Marines in World War II Commemorative Series
Sasebo-Nagasaki Landings
Kyushu Occupation
Marine Withdrawl
Brigadier General William T. Clement
The Senior Marine Commanders
Special Subjects
The Invasion That Never Was
New 4th Honors Members of the Old 4th
Marine Corps' Demobilization Plan
Oldest Marine on Kyushu

SECURING THE SURRENDER: Marines in the Occupation of Japan
by Charles R. Smith


This pamphlet is based heavily upon the official Marine Corps histories: The United States Marines in the Occupation of Japan, by Henry I. Shaw, Jr. (Washington: HistBr, G-3 Div, HQMC, 1969); Benis M. Frank and Henry I. Shaw, Jr., Victory and Occupation, vol V History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II (Washington: HistBr, G-3 Div, HQMC, 1968); and Kenneth W. Condit and Edwin T. Turnbladh, Hoid High the Torch: A History of the 4th Marines Washington: HistBr, G-3 Div, HQMC, 1960). Among other official histories consulted, the most useful were Reports of General MacArthur: Japanese Operations in the Southwest Pacific Area and Reports of General MacArthur: MacArthur in Japan: The Occupation: Military Phase (Washington: GPO, 1966).

Primary documents on the Marine participation in the occupation of Japan are held by the Washington National Records Center, Suitland, Maryland. Although division, regiment, aircraft group, battalion, and squadron War Diaries provide monthly summaries and day-by-day accounts, the best overviews are to be found in the After Action or Operational Reports of Task Group 31.3 (Task Group Able and Fleet Landing Force); V Amphibious Corps; U. S. Eighth Army; U.S. Sixth Army; U.S. Fifth Fleet; 2d Marine Division; and 5th Marine Division. The Marine Corps Oral History Collection contains numerous interviews with occupation veterans, among them Samuel G. Taxis; Fred D. Beans; James P. Berkeley; Norman T. Hatch; Ray A. Robinson; Joseph L. Stewart; Thomas A. Wornham; and John C. Munn. The Historical Center also holds a number of important personal papers collections, the most helpful of which were those of James P. Berkeley; Joseph A. Bruder; Thomas E. Watson; Norman T. Hatch; and Raymond L. Doyle.

Charles R. Smith

Among other volumes used or consulted were: FAdm William F. Halsey and LCdr J. Bryan III, Admiral Halsey's Story (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1947); RAdm Benton W. Decker and Edwina N. Decker, Return of the Black Ships (New York: Vantage Press, 1978); Robert L. Eichelberger, Our Jungle Road to Tokyo (New York: The Viking Press, 1950); VAdm Emmet P. Forrestel, Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, USN (Washington: GPO, 1966); Samuel Eliot Morrison, History of United States Operations in World War II: Victory in the Pacific, 1945 (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1960); John R. Skates, The Invasion of Japan: Alternative to the Bomb (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1994); Richard W. Johnston, Follow Me! The Story of the Second Marine Dioision in World War II (New York: Random House, 1948); Howard M. Conner, The Spearhead: The World War II History of the 5th Marine Division (Washington: Infantry Journal Press, 1950); Bevan G. Cass, History of the Sixth Marine Division (Washington: Infantry Journal Press, 1948); William P Banning, ed., Heritage Years: Second Marine Division Commemorative Anthology, 1940-1949 (Paducah: Turner Publishing Co., 1988); 2dLt Ernest B. Furgurson, Jr., USMCR, "The 4th Marines: A History," (Unpublished manuscript, 1955); Tom Tompkins, Yokosuka: Base of Empire (Novato: Presidio Press, 1981); Sgt Robert T. Scott, USMC, Occupation of Japan: Marine Aircraft Group Thirty-One (Yokosuka, 1946); and William F. Nimmo, ed., The Occupation of Japan: The Grass Roots: The Proceedings of the Eighth Symposium Sponsored by The General Douglas MacArthur Foundation, 7-8 November 1991 (Norfolk: General Douglas MacArthur Foundation, 1992).

About the Author

Charles R. Smith has been with the History and Museums Division since July 1971. A California native, he is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara; received his master's degree in history from San Diego State University; and has done additional graduate work at Georgetown University. He served in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) in 1968 and 1969, first as an artilleryman and then as a historian. He has written and edited several works on the early history of the Marine Corps, among them Marines in the Revolution: A History of the Continental Marines in the American Revolution, 1775-1783. He is also the author of U.S. Marines in Vietnam: High Mobility and Standdown, 1969; co-author of U.S. Marines in Vietnam: The Defining Year, 1968 in the official chronologies of the Marine Corps in the Vietnam War; and the author of Angels From the Sea: Relief Operations in Bangladesh, 1991, the first volume in the division's series on Marine Corps humanitarian relief operations.

insignias from 50th Anniversary

THIS PAMPHLET HISTORY, one in a series devoted to U.S. Marines in the World War II era, is published for the education and training of Marines by the History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., as a part of the U.S. Department of Defense observance of the 50th anniversary of victory in that war.


Brigadier General Edwin H. Simmons, USMC (Ret)


Benis M. Frank

George C. MacGillivray

Robert E. Struder, Senior Editor; W. Stephen Hill, Visual Information Specialist;
Catherine A. Kerns, Composition Services Technician, R.D. Payne, Volunteer—Web Edition

Marine Corps Historical Center
Building 58, Washington Navy Yard
Washington, D.C. 20374-5040


PCN 190 003143 00

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Commemorative Series produced by the Marine Corps History and Museums Division