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World War II: The U.S. 32nd Infantry Division Battle to Control the Villa Verde Trail

Originally published by World War II magazine. Published Online: June 12, 2006 
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The U.S. Sixth Army commander, General Walter Krueger, was notorious for cracking down on subordinates whose attacks fizzled during the fight to reclaim the Philippines. It was expected, then, that he would land solidly on the back of the 32nd Division's Major General William H. Gill. The division was bogged down on northern Luzon on a mountain track called the Villa Verde Trail, taking more casualties than ground.

General Gill sought to deflect his superior's wrath during the spring of 1945 by expressing his own doubts about the division's ability to secure the trail. Gill complained that the division was battle-weary and understrength because there were no replacements. The trail was heavily fortified by elite troops of the Japanese Fourteenth Area Army. There was no room for maneuver in the rugged Caraballo Mountains through which the trail wound. It was all bloody head-on assaults.

Surprisingly, Krueger agreed and told the division commander, "I'm fully satisfied that your division has done and is doing all that is humanly possible under the incredibly difficult terrain conditions and resistance facing it." Krueger then instructed Gill to continue the attack with what he had. Gill could expect no replacements—Krueger had none to give. The bitter campaigns raging in the mountains were low priority to General Douglas MacArthur, commander of all Allied forces in the Philippines. MacArthur had originally allotted only five divisions to Krueger's northern forces—five divisions to tackle the bulk of the Japanese army on Luzon. Yet after the fall of Manila in March 1945, MacArthur depleted even that force, pulling two divisions out of the north to aid the Eighth Army's operations in the rest of the Philippines. As Captain Robert Maynard of the 128th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Division, related, "MacArthur took Manila…then he didn't care about the dying in the mountains."

The 32nd Division's history is filled with stand-up fights in which the unit had little or no support. MacArthur's first offensive move in the southwestern Pacific had been to throw the 32nd into New Guinea—without jungle training or artillery and with barely sufficient supplies. Two years later, also in New Guinea, the division had been stranded along the Driniumor River for a short time. The unit had landed on Luzon almost three months earlier than Krueger's mid-April visit with Gill, and at that time its ranks were already depleted from months of jungle fighting on Leyte. The men had received only three weeks' rest between the two islands. The men of the 32nd—who wore the Red Arrow patch signifying that the division had pierced every line it had encountered—knew about fighting without support. They expected to crack this line as well. But they were unaware of the high price they would pay in materiel, morale and men.

The 32nd was part of the I Corps, the Sixth Army's left flank. Since landing at Lingayen Gulf in January 1945, the I Corps' task had been to provide a screen for the XIV Corps, on the right flank, as it raced toward Manila. The I Corps was guarding against a possible avalanche of 150,000 Japanese poised to slide down from the Caraballo Mountains onto the central plains.

MacArthur's raid on the I Corps left Krueger holding a defensive line with only three divisions. The 33rd was in the west, guarding Lingayen Gulf and battering the mountain approaches to Baguio, Japan's headquarters on the island. In the I Corps' center, the 32nd plugged the mouths of several river valleys and the southern terminus of the Villa Verde Trail. The right flank was anchored by the 25th Division, located near Highway 5.

In late February, Krueger changed the I Corps' mission. With the Manila Bay area under control, it was no longer necessary to muzzle the I Corps' offensive capabilities. Krueger believed that delaying the campaign in the north would allow the Japanese troops time to strengthen their mountain redoubts. Accordingly, Krueger ordered Maj. Gen. Innis P. Swift, the I Corps commander, to assault the Japanese in their defensive lairs.

Krueger and Swift knew that the Japanese positions on northern Luzon were located on a triangular perimeter encompassing the most treacherous reaches of the Caraballo Mountains, which protected the Cagayen Valley, a breadbasket for the Japanese. Krueger instructed Swift that his corps' first objective was to pry open the door to the valley, thereby cutting off the Japanese supplies at the source. Swift chose the 32nd to make the breakthrough.

Swift's plans for the 32nd involved herculean tasks. The Red Arrow men were to attack from the plains into the mountains by way of three river valleys and the Villa Verde Trail. The movement into the valleys, on the western edge of the division's zone of action, was an operation in support of the 33rd's thrust to take Baguio. The valleys were north–south waterways thought to be viable avenues for flanking General Tomoyuki Yamashita, Fourteenth Area Army commander, in Baguio. While the 33rd pushed at the town from the south and west, it was believed that elements of the 32nd could stab at the enemy from the east.

The 126th Infantry Regiment was picked to make the push up the valleys. A battalion jumped off on February 25, probing up the Ambayabang River. The inhospitable valley made it necessary for the battalion to move in small units, never more than a company maneuvering together. Along the steep banks of the Ambayabang the men of the 32nd encountered a series of caves used by the Japanese as defensive positions, where each enemy position was protected by a similar cave farther down the valley. Reducing one target exposed men of the 126th to a withering fire from the second position. Grim necessity forced the battalion to rely on its intelligence and reconnaissance men to penetrate the Japanese lines and locate the caves.

One such patrol found Sergeant Joe Skiba and his men heading back toward their regiment after a stint behind Japanese lines. To reach the safety of the American positions, the patrol had to cross an open stretch of land. Skiba had his men advance single file and spread out. Despite that precaution, the Japanese opened up on them, knocking out their lead scout with a gaping head wound. The squad was pinned down in the coarse cogon grass. Skiba remembered: "I can recall one of the men not having a good hiding spot. Attempting to find a more secure position, he ran through that open area. As he ran, the [Japanese] machine gun opened up on him. They sprayed at him but did not hit him. As he ran to the safer position…he yelled, 'Somebody get that SOB.'" After dark, the survivors escaped. The man who had sprinted across the clearing counted four bullet holes in his uniform, but he was unscathed.

The 126th was tied down in the river valleys west of the Villa Verde Trail until the first week in April. Probing for a way into Baguio, the regiment suffered casualties but did not materially contribute to the capture of the Japanese stronghold. Relieved by elements of the 33rd Division, it was sent eastward to join the rest of the 32nd, which needed more manpower.

