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27th Inf. Div. on Okinawa

Discussion in 'Land Warfare in the Pacific' started by PTO_Paratrooper, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. PTO_Paratrooper

    PTO_Paratrooper recruit

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    Looking for any veterans from the 27th that were on Okinawa, specifically the 105th Infantry Regiment. Any advice, leads, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Bryan Stefancyk
     
  2. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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  3. cheathamg

    cheathamg recruit

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    Hi. I too would like to hear from any veterans of the 105th on Okinawa. Specifically, my father, George Dayton Cheatham, from Arkansas, was in C Company, 1 Battalion of the 105th. He's been dead for 20 years now, and I'd like to find out more about what he did on Okinawa. When he used to tell us war stories, he made it sound as if he didn't see much action. The histories that I'm reading, however, make it sound as if he would have seen quite a lot of action. Any advice, leads, or suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    George Cheatham
     
  4. PTO_Paratrooper

    PTO_Paratrooper recruit

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    George,

    Unfortunately, there are not many books/sources available on the 27th Infantry Division. Info is out there but you will have to dig. Get your hands on Love's 27th Div in WWII History. It is a very dry divisional history, but well worth the read. There are a couple good histories of the Battle of Okinawa, many focus on the Marines, but they put the battle into perspective. I have had a real hard time locating 27th Div veterans.

    My grandfather, Raymond Stefancyk, served with the 105th on Okinawa. He was a BARman. I have spent the last few years researching the 27th Div on Okinawa. Your father saying he did not see much action is typical of many WWII veterans who were in serious combat and tried to avoid talking about their nightmarish combat experiences. The 105th on Okinawa were in hellish, grusome, stalemate style fighting and casualties were tremendous.

    If you want to compare notes shoot me an email at billyyankjohnnyreb@yahoo.com

    Bryan
     
  5. Hans Ludwig

    Hans Ludwig Dishonorably Discharged

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    It's true that a lot of material written about Okinawa centers around the USMC, but a book written by Bill Sloan titled The Ultimate Battle, talks about the Marine divisions and three U.S. Army divisions.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. gsadler1972

    gsadler1972 Member

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    My Dad, George L. Sadler, Jr., who died this year at 91 yrs, was a member of the 27th ID, 105th Reg, 2nd Bn, E Company as 1st Platoon Leader.
    Five years ago, I wrote a 41 page document based on Dad's WWII memory (this is in italics). I used written history to fill in blanks (non-italics). Please review the following sample & let me know if you would like more of these 41 pages which includes Dad's memories on Okinawa where he was promoted to Captain & assumed command of a 105/2 company.

    George L. Sadler, III
    USMA 1972



    Memories of 27 ID, 105 Reg, 2nd Bn, E Company
    at Saipan & Okinawa

    The 27th Division had 16,000 men in three regiments--the 105th, 106th and 165th Infantry regiments, plus the 105th Field Artillery Battalion and the 193rd Tank Battalion, along with supporting units. Its commander was Maj. Gen. Ralph Smith, a veteran of World War I who had assumed command in November 1942. He was one of the most highly respected officers in the U.S. Army.




    Transport Saipan: Pearl Harbor to Saipan on The RockinghamTroop ship. Sleeping 8 high bunks. On top bunk, had to turn your head sideways(no room). We were Replacements for Line Units already fighting.



    Loading Landing Craft: Down the ship's ladder when ship was at high water. Helmet falling over eyes, full equipment on your back, 15-ft drop into a bobbing landing craft.



    On the Beach: Let ramp down & first man steps off in water over his head. Boat finally hits bottom after navigating over Jap underwater rails. Beach very active – Jap machine gun fire and mortars. We were just starting to win beachhead.




    First Six Months of Combat: SAIPAN


    DAD'S COMMENTS: Replacement 2nd Lts. dumped off w/no unit assignments. Sgt. yells, “Get in the Vehicle!” While riding in truck, I heard someone say, “Hope I don’t get assigned to the 27th Infantry.” We were then picked up in a steaming “Wesel” (made for the Artic). I was dropped off w/3 Lts. at 2nd Bn, 105 Regiment, 27th Infantry (New York National Guard from Troy, New York). The driver didn’t say a word. I was assigned to 27th NY National Guard Infantry Division, 105th Reg., 2nd BN, E Company as a Rifle Platoon Leader. When I got to E Co., no one above Sgt. was in the company area. Everyone on line. First comforting face, I saw was Mike Danella, one of my four Sq. Ldrs. Our Unit had just been overrun in a night banzai attack. Wpns Platoon had almost been wiped out. Lt. Nicoletti from Brooklyn, received a battlefield commission & took over Wpns Platoon. He was an “Al Capone.” Liked to clean Japs out caves.Shot a lot of prisoners.


