|Unit History Project|
THE NATIONAL GUARD IN WAR: AN HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF
THE 27TH INFANTRY DIVISION (NEW YORK NATIONAL GUARD) IN WORLD WAR II
Chapter 3: Reorganization and training
The execution of the Selective Service and Training Act of 16 September 1940 was initiated with the induction of four National Guard divisions. All of the Guard divisions were inducted for a one year period of service incrementally over the course of the fiscal year. The last of the divisions was inducted on 5 March 1941 and by October there were 300,034 Guardsmen on active duty.1
The National Guard in New York was more than Just the 27th Division. The 87th Infantry Brigade, consisting of the 71st and 174th Infantry Regiments, and the 69th Field Artillery Brigade's 196th Field Artillery Regiment were all based in New York City but an integral part of the 44th Division (New Jersey National Guard). The 91st Cavalry Brigade, consisting of the 101st and 121st Cav Regiments, and the 212th, 244th, and 249th Coast Artillery, were all elements of the GHQ Reserve based in New York City. The 298th Field Artillery Regiment and the 101st Signal Battalion, subordinate units of the 2nd Corps, were also New York National Guard elements. Additionally, there was the 93rd Infantry Brigade, consisting of the 10th, 14th, 165th, and 369th (Black) Infantry Regiments, which was unassigned prior to mobilization.
The 27th Division consisted of four infantry regiments organized into two brigades, an artillery brigade, an engineer regiment, a medical regiment, a quartermaster regiment, and special troops. The 53rd Infantry Brigade had . the 105th and 106th Infantry Regiments while the 54th had the 107th and 108th. This was the same organization with which they went to war in 1917. Prior to induction into Federal Service, the division underwent some fundamental organizational changes. On the 20th of June 1940, the 165th Infantry Regiment was assigned to the division and carried as excess. The 107th Infantry Regiment was reorganized on the 1st of August 1940 as the 207th Coast Artillery (anti-aircraft) to help allay the public's fear of attack from European aircraft. On 1 September the 106th Infantry was reorganized as the 186th Field Artillery and the 101st Military Police Battalion. The unassigned 14th Infantry was reorganized into the 187th Field Artillery Regiment on 16 September. On the 15th of October, upon mobilization, the 10th Infantry was redesignated the 106th Infantry Regiment and assigned to be the fourth regiment in the division. Therefore at the time the division was sent to Ft McClellanin 1940 the 93rd Brigade had the 105th and 106th nee 10th while the 94th had the 108th and 165th.
The impact that these organizational changes had upon the combat efficiency of the division in questionable. The effect that they had on the personnel of the regiments was probably devastating as they were steeped in tradition. The redesignation of the 107th Infantry Regiment tolled the death knell of the fabled silk stocking regiment which had been first organized in 1806. One story of the 107th, probably apocryphal, was that the soldiers of the regiment arrived at the 1st Army maneuvers in 1939, at Pine Camp in taxi cabs with their individual strikers. Thus they earned the name the "taxi-cab army".2 The retention of the 165th Infantry, which had fought as a charter member of the 42nd Division in World War I, meant that the traditions and heraldry of the the Old 69th New York Regiment would continue.