The drive up the trail was the 32nd's main goal. General Gill's men were to crack the mountain bastion by forcing the trail. Capturing the Villa Verde Trail would open the way to Santa Fe, a crossroads town on the Japanese supply line. Guarding the trail were contingents of the Japanese 10th Division and the 2nd Tank Division. The men were led by Maj. Gen. Haruo Konuma, commander of the Bambang Branch, Fourteenth Area Army, who layered his defenses by burrowing into the mountainsides and embedding artillery along what came to be known as Yamashita Ridge. The ridge was a prominence north of the trail commanding long stretches of the American lines. From these positions the defenders could rain down harassing fire, blast apart attacks and rend supply lines. Close to the trail, Japanese spider holes harbored soldiers skilled at sniping and infiltration. These positions were Yamashita's brainchild. The commander of Japanese forces on Luzon knew he could not defeat the Americans, but could only bleed units needed for the invasion of Japan.

On February 24 the men of the 127th Infantry Regiment tackled the trail. The nearly perpendicular slopes, bald razorback ridges and jungle valleys in the region surrounding the trail forced the regiment to use a battalion to attack up the trail while another struck the Japanese right flank. Simultaneously, the 127th's remaining battalion managed to get behind the Japanese lines and set up a roadblock along the trail. These coordinated attacks broke the Japanese defenses.

Capitalizing on the crumbling Japanese resistance, the 127th Infantry closely pursued the retreating enemy. One battalion reached the western approaches of the two Salacsac passes on March 4, hot on the heels of the decimated Japanese force. The regiment was now in the doorway to the Cagayen Valley. Four miles across the twisting, narrow passes lay Imugan, a village marking the point where the Villa Verde Trail began its descent toward Santa Fe.

The rapid American advance stopped at the Salacsac passes. The regiment had encountered inhospitable terrain while moving up the Villa Verde. The trail hugged the sides of mountains 4,000 feet above sea level—mountains often shrouded in fog, drenched in downpours or wrapped in stifling heat. Now the trail was the front. The deep draws carving the landscape near the Villa Verde Trail were too precipitous for maneuvers. The surrounding mountains were a trackless wilderness with hidden Japanese caves. The trail itself aided the enemy, its serpentine ribbon promising another gun emplacement around each turn. The 32nd Division was faced with frontal assaults against a well-entrenched enemy commanding the high ground and familiar with the battlefield.

Supplies became a sore point; the trail was too narrow to support motorized traffic, and Filipino carriers sometimes proved untrustworthy under fire. The 32nd Division relied on the equipment and bravery of the 114th Engineer Battalion to make the Villa Verde a passable road. What the 114th accomplished under constant fire became known as "the little Burma Road." Later, captured Japanese orders showed that the 114th was on their army's "must destroy" list.

The trail often held surprises for the Americans. One morning a patrol led by 2nd Lt. Carl Patrinos of the 1st Platoon, G Company, 127th Infantry Regiment, stopped on the trail for a breather just as the fog draping the area burned off. The fog lifted so suddenly that the GIs were stunned to see Japanese soldiers sitting a short distance away. Americans and Japanese froze. Then both patrols scrambled in opposite directions, not bothering to shoot at one another.

Most encounters with the enemy were not so benign. Private first class Martin Narendorf of L Company spent four days on a knob that offered a fine view of the Japanese. Until the fourth day the Japanese had apparently been unaware of L Company's position. But once General Konuma's men discovered the Americans there on March 15, they zeroed in on the company with mortar shells. Narendorf recalled that their fire was pretty accurate, saying, "All you saw laying around you were pieces of meat." The L Company commander ordered his men to withdraw. Narendorf and others supplied covering fire. As Narendorf began his escape, he noticed a wounded man a short distance away. He grabbed a shelter half (half of a pup tent) to use as a makeshift litter and headed for the casualty. Reaching the man, Narendorf saw that it was a company cook, Joe Sepp. Narendorf remembered: "His whole chest was blown out. You could see his heart pumping." Sepp said to him, "Why don't you just go ahead, I'm dying anyway." More shells landed, and Narendorf dove for a foxhole. Before he found shelter, either shrapnel or splintered wood from a tree burst ripped into his back. Narendorf managed to struggle down the hill, but without Sepp, who was already dead.

The men fought for every yard, foot and sometimes inch. The Japanese were dug in so well that artillery had no effect on their spider holes. Camouflaged bunkers could only be detected with human bait—the shriek of a .25-caliber bullet overhead or the whir of the mortar cutting the air provided the only clues to the enemy's whereabouts. A squad of GIs would then have to advance on the position, ramming a pole charge into the opening when they neared the cave. The explosion would seal the spider hole, though there was no assurance that the troops inside were dead or that there were not multiple openings to the cave.

Breaking the stalemate became the 32nd Division's major concern. General Gill detached the 2nd Battalion from the 128th to add to the strength of those already engaged. Gill hoped to defy the jagged terrain by sending the battalion south of the trail, through the wilderness, to strike the Japanese rear. He planned to take Imugan, cutting the enemy supply line and ending the stalemate. The battalion jumped off on March 11.

The operation was a nightmare. Lack of supplies, faulty communications and intraregimental jealousy contributed to the breakdown of the maneuver. The battalion commander had requested 300 carriers on his supply route; he received 150. That number was insufficient to shuttle the food and ammunition the expedition needed. The atmospheric conditions in the mountains interfered with radio communications. Orders were delayed or lost. Moreover, the battalion commander was new to both his command and the division. At least some of his junior officers considered him a braggart, while he himself believed his regimental commander was plotting against him.

These factors, added to a crafty enemy and formidable terrain, doomed the operation. As the Americans struggled against the trail's defenses, the borrowed battalion's attack wilted. Realizing the futility of the assault, General Gill issued orders withdrawing the unit on March 22. The battalion commander was relieved of duty as they left the wilderness.

The Villa Verde Trail had taken its toll on the 127th. More than 100 men had been killed and 225 wounded since the regiment had started up the trail. Five hundred more had been hospitalized for illness, including a disproportionate number of combat fatigue cases. The regiment counted only 1,500 men as combat effectives by March 23. On that day Gill began relieving the 127th by inserting the 128th Infantry Regiment into the line.

Staff Sergeant Fred Johnson of the 128th's medical detachment had spent two nights on the trail when the Japanese hit his position with artillery. Instead of seeking safety, Johnson risked his life to carry a wounded man from the aid station to a trench, where he would be safe. Johnson then bolted out into the rain of explosions and falling debris to retrieve more wounded. After bringing another GI to a secure area, Johnson set the man down and again headed for the disintegrating aid station. The sergeant pulled a third wounded man away from the barrage and carried him to the trenches.

