93rd Infantry Division (United States)
93rd Infantry Division (Colored)
93rd Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia
|Nickname(s)||The Blue Helmets|
Charles P. Hall|
Harry H. Johnson
The 93rd Infantry Division was a "colored" segregated unit of the United States Army in World War I and World War II. However, in World War I only its four infantry regiments, two brigade headquarters, and a provisional division headquarters were organized, and the divisional and brigade headquarters were demobilized in May 1918. Its regiments fought primarily under French command in that war. During tough combat in France, they soon acquired from the French the nickname Blue Helmets, as these units were issued blue French Adrian helmets. This referred to the service of several of its units with the French Army during the Second Battle of the Marne. Consequently, its shoulder patch became a blue French helmet, to commemorate its service with the French Army during the Spring Offensive.
The division was reactivated with the "colored" infantry designation on 15 May 1942 at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and shipped overseas in 1944. Most of the division did see service in the Pacific Theater during World War II, but the division's regiments were mainly utilized as construction units and in defensive operations. In 1945, the 93rd Infantry Division was inactivated, though the lineage of several of its units are carried on by the Illinois and Maryland Army National Guard.
World War I
The 93rd was known initially as the 93rd Division (Provisional). It was never fully formed except for infantry units, which fought under French command. The unit became known as the 93rd Division and was composed of the following regiments:
185th Brigade (Infantry)
- 369th Infantry Regiment ("The Harlem Hellfighters"; formerly the 15th Infantry Regiment, New York National Guard). Now the 719th Transportation Company, 369th Sustainment Brigade.
- 370th Infantry Regiment ("The Black Devils"; formerly the 8th Infantry Regiment, Illinois National Guard). Awarded the Fourragère. Now lineage is carried on by the 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry, Illinois National Guard.
186th Brigade (Infantry)
- 371st Infantry Regiment (1st Provisional Infantry Regiment, National Army was drawn from black draftees)
- 372nd Infantry Regiment Made up of troops of the 1st Separate Battalion, District of Columbia National Guard; 1st Separate Company, Connecticut National Guard; Company L, Massachusetts National Guard; 9th Separate Battalion, Ohio National Guard; 1st Separate Company, Maryland National Guard; and 250 draftees from Camp Custer, Michigan. Now its lineage is carried on by the 229th Main Support Battalion, Maryland National Guard, and the 372nd Military Police Battalion, District of Columbia National Guard.
The division was activated in December 1917 and sent to France; however, the troops never fought together as a division, and in fact their provisional division headquarters was demobilized in May 1918. Over the objections of the division's commander, Brig. Gen. Roy Hoffman (appointed 15 December 1917), its brigades were broken up and the regiments brigaded with French Army formations. They were issued French equipment and arms but wore US uniforms; the "blue hat" nickname is derived from the blue-painted Casque Adrian helmets they wore.
Each regiment was brigaded with French forces for three time periods: 1 to 21 July 1918; from 1 August 1918; and from 24 October 1918 to the armistice:
|Regiment||From 1 to 21 July 1918||From 1 August to 23 October 1918||from 24 October to 11 November 1918|
|369th Infantry Regiment:||IV French Army||161st French Division||Fourth Army (France)|
|370th Infantry Regiment:||II French Army||26th French Division||Tenth Army (France)|
|371st Infantry Regiment:||XIII French Army||157th French (Colonial) Division||Second Army (France)|
|372d Infantry Regiment:||XIII French Army||157th French (Colonial) Division||Second Army (France)|
The regiments that later formed the 93rd were originally sent to France to be converted into badly needed labor units. However, the outcry by African-American leaders including W. E. B. Du Bois and A. Philip Randolph forced the US to reconsider. The alternative would be the potential loss of needed African-American recruits for labor and service units.
Four independent regiments were chosen to assume the designations of the 93rd (Provisional) Infantry Division's regiments (369th, 370th, 371st, and 372nd Infantry). The problem was, where to place them?
The main American Expeditionary Force (AEF) refused to have African-American soldiers in combat. Ironically, the commander of the AEF, General John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing had earned his nickname and reputation as an officer in the 10th Cavalry Regiment, then still a black Buffalo Soldier regiment. While Pershing was an early supporter of having "colored" soldiers in the military, he seems to have bowed to political expediency in this case.