The goals of MG Haskell were to build a good, basically trained division; make Ft McClellan a better place to live and train; conduct specialist training to replace pre-induction losses; and bring the division up to war-time strength.3 The Army of the United States, by necessity, called the Guard to active duty in increments because of inadequate facilities. Existing military camps were insufficient for the large influx of soldiers, there were too few uniforms of the appropriate sizes, and not enough weapons and equipment.4 Ft McClellan, for example, had been the home of one Regular Army regiment and, therefore, there were not enough billets or training areas for a division. Upon arrival the 27th's engineers along with civilian labor began the construction of billets on main post as well as rifle ranges. The regiments of the division encamped on the fringes of main post in squad tents pitched on wooden platforms. A temporary wooden mess hall was erected at the end of each company street with a latrine at the opposite end. These facilities were occupied for approximately one month before moving into more permanent structures on main post.5
The initial period of training for the Guard divisions, upon induction, typically concentrated on the basic training of draftees and volunteers. The 27th Division had 10,389 original Guardsmen when inducted and supplemented this figure with 6927 new recruits. The first thirteen weeks, therefore, saw the division eschew higher unit training for the indoctrination and integration of the new men.6 The officers and non-commissioned officers were also developing their tactical and leadership skills during this time period. General George Marshall in a national radio address given at the time of the signing of the Selective Service and Training Act, foretold the unpleasantries attendant to military service:
This means long hours of arduous work. For the officers and non-commissioned officers it means not only hard physical work but also intensive daily study of the manuals covering the latest technique in warfare. It is only through discomfort and fatigue that progress can be made toward the triumph of mind and muscles over the softness of the life to which we have become accustomed. All this not only takes time, but requires wholehearted effort. It demands a standard of discipline which will prevail over fatigue, hunger, confusion, or disaster.7
Toward this end, many officers were sent off to service schools to become proficient in their trade while the company's non-commissioned officers conducted basic training. For the infantry, the basic course of instruction lasted from thirteen to seventeen weeks and the advanced course lasted thirteen weeks.8 As was. the case with the rest of the Army of the United States, the 27th Division's officers lacked a fundamental knowledge of modern tactics and weapons employment.
To more efficiently indoctrinate the new recruits each company of each regiment of the division organized a cadre of older soldiers to oversee their training. Company I, 106th Infantry Regiment, was typical in their approach to training. 1Lt Donald Diaz, one of the older platoon leaders, became the "Training Company" commander with Sergeant Joe Lopaski as his First Sergeant. Platoon sergeants and squad leaders, likewise from the parent company, conducted all training from a schedule made up by Lt Diaz the day prior. Each day the training company, made up of 75 recruits and the cadre, would march two and one-half miles from the encampment to the local training area. The initial program of instruction included All of the following: close order drill; extended order formations; physical training; tent pitching; assembling the pack; and bayonet drill. As the recruits progressed in their development as soldiers their training turned to: the route march; formation and conduct of the advance guard; the approach march; conduct of the infantry scout; small unit tactics (although no up to date manual existed); classes of fire; fire distribution and fire control. Practical exercises were conducted for the conduct of the defense and the attack in which fire and movement was emphasized. During this basic training phase the recruits were taught preparatory rifle marksmanship, the caliber .30 light machine gun, and the 60mm mortar. Each day ended with the Training Company being marched, into the encampment, at attention, while the regimental band played stirring martial music.9
The basic training concluded on 3 February 1941 and all training companies were integrated into their parent units. At this time VII Corps conducted an inspection to determine the relative readiness of the division and to recommend the beginning of the next phase of training. Thus certified by Corps the division began a thirteen Meek advanced training period which would last until May 1941. During this period selected officers continued to be sent to service schools, individual soldiers were sent to specialist courses, and the units conducted tactical problems.10 The division maximized the opportunity for multi-echelon training through NCO conducted individual instruction while much of the senior leadership was away at service schools.
At the time the 27th Division began training at Ft McClellan there were only a handful of officers who had attended the Army's preeminent institution for war, the Command and General Staff School: the Commanding General of the 92nd FA Bde, BG Ralph McT. Pennell; Colonel Hampton Anderson, the Chief of Staff; Colonel Brendan Burns, the Commander, 102nd Engineer Regt; Major Bittmann Barth, Commander, Special Troops; and Colonel Christopher Degenaar, Commander, 105th Infantry Regt. During the interwar years there was typically only one National Guard officer per regular year long class. In addition there was a special National Guard and Reserve Course conducted each year. The few Guard attendees of the CGSS was due partially to the lack of money available to the army but primarily to the time taken out of the individual's civilian career. Typically, Guardsmen who could afford the time were independent businessmen such as lawyers.
On 1 November 1939 the War Department curtailed the regular course from one year to four months and increased the size of National Guard and reserve participation to approximately 100. The course was further reduced so that by 2 December 1940 it was only nine weeks long. The make-up of that first course was 31 Regular Army, 55 National Guard, and 11 Organized Reserve Corps.
