For the men of the 7th Infantry Division there is no such thing as unseasonable weather for Jap killing. They have slain the Nips in the sub-zero cold of the Arctic regions, and they chopped them down when it was hitting 125 in the shade of palm trees. After the war was over, they went on to police them in Korea.
From Attu’s bleak wastes to the lush jungles of the Pacific the men of the “Hourglass” Division have ranged in search of the enemy, and in doing so have earned two major honors.
At Attu the 7th gained the distinction of recapturing the first American soil taken by the Japanese. And at Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands the 7th, with the 4th Marines, won the honor of first wresting from the Japanese ground he held prior to Pearl Harbor.
The 7th, which was activated in 1940 under the command of then Major General Joseph W. Stilwell, started its battle against the Nips in May 1943, when its men hit the beaches of Attu. For three weeks, in weather that would have broken the spirit of many an Arctic explorer, the 7th was in bitter combat with the enemy. The battle spread into the mountains and into the valleys, and it was not until May 30, when the Japanese threw their all into a fanatical banzai attack that failed, was the battle for the Aleutian stronghold ended.
Three months later elements of the 7th assaulted Kiska onlv to find that the enemy had fled a few days earlier.
The Hourglass boys shipped from the Aleutians to Hawaii, where they underwent months of rigorous training in preparation for their try at jungle fighting. Early in 1944, the 7th swarmed ashore at Kwajalein, in the heart of the Jap-held Marshall Islands. Six days later the Stars and Stripes was flying over the atoll—and the Japs had lost their first territory of the war.
It was on Leyte that the men of the 7th really started killing Japs. On D-day, October 20, the Hourglassers hit the sand near the town of Dulag and found themselves opposed by one of the crack Japanese divisions—the 16th, perpetrators of the “Bataan Death March.” Fighting for every foot, the 7th drove inland, and within four days had captured Dulag, its important airstrip, the San Pablo airfield, and the city of Burauen. Swinging north, the Hourglassers plowed through the rice paddies, waist-deep mud, and monsoon gales to crush Jap resistance and overrun Jap defenses at the key town of Dagami.
But MacArthur gave them little rest. He turned the Division south and told them to eliminate all the enemy from the Leyte watershed as far south as Abuyog. This mission was accomplished under the most adverse weather conditions. The men were pelted by torrential rains, blown down by winds of typhoon velocity, and had to fight flash floods and swollen rivers and streams.
The 7th finished its chore in the Leyte campaign by landing on the Camotes Islands and exterminating all the Japanese on this group. The 7th moved 105 miles on Leyte, covered 1,950 miles in reconnaissance, and killed 16,559 of the enemy.
But the toughest fight for the 7th was yet to come. On Easter Sunday the men of the Hourglass patch landed on the west coast of Okinawa and started a drive across the island. There they met the most intense artillery fire of the Pacific war, and the most stubborn enemy defense. One of the bloodiest battles of the war saw the 7th assault Hill 178 for six days before taking this anchor position in the defense line. When Okinawa was conquered and General Stilwell came to assume command of the Tenth Army; he found his old division—the 7th—waiting for him with a combat record unsurpassed by any fighting unit in the Pacific.
From Fighting Divisions, Kahn & McLemore, Infantry Journal Press, 1945-1946.
There are 69 soldiers of the 7th Infantry Division World War II still listed as missing in action.
