Under the Southern Cross Americal (23rd) Infantry Division
The Americal (23rd) Infantry Division is unique in the annuals U.S. Army history. It was the only modern Army division that began with a name and no number assigned to it. Each time it was activated in war it grew out of a Task Force first. All three times the division was activated, it was activated outside the continental U.S. Each time, the Americal served in jungle terrain, earning the moniker of "The Jungle Warriors".
Both times the Americal was brought into existence in wartime, it was to assist the U.S. Marine Corps when the Marines were threatened by overwhelming enemy forces. On Guadalcanal the Americal's arrival kept the 1st Marine Division's defensive lines from being overrun and the Americal's arrival there was the first offensive use of Army units in WWII.
The Americal went on to defeat the enemy wherever it found them in World War II, from the dense and swampy jungles of Guadalcanal and Bougainville to the more open terrain interspersed with thick vegetation and rugged hills of the Philippine Islands.
Activated in Panama during the Cold War from 1954-56, the division received a numeric designation as
In South Vietnam in 1967 the U.S. Marines were severely stretched in personnel and territorial responsibility in the I Corps area of operations with the enemy continuing to infiltrate vast numbers of soldiers into South Vietnam. The Americal was activated once again to defend the southern half of the I Corps tactical area, fighting in every type of terrain imaginable, from the coastal plains to the rolling hills of the Piedmont and the rugged triple-canopied Annamite Mountains.
In all these periods that the Americal Division served its country, artillery was a crucial support to the Americal accomplishing its mission. Field Artillery units operated in some of the most difficult terrain in the history of indirect fire support. Artillery, coastal artillery and anti-aircraft artillery persevered in intolerable heat, tropical rain and muddy conditions. The artillery of the Americal insured the success of the division wherever and whenever it served to secure the blessings of liberty for America.
World War II-A Division is Born
The Americal Division was formed
Part of the Americal Division went into action on Guadalcanal on 13 October 1942 in support of U.S. Marines, the first army infantry to engage the enemy in World War II. The entire division soon followed to help defeat the enemy forces on the island. The Americal Division fought in extensive operations against Japanese Forces on Guadalcanal, Bougainville and the Philippine Islands (Leyte, Cebu, Samar, Bojol and Negros Oriental). Division operations included amphibious assaults against fiercely defended islands where the Americal's artillery was in close support to the infantry. The division trained on the island of Cebu for the invasion of Japan when the war ended. The Americal Division landed on Japan on 8 September 1945 to take part in occupation duties. The division's
Cold War-A Different Challenge
The Americal Infantry Division was activated again in the Cold War, this time designated as the 23rd Infantry Division in the Panama Canal Zone, on 2 December 1954. It acquired the lineage, heraldry, honors and traditions of the Americal of WWII. The division occupied a joint headquarters with HQ, U.S. Army Caribbean (USARCARIB) at Fort Amador, Canal Zone. The Commander of the USARCARIB also commanded the 23rd Infantry Division. Units supporting the division were located on the Canal Zone, in Puerto Rico and in the continental United States, primarily at Fort Benning, Georgia. The mission of the U.S. Army Caribbean was to "keep the art of jungle warfare alive in the army". The 23rd Infantry (Americal) Division supported the USARCARIB in its mission as well as protecting the Panama Canal and Caribbean basin during the Cold War.
The 504th Field Artillery Battalion (105 mm towed) stationed
Vietnam War-Freedom Calls Again
Task Force Oregon was designated the 23rd "Americal" Infantry Division on 26 September 1967 in Chu Lai, Southern First Corps, Republic of South Vietnam. The division, although designated the 23rd Infantry Division, was most often referred to as the Americal Division from its jungle fighting legacy in World War II. The division became the largest infantry division in the Vietnam War and its heavily contested area of operations in Quang Ngai and Quang Tin Provinces included more territory than any other division in Vietnam. It operated in diverse terrain from the
Topics. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: War, Cold • War, Vietnam • War, World II. A significant day of the year for for this entry is May 31.
Location. 34° 39.885′ N, 98° 23.16′ W. Marker is in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in Comanche County. Memorial can be reached from Harry Road. Marker located in Constitution Park next to the U.S. Army Field Artillery Museum. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Sill OK 73503, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. MIM-14 Nike Hercules (within shouting distance of this marker); Sprint Missile (within shouting distance of this marker); Nike Hercules HIPAR Radar AN/FPS-71 Antenna (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); M51 Skysweeper 75mm Anti Aircraft Gun (about 300 feet away); MIM-3 Nike Ajax (about 300 feet away); MIM-23 Hawk (about 300 feet away); Lockheed X-7A1 Target Drone (about 300 feet away); Iraqi SZ-60 57mm Anti Aircraft Gun (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Sill.
Additional keywords. Fort Sill's Constitution Park
Credits. This page was last revised on June 27, 2019. It was originally submitted on July 28, 2017, by Caroline Mitchell Carrico of Memphis, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 897 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 28, 2017, by Caroline Mitchell Carrico of Memphis, Tennessee. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.