32ND INFANTRY DIVISION, I CORPS, US ARMY
"THE RED ARROWS"
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2

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"The Red Arrows"

 

The 32nd Infantry Division was known as the "Red Arrow Division" because their insignia was a red arrow smashing through a bar. This emblem was chosen by Commanding General of the Division, Maj. Gen. William G. Haan during World War One. Gen. Haan explained that "I chose the Barred-Arrow as the Division symbol because we pierced every line the Boche put before us." The 32nd Infantry Division was assigned to I Corps.

The 120th Field Artillery was formed at Camp Mac Arthur, Waco, Texas on 22 September 1917. It was part of the 57th Field Artillery Brigade ("The Iron Brigade"). The 120th Field Artillery saw its first action during World War 1 as part of the 32nd Division in the Chateau-Thierry sector in France on 1 August 1918.

On 15 October 1940, the 32nd Division ("The Red Arrows" was called into Federal Service and the units left for Camp Beauregard, Louisiana. In February 1941 they moved to Camp Livingston and six months later, when the 32d Division, the 2nd Battalion of the 120th became the 129th Field Artillery, and it was then that the present Service Battery came into being. The 1st Battalion of the 120th Field Artillery Regiment became the 120th Field Artillery Battalion.

The 32nd Division sailed from San Francisco on 22 April 1942 and arrived in Australia and according to the Division's official history, arrived in Port Adelaide in South Australia on 14 May 1942 (another source indicated they arrived on 22 April 1942). The Division was initially stationed and trained at Camp Woodside and Camp Sandy Creek, both near Adelaide. In July 1942 the 129th and the 120th moved to Camp Cable, in Queensland about 30 miles south of Brisbane.

 

September 1942 - Commanding General of the 32nd Division,
Major General E.F. Harding talking to the troops at Camp Cable.

 

In November 1942, Battery A, of the 129th Field Artillery was sent to New Guinea, while the other batteries remaining at Camp Cable near Brisbane. The four gun sections of Battery A were the first howitzers flown into a combat area, which landed at Port Moresby. One-half of Battery A was flown over the Owen-Stanley Mountains to Buna and became the first United States Army Artillery to be flown into combat in the Pacific in World War II.

In September of 1943, the Division began deployment to New Guinea. Some by ship and some by transport plane. Gordon Heup of the 48th Quartermaster Regiment remembers that one day while they were in Townsville they we were assigned the task of transporting the 126th Infantry Regiment of the 32nd Division from the Townsville railroad station to a bivouac area near our camp in the woods behind Cluden Racetrack. The next day they had to take them to Garbutt Field where they were loaded on transport planes and taken to Port Moresby, New Guinea. 

They fought their way over the 10,000 foot high Owen Stanley Mountains. After fighting beside the Australian 7th Division in the awful Buna campaign, the 32nd returned to Camp Cable for refitting starting in April 1943. They remained there until being deployed back into combat in January 1944. There is a map of Camp Cable in the book which I shall try to have scanned and send to you at a later date.

After the Buna Campaign, A Battery returned to Camp Cable with the 32nd Division. The 129th took part in the Saidor and Aitape Campaigns in New Guinea. They left from Hollandia, in New Guinea in November 1944 and took part in the Leyte Campaign for the Ormoc Corridor. In January 1945 they arrived at Lamon Bay on Luzon for the Luzon Campaign on the Villa Verde Trail. After V-J Day (14 August 1945) the battalion left the Philippine Islands for Occupation duty in Japan. Shortly thereafter the 129th Field Artillery Battalion left Japan for the United States for Demobilization. It was reactivated as the 120th Field Artillery Battalion, a part of the famous 32d Infantry Division on 9 June 1947.

The 32nd Division had their own Convalescent Camp at Camp Fingal, at Fingal Point, in northern New South Wales which was operated by the 3rd Casual Co.

 


 

Greg Howe's Grand Father was in the 32nd Infantry Division and fought in all the New Guinea campaigns. He also spent time in the Australian camps. Unfortunately, he was killed in the war. Greg has produced a web page about his grandfather:-

  www.Colonel.Howe.home.att.net

 


 

Mark Inman is searching for anyone who served with his father Delbert Inman in the battle of Buna in the 126th Co. F. 

 


 

Steven Papp's father-in-law did some jungle training some where near Townsville, possibly in the Mount Spec area. 

32ndinfdiv01.jpg (60596 bytes)

Obituary for Staff Sergeant Ben Rozella
32nd Red Arrow Division
Company G, 128th Infantry

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Greg How for his assistance with this web page.

 

REFERENCE

1st Battalion 120th Field Artillery Heritage
"The Red Fox Battalion"

32nd Division, World War II
by Edward T. Lauer, published in 1955 or 1956

 

 

 

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This page first produced 7 August 2000

This page last updated 05 May 2013