88TH INFANTRY DIVISION
World War I
Activated: August 1917. Overseas: 7 September 1918. Major Operations: Did not participate as a division. Casualties: Total-78 (KIA-12; WIA-66). Commanders: Maj. Gen. Edward H. Plummer (25 August 1917), Brig. Gen. Robert N. Getty (27 November 1917), Maj. Gen. Edward H. Plummer (19 February 1918), Brig. Gen. Robert N. Getty (15 March 1918), Brig. Gen. William D. Beach (24 May 1918), Maj. Gen. William Weigel (10 September 1918). Inactivated: June 1919.
World War II
Activated: 15 July 1942. Overseas: 6 December 1943. Distinguished Unit Citations: 3. Campaigns: Rome-Arno, North Apennines, Po Valley. Days of combat: 307. Awards: MH-2 ; DSC-12 ; DSM-2 ; SS-522; LM-32; SM-19 ; BSM-3,784. Commanders: Maj. Gen. John E. Sloan (July 1942-September 1944), Maj. Gen. Paul W. Kendall (September 1944-July 1945), Brig. Gen. James C. Fry (July-November 1945), Maj. Gen. B. E. Moore (November 1945 to inactivation). Inactivated: 24 October 1947 in Italy.
The 88th Infantry Division arrived at Casablanca, French Morocco, 15 December 1943, and moved to Magenta, Algeria, on the 28th for intensive training. It arrived at Naples, Italy, 6 February 1944, and concentrated in the Piedmont d'Alife area for combat training. An advance element went into the line before Cassino, 27 February, and the entire unit relieved British elements along the Garigliano River in the Minturno area, 5 March. A period of defensive patrols and training followed.
On 11 May, the 88th drove north to take Spigno, Mount Civita, Itri, Fondi, and Roccagorga, reached Anzio, 29 May, and pursued the enemy into Rome, 4 June, after a stiff engagement on the outskirts of the city. An element of the 88th is credited with being first to enter the Eternal City. After continuing across the Tiber to Bassanelio the 88th retired for rest and training, 11 June. The Division went into defensive positions near Pomerance, 5 July, and launched an attack toward Volterra on the 8th, taking the town the next day. Laiatico fell on the 11th, Villamagna on the 13th, and the Arno River was crossed on the 20th although the enemy resisted bitterly. After a period of rest and training, the Division opened its assault on the Gothic Line, 21 September 1944, and advanced rapidly along the FirenzuolaImola road, taking Mount Battaglia on the 28th. The enemy counterattacked savagely and heavy fighting continued on the line toward the Po Valley. The strategic positions of Mount Grande and Farnetto were taken, 20 and 22 October. From 26 October 1944 to 12 January 1945, the 88th entered a period of defensive patrolling in the Mount Grande-Mount Cerrere sector and the Mount Fano area. From 24 January to 2 March 1945, the Division defended the LoianoLivergnano area and after a brief rest returned to the front. The drive to the Po Valley began on 15 April. Monterumici fell on the 17th after an intense barrage and the Po River was crossed, 24 April, as the 88th pursued the enemy toward the Alps. The cities of Verona and Vicenza were captured on the 25th and 28th and the Brenta River was crossed, 30 April. The 88th was driving through the Dolomite Alps toward Innsbruck, Austria, when the hostilities ended on 2 May 1945.
Nickname: Blue Devil Division; sometimes called Clover Leaf Division. Shoulder patch: An infantry blue quatrefoil, formed by two Arabic numeral "8's". Association: Pending formation of national association, c/o Col. Robert J. McBride, Room 511530, The Pentagon, Washington 25, D. C. Publication: Blue Devils in Italy; by S/Sgt. Jack Delaney, historian; The Infantry Journal, Washington 6, D. C.; 1947. With the 88th in Italy; U. S. Army, 88th Division; 93. pp.
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.]
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