    HISTORY:
    The next day the first Army combat units came ashore: the 165th Infantry and the 105th, 106th, and 249th Field Artillery Battalions. The marines shifted left to make room for the 165th Infantry, whose mission was to sweep the southern shore of the island and take Aslito Field. As the drive across the island began, the corps front included from left (north) to right the 2d Marine Division, the 4th Marine Division, and the 165th Infantry. As the 165th and the marines approached the airfield, enemy opposition stiffened. That night the enemy counterattacked with 1,000 troops and 38 tanks but was again repulsed.

    On the 17th the 165th Infantry mounted three assaults to overcome enemy machine gun, mortar, and artillery fire, as well as another counterattack, and reached the edge of the airfield. Behind the fighting, the 105th Infantry and 27th Division headquarters came ashore. The next day the 2d Battalion of the 165th Infantry, with four tanks and artillery support, walked across Aslito Field unopposed at 1000. That same morning the 27th Division became an independent command under Army Maj. Gen. Ralph C. Smith.
     
  7. gsadler1972

    gsadler1972 Member

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    My Dad, George L. Sadler, Jr., who died this year at 91 yrs, was a member of the 27th ID, 105th Reg, 2nd Bn, E Company as 1st Platoon Leader.
    Five years ago, I wrote a 41 page document based on Dad's WWII memory (this is in italics). I used written history to fill in blanks (non-italics). Please review the following sample & let me know if you would like more of these 41 pages which includes Dad's memories on Okinawa where he was promoted to Captain & assumed command of a 105/2 company.

    George L. Sadler, III
    USMA 1972



    Memories of 27 ID, 105 Reg, 2nd Bn, E Company
    at Saipan & Okinawa

    The 27th Division had 16,000 men in three regiments--the 105th, 106th and 165th Infantry regiments, plus the 105th Field Artillery Battalion and the 193rd Tank Battalion, along with supporting units. Its commander was Maj. Gen. Ralph Smith, a veteran of World War I who had assumed command in November 1942. He was one of the most highly respected officers in the U.S. Army.




    Transport Saipan: Pearl Harbor to Saipan on The Rockingham Troop ship. Sleeping 8 high bunks. On top bunk, had to turn your head sideways(no room). We were Replacements for Line Units already fighting.



    Landing: Loading Landing Craft - Down the ship's ladder when ship was at high water. Helmet falling over eyes, full equipment on your back, 15-ft drop into a bobbing landing craft.



    On the Beach: Let ramp down & first man steps off in water over his head. Boat finally hits bottom after navigating over Jap underwater rails. Beach very active – Jap machine gun fire and motars. We were just starting to win beachhead.




    First Six Months of Combat: SAIPAN


    DAD'S COMMENTS: Replacement 2nd Lts. dumped off w/no unit assignments. Sgt. yells, “Get in the Vehicle!” While riding in truck, I heard someone say, “Hope I don’t get assigned to the 27th Infantry.” We were then picked up in a steaming “Wesel” (made for the Artic). I was dropped off w/3 Lts. at 2nd Bn, 105 Regiment, 27th Infantry (New York National Guard from Troy, New York). The driver didn’t say a word. I was assigned to 27th NY National Guard Infantry Division, 105th Reg., 2nd BN, E Company as a Rifle Platoon Leader. When I got to E Co., no one above Sgt. was in the company area. Everyone on line. First comforting face, I saw was Mike Danella, one of my four Sq. Ldrs. Our Unit had just been overrun in a night banzai attack. Wpns Platoon had almost been wiped out. Lt. Nicoletti from Brooklyn, received a battlefield commission & took over Wpns Platoon. He was an “Al Capone.” Liked to clean Japs out caves.Shot a lot of prisoners.


    HISTORY:
    The next day the first Army combat units came ashore: the 165th Infantry and the 105th, 106th, and 249th Field Artillery Battalions. The marines shifted left to make room for the 165th Infantry, whose mission was to sweep the southern shore of the island and take Aslito Field. As the drive across the island began, the corps front included from left (north) to right the 2d Marine Division, the 4th Marine Division, and the 165th Infantry. As the 165th and the marines approached the airfield, enemy opposition stiffened. That night the enemy counterattacked with 1,000 troops and 38 tanks but was again repulsed.

