The following listing of events is limited to those coming within the scope of this book, and those forecasting events to be treated in the volume to follow.
1935 5 Jun Aviation Section of the Headquarters staff is taken from the Division of Operations and Training and established as an independent section in the Office of the Commandant. 9 Jul Marine Corps Schools at Quantico, Virginia, publishes the Tentative Landing Operations Manual. 1 Sep Headquarters, Fleet Marine Force, is transferred from Quantico, Virginia, to San Diego, California. 1936 1 Apr Division of Aviation established at Headquarters Marine Corps. 1937 27 Jan The 1st and 2d Marine Brigades, the U.S. Army 1st Expeditionary Brigade, and the 1st and 2d Marine Aircraft Groups conduct Fleet Exercise No. 3 near San Diego, California. 1938 1 Jul Marine Corps Reserve reconstituted to consist of a Fleet Marine Corps Reserve, and Organized Marine Corps Reserve, and a Volunteer Marine Corps Reserve. 1939 1 Sep World War II breaks out in Europe. 8 Sep The President proclaims a "limited national emergency". Marine Corps strength increased to 25,000 men. 1940 Jun Congress authorizes the Navy to begin a 10,000-plane construction program, with 1,167 aircraft allocated for Marine aviation. Marine Corps plans to organize 4 groups of 11 squadrons each. 5 Oct Secretary of the Navy puts all organized Marine reserve ground units and aviation squadrons on short notice for call to active duty. 1941 15 Mar The Fleet Marine Force is divided, with the 1st Marine Division at Quantico, Virginia, becoming part of the Atlantic Fleet and the 2d Marine Division at San Diego, California, becoming part of the Pacific Fleet. Jun First Joint Training Force (JTF-1), consisting of the 1st Marine Division, the 1st Marine Aircraft Group, and the U.S. Army 1st Infantry Division organized at Quantico, Virginia, under the command of Major General Holland M. Smith. 1 Nov Second Joint Training Force (JTF-2), composed of the 2d Marine Division, the U.S. Army 3d Infantry Division, and the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing organized at Camp Elliott, San Diego, California, to become a part of the Pacific Fleet.
7 Dec Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. 1942 9 Apr End of American resistance on Bataan. 6 May Japanese capture Corregidor. 23 May Training Center, Fleet Marine Force, organized at Marine Barracks, New River, North Carolina, to include all Fleet Marine Force units and replacements except the 1st Marine Division. 7 Aug 1st Marine Division lands on Guadalcanal. 15 Aug Marine Aircraft Wings, Pacific, established at San Diego, California, under Major General Ross E. Rowell. 1943 14-23 Jan Casablanca Conference. Agreement reached to advance toward Philippines through Central and Southwest Pacific, and to terminate hostilities only upon unconditional surrender of Japan. 21 Jan Marine Fleet Air, West Coast (MarFAirWest) organized under Colonel Lewis G. Merritt at San Diego, California. 26 Jan Headquarters of the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing established at Efate, New Hebrides. 9 Feb End of organized Japanese resistance on Guadalcanal. 12-25 May TRIDENT Conference in Washington gives general approval to plan for a drive on Japan through the Central Pacific. 14-24 Aug QUADRANT Conference at Quebec. CCS decide to attack Japan along both Central and Southwest Pacific routes. 4 Sep V Amphibious Corps organized under Maj-Gen Holland M. Smith to train and control troops for amphibious landings in the Central Pacific. 20 Nov Marines land on Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands. 21 Dec Dive bombers of the 4th Base Defense Aircraft Wing carry out an attack against Jaluit Atoll, the first such target in the Marshall Islands. 30 Dec Advance Headquarters of the 4th Marine Base Defense Aircraft Wing established on Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands. 1944 31 Jan-7 Feb U.S. Forces invade and capture Majuro and Kwajalein Atolls in the Marshall Islands. 4 Feb Marine aircraft carry out first photographic reconnaissance of the Japanese base at Truk in the Carolines. 17 Feb Combined Marine-Army force lands on Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshalls. 12 Mar JCS direct seizure of Southern Marianas, target date 15 Jun 1944. 28 Apr The 1st Marine Division (Reinf), commanded by Major General William H. Rupertus, is relieved on new Britain and prepares to move to Pavuvu in the Russell Islands. 15 Jun The Marine V Amphibious Corps under Lieutenant General Holland M. Smith lands on Saipan in the Mariana Islands. U.S. Navy carrier task force strikes the Volcano-Bonin Islands in first raid on these groups. First B-29 strikes launched from China bases against mainland of Japan. FEAF established under Lieutenant General George C. Kenney. AirNorSols formed under Major General Ralph J. Mitchell.
