81ST INFANTRY DIVISION
World War I
Activated: September 1917. Overseas: August 1918. Major Operations: Meuse-Argonne. Casualties: Total-1,104 (KIA-195, WIA-909). Commanders: Brig. Gen. Charles H. Barth (28 August 1917), Maj. Gen. Charles J. Bailey (8 October 1917), Brig. Gen. Charles H. Barth (24 November 1917), Brig. Gen. G. W. McIver (28 December 1917), Maj. Gen. Charles J. Bailey (11 March 1918), Brig. Gen. G. W. McIver (19 May 1918), Brig. Gen. Munroe McFarland (24 May 1918), Maj. Gen. Charles J. Bailey (30 May 1918), Brig. Gen. G. W. McIver (9 June 1918), Maj. Gen. Charles J. Bailey (3 July 1918).
World War II
Activated: 15 June 1942. Overseas: 3 July 1944. Campaigns: Western Pacific, South Philippines. Days of combat: 166. Awards: DSC-7 ; DSM-2 ; SS-281; LM-7; SM-40 ; BSM-658 ; AM-15. Commanders: Maj. Gen. Gustave H. Franke (June-August 1942), Maj. Gen. Paul J. Mueller (August 1942 to inactivation). Inactivated: 30 January 1946 in Japan.
The 81st Infantry Division landed in Hawaii, 11 June-8 July 1944. The Division minus RCT 323 invaded Angaur Island in the Palau group, 17 September, and pushed through to the western shore in a quick movement, cutting the island in half. The enemy was driven into isolated pockets and mopping-up operations began on the 20th. RCT 321, attached to the 1st Marine Division, went into action on Peleliu Island in the Palaus and assisted in splitting defense forces and isolating them in mountainous areas in the central part of the island. The team aided in mopping up Ngesebus Island and capturing Kongauru and Garakayo Islands. RCT 323 under naval task force command occupied Ulithi Island, 21-23 September 1944. Elements of the team landed on Ngulu Atoll and destroyed enemy personnel and installations, 16 October, completing the outflanking of the enemy base at Yap. On the 18th RCT 323 left to rejoin the 81st on Peleliu, which assumed command of all troops on that island and Angaur, 20 October 1944. Resistance was ended on Peleliu, 27 November. Between 4 November 1944 and 1 January 1945, the Division seized Pulo Anna Island, Kyangel Atoll, and Pais Island. The 81st left in increments from 1 January to 8 February for New Caledonia for rehabilitation and training. The Division arrived in Leyte on 17 May 1945, and after a period of training participated in mopping-up operations in the northwest part of the island, 21 July 1945 to 12 August 1945. After rest and training, the 81st moved to Japan, 18 September, and performed occupational duties in Aomori Prefecture until inactivation.
Nickname: Wildcat Division. Slogan: Wildcats Never Quit. Shoulder patch: A black wildcat on a black bordered olive drab disk. Associations: Wildcat Veterans' Association, 501 Lawyers Building, Raleigh, N. C.; and 81st Wildcat Division Veterans of World War II, c/o Infantry Journal, 1115 Seventeenth Street NW., Washington 6, D. C. Publication: History of the 81st Infantry Wildcat Division in World War II, c/o Infantry Journal, 1115 Seventeenth Street NW., Washington 6, D. C.
Nota Bene: These combat chronicles, current as of October 1948, are reproduced from The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950, pp. 510-592.]
page created 30 November 2001
The preceding web-site text was obtained from the Center For Military History. The text layout has been modified to conform to this webpage and for ease of reading