|Corporal Julius A. Arndt 32nd Infantry Regiment 12/21/1944|
|Sergeant Arthur A. Bartelmehs 32nd Infantry Regiment 10/31/1944|
|Private First Class Charles E. Brunson 32nd Infantry Regiment 10/24/1944|
|Private First Class William F. Cahill 17th Infantry Regiment 12/12/1944|
|Private Robert M. Cassell 32nd Infantry Regiment 10/25/1944|
|Private First Class Chester C. Cline 17th Infantry Regiment 12/05/1944|
|Private First Class James M. Cooley 184th Infantry Regiment 04/19/1945|
|Private First Class Charles W. Corbett 32nd Infantry Regiment 04/11/1945|
|Private First Class Henry R. Corrales 17th Infantry Regiment 11/18/1944|
|Second Lieutenant Ronald E. Daniel 184th Infantry Regiment 04/20/1945|
|Technical Sergeant Peter F. Deini 17th Infantry Regiment 11/15/1944|
|Private Charles S. Doyle 184th Infantry Regiment 12/03/1943|
|Sergeant Floyd Dunn 7th Medical Battalion 05/04/1945|
|Second Lieutenant Robert J. Emert 17th Infantry Regiment 04/30/1945|
|Private First Class James M. Fowler 184th Infantry Regiment 12/07/1944|
|Private Raymond Frederick 184th Infantry Regiment 12/03/1943|
|Private Samuel A. Garcia 32nd Infantry Regiment 12/30/1944|
|Technician Fifth Grade Gerald W. Gehr 32nd Infantry Regiment 06/10/1945|
|Private Isadore Glowacki 184th Infantry Regiment 05/01/1945|
|Private First Class Victor W. Granato 184th Infantry Regiment 05/07/1945|
|Private Alfred J. Green 17th Infantry Regiment 12/05/1944|
|Private William A. Greiss 184th Infantry Regiment 04/24/1945|
|Private First Class Alford L. Harrell 184th Infantry Regiment 02/02/1944|
|Sergeant Willis R. Hillegonds 48th Field Artillery Battalion 05/11/1943|
|First Lieutenant George D. Hudnutt 32nd Infantry Regiment 10/24/1944|
|Private Marvin W. James 184th Infantry Regiment 04/19/1945|
|Staff Sergeant Jerome G. Job 32nd Infantry Regiment 11/04/1944|
|Private First Class John O. Klippert 17th Infantry Regiment 06/16/1945|
|Private First Class Stanley Konczewski 32nd Infantry Regiment 10/23/1944|
|Technical Sergeant Joseph Kurilovchan 32nd Infantry Regiment 11/01/1944|
|Private Melvin Lane 32nd Infantry Regiment 04/05/1945|
|Private First Class Henry Lonner 32nd Infantry Regiment 04/25/1945|
|Private Samuel R. Lubas 184th Infantry Regiment 12/03/1943|
|Private First Class Gerald J. Lucas 184th Infantry Regiment 06/07/1945|
|Private First Class L. C. Magee 32nd Infantry Regiment 10/23/1944|
|Private First Class Carnell Manley 32nd Infantry Regiment 04/06/1945|
|Private First Class Benjamin F. McCabe 17th Infantry Regiment 12/06/1944|
|Private William Morgan 48th Field Artillery Battalion 05/11/1943|
|Private First Class Edward Newman 17th Infantry Regiment 06/10/1945|
|Private Harold B. Olson 184th Infantry Regiment 04/10/1945|
|Private Arve E. Pajari 7th Medical Battalion 10/20/1944|
|Private First Class Richard B. Pierce 184th Infantry Regiment 12/05/1944|
|Private First Class Samuel J. Prince 184th Infantry Regiment 02/14/1944|
|Private First Class Charles L. Rehbein 17th Infantry Regiment 04/21/1945|
|Private Clayton L. Relker 48th Field Artillery Battalion 05/11/1943|
|Private First Class Harry E. Rito 184th Infantry Regiment 05/02/1945|
|Private William R. Robinson 17th Infantry Regiment 11/18/1944|
|Private First Class James M. Rodebaugh 17th Infantry Regiment 05/06/1945|
|Private First Class Reed L. Rowland 31st Field Artillery Battalion 12/03/1943|
|Private First Class Joseph M. Scalone 184th Infantry Regiment 12/07/1944|
|Staff Sergeant William F. Schroeder 32nd Infantry Regiment 10/22/1944|
|Private First Class George H. Schroer 184th Infantry Regiment 11/04/1944|
|Private First Class Willis H. Shanks 32nd Infantry Regiment 02/22/1946|
|Sergeant Jim C. Shelton 184th Infantry Regiment 04/22/1945|
|Private First Class Kenneth J. Snyder 184th Infantry Regiment 01/04/1945|
|Sergeant Patrick J. Strabala 17th Infantry Regiment 04/29/1945|
|Staff Sergeant Kendall F. Stuart 32nd Infantry Regiment 02/06/1944|
|Staff Sergeant Nelson J. Sturgill 32nd Infantry Regiment 06/16/1945|
|Private First Class Glenn I. Taggart 184th Infantry Regiment 05/24/1945|
|Private First Class David C. Tarver 184th Infantry Regiment 12/03/1943|
|Private First Class Howard L. Tribbey 32nd Infantry Regiment 11/28/1944|
|Captain George W. Tyson Headquarters 02/01/1944|
|Private First Class Robert C. Vega 32nd Infantry Regiment 02/06/1944|
|Private First Class Robert L. Wade 184th Infantry Regiment 12/31/1944|
|Technical Sergeant Bernard E. Wagner 17th Infantry Regiment 04/08/1945|
|Private Albert B. Walker 184th Infantry Regiment 06/01/1945|
|Sergeant John E. Wallick 17th Infantry Regiment 12/06/1944|
|Private First Class Paul B. Walters 17th Infantry Regiment 12/08/1944|
|Private Harry C. Wishart 184th Infantry Regiment 04/09/1945|
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