43rd Infantry Division (United States)

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43rd Infantry Division
43rd ssi.svg
43rd Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia
Active 1925–1967
Country United States
Branch U.S. Army
Nickname Winged Victory Division
Engagements World War II
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation (4 Battalions)
Commanders
Notable
commanders
John R. Hodge
Leonard F. Wing
Kenneth F. Cramer
US infantry divisions (1939–present)
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42nd Infantry Division 44th Infantry Division

The 43rd Infantry Division was a formation of the United States Army from 1925 to 1967, serving in the Pacific during World War II. It was activated on 21 March 1925 as a National Guard Division in Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The 143rd Area Support Group of the Connecticut National Guard now carries on the heritage.

Creation[edit]

The 43rd Infantry Division was first activated in 1923, with the division headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut.[1] The 43rd Division consisted of two infantry brigades, the 85th in Connecticut, and the 86th in Vermont. The 85th Brigade included the 102nd and 169th Infantry Regiments, both based in Connecticut. The 86th Brigade was made up of the 172nd Infantry Regiment in Vermont and the 103rd Infantry Regiment in Maine. In addition, the 68th Field Artillery Brigade was based in Providence, Rhode Island.

World War II[edit]

  • Activated: 24 February 1941.
  • Overseas: 1 October 1942.
  • Campaigns: New Guinea, Northern Solomons, Luzon.
  • Presidential Unit Citations: 4 Infantry Battalions (Luzon).
  • Personal Awards: MH-2 ; DSC-40 ; DSM-2 ; SS-736 ; LM-53; SM-51 ; BSM-2,496 ; AM-27.
  • Commanders: Maj. Gen. Morris B. Payne (February–August 1941), Maj. Gen. John H. Hester (8 October 1941[2]-July 1943), Maj. Gen. John R. Hodge (July 1943 to August 1943), Maj. Gen. Leonard F. Wing (August 1943 to inactivation).
  • Returned to U.S.: 19 October 1945.
  • Inactivated: 26 October 1945.

Component Units[edit]

Combat Chronicle[edit]

43rd ID soldiers landing on Rendova Island in the Solomon Islands, 30 June 1943.

The 43d Infantry Division landed in New Zealand on 23 October 1942. The 172nd Infantry Regiment arrived at Espiritu Santo, 26 October. The Division moved to Noumea, New Caledonia, in November and to Guadalcanal, 17 February 1943. The Russell Islands were occupied without opposition, 21 February, and training continued. Elements landed on Vangunu and Rendova Islands against minor resistance, 30 June. Rendova served as the major staging point for the assault on the Island of New Georgia. The assault on New Georgia was met with determined enemy resistance. The Japanese fought fiercely before relinquishing Munda and its airfield, 5 August. Vela Cela and Baanga were taken easily, but the Japanese resisted stubbornly on Arundel Island before withdrawing, 22 September. After training at Munda, the 43d moved to Guadalcanal and thence to New Zealand for rest and rehabilitation. On 19 July 1944, the Division assumed defensive positions at Aitape, engaged in patrols and reconnaissance at Tadji and along the Drinumor River, 25 July, and took the offensive, 8 August 1944, ending organized resistance on the 25th. On 9 January 1945, the 43rd made an assault landing in the San Fabian area, Lingayen Gulf, Luzon. Under enemy fire, the Division secured the beachhead and fought into the Lingayen Plain by 12 February. The offensive was resumed against the enemy north and west of Fort Stotsenburg, 27 February. After ending Japanese resistance in the Zambales Mountains with help from the Philippine Commonwelth army forces, the 43d swung south against the Shimbu Line. On 6 May 1945, the attack continued in the Bulucan area. Ipo Dam was secured and enemy opposition smashed in the Ipo area, 19 May. Mopping-up activities continued until 30 June 1945. The Division left Manila, 7 13 September, for occupation duty in Japan until it left for home.

Post World War II (1946-1967)[edit]

In 1946 the Division was reorganized again, and was now made up of units from Connecticut, Vermont and Rhode Island.[1] The 172nd Infantry with the 206th Field Artillery Battalion were based in Vermont. The division headquarters, 102nd and 169th Infantry Regiments, and 963rd Field Artillery and 192nd Field Artillery were organized in Connecticut. In addition, Connecticut was also home to the 143rd Tank Battalion. Rhode Island was home to the 43rd Division Artillery Headquarters, the 103rd Field Artillery Battalion, the 118th Engineer Battalion and the 43rd Signal Company. Combat Support units were based throughout all three states.

During the Korean War, the 43d Division was again ordered into active Federal Service on 5 September 1950, and became part of NATO forces in the defense of Germany. On 15 June 1954, the 43d Division was released and returned to state control. On 16 Dec 1967, the 43d Division was inactivated and reorganized as Headquarters Company, 43d Brigade, 26th Infantry Division aka the YANKEE Division. The 43d Brigade was relieved from assignment to the 26th Division on 1 September 1993, when the 26th Division was inactivated. It was then reorganized as Headquarters Company, 43d Infantry Brigade and now organized as the Headquarters Company, 143d Area Support Group.

Recognition[edit]

U.S. Route 7 is signed as the 43rd Infantry Division Memorial Highway between Norwalk and Danbury, CT. Vermont Route 100 is signed as the 43 Inf Div highway.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "43rd Infantry Division – Winged Victory". Archived from the original on 22 October 2009. 
  2. ^ Hilkert, David E. (2004). Chiefs of the Army Reserve: Biographical Sketches of the United States Army Reserve’s Senior Officers. Fort McPherson, GA: Office of Army Reserve History, U.S. Army Reserve Command.  Link PDF (23 MB)

References[edit]