HISTORY

OF

    2D BN 35TH INF   

 

This History was prepared in late 1966 or early 1967 by Colonel James Erickson.  It contains a very good narrative of the Battalion's involvement in the Korean War.  Our thanks to Ben Yeomans and Don Johnson for passing this report along and especially to Charles Laws for saving a copy for so many years.  

Back to Vietnam Index 

FORWARD

 

     The 2ND BATTLE GROUP, 35TH INFANTRY continues today a tradition of honor, courage and dedication to duty over many years of service in war and peace. Those who have gone before us have shown the way from the desert sands of Southwestern Arizona, to the jungles of Guadalcanal, the Solomon Islands, and the bloody ridges of Korea.

     Today, as part of the United States Armyís strategic reserve in the vast Pacific, we strive to equal the standards of excellence set by the gallant men who have followed the 35th Infantry Regimental colors against the enemies of our nation. To this end we direct all of our efforts, our ambitions, our talents and, should we be called upon to do so, our lives.

     We acknowledge our debt to those of the past. We are free because of their sacrifice; we can remain free only so long as we are willing to sacrifice. I ask you to join me in building a Battle Group ready to respond to our nationís call and worthy of the Regiment whose colors we follow.

JAMES L. ERICKSON

Colonel, Infantry

Commanding

 

HISTORY OF THE 35TH INFANTRY

 

     The famous 35th Infantry Regiment was originally formed at Douglas, Arizona, on 8 July 1916, from units of the 11th, 18th and 22d Infantry Regiments. These parent units of the Regiment were famous for their actions during the Civil War.

     The Regiment moved to Nogales, Arizona, in March 1917, where it became involved in the border disputes of that period. The Regiment received its first casualties, and the first decoration of one of its soldiers, in August 1918, little more than two years after its inception. This action occurred at the Nogales Customs House when a strong detachment of Mexican soldiers fired on an outpost of the 35th Infantry Regiment.

     In November 1919, the Regiment was transferred to Camp Lewis, Washington, to guard coal and copper mines.

     After ten months of duty in Camp Lewis, Washington, the Regiment was transferred to Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Hawaii. Here the Regiment settled into the routine of protective garrison and field activities which were abruptly halted on 7 December 1941. From the beginning of World War II until 25 November 1942, the 35th Infantry Regiment performed a two-fold task. They built, maintained and manned the defenses in their assigned sectors in Oahu and trained for the more active part which was to be theirs as a unit of the 25th Infantry Division.

     As the first of three convoys of the 25th Infantry Division departed Oahu, Hawaii, for combat, the 35th Infantry Regiment began planning for its first tactical operation on 25 November 1942, prior to its arrival in Guadalcanal on 17 December 1942.

     In January 1943, after relieving units of an Army Division and a Marine Division, the 25th Infantry Division launched its attack, with the 35th Infantry Regiment drawing the initial assignment. The Regiment was engaged in a continuous battle until the end of January when it successfully completed the mission of capturing Mount Austin. During this engagement, two members of the Regiment so distinguished themselves that they were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. It was in this engagement that the 35th Infantry Regiment received its first Unit Citation for "extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy".

     After a few months of security duty, defense missions, and reorganization, the 35th Infantry Regiment was ordered to conduct another amphibious landing and on 15 August 1943 the "Cacti" established its command post on the island of Vella Lavella.

     More than a year elapsed before the 35th Infantry Regiment saw further combat duty. However, in the interim, intensive training and further reorganization were accomplished in anticipation of forthcoming actions.

      Continuing island hopping, the Regimentís first stop was made at Aukland, New Zeland, where replacements were received and additional training conducted. The Division then moved to Noumena, New Caladonia, where further intensive training was undertaken in new methods as dictated by changing combat conditions.

      On 11 January 1945, a task force, of which the 35th Infantry Regiment was a part, arrived at Lingayan Gulf in the Philippine Islands and on 23 February 1945 started the Carabello Campaign, with its first objective Pantabangan.

     Following the securing of the strategic town of Kapintalan on 28 April 1945, the Regiment pushed forward to secure the Beleti Pass and surrounding hills. The battle for the pass was successful on 13 May 1945 after fifteen days of intense and bloody fighting. After computation of enemy casualties in June 1945, it was revealed that the defense of this pass had cost the enemy 4500 lives,

     After the surrender of the enemy to the Allied Forces, the 35th Infantry Regiment was ordered to occupation duty in Japan. On 19 September 1945, the first echelon began its post-war move to Nagoya, Japan, where the Regiment Command Post was later established. The Regiment was relocated in January 1946 to Otsu, Japan, on the island of Honshu, where it continued its mission of occupation duty and maintaining a high state of training and combat readiness.