The British already had several American divisions under their command. This was due to a deal struck with the American armed forces, which had no transport fleet when they entered the war. The United Kingdom and their Commonwealth allies would transport six American divisions by sea to Europe. Then the American divisions would be folded into British Corps. The French had a similar deal where they exchanged the Americans' 3-inch guns for early-model French 75 mm cannon to simplify the supply of ammunition and Chauchat light machineguns to replace the Americans' scarce Lewis Guns. In return, they demanded that American troops be placed under their command to replace their early-war losses.
The regiments fought in several battles alongside French troops, who were already used to colonial North and Sub-Saharan African "colored" soldiers (noirs). All regiments acquitted themselves well and received unit citations from the French. Numerous individual soldiers exhibited extraordinary heroism and were highly decorated by the French. One of these was Cpl. Freddie Stowers, who decades after his death would be awarded the American Medal of Honor. The division's shoulder patch, with its blue French Adrian helmet, commemorated this period.
Total casualties from all regiments were 3,167 (killed-in-action 523; wounded-in-action 2,644). The 93rd Division had two Medal of Honor recipients (Lt Robb & Cpl Stower), 75 Distinguished Service Crosses and 527 Croix de Guerre medals.
The Red Hand Division
In May 1918, French General Mariano Goybet was ordered to command the French 157th Infantry Division, which had been decimated after the Third Battle of the Aisne. On 4 July 1918, it was reconstituted by putting together the 333rd Infantry Regiment (French) with two of the U.S. 93rd's regiments—the 371st and 372nd.
General Goybet took special notice of the fact this was the first 4 July to be celebrated by his now Franco-American Division.
It is striking demonstration of the long standing and blood-cemented friendship which binds together our two great nations. The sons of the soldiers of Lafayette greet the sons of the soldiers of George Washington who have come over to fight as in 1776, in a new and greater way of independence. The same success which followed the glorious fights for the cause of liberty is sure to crown our common effort now and bring about the final victory of right and justice over barbarity and oppression.— General Goybet, 157th Infantry Division
The rebuilt 157th Division participated in the Second Battle of the Marne. With violent attacks, General Goybet broke the enemy front at Monthois, capturing many prisoners and a considerable amount of materiel in the process. Afterward, he occupied the Vosges, re-capturing Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines.
General Order No. 234 (8 October 1918):
I am proud to forward you herewith the thanks and congratulations of General Garnier-Duplessix and I want at the same time, dear friends of all ranks Americans and French, to tell you as your leader and as soldier, from the bottom of my heart how grateful, I am to you all for the glory you have acquired for our splendid 157th Division. In these nine hard days of battle you have pushed ahead for eight kilometers, fought powerful enemy organization, captured close to 600 prisoners, taken 15 guns light and heavy, 20 infantry Mortars and artillery ammunition and brought down by rifle 3 aeroplanes. The red hand of this division is now in truth a blood-reeking hand. I grappled the Boche at the throat and made him yell for mercy. Our glorious comrades who died are well avenged.— General Goybet, commander of the 157th Division
Order of Battle World War I
November 23, 1917 the War Department directed the organization of the 185th and 186th Infantry Brigades (colored). The 185th Infantry Brigade included the 369th Infantry Regiment (the former 15th Infantry Regiment New York National Guard) and the 370th Infantry Regiment (the former 8th Inf, Illinois National Guard). The 186th Infantry Brigade included the 371st Infantry Regiment and the 372nd Infantry Regiment, the latter was organized from colored National Guard units from Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Tennessee. For purposes of administration the brigades were considered as a provisional division and Brigadier General Roy Hoffman was designated to command them; he was ordered to Camp Stuart where the 372nd Infantry Regiment was to be formed. December 1, 1917 the 370th Infantry Regiment was organized at Camp Logan and a colored infantry regiment that had been organized at Camp Jackson from selective service men during the preceding October was designated the 371st Infantry Regiment. December 11, 1917 Brigadier General Hoffman arrives at Camp Stuart, and, on December 24, assumes command of the provisional division. January 1, 1918 the 372d Infantry Regiment was organized. January 5, 1918 the War Department designates the two brigades as the 93rd Division (Provisional), and orders the formation of a division staff. The minimum strength of about 9,000 under the Tables of Organization of August 15, 1917, was allowed; the staff were to be white officers. The Division units train for field service. March 10, 1918 the 370th Infantry Regiment joins at Camp Stuart, and on April 6, 1918 the 371st Infantry Regiment arrived.
