6th Infantry Division – WW-2

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The 6th Division (Red Star) was activated first during the month of November 1917 with the following Order of Battle: 11th Infantry Brigade (51-IR, 52-IR and 17th Machine Gun Battalion), 12th Infantry Brigade (53-IR, 54-IR and 18th Machine Gun Battalion), 16th Machine-Gun Battalion (Divisional Troops) and the 3rd Field Artillery Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Battalion and the 78th Field Artillery Battalion. The division went overseas in Jun 1918, and 43 days of combat resulted in 38 KIA and 348 WIA casualties.

The 6th Division saw combat in the Géradmer sector, Vosges, France, Sept 3 – Oct 18, 1918, and during the Meuse-Argonne offensive Nov 1 – Nov 11, 1918. Separately the 11-FAB became engaged earlier in the Meuse-Argonne offensive and fought from Oct 19 to the Armistice. The division returned to the United States in Jun 1919 and was deactivated on Sept 30, 1921, at Camp Grant, Illinois.

The 6th Division was re-activated on Oct 10, 1939, at Fort Lewis, Washington, as the 6th Division, and moved to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, on Nov 9, 1939. It was then relocated to Fort Benning, Georgia, on Apr 12, 1940, until it moved to Alexandria in Louisiana on May 8, 1940. A little later, on Jun 1, the 6th Division was relocated to Fort Snelling, Minnesota and, on Jul 17, sent to Lincoln, Minnesota, before it returned to Fort Snelling on Aug 19. The Red Star Division participated in the Arkansas Maneuvers (Aug 1941) and the Louisiana Maneuvers (Sept 1941).

On Oct 10, 1941, the division moved to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where it was re-designated 6th Motorized Division on Apr 9, 1942, and moved again for the I Corps Tennessee Maneuvers on Sept 11, 1942. Sent back to Fort Leonard Wood on Nov 10, 1942, the division moved to Camp Young, California, on Nov 29, 1942, where it participated in the Desert Training Center #1 IV Armored Corps Maneuvers until Feb 22, 1943. On Mar 28, the division arrived at Camp San Luis Obispo, California, where it was finally re-designated 6th Infantry Division on Mar 21. The 6-ID departed the San Francisco POE on Jul 21, 1943, and arrived in Hawaii on Jul 29, 1943. The 6-ID left Hawaii on Jan 26, 1944, and arrived in the Milne Bay New Guinea on Jan 31, 1944.

Casualties
Killed in Action, 410; Wounded in Action, 1957; Died of Wounds, 104.

Commanding Generals
Brig Gen Clement Augustus Trott, Oct 8, 1939; Brig Gen Frederick E. Uhl, Oct 21, 1940; Maj Gen Clarence S. Ridley, Dec 7, 1941; Brig Gen Gustav H Franke, Dec 23, 1941; Maj Gen Clarence S Ridley, Dec 27, 1941; Brig Gen Julius Ochs Adler, Jun 1, 1942; Maj Gen Clarence S Ridley, Jun 2, 1942; Brig Gen Julius Ochs Adler, Sept 7, 1942; Maj Gen Durward S. Wilson, Sept 25, 1942; Maj Gen Franklin C. Sibert, Nov 8, 1942; Brig Gen Charles E Hurdis, Aug 24, 1944; Maj Gen Edwin Davies Patrick, Sept 7, 1944; Brig Gen Charles E. Hurdis, Mar 14, 1945; Maj Gen Charles E Hurdis (promotion), May 1, 1945

Ordre of Battle 1944-1945

Hqs & Hqs Company
1st Infantry Regiment
20th Infantry Regiment
63rd Infantry Regiment
6th Reconnaissance Troop (Mecz)
6th Engineer Combat Battalion
6th Medical Battalion
Hqs & Hqs Battery
1st Field Artillery Battalion (105-MM How)
51st Field Artillery Battalion (105-MM How)
53rd Field Artillery Battalion (105-MM How)
80th Field Artillery Battalion (155-MM How)
Headquarters Company
Military Police Platoon
6th Signal Company
6th Quartermaster Company
706th Ordnance Light Maintenance Company

Assignments

Second Army – Dec 7, 1941
XI Corps, Jun 23, 1942
Desert Training Center, Nov 29, 1942
II Armored Corps, Mar 21, 1943
Hawaiian Department, Jul 29, 1943
USAFICPA (Central Pacific Areas), Aug 14, 1943
Sixth Army, Jan 31, 1944
I Corps, Feb 25, 1944
Sixth Army, May 26, 1944
Eighth Army, Oct 12, 1944
I Corps, Nov 20, 1944
Sixth Army, Feb 14, 1945
XI Corps, Mar 15, 1945
I Corps, Jun 11, 1945
Eighth Army, Jul 1, 1945

Attachments

Alamo Force, Jan 31, 1944 – Sept 24, 1944.
I Corps, Feb 14, 1945 – Feb 17, 1945.
XIV Corps, Feb 17, 1945 – Mar 15, 1945.
XIV Corps, Jul 1, 1945 – Aug 15, 1945.