The change in the course design in conjunction with a reduction in the number of officers assigned to the school as instructors caused the student to instructor ratio to increase from 1:5 to 1:10. This course change dictated that much of the instruction be conducted in the lecture mode in large halls with limited student participation. The number of hours for application of instruction, however, was three times that for lecture. While applicatory work consumed 243 hours and lecture 75 hours, the effects were illusory because the students would work in large, open, hangar-like buildings with but a few Instructors to assist and critique. The new abbreviated course began to teach on-going changes in the Army such as the move from the square to the triangular division. More attention was paid to writing and disseminating orders, situation maps, staff journals, records, and reports. By 1941 the Command and General Staff School was graduating 1260 students a year to fill the ever expanding numbers of General Staff Corps requirements.11
The 27th benefited by the increase in allocations and in 1941 sent the G3, G4, Adjutant General, three officers from the 106th Infantry Regt, and one officer from the 53rd Infantry Brigade. The division was in a transition period in which they held onto some old tradition by sending older experienced officers yet they also sent some of the younger, up-and-coming officers who had more of a future ahead of them.
At the beginning of the advanced training Company I underwent some significant changes: CPT Oscar E. Schultz and First Sergeant Harold R. Murphy, the last remaining World War I veterans, were transferred out and replaced by younger men, CPT Charles J. White and First Sergeant Joe Lopaski.12 Also significant was the introduction of the M1 Garand, semi-automatic rifle to the division. The older Guardsmen had been training with the Springfield, 1903 model, caliber .30 rifle as had the new recruits. There were enough M1s for one regiment; therefore instruction in preparatory marksmanship and record firing was done by echelon. The introduction of the Ml signified an end to war when individual riflemen would select individual targets at ranges of 800 meters. Now the emphasis would be on enhanced firepower at 400 meters.13
The induction and initial training of the National Guard units was an orderly and well planned process. General Leslie McNair's General Headquarters had established a four phase training regimen which would ensure efficient development of the AUS divisions. Each phase incorporated tests, unit training with frequent reviews, free maneuvers, immediate critique, integration of the tactical units, stress on the responsibilities of commanding officers, and an emphasis on battle realism.14 McNair's insistence on free play did away with the scenario driven, canned exercises of the pre-emergency Army. Umpires were introduced to stimulate thought at each echelon. For examples the umpires would penalize a maneuver unit 1% for each minute they remained in the impact area of artillery; and, they would lose 3% for every tank that got within 100 yards.15
The 27th Division, having completed their advanced training, underwent the 2nd Army maneuvers as a part of VII Corps from 24 May until 27 June 1941. It was during these exercises that the divisions were to implement General McNair's GHQ directives for the conduct of a free maneuver exercise.16 The value of these large exercises has been extolled over the years by the ranking participants, however, the troops at the lowest level remain unconvinced as to the value of them. Retired First Lieutenant Fred Kaune, then a squad leader in Company I, 106th Infantry Regiment, stated "operations orders, if used at all, did not reach points below a certain rank or grade levels". Furthermore, "maneuvers, for the most part, seemed to be one long and continuous troop movement with occasional rest area stops for a day or two."17 General Dwight D. Eisenhower, speaking of these maneuvers after the war, was convinced that they were invaluable in preparing the Army for war. He stated that "the beneficial results of that great maneuver were incalculable. It accustomed the troops to mass teamwork; [and] it speeded up the process of eliminating the unfit."18 Generals McNair and Walter Kreuger, regarding deficiencies of the participating National Guard units, said that the officers and enlisted men were soft and undisciplined. Also, the troops were essentially road bound, unable to adequately conduct reconnaissance, incapable of coordinating with adjacent and supporting units, and leadership was a grave weakness.19
The division reassembled after the Tennessee Maneuvers at Fort McClellan on 10 July and prepared for the upcoming Louisiana-Arkansas Maneuvers. On 29 July the 27th moved out as a part of LTG Ben Lear's 2nd Amy against LTG Walter Kreuger's 3rd Army.20