19-20 Jun Battle of the Philippine Sea. Carrier aircraft of TF 58 engage planes from enemy carriers and inflict crippling losses. 24 Jun U.S. Navy carrier task force again hits Volcano-Bonin Islands, including Iwo Jima. 4 Jul Renewed carrier attacks against Volcano-Bonins. 14 Jul Joint Staff Study for Operation STALEMATE (invasion of the Palaus) issued. 21 Jul III Amphibious Corps lands on Guam in the Marianas. 24 Jul 4th Marine Division lands on Tinian in the Marianas. 1 Aug End of organized enemy resistance on Tinian. 10 Aug End of organized Japanese resistance on Guam. 15 Aug III Amphibious Corps, upon completing its operation in the Marianas, is committed to invasion of the Palaus. 15 Sep The 1st Marine Division, under Major General Rupertus, lands on the southwestern shore of Peleliu Island. U.S. Army troops land on Morotai, Netherlands East Indies, and capture airfield on that island. JCS decide to invade Central rather than Southern Philippines and advance target date for invasion of Leyte from 20 December to 20 October 1944. 17 Sep 81st Infantry Division, as part of III Amphibious Corps, lands on Angaur. 23 Sep U.S. Army troop seize Ulithi as advance naval base. 28 Sep The 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, (Reinf), under Major John H. Gustafson, lands on Ngesebus and Kongauru Islands in the Palaus, supported by VMF-114. 30 Sep Peleliu, Angaur, Ngesebus, and Kongaru declared occupied. 3 Oct JCS directive orders occupation of one or more islands in the Volcano-Bonins. 9 Oct Admiral Nimitz informs General Smith that Iwo Jima is to be the objective in the Volcano-Bonins. 12 Oct Peleliu become a Marine island command similar to Guam and Tinian. 14 Oct V Amphibious Corps directed to prepare plans for the Iwo Jima operation. 18 Oct Landing on Homonhon Island. 20 Oct U.S. Army troops invade Leyte. The 1st Marine Division (Reinf) on Peleliu is relieved by the U.S. Army 81st Infantry Division. 21 Oct Marine Carrier Groups, Aircraft, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, established at Santa Barbara, California, under Colonel Albert D. Cooley. Marine 5th and 11th 155mm Artillery Battalions as part of XXIV Corps Artillery in general support of U.S. Army 7th Infantry Division on Leyte. 23-26 Oct Battle of Leyte Gulf which ends in U.S. Naval victory.
4 Nov VMF-122, commanded by Major Joseph H. Reinburg, supports U.S. Army landing on Pulo Anna Island south of the Palaus. 5 Nov Marine Corsair fighter-bombers based in the Marshalls hit Nauru Island in the Gilberts, setting a distance record for Corsairs with full bomb loads. 11-12 Nov U.S. Navy surface forces rock Iwo Jima with heavy bombardment. 16 Nov Marine Corsairs from Peleliu and Avengers from Ulithi launch a coordinated attack against Yap Island, west of Ulithi. 25 Nov CinCPOA issues operation plan for invasion of Iwo Jima. Tentative date 3 February 1945. 3 Dec VMF(N)-541 and VMF-115, -211, -218, and -313 of MAG-12 arrive at Tacloban, Leyte, to provide air defense. 7 Dec MAG-12 aircraft, under Colonel William A. Willis, support U.S. Army landings at Ormoc, Leyte. 8 Dec U.S. Navy surface units shell Iwo Jima. 11 Dec Major Marine air attack on Japanese convoy, Ormoc Bay. 15 Dec MAG-12 aircraft support landing of U.S. Amy on Mindoro in the Philippines. 24-27 Dec U.S. Navy surface units bombard Volcano-Bonin Islands including Iwo Jima. 25 Dec Leyte declared secured. Eighth Army relieves Sixth Army. 1945 2-12 Jan MAG-14 with VMO-251 and VMF-212, -222, and -223 land at Guiuan, Samar. 5 Jan U.S. Navy vessels shell Iwo Jima. 9 Jan U.S. Sixth Army invades Luzon. 24 Jan U.S. naval surface force shells Iwo Jima. 25 Jan First Marine dive bombers arrive on Luzon. 27 Jan Marine dive bombers fly their first mission in the Philippines. 1 Feb Aircraft of Saipan-based Marine Bombing Squadron 612 begin nightly rocket attacks against enemy shipping and installations in the Volcano Islands. 1-4 Feb Marine dive bombers of MAG-24 and MAG-32 protect the left flank of the 1st Cavalry Division during its drive to Manila. 13 Feb Final rehearsals for Iwo Jima operation concluded off coast of Tinian. 15-16 Feb V Amphibious Corps Landing Force departs Marianas after final rehearsals for assault on Iwo Jima. 16 Feb TF 58 under Admiral Mitscher launches two day air strike against the Japanese mainland to divert attention from the imminent Iwo Jima operation. 16-18 Feb Amphibious Support Force (TF 52) bombs and shells Iwo Jima in the course of the preparatory bombardment. 19 Feb The 4th and 5th Marine Divisions size foothold on Iwo Jima. 21 Feb 21st Marines of the 3d Marine Division committed in zone of action of the 4th Division. Enemy executes kamikaze attack on support ships off Iwo Jima. 23 Feb Combat patrol of the 28th Marines raises Old Glory on Mount Suribachi. Manila falls to U.S. Army troops.
