33rd Infantry Division (United States)

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33d Infantry Division
33rd Infantry Division SSI.svg
33d Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia
Active1917–1919
1941–1946
c.1946–1968
2006–present
CountryUSA
BranchIllinois Army National Guard
NicknameIllinois Division
Prairie Division
EngagementsWorld War I
World War II
Operation Enduring Freedom
DecorationsPresidential Unit Citation (6)
 
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33d Infantry Division
33rd Infantry Division SSI.svg
33d Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia
Active1917–1919
1941–1946
c.1946–1968
2006–present
CountryUSA
BranchIllinois Army National Guard
NicknameIllinois Division
Prairie Division
EngagementsWorld War I
World War II
Operation Enduring Freedom
DecorationsPresidential Unit Citation (6)
US infantry divisions (1939–present)
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32nd Infantry Division (Inactive)34th Infantry Division

The 33d Infantry Division was a formation of the U.S. Army National Guard between 1917 and 1968. It was briefly active as the 12th Division before becoming the 33rd Division. In 2006, the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team was re-activated under the Transformation of the United States Army and subordinated to the Illinois Army National Guard. The 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team deployed to Afghanistan in December 2008 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and re-deployed in August 2009.

Current Units[edit]

World War I[edit]

World War II[edit]


Combat Chronicle[edit]

When the US Army reorganised from the "square" (4 Regiments to a Division) to "triangular" (3) concept, the 132nd Infantry Regiment was separated and was sent to New Caledonia as part of Task Force 6814 where it became part of the Americal Division. The division was left with the 123rd, 130th, and 136th Infantry Regiments. The 33rd Tank Company was sent to the Philippines as Company B of the 192nd Tank Battalion prior to Pearl Harbor where it was captured at Bataan.

The 33rd Infantry Division arrived in Hawaii on 12 July 1943. While guarding installations, it received training in jungle warfare. On 11 May 1944, it arrived in New Guinea where it received additional training. The 123d Infantry Regiment arrived at Maffin Bay, 1 September, to provide perimeter defense by aggressive patrolling for Wakde Airdrome and the Toem-Sarmi sector. The 123rd was relieved on 26 January 1945. Elements of the 33d arrived at Morotai, 18 December 1944. Landings were made on the west coast of the island, 22 December, without opposition and defensive perimeters were established. Aggressive patrols encountered scattered resistance. The 33rd landed at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, 10 February 1945, and relieved the 43rd Infantry Division in the Damortis-Rosario Pozorrubio area, 13–15 February. The division drove into the Caraballo Mountains, 19 February, toward its objective, Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines and the headquarters of General Tomoyuki Yamashita. Fighting against a fanatical enemy entrenched in the hills, the 33d took Aringay, 7 March, Mount Calugong, 8 April, and Mount Mirador, 25 April. Baguio and Camp John Hay fell on 26 April, under the concerted attack of the 33rd and the 37th Infantry Divisions. Manuel Roxas, later President of the Philippines, was freed during the capture of Baguio. Between the Filipino soldiers of the 66th Infantry Regiment, Philippine Commonwealth Army, USAFIP-NL on 27 April that combined with the American forces in liberating the city in Baguio. After mopping up isolated pockets of resistance, the Division broke up the last organized resistance of the enemy by capturing the San Nicholas-Tebbo-Itogon route, 12 May, by inside in Luzon by defenders between the military forces of the Philippine Commonwealth and the local guerrilla fighters against the Japanese from 1945. All elements went to rest and rehabilitation areas on 30 June 1945. The division landed on Honshū Island, Japan, 25 September, and performed occupation duties until inactivated.

The 33rd Infantry Division was reformed as an all‑Illinois National Guard division on 7 November 1946. However, some of its former units were assigned to the 44th Infantry Division, which was also reorganized in the postwar Guard structure as an Illinois‑based division.[3] BY 1954 its infantry and artillery units seemingly included the 129th, 130tth, and 131st Infantry Regiments, and the 122nd, 123rd, 124th, and 210th Field Artillery Battalions.[4] A number of National Guard divisions were deactivated in 1968, including the 33rd Infantry Division on 1 February 1968. However in its place the 33rd Infantry Brigade was organised.[5] On 1 February 1968 the 178th Infantry Regiment was reorganized to consist of the 1st Battalion, an element of the 33rd Infantry Brigade. The brigade carries on the division's heritage, and circa 2010 was assigned to the 35th Infantry Division.

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