Fifty shells had poured in on the American position before the enemy launched an infantry assault to dislodge the crippled unit. Two charges crashed into the lines, and twice that night the 1st Battalion, 128th, drove off the Japanese with heavy casualties.

Two days later, on the 27th, Colonel John Hettinger, commander of the 128th, was reconnoitering the front when the Japanese spotted his jeep. The vehicle was immediately caught in an artillery barrage. The colonel and his driver made it to a foxhole. Seconds later, however, the foxhole took a direct hit and Hettinger was killed.

The 128th now experienced the same kind of slugfest that had characterized the 127th's fighting. The drive eastward continued as a series of frontal assaults on the hills of the Salacsac passes. Hill 503, bypassed by the 127th, was secured. The 114th Engineers were brought up to broaden the trail. Major Thomas Bell of E Company was behind a bulldozer when it tore into an embankment on the side of the trail. Four Japanese spilled out onto the road from their suddenly exposed cave. Bell's men made short work of them. Before the end of March, Hills 504 and 505 were won.

General Konuma launched a counterattack on the night of March 31. The Japanese target was Hill 504, held by L Company. The American soldiers were caught in a desperate struggle. Under the relentless onslaught, Pfc William Shockley urged his squad to escape while he provided covering fire. He told his fellow GIs that he would "remain to the end." He stopped the charge to his immediate front but was flanked by the enemy. As Shockley's last avenue of escape was being cut off by a banzai attack, he remained at his post to buy the time his squad needed to escape. The 27-year-old GI continued firing until overwhelmed by his enemies. For his sacrifice, Shockley was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Despite the heroism of men like Shockley, L Company was pushed off the hill. The loss of that position meant the American foothold on the Salacsac passes was threatened. An entire U.S. battalion was committed to a dawn counterattack. Though it stemmed the westward flow of Japanese and prevented the loss of all ground east of Hill 502, portions of Hill 504 remained in enemy hands at the end of April 1.

The I Corps released the 126th Infantry Regiment at that point, bringing it up on the 128th's left. Colonel Oliver Dixon, the commander of the 126th, targeted the high ground north of the trail. The plan was to tie down the defenders of Yamashita Ridge so that the 128th could push through the Salacsac passes without drawing harassing fire from the north. Together, the two regiments blasted their way through the entrance to the passes. Initially, the first pass was declared secured on April 10, but as pockets of Japanese continued to dig out from their sealed caves—emerging from the ground like corpses back from the dead—the first pass could not be considered secured until April 16.

It was at this time that Krueger assured Gill that the 32nd was doing all that was expected of it and told him not to expect any relief. Gill was reduced to the expedient of rotating his attacking regiments. He relieved the gutted 128th with the 127th. The 126th was to continue its push against Yamashita Ridge.

The fighting along the trail continued with brutal monotony as the Americans located, isolated and then destroyed individual strongpoints. On April 24, Lieutenant Patrinos' G Company was moving in tandem with E Company to isolate just such a strongpoint when Patrinos realized that he had lost contact with the other company. Patrinos called back to his company commander to find out what he should do and was instructed to throw a phosphorous grenade, alerting E Company to his location.

Patrinos threw the grenade and moved his platoon after it. Then he heard a plane directly overhead. The American pilot had seen the smoke from the grenade, mistaken it for a marker of an enemy position and commenced his bomb run. Patrinos managed to make it to a burned-out Japanese hole, but most of his men were not so lucky. G Company took 25 casualties from the misplaced bomb—11 of the men could only be listed as missing in action since there were no remains to identify.

G and E companies had been approaching Hill 508, the backbone of the Japanese defenses in the Salacsac passes area, when they were blasted by their own air support. Battered G Company was pulled out of the attack. Five days later, E Company would take the summit of 508, only to find itself virtually surrounded by Japanese emerging from caves that honeycombed the hill.

For the first two weeks in May, the "Kongo Fortress," as the GIs dubbed Hill 508, was a cauldron of death. The landscape itself suggested a vision of Hell—the trees blasted into stumps, the ground scorched from flamethrowers used to burn out spider holes. Soldiers of the 127th died in attacks, in foxholes and in secured rear areas. Men of the Red Arrow division who had suffered through Buna, survived Aitape and braved Leyte were killed or wounded on the steep slopes of the Kongo Fortress.

One of those wounded was Patrinos, pinned down against the side of the mutilated hill. His battalion commander hailed him on the radio and informed him that the company on his right was cut off. Patrinos replied that he would "see what kind of shape they're in," and scrambled toward the missing company's position. Patrinos quickly determined that the wayward company was in better condition than his own unit. As he started to dash back to his own outfit, a bullet shattered his shoulder blade.

Meanwhile, on Yamashita Ridge, the 126th had been relieved by the 128th. Fred Johnson, the 1st Battalion medic, and his men were ordered forward when a squad was ambushed and several soldiers were wounded. Japanese machine guns continued to spray the fallen GIs, and Johnson could see puffs of dust from their fatigues as the bullets ripped into them. Johnson and his men managed to get the wounded off the hill but were then hit themselves, four of the eight stretcher-bearers going down in a split second. The Americans were finally pushing the Japanese off the Villa Verde Trail, but they were paying dearly for each patch of ground.

To support the reduction of the Kongo Fortress, Captain Maynard of the 128th was ordered to accomplish the impossible. In the late hours of May 3, Maynard led a reinforced company in darkness through the trackless mountains and deployed to launch a dawn attack on the enemy's supply line. Maynard had pounded into the men the need for silence on the approach, and it paid off when his unit took up its position undetected by the Japanese. American .50-caliber machine guns cut loose on the enemy at dawn. Maynard remembered, "At the end of the machine-gun fire we jumped off…and ran into a bunch of [Japanese] that were on the trail, and above the trail…."

Maynard's men were locked in a firefight that grew into a 30-minute engagement. The Japanese fought fiercely, knowing that loss of the trail would doom their compatriots on Hill 508. Maynard's men fought with equal ferocity. They were behind enemy lines, with no hope of immediate relief. Finally, the Japanese broke. Maynard established a roadblock, and despite numerous enemy counterattacks, held the position until relieved days later.