     With the outbreak of aggression in Korea, the Regiment was again called to "Take Arms" and on 1 July 1950 the 2d Battalion, as the 25th Infantry Division advance party, was ordered into the combat zone. On 13 July the Regiment landed at Pusan, the southern tip of Korea, to go into action against the Communists. Units of the Regiment were in action within a short period after landing. During the succeeding critical weeks, the Regiment participated in the desperate fight to maintain the Pusan Defense Perimeter. The fire test came to the Regiment in August when they held the key to the vital Chungam-ni-Masan Route. The enemy, who had confidently moved quantities of weapons and ammunition into the break, were forced to abandon them and flee, leaving many dead and wounded on the battlefield.

     On 1 September 1950, the Reds hit the 2d Battalion with an estimated enemy regiment. Company G was cut off from all contact with friendly forces and had to fight off complete destruction for over two days. With the aid of an armored column sent to retrieve the encircled company, the enemy was finally pushed back and Company G was again within friendly lines. When a muster of the unit was taken after this action it was determined that only forty combat effective enlisted personnel remained. There were no officer survivors. For this action, Company G received the second Presidential Unit Citation for the Regiment.

     On 20 November 1950, news came that the Chinese had crossed the Yalu River in force and were beginning their offensive against the United Nations Forces. At the beginning of December 1950, with other units of the 25th Infantry Division, the 35th Infantry Regiment was forced to fall back - first to Chongchon River, then to the high ground south of Pyongyang. It was Heartbreak Highway all over again, this time with a new and more desperate aggressor.

     During February 1951, the tide of battle turned in favor of the United Nations Forces. Constant pressure was maintained against the enemy during the month and by the first of March the 35th Infantry Regiment was firmly entrenched on the south bank of the Han River. With Operation Pepper in effect on 7 March 1951, the 35th Infantry Regiment pushed across the Han River, retaking the key city of Yong Dong Po, and assisted in driving the enemy from Seoul, Inchon and Kimpo Airfield.

     At the beginning of the Chinese Spring Offensive in April 1951, the 35th Regimental Combat Team, in position five miles north of Seoul, Korea (Line Golden), was ordered to hold at all costs. Here bloody fighting took place but the Regiment held. During the fight a company from the Regiment put into practice some tricks they had learned with cold steel. They leaped from their foxholes during the Red attack and met the Chinese halfway. Sergeant First Class Clifford Cameron of Yakima, Washington, led the frontal counterassault. The assault was successful and after gaining high ground on Line Wyoming, overlooking Kumhwa, the Regiment dug in. On 21 June the Regiment was placed in I Corps reserve where it was ordered to prepare for offensive operations.

     On 15 July 1951, the 35th Infantry Regiment returned to Line Wyoming and remained on the "Iron Triangle" until relieved on 22 October 1951. Emphasis was placed at the beginning of the fiscal year on the construction and improvement of defensive positions as well as conducting extensive reconnaissance operations. After defensive positions were completed to the last detail, the Regiment moved to an assembly area southwest of Kumhwa. Here the Regiment was prepared to defend or block any aggressive action of the enemy. With well over 450 days of action in Korea, the Regiment, on 22 October 1951, was relieved from this mission and was given a rest period.

     With the training of filler personnel, maintaining old equipment, drawing additional equipment, arid conducting an extensive training program,

     The Regiment was again ready to take its place on the battlefield. On 7 November 1951, it was ordered to take up a defensive position on the line. On 14 December, the Regiment was directed to move one company to IX Corps headquarters to relieve elements of the 2d Infantry Division which was providing security for the IX Corp Command Post. The remainder of the Regiment went into reserve with the 25th Infantry Division. Training was carried on, stressing offensive action and heightening the level of combat proficiency of the units. On 24 January 1952, the 35th Infantry Regiment opened its "Battle School". The "Battle School" and the training program continued until the latter part of February. The Regiment then moved into position on the Minnesota Line in the famous "Punch Bowl" at the beginning of March. Patrols were organized with the mission of delaying attempted enemy probes and giving the warning to the main line of resistance in the event of enemy activity. By 6 May 1952, the Regiment was moved from the Minnesota Line back to the Kansas Line to prepare blocking and defensive positions. In addition, the Regiment was given the mission of preparing counterattack plans and to provide the counterattacking force. Undergoing intensive rehearsals of the counterattacking plans, the Regiment remained in this position until June 1952. During the first weeks of June, the Regiment, conducted a relief in place and again took its role on the main defensive line. During the weeks that followed, the Regiment continued to improve its main defensive positions, conducted raids and patrolled aggressively. On 27 August 1952, the Regiment was again placed in reserve.

