Pre-World War II
Activated: 25 February 1921 in Hawaii as the Hawaiian Division.
Redesignated the 24th Infantry Division on 26 August 1941.
World War II
Campaigns: New Guinea, South Philippines, Luzon.
Distinguished Unit Citations: 8.
Awards: MH-3 ; DSC-15 ; DSM-2 ; SS-625 ; LM- 23 ; DFC-1 ; SM-38: BSM-2,197; AM-50.
Maj. Gen. Durward S. Wilson (October 1941-August 1942)
Maj. Gen. Frederick A. Irving (August 1942-November 1944)
Maj. Gen. Roscoe B. Woodruff (November 1944-10 November 1945)
Brig. Gen. Kenneth F. Cramer (November 1945-December 1945)
Maj. Gen. James A. Lester (December 1945-16 January 1948)
Maj. Gen. A. C. Smith (January 1948 to present).
The 24th Infantry Division was among the first to see combat in World War II and among the last to stop fighting. The Division was on Oahu, with Headquarters at Schofield Barracks, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941, and suffered minor casualties. Charged with the defense of northern Oahu, it built an elaborate system of coastal defenses. In May 1943 it was alerted for movement to Australia and by September 19, 1943 had completed the move to Camp Caves, near Rockhampton, on the eastern coast of Australia. After a period of intensive training, the Division moved to Goodenough Island, 31 January 1944, to stage for the Hollandia-Tanahmerah campaign. The 24th landed on Dutch New Guinea, 22 April 1944, and smashed its way to and seized the important Hollandia Airdrome despite torrential rains and marshy terrain. Shortly after the Hollandia landing, the 34th Infantry Regiment moved to Biak, 18 June, to reinforce the 41st Infantry Division, and captured Sorido and Borokoe airdromes before returning to the Division on Hollandia in July. After occupation duty in the Hollandia area, the 24th Division landed on Red Beach on Leyte, 20 October 1944, as part of the X Corps, Sixth Army, and driving up Leyte Valley advanced to Jaro and took Breakneck Ridge, 12 November 1944, in heavy fighting. While mopping up continued on Leyte, the 19th RCT moved to Mindoro Island as part of the Western Visayan Task Force, landing in the San Jose area, 15 December 1944. Airfields and a PT base were secured for operations on Luzon. Divisional elements effected a landing on Marinduque Island. Other elements supported the 11th Airborne Division drive from Nasugbu to Manila. The 34th RCT, landing at San Antonio, Luzon, 29 January 1945, ran into a furious battle on Zig Zag Pass and suffered heavy casualties. On 16 February 1945 the 3d Bn. of the 24th Infantry took part in the amphibious landing on Corregidor and fought Japanese under a hot sun on the well-defended Rock. After numerous mopping up actions in March, the Division landed on Mindanao, 17 April 1945, cut across the island to Digos, 27 April, stormed into Davao, 3 May, and cleared Libby airdrome, 13 May. Although the campaign closed officially on 30 June, the Division continued to mop up Japanese resistance during July and August 1945. Patrolling continued after the official surrender of Japan. On 15 October 1945, the Division left Mindanao for Japan.
Nickname: Victory Division. Shoulder patch: A green taro leaf bordered in yellow, superimposed on a red circle which is bordered in black. Association: 24th Infantry (Victory) Division Association, First National Bank Building, Attleboro, Mass., Mr. Edmund F. Henry, secretary. Publications: Children of Yesterday; by unit members; The Infantry Journal, Washington 6, D. C.; 1947.
[Nota Bene: These combat chronicles, current as of October 1948, are reproduced from The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950, pp. 510-592.]