96th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Divisions of World War II

 
Name:96th
Type:Infantry
Nickname:Deadeye
Source:Organized Reserves
Theater: Pacific
Activation Date:15 Aug 42
Date Sent Overseas:28 Jul 44 (Hawaii)
Date Entered Combat:20 Oct 44 (Leyte)
Days of Combat:200
Casualties:8,812
Status June 1946:inactivated 3 Feb 46
Other Wars:WW I
Commanding General(s): Maj. Gen. James L. Bradley    (Aug 42 - inactivation)
 
Campaign(s): Leyte    (17 Oct 44 - 1 Jul 45)
Southern Philippines    (27 Feb 45 - 4 Jul 45)
Ryukyus    (26 Mar 45 - 2 Jul 45)

Brief History:
The 96th Infantry Division trained in Hawaiian Islands, July to September 1944, before entering combat in an assault landing in Leyte Gulf, Philippine Islands, between Tanauan and Dulag, 20 October 1944. Enemy resistance in the beachhead area was quickly broken and the Division had advanced to and secured the Tanauan-Dagami-Tabontabon sector by 9 November after heavy fighting. The Division continued to wipe out resistance on the island, engaging in small unit actions, patrolling, probing, and wiping out pockets of Japanese. Chalk Ridge was taken, 12 December 1944, and major organized resistance was at an end by Christmas Day. The next 3 months were spent in mopping up, security duty, training, and loading for the coming invasion of Okinawa. The Division left the Philippines, 27 March 1945, for Okinawa, making an assault landing on the island, 1 April 1945. The landing was unopposed and a beachhead was established near Sunabe, 1-3 April. Resistance stiffened considerably as the Division advanced to gakazu Ridge, where fighting was fierce, 7-16 April. The 96th assaulted and cracked the fanatically defended enemy defense line, Tanabaru Nishibaru, 17-23 April, and after advancing slightly against extremely determined resistance, was relieved, 30 April, by the 77th Infantry Division. The Division trained and rested, 1-9 May, while elements mopped up bypassed enemy pockets and then returned to the offensive, 10 May, attacking and capturing Conical-Sugar Hill Ridge, 21 May, thus breaking the right flank of the Shuri defenses. Heavy rains the following week slowed down the advance. The offensive was resumed, 30 May, against weakening enemy resistance; Japanese north of Yonabaru-Shuri-Naha Road area were cleared out. Resistance stiffened again, 3 June, and Laura Hill was taken, 14 June 1945, only after a bloody fight; the last important Japanese defense position, the Yuza-Dake, Yaeju-Dake Hill mass, was secured by 17 June, and on 22 June all resistance was declared at an end. The Division patrolled an area from Chan to Ogusuku until 30 June. After resting in July, the Division left Okinawa for Mindoro, in the Philippines, and engaged in a training program. The Division left the Philippines, 17 January 1946, for the United States.

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.