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81st Infantry, 322 Regiment.."Wildcats"

Discussion in 'Land Warfare in the Pacific' started by snipeforever, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    The maps from the Infantry and Armor School student papers now held by the Donovan Library at the Maneuver Center of Excellence were separated due to size limitations in the PDF links. They are available at:

    Maneuver Center of Excellence Libraries
     
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  2. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    I was wondering where they were. Thanks!
     
  3. Christopher Seep

    Christopher Seep New Member

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    My father Christopher "Red" Seep, although drafted before the war began, was finally sent overseas, arriving on Leyte July 9, 1945. Although combat was essentially over in the Philippines by that time, I remember his mentioning having participated in a battle of Valencia. He was attached to the 81st at this time, presumably as a replacement. Among others, he received the Philippines Liberation Ribbon with a service star. Does anyone have any particulars about combat or mopping up action at this late stage of the War? Also, does anyone perhaps remember Dad? He was a baseball pitcher for the Reconns after hostilities ended. He spent three months in Japan on occupation duty with the 81st. Like many ww2 vets, he spoke little about his service, and his records were destroyed in the '73 fire. Thanks.
     
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  4. eastonlax

    eastonlax New Member

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    Hello Pierce, I had the opportunity and pleasure to speak with your Dad before he passed away. I have to check my notes but I believe he was living in NC at the time. I had reached out to him because my Great Uncle, Captain William F. Murphy was Killed in Action on Peleliu leading CO K of the 321st. My Uncle took over Company K a day or two after Captain Jones and his XO were relieved of their duties. I have read your Dad's monogram regarding the actions of the 3rd Battalion 321st on the island of Peleliu. My Uncle was killed during operations conducted on Sept 27-28. In fact Company K suffered so many casualties they were pulled off the line the next day. Even though your Dads after action report was from the perspective of Co L I was surprised to see no mention of these losses suffered by another 3rd Bn Rifle CO. During my conversation with Colonel Irby he spoke fondly of my Uncle and gave me some incredible insight into the battles they fought on Anguar and Peleliu. My belated condolences on your loss. Your Dad and all the guys who fought on Peleliu were true heroes. Steve Keohane. Email: eastonlax@hotmail.com
     
  5. AUSNK

    AUSNK New Member

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    My Grandfather Russell Paul Rexrode was in the 81st. He joined the Army in 39 and did training in Ft. Lewis Washington and then Camp Rucker (where he met my grandmother). He was a S/SGT in HQ. CO 2nd Bn. 323 INF. His Separation Record shows that he was a platoon Sargent supervising 3 antitank crews. Like many vets he would not talk about his time in the war. The only thing he ever told me was he was in the first wave to land on the beach (I assume this would have been Angaur Island).

    Would be grateful for any information about the 2nd BN in the 323rd as well as antitank crews of the time. Were these crews artillery or Bazooka or something else? He separated from the service in July 1945 from Ft. Meade and returned home to Head Waters Virginia for a short while then back to Alabama where my grandmother was from till has passed away in 2000.


    He took a lot of pictures when in the army from Camp Rucker till departing Hawaii. I am in the process of scanning these. I have recently started loading a few of them on instagram under the name 81stWildcat.

    Thanks,
    Russell
     
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  6. Karen Ramsey

    Karen Ramsey New Member

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    My father, JAMES MONROE RAMSEY served in WORLD WAR II
    81st Infantry "Wildcats" Division
    322nd Co K
    South Philippines, Western Pacific
    Battle of Angaur.
    Rifleman 745...Combat Infantry Badge, American Theater Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Stars, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Stars and 1 Bronze Arrowhead, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with 1 Bronze Star, World War 2 Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Lapel Button

    MOTTO:
    "Wildcats Never Quit They Win Or They Die"
    Oct 12, 1921- Feb 27, 2011
    Bogalusa, Louisiana
     
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  7. eastonlax

    eastonlax New Member

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    Russell, you might get some back ground info from these books.
    https://www.amazon.com/Victory-Peleliu-Divisions-Campaigns-Commanders/dp/080614680X
    https://www.amazon.com/81ST-INFANTRY-WILDCAT-DIVISION-WORLD/dp/B000NYGIKE

    Try the 81st Historian
    Mr H. Allen Skinner
    Command Historian
    81st Regional Support Command
    Phone: 803.751.4172
    Email: Harold.a.skinner.civ@mail.mil
     
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  8. AUSNK

    AUSNK New Member

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    Thank you for the information. I was able to get a copy of the 81st Book off of ebay. I have loaded a group of photo's from one of the albums onto imjur and will be loading the rest in a few days. Here is a link to them, please note there are a few family photo's in the group and a couple of soldiers/sailors not in the 81st.


    81st Wildcat Division
     
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  9. AUSNK

    AUSNK New Member

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  10. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Great photos, even the non-military ones. Old photos are a bit like a window to the past.
     
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  11. AUSNK

    AUSNK New Member

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    Added the rest of the photos on the same link as my previous post. Thanks
     
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  12. Ryan McGrantham

    Ryan McGrantham New Member

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    I recently discovered that I have a great grandfather, Kenneth H. Harris, who was a 1st Lieutenant in Company I of the 322nd during WWII. His details (from his daughter) are as follows:

    Battles/campaigns he participated in were Southern Philippines, Western Pacific
    (Japan)


    Citations/Awards Received were:
    Purple Heart
    Angaur Island, Palau Group 27 Sep ‘44
    American Campaign Medal /
    Purple Heart /
    World War II Victory Medal /
    Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal /
    Army of Occupation Medal (Japan)
    Bronze Star on Asiatic-Pacific TheaterRibbon (for participation in the “Mandated Island Campaign during the period 31 Jan ‘44 - Dec ‘44”His final rank was 1st Lieutenant, Infantry.