25 Feb 3d Marine Division committed on Iwo Jima. General unloading of cargo gets under way. Elements of MAG-32 arrive on Mindoro, Philippines, to support U.S. Army troops. 26 Feb Two Marine artillery spotter planes from the USS Wake Island land on Iwo Jima and become the first American planes to land on the island. 27 Feb 3d Marine Division captures the Central Airfield on Iwo Jima and seizes Hills Peter and Oboe. 28 Feb U.S. Army troops invade Palawan in the Philippines. 2 Mar 5th Marine Division captures Hill 362A on Iwo Jima. 3 Mar Elements of MAG-12, MAG-24, and MAG-32 support U.S. Army landings on Masbate, Burias, and Ticao Islands in the Philippines. 4 Mar First B-29 bomber lands on Iwo Jima after being damaged over Japan. 6 Mar U.S. Army Air Forces 15th Fighter Group arrives on Iwo Jima with P-51s and P-61s. 7 Mar Major General James E. Chaney (USA), Island Commander, assumes responsibility for Iwo Jima base development, air defense, and airfield operation.
3d Marine Division launches predawn attack against Hill 362C and captures this objective later in the day.
8 Mar 4th Marine Division repels counterattack during the night 8-9 March. 9 Mar General Holland M. Smith transfers his command post from the Eldorado to the Auburn. Admiral Turner and his staff on board Eldorado depart for Guam.
Rear Admiral Harry W. Hill assumes duties of Senior Officer Present Afloat, Iwo Jima.
10 Mar MAG-12 and MAG-32 aircraft support U.S. Army landings on Zamboanga in the Philippines. American troops land on Mindanao in the Philippines. 11 Mar Iwo-based Army Air Forces fighters assume responsibility for providing air defense and ground support missions when last Navy escort carriers leave. 14 Mar Official flag raising ceremony marks proclamation of U.S. Naval Military Government in the Volcano Islands. Commander, Expeditionary Troops, departs for Guam. 15 Mar Corsairs of MAG-12 arrive on Zamboanga. Close support of U.S. Army 41st Infantry Division gets under way. 16 Mar Cushman's Pocket on Iwo Jima eliminated. End of organized resistance in zone of action of the 3d Marine Division.
Last enemy pocket in 4th Division zone wiped out.
Iwo Jima declared secured at 1800.
18 Mar U.S. Army troops invade Panay in the Philippines.
20 Mar U.S. Army 147th Infantry Regiment arrives on Iwo Jima for garrison duty. 23 Mar Dive bombers of MAG-32 move from Luzon to Zamboanga. 25 Mar 5th Marine Division eliminates final enemy pocket of resistance on Iwo Jima. 26 Mar Japanese launch early morning attack against Marine and U.S. Army bivouac areas on Iwo Jima. Capture and occupation phase announced completed as of 0800.
Commander, FOrward Area, Central Pacific, assumes responsibility for defense and development of Iwo Jima.
Major General Chaney assumes operational control of all units on Iwo Jima.
V Amphibious Corps command post on Iwo Jima closed. Major General Schmidt departs Iwo Jima by air.
U.S. Army troops invade Cebu in the Philippines, supported by aircraft of MAG-12.
1 Apr Invasion of Okinawa gets under way.
U.S. Army troops land in the Sulu Archipelago and on Jolo Island in the Philippines.
14 Apr MAG-24 dive bombers fly last Marine aviation mission on Luzon. 17 Apr MAG-12, MAG-14, and MAG-32 support U.S. Army landings on Mindanao in the Philippines. 18 Apr Last Marines depart from Iwo Jima. 20 Apr Dive bombers of MAG-24 move from Luzon to Malabang. 22 Apr MAG-24 dive bombers begin operations from Malabang. 7 May End of war in European Theater. 25 May JCS direct invasion of Japan, scheduled for 1 November 1945. 21 Jun End of organized resistance on Okinawa. 6 Aug Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. 9 Aug Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki. 2 Sep Japanese sign instrument of surrender in Tokyo Bay.
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