The 32D 'Red Arrow' Veteran Association

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Brief History of

the ‘Red Arrow’

From the 32D Division

to the 32D Infantry Brigade

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The Division’s history has an honored past reaching back to its antecedents: the fighters of the Blackhawk War; the volunteers who marched off to defend the Union in the Civil War, including the famous 'Iron Brigade'; and the Governor’s Guards who mobilized for the Spanish American War.

Almost all of the Michigan and Wisconsin National Guard units which would be combined to form the 32D Division had served on the Mexican Border in 1916-17.

The 32D Division was organized under War Dept. orders of 18 July 1917 of National Guard Units from both Wisconsin and Michigan. Units began leaving state camps in Wisconsin and Michigan bound for Camp MacArthur, near Waco, Texas, in early August 1917. The last units arrived at Camp MacArthur by late September 1917.

The Division served on the front line during World War I from 18 May 1918 until the end of the War on 11 November 1918. It was the first American Division to pierce the famed Hindenburg Line, fought in 4 major offensives and earned the name “Les Terribles” from the French.

The 32D Division was the only American division to be bestowed with a nom-de-guerre by an Allied nation during the war.

The colors of all four Infantry Regiments, three Artillery Regiments, and three Machine Gun Battalions were decorated with the French Croix de Guerre with Palm. These were the only National Guard units bestowed with the highest order of the Croix de Guerre during WWI.

The Division served with the Army of Occupation in Germany until 18 April 1919 and began its return to the U.S. on 1 May 1919.

Returning home, the Division was demobilized in May 1919 and returned to National Guard status about a year later.

On 15 October 1940, the 32D Division, Wisconsin and Michigan National Guard, was again called to Active Duty.

In July of 1941, the 32D Division’s official name was modified to 32D Infantry Division.

In August and September of 1941, the 32D Infantry Division participated in the 'Louisiana Maneuvers,' the greatest peacetime maneuver in the history of the United States Army.

On 22 April 1942, the 32D Infantry Division sailed from San Francisco, bound for the war in the South Pacific. They arrived in Port Adelaide, South Australia on 14 May 1942.

On 15 September 1942 the first elements of the Division were flown from Australia to Port Moresby, New Guinea.

The 32D Division was the first U.S. Division to fight an offensive action against the Japanese in the Southwest Pacific.

The Division fought in six major engagements in four Campaigns involving 654 days of combat, more than any other American Division during WWII.

Many firsts were accredited to the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Division.

Eleven Medals of Honor, 157 Distinguished Service Crosses, 49 Legion of Merit, 845 Silver Stars, 1854 Bronze Stars, 98 Air Medals, 78 Soldiers Medals and 11,500 Purple Hearts were awarded its heroes.

 

On 2 September 1945 General Tomoyuki Yamashita, Highest Commander of the Imperial Japanese Army in the Philippines, surrendered to the 32D Infantry Division on Luzon.

On 4 September 1945, an advance detachment of the 32D Division (1ST Battalion, 127TH Infantry) was flown to Kyushu (southern most of the four main Japanese islands) for occupation duty, only 5 days behind the earliest troop landings anywhere in Japan. The remainder of the Division arrived in Japan by 14 October 1945.

The 32D Division was inactivated at Fukuoka, Japan on 28 February 1946.

On 8 November 1946 the Division was again Federally recognized as the 32D Infantry Division, Wisconsin National Guard.

On 15 October 1961, the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Division, Wisconsin National Guard, was ordered to active duty because of the Berlin Crisis. The Division, after 13 weeks of intensive training at Fort Lewis, WA, was pronounced STRAC and ready for deployment, if necessary.

On 10 August 1962, the 32D Division was released from active Federal service and returned home to assume its peacetime role.

The 32D Division was reorganized on 30 December 1967 (IAW National Guard Bureau General Orders No. 19 on 26 Dec. ’67) and on that date ceased to exist as a full Division. However, the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade (Separate), Wisconsin National Guard, was created and organized from it to continue the lineage and heritage of the famous 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Division.