"These maneuvers were, as far as the company was concerned, about the same as the Tennessee Maneuvers, i.e., long, hot marches to unknown destinations.21 General Eisenhower, on the other hand, believed that the maneuvers were necessary and filled a great need. "Not one of our officers on the active list," he said after the war, "had commanded a unit as large as a division in the First World War."22 The maneuvers were a vast laboratory where new tactics, equipment, and soldiers were all integrated to form an effective fighting force. 400,000 soldiers from the 2nd and 3rd Armies maneuvered across the wide open spaces of Louisiana and Arkansas, testing combined arms doctrine and the fast, decisive employment of mechanized and tank forces.23 General Kreuger made some very general observations about the maneuvers, that road discipline and dispersal were disregarded. General McNair was more outspoken saying "that many of the weaknesses developed in these maneuvers are repeated again and again for lack of discipline."24 Prior to the Tennessee Maneuvers unit commanders concentrated on combat training fundamentals and tactics at the company and below. During the Tennessee and the Louisiana-Arkansas Maneuvers the focus was at division and corps. Many senior officers were taking note of the serious deficiencies of some of their junior officers. Major General George Strong, CG VIII Corps, stated that "poor leadership asserted by many officers" was their most notable contribution during the exercises.25 Evidence of this poor leadership was manifest in the absence of any measure of morale. The editors of LIFE magazine had a reporter Interview 408 privates in five National Guard regiments (27th Division) after participating in the Tennessee maneuvers. The upshot of those interviews was that 50% of the Army would desert in October once their period of service was over. The reasons given for deserting were a disbelief that there was an actual national emergency, dissatisfaction with the officers, arcane training methods, lack of equipment, absence of recreational equipment, and an unfavorable comparison of their position with their civilian counterparts. On artillery pieces and latrine walls across the country the word OHIO was found meaning Over The Hill in October, i.e., a wave of desertions would follow the end of the 12-month period of service.26
It is clear that the value of these large scale maneuvers depended on the level of the interpreter. The Army, recently mobilized and undergoing tremendous growing pains, needed training of all types and at all echelons of command. The Army, Corps, and Division staffs all received invaluable training at the conduct of war at their level. The staffs of the Guard divisions were all inexperienced and mostly undereducated, at least in military circles, and certainly new to the complex world of general war. Mobilization had caused existing staffs in Guard divisions to operate in the stress of an ever changing environment. Officer changes occurred almost daily with the integration of Organized Reserve officers and the removal of older Guard officers. This turmoil necessitated the constant and continual training of the large organization staffs.
The effectiveness of this kind of training at the individual soldier, squad, platoon, and company level was minimal at best. The army was Just not very efficient at conducting multi-echelon training which was needed in this time of short preparation and almost immediate probable employment overseas. The blame can be laid on the emerging leadership of the divisions who could not foresee the opportunity for training at the lowest levels but also on the company grade leadership who should have been capable of taking advantage of the time available. Criticism of this leadership cannot be too harsh as the void was created by the paucity of Regular Army guidance and instruction during the pre-war years.
During the respite between the two large maneuvers President Roosevelt and the War Department succeeded, narrowly, in passing an extension of the Selective Service and Training Act. On 21 July Roosevelt stated that a grave national risk would be involved if legislation wasn't forthcoming to make it possible to retain on active duty the vast numbers of soldiers currently serving. The Selective Service and Training Act of 1940 had obligated volunteers, draftees, and National Guardsmen for a period of one year which, for many, would end in October of 1941. The Service Extension Act of 1941 authorized the President to stretch out to 18 months the enlistments, appointments, and commissions of those personnel who were inducted under the 1940 Act.27
The immediate result of the Service Extension Act was a noticeable deterioration in soldier morale especially in the National Guard. There were a number of contributing factors for this low morale: worry over the civilian Jobs they left behind and their families welfare; a lack of belief in the national emergency declared by the President; homesickness; and the lack of morals and professionalism among the officers over them.