    On the 17th the 165th Infantry mounted three assaults to overcome enemy machine gun, mortar, and artillery fire, as well as another counterattack, and reached the edge of the airfield. Behind the fighting, the 105th Infantry and 27th Division headquarters came ashore. The next day the 2d Battalion of the 165th Infantry, with four tanks and artillery support, walked across Aslito Field unopposed at 1000. That same morning the 27th Division became an independent command under Army Maj. Gen. Ralph C. Smith.
     
  8. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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  9. wildstorm

    wildstorm Member

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    My grandfather, George A. Rollins, was in the 105th before transferring to the 226th field artillery.
     
  10. lannyhallmark

    lannyhallmark recruit

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    George, my dad served in this unit. Though he didn't remember your dad's name he did recognize the Lt. you mentioned. I'd like to hear from you anc compare notes. lannyhallmark@sbcglobal.net
    Hope to hear from you soon.
     
  11. Old Sarge Jr.

    Old Sarge Jr. recruit

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    My father was Russell (Blackie) Smith of Hornell, NY. He was in company "K" and originally with the 27th. Very strange goings on with his service record and the stories. I too do not have a clear idea of what he did. I have some assumptions, but I am very short on facts.

    My cousin Charles France of Hornell, NY was his Company Commander.

    I asked my cousin after my father died in 1992, what he actually did during the war. His response was "You'll have to read the company diary". Even after my father died I could not find out anything about what he actually did.

    Here's the strange part. The 27th chronicles only show campaigns in the Pacific. Yet dad and Charlie both served in ALL theaters of operation. Spending a good deal of time in the Middle East, Mediterranean, and European theaters. I heard a few stories about the Middle East and Italy and France. He would NEVER talk about the Pacific. He also denied ever being in Combat.

    Anyone have any ideas?

    Brian
     
  12. babugel

    babugel recruit

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    My Grandfather is Bill Abugel, he was a platoon Sgt. (1st Plt) K Company, 3rd BN, 106th Infantry. He witnessed Capt. Hemminway's death during the battle of Death Valley on Saipan. Just finished telling me that story over the weekend. A few years ago, I found and bought the 27th Inf History written by Col. Love. Wasn't until now that I actually found the written account of what happened.
     
  13. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Thread moved to the Pacific section for better visibility.
     
  14. Sterling Mace

    Sterling Mace WWII Veteran

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    I don't know much about the 27th ID except for what I saw on Okinawa. We relieved them on May 1st, 1945, on what amounted to the Shuri Line (though we didn't know it was called that back then). Boy, they looked like hell coming off that line.

    We had already relieved other troops before, on Peleliu, I knew what combat made men look like. But these Army guys were the worst. They looked so much older than us...and I think they were. By that time, however, I didn't care much about who we were relieving. The Army laid down smoke to secret their withdraw; but by the time we got up there, the smoke cleared and boy the Japanese let us have it. The Army guys, too.
     
  15. Realist_State

    Realist_State recruit

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    My father, Cpl James J Roach (who'll be 89 this month), was on Okinawa with the 27th Division, 105th Field Artillery, Battery C. Originally from Brooklyn, NY; he joined the National Guard in October of 1940.

    He didn't talk alot about the war growing up, but ever since we took him to the World War II Memorial in Washington DC, and the fact that 3 of his grandsons are active service, Marines, he's opened up alot.

    Also, an ironic twist to that trip, we met up with boyhood friend of his, Sgt Jim McEnery, USMC, K/3/5. They were part of group guys from Gerritsen Beach (an area in Brooklyn)that went to join the Marines in the early 40's, but my Dad was turned down for a medical reason. They now talk to each other at least once a week, and back in November stopped in to see him while in Florida.

    My Mom and Dad now live in the Myrtle Beach, SC area, and I'm trying to get as much as I can about his experience down on paper. Unfortunately, he's rather talk about his friends, than what he did.
     
  16. Black6

    Black6 Member

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    Guys, try the NYS Soldier's museum in Saratoga. New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center
    They can put you in touch with the NY Army National Guards public affairs office who can further direct you. I'm sure that they would also be interested in any individual histories you capture as well. The 27th Division is still around today as the 27th Brigade Combat Team. They have been tranferred from a reserve role as a round out brigade for the 10th Mountain to the 42nd Infantry Division headquatered in Troy where you might find more information. The 27th's brigade HQ is located in Syracuse and they will likely have information also. The order of battle of the 27 BCT has changed a bit from the units that used to be in it in WWII. The 105th Inf rolled up its guidons in 2005, but the 108th Inf was retained and the 69th Inf was added. The 108th has a rich battle history, but the 69th Inf Battalion actually has the most battle streamers of any US Army unit in history including all Regular Acitve Duty units (bragging rights). The 69th is also known as the "Irish Brigade" of Civil War fame.
     
