V Amphibious Corps

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V Amphibious Corps
USMC V Amphib Corps.png
Active25 August 1943 – 15 February 1946
Allegiance United States of America
BranchUSMC logo.svg United States Marine Corps
TypeMarine Air-Ground Task Force
RoleExpeditionary combat force
Part ofInactive
EngagementsWorld War II
* Battle of Tarawa
* Battle of Makin
* Battle of Kwajalein
* Battle of Eniwetok
* Battle of Saipan
* Battle of Tinian
* Battle of Iwo Jima

The V Amphibious Corps (VAC) was a formation of the United States Marine Corps which was composed of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions in World War II. The three divisions were the amphibious landing force for the United States Fifth Fleet with two goals, removal of Japanese forces from islands so U.S. Seabees could build advance bases to project US power. In doing this VAC was notably involved in the battles for Tarawa, Saipan, and Iwo Jima. V Amphibious Corps was commanded by General Holland 'Howlin Mad' Smith followed by General Harry Schmidt.


Cover of V Phib Corps Marianas Report on Phase III (Tinian)

The V Amphibious Corps (formerly Amphibious Corps, Pacific Fleet; ACPF) was formed on 25 August 1943 at Camp Elliot, California. In September 1943, it moved to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.


The structure of a United States Marine Corps' amphibious corps by 1945, was broken down into four major subordinate commands with each of them having numerous sub-elements:

  • The first major element of the Corps was three reinforced Marine infantry divisions.
  • The second was the Corps artillery, which was composed of a field artillery group made of three battalions of 155mm howitzers, three battalions of 155mm guns, and an Antiaircraft Artillery Group made of three antiaircraft artillery battalions.
  • The third was the Amphibian Tractor Group, which was made up of four amphibian tractor battalions and an armored amphibian tractor battalion.
  • The fourth was the Corps Troops, which was composed of a headquarters and service battalion, administrative command, signal battalion, medical battalion, motor transport battalion, engineer battalion, reconnaissance battalion, and military police battalion.[1]

Subordinate units[edit]

The US Marine Corps, US Army, and Naval Construction Force commands that served under the V Amphibious Corps in World War II include:[2]

6th Naval Construction Brigade insignia incorporating the Alligator and 3 stars of V Amphibious Corps.
Marine Corps
  • 6th Naval Construction Brigade (Tinian and Saipan)
  • 9th Naval Construction Brigade (Iwo Jima)

Command and Staff[edit]

Corps Commanders[edit]

Chiefs of Staff[edit]

Corps Artillery[edit]

Personnel Officers[edit]

Intelligence Officers[edit]

Operations Officers[edit]

Logistics Officers[edit]

Unit awards[edit]

A unit citation or commendation is an award bestowed upon an organization for the action cited. Members of the unit who participated in said actions are allowed to wear on their uniforms the appropriate ribbon of the awarded unit citation. V Amphibious Corps has been awarded the following:[3]

Streamer Award Year(s) Additional Info
Streamer PUC Navy.PNG Presidential Unit Citation Streamer 1945 Iwo Jima
Navy Unit Commendation streamer.svg Navy Unit Commendation Streamer 1945 Iwo Jima
APC 4B.PNG Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Streamer with four Bronze Stars 1943-1946 Gilbert Islands, Marshall Islands, Marianas Islands, Iwo Jima
Streamer WWII V.PNG World War II Victory Streamer 1943–1946 Pacific War

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rottman USMC WWII OOB, p. 102.
  2. ^ Rottman USMC WWII OOB, p. 111.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 May 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.
  • Arens, Major Mark P., USMCR (1995). "Chapter 2: V Amphibious Corps". V [Marine] Amphibious Corps Planning for Operation Olympic and the Role of Intelligence in Support of Planning. Marine Corps Staff and Command College. Retrieved 13 May 2007. Written in fulfillment of a requirement for the Marine Corps Staff and Command College.
  • Rottman, Gordon L. (2002). U.S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle – Ground and Air Units in the Pacific War, 1939 – 1945. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-31906-5.

Further reading[edit]