77th INFANTRY DIVISION. OURS TO HOLD HIGH: THE HISTORY OF THE 77th INFANTRY DIVISION IN WORLD WAR II. Originally published by Infantry Journal Press in 1947, this is the official unit history for the 77th Infantry Division in World War II. Details on the unit are as follows. Activated: 25 March 1942. Overseas: 24 March 1944. Campaigns: Western Pacific, Southern Philippines, Ryukyus.
The 77th Infantry Division landed in Hawaii, 31 March 1944, and continued training in amphibious 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 le Shims, 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 Shims 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 77th Infantry 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.
Nickname: Statue of Liberty Division. Shoulder patch: Statue of Liberty in gold on a blue truncated triangle.
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