Hilton Howell Railey, a member of the editorial staff of the New York Times, was directed to investigate the morale of the Army in the summer of 1941, following the publishing of the LIFE article (18 August 1941) which stated essentially that there was precious little. Mr. Railey served in the Army in The First World War and, therefore, had a foundation for his assertions regarding morale and professionalism in the Army. Mr. Railey's observations as they pertain to the National Guard are as follows: fraternization between officers and enlisted men was flagrant and disgraceful; officers were in physical fear of their men; the government has violated their contract for one years service; and the soldiers have no faith in their lieutenants and captains and no respect for their qualifications.28 Major General James E. Edmonds, Commanding General of Ft Lee, Virginia in August 1941, told Mr. Railey that the "system" is to blame for inadequately prepared officers. Funds were never available to "develop through actual field experience, the necessary psychology of command, or even a proper sense of responsibility to their men—-in housing, food, administration, etc."29
About five days after returning from the maneuvers the War Department authorized the release of all men over the age of 28; those whose service was creating hardship at home; and members of the AUS whose one year term of service had expired. These men were transferred to the Enlisted Reserve Corps or to the Inactive National Guard.30 This wholesale release cost the 27th 3000 men and dropped the unit's strength to 13,384 enlisted and 920 officers. There were also some major changes in the division's leadership: MG Haskell, aged 63, was reassigned to become the National Director of Civil Defense and replaced by BG Ralph McT. Pennell, 59 year old commander of the 52d Field Artillery Brigade. Distinguished Graduate of the Army's Command and General Staff School in 1923, BG Pennell also graduated from the Army War College in 1926. 46 year old Colonel Redmond F. Kernan, Jr., commander of the 104th Field Artillery Regiment replaced Pennell as the 52d Artillery Brigade commander.31
The 1942 Report of the National Guard Bureau stated that there were only 4 trucks, 1 motorcycle, 14 sub-machineguns, 360 shotguns, 1 radio, 252 gas masks, and 11,522 Springfield rifles with which to outfit the entire division. Regarding personnel, there were 11 Regular Army officers, 776 Guard officers, and 137 Organized Reserve officers. Among the enlisted there were 10 Regular Army, 7902 Guard, and 5709 draftees.32 The artillery was equipped with obsolescent 75mm towed pieces and the infantry was burdened with the useless 37mm anti-tank gun. More than any other reason, the dearth of modern equipment limited the effectiveness of the Army maneuvers.
The release of men over 28 and those with hardships at home cost Company I of the 106th the First Sergeant, three out of four platoon sergeants, the supply sergeant, and the regimental officer's mess sergeant. This significant loss of leadership was typical throughout the division. Although the non-commissioned officer's corps in the division was steeped in tradition and founded in tactical proficiency there was only a thin layer of this expertise. The first layer was skimmed off when the division formed at Fort McClellan and the older and more experienced soldiers were sent to higher headquarters staffs. The second layer came off when the over-28 cut was executed. The replacements for the second layer, for the most part, came from within each company and this would form the last of the old Guard soldiers. NCO replacements henceforth would come from the draftees and volunteers whose sole military experience was the Tennessee-Louisiana-Arkansas Maneuvers. The division as a whole requisitioned 5693 infantry, 1067 artillery, 346 engineer, 353 medic, 289 quartermaster, and 114 miscellaneous branch replacements immediately after Pearl Harbor was attacked.33 In January 1942 3200 replacements were sent from Camp Walters, Texas, the first from outside of the state. The division was transferred to California as a result of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and took part in the defense of the west coast. Upon arrival at Fort Ord, California, they received new Ml rifles or carbines, new clothing, and new artillery pieces.34 Also during this period more of the senior leadership was replaced. COL Chris Degenaar, 51 year old commander of the 105th Infantry Regiment was replaced by his 2nd Battalion commander LTC Leonard A. Bishop. COL Thomas Dedell, the 59 year old commander of the 106th Infantry Regiment was replaced by 50 year old COL Russell Ayers, an Organized Reserve Corps officer.35 The division would only spend a few weeks garrisoning California prior to shipping out to the Territory of Hawaii.
