31st Infantry Division, U.S. Army Divisions of World War II

 
Name:31st
Type:Infantry
Nickname:Dixie
Source:National Guard
Theater: Pacific
Activation Date:25 Nov 40
Date Sent Overseas:24 Apr 44 (New Guinea)
Date Entered Combat:3 Jul 44 (New Guinea)
Days of Combat:245
Casualties:1,733
Status June 1946:inactivated 21 Dec 45
Other Wars:WW I
Commanding General(s): Maj. Gen. John C. Persons    (Nov 40 - Sep 44)
Maj. Gen. Clarence A. Martin    (Sep 44 - inactivation)
 
Campaign(s): New Guinea    (24 Jan 43 - 31 Dec 44)
Leyte    (17 Oct 44 - 1 Jul 45)
Southern Philippines    (27 Feb 45 - 4 Jul 45)

Brief History:
The 31st Infantry Division arrived in Oro Bay, New Guinea, 24 April 1944, and engaged in amphibious training prior to entering combat. Alerted on 25 June 1944 for movement to Aitape, the 124th RCT left Oro Bay and landed at Aitape, New Guinea, 3-6 July 1944. The combat team moved up to advanced positions and took part in the general offensive launched 13 July, running into bloody fighting along the Drinumor River. Meanwhile, the remainder of the Division relieved the 6th Infantry Division in the Sarmi-Wakde Island area, 18 July 1944, built bridges, roads, and docks, patrolled the area, and engaged small units of the enemy, trying not to provoke a large scale counterattack by the enemy. Over 1,000 Japanese were destroyed in these actions. In mid-August the Division began to stage for the Morotai operation, leaving Aitape and Maffin Bay, 11 September 1944. The Division made an assault landing on Morotai, 15 September 1944, meeting only light opposition. During the occupation of Morotai, elements of the Division seized Mapia, 15-17 September, and waded ashore on the Asia islands, 19-20 September, only to find the Japanese had already evacuated. Other elements reverted to Sansapor, where they maintained and operated the base. On 22 April 1945, the Division landed on Mindanao to take part in the liberation of the Philippines. Moving up the Sayre Highway and driving down the Kibawe-Talomo trail, fighting in knee-deep mud and through torrential rains, the 31st forced the enemy to withdraw into the interior and blocked off other Japanese in the Davao area. With the end of hostilities on 15 August 1945, the 31st accomplished the surrender of all Japanese forces remaining in Mindanao.

Notes:
Activation date is the date the division was activated or inducted into federal service (national guard units).
Casualties are number of killed, wounded in action, captured, and missing.
Other Wars are the wars in which the division was mobilized.
The dates after the campaign name are the dates of the campaign not of the division.

Sources: The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States; , U.S. Government Printing Office. Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths in World War II, Final Report, 1 December 1941 - 31 December 1946.