33rd Infantry Division

Nickname: Illinois Division. (Division is also known as Prairie Division since Illinois is the Prairie State and Illinois National Guard units make up the division.) . Shoulder Patch; the patch is circular in shape and contains a gold cross on a field of black. Its origin is reputed to derive from practice by a regiment of the division of marking property with a yellow cross during the Moro campaign, yellow being taboo to Mohammedans. Ordered to mark their equipment with divisional insignia during the World War, the division marked it with left-over yellow paint, recalling the Moro campaign practice of one of its regiments. . Song: “33rd Division Marching Song,” music by Mark R. Foutch and word’s by Paul R. Ballard. . History: Organized July, 1917, at Camp Logan, Texas. Elements of the 33rd arrived in France May and June, 1918. Actions at Amiens, Verdun, St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne. The 33rd suffered 7255 casualties; capturing 3987 prisoners. . Training: inducted Mar. 5, 1941, the 33rd was assigned to Camp Forrest, Tennessee, under III Corps, Second Army. Maneuvers: Louisiana, under Second Army. The division came under AGF Mar. 9, 1942, and was moved to Ft. Lewis, Aug., 1942, and afterwards (Mar., 1943) to Camp Young, Calif. Maneuvers: Desert Training Center, Apr. to June, 1943 Overseas: July, 1943 (Hawaii). . Commanding’ Generals: Maj. Gen, Samuel T. Lawton, Mar., 1941, to May, 1942; Maj. Gen. Prank Mahin, May-July, 1942; Maj. Gen. John Millikin, Aug., 1942, to Sept., 1943; Maj. Gen. Percy W. Clarkson, Oct., 1943, to present. . Component Units: (As of July, 1943) 123rd, 130th and 136th Infantry Regiments, 122nd, 124th, 210th (L) and 123rd (M) FA Battalions. Higher command: Eighth and Sixth Armies. . Combat Highlights: The Illinois Division got its initial action in New Guinea, following duties in perimeter defense with participation in the fight for Wakde, May, 1944. On Dec. 24, 1944, the 33rd jumped off for the second battle of Morotai (Halmahera) and on completion of that operation moved on (Feb., 1945) to Luzon. Action on Luzon began with helping to secure terrain in the Demortis-Rosario-Pozorrubio area. Ultimate objective of the 33rd’s campaign in Luzon was the liberation of Baguio, summer capital of the Philippines. It was uphill all the way and during three months of fighting, the 33rd traversed the most rugged terrain on Luzon. There was bitter fighting to take Pugo, Mount Calugong and finally Hill 24-A atop Mount Mirador dominating Baguio. With the 37th Division, the 33rd took Baguio and nearby Camp John Hay, Later the division completed mopping up the area and moved on to break the San Nicholas-Tebbo-Itogon route. As late as July the division was still engaged in action against remaining die-hard Japs.

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