The lead elements of the 27th embarked from San Francisco, California on 28 February 1942 with the preponderance of the division arriving 10 days later, although there were still some pieces of units landing as late as mid-April.36 The regiments and brigades, were outposted to the outer islands to defend them from attack. On the island of Oahu the Hawaiian Division, forerunner of the 24th and 25th Divisions, would provide the defense. The 27th would remain so outposted until late October.37
Activity on the outer islands amounted to manning beach defenses for approximately six weeks and then rotating to a reserve role for 3 weeks. The emphasis was on physical conditioning and small unit tactical training.38
For Company I of the 106th the stay in the outer islands was as uneventful as the Army Maneuvers of 1941. Bayonet instruction and close order drill were given to the sugar cane plantation workers where the company was billeted. As martial law was in effect, a security patrol would move through and around the local village at night to ensure the blackout wasn't violated. The possibility of Japanese invasion never diminished while Company I was on Hawaii and only tended to wear thin the nerves of the young, inexperienced soldiers. At some point a young soldier fired at a buoy thinking it was a Japanese miniature submarine. The ricochetting rounds into adjacent friendly positions caused even more firing resulting in the alerting and moving of the company into fighting positions on the beach.39 When the Japanese fleet further threatened the US in the Pacific in June 1942 and reports of imminent invasion were received Company I deployed to the beach on South Point and dug-in with relish. Double-apron barbed wire was strung along the beach, foxholes and communications trenches were dug, and machineguns and mortars were registered along the final protective line.40 The troops continued to improve their positions and made cleaning their weapons a religion in this salt, air environment. The Japanese, of course, were waylaid by the Navy at the Battle of Midway and, therefore, Company I of the 106th didn't see action.
In January and February 1942 the National Guard divisions were required to triangularize as the Regular Army had done in 1941.41 The 27th was ordered in July to triangularize by 31 August 1942. The result of this reorganization was the loss of the 108th Infantry Regiment to the 40th Division and the complete restructuring of the 52d Field Artillery Brigade. The three Brigade Headquarters disbanded and their personnel assigned elsewhere. BG Alexander Anderson, one of the legitimate heroes of The Great War, and CG of the 94th Infantry Bde, was slated to command the 86th Infantry Division, however, he suffered a fatal heart attack en route. BG Ogden J. Ross, former Commanding General of the 53rd Brigade became the division's Assistant Division Commander. BG Redmond Kernan, CG of the 52d FA Bde became the DIVARTY Commander. The 52d FA Bde, originally three regiments of six artillery battalions, was reduced to four battalions: the 104th, 105th, 106th, and 249th FA Bns.42 The immediate effect of the reorganization was the sudden availability of a number of officers for reassignment. Several of the key staff officers on the 53rd Infantry Bde staff rose to positions of prominence on the division staff, notably Captain William Van Antwerp, the Bde intelligence officer. He rose to LTC and G2 of the division. However, some officers became excess in grade and were forced out of the division, most notably LTC Joseph McDonough, executive officer of the 54th Infantry Bde. He was one of the handfull to graduate from the Command and General Staff School and because there was no position available, he was transferred.
All of the divisions of the AUS were undergoing the turmoil of reorganization that goes with an expanding army. The ever increasing numbers of soldiers created out of draftees and volunteers at the 21 replacement centers meant more divisions for war. To fill thes divisions with qualified officers and NCOs the existing units were called upon to provide a cadre.43 Typically, a qualified division would be authorized an over-strength in grade for the specialty requirements for the cadre. The division would continue to train with these additional numbers until such time as they were called to fulfill their cadre function, usually 2-3 months after the over-strength authorization. The selected division commander and his principal staff officers would attend the division officers course at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The other officers would attend appropriate courses at their service schools.44 A natural tendency was for the existing divisions to flood the cadres with the derelict or otherwise unwanted soldiers of the command. To stem this the division headquarters would require the submission of the names of the enlisted members of the cadre and only later require the names of the officers. Theoretically this kept the officers honest since they might end up on the cadre themselves.45
Although the 27th never formally provided a cadre for another division they did fill many key NCO positions from their ranks for the 10th Infantry Division (Mountain). In addition, in July 1942, most of the senior NCOs, including all of the 106th Infantry's first sergeants, were sent to the Army's Officer Candidate School. This was the third layer of NCOs skinned from the 27th Division leaving a minimum of experienced sergeants.46
On the 20th of October 1942 the 25th Infantry Division was deployed to Guadalcanal. To fill out their ranks to the authorized strength the 27th was compelled to provide 3300 replacements. The 27th then moved to establish the defense of Oahu while the 40th Division assumed responsibility for the defense of the outer islands.47
The 59 year old commanding general of the division, Major General Ralph Pennell, requested relief due to age and Has reassigned to command the Army's Field Artillery School. His replacement, Major General Ralph Smith, a graduate of the Army's Command and General Staff School and a Regular Army officer, assumed command on 20 November 1942. The Chief of Staff also changed at this time as Colonel John Haskell, son of the former commanding general, was reassigned to the War Department General Staff. He was replaced by 42 year old Colonel Albert K. Stebbins a 1924 graduate of the US Military Academy and a Command and General Staff School graduate.48 In September the division received 2300 new soldiers from the replacement training centers to partially fill the vacancy created by the 25th Division levy.
