A VERY BRIEF HISTORY OF THE 22d MARINES
by Harold P. Hammann, Past President of the 22d Marines Association (http://22dmarines.org)
On 1 June 1942 the 22d Marines (Reinforced), Colonel John T. Walker, commanding, was established at Camp Elliott, California (Linda Vista Tent Area). This was a Regimental Combat Team (RCT), or one third of a Division.
Initial deployment to the Pacific Theater of Operations began on 18 June 1942. The first group sailed from San Diego on the troop transport Heywood, and arrived at Apia, on the Island of Upolu, Western Samoa on 29 June 1942. On 19 July 1942 the balance of the 22d Marines (Reinforced) boarded the SS Lurline and sailed from San Diego, arriving at Apia on 29 July 1942. The Regiment, then, was overseas less than two months after it was established. After about 16 months of island defense and extensive training, the regiment was ready for combat.
The Regiment started its movement to the Hawaiian Islands for replacements and additional training on 11 November 1943. The Regiment engaged the enemy for the first time in the battle of Eniwetok Atoll in the northwest area of the Marshall Islands. The initial assault commenced on 18 February 1944. Successful capture of the three main Islands: Engebi, Eniwetok and Parry occurred in a matter of six days. Mission accomplished, the Regiment embarked on 6 April 1944 for Guadalcanal for Rest, Recuperation, Replacements and Training (RRR&T).
At Guadalcanal the Regiment became part of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, Brigadier General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr. commanding. The other half of the Brigade was the 4th Marines (Reinforced). After a few months of training on Guadalcanal, the Brigade was ready. It did not take long for the assignment to come. This battle was to be for the Island of Guam, in the Marianas. On 21 July 1944 the Brigade attacked the southern part of the Island near the City of Agat. Within approximately 20 days the island was declared free of all organized resistance.
On 23 August 1944 the 22d Marines sailed once again for Guadalcanal and more RRR&T. Then the 22d Marines, 4th Marines and the newly established 29th Marines, along with all support groups, were joined to form the 6th Marine Division, Major General Shepherd commanding.
Next came the Battle of Okinawa, part of the Ryukus Islands, and the only Japanese homeland captured during World War II. This battle started on 1 April 1945 and lasted until 21 June 1945.
After considerable time in the occupation of China to assist United States citizens who had been stranded there, to arrange for the repatriation of Japanese, military and civilian, and attend to the maintenance of order and public services, the 6th Division was disbanded on 26 March 1946.