81st Infantry Division, U.S. Army Divisions of World War II

 
Name:81st
Type:Infantry
Nickname:Wildcat
Source:Organized Reserves
Theater: Pacific
Activation Date:15 Jun 42
Date Sent Overseas:6 Jul 44 (Hawaii)
Date Entered Combat:17 Sep 44 (Palau)
Days of Combat:166
Casualties:2,314
Status June 1946:inactivated 20 Jan 46
Other Wars:WW I, Korea
Commanding General(s): Maj. Gen. Gustave H. Franke    (Jun 42 - Aug 42)
Maj. Gen. Paul J. Mueller    (Aug 42 - inactivation)
 
Campaign(s): Western Pacific    (15 Jun 44 - 2 Sep 45)
Leyte    (17 Oct 44 - 1 Jul 45)
Southern Philippines    (27 Feb 45 - 4 Jul 45)

Brief History:
The 81st Infantry Division landed in Hawaii, 11 June-8 July 1944. The Division minus RCT 323 invaded Angaur Island in the Palau group, 17 September, and pushed through to the western shore in a quick movement, cutting the island in half. The enemy was driven into isolated pockets and mopping-up operations began on the 20th. RCT 321, attached to the 1st Marine Division, went into action on Peleliu Island in the Palaus and assisted in splitting defense forces and isolating them in mountainous areas in the central part of the island. The team aided in mopping up Ngesebus Island and capturing Kongauru and Garakayo Islands. RCT 323 under naval task force command occupied Ulithi Island, 21-23 September 1944. Elements of the team landed on Ngulu Atoll and destroyed enemy personnel and installations, 16 October, completing the outflanking of the enemy base at Yap. On the 18th RCT 323 left to rejoin the 81st on Peleliu, which assumed command of all troops on that island and Angaur, 20 October 1944. Resistance was ended on Peleliu, 27 November. Between 4 November 1944 and 1 January 1945, the Division seized Pulo Anna Island, Kyangel Atoll, and Pais Island. The 81st left in increments from 1 January to 8 February for New Caledonia for rehabilitation and training. The Division arrived in Leyte on 17 May 1945, and after a period of training participated in mopping-up operations in the northwest part of the island, 21 July 1945 to 12 August 1945. After rest and training, the 81st moved to Japan, 18 September, and performed occupational duties in Aomori Prefecture until inactivation.

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.