    I have done a bit of research on him and know that he and the 322nd were at Angaur but don't know too much about his service otherwise. I believe that he received two purple hearts. I would love to know more info. This was a new discovery for me and I am immensely proud of him and his service.
     
  13. AUSNK

    AUSNK New Member

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    Ryan ,

    Have you checked with the national archives to see if his records might have survived the fire back in the 70's? Also Golden Arrow Research can pull the after action reports for his unit and give you an idea on what he did. I plan on doing this myself soon for my Grandfather who was in the 323rd. I used golden Arrow to pull the service records of my other grandfather who was in the 5th Marines.

    The 81st Infantry Wildcat division in WW II by Infantry Journal press is also a great wealth of info for learning what the 81st did. Also I looked and he is listed under wounded in action in the back of the book.as a 2nd Lt.
     
  14. Ryan McGrantham

    Ryan McGrantham New Member

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    Thank you very much for the reply. I will have to pick up a copy of the book. Thank you for looking into that. So I guess he was a 2nd Lt. during combat and then subsequently promoted.

    Was Golden Arrow expensive? I haven't seen an after action report before. Does it break it down to the company level or just the regimental level?

    Also, that is pretty neat that your two grandfathers were in the 323rd and the 5th Marines. Did you ever find out whether they crossed paths on Peleliu?


    Ryan
     
  15. AUSNK

    AUSNK New Member

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    Most likely he was promoted sometime after being wounded I would guess.

    Go here for his service records - Veterans' Service Records , your grandmother can get them for free as well as his medals and awards. There is an online form. Since army info is limited I would go this route for the service records.

    Just to get service records pulled it is not bad, btw 75-100.00, Geoff got my grandfather who was a Marines full service folder(enlistment info, photo, medical info, training and service info) in 2 weeks, he is also looking for my great great Uncles Navy records now. Unless you live in St. Louis it is much cheaper to have a researcher get the info than you travel there.

    After action reports cost a bit more due to the amount of research that goes into it. I think it is around 200-300. I believe he can get company level, but not 100% sure.He can also reconstruct army personnel records Research a WWII Veteran-Trace His Steps Through the War

    My Grandfather in the Marines did not fight on Peleliu. He fought on Iwo Jima and was involved in the Occupation of Japan so they did not cross paths.

    Good luck.
     
  16. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    A quick correction, 5th Marines is a regiment, one of the three infantry regiments in the First Marine Division and did not fight at Iwo Jima. The 1st Marine Division and 5th Marines (regiment) fought at Peleliu. Since your granfather fought at Iwo, he was most likely in the 5th Marine Division, never referred to as 5th Marines. It's component infantry regiments were the 26th, 27th and 28th Marines. 13th Marines was the divisional artillery regiment.
     
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  17. AUSNK

    AUSNK New Member

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    Thank you for that clarification. I knew there was a 5th regiment and a division, but I did not know the Division is not known as just the 5th Marines. My grandfather was 5th Marine Division 5th Service Battalion.
     
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  18. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    No problem, it's just that in the military and when reading documents and reports generated by the same, words and wording are important and have precise meanings. Lack of clarity costs lives, they drill into your head. It could be particularly critical with some units. The 1stMarDiv or 1st Marine Division has the 1st Marines (regiment) as one of it's component infantry regiments so if you are sloppy and not precise in your nomenclature it could lead to serious mistakes. Same-same with 2d Marines a component of 2dMarDiv and 3d Marines a component of 3dMarDiv. The regiments, designated Marines, short for Marine Regiment were raised separately, at different times and were assigned to the divisions when they were formed. They were, in most cases, designated sequentially based upon when they were authorized, but are independent entities and have been moved around and have been disbanded and stood back up from time to time. For instance 5th (part of 1st MarDiv) and 6th Marines (part of 2d MarDiv) fought at Belleau Woods in 1918, yet the 1st and 2dMarDivs didn't exist until 1941 (01Feb41 for both units). Typically, divisional troops are always designated by the division they were part of, thus the 5th MarDiv had the 5th Shore Party Bn,, 5th Service Bn., 5th Tank Bn., 5th Medical Bn., 5th Amphibious Tractor Bn., etc. and the same units in the 1st MarDiv would be 1st Shore Party Bn., 1st Service Bn., 1st Tank Bn....etc. The important thing for people researching what their relative did in the war to remember is that the Marine Corps habitually fought using RCT's, Regimental Combat Teams (also called RLT's, Regimental Landing Teams) and BLT's (Battalion Landing Team). What that means is that the division assigned components of divisional troops to augment the regiment/battalion for deployment in combat. So, when in battle the 6th Marines might have had attached; Co.A 2d Amphibious Tractor Battalion, 1st platoon Co.A 2d Medical Battalion, 1st Platoon 2d Service Battalion, detachment 2d Shore Party Battalion, Co.B 2d Motor Transport Battalion, Co.C 2d Tank Battalion, etc.; you get the idea. So if you simply read up on 2d Motor Transport Battalion you might not get the full story. Try and find a detailed battle OOB and see where your relatives smaller unit might have been chopped to. In the example case 6th Marines, because that's where they served/fought.
     
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  19. Suzy

    Suzy recruit

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    So interesting to hear this story - my father, like many, never shared. Thank you. My father was in the 81st and I'm researching his service. God Bless!
     
  20. Suzy

    Suzy recruit

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    Searching for information on my father's service - 81st - CO C 323RD INF - June 42-Nov 45. Thank you for any information you may share.
     

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