31st Infantry Division 1940-45 in Training and Combat. Louisiana-Mississippi-Alabama-Florida National Guard Division. Official U.S. Army Division History. Originally published in 1946 by Army and Navy Publishing Company, this is the official unit history for the 31st Infantry Division in World War II. Raised in 1940 from National Guard units in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana & Florida and known as the ' DIXIE ' division, it consisted of the 124th, 155th & 167th Infantry regiments. The 31st Infantry Division arrived in Oro Bay, New Guinea, 24 April 1944, and engaged in amphibious training prior to entering combat. Alerted on 25 June 1944 for movement to Aitape, the 124th RCT left Oro Bay and landed at Aitape, New Guinea, 3-6 July 1944. The combat team moved up to advanced positions and took part in the general offensive launched 13 July, running into bloody fighting along the Drinumor River. Meanwhile, the remainder of the Division relieved the 6th Infantry Division in the Sarmi-Wakde Island area, 18 July 1944, built bridges, roads, and docks, patrolled the area, and engaged small units of the enemy, trying not to provoke a large scale counterattack by the enemy. Over 1,000 Japanese were destroyed in these actions. In mid-August the Division began to stage for the Morotai operation, leaving Aitape and Maffin Bay, 11 September 1944. The Division made an assault landing on Morotai, 15 September 1944, meeting only light opposition. During the occupation of Morotai, elements of the Division seized Mapia, 15-17 September, and waded ashore on the Asia islands, 19-20 September, only to find the Japanese had already evacuated. Other elements reverted to Sansapor, where they maintained and operated the base. On 22 April 1945, the Division landed on Mindanao to take part in the liberation of the Philippines. Moving up the Sayre Highway and driving down the Kibawe-Talomo trail, fighting in knee-deep mud and through torrential rains, the 31st forced the enemy to withdraw into the interior and blocked off other Japanese in the Davao area. With the end of hostilities on 15 August 1945, the 31st accomplished the surrender of all Japanese forces remaining in Mindanao. Nickname: Dixie Division. Slogan: It shall be done. Shoulder patch: A white disk on which is a red circle, within which are two red D's, back to back. 340 KIA, 1,392 WIA, 74 Died of Wounds 188 pages. 377 original photographs, 11 maps. Large 9"x12" volume.
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