The 32nd 'Red Arrow' Veteran Association

WW2 32nd Division insignia

Highlights of the

32nd Infantry Division 

"The Red Arrow"

in World War II


book cover
Mr. Howard Kelley, a 32nd Infantry Division Veteran, has written a book describing his service during World War II. In Born in the U.S.A. - Raised in New Guinea, he shares some of his most personal experiences as a member of the 'Red Arrow's' 3rd Battalion, 127th Infantry. This book offers a rare, first-hand glimpse of the 32nd Infantry Division in World War II, as seen through the eyes of an enlisted GI. Click on the book cover to the left, it will take you to Mr. Kelley's web site, where you will find information about how to purchase this book.


Combat Time

654 days of combat (15,696 hours) - more than any U.S. division in any war.
This represents 48% of the total time the U.S. was in World War II.
41 months overseas, over 21 of them spent in combat.
6 major engagements in 4 campaigns.

Decorations and Awards

11 Medals of Honor
157 Distinguished Service Crosses
845 Silver Stars
49 Legion of Merit
78 Soldiers Medals
1,854 Bronze Stars
11,500 Purple Hearts
98 Air Medals

Division Credits

First U.S. Division to fight an offensive action against the Japanese in the Southwest Pacific (Papuan Campaign).
First U.S. Division to be airborne into combat (Papuan Campaign).
First U.S. Division to make a beach landing in New Guinea Campaign (Saidor).
First to employ General MacArthur's by-pass strategy.
First U.S. Division to embark for overseas service in one convoy after 7 Dec. 1941.
First to simultaneously supply 11 battalions in combat in one action completely by airdrop (Aitape).
First to supply four infantry battalions for two days from artillery liaison "Cub" planes (Leyte).
First to publish an American servicemen's letterpress newspaper in the Southwest Pacific.
First to go into action at the foot of "the road back," was still fighting when the "cease fire" order came on 15 August 1945.
Elements of the 32nd Division were also among the first American occupation troops to land in Japan.


World War II Campaigns of the 32nd “Red Arrow” Division




20 Sep. 42 – 22 Jan. 43
New Guinea
2 Jan. 44 – 29 Apr. 44
22 Apr. 44 – 25 Aug. 44
15 Sep. 44 – 10 Nov. 44
16 Nov. 44 – 2 Jan. 45
Villa Verde Trail
Mopping Up
30 Jan. 45 – 28 May 45
29 May 45 – 15 Aug. 45

Total: 661 days

Less 7 days overlapping when the Division was in combat at both Saidor and Aitape. - 7 days

Grand Total: 654 days
Sources include:
32nd Infantry Division - World War II


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revised 8 October 2005
since 22 March 1999