     During November 1952, the 35th Infantry Regiment received orders to Chimpo Ri and reverted to control of its parent unit, the 25th Infantry Division. On 18 December 1952, the Regiment was again in contact with the enemy.

     In January 1953, the Regiment was occupied with improving and defending positions on Line Missouri. On 30 January 1953, the Regiment was placed in reserve status once more.

     During early May 1953, the 35th Infantry Regiment assumed responsibilities in the Munsan-Ni area, overlooking the Panmunjom corridor, and immediately instituted a policy of aggressive patrolling. Famous sites such as "Bunker Hill", "Hedy" and "Dagmar" were occupied by the Regiment in this area. Similar persistent defense activity continued until 7 July 1953, when units of the Regiment were temporarily relieved of their combat mission, moved into I Corps reserve, and proceeded to Camp Casey for rehabilitation and training. Here they remained until 10 September 1954 when the 35th Infantry Regiment began its return trip home to Hawaii as part of the 25th Infantry Division.

     The men of the 35th Infantry Regiment were driven back at times but they were never beaten. From the desperate days before the Pusan perimeter to the end of the Korean action, the 35th Infantry Regiment proved to the Communist enemy that they indeed had thorns to be reckoned with. Living up to the motto "Take Arms", the 35th Infantry Regiment demonstrated its ability to fight anywhere, any place, anytime - as a separate organization or as a part of a larger force.

     On 10 September 1954, the 35th Infantry Regiment moved from Korea to Schofield Barracks as part of the 25th Infantry Division, completing the move on 2 October 1954.

     During 1955 and 1956 the Regiment underwent two complete training cycles, living in garrison arid maintaining a combat ready status.

     Winning championships in both baseball and football arid placing second in volleyball and swimming made 1956 an eventful year. Throughout this period the Regiment was in constant training. Participating in amphibious maneuvers, river crossings and jungle warfare training. Many days and nights wore spent fighting mock battles within the familiar boundaries of Kutree Reservoir and Kahuku Airstrip. With conditioned minds and bodies they swept through their yearly Battalion Tests at Pohakuloa, Hawaii, completing each training cycle.

     On 1 February 1957, the 25th Infantry Division was the first division to revert to the new Pentomic concept and the 35th Infantry was completely reorganized. The 35th Infantry Regiment then became known as the 1st Combat Group, 35th Infantry, with a subsequent change of title to 1st Battle Group, 35th Infantry, on 9 May 1957.

     The 2d Battle Group, 35th Infantry, was activated at Schofield Barracks on 19 February 1962, replacing the 2d Battle Group, 19th Infantry, which was transferred administratively to Germany.

     Taking the change of unit designation in stride, the men of the 2d Battle Group, 35th Infantry, continued with their responsibilities in order to be ready to accomplish their mission Ė that of being combat ready for immediate deployment to any point in the vast Pacific area.

     On 13 August 1963 the 2d Battle Group, 35th Infantry was reorganized as the 2d Battalion, 35th Infantry.

     The Battalion continued to conduct extensive training in Counterinsurgency Operations in preparation for possible deployment to Southeast Asia.

     Perpetuating its combat heritage of "Take Arms", the 2d Battalion 35th Infantry deployed from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, to the Republic of Vietnam in early January 1966, and achieved a remarkable combat record as part of the 3d Brigade Task Force, 25th Infantry Division. Operating in the II Corps tactical area from a base at Pleiku, RVN, the 2d Battalion 35th Infantry participated in Operations TAYLOR, GARFIELD, LONGFELLOW, BUCHANAN I and II, and PAUL REVERE I, II, III, and IV. It was during Operation PAUL REVERE that the 2/35th Infantry helped the 3d Brigade Task Force establish a new U.S. Army record for total number of sustained days of combat.

 

Back to Vietnam Index

 

Cacti Home Page

E-Mail Us