Combat Narrative

The 6th Infantry Division arrived at Milne Bay, New Guinea, on Jan 31, 1944. On Jun 5, initial elements arrived at Toem in the Hollandia, Aitape area, followed by the 20-IR on Jun 11 and the 63-IR with rest of division on Jun 14. On Jun 20, the 20-IR began its attack toward the Lone Tree Hill from the Tirfoam River, but was slowed by heavy fire from a defile between it and Mount Saksin and was unable to gain the crest until Jan 22, after which it was subjected to fierce Japanese counter-attacks. The 1-IR landed via sea just west of the hill to outflank the Japanese and forced a small beachhead which was initially unable to expand. By Jan 27, the 63-IR was able to mop up the Japanese forces in the Lone Tree Hill vicinity, and the division secured the Maffin Bay area on Jul 12. After a brief rest, the 1-IR assaulted Sansapor on July 30 and in the Vogelkop Peninsula against no resistance, the preparatory bombardment being omitted to attain surprise. The 63-IR landed on undefended Middleburg and Amsterdam Islands. A battalion of the 1-IR took the undefended plantation village at Cape Sansapor on Jul 31. The division secured the coast from Cape Waimak to the Mega River and garrisoned it until Dec 1944.
On Jan 9, 1945, the Division landed at Lingayen Gulf onto Luzon in the Philippines and pursued the Japanese into the Cabaruan Hills and began holding actions on the Malisqui Catablan Torres line. Attacking in the 43-ID sector, the 63-IR gained Hill 363 on Jan 14. The division attacked on Jan 17 as the 20-IR pushed on the Cabaruan Hills and the 1-IR drove toward Urdaneta. The 63-ID took Blue Ridge near Amlang after heavy fighting on Jan 21.
The 1-IR, assisted by air support, seized San Jose on Feb 4 which was the Highway 5 gate to the Cagayan Valley. The 20-IR took Munoz after a battle lasting several days, wiping out escaping Japanese columns there on Feb 7. The division then occupied positions along Luzon’s eastern coast, bisecting Japanese forces on the island, and drove to Dinglan and Baler Bays to isolate Japanese on southern Luzon by Feb 13. The 1-IR operated on Bataan Feb 14 to Feb 21 and cut the peninsula from Abucay to Bagac. The division shifted to confront the Shimbu Line northeast of Manila on Feb 24. On that day the 63-IR seized Montalban and the 20-IR reached the heights near Mataba. As Japanese resistance increased the 1-IR was committed in the center toward Wawa Dam.

After reaching the crest of Mount Pacawagan on Feb 26, the 63-IR was thrown off by the Japanese. Efforts by the 1-IR to take Mount Mataba were defeated and it withdrew on Feb 27 as the 63-IR held the slope of Mount Pacawagan against assault.

The division regrouped and renewed attacks by the 1-IR on Mar 8 met unexpectedly light resistance. The 63-IR continued to hold its precarious positions in the Mount Pacawagan Mataba sector. After hard fighting, the 1-IR seized Benchmark Hill on Mar 11 and the 20-IR was committed into the Shimbu Line assault. It shifted toward Mount Baytangan and reinforced by the 1-IR, shifted its attack onto Mount Mataba under intense fire on Mar 28. The entire division regrouped and renewed the offensive on Apr 2. The 20-IR and the 63-IR switched sectors and the latter began the attack on Mount Mataba behind artillery fire on Apr 6. This attack was suspended until XI Corps artillery could saturate the Japanese positions, and then the 63-IR forced its way to the summit on Apr 10, but the hill was not cleared until Apr 17.


On Apr 16, the 1-IR initiated its attack up Woodpecker Ridge near the junction of the Bosoboso and Mariquina Rivers. On Apr 19, the division switched sectors with the 38-ID and on Apr 25, the 152-IR relieved the 1-IR at the ridge. By Apr 27, the attached 145-IR finally gained the crest of Mount Pacawagen. The division then moved to the Kembu sector on May 3 and took responsibility for Highway 5 south of Bayombong from the 37-ID on Jun 12, 1945.

On Jun 21, the 63-IR pushed to Kiangan and the 20-IR took Bolog on the 29. Though the Luzon campaign was officially declared over on Jun 30 1945, the division conducted mopping up operations in the Cagayan Valley and Cordilleras Mountains until the end of the war.

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