77th Infantry Division: Top 10 Cool Facts

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Members of the 77th Infantry Division hearing about Japan’s surrender

Personally, I believe that every person who is working towards a leadership role in the United States Army should study the history of the 77th Infantry Division. This Division went through history being led in the best way possible and there is a lot that can be learned.

In today’s post, I am going to give you the top 10 cool facts about the 77th Infantry Division. It is an Army unit who should always be remembered.

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#1: When They Came To Be

The 77th Infantry Division was formed from draftees to serve in World War I. It was started in 1917 at Camp Upton, New York.

#2: The Lost Battalion

It is called the Lost Battalion but in all actuality, it was soldiers from several battalions (a little over 500). It was during World War I and the units had assumed there were Allied units on both their flanks as they moved forward into the Argonne Forest in France. But those flanks were instead full of Germans and the unit moved far ahead of all allies and were surrounded by Germans.

But the leader, Major Charles Whittlesey would not surrender. From those 500 soldiers, only 194 came out clean. The rest were either killed, captured or wounded.

This action had 7 Medal’s of Honor awarded:

  • Maj. Charles White Whittlesey
  • Capt. George G. McMurtry
  • Capt. Nelson M. Holderman
  • 1Lt. Harold E. Goettler – KIA
  • 2Lt. Erwin R. Bleckley – KIA
  • Sgt. Benjamin Kaufman
  • Pvt. Archie A. Peck

#3: 68 Days And 4 Campaigns

During World War I, the 77th Infantry Division spent 68 days of combat and were involved in 4 campaigns.

  1. Baccarat,
  2. Oise-Aisne,
  3. Aisne-Mame,
  4. Meuse-Argonne

#4: 200 Days

During World War II, the 77th Infantry Division had approximately 200 days of combat.

Campaigns

  1. Marianas,
  2. the Philippines,
  3. Okinawa

Invasions

  1. Liberation of Guam,
  2. Leyte (Philippines),
  3. Ie Shima,
  4. Okinawa

Japan Occupation

#5: Nickname

The 77th Infantry Division is known as the Statue of Liberty Division.

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  2. The Top 19 Desmond Doss Facts: The Hero Of Hacksaw Ridge
  3. United States Army Reserve Command (USARC): 13 Cool Facts
  4. National Guard Combat Medic: 14 Things You Should Know
  5. Top 5 Famous National Guard Battles

#6: Commanders WWI And WWII

The Commanders of the 77th Infantry Division through World War I were:

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Maj. Gen. J. F. Bell (18 August 1917)
Brig. Gen. E. M. Johnson (4 December 1917)
Maj. Gen. G. B. Duncan (8 May 1918)
Brig. Gen. E. M. Johnson (20 July 1918)
Brig. Gen. E. M. Johnson (19 August 1918)
Maj. Gen. Robert Alexander (27 August 1918)

The Commanders through World War II were:

Maj. Gen. Robert L. Eichelberger (March-June 1942)
Maj. Gen. Roscoe B. Woodruff (June 1942-May 1943)
Maj. Gen. Andrew D. Bruce (May 1943-27 February 1946)

#7: Ernie

On the island of le Shima during World War II, a famous War Correspondent tagged along with the 77th Infantry Division.

Ernie Pyle was well known for his War articles. But on that day, this civilian was gunned down by a Japanese sniper.

#8: Desmond

He had a movie made about his time with the 77th Infantry Division and he never once took the life of the enemy because he would not. But he still received the coveted Medal of Honor for his bravery in Okinawa.

The movie is Hacksaw Ridge and the soldier who was also a conscientious objector was named Desmond Doss.

He saved nearly 100 men during that battle.

#9: The 77th Now

The lineage of the 77th Infantry Division was passed on to the 77th Sustainment Brigade which is an Army Reserve unit based in Fort Dix, New Jersey.

In 2011, the unit was deployed to Iraq for Operation New Dawn.

#10: The Day 5 Members Died By Terrorist’s Actions

5 members of the 77th were killed by terrorists. The thing is, it wasn’t in the Middle East, it was in the middle of New York City.

The date was September 11th and the attack on the World Trade Center took 5 77th lives while they were working their civilian jobs.

Final Thoughts

The 77th Infantry Division has an interesting and educative history. I do suggest you take some time and read more about this Army division. The references I have listed have ample information.

Do you have anything you would like to add? Any questions?

Just post them below…

Thank you.

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/77th_Sustainment_Brigade
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Battalion_(World_War_I)
  3. https://www.armydivs.com/77th-infantry-division/
  4. http://77thinfdivroa.org/aboutus/History.html
  5. https://history.army.mil/html/forcestruc/cbtchron/cc/077id.htm
  6. https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/77id.htm
  7. http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/173-77th-infantry-division/
  8. http://www.historynet.com/battle-of-okinawa-the-bloodiest-battle-of-the-pacific-war.htm
  9. http://darbysrangers.tripod.com/Okinawa/id27.htm
  10. http://www.jimwerbaneth.com/online_features/77id.html
  11. https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-P-Return/USA-P-Return-19.html

About The Author

Greg Boudonck is a full time freelance writer and the author of over 50 books. He served in the United States Army in the early 1980’s and enjoys writing about military subjects. You can see Greg’s books on Amazon by searching his name and you can also visit his website at Lancerlife.com.

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