MOVEMENT OVERSEAS, DECEMBER 12, 1917-APRIL 22, 1918
December 12, 1917 the 369th Infantry Regiment sails from Hoboken, and arrives, December 27, at Brest. February 18, Division Head Quarters (DHQ) sailed from Hoboken on the SS George Washington and arrived, March 4, at Brest. Other troops sailed from Newport News as follows: March 30, 1918 the 372nd Infantry Regiment, April 7, the brigade headquarters, 370th Infantry and 371st Infantry (less three companies). April 14, the 372nd Infantry arrives St-Nazaire, and the other units on April 22 at Brest. April 29, the last elements, three companies of the 371st Infantry arrived at St-Nazaire.
FINAL TRAINING AND OPERATIONS, JANUARY 1 - DECEMBER 12, 1918
The four regiments of the Division were to be affiliated with the French Army. March 11, DHQ is established at Bar-sur-Seine (Aube) and retained administrative control until May 15, when it ceased to function and the personnel were assigned elsewhere. The four American regiments are reorganized to conform to the French tables of organization.
ACTIVITIES OF 369TH, 371ST, AND 372RD REGIMENT OF INFANTRY PRIOR TO THE MEUSE-ARGONNE OPERATION
369th Infantry Regiment January 1, 1918, the regiment moved to St-Nazaire and Camp Coetquidan for duty with the Service of Supply (SOS). March 12, it proceeded to Givry-en-Argonne for training under the French 16th Division (French Fourth Army) and on March 15 establishes its headquarters at Herpont. April 8-July 4, the regiment participates in the occupation of the Afrique Subsector (Champagne), north of Ste-Menehould, where its battalions are affiliated with battalions of the French 16th Division April 16, the regiment holds a 5 km front, extending from the western bank of the Aisne, through the Bois d'Hauzy, to Ville-sur-Tourbe, and, on Apr 29, assumes command of this sector. Night July 3/4, the regiment is relieved and withdraws to a second position north of Maffrécourt and Courtemont, but keeps one battalion in an inter- mediate position near Berzieux. July 15–18, the regiment participates in the Champagne-Marne Operation. July 15, after assisting in stopping an attack against the front of the French 16th Division, the regiment moves 6 km west to support the French 161st Division north of Minaucourt. July 18, the regiment participates in the counter- attack and recapture of the front line trenches by this division, and until July 22, it remains in support. July 21–22, one battalion enters the front line in the Beauséiour subsector. July 23-Aug 19, the regiment occupies the Calvaire Subsector (Champagne) from 5 km south of Maisons-de-Champagne Fme to 1 km north of Beauséiour Fme, between Butte du Mesnil and Main de Massiges. Subsequently, it moves to St-Ouën where it trains until Sept 7. Sept 9, the regiment becomes an organic part of the French 161st Division Sept 11-15, the regiment occupies the Beausejour Subsector, which is in front of Butte du Mesnil and extends from 1 km north of Beausejour Ferme (Fme - French for Farm) to 13/4 km northeast of Le Mesnil-Lès-Hurlus. September 14–16, the regiment is relieved and moves to the Somme-Bionne Area in preparation for the Meuse-Argonne Operation.
371st Infantry Regiment April 26, the regiment moved to the vicinity of Rembercourt-aux-Pots where it trained under the French XIII Corps until June 6. It then becomes an organic part of the French 157th Division and as such is at the disposal of the French 68th Division near Verdun-sur-Meuse. June 11-September 14, the regiment participates in the occupation of the Verdun Sector (Lorraine). June 11, it occupies a reserve position west of Bethelainville in support of the French 68th Division and, on June 23, in an Avocourt subsector west of Hill 304. July 14, the regiment moves to the right, and, July 16, occupies the adjoining Favry subsector, which is the left subsector of Sector 304, but still retains a part of the Avocourt subsector and a command post at a reorganization of the sector and patrolling follow. September 14, the regiment is relieved and moves, via Heiltz-l'Eveque, to the Somme-Bionne Area, where it arrives, September 24, in preparation for the Meuse-Argonne Operation.