On 1 April 1971 the Brigade was converted to a mechanized brigade and became the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade (Separate) (Mechanized), Wisconsin National Guard.

In January 1986 the 32D Infantry Brigade (Separate) (Mechanized) participated in REFORGER '86, Exercise ‘Certain Sentinel’. The entire Brigade deployed from Wisconsin, with all of its equipment, to West Germany.

On 1 October 1997 the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade (Separate) (Mechanized), Wisconsin National Guard, was reorganized as the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) and was assigned to the 34TH ‘Red Bull’ Infantry Division (the 34TH Div. is headquartered in Minnesota). The 32D Brigade was now a divisional brigade and was no longer a (Separate) brigade.

On 1 October 2001 the Brigade was reorganized as the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade (Separate) (Light), Wisconsin National Guard. The 32D Brigade was no longer attached to the 34TH ID and was again a (Separate) brigade.

On 23 January 2003 about 100 soldiers from various 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade units reported for active duty for service as Task Force Red Arrow in support of Operation Noble Eagle (ONE). Task Force Red Arrow supplemented security for two years at three of Wisconsin's airbases, the 440TH Air-lift Wing in Milwaukee, the 128TH Air Refueling Wing in Milwaukee, and the 115TH Fighter Wing in Madison.

On 20 June 2004 the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade's 1ST Battalion, 128TH Infantry, was mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The battalion of 680 soldiers has its Headquarters and Headquarters Company in Eau Claire; its subordinate units include Detachment 1, HHC, Abbotsford; Company A, Menomonie; Company B, New Richmond; Detachment 1, Co. B, Rice Lake; Company C, Arcadia; Detachment 1, Co. C, Neillsville; Company D, River Falls. The Battalion was augmented by Soldiers from other Wisconsin Army National Guard units. The Battalion left Wisconsin on 23 June for training at Camp Shelby, MS, and Fort Irwin, CA, before being deployed to Iraq.

On 6 June 2005 the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade's 2D Battalion, 127TH Infantry, was mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The battalion of 630 soldiers has its Headquarters and Headquarters Company in Appleton; its subordinate units include Company A, Waupun; Detachment 1, Co. A, Ripon; Company B, Green Bay; Company C, Fond du Lac; Company D, Marinette. The Battalion was augmented by the 32D Engineer Company, Onalaska, and Troop E, 105TH Cavalry, Merrill and Antigo. The Battalion left Wisconsin on 9 June for training at Camp Shelby, MS, before being deployed overseas.

On 20 June 2005 70 Soldiers of the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade’s Headquarters were mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. They left Wisconsin on 23 June for training at Fort Hood, TX, before being deployed overseas.

On 10 August 2005 the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade's 1ST Battalion, 120TH Field Artillery, was mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Battalion has its Headquarters and Headquarters Service Battery in Wisconsin Rapids; its subordinate units include Detachment 1, HHS, Mosinee; Battery A, Marshfield; Battery B, Clintonville; Battery C, Stevens Point. The Battalion was augmented by Battery A, Whitewater, and Battery C, Racine, from the 1ST Battalion, 126TH Field Artillery, 57TH Field Artillery Brigade. The Battalion left Wisconsin on 13 August for training at Camp Shelby, MS, before being deployed overseas.

On 17 August 2005 the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade's 2D Battalion, 128TH Infantry, was mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The battalion of 600 soldiers has its Headquarters and Headquarters Company in Madison; its subordinate units include Company A, Fort Atkinson and Elkhorn; Company B, Oconomowoc and Hartford; Company C, Baraboo and Reedsburg; Company D, Watertown. The Battalion was augmented by Headquarters Battery, Kenosha, and Service Battery, Burlington, from the 1ST Battalion, 126TH Field Artillery, 57TH Field Artillery Brigade. The Battalion left Wisconsin on 20 August for training at Camp Shelby, MS, before being deployed overseas.

