Division History  |  32nd Infantry Division   LoneSentry.com

[Webmaster Note: The following division information is reproduced from the public domain publication, The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950. Portions of the information may be out of date. Only minor formatting changes and typographical corrections have been made.]

World War I

Activated: July 1917 (National Guard Division, troops from Michigan and Wisconsin).
Major Operations: Meuse-Argonne, Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne.
Casualties: Total - 13,261 (KIA - 2,250; WIA - 11,011).
Commanders: Maj. Gen. James Parker (26 August 1917), Brig. Gen. W. G. Haan (19 September 1917), Maj. Gen. James Parker (7 December 1917), Brig. Gen. W. G. Haan (8 December 1917), Maj. Gen. W. G. Haan (7 February 1918), Maj. Gen. William Lassiter (20 November 1918).
Inactivated: 5 April 1919.

World War II

Activated: 15 October 1940 (National Guard Division from Michigan and Wisconsin).
Campaigns: New Guinea, Southern Philippines, Luzon.
Distinguished Unit Citations: 14.
Awards: MH-11; DSC-37; DSM-1; SS-657; LM-28; SM-77; BSM-2,403; AM-95.
Commanders: Maj. Gen. Irving A. Fish (October 1940-March 1942), Maj. Gen. Edwin F. Harding (March 1942-January 1943), Maj. Gen. William H. Gill (February 1943 to inactivation).
Inactivated: 28 February 1946 in Japan.

Combat Chronicle

The 32nd Infantry Division arrived in Australia 14 May 1942. The first element of the division to enter the combat zone by air for Port Moresby 16 September to be joined by other elements arriving by sea 28 September and by air 2 October. Units of the 32nd were deployed defensively along the Goldie River on the left flank of the Australian garrison force for the Port Moresby area. Fighting along the Goldie River to protect the Australian left flank, the 32nd drove the enemy back along the Kokoda Trail and stopped the enemy threat to Port Moresby. Elements were flown to the Buna area where they were joined, 15 November 1942, by the 2nd Bn. of the 126th Infantry which had trekked over the Owen Stanley Mountains. The difficult struggle for Buna-Sanananda was completed, 22 January 1943, and the 32nd returned to Australia for rest and training. On 2 January 1944, elements landed at Saidor, and helped to end enemy resistance, 14 April 1944. On 23 April, elements took part in the landing at Aitape, the Division arriving on 3 May. After meeting slight initial resistance, the 32nd had to withstand savage counterattacks in the Drinumor River area. By 31 August Aitape was secured and the Division rested. Elements landed on Morotai on 15 September. The 32nd CP opened at Hollandia, 1 October to stage for the Philippines. It landed on Leyte, 14 November, and went into action along the Pinamopoan-Ormoc highway, taking Limon and smashing the Yamashita line by bitter hand-to-hand combat. Union with elements of 1st Cavalry Division in the vicinity of Lonoy, 22 December, marked the collapse of enemy resistance in the upper Ormoc Valley. From Leyte the Division moved to Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, 27 January 1945. It pushed up the Villa Verde Trail, 30 January, and after more than 100 days of fighting took Imugan and met the 25th Infantry Division near Santa Fe, 28 May, securing Balete Pass, the gateway to the Cagayan Valley. While elements continued mopping-up activities near Imugan, other units moved to rest and rehabilitation centers. Active elements secured the Baguio area, wiped out enemy groups in the Agno River Valley area, and opened Highway 11 as a supply route. Operations ceased on 15 August 1945 and the Division moved to Japan for occupation duty 20 October.


Nickname: Red Arrow Division; called "Les Terribles" during World War I.
Shoulder patch: A line shot through with a red arrow; entire insignia in red.
Association: 32nd Division Veterans' Association.
Publications: History of the 32d Infantry Division; by unit members; The Infantry Journal, Washington, D.C.; 1947. Red Arrow Men, Stories About the 32d Division on the Villa Verde; by John M. Carlisle, Detroit, Arnold-Powers, 1945.


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