The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in commending the
THIRD BATTALION, TENTH MARINES, SECOND MARINE DIVISION
FLEET MARINE FORCE
for service as follows:
"For outstanding heroism while serving with the 2d Marine Division in action against enemy Japanese forces on the island of Saipan in the Marianas, July 7, 1944. When Japanese forces initiated a final concerted attack down the west coast of the island before dawn of July 7, the 3rd Battalion, 10th Marines, was occupying a newly won position astride the railway along the west coast road, with two batteries disposed on the left of the railroad and the remaining two on the right and echeloned to the rear. The mounting enemy attack penetrated the extreme left flank of our front lines and moved between the coast road and the railway. Security elements to the front of the forward batteries recognized and gave battle to the oncoming force of approximately 600 Japanese supported by tanks. Battalion howitzers opened up at point-blank range, firing shells with cut fuzes; gunners employed ricochet fire when the fanatic banzai troops over-ran the forward section; and the cannoneers, command post and supply personnel in the rear positions united as one to engage the infiltrating Japanese soldiery. Under the forceful direction of skilled officers, this artillery battalion functioned effectively as an infantry unit despite the lack of specific training, the four batteries waging a furious and prolonged battle from quickly organized strongpoints and holding the line indomitably until relieved several hours later. Strengthened by fresh troops, the defending garrison continued its counter-and-thrust tactics and, recapturing the heavy guns which had fallen into hostile hands, knocked out three of the enemy tanks and annihilated approximately three hundred Japanese troops. By their valor, determination and sustained fighting spirit, the intrepid officers and men of the 3rd Battalion, 10th Marines, had succeeded in breaking the enemy's last desperate effort to oppose the seizure of Saipan, thereby hastening the conquest of this strategically important base. Their gallant defense of a vulnerable position in the face of overwhelming disparity adds new luster to the traditions of the United States Naval Service."
All personnel attached to the 3rd Battalion, 10th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, on July 7, 1944 are hereby authorized to wear the NAVY UNIT COMMENDATION Ribbon.
Secretary of the Navy.
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