On 29 August 2005 about 1,000 Soldiers from the 2D Battalion, 128TH Infantry, and 1ST Battalion, 120TH Field Artillery, safely endured Hurricane Katrina during their mobilization training at Camp Shelby, MS. The storm reached its peak about 1330 with winds around 90 mph. Training was shut down for several days as the Soldiers assisted in clearing the debris and getting the base operational again.

On 29 October 2005 the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade's 232D Military Intelligence Co. (about 30 Soldiers) were mobilized in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. They left Wisconsin on 1 November for training at Fort Sill, OK, before being deployed overseas.

On 3 November 2005 the last Soldiers from the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade's 1ST Battalion, 128TH Infantry, landed at Volk Field, WI, after completing their deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Battalion mobilized 20 June 2004 and deployed to Iraq in November 2004 following several months training at Camp Shelby, MS, and Fort Irwin, CA. The Battalion served for nearly one full year overseas in central Iraq in the Samara area. Unfortunately two Soldiers did not return with their Battalion. SSG Todd D. Olson died 27 December 2004 from wounds received from an improvised explosive device in Samarra, Iraq, on 26 Dec. SPC Charles A. Kaufman died in Baghdad, Iraq, after a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV on 26 June 2005.

On 12 November 2005 Company A, 132D Support Battalion (about 40 Soldiers) was mobilized in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

On 27 July 2006 Soldiers from the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade HQ landed at Volk Field, WI, after completing their deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. They mobilized on 20 June 2005 and deployed to Kuwait after about a month of training at Fort Hood, TX.

On 19 August 2006 the last Soldiers from the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade's 2D Battalion, 127TH Infantry, landed at Volk Field, WI, after completing their deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Battalion was stationed in Kuwait, but its convoy security mission took it throughout Iraq. Unfortunately three Soldiers did not return with their Battalion. SPC Michael Wendling and SGT Andrew Wallace died 26 September 2005, after a roadside bomb exploded near their HMMWV and they were attacked by small arms fire. SGT Ryan Jopek was killed on 2 August 2006, while on his final convoy security mission.

On 5 November 2006 the last Soldiers from the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade's 1ST Battalion, 120TH Field Artillery, landed at Volk Field, WI, after completing their deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Battalion was stationed in Kuwait, but one battery was stationed in Iraq.

On 11 November 2006 the last Soldiers from the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade's 2D Battalion, 128TH Infantry, landed at Volk Field, WI, after completing their deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Battalion was stationed in Kuwait, but two companies’ missions periodically took them into Iraq.

On 11 January 2007 the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade's 232D Military Intelligence Co., was released from active duty after its deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

On 23 February 2007 the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade's Company A, 132D Support Battalion, was released from active duty after its deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

On 1 October 2007 the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade (Separate) (Light), was reorganized as the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), Wisconsin National Guard. It also, again, became a divisional brigade assigned to the 34TH ‘Red Bull’ Infantry Division, headquartered in Minnesota.

On 1 February 2009 the entire 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade Combat Team, plus other attached Wisconsin Army National Guard units, was mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The units left Wisconsin at staggered intervals throughout February for training at Fort Bliss, TX, before being deployed overseas.

On 24 January 2010 the last Soldiers of the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade Combat Team landed at Volk Field, WI, after completing their deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The units returned to Wisconsin at staggered intervals beginning on 5 January. After mobilizing on 1 February 2009, the units deployed to Iraq at staggered intervals in April and May following about two months of training at Fort Bliss, TX. The Brigade was tasked with a variety of missions throughout Iraq which included forward operating base administration, base defense, area security, quick reaction forces, freedom of movement security support, detainee guard force operations at theater internment facilities, closing the largest internment facility in Iraq, transferring detainees, operating an academy to train Iraqi corrections officers, inspecting detention facilities, securing and administering the International Zone in Baghdad, and turning over U.S.-controlled properties back the government of Iraq.

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revised 15 July 2011
since 22 March 1998