The roadblock stopped the flow of supplies to the Kongo Fortress forces and enabled the Americans to sweep the enemy from the area. Now remnants of Japanese units pitched into the American lines in useless suicide attacks or were buried alive in their caves. The Americans seized the high ground, leveling anti-aircraft cannons at the dug-in enemy positions before Imugan. The artillery slaughtered Konuma's men. On May 28, the men of the Red Arrow division captured the village.

General Gill's soldiers had cracked Yamashita's mountain fortress. Along with the 25th Division, which had seized Santa Fe from the south, the 32nd had shattered all organized resistance in the Caraballo Mountains. From the seizure of Imugan until his surrender on September 2, 1945, Yamashita would simply be running from the U.S. Army.

After the war, General Gill was asked if the price paid by the 32nd Division for that goat path in the clouds had been too high. Gill answered: "The Villa Verde Trail cost us too high in battle casualties for the value received. In other words…I believe the supreme commander [MacArthur] and…his staff violated one of the great principles of shopping…." Gill clarified that statement by explaining that MacArthur had paid too much for what he got. The 32nd had gained too little for the men it had lost.

This article was written by Tracy L. Derks and originally appeared in the February 2002 issue of World War II. For more great articles subscribe to World War II magazine today!


248 Responses to “World War II: The U.S. 32nd Infantry Division Battle to Control the Villa Verde Trail”


  1. 1
    George J.. Van Zandt says:

    I have long lasting memories of my 121 days on the Villa Verde Trail with HQ Co. 1st Bat. 127th Infantry under Capt. Robert E. Vick Co. Commander and Major Powell Fraser, 1st Bat. Commaner. I also served i Leyte for 35 days.

    • 1.1
      Peter Zabierek says:

      Hello all – My late father Henry Zabierek served in WW2 with the 127th, I Company. He fought along the Villa Verde Trail and wrote about it in his book "Beyond Pearl Harbor." If anyone wants a copy of the book, I would be happy to share it with them.

      • 1.1.1
        Lynn (Krzmarcik) Kordus says:

        I would appreciate sharing your book Beyond Pearl Harbor. My father was in the 127th Infantry, Co. C (and Co. B before he received his battlefield commission), and was at Buna, Aitape, Villa Verde Trail, among other skirmishes as he alway put it.

      • 1.1.2
        Ken Brown says:

        My neighbor's father (William G. Bullin) served in Co. I, 127th and was killed 2/24/45. I would love to share the book with her.

        Thanks

      • 1.1.3
        Roger Courey says:

        Peter, My father, SSG Claude Courey, served with the 127th Inf, 2nd Bn, HQ Co. I would like to read the book if it is still available.

      • 1.1.4
        Lynn Kordus says:

        Is this book still available? I would really appreciate seeing it.

      • 1.1.5
        Laurie Hill says:

        My father, Paul Hill, served with the 127th infantry at Villa Verde Trail. I have just now learned about this battle, so any info you have would be greatly appreciated.

      • 1.1.6
        Laurie Hill says:

        My father, Paul Hill, was killed on the trail. If you still have the book, I would appreciate receiving it. Thank you so much. Laurie Hill

      • 1.1.7
        Lynn Kordus says:

        I am still interested in seeing your father's book "Beyond Pearl Harbor." Thank you!
        Lynn (Krzmarcik) Kordus

      • 1.1.8
        Joe Smith says:

        My father, Joe H. Smith, fought on the Villa Verde Trail, I am in the process of finding out his specific outfit. I would be glad to buy a copy of the book, "Beyond Pearl Harbor. I know he "inherited" the Thompson submachine gun, from the previous first scout,(KIA), and carried it until the war ended. He said that he was on guard duty when General Yamashita sent down a starved soldier carrying a white flag, starting the surrender process.

    • 1.2
      jon vanbogart says:

      Hi Robert: My Uncle Robert E. VanBogart "Bogey Bob" was a platoon leader Staff Sgt A-Co 127th; he was also on Leyte and was KIA 5-March, 45 on the Villa Verde Trail. His commanding officer was Sheldon M. Dannelly. Did you know Bob? If so, our family would greatly appreciate any stories you remember. jvb

      • 1.2.1
        F.J. Wood says:

        Hey Jon: My Grandfather Clyde J. Wilkinson was a pfc A-co 127th. he was wounded on 5-March, 45 on the Villa Verde Trail. Unfortunatly I have no stories and am actually looking for some myself. Just thought thet would have possibly been together on March 5th. If you know antthing else I would appreciate any info.

    • 1.3
      jon van bogart says:

      Hi George, do you remember Robert E. Van Bogart (Bob)? He was a SSgt – platoon leader Co-A 127th; KIA 5-March-45. His Co Commander was Cpt. Sheldon Dannely. Bob was also on Leyte. My email is: jvb@cleanfuelusa.com

    • 1.4
      Jaren Brooks says:

      I know it's a long shot but did you know my grandfather Walter Brooks. He was with HQ Co 128th Infantry. He would have gotten to Leyte around the same time you did.

      • 1.4.1
        Jay Ridler says:

        Dear Jaren,

        I'm a historian currently writing a biography of Charles Bohannan, who led an intelligence and reconnaissance platoon (I&R) as part of the 128th regiment. They reported directly to the 128th HQ. If you have an info from your grandfather's service, and whether or not he knew Bohannan, I'd be grateful to hear about it.

        jason.ridler@gmail.com

        Thanks,

        Jay Ridler
        Royal Military College of Canada

  2. 2
    Lynn (Krzmarcik) Kordus says:

    Mr. Van Zandt, I am wondering whether you knew or served with my father, Edward J. (Fritz) Krzmarcik (1918-1997). I am working on a manuscript regarding my father's experiences in WWII.

    • 2.1
      Peter Zabierek says:

      Hello Lynn –

      I can send you a copy of my father's book. Could you send me your address to pmz5@yahoo.com? Thanks.

      - Peter

      • 2.1.1
        Lynn Kordus says:

        Thank you, Peter! My address is:
        2409 Oakwood Blvd.
        Wausau, WI 54403-7063 USA

      • 2.1.2
        Kerry Morley says:

        How can I get a copy of our fathers book. My father also served with the 126th Company E .

      • 2.1.3
        Lynn Kordus says:

        Hi, Peter,
        Can you send me the book you mentoned?
        Thank you!

