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33rd Infantry -GOLDEN CROSS- Division in World War II (Illinois National Guard) by the 33rd Infantry Division Historical Committee. New Guinea, Morotai, Luzon Philippines

Click to EnlargeOriginally published in 1948 by the Infantry Journal Press, this history traces the 33rd Infantry Division from its activation in March 1941 through training at Camp Forest, Tennessee to service overseas in the Pacific Theater of Operations. Although elements of the 33rd Division fought on New Guinea and Morotai in 1944, the entire division fought together only on Luzon in the Philippines beginning Feb '45 with its first heavy fighting 22 Feb '45. Because of the narrow focus, a great deal of space is devoted to small unit actions, as well as the overall concept of operations as the division hunted the enemy in jungles near Baguio and along the Puga-Tuba Trail. Actions of small patrols, platoon and company actions make up the nucleus of the narrative. 396 KIA, 2024 WIA, 128 Died of Wounds. Summary: Originally published by the Infantry Journal Press in 1948, this history traces the division ( the prinicpal Illinois National Guard unit ), from its activation in March 1941 through training at Camp Forresst , TN, to overseas deployment in the Pacific. Activated: 5 March 1941 (National Guard Division from Illinois). Overseas: 7 July 1943. Campaigns: New Guinea, Luzon. The 33d Infantry Division arrived in Hawaii on 12 July 1943. While guarding installations, it received training in jungle warfare. On 11 May 1944, it arrived in New Guinea where it received additional training. The 123d Infantry Regiment arrived at Maffin Bay, 1 September, to provide perimeter defense by aggressive patrolling for Wakde Airdrome and the Toem-Sarmi sector. The 123d was relieved on 26 January 1945. Elements of the 33d arrived at Morotai, 18 December 1944. Landings were made on the west coast of the island, 22 December, without opposition and defensive perimeters were established. Aggressive patrols encountered scattered resistance. The 33d landed at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, 10 February 1945, and relieved the 43d Infantry Division in the Damortis-Rosario Pozorrubio area, 13-15 February. The Division drove into the Caraballo Mountains, 19 February, toward its objective, Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines and the headquarters of General Yamashi'a. Fighting against a fanatical enemy entrenched in the hills, the 33d took Aringay, 7 March, Mount Calugong, 8 April, and Mount Mirador, 25 April. Baguio and Camp John Hay fell on 26 April, under the concerted attack of the 33d and the 37th Divisions. Manuel Roxas, later President of the Philippines, was freed during the capture of Baguio. After mopping up isolated pockets of resistance, the Division broke up the last organized resistance of the enemy by capturing the San Nicholas-Tebbo-Itogon route, 12 May. All elements went to rest and rehabilitation areas on 30 June 1945. The Division landed on Honshu Island, Japan, 25 September, and performed occupation duties until inactivated. Nickname: Illinois Division; also known as the Prairie Division. Shoulder patch: Circular, containing a gold cross on a field of black. Divisional insignia reputed to have originated in this Division during World War I when the Division was ordered to mark all its property with its insignia. One regiment, which had served in the campaign against the Moros in the Philippines, had, during that campaign adopted the practice of marking its property with yellow crosses to protect it from thievery, in that yellow is taboo to Mohammedans. This regiment, when the World War I order was issued, recalled its former practice and revived it.

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