Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

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3rd Marine Division

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The 3rd Marine Division first saw combat in the Pacific Theater during World War II. After finishing its in-theater training on Guadalcanal, the division took part in the Battle of Bougainville, and Marines from the 3rd Marine Division helped secure the island and defeat Japanese forces. The division's next battle was the Battle of Guam, where over 21 days of intense fighting it and other units managed to wrest control of the island from the Japanese, neutralizing thousands of enemy soldiers in the process. The division next fought on Iwo Jima, helping to defeat the Japanese forces on the island. The division did not fight in the Korean War, but instead trained on how to deal with atomic weapons on the battlefield. During the Vietnam War, the division fought for four consecutive years. During that time, the unit fought in numerous large scale operations, such as Operation Prairie, Operation Buffalo, and Operation Hastings. The division also fought along the DMZ throughout its time in Vietnam. During the Battle of Khe Sahn and the Tet Offensive, it fought almost daily battles against the communists. While fighting in Vietnam, the division had over 20 Marines earn the Medal of Honor. The 3rd Marine Division has also fought against Islamic terrorists in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

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