        Lynn (Krzmarcik) Kordus

  3. 3
    James C Davis says:

    Would the draft broads have any records of men that was ww2 ?

  4. 4
    P. Hayes says:

    I thank the author for this article. My late father, a veteran of the 32nd, always spoke highly of Maj. Gen. Gill; MacArthur not so much. This article likely speaks volumes as to why he felt the way he did. I've found few accounts of the war on Luzon and its a breath of fresh air to find this one.

    • 4.1
      sharon reid says:

      I have a letter that Gen. Gill wrote to the 32nd congratulating them on their efforts. Let me know if you'd like a copy.

      • 4.1.1
        Charlie Nieto says:

        Hi
        my father was also in the 128th unit,32nd red arrow div. he was a staff sarg.
        Yes i would like a copy if I could thanks…

        thanks:
        Charlie Nieto

      • 4.1.2
        Jon Van Bogart says:

        My Uncle Robert E Van Bogart was KIA 5-March, 1945 on the Villa Verde Trail. He served in the 127th CO-A, Staff Sgt-Platoon Leader. I would love to get a copy of Gen-Gill’s letter. jvb

      • 4.1.3
        Jon Van Bogart says:

        here is my email: jvb@cleanfuelusa.com
        Robert E Van Bogart was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, (2) Purple Hearts, Bronze Star, Presidential Unit Citation and other unit citations awards given the 127th. He was from MN and joined the WI National Guard after Perl Harbor. He passed through Camp Roberts in Paso Robles, CA and Fort Ord in Monterey, CA before being shipped out to Australia from San Francisco with the 32nd

      • 4.1.4
        Lynn (Krzmarcik) Kordus says:

        I would greatly appreciae the letter General Gill wrote to the 32.
        Thank you!

        Lynn (Krzmarcik) Kordus

      • 4.1.5
        Heahter Baumgarner says:

        Sharon,

        My grandfather who we have buried today was a member of the 32nd. He never spoke of his days in the army and of the war. Today a lot of my family learned all the he did during his time during the war. I would like to get a copy of that letter for my grandmother to have. Thank you

      • 4.1.6
        Lynn (Krzmarcik) Kordus says:

        Hi, Sharon, I would greatly appreciate receiving a copy of Gen. Gill's letter to the 32nd. Thank you!

      • 4.1.7
        bob karberg says:

        Hi, Sharon,

        My uncle was with Co. C, 128th Infantry Regiment of the 32nd Division. I would greatly appreciate receiving a copy of Gen. Gill's letter to the 32nd.

        Thank you!

        Bob Karberg
        Tas1bo@aol.com

      • 4.1.8
        Peter Zabierek says:

        Hello Sharon – my late father fought with I Company. Could I get a copy of the letter? Thanks.

      • 4.1.9
        Adrian Lawler says:

        Sharon

        I also was on the villa verde trail and was wounded just a few months before the war ended .I was one of the lucky ones ,who returned to duty .
        I would like very much to have a copy to give to my Family before i pass on I an 91 now .Please hurry

        Send to a,w. Lawler
        !00 court St. Apt # 407

        Thank you so very much

      • 4.1.10
        Adrian Lawler says:

        Sharon

        I screwed up my first mail ,so will try again
        I was with the 32nd Div on the villa verde trail ,Wounded and later returned to duty ..I would like a copy Geg Gill's letter for my Family ..I an 91 ,so please hurry My address is Mr. A w lawler
        !00 court St. Apt. 407
        Oshkosh Wi. 54901

        Thank you so very much

      • 4.1.11
        Sharon says:

        My father Herbert Baldwin of the 126th always spoke highly of Gen Gill. I would like to have a copy of the letter. Thanks Mike Baldwin

      • 4.1.12
        larry kelly says:

        sharon

        i would like a copy of that letter. my dad don't like to talk about the war. he is 85 now and has started talking alittle. thank you for any infor. you can send. he was in the 127 inf. com. k 32 division.

      • 4.1.13
        Ron Carter says:

        My Dad was in the 32. I would love to have a copy of the letter. Thank you so much.

      • 4.1.14
        michael k baldwin says:

        My Dad is Herbert J. Baldwin, he passed away some 27 years ago. I believe he was with the 126th in Company C or D since many of his friends were from Holland Michigan, although he was assigned from a National Guard unit from Brooklyn New York in 1942. He mentioned General Gill many times as well as battles in New Guinea, Leyte, and and Luzon. I would like a copy of the letter and any information anyone has. You may email me at michaelkbaldwin@AOL.com. Thank you in advance for any information. Mike Baldwin

      • 4.1.15
        Jaren Brooks says:

        I would appreciate a copy of the letter.

      • 4.1.16
        Liz Sak says:

        Hi Sharon,
        My late Grandfather is Sgt Joe Skiba listed in this article. I am compiling his memoir into my book and would love a copy of the Gen. Gill letter! Thank you in advance!

        LizSak@yahoo.com

      • 4.1.17
        Bob Karberg says:

        Hi, Sharon,

        My uncle was with Co. C, 128th Infantry Regiment of the 32nd Division. I would greatly appreciate receiving a copy of Gen. Gill's letter to the 32nd.

        Thank you!

        Bob Karberg
        Tas1bo@aol.com

    • 4.2
      Lynn Kordus says:

      Can you send the letter? Let me know how you wish to do so. Thank you!
      Lynn Kordus

  5. 5
    James branek Jr says:

    I am trying to get information about my Grand Father Isadore
    ( Chilo ) Yanez. He Served in the 127th Infantry Regiment During
    World War II. I was advised by his Brother that he fought in the Luzan region of the Phillippnes He was dafted late in 1944 and was killed in action on 7/30/1945. he was 27 years old. Any information about him would be Great. I am trying to complete a section of a Family History Book that my Great Uncle wasnt able to complete due to lack of information and he has since past away. My e-mail is jrbranek2@yahoo.com

    Thank you!

    • 5.1
      John C says:

      I served with your grandfather and distinctly remember seeing him on highway 11. I would love to talk about what I saw if you are still interested. Please email at cappys2@socal.rr.com. My name is John. Thank you.

      • 5.1.1
        Lynn (Krzmarcik) Kordus says:

        My father (Edward "Fritz" Krzmarcik) served in the 127th, Co. B and then C after he received his battlefield commission. Did you know him or serve with him? I am working on a manuscript of his experience. He passed away in 1997. Thank you!

