The Official U.S. Army history of the 25th "Tropic Lightning" Infantry Division in WWII. The 25th first saw combat during the Dec. 7th 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The unit fought in some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific at Guadalcanal, followed by New Georgia Island and finally the bloody battles in Luzon.
Originally published in 1946 by Army and Navy Publishing Company. Details on the unit are as follows. Activated: 10 October 1941 in Hawaii. Campaigns: Guadalcanal, Luzon. After the Japanese machine-gunned Schofield Barracks, 7 December 1941, the 25th Infantry Division moved to beach positions for the defense of Honolulu and Ewa Plains. Following intensive training, the 25th began moving to Guadalcanal, 25 November 1942, to relieve Marines near Henderson Field. First elements landed near the Tenaru River, 17 December 1942, and entered combat, 10 January 1943, participating in the seizure of Kokumbona and the reduction of the Mount Austen Pocket in some of the bitterest fighting of the Pacific campaign.
The threat of large enemy attacks caused a temporary withdrawal, but Division elements under XIV Corps control relieved the 147th Infantry and took over the advance on Cape Esperance. The junction of these elements with Americal Division forces near the cape, 5 February 1943, ended organized enemy resistance. A period of garrison duty followed, ending 21 July: On that date, advance elements debarked on Munda, New Georgia.
The 35th Infantry Regiment, under the Northern Landing Force, took part in the capture of Vella Lavella, 15 August to 15 September 1943. Meanwhile, other elements landed on New Georgia, took Zieta, marched through jungle mud for 19 days, and captured Bairoko Harbor, winning the island. Elements cleared Arundel Island, 24 September 1943, and Kolombangara Island with its important Vila Airport, 6 October. Organized resistance on New Georgia ended, 25 August, and the Division moved to New Zealand for rest and training, last elements arriving on 5 December.
The 25th was transferred to New Caledonia, 3 February-14 March 1944, for continued training. The Division landed in the San Fabian area of Luzon, 11 January 1945, to enter the struggle for the liberation of the Philippines. It drove across the Luzon Central Plain, meeting the enemy at Binalonan, 17 January. Moving through the rice paddies, the 25th occupied Umingan, Lupao, and San Jose and destroyed a great part of the Japanese armor on Luzon.
On 21 February, the Division began operations in the Caraballo Mountains. It fought its way along Highway No. 5, taking Digdig, Putlan, and Kapintalan against fierce enemy counterattacks and took Balete Pass, 13 May, and opened the gateway to the Cagayan Valley, 27 May, with the capture of Santa Fe. Until 30 June, when the Division was relieved, it carried out mopping-up activities. On 1 July, the Division moved to Tarlac for training, leaving for Japan, 20 September. Nicknames: Tropic Lightning; sometimes called the Pineapple Division. Shoulder patch: In form of taro leaf in red, on which is superimposed a flash of lightning in gold. 1,235 KIA, 4,190 WIA, 262 Died of Wounds.
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