81st Infantry Division

Nickname: Wildcat Division. . Shoulder Patch: Black Wildcat, on olive drab disc bordered in black, named from a creek near the 8lst’s camp ground, Camp (now Fort) Jackson, World War I Division is generally credited as first to wear a patch. . Slogan: “Wildcats Never Quit. They Win or Die.” . Song: “Wildcat March” (Available in SIS flies). . History: Activated: September 1917, Camp Jackson, South Carolina. Overseas: August, 1918. Actions: St. Die, Meuse-Argonne (Commanded by General Pershing). . Training: Reactivated: June 15, 1942, Camp Rucker, Alabama Other station: Camp Ban Luis Obispo, California Maneuvers: Conecuh Forest (Alabama and Florida.); Tennessee, Second Army. Overseas: June. 1944 (T. H.). . Commanding Generals: Maj. Gen. Gustave H. Franke, June-August, 1942; Maj. Gen. Paul J. Mueller, August, 1942, to present.. Component Units: (As of June, 1944) 321st, 322d and 323d Infantry Regiments; 316th, 317th, 318th (M) and 906th (L) FA Battalions. Higher Commands: XXIV Corps; Tenth, Eighth and Sixth Armies. Combat Highlights: The Wildcats went into action first on September 17, 1944, on Angaur Island in the Palaus. The conquest of Angaur was speedily effected as troops drove through the Japanese defenses to the western shore, cutting the island in half. Angaur Island was declared secure on Sept. 20 and mopping up operations were started to destroy the remnants of the Jap garrison. While the main force of the division had been engaged at Angaur, elements of the 81st attached to the 1st Marine Division had begun an offensive action against the enemy on Peleliu Island Sept. 23. These troops made a noteworthy contribution to the ultimate success of the operation by splitting the enemy defense force and isolating a sizeable group in the mountainous area of central Peleliu. They also assisted in the destruction of hundreds of the enemy In Northern Peleliu, in addition to mopping up Ngesebus and Kongaru Islands and seizing Garakayo Island still further to the north. By Nov. 17 all resistance on Peleliu had ended. By that time the 81st had also been credited with aiding in the capture of Ulithi, Ngulu, Kayangal atolls. On New Years Day, 1945, the Wildcats helped take Pals Island. After a period of rest, the 81st was ready for action again. It was next fighting on Mindanao, P. I., May, 1945. Here it captured the Narang Airfield. A month later the 81st Division was in the Visayen Is., Central Philippines. In July the 81st helped secure Baisayan Island.

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