World War I
Activated: July 1917 (National Guard Division from Illinois).
Overseas: May 1918.
Major operations: Meuse-Argonne, Somme offensive.
Casualties: Total-6,864 (KIA-691, WIA-6,173).
Maj. Gen. George Ball, Jr. (25 August 1917)
Brig. Gen. H. D. Todd, Jr. (19 September 1917)
Maj. Gen. George Ball, Jr. (7 December 1917).
Returned to U. S. and inactivated: May 1919.
World War II
Activated: 5 March 1941 (National Guard Division from Illinois).
Overseas: 7 July 1943.
Campaigns: New Guinea, Luzon.
Distinguished Unit Citations: 6. Awards: MH-3 ; DSC-31 ; DSM-2 ; SS-470 ; LM-34; SM-49 ; BSM-2,251 ; AM-36.
Maj. Gen. Samuel T. Lawton (March 1941-May 1942)
Maj. Gen. Frank Mahin (May-July 1942)
Maj. Gen. John Millikin (August 1942-September 1943)
Maj. Gen. Percy W. Clarkson (October 1943-November 1945)
Brig. Gen. W. G. Skelton (November 1945 to inactivation).
Inactivated: 3 February 1946 in Japan. (See National Guard.)
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-RosarioPozorrubio 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 Yamashita. 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.
[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.]