  6. 6
    Mike Sweeney says:

    Oregonian, 1 Oct 1945, page 7.
    Medal Given To Portlander
    With The 32nd Infantry Division In Northern Luzon, Sept 30 (Special)
    First Lt. John P. Dorigan of Portland, Or, has been awarded posthumously the silver star for gallantry in action near the Garaballo mountains on Luzon.
    He was leading a large supply train to relieve a company surrounded by Japs when a hidden Nip machine gun opened fire on them, inflicting a number of casualties. Dorigan quickly deployed his men and began to work his way forward to the enemy position. He threw hand grenades into the Jap installation, knocking out the gun and three of its crew, and then killed the other two Japs with his rifle, his citation states.
    Lt. Dorigan, who is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Dorigan, 5533 N.E. 9th avenue, was a member of the Oregon national guard and began overseas duty early in 1942 [with the 41st division]. Veteran of four major campaigns, he held the combat infantryman's badge, the Asiatic Pacific ribbon and the Philippine liberation medal.

  7. 7
    Mike Sweeney says:

    Oregonian, Sunday, 1 Apr 1945, page 42 (p. 2 Sports sec.)
    Lt. John Dorigan Killed In Action
    Lt. John Dorigan, all-city football end at Jefferson high school in 1939, was killed in action in the Pacific theater March 8, according to word received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Dorigan.
    Lt. Dorigan, only recently promoted from second to first lieutenant, went overseas with the famous 41st infantry division 38 months ago. At the time of his death he was attached to the 32nd infantry division in the Philippines.

    • 7.1
      Leslie McGuigan says:

      John F Dorigan is my husbands Uncle. How can I get this article that was in the Oregonian.
      Thank you.

  8. 8
    C. Tim Belter says:

    All veterans and families of those that served with the men of the 32nd need to read the book Bloody Buna by Lido Mayo. You will get a real account of what MacArthur was all about. You will also understand why the 32nd has never received the accolades that it deserves for their actions in the War. I get so sick of watching programs that can't get the story straight about what those men did. It wasn't the marines that were first to fight the Japanese nor were they the first to defeat them. It was also not the 82nd or the 101st to parachute into combat all of this was done by the 32nd. if you read the book I referenced it will all become clear that MacArthur is the reason why the unit is not accurately displayed in Military History.

    • 8.1
      sharon reid says:

      There is also a Saturday Evening Post article from November 10, 1945 entitled "The Red Arrow Pierced Every Line" by T/4 Charles P. Murdock. I have a yellowed torn copy of it. I'm going to see if I can get a complete copy.

      • 8.1.1
        Charlie Nieto says:

        Hi Sharon
        Is there any way i could get a copy of that article or how i could buy one please thanks..

        thanks:
        Charlie

      • 8.1.2
        Donald Tagg says:

        I have that same Saturday Evening Post my father kept a copy of it rolled up in a card board cylinder. I went on ebay and found a miuch better copy. I have the complete mag.

      • 8.1.3
        Donald Tagg says:

        I would love to help anyone out I can make copies of the article from The Saturday Evening Post. I am very thrilled to read these stories with tears in my eyes. God bless you all.

      • 8.1.4
        Charlie Nieto says:

        HI Donald
        would you make a copy for me please.. That would be great

        thanks
        Charlie

      • 8.1.5
        Lynn (Krzmarcik) Kordus says:

        I would greatly appreciate seeing that article. Is there any way it can be scanned and emailed? I am working on a manuscript about my father's experiences in the Southwest Pacific with 127th Co. B (and later C). Thank you!

        Lynn (Krzmarcik) Kordus

      • 8.1.6
        Lynn (Krzmarcik) Kordus says:

        Hi, Sharon, I would greatly appreciate a scanned copy of this article if you are able to do that.Thank you!

  9. 9
    Jeanne Langowski Quinn says:

    I have an undated newspaper article about my father, Pfc Joseph P. Langowski and Pfc William F. Millsap. I wanted to share it with the audience and it would be great to hear from others who may have relatives that served with my father. Following is the content of the artilce:
    MINTO MAN SERVES AS EXPERT SNIPER
    Pfc Joseph Langowski and Buddy Kill 12 Japs in Ten Days in Luzon Foxhole

    For ten days along the Villa Verde trail on nothern Luzon in the Philippines, Pfc Joseph P. Langowski of Minto (N.D.) and another man maintained a sniper position and beat the Japs at their own game. Pfc langowski is an "L" compnay rifleman in the 32nd infantry regiment.

    • 9.1
      Kathryn Vanskike Delle says:

      My husband was in the 32nd and proudly told me quite a bit about being in Leyte, Buna, about the Villa Verde Trail, as well as the Phillipines and all. He was with his Father ( who everyone called "THE OLD MAN" and two of his brothers. They were a family of very patriotic men……….The father was Archie C Vanskike, with sons Archie, Clarence and Louis. We met in 1947 and married in 1948 and he told me many stories about being OVER THERE and that he was only 17 when they all enlisted. Thankfully they all returned home to Galveston, TX unharmed. I so enjoy reading about what they did, confirming all I had been told. What great men they were! We are so proud of them !
      Sadly, he passed away in 1979 of cancer and we miss him !!

      My email address is kdelle@att.net.

  10. 10
    Jeanne Langowski Quinn says:

    Submitting the rest of the article referenced above….MINTO MAN SERVES AS EXPERT SNIPER

    Co. "L" was holding a hill that frequently drew Jap sniper fire from cave positions thirty yards away. Pfc Langowski and his buddy, Pfc. William F Millsap of Copperas Cove, Tex., crept towards the Japs during the night and dug a two-man fox-hol under cover of darkness.

    For ten days the two men never left their camouflaged positions. it rained every night but they lay motionless in their muddy hole listening to the Japs search for them in the sodden bush. Every morning they would snipe at the enemy caves until they drew heavy fire. Then they would keep low and wait, one man on guard while the other slept. After the ten-day period, during which the two killed twelve Japs, they returned safely to their unit.

    Pfc Langowski is one of the three Langowskis in the service. His brother, PFC Julian, is a rifleman in the infantry and Stanley another brother, is an ambulance driver. Their father lives in Minto. (N. D.)

