Marine Order of Battle for Peleliu

Over-all ground command of the STALEMATE II operation was vested in Major General Julian C. Smith, Commander, Expeditionary Troops, Third Fleet. Direct command of Western Task Force (Southern Palaus) was exercised by III Amphibious Corps (Major General Roy S. Geiger), major components of which were 1st Marine Division (Peleliu) and 81st Infantry Division (Angaur). Corps troops committed, including garrison units in assault, were operationally attached to the 1st Marine Division and distributed throughout the various task units as indicated below. The addition of 10,994 Corps to the 17,490 organic to the 1st Division brought the total in assault on Peleliu to 28,484.

Task Organization-1st Marine Division

MajGen William H. Rupertus, Commanding




The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION to the


consisting of FIRST Marine Division; First Amphibian Tractor Battalion, FMF; U.S. Navy Flame Thrower Unit Attached; Sixth Amphibian Tractor Battalion (Provisional), FMF; Third Armored Amphibian Battalion (Provisional), FMF; Detachment Eighth Amphibian Tractor Battalion, FMF; 454th Amphibian Truck Company, U.S. Army; 456th Amphibian Truck Company, U.S. Army; Fourth Joint Assault Signal Company, FMF; Fifth Separate Wire Platoon, FMF; Sixth Separate Wire Platoon, FMF,

for service as set forth in the following


"For extraordinary heroism in action against enemy Japanese forces at Peleliu and Ngesebus from September 15 to 29, 1944. Landing over a treacherous coral reef against hostile mortar and artillery fire, the FIRST Marine Division, Reinforced, seized a narrow, heavily mined beachhead and advanced foot by foot in the face of relentless enfilade fire through rain-forests and mangrove swamps toward the air strip, the key to the enemy defenses of the southern Palaus. Opposed all the way by thoroughly disciplined, veteran Japanese troops heavily entrenched in caves and in reinforced concrete pillboxes which honeycombed the high ground throughout the island, the officers and men of the Division fought with undiminished spirit and courage despite heavy losses, exhausting heat and difficult terrain, seizing and holding a highly strategic air and land base for future operations in the Western Pacific. By their individual acts of heroism, their aggressiveness and their fortitude, the men of the FIRST Marine Division, Reinforced, upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

For the President,
John L. Sullivan
Secretary of the Navy

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