372d Infantry Regiment April 21, the regiment moves to Conde-en-Barrios where it trains under the French XIII Corps until May 26. It then joins the Fr 63d Div which occupies a sector between the Aire River and Le Four de Paris. May 26-July 15, the regiment participates in the occupation of the Aire Sector (Lorraine). May 26, it enters the divisional area and takes station near Futeau. June 4, it moves into the front line, and, on June 7, assumes command of the Argonne-Ouest Subsector where it trains in the front line. June 21, the regiment is assigned to the French 35th Div. June 27-July 1, it relieves the French 123d Infantry in a Vauquois subsector and, on July 1, assumes command. July 2, the regiment becomes an organic part of the French 157th Division July 14, the French 157th Division is relieved from the Aire Sector, and moves near Grange-le-Comte Fme for rest; the regimental headquarters goes to Locberes. July 16-September 14, the Regiment participates in the occupation of the Verdun Sector (Lorraine). The regiment, in division reserve, occupies a second position near Béthelainville until July 24, when it enters Subsector 304, and, on July 26, relieves the French 92d infantry the reorganization and consolidation of the subsector follows. September 9, the regiment was relieved by the 129th Infantry (33d Division) and moves to the Bois de Brocourt. September 13, it proceeded via Brienne-le-Château and Vitry-le-François to Hans, where it arrives on September 24, in preparation for the Meuse- Argonne Operation.
ACTITIVIES OF 369TH, 371ST, AND 372ND REGIMENTS OF INFANTRY DURING THE MEUSE·ARGONNE OPERATION
September 26-0ct 8, the 369th Infantry (French161st Division) and the 371st Infantry and 372nd Infantry (French 157th Division ) participated in the Meuse- Argonne Operation. Sept 26, the French IX Corps (French Fourth Army), with the French 2nd Moroccan and French 161st Divisions abreast and French 157th Division in reserve, attacked toward Challerange, Marvaux, and Vieux from the sector front, which extended from near Main de Massiges to a point east of Mesnil-lès-Hulus. The 369th Infantry (French 161st Division) advanced from the Ravin d'Hébuterne, captures Ripont, and occupied a front of 3/4 km just north of that village; French 163d Infantry on the right, French 2d Moroccan Division on the left. September 27, the 369th Infantry reached the slopes north of Fontaine-en-Dormois. September 28, the French 157th Division entered on the left of the French 161st Division ; the 371st Infantry advanced to 400 m south of Le Pied; the 372d Infantry captured the western part of Bellevue Signal Ridge and reached a position south of Bussy Fme; the 369th Infantry advanced against resistance to the southern slope of Bellevue Signal Ridge; the French 163d Infantry is in line between the 369th and 372d regiments. September 29, the 372d Infantry attacks Sechault but retired and reorganized south of Bussy Fme; the 369th Inf, with parts of the 372d Infantry, captured Séchault and reached a line just northeast of that village; the 371st Infantry captured Ardeuil and Montfauxelles, and established a line from Moulin Moya-St. to la Croix Cavilliers. September 369th Infantry advanced to a line one km south of les Rosiers Fme; the 371st Infantry captured Trieres Fme, 2 km south of Monthois. Night September 30/October 1, the 369th Infantry was relieved and placed in division reserve. Oct 1, the 372d Infantry relieved the 37Ist Infantry which passed to the division reserve. October 2, the 372d Infantry attacked and reached a line across the Sechault-Monthois road 3/4 km south of Monthois, where it remained in position. Night of Oct 7/8, the French 157th Division was relieved.
ACTIVITIES OF 369TH, 371ST, AND 372ND REGIMENTS OF INFANTRY SUBSEQUENT TO THEIR WITHDRAWAL FROM THE MEUSE-ARGONNE OPERATION
369th Infantry October 7, the 369th Infantry (French 161st Division) moved to Vitry- le-François and passed to corps reserve. October 8, rehabilitation began. October 14, it moved to the Belfort Area and then to the vicinity of Thann. October I7-November 11, the regiment, stationed at Wesserling and St-Amarin, participated in the occupation of a Thur subsector (Alsace) which is part of a sector between Limbach and Metzeral held by the French 161st Division (French Seventh Army). November 17, the regiment moved with the French 161st Division (French Second Army, now in the Army of Occupation) to the Rhine, and, on November 18, took station at and near Blodelsheim. December 12, the regiment was relieved from duty with the French Army, and, on December 17, moved to the Belfort Area.
