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24th Infantry Division (United States)

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24th Infantry Division

24th Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia

Active

25 February 1921 15 April 1970 21 September 1975 15 February 1996 17 October 1999 1 October 2006

Country

United States

Allegiance

United States Army

Branch

Active duty

Type

Infantry Division

Role

Mechanized Infantry

Size

Division

Nickname

Victory Division(Special Designation)[1]

Motto

First to Fight

Engagements

World War II

Pearl Harbor

Korean War

Pusan Perimeter

Operation Desert Storm

Commanders
Notable commanders Blackshear M. Bryan Kenneth F. Cramer William F. Dean John Galvin Henry I. Hodes Frederick Augustus Irving Carter B. Magruder Barry McCaffrey Guy S. Meloy, Jr. Thomas F. Metz Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. Edwin Walker Roscoe B. Woodruff

Insignia
Distinctive Unit Insignia

Combat Service Identification Badge

US infantry divisions (1939present)

Previous 23rd Infantry Division(Inactive) [hide]



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Next 25th Infantry Division

U.S. 24th Infantry Division


1st Brigade, 24th Infantry Division 2nd Brigade, 24th Infantry Division 3rd Brigade, 24th Infantry Division
The 24th Infantry Division was an infantry division of the United States Army. Before being deactivated in October 2006, it was based at Fort Riley, Kansas. Formed during World War II from the disbanding Hawaiian Division, the division saw action throughout the Pacific theater, first fighting in New Guinea before landing on the Philippine islands of Leyte and Luzon, driving Japanese forces from them. Following the end of the war, the division participated in occupation duties in Japan, and was the first division to respond at the outbreak of the Korean War. For the first 18 months of the war, the division was heavily engaged on the front lines with North Korean and Chineseforces, suffering over 10,000 casualties. It was withdrawn from the front lines to the reserve force for the remainder of the war, but returned to Korea for patrol duty at the end of major combat operations. After its deployment in the Korean War, the division was active in Europe and the United States during theCold War, but saw relatively little combat until the Persian Gulf War, when it faced the Iraqi military. A few years after that conflict, it was inactivated as part of the post-Cold War U.S. military drawdown of the 1990s. The division was reactivated in October 1999 as a formation for training and deploying U.S. Army National Guard units before its deactivation in October 2006.

Contents
[hide]

1 History
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1.1 Hawaiian Division 1.2 World War II

1.2.1 Indonesia 1.2.2 Leyte 1.2.3 Luzon 1.2.4 Occupation of Japan 1.3.1 Task Force Smith 1.3.2 Pusan Perimeter 1.3.3 Chinese intervention 1.3.4 Stalemate

1.3 Korean War


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1.4 Cold War 1.5 Gulf War


1.5.1 Desert Shield 1.5.2 Desert Storm

1.6 Training command 2.1 Unit decorations 2.2 Campaign streamers 3.1 Citations 3.2 Sources

2 Honors
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3 References
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4 External links

History[edit]
Hawaiian Division[edit]
Main article: Hawaiian Division (United States) The 24th Infantry Division traces its lineage to Army units activated in Hawaii. It was activated under theSquare Division Table of Organization and Equipment (TO&E) on 1 March 1921 as the Hawaiian Divisionat Schofield Barracks, Oahu.[1] The division insignia is based on the taro leaf, emblematic of Hawaii.[1] The division was assigned the 21st Infantry Brigade[2] and the 22nd Infantry Brigade, both of which had been assigned to the US 11th Infantry Division prior to 1921.[3] The entire Hawaiian Division was concentrated at a single location during the next few years, allowing it to conduct more effective combined arms training. It was also manned at higher personnel levels than other divisions, and its field artillery was the first to be motorized.[4] Between August and September 1941, the Hawaiian Division's assets were reorganized to form two divisions under the new Triangular Division TO&E. Its brigade headquarters were disbanded and the 27th and 35th Infantry regiments were assigned to the new 25th Infantry Division.[4] Hawaiian

Division headquarters was redesignated as Headquarters, 24th Infantry Division on 1 October 1941.[1] The 24th Infantry Division also received the Hawaiian Division's Shoulder Sleeve Insignia, which was approved in 1921.[5] The division was centered around three infantry regiments: the 19th Infantry Regiment and the 21st Infantry Regiment from the Active duty force, and the 299th Infantry Regiment from the Hawaii National Guard.[6]Also attached to the division were the 13th Field Artillery Battalion, the 52nd Field Artillery Battalion, the 63rd Field Artillery Battalion, the 11th Field Artillery Battalion, the 24th Signal Company, the 724th Ordnance Company, the 24th Quartermaster Company, the 24th Reconnaissance Troop, the 3rd Engineer Battalion, the 24th Medical Battalion, and the 24th Counter Intelligence Detachment.[6]

World War II[edit]


The 24th Infantry Division was among the first US Army divisions to see combat in World War II and among the last to stop fighting. The division was onOahu, with its headquarters at Schofield Barracks, when the Japanese launched their Attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 and the unit suffered some casualties during the attack.[7] Among these casualties were Sgt. Paul J. Fadon (killed in a truck 10 miles north of Schofield Barracks), Pvt. Walter R. French, Pfc. Conrad Kujawa, Pvt. Torao Migita (killed by friendly fire in downtown Honolulu),[8] and Cpt. Theodore J. Lewis (who became the 24th Infantry Division's first soldier killed during WWII). The division was then charged with the defense of northern Oahu, where it built an elaborate system of coastal defenses throughout 1942.[7] In July 1942, the 299th Infantry Regiment was replaced by the 298th Infantry Regiment. One year later, this regiment was replaced by the 34th Infantry Regiment from the Hawaiian Department Reserve. The 34th Infantry remained with the 24th Infantry Division until the end of the war. As an active component unit, the 34th was easier to deploy than the reserve component units, which were less trained.[6]

