5th Marine Division

The 5th Marine Division (known as the ‘Spearhead Division’) was formed on the 21st of January 1944 at Camp Pendleton with the 26th 27th and 28th Marine Regiments as its Infantry components1. It also included the 13th (Artillery) and 16th (Engineers-deactivated May 1944) Marines.

The Division moved in phases to Hawaii later throughout 1944 and was completely assembled by October. On the 19th of February 1945 the Division assaulted Iwo Jima, its only combat operation, as part of Major-General Harry Schmidt’s V Amphibious Corps, and fought there until the end of the battle (27 March 1945), after which it moved back to Hawaii for rest. The Division landed at Nagasaki, on Kyushu Island, Japan on 22 September 1945 for occupation duties. It was withdrawn on 15 December, moving to Camp Pendleton, where it was deactivated in January 1946.

The 5th Marine Division was reformed in 1966 at Camp Pendleton to replace the 1st Marine Division that had deployed to Vietnam, and was deactivated again in 1970 upon the 1st Division’s return.

Divisional Units (1944-46)

26th Marine Infantry Regiment
27th Marine Infantry Regiment
28th Marine Infantry Regiment
13th Marine Artillery Regiment
16th Marine Engineers (Until May 1944)
5th Marine Engineers
5th Marine Tank Battalion
5th Support Weapons Battalion
5th Service Battalion
5th Recon Company
5th Medical Battalion
5th MT Battalion
5th Amtrac Battalion (1944 only)

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