The World War II Multimedia Database

For the 72 Million

USMC Major General Lemuel Shepherd, Jr.

Image Information
USMC Major General Lemuel Cornick Shepherd, Jr. (February 10, 1896 – August 6, 1990) examines maps with the Okinawan capital, Naha, visible behind him. Shepherd took command of the Sixth Marine Division in August 1944, formed from experienced units – the Fourth Marines and 22nd Marines – that fought on Guadalcanal, Eniwetok, Guam and other amphibious operations. The “Striking Sixth“ landed on Okinawa on April 1, 1945. Shepherd had argued with Tenth Army commander Simon Buckner for a landing behind the Shuri Line by the Second Marine Division, but Buckner refused. After a protracted and costly month-long fight in rain and mud that destroyed many Marine battalions on Sugar Loaf Hill, elements of the Sixth Marine Division finally entered Naha on the night of May 23-24. They found the city abandoned by civilians and encountered little resistance. The Sixth Marines Division sustained 12,815 casualties on Okinawa, including 1,622 killed, 6,689 wounded, and 4,489 noncombatant. Estimates of Okinawan dead ran as high as 150,000. Naha was completely destroyed by American naval gunfire and air attack, despite its lack of value on as a military target. Shepherd went on to become the first Marine member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Note the boots worn by Shepherd and the men around him; they are 1943 combat service boots, which reached the men in quantity in late 1944. The walking stick may have been due to his wounds from World War I.
Image Filename wwii1353.jpg
Image Size 2.05 MB
Image Dimensions 2373 x 2926
Photographer Weiner, Sam
Photographer Title Private First Class United States Marine Corps
Caption Author Jason McDonald
Date Photographed June 01, 1945
Location Naha
City Okinawa
State or Province Ryukyus
Country Japan
Archive National Archives and Records Administration
Record Number
Status Caption ©2007, ©2024 MFA Productions LLC
Image in the Public Domain

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