24th Marine Regiment

The following is summarized from the Command History of the 24th Marine Regiment:

The 24th Marine Regiment sailed from San Diego, California in January 1944 for the Marshall Islands. Their first action was to take part in teh seizure of Roi-Namur, twin islands in the Kwajalein Atoll.

On February 1st, the 24th Regiment assaulted Namur. The 2nd Battalion accompanied by the 3rd Battalion led the attack. On moving inland the Regiment met strong resistence. The Second Battalion suffered especially heavy casualties, primarily due to the explosion of an enemy ammunition dump. The island was completely wrested from the Japanese by the following day. The 24th Marines reembarked and sailed for Hawaii two days later.

Saipan was the next objective of the 24th. They were originally in reserve, but heavy fighting on the day of the landing forced their call up, June 15 1944, and they went ashore in the afternoon. The fighting continued until July 9th 1944. They next turned their attention to the neghboring island of Tinian. The 24th Regiment was the first wave to hit the beaches. Enemy opposition was overcome and the Regiment moved quickly inland. By August 1st the island was under control. The Regiment returned to Hawaii, Camp Maui, and the 24th received replacements for losses suffered in the Marinanas and started training for Iwo Jima.

In late January 1945, the 24th Marines embarked and sailed for the Japanese stronghold, landing on February 19, with other 4th Marine Division units. From the very beginning of the operation the 24th Marines remained locked in battle, often hand-to-hand combat. The last enemy pocket of resistance was finally crushed on March 16th. The Regiment was relieved two days later and boarded naval vessels adn returned to Camp Maui in Hawaii. The savagery of the fighting was reflected by the great number of casualties suffered by the 24th Marines. The Regiment suffered 652 killed and 1053 wounded.


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