    Entering the army in June of 1944, Pfc Langowski had his basic gtraining at Camp Fannin, Tex. He left for the Southwest Pacific in December of 1944 and was assigned to the veteran 32nd diviaion. He is now in the mountains bordering the Cagayan Valley on nothern Luzon. His wife lives in Pisek. (N.D.)
    -end of artlice-

    My father returned home safely after serviing a short time in Occupied Japan as a carpenter.

    He continued his career as a master carpenter and retired at the age of 80. He was the proud father of fourteen children.

    • 10.1
      Jeanette Pando says:

      Hello – I have photos my father Frank ( Keaco ) Pando took on Luzon, (Yamaguchi) Honsho Japan. He was with the 128th 32nd Div L Co. I have a picture of the Camp's Entrance with their 128th sign and my dad wrote " Entrance to camp. Former jap officer training camp. G.I. and mp policeman" There are 2 men he must be referencing but faces aren't detectable.

      Also some from Fort Benning GA Aug 1944 Parachute Training Co I 2D Prct Trgn Reg Other men named are Manuel C. Muela & Isidro C. Orozco

      I wish there was a site to upload these to for any soldiers to remember.

      • 10.1.1
        Jaren Brooks says:

        My grandfather served witht he 128th. Would it be possible for me to get a copy of the picture you have of the camps entrance.

  11. 11
    Carolyn Lewis Denson says:

    My father, S Sarg. Roger G. Lewis returned to his co. in late May (32nd, 127th, Co G.) shortly after his comapny was bombed by friendly fire on the Villa Verde Trail. He had been recouperating from Scrub Typhus in New Guinea when he was returned to his company. He stated that he got back and his whole company was gone. All his friends were dead. He rarely talked of the war, but that statemnt was told a few times. Even after 55 years he remembered it. It obviously made a huge impact on him.
    Regarding 2nd LT. Patrinos mentioned in the above history. Lt of Co., G. I talked to him just a few weeks ago. He is alive and well and in his 90's. I feel that a military group should do something for him in acknowledging his service.
    Thank You,
    Carolyn (Lewis) Denson

    • 11.1
      Javier A. Marquez says:

      Yes,I remember that bombing incident very well.We,"F" Company, were positioned on a ridge just to the right of "G" Company and they were in plain view of our positions.A group of planes bombing Jap positions just ahead of our positions had just finished their bomb run when the last plane in formation,for some unknown reason to us, peeled off and droped a bomb squarly on "G" company's position.We were ordered to occupy the area where "G" company had BEEN. I will never forget digging my foxhole and digging up pieces of human flesh.I hope this info helps.

      • 11.1.1
        Carolyn Denson says:

        Hi,
        Thank you for your response. From what Lt. Patrinos told me, F Co. had disappeared from Co G's view. He called down to his commanding officer and was ordered to shoot off a phospherous grenade so the 2 companies could locate each other and keep from shooting each other, by accident. That the bombers only had a short time (gas) to deliver their bombs before landing. That 2 bombs actually landed on them.
        My e-mail address is

        mcthelodge@comcast.net

        and I would be interested in anything else you remember.
        Thank You,
        Carolyn

      • 11.1.2
        Jeanette Pando says:

        Hello Mr Marquez. I'm posting this in case you are interested. I just posted this message above at 10.1 – I have photos my father Frank ( Keaco ) Pando took on Luzon, (Yamaguchi) Honsho Japan. He was with the 128th 32nd Div L Co. I have a picture of the Camp's Entrance with their 128th sign and my dad wrote " Entrance to camp. Former jap officer training camp. G.I. and mp policeman" There are 2 men he must be referencing but faces aren't detectable.

        Also some from Fort Benning GA Aug 1944 Parachute Training Co I 2D Prct Trgn Reg Other men named are Manuel C. Muela & Isidro C. Orozco

      • 11.1.3
        Justin Hendrix says:

        My grandfather Andrew (Andy) Hendrix served with F company. Any chance you knew him? I would appreciate any info or stories you may wish to share. Thank you, and thank you all for your service jhendrix30@gmail.com

    • 11.2
      Joe Camp says:

      Hi– I would like to reboot the discussion about the friendly fire on G Company 127 on 24 April 1945. There was another, similar incident that involved A Company 127 the very next day. If anyone has a copy of H. W. Blakeley handy, there is a notation (pp 237-239) for PFC David Gonzales, who was the eleventh and last Red Arrow man to receive the CMOH. Evidently a US 500 lb bomb from supporting aircraft fell inside American lines and buried five men in a landslide. Shel Dannelly, the A Company C.O., ran over with an e-tool and started digging the men out. PFC Gonzales also grabbed an e-tool and headed that way. They were under enemy small arms fire as well, and Dannelly was shortly hit and killed. Gonzales got three men out before he was also hit and mortally wounded. The other two trapped men were rescued a bit later. I wonder if this was actually the same bombing incident as the one that hit G Company (with date discrepancy caused by not taking the International Date Line into account) or a completely separate one. Would the two units from different Battalions have been intermingled enough to be near one another, or perhaps this was another unfortunate incident only one day later. Thanks for the posts. Joe Camp

      • 11.2.1
        Carolyn Denson says:

        Hello Mr. Camp,
        Rearding the bombing of G Co. 127th on the Villa Verde Trail. I have the morning report and it was on April 26, 1945. The 2 bombings were separate incidents.
        My e-mail is mcthelodge@comcast.net if you have any more questions.
        Carolyn

  12. 12
    Gregory Noller says:

    My uncle, Pvt Felix Herrman of Liebenthal Kansas, was in A Company, 128th. He wrote a story about this fighting on the Trail. He is still alive, and lives in La Crosse, Kansas.

    To all the veterans – thank you for your sacrifice.

    –Courage is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to go on in the face of fear.

    • 12.1
      Daniel says:

      My Grandfather S SGT Ramon Nieto was in the 128th, so might have known your Uncle, my Uncle has pictures as well my email is reldoc0@yahoo.com and Im very interested in your unlce's story on the trail knowing my Grandfather was probably right beside him in battle, contact me so we share info

    • 12.2
      Charlie Nieto says:

      How could i get a copy…

      my dad served in WW2 also 128th- 32nd- red arrow Div.
      buy or ???

      thanks
      Charlie Nieto
      ( Indio Cal.)