Indonesia[edit]
In May 1943, the 24th Infantry Division was alerted for movement to Australia, and it completed the move to Camp Caves, near Rockhampton, on the eastern coast of Australia by 19 September 1943. Once deployed, it began intensive combat training.[9] After training, the division moved to Goodenough Island on 31 January 1944, to prepare for Operation Reckless, the amphibious capture of Hollandia, Netherlands New Guinea (now Jayapura, Papuaprovince, Indonesia).[10] The 24th landed at Tanahmerah Bay on 22 April 1944 and seized the important Hollandia Airdrome despite torrential rain and marshy terrain.[9] Shortly after the Hollandia landing, the division's 34th Infantry Regiment moved to Biak to reinforce the 41st Infantry Division. The regiment captured Sorido and Borokoe airdromes before returning to the division on Hollandia in July. [9] The 41st and 24th divisions isolated 40,000 Japanese forces south of the landings. [11]Despite resistance from the isolated Japanese forces in the area, the 24th Infantry Division advanced rapidly through the region.[10] In two months, the 24th Division crossed the entirety of New Guinea.[12]

Leyte[edit]

A tactical map for the Invasion of Leyte on 20 October 1944. The 24th Infantry Division landed in the northern part of the island with X Corps.
After occupation duty in the Hollandia area, the 24th Division was assigned to X Corps of the Sixth United States Army in preparation for the invasion of the Philippines. On 20 October 1944, the division was paired with the 1st Cavalry Division within X Corps, and the two divisions made an assault landing at Leyte,[13] initially encountering only light resistance.[14] Following a defeat at seaon 26 October, the Japanese launched a large, uncoordinated counteroffensive against the Sixth Army.[15] The 24th Division drove up the Leyte Valley, advanced to Jaro and captured Breakneck Ridge on 12 November 1944, in heavy fighting.[9] While final clearing operations continued on Leyte, the 24th Division's 19th Infantry Regiment moved to Mindoro Island as part of the Western Visayan Task Force and landed in the San Jose area on 15 December 1944.[9] There, it secured airfields and a patrol base for operations on Luzon. Elements of the 24th Infantry Division effected a landing on Marinduque Island. Other elements supported the 11th Airborne Division drive from Nasugbu to Manila.[9]

Luzon[edit]
The 24th Division was among the 200,000 men of the Sixth Army moved to recapture Luzon from the Japanese 14th Area Army, which fought delaying actions on the island. [16] The division's 34th Infantry Regiment landed at San Antonio, Zambales on 29 January 1945 and ran into a furious battle on Zig Zag Pass, where it suffered heavy casualties.[9] On 16 February 1945 the 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry took part in the amphibious landing on Corregidor and fought the Japanese on the well-defended island. The rest of the division landed at Sablayan, Mindoro on 19 February, cleared the remainder of

the island and engaged in numerous mopping up actions during the following month.[17] These operations were complete by 18 March, and the division moved south to attack throughBasilan.[17] the division landed at Mindanao on 17 April 1945 and cut across the island to Digos until 27 April, stormed into Davao on 3 May, and cleared Libby airdrome on 13 May.[9] Although the campaign officially closed on 30 June, the division continued to clear up Japanese resistance during July and August 1945.[9] The 24th Infantry Division patrolled the region until the official surrender of Japan ended the war. On 15 October 1945 the division left Mindanao for occupation duty on mainland Japan.[9] Four soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during their service with the 24th Infantry Division during World War II. They were James H. Diamond,Charles E. Mower, Harold H. Moon, Jr., and Francis B. Wai.[18][19][20][21] Members of the 24th Infantry Division also won 15 Distinguished Service Crosses, two Distinguished Service Medals, 625 Silver Star Medals, 38 Soldier's Medals, 2,197 Bronze Star Medals, and 50 Air Medals. The division itself was awarded eight Distinguished Unit Citations for participation in the campaign.[9]

Occupation of Japan[edit]
After the end of the war, the division remained on mainland Japan. It occupied Kysh from 1945 until 1950.[22][23] During this time, the US Army shrank. At the end of World War II it contained 89 divisions, but by 1950, the 24th Infantry Division was one of only 10 active divisions in the force. [24] It was one of four understrength divisions on occupation duty in Japan. The others were the 1st Cavalry Division, 7th Infantry Division, and 25th Infantry Division, all under control of the Eighth United States Army.[25][26] The 24th Division retained the 19th, 21st, and 34th regiments, but the formations were undermanned and ill-equipped due to the post-war drawdown and reduction in military spending.[22]

Korean War[edit]
On 25 June 1950, 10 divisions of the North Korean People's Army launched an attack into the Republic of Korea in the south. The North Koreans overwhelmed the South Korean Army and advanced south, preparing to conquer the entire nation.[27] The UN ordered an intervention to prevent the conquest of South Korea. U.S. President Harry S. Truman ordered ground forces into South Korea. The 24th Infantry Division was closest to Korea, and it was the first US division to respond.[27] The 24th Division's first mission was to "take the initial shock" of the North Korean assault, then try to slow its advance until more US divisions could arrive.[23]