37lst and 372nd Regiments of Infantry October 7, the 371st Infantry and 372d Infantry, part of the French I57th Division, assembled near Beausejour Fme, north of Minaucourt, and, October 11–12, moved via Valmy and Ste-Menehould to the vicinity of Corcieux. October 13-November 11, these regiments, together with the French 333rd Infantry occupies the Anould Sector (Alsace) which lies between Weiss Creek and Fave Creek and extends from Tête-des-Faux, through Le Bonhomme, Tête-du-Violu, and Wisembach, to Frapelle; the 371st Infantry enters Bonhomme subsector, and the 372d Infantry entered Subsector B, near Wisembach. November 17, the regiments move to the Bruyères Area, and on December 20, when the French 157th Division was disbanded, they reverted to the authority of the General Headquarters of the American Expeditionary Force.
OPERATIONS OF 370TH INFANTRY OVERSEAS-APRIL 25-NOVEMBER 11,1918
April 25, the regiment moved to Grandvillars where it passed to the French Seventh Army and is attached to the French 73d Division for training. May 19, the regiment was transferred to the French 133rd Division and continued training. June 1, it joined the French 10th Division (French XL Corps) which was occupying a sector between the Swiss border and the Rhine-Rhone Canal. June 12, the regiment moved via Nançois-le-Petit to Lignières and, on June 17, joined the French 34th Division (French Second Army) which was occupying a sector between Etang de Vargévaux and Les Paroches. June 17-July 5, the regiment participated in the occupation of the St-Mihiel Sector (Lorraine) June 22, it entered Han-sur-Meuse-Bislee subsector, southwest of St-Mihiel. July 1, the regiment began to withdraw from the sector and occupied a reserve position in support of the French 34th Division (French II Colonial Corps). July 5, the regiment moved via Les Islettes to the vicinity of Auzéville where it joined the French 36th Division (French XIII Corps, French Second Army). July 7- August 18, the regiment participated in the occupation of the Aire Sector (Lorraine) which extends from the Bois d'Avocourt to the Aire River. July 7, the regiment passed to the division reserve near Auzéville, but elements served successively in the front line near Vauquois. August 15, the regiment was relieved from duty with the French 36th Division and moved by stages to Rampont, where, August 18, it left for the Bar-le-Duc Area and further training. September 1, the regiment moved via Betz to the vicinity of La Ferté-Milon, where it arrives on September 4 and passed to the French 59th Division (French Tenth Army). September 14, the regiment moved with the French 59th Division to the Vauxaillon Area where it stayed in the division reserve until September 22. September 15-October 13, the regiment participated in the Oise-Aisne Operation. September 17–22, four companies, attached to troops of the French 232d and French 325th Regiments (French 59th Division, French XVIII Corps) participated in attacks against Mont-des-Singes and the northeastern spur of the Moisy plateau. September 24, the regiment entered the front line between Champ-Vailly and Ecluse where it engaged in local actions; French 325th Infantry on the right, French 31st Division (French XVI Corps) on the left. Sept 28-0ct 4, the regiment, during a general attack of the French 59th Division, is engaged at Ecluse, Fme de la Rivière and near Mont-des-Singes, assisted in driving the enemy north of the Oise-Aisne Canal, and established a line south of the canal from Ecluse to the Pinon-Brancourt road.
October 5–11, patrolling continued, October 6, French XVI Corps now commanded the French 59th Division October 12, the regiment, participated in a general attack, crosses the canal and Ailette River, advanced into the Bois de Mortier, and occupied the Tranchee du Bronze and Tranchèe de l'Acier, northeast of the Fme de la Rivière October 13, the regiment, in the division reserve, approached Cessieres. October 14, the French 59th Division passed to the army reserve, but the regiment remained, reorganized, and trained near Cessieres. October 27, the French 59th Division is placed at the disposal of the French XVIII Corps (French Third Army). October 28-November 11, the regiment participated in the Oise-Aisne Operation. Night Oct 27/28, the Fr 59th Division moved to the front near Grandlup-et-Fay, northeast of Laon, where, on October 30, it relieves the French 127th Division .October 30-November 4, the 370th Infantry was in division support near Chantrud Fme. Night November 4/5, the enemy was withdrawing to the Antwerp-Meuse line. November 5, the regiment, advanced in line with the French 59th Division, which was in pursuit of the enemy, reached the vicinity of St- Pierremont. November 6, it advanced northeasterly and drove the enemy from the Bois du Val-St-Pierre reaching a position east of Nampcelles- la-Cour. Nov 8, it captured Beaume and stopped south and southwest of Aubenton with its left along the railroad. November 9, the regiment reached Pont-d'Any, on November 10, it is north of Eteignieres, and on Nov 11, the vicinity of Gué-d'Hossus, 3/4 km north of Rocroi, across the Belgian border. Nov 12, the regiment withdrew to an area north- east of Aubenton and then to the north of Laon. Nov 16, the headquarters was at Barenton-sur-Serre. December 10, the regiment moved by stages to an area north of Reims; the division headquarters was at Villers-Franqueux. December 13, the regiment was relieved from duty with the French 59th Division and went to Soissons.
RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES AND DEMOBILIZATION, DECEMBER 13, 1918-MARCH 11, 1919
The regiments moved to the American Embarkation Center, Le Mans, as follows: December 23, the 370th Infantry left the Soissons Area; December 31, the 369th Infantry left the Belfort Area; January 1–2, the 371st Infantry and 372nd Infantry left the Bruyeres Area. January 9, the troops moved to Brest. February 2, the 369th Infantry and 370th Infantry sailed, arriving at New York on February 12 and February 9, respectively. February 3, the 371st and 372nd Infantry sailed, arriving at Hoboken on February 11. The troops passed through Camp Upton and were demobilized as follows: February 28, 369th Infantry at Camp Upton, and 371st Infantry at Camp Jackson, March 6, 372nd Infantry at Camp Sherman, March 11, 370th Infantry at Camp Grant.
The bravery of the soldiers in the 371st and 372nd during this period has gained more recognition over time. In 1991, Freddie Stowers, a corporal in the 371st, posthumously received the Medal of Honor for actions taken in September 1918, becoming the first African-American soldier to do so for World War I service. His two surviving sisters, Georgina and Mary, received the medal in a ceremony at the White House from President George H. W. Bush.
Henry Lincoln Johnson
World War II
- Activated: 15 May 1942. 368th, 369th & 25th Inf Regts
- Overseas: 24 January 1944.
- Campaigns: New Guinea, Northern Solomons (Bougainville), Bismarck Archipelago (Admiralty Islands)
- Awards: DSC: 1; DSM: 1; SS: 5; LM: 5; SM: 16; BSM: 686; AM: 27.
- Commanders: Maj. Gen. Charles P. Hall (May–October 1942), Maj. Gen. Fred W. Miller(October 1942 – May 1943), Maj. Gen. Raymond G. Lehman (May 1943 – August 1944), Maj. Gen. Harry H. Johnson (August 1944 – September 1945), Brig. Gen. Leonard R. Boyd (September 1945 to inactivation).
- Returned to United States: 1 February 1946.
- Inactivated: 3 February 1946.
In August 1944, Major General Harry H. Johnson, the former commander of the 2nd Cavalry Division, assumed command of the Division, relieving Major General Lehman, who had returned to the United States for medical reasons. He would lead the division through the remainder of the war, including the New Guinea-Philippines campaign.
An advance party of the 93rd Infantry Division arrived at Guadalcanal on 29 January 1944. The rest of the division landed between 6 February and 5 March, one regiment disembarking at the Russell Islands on 7 February. The bulk of the division engaged in training, labor and security duties on Guadalcanal and the Treasury Islands from 7 June and both Hollandia and Dutch New Guinea from 30 October. Component units performed similar duties on Wake Island from 20 January to 2 October 1945, on Finschhafen from 12 October 1944 to 31 March 1945, on Los Negros from 29 September 1944 to 16 March 1945, and on Blak from 10 October 1944 to 1 October 1945. The division's combat elements moved to Bougainville Island on 28 March 1944, and were attached to the Americal Division on the 30th. On that date they entered combat, assisting in attacks on the enemy perimeter. These elements, including the 25th RCT, reconnoitered across the Laruma River on 2 April, and in the Torokina River Valley from 7–12 April 1944. The 25th RCT operated against the Japanese along the Kuma and East-West Trails during May 1944. The combat team left for the Green Islands during May and June. The 93d Rcn. Troop, attached to the XIV Corps, remained to raid, patrol, and maintain perimeter positions. The troop began training 12 September 1944, and moved to Finschhafen on 1 November. Security patrols had scattered contacts with the enemy at Urapas from 3 to 15 January 1945, at Wardo from 6 November-22 December, and at Wari on 31 December. The security detachments at Wardo and Wari were withdrawn on 9–10 February 1945.
