Pre-World War II
Activated: 21 March 1925 as a National Guard Division in Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
World War II
Activated: 24 February 1941.
Overseas: 1 October 1942.
Campaigns: New Guinea, Northern Solomons, Luzon.
Distinguished Unit Citations: 5.
Awards: MH-2 ; DSC-40 ; DSM-2 ; SS-736 ; LM-53; SM-51 ; BSM-2,496 ; AM-27.
Maj. Gen. Morris B. Payne (February-August 1941)
Maj. Gen. John H. Hester (August 1941-July 1943)
Maj. Gen. Leonard F. Wing (August 1943 to inactivation).
Returned to U. S.: 19 October 1945.
Inactivated: 26 October 1945. (See National Guard.)
The 43d Infantry Division landed in New Zealand on 23 October 1942. The 172d Regiment arrived at Espiritu Santo, 26 October. The Division moved to Noumea, New Caledonia, in November and to Guadalcanal, 17 February 1943. Russell Islands were occupied without opposition, 21 February, and training continued. Elements landed on Vangunu and Rendova Islands against minor resistance, 30 June, but the enemy 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 43d 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, 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.
Nickname: Nickname: Winged Victory Division. Shoulder patch: A khaki-bordered red quatrefoil, on which is imposed a black grapeleaf. Association: 43d Infantry Division Association, Room 200, State Armory, Hartford 6, Conn., Brig. Gen. George E. Cole, secretary. Publication: History of the 43d Infantry Division: by unit members; Army & Navy Publishing Co., Baton Rouge 1, La.; 1946.
[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.]