35th Infantry in the Hawaiian Division

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The 35th Infantry Regiment

The Hawaiian Division, Schofield Barracks

And the Formation of the 25th Infantry Division

 

Maj John M. Schofield, Commanding General of the US Armyís Pacific Division, visited the Hawaiian Islands, in 1872, to determine the defense capabilities of its ports. He determined that a harbor could be formed at the mouth of the Pearl River. Military units started moving to the islands after the annexation of Hawaii by the United States, in 1898.

In 1905, a temporary camp was set up for the Organized Militia, later to become the National Guard. The role of the Army was the protection of the Navy while in port. In November of 1908, the first two squadrons of the 5th Cavalry Regiment arrived. This influx of troops gave the impetus to further construction of the facilities there. Captain Joseph C. Castner followed the Cav in December, bringing with him the plans to begin what is now known as Schofield Barracks.

The following April, the War Department officially named the post Schofield barracks in honor of General Schofield, who had first reviewed the strategic importance of the area. However, it was referred to locally as "Castner Village", in reference to the efforts of Captain Castnerís efforts to create to post.

In 1911, the Secretary of War approved plans for further construction and troop build-up at Schofield Barracks. The plans called for five infantry regiments, and one each of cavalry and field artillery. While those plans were later altered, permanent quarters were needed for the four regiments already on post. The first permanent structures on post, which still exist today, were the quadrangle barracks.

With the war in Europe raging, all of the troops stationed at Schofield Barracks were deployed in 1917. Construction at the post was halted during the war and did not begin anew until the early 1920ís.

On September 25, 1920, the 35th Infantry Regiment was assigned to duty at Schofield Barracks.

In February of 1921, the Hawaiian Division, also know as the "Pineapple Army", was established, to provide land defense of the territory strategically located at "the crossroads of the Pacific". It was built from units of the old World War 1, 11th Infantry Division. The Hawaiian Division soldiers wore the Taro Leaf shoulder patch which would later pass down to two new divisions

Hawaiian Division camp prior to the formation of the 25th Infantry Division

 

The Hawaiian Division was formed under the structure used in WW1, that is two infantry brigades consisting of two infantry regiments each, and a brigade of artillery.

The 35th Infantry was officially assigned to the Hawaiian Division on 17 October, 1922. She would serve here, under the idyllic climes of Hawaii, for the next 20 years.

Last Review of the Hawaiian Div. wearing "wrapped" leggings

 

In 1940, the Army determined that the structure of the old "square" division was too cumbersome and the decision was made to reorganize the Hawaiian Division into two new "triangular" divisions.

On 1 October, 1941, these two divisions, the 24th and 25th Infantry Divisions were formed from units of the Hawaiian Division. The 19th and 21st Infantry Regiments and the 11th and 13th Field Artillery were assigned to the 24th Division. The 27th and 35th Infantry Regiments and the 8th Field Artillery were assigned to the 25th Division. The Hawaiian Division's support units consisting primarily of an engineer regiment; a quartermaster regiment and a medical regiment were reorganized into separate battalions and assigned to the two new divisions.

To convert one square division into two triangular organizations required two extra infantry regiments, and the 298th and 299th, both from the Hawaiian National Guard, were selected. These units had a high number of enlisted personnel, and some officers of Japanese descent. With the involvement of Japan in the war, distrust of their national loyalties caused the War Department to order the 298th to be replaced in the 25th Division by the 161st Infantry of the Washington National Guard. The soldiers of Japanese heritage in the 298th and 299th were withdrawn from their regiments and formed into a provisional infantry battalion, which later became the 100th Infantry Battalion, a highly decorated unit that served in the European Theater.

The taro leaf, used to make poi, a basic food staple in the native diet, and symbolic of Hawaii, was contained in the shoulder patch of the Hawaiian Division. This symbol would be adopted by both the 24th and 25th Infantry divisions.

                                     

24th Infantry Division                                25th Infantry Division

 

Early designs of the 25th Infantry Divisionís shoulder patch were a taro leaf without the lightning bolt we see today. The Division had used "Lightning" as the code word for its Division Headquarters on its arrival on Guadalcanal in December of 1942. The Japanese found it difficult to pronounce the letter "L". The Marines also called the unit the "Lightning Division". In addition, the 25th also earned its nickname from the "lightning" way it concluded its operations on Guadalcanal. The "Lightning Division" later became known as the "Tropic Lightning." The shoulder patch of the 25th Infantry was officially adopted by the War Department on 7 June, 1944. The final design was a red and yellow taro leaf, the colors of the late Hawaiian Monarchy, to recognize the 25th Division's ties to Hawaii and the old Hawaiian Division, with a lightning bolt superimposed, representative of the Division's nickname.

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