During September and October the division underwent a strenuous training regimen in preparation for a short notice deployment to combat in the Pacific. All soldiers familiarized with all weapons organic to their unit and qualified with their individual weapon. Combat veterans from Guadalcanal were imported to conduct realistic training to demonstrate the battle—tested methods for fighting the Japanese.49 In October all of the units rotated through the amphibious training centers at Makua and Waianae. Here they conducted maneuver and live fire exercises, assaulted pillboxes with demolitions, attacked with tanks, and adjusted live artillery fire.50 Also during this intensive retraining period staff officers and first sergeants were preparing manifests and shipping lists in preparation for deployment. The infirm were weeded out leaving but a shadow of the original division as it was when mobilised in October 1940, two years earlier.51
During the division's occupation of the Hawaiian Islands key officers were selected for and sent to the Command and General Staff School. Between June and August 1943 the 27th had four graduates and no failures of the course: the Assistant G2, S2 165th Infantry, and the S3s of the 105th and 106th Infantry Regiments. In December 1942, while the individual units of the division continued their intense tactical training, two officers attended the Marine Corps' amphibious school in San Diego, California. Upon return they established an Army amphibious school in Hawaii which operated between 7 April and 12 May 1943. The purpose of this school was to indoctrinate regimental and battalion staff officers and commanders with Navy-Marine-Army amphibious warfare procedures.52 Each of the infantry battalion landing teams then were assembled at Schofield Barracks, Oahu, to conduct the intricate art of amphibious warfare. The men were instructed in the use of cargo nets, ropes, boat team drill, debarking, deployment from mock-up boats, and passage through wire entanglements and other obstacles. The battalion staffs prepared boat assignment tables, boat diagrams, shore party organisations, landing diagrams, debarkation and approach schedules.53
The training of the 27th Division was in preparation for employment against the Japanese in the Central Pacific. The strategy of the United States was to conduct a two pronged assault on the Japanese with the main effort coming in the Central Pacific under Admiral Nimitz and a secondary or supporting effort by General MacArthur in the Southwest Pacific.54 A third theater was operational in Burma with the US Army under General Joseph Stilwell subordinate to the British. In all three regions the driving factor was to get close enough to strategically bomb the Japanese islands.55 The intent of Nimitz' Central Pacific campaign plan was to take the Japanese Navy and it's carrier based air power out of the region. By neutralizing the Japanese Navy Nimitz would execute an economic strangulation on the Japanese homeland. If this did not force surrender then the long range bombardment of Japan from those Pacific Islands seized would.56 MacArthur's aim in the Southwest Pacific was oriented more on him promise to return to the Philippines. Initially his was a defensive campaign brought about by the Japanese threatening Australia by way of New Guinea. All of MacArthur's efforts were focused on the eventual reinvasion of the Philippine Islands.57
General George C. Marshall alone dictated the priorities. The lack of unity of effort and the division of resources directly impacted on the 27th Division. The Southwest Pacific, under MacArthur, became an Army dominated theater. The Central Pacific, under Admiral Nimitz, was a Navy dominated theater. The Marine Corps was the principal ground force for the Navy in their theater. However, the Corps lacked sufficient forces to accommodate Nimitz' grand strategy and, therefore, the Army was compelled to augment them with infantry divisions. This complex operational approach to war in the Pacific caused the 27th Division to be employed under the tactical control of the Marine Corps rather than under an Army commander.
1 Elbridge Colby, The National Guard of the United States, (Manhattan, KS: MA/AH Publishing, 1977), Ch. X, p. 2.
2 Official National Guard Register for 1939 (Wash., DC: US GPO, 1939)
3 Fred C. Kaune, (1Lt, AUS, RET), personal letter.
4 Edmund G. Love, The 27th Infantry Division in WW II, (Wash., DC: The Infantry Journal Press, 1949), pp, 11-12.
5 John K. Mahon, History of the Militia and the National Guard, (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1983), p.182.
