370th Infantry Regiment (United States)

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The 370th Infantry Regiment was the designation for one of the infantry regiments of the 93rd (Provisional) Infantry Division.

8th Infantry Regiment, Illinois National Guard[edit]

This was an all-black operation militia regiment founded in the 1870s.[1][2]

The Eighth Regiment Armory, located in the Black Metropolis-Bronzeville District of Chicago, Illinois, built in 1914, was the first armory in the United States built for an African-American military regiment.[3]

World War 1[edit]

Soldier of the 370th Infantry Regiment during WWI

"In World War I the African American 8th Infantry was re-designated the 370th Infantry and fought under the French. It was the only unit entirely commanded by black officers."[4]

"During World War I, as the 370th Infantry, it served with distinction with the French 34th, 36th, and 59th Infantry Divisions, earning streamers for the battles of Lorraine and Oise-Aisne. Sectors occupied and engagements participated in were Saint Mihiel with the French in 1918, Argonne Forest, St. Gobain Forest, Bosi de Mortier, Mont des Signes, Oise-Aisne Canal, Laon, Grandlup, Soissons, and Oise-Aisne and Lorraine offensives. One battalion of the Regiment, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Otis B. Duncan, was engaged in pursuit of the retreating enemy far in advance, when halted by the Armistice."[5]

The Victory Monument, created by sculptor Leonard Crunelle, was built to honor the service of Eighth Regiment of the Illinois National Guard during World War I. It is located in the Black Metropolis-Bronzeville District in the Douglas community area of Chicago, Illinois.[6]

World War 2[edit]

The 370th Infantry Regiment arrived in Naples, Italy on 1 August 1944, attached to the Task Force 42 at US 1st Armored Division. The 370th entered combat on 24 August 1944. It participated in the crossing of the Arno River, the occupation of Lucca and the penetration of the Gothic Line, in the persecution of an enemy which was retreating of that area. It was later was attached to the US 92nd Division at the Task Force 45, the US 5th Army unit responsible for the Ligurian coastal sector, the left flank of Allied troops in Italy. On 13 October, the remainder of the Division concentrated for patrol activities. Elements of the 92nd moved to the Serchio sector, 3 November 1944, and advanced in the Serchio River Valley against light resistance, but the attempt to capture Castelnuovo did not succeed. Patrol activities continued until 26 December when the enemy attacked (Winter Line), forcing units of the 92nd to withdraw. The attack ended on 28 December. The attacking forces were mainly from the Alpine Division "Monte Rosa", a division of the Italian Fascist Army (4 battalions) with the support of 3 German battalions. Aside from patrols and reconnaissance, units of the 92nd attacked in the Serchio sector, 5-8 February 1945, against the Italian Bersaglieri Division "Italia", another unit of the army of the Italian Social Republic, but enemy counterattacks nullified Division advances.[7]

On 1 April, the 370th RCT and the attached 442nd RCT (Nisei) attacked in the Ligurian coastal sector and drove rapidly north against light opposition of German 148th Infantry Division supported by Italian coastal units. The 370th took over the Serchio sector and pursued a retreating enemy from 18 April until the collapse of enemy forces, 29 April 1945. Elements of the 92nd Division entered La Spezia and Genoa on the 27th and took over selected towns along the Ligurian coast until the enemy surrendered, 2 May 1945. Between August 1944 and May 1945 the 92nd Division suffered 3,200 casualties, factoring losses from units attached to the Division brings the totals up to 5,000 casualties.[8]

On Italian Front the Buffalo soldiers had opportunity to make contact with men of many nationalities: beyond other segregated Americans like the Japanese descendants, they had contact with the also segregated troops of British and French colonial empires (Black Africans, Moroccans, Algerians, Indians, Gurkhas, Jews and Palestinians) as well as with exiled Poles, Greeks and Czechs; anti-fascist Italians and the non-segregated troops of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force.[9]

Notable members[edit]

World War 1
  • 1st Lieutenant William J. Powell Engineer and aviation pioneer was wounded in a gas attack as an infantry officer.
  • Sergeant Matthew Jenkins received the Distinguished Service Cross and the Croix de Guerre for leading his platoon in combat, taking a German position, and holding it until relieved 36 hours later.
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Otis B. Duncan commanded the 3rd Battalion of the 370th in combat.
  • Harry Haywood (6 February 1898 – 1985), a leading figure in both the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU).[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History of the 178th Infantry". 8th Infantry Illinois National Guard Association. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  2. ^ Hill, Jim (2008-05-17). "The 370th Infantry - Chicago's 8th Illinois National Guard In WW1". Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  3. ^ "Eighth Regiment Armory". City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development, Landmarks Division. 2003. Retrieved 2007-08-05. 
  4. ^ Houk, Jesse (2013-02-25). "Illinois Guardsmen Understand Significance Of African-American History Month". Illinois National Guard Public Web Site. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  5. ^ "1st Battalion, 178th Infantry Regiment". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  6. ^ "Victory Monument (Chicago)". City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development, Landmarks Division. 2003. Retrieved 2007-05-07. 
  7. ^ Motley, 1975. Chapter 5.
  8. ^ Ibidem, Motley 1975.
  9. ^ Motley, 1975. Pages 259-61, 274 and 288.
  10. ^ Haywood, 2005.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Braddan, William S. (1940). Under Three Banners: An Autobiography. National Baptist Pub. 
  • Braddan, William S. (1994). Under Fire with 370th Infantry (8th I.N.G.), A.E.F. "Lest You Forget" Memoirs of the World War. W. S. Braddan. 
  • Haywood, Harry. Africana: the encyclopedia of the African and African American experience. Volume 3 (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN 9780195170559
  • Hill, Jim (July 1970). "The 370th Infantry, Chicago's 8th Illinois National Guard in WWI". Camaraderie: The Journal of the United States Branch, Western Front Association. 6: 4–11. 
  • Motley, Mary Penick. The Invisible Soldier: The Experience of the Black Soldier, World War II. Wayne State University Press, 1975 ISBN 0814319610

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]