      • 12.2.1
        Donald Tagg says:

        Hi Charlie,
        Just saw your e-mail my computer sent to spam. Any way I will get you a copy. Also try e-bay that is where I found a copy. I paid 18 dollars for it.

  13. 13
    GARY BAIN says:

    My father served with the 114th Engineers battalion, Company A. I am preparing a shadow box of his military ribbons. I cannot find any patches for his unit or the 126th infantry that made up the regimental combat team. Can anyone help me? Where to look?

    • 13.1
      sharon reid says:

      I have some – the red arrow division, the luzon campaign

    • 13.2
      Salvador Castro says:

      I was in the 126th regiment. I have a picture of the regimental shield. If you send me your address, i'll send it to you.

      • 13.2.1
        T. Jay Adams says:

        Mr. Castro.. My grandfather, Velbert Moore of Westbrook (near Colorado City), TX was in the 126th. This is a longshot, but I'm trying to piece together what I can of his experience in the war. Any chance you knew or knew of him? Also, since it seems that most Army records were destroyed by fire in St. Louis, is there some way I can figure out what company of the 126th he might have served? Is there any type of Veterans Association for the 126th or 32nd Division? Many thanks for your service and anything you might be able to share.

        T. Jay Adams
        tjay_13@yahoo.com

  14. 14
    Duane Woerpel says:

    My father was with the 32nd band from watertown Wis, guard and later went to OCS. He served in New Guinea with the 126th. He would not talk about his service in those campaigns. He came home a changed person… I would be grateful for any information from people who knew him or about his service. What these brave men went through should never be forgotten. Thank God for every one of them.

    dwoerpel@merr.com

  15. 15
    Wilberto K. Rodrigo says:

    Before i came to America i leave in a small town of san nicolas,pangasinan in the foot of mount caraballo w/ serve the starting point of the in famous Villa verde trail.i heard so much heroic act of the 32nd Red arrow division by my townsmates.Hoping that someday will have a reanacment to know those who liberate us in world war II.

    • 15.1
      Carolyn Denson says:

      My father Roger Lewis befriended many Phillipinos during his time there. In particular a doctor called Irineo Tanwangco. My grandmother stated that he saved my fathers life when he was ill. I have 2 letters of their correspondence and a picture of Dr. Tanwangco and his wife.
      I just wanted to let you know that this American is greatly appreciative of all the help that the Phillipine people gave during WWII.
      Carolyn

  16. 16
    Steven McNeal says:

    My Great Uncle Omar(Scott) Snyder was a SSG in Company M, 3rd Bn, 127th Infantry. He joined them in March 1943, along with a pal, Arthur Sorley. Scott(also known as O.S.) was killed 30 Nov 1944 while supporting an attack by Co.'s I and L, 127th. This happened at a ridge about 1200 Yards south of Limon, Leyte. There were two wounded in this action, PFC Leland Ewer and PFC Ervin Ernst. Looking for info on Omar Snyder and his friend Art Sorley. They both were from Montana.
    They both served in New Guinea also.

    Steve McNeal
    503-580-9088

  17. 17
    Mark says:

    I have trying to track down anyone who knew my uncle. I am looking for copies of pictures and any other information you have about him. Here is the information I have on him:

    127th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division
    Entered the Service from: Washington
    Died: 23-Mar-45
    Buried at: Plot A Row 3 Grave 170
    Manila American Cemetery
    Manila, Philippines

    feel free to contact me at redromad@aol.com

  18. 18
    Michael J. Boes says:

    My father, Warren J. Boes, from Coldwater, MI, was in the 32nd (Red Arrow) Division at the beginning of WWII. I can recall him telling me that he shipped out for Austraila from San Francisco in 1942. I know he was an Alamo Scout, having graduated in the first training class and went on one or two missions (his name and one of his missions mentioned in a book by Lance Zedric about the Scouts) but I don't know much after that. I would appreciate any and all info about him during the rest of the war. He went on to rise to the rank of Sergeant Major and was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantrymans Badge, the Air Medal with cluster, and the Army Commendation Medal with cluster. He also served in Korea with an outfit called the Mosquito Squadron. He died while on active duty at Ft. Devens, MA in November, 1965.

  19. 19
    Wilbert Rodrigo says:

    I am so very delightful to know the heroic act of the Red Arrow Division to liberate my town of San Nicolas,Pangasinan in the Footstep otf the Mount Caraballo the road towards Villa Verde Trail..I never know all of you in the Division but whoever you are now you guys will be always in my mind and heart.Thank you so much for the cause…

  20. 20
    sharon reid says:

    My dad was a medic in the 32nd infantry red arrow division and was on the villa verde trail – later named the red arrow trail. I have pictures of it but I guess you can't post pictures to this blog. I have pictures of other men in his unit which I would be happy to post or send. He only wrote first names for some of the men, or referred to them as "pal". He was deployed from 1942-45 and returned stateside after being wounded. Please let me know if you'd like pictures – I have lots of them.

    • 20.1
      Leslie McGuigan says:

      Sharon -

      I would love to see the pictures. My husbands undle was in the 32nd Division and was killed on March 8, 1945 on the villa verde trail. His name was Lt. John P. Dorigan.
      Thank you.

    • 20.2
      Charlie Nieto says:

      Hi Sharon:
      My father was also in the 32nd infantry red arrow divisionin the Villa Verde Trail. And he was wounded shot twice.. His name was
      Ramon Nieto (Ray)… SSG
      I would love to see the pictures you could E-Mail me or let me know how I could recive them that would be great thanks….

      thank you
      charlie

      My E-Mail is chasfran1@yahoo.com

    • 20.3
      Lynn (Krzmarcik) Kordus says:

      Hi, Sharon, I would greatly appreciate seeing any photos. My email for big files like photos is lmkordus@yahoo.com

      My father served in the 127th/Co. B and later C and was wounded on the Villa Verde Trail. His name was Edward J. Krzmarcik, but everyone called him Fritz. I am working on a manuscript about his experiences in the Southwest Pacific.

      Thank you!

    • 20.4
      Bob Karbrg says:

      I am the nephew of US Army S/Sgt. Gerald Endl, a Congressional Medal of Honor and two Purple Heart recipient. He was with Co. C, 128th Infantry Regiment of the 32nd Division.

      My search is to locate a list for the names of the 11 comