77th Infantry Division
Posted 02 November 2006 - 07:57 PM
Seventy-Seventh Infantry Division / 77th Division
"Metropolitan Division" and "Statue of Liberty Division"
World War I
World War II
Aug 30, 1917
March 25, 1942
March 15, 1946
“World War I
Activated: 18 August 1917
Overseas: March 1918
Major Operations: Meuse-Argonne Offensive, Oise-Aisne. Casualties: Total-10,194 (KIA-1,486; WIA-8,708)
Commanders: Maj. Gen. J. Franklin Bell (18 August 1917), Brig. Gen. E. M. Johnson (4 December 1917), Maj. Gen. G. B. Duncan (8 May 1918), Brig. Gen. E. M. Johnson (20 July 1918), Brig. Gen. E. M. Johnson (19 August 1918), Maj. Gen. Robert Alexander (27 August 1918)
Returned to U. S.: April 1919
Inactivated: April 1919
Historical note: The 77th Infantry Division was the first United States Army division to arrive in France in World War I. They prevented the German Army from capturing Paris during the famed Battle of Château-Thierry on July 18th, 1918.
Organized August 30, 1917 at Camp Upton. The majority were from New York City and the enlisted men were sent from New York City and Long Island, New York. On Oct. 10, 1917, many of the men were transferred to Camp Upton and Camp Greenwood, the vacancies caused thereby being filled by men from Camp Devens, Mass., and from Northern New York State.
The division began leaving Camp Upton on March 28, 1918, and sailed from Boston, Portland (Maine), via Halifax and New York City. With the exception of the artillery, all units proceeded through Liverppol, across England and landed at Calais, France. The artillery sailed from New York in April and went direct to Brest, France.
The division moved immediately to a training area back of the British front near St. Omer and while being trained by the 39th British Division, was held in reserve to meet the anticipated German attack against the channel ports which never materialized. The artillery brigade on arrival moved to an American training area at Souges. On June 16, 1918, the division moved by train to the Baccarat sector. On July 12, 1918, the artillery brigade relieved the French artillery in the Baccarat sector. During the time spent in this sector the division held a broad frontage.
On Aug. 4th, the division moved to the Vesle sector in the neighborhood of Fismes, on Aug. 11th, entering the line. With French troops on both flanks and forming a part of the 6th French Army, the divsion commenced the attack of the German positions north of the River Vesle on Aug. 18th, crossing the Vesle on Sept. 5th, and advanced its left flank to the River Aisne. The division was relieved Sept. 15th, moving for two days rest to the region of Arcy-le-Poin Sart. Division began moving Sept. 17th by bus and marching to St. Menehould. On Sept. 21st, elements of the division moved into position in the Argonne trenches. By Sept. 25th the whole division was in position and on Sept. 26th attacked on the left of the 1st American Army in the Argonne forest. On Oct. 15th and 16th, the division was relieved and concentrated in the vicinity east of Cornay (1st Corps Reserve) where it was held in readiness for immediate use if required. During this time the division troops were employed in reorganizing the line of defense. On Oct. 25th, the division relieved a line division and continued in the attack until Nov. 12th, advancing from St. Juvin to the Meuse. Division was relieved Nov. 12th and moved to the vicinity of Les Vignettes on Nov. 21st, and thence proceeded on Nov. 30th to the 9th training area and established division headquarters at Chateau Villain.
The division captured from the enemy the following: 13 officers, 737 men, 44 pieces of artillery, 323 machine guns and numerous supplies. The 77th Division made a total advance against resistance of 71.5 kilometers. Battle deaths, 1,990; wounded, 9,966; prisoners of war, 404. Distinguished Service Crosses awarded 146.
Commanding general: Maj. Gen. J. Franklin Bell, Aug. 18, 1917 to May 18, 1918; Maj. Gen. Geo. B. Duncan, May 18 to Aug. 24, 1918; Brig. Gen. Evan M. Johnson, Aug. 24 to Aug. 31, 1918; Maj. Gen. Robert Alexander, Aug. 31 to Nov. 11, 1918.
The units comprising the 77th Division were as follows: 153d, 154th Inf. Brigs., 305th, 306th, 307th, 308th Inf. Regts., 305th Machine Gun Bn., 152d Arty Brig., 304th, 305th, 306th Arty. Regts., 302d Trench Mortar Battery, 304th Div. Machine Gun Bn., 302d Engr. Regt. And Train, 302d Fld. Sig. Bn., 302d Train Hqs. And M.P., 302d Supply Train, 302d Amm. Train, 302d Sanitary Train (305th, 306th, 307th, 308th Amb. Cos. And Field Hospitals).
The well known "Lost Battalion" was a part of the 308th Infantry of this division.
World War II
Activated: 25 March 1942
Overseas: 24 March 1944
Campaigns: Western Pacific, Southern Philippines, Ryukyus
Distinguished Unit Citations: 16
Awards: MH-6 ; DSC-19 ; DSM-2 ; SS-335; LM-22; SM-25 ; BSM-4,433 ; AM-4
Commanders: Maj. Gen. Robert L. Eichelberger (March-June 1942), Maj. Gen. Roscoe B. Woodruff (June 1942-May 1943), Maj. Gen. Andrew D. Bruce (May 1943-27 February 1946)
Chaplain: Fray Angélico Chávez
Inactivated: 15 March 1946 in Japan
The 77th Infantry Division landed in Hawaii, 31 March 1944, and continued training in amphibious landings and jungle warfare. Elements began to leave Hawaii, 1 July 1944, for the amphibious assault on Guam. Attached to III Amphibious Force, the 77th made an assault landing on Guam, 21 July 1944. After taking over defense of the beachhead, the division drove north to seize Mount Tenjo and effected junction with the 3d Marine Division, linking the northern and southern bridgeheads, 23-29 July. It continued to drive north, and dislodged the enemy from positions at Barrigada town and mountain, 4 August, resistance ending on the 8th. With Guam recaptured, the 77th sailed for New Caledonia, but plans were changed en route and it was directed to proceed to Leyte. The division landed on the east coast of Leyte, 23 November 1944, and was attached to XXIV Corps, Sixth Army. After a short period of training and combat patrolling in the Corps' rear, 23 November-6 December, it landed at Ipil and fought up the east coast of Ormoc Bay to seize Ormoc, 10 December. Attacking north, astride Highway No. 2, the division secured Valencia and the Libungao-Palompon road junction. Mopping up operations continued through January 1945 to 5 February 1945.
The next combat assignment was Okinawa. In late March (26-29), the division made 15 landings, securing Kerama Retto and Keise Shima for the assault on Okinawa. Riding at sea, 1-15 April 1945, it suffered casualties from enemy suicide attacks, - and prepared for the assault landing on Ie Shima. On 16 April 1945, the 77th landed on Ie Shima, captured the airfield, and engaged in a bitter fight for "Government House Hill" and "Bloody Ridge." It was in this operation that Ernie Pyle was killed. On 25 April, it left Ie Shima for Okinawa, relieving the 96th Division, 28 April 1945. Fighting its way slowly against extremely heavy Japanese resistance, the division, drove to Shuri in conjunction with the 1st Marine Division, occupying it 29-31 May. In June the division covered the right flank of XXIV Corps and "sealed" Japanese cave positions. In July the division moved to Cebu, Philippine Islands, and prepared for. the invasion (later occupation) of Japan. The division landed in Japan in October 1945 for occupation duty, and was inactivated a few months later, 15 March 1946.
Post-World War II:
During the postwar period, from 1947 to 1965, the 77th Infantry Division was one of the six combat divisions in the Army Reserve.The 77th Army Reserve Command (ARCOM) was formed in December 1967 as a part of the reorganization of the command structure of the Army Reserve.
Currently the division is listed as the 77th Infantry Division (RTU), where "RTU" stands for Reinforcement Training Unit.
The 77th Infantry Division (RTU) is composed of personnel who due to business or personal reasons cannot devote the time required to belong to an active reserve unit in the RSC, or personnel because of the downsizing of the Reserves do not have a position in a TPU through either unit deactivation, or promotion. These personnel in many instances are close to their twentieth year of service, and are in need of time in order to obtain their 20 year letter. The Reinforcement Training Unit is an unusual group of Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) soldiers who drill weekly for retirement points only, and complete an annual two week active duty tour in various Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) counterpart tours at military posts throughout the country. Drawn together from different military branches, the uniqueness of the unit personnel is their ability to accomplish complex tasks requiring a blend of diverse talent.
The mission of the 77th Infantry Division RTU is to administer the assigned and attached reinforcement training units and IMA detachments within its geographic area of responsibility, and supervise training, maintaining the professional expertise of the Individual Ready Reserve personnel attached to it.
The unit has no specified mobilization mission as a unit. Individuals in this unit have various IMA positions and in such positions, are assigned to various senior Army and Joint commands, who are preassigned to fill active component positions. These positions must be filled on or shortly after mobilization. Unit members have diverse and interesting positions. Among these are Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Army. Other members hold positions in the Office of the Chief, Army Reserve, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Finance and Management, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research, Development and Acquisition, the Army Concepts and Analysis Agency, Headquarters Military Traffic Management Command, Special Operations Command-Korea, to name a few. Having an IMA position however is not a prerequisite for membership in the unit. The member is responsible for the earning of the sufficient amount of points for a "good year" which is achieved by attendance at meetings, correspondence course completion, etc.
The units training goals are simple, they are to train and maintain the expertise of the individual members, so that they may accomplish their assignments as individual mobilization assets, as well as to recruit qualified individuals, and ensure the retention of current members. Its main priorities are to conduct training on current Army and Department of Defense policy and doctrine, and to conduct briefings, utilizing the special knowledge of attached personnel to instruct unit members regarding the intricacies of each individuals area of specialization, as well as trends within these highly specialized areas.
Drilling for retirement points only, the members show a highly developed sense of duty and commitment to their military careers. The RTU is always seeking qualified members from E-5 and up who will make a commitment to the unit, and will enhance the unit's expertise with their own specialized skills.
The RTU provides a direct link with the 77th Regional Support Command for administrative support, thus preventing members from becoming part of a faceless IRR pool. In turn, the 77th RSC can access the cadre of talent from the RTU whenever necessary. For example, during the 75/25 Anniversary Celebration, the unit's nurse, who is also an accomplished musician, worked with members of the 5th Battalion, 5th Field Artillery to orchestrate the cannon fire heard during Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture." For weeks prior to the event, the unit's adjutant, CW3 Morton I. Sussman, worked behind the scenes at Fort Totten as part of the plans and operations team to insure that every detail of the celebration would be successful.
Military branches represented in the RTU include cavalry, engineer, judge advocate general, veterinary medicine, special forces,transportation corps, armor, ordnance, infantry and adjutant general.
Beginning in the 1960's, as a small unit at Kelly Reserve Center, the RTU continues to grow in size and scope. In fact, it supports a subordinate unit located in Albany, New York.
Divisional history from:
Posted 04 January 2007 - 06:56 PM
Posted 04 January 2007 - 06:58 PM
Posted 11 September 2008 - 02:54 AM
Edited by Teamski, 11 September 2008 - 02:55 AM.
Posted 23 August 2011 - 02:26 PM
Posted 27 April 2013 - 08:31 PM
A early run of the 77th Division in U.S. made fully embroidered Subdued Flat Edge form, though by the time this patch would have been worn, circa 1968-early to mid 1970s, the unit was now known as the 77th ARCOM.
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