivated at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia in 1947 as a school troop unit but were finally deactivated on October 17, 1949.


The 22nd Marine Regiment (Reinforced) was activated in Camp Linda Vista, which was part of Camp Elliot, California, on 1 June 1942. The 22nd Marines became the first Marine regiment organized for "independent" duty during World War II. The regiment consisted of three infantry battalions (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) and a headquarters company. Initially, the regiment also had the 2nd Separate Pack Howitzer Battalion, which was assigned to the 15th Marine Regiment upon its formation at Guadalcanal on 7 September 1944. During the Battle of Eniwetok, the 22nd Marines became the first Marine Corps unit to employ fire team tactics in combat.

On 19 July, the 22nd Marines departed for Western Samoa and Wallis Island. Once there, they trained for about one and a half years before moving again to Maui, Hawaii on Thanksgiving day, 1943. From there, the regiment finally shipped out destined for combat as a reserve force for the 4th Marine Division at Roi Namur. They were not used in the assaults on Roi Namur or Kwajalein, but did assault the Eniwetok Atoll along with the 106th Infantry Regiment in February 1944. The regiment was awarded a Navy Unit Citation for their performance at Eniwetok. Following Eniwetok, the regiment returned for mop-up work on the islands surrounding Roi Namur and Kwajalein, making no fewer than 26 landings - many of which were contested.[1]

22nd Marines on Okinawa
In late April 1944, the regiment departed for Guadalcanal to train for action on Guam. On 21 July 1944, the 22nd Marine Regiment, part of the 1st Marine Provisional Brigade, landed on Guam. Total 22nd Marine casualties on Guam were 271 killed in action or died from wounds received in action and 876 wounded in action. The regiment was awarded their second Navy Unit Citation.[2]

Following Guam, the regiment returned to Guadalcanal to train for the assault on Okinawa. On 7 September 1944, the 22nd Marines - along with the 4th Marines, 29th Marines, and other support units - became the 6th Marine Division. After sailing 6000 miles, the division landed on Okinawa on 1 April 1945. The 22nd Regiment fought for 82 days, taking heavy casualties. For their superior performance on Okinawa, the division was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.

The regiment shipped out for rest and refit at Guam. While recuperating on Guam the war ended and following the surrender of Japan, the entire 6th Marine Division was sent to Northern China to accept the surrender of Japanese forces there and helping to repatriate those soldiers and other Japanese nationals back to Japan. The 22nd Marines landed in Tsingtao on 11 October 1945 and were still there on 26 March 1946 when the 22nd Marines was officially deactivated.

The 22nd Regiment was reactivated as a school troop unit at Quantico, Virginia on 1 September 1947 before being deactivated for the final time on 17 October 1949.


The 22nd Marine Regiment has been presented with the following awards:

NavyPres.gif Presidential Unit Citation

100px-NUC.gif Navy Unit Commendation x 2

"For outstanding heroism in action against enemy Japanese forces during the invasion of Guam, Marianas Islands, from July 21 to August 10, 1944. Functioning as a combat unit for the first time, the First Provisional Marine Brigade forced a landing against strong hostile defenses and well camouflaged positions, steadily advancing inland under the relentless fury of the enemy's heavy artillery, mortar and small arms fire to secure a firm beachhead by nightfall. Executing a difficult turning movement to the north, this daring and courageous unit fought its way ahead yard by yard through mangrove swamps, dense jungles and over cliffs and, although terrifically reduced in strength under the enemy's fanatical counterattacks, hunted the Japanese in caves, pillboxes and foxholes and exterminated them. By their individual acts of gallantry and their indomitable fighting teamwork throughout this bitter and costly struggle, the men of the First Provisional Marine Brigade aided immeasurably in the restoration of Guam to our sovereignty."[3]

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal x 2

World War II Victory Medal

China Service Medal


  1. http://www.22dmarines.org/history.htm
  2. The Recapture of Guam, by Major O.R. Lodge, USMC, Historical Branch, G-3 Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps
  3. http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/III/USMC-III-I.html
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