Almost all of the Division occupied Morotai, Dutch New Guinea, from 4 April to 21 October 1945. Scattered skirmishes occurred along the northwestern sector of the island. The 93rd continued its labor and security missions. It occupied Sansapor from 5 April to 10 July 1945, Middleburg Island from 5 April to 7 October 1945, and Noemfoor Island from 13 April to 7 June 1945. The Division then moved to Zamboanga, Philippine Islands, where it remained from 1 July 1945 to 7 January 1946. Patrols encountered light resistance until the end of hostilities, 15 August 1945. Palawan was occupied from 2 July to 5 December 1945, Jolo from 1 July to 2 October 1945, and Sanga-Sanga from 3 July 1945 to 6 January 1946. The Division arrived at Mindanao on 9 October 1945, moved to Tacloban, Leyte on 13 January 1946, and left for home on 17 January 1946.
Leonard E. Dowden
While on Jolo on 17 July 1945, a patrol from the 368th was ambushed by a Japanese force three times its size. When the firefight began, Sergeant Leonard E. Dowden moved his squad to within 30 yards of the enemy. He then crawled forward alone to assault a machine-gun position with grenades, despite being gravely wounded. He would be killed by a burst of fire as he was about to throw a grenade. The patrol was able to fight off the enemy attack with only 18 casualties. For the extraordinary heroism that cost him his life, Staff Sergeant Dowden received the Distinguished Service Cross. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Staff Sergeant Dowden was the only member of the 93rd Infantry Division to earn the DSC during the war.
For the remainder of the war, the division would find itself fighting on Morotai. In April 1945, the division conducted intensive patrols with the aim of destroying the remaining Japanese forces on the island. At this time most of the Japanese on Morotai were located along the island's west coast, and generally stayed close to native gardens. The 93rd Division landed patrols along Morotai's west and north coasts from late April onwards, and these fought scattered skirmishes with small Japanese forces. One of the division's main goals was to capture Colonel Ouchi, commander of the 211th Regiment, 32nd Division, and this was achieved by a patrol from the 25th Infantry Regiment on 2 August 1945. Ouchi was the highest ranking Japanese officer to be captured before the end of the war.
End of the war
After the Japanese capitulation in August 1945, the division secured the surrender of 41,000 Japanese troops and civilians on Morotai and the nearby Halmahera islands of the Dutch East Indies. Included were 37,000 troops, of whom 5,000 were in a naval force and 4,000 were civilians. The surrender was accepted on Morotai by Major General Johnson. Lt. General Ishii, the commander of the IJA 32nd Division and the senior surviving officer in the area, surrendered the Japanese Army forces to the 93rd after he was brought to Morotai on a U.S. Navy PT boat.
After the signing Ishii asked Maj. General Johnson if he and his officers would be allowed to retain their samurai swords. Johnson refused and afterwards commented,
Order of battle
- Headquarters, 93rd Infantry Division
- 25th Infantry Regiment
- 368th Infantry Regiment
- 369th Infantry Regiment
- Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 93rd Infantry Division Artillery
- 593rd Field Artillery Battalion
- 594th Field Artillery Battalion
- 595th Field Artillery Battalion
- 596th Field Artillery Battalion
- 318th Engineer Combat Battalion
- 318th Medical Battalion
- 93rd Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop (Mechanized)
- Headquarters, Special Troops, 93rd Infantry Division
- Headquarters Company, 93rd Infantry Division
- 793rd Ordnance Light Maintenance Company
- 93rd Quartermaster Company
- 93rd Signal Company
- Military Police Platoon
- 93rd Counterintelligence Corps Detachment
- Shoulder patch: Black circle containing blue Adrian helmet.
- Rinaldi, p. 54
- Rinaldi, p. 72
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- 229th Main Support Battalion
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- Order of battle of the United States land forces in the World War.Originally published: Washington: U.S. G.P.O., 1931-1949. Supt. of Docs. no.: D114.2:B32, United States. Army-History-World War, 1914-1918. 1. Center of Military History. D570.073 1987 940.4'12'73 87-600306.
This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
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