  17. A. Herbert

    A. Herbert recruit

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    My father was in E Company, 1st squad of the second platoon. He died in 1994. I have a photo of this squad, however it is not all of the same members when they saw combat later.
     
  18. grammer1

    grammer1 recruit

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    Mr Sandler,
    I'm trying to research my husband's late father' war history and he to served in the 105th. He was from Arkansas. When I sent for his war records I was sent one half burnt page because that is all the was remaining after the fire in 1972?? The only thing my husband did remember his father ever saying was something about Saipan. His name was Ben Morris. I would like to read the history you wrote about the war and your father if I may. lisagrammer@hotmail.com.. Thank You..
     
  19. Jud7y

    Jud7y recruit

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    Hi, My Did was in the 27th Inf. Div. 105th reg. Co.-B Not until I started recording his history did I find out he was a medic in New Calidonia, passed out because of either and ended up at Espiritu Santo and training with the 27th Inf. div.. When the invasion of Okinawa started, there ship's rudder hit coral reefs and didn't leave with the main body. It took a couple weeks before the ship made it to Okinawa. The main fighting was over and Co.B's job was to round up everyone and leave nothing. Each time I talk to my Dad,I get a little more information from him. If they don't talk about the war, they have good reason. Just after the two big bombs were dropped, they were flown into Japan. After the 27th went back home, Dad became a medic again in Japan until his time was up and came home. Nine months later I was born. Dad has a rail and Quad he drive around in down in Arizona.My Dad would like me to find a Chick Larson from the Bronx, New York.
     
  20. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    I was vaguely aware that the 27ht ID did not take part in the initial operations on Okinawa which started 1 April 1945, so I wanted to see if I could piece together their journey from the official history.

    Per the following the 27th ID arrived on 9 April, entered the front line on 15 April and was pulled out 30 April. After that they patrolled the northern part of the island.

    If any part of the 105th Infantry was missing in combat it is not reflected in the history. As medical personnel it is possible he traveled with the 102d Medical Battalion of the 27th ID at this time.


    HyperWar: US Army in WWII: Okinawa: The Last Battle

    page 26

    ...The 27th, a reserve division, was reinforced to a strength of 16,143 but remained nevertheless almost 2,000 understrength organically....


    page 33

    The 27th Division, as floating reserve, was to arrive at Ulithi not later than L plus 1 [April 2, 1945] and be on call of the Commander, Joint Expeditionary Force. It was to be prepared to seize the islands off the east coast of Okinawa and then to land on that coast in support of XXIV Corps.


    page 36

    The closest Pacific Ocean Area bases were at Ulithi and the Marianas, 5 days sailing time to Okinawa (at 20 knots)....


    page 40

    ....The 27th was able to engage in intensive training in Espiritu Santo between October 1944 and 25 March 1945, when it embarked for the target; four landing rehearsals were also held between 20 and 25 March.


    page 187

    Fresh troops also were brought in. The 27th Division, previously in floating reserve, had landed at the Hagushi beaches on 9 April to serve as reinforcements in the attack. It was assigned to XXIV Corps and proceeded to relieve the 96th Division in the western part of its zone. By 15 April the 27th was in position.


    page 202 (19 April 1945)

    The only other 27th Division unit on the front line ready to join in the initial assault was the 1st Battalion of the 105th Infantry. This battalion was deployed along Kakazu Gorge, with Kakazu Ridge, immediately in front, its initial objective. Company C was on the left, next to the Ginowan-Shuri road; Companies B and A, in the order named, were to the west, the latter being initially in reserve. The attack of the 1st Battalion was planned to combine a frontal assault against the ridge with a sweeping tank attack around the east end of Kakazu Ridge. The two forces were to meet behind the ridge near the village of Kakazu and to join in a drive to the Urasoe-Mura Escarpment beyond.


    page 267

    On 30 April the 1st Marines of the 1st Marine Division relieved the 165th Infantry on the west coast, and the next day the 5th Marines of the same division completed the relief of that part of the line held by the 105th and 106th Infantry...


    page 311

    ....By 11 May the III Amphibious Corps in the north (consisting of the 6th Marine Division and Corps troops) had been relieved by the 27th Division and had moved into position on the right of the southern front. ....
     

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