6 Kaune, personal letter, p.2.
7 Colby, The National Guard of the United States, Ch. X, pp. 8-9.
8 Major H.A. DeWeerd ed., Selected Speeches of the General of the Army George C. Marshall, (Wash., DC: The Infantry Journal, 1945), p.88.
9 Robert R. Palmer, Bell I. Wiley, and William R. Keast Procurement and training of Ground Troops (Wash., DC: Center for Military History, 1948), p. 317.
10 Kaune, personal letter, pp.4-5.
11 Love, The 27th Infantry Division in WW II, p.12.
12 A Military History of the US Army C & GSC, Ft Leavenworth, KS, 1881—1963, p.33 and A Comprehensive Survey, Command and General Staff School, Wartime, 1940-1945, vol. I, pp. 3-10.
13 Kaune, personal letter, p.7.
14 Love, History of the 27th Division, pp. 12-13.
15 Martin Blumenson, "Kasserine Pass 30 Jan-22 Feb 1943", ed. Charles E. Heller and William A. Stofft, America's First Battles, (Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 1986), p. 238.
16 TIME Magazine, 16 June 1941, author unknown. 17Love, The 27th Infantry Division in WW II, p.13.
18 Kaune, personal letter, p.6.
19 Dwight D. Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe, (Norwalk, Conn. : Easton Press with permission of Doubleday &Co., 1948), p. 11.
20 Blumenson, "Kasserine Pass 30 Jan-22 Feb 1943" America's First Battles, p.237.
21 Love, The 27th Infantry Division in WW II, p.13.
22 Kaune, personal letter, p.7.
23 Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe, p.11.
25 TIME Magazine, 13 October 1941, author unknown.
26 Mark S. Watson, The US Army in WW II: Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations (Wash., DC: Historical Division, Dept of the Army, 1950), pp. 237-238.
27 Forrest C. Pogue, George C. Marshal: Organizer of Victory (NY: The Viking Press, 1973), pp.154-153.
28 Leonard L. Lerwill The Personnel Replacement System in the US Army (Wash., DC: Dept of the Army, 1954), pp. 252-253.
29 Hilton Howell Railey, "Morale of the United States Army: An Appraissal for the New York Times", 29 September 1941, pp.1-23.
30 Ibid., p.44.
31 Love, The 27th Infantry Division in WW II, p.14.
32 Ibid., P. 13.
33 1942 Report of the National Guard Bureau.
34 Love, The History of the 27th Division, p.15.
35 Ibid., p.16.
37 Ibid., pp. 17-18.
38 Ibid., pp. 18-19.
40 Kaune, personal letter, p.10.
42 Mahon, History of the Militia and the National Guard, 185.
43 Love, The 27th Infantry Division in WW II, pp. 19-20.
44 Jim Dan Hill The Minute Man in Peace and War (Harrisburg, PA.: The Stackpole Co., 1964), pp. 474-475.
45 Leonard L. Lerwill The Personnel Replacement System in the Army (Wash., DC.: Dept of the Army, 1954), pp. 248-249.
46 Ibid., p.248.
47 Kaune, personal letter, p. 11.
48 Love, The 27th Infantry Division in WW II, p.21.
49 Ibid., pp. 21-22.
50 Ibid., p.25.
51 Ibid., p.23.
53 Philip A. Crowl and Edmund G. Love The War in the Pacific: The Seizure of the Gilberts and Marshalls (Wash., DC.: Office of the Chief of Military History, 1955), p.44.
54 Ibid., pp.44-45.
55 Philip A. Crowl The US Army in World War II: The War in the Pacific: Campaign in the Marianas (Wash., DC: Office of the Chief of Military History, 1960), p.18.
56 J. Robert Moskin The US Marine Corps Story (NY: The McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1982), p.305.
57 Allan R. Millett and Peter Maslowski For the Common Defense NY: The Free Press, 1984), pp. 388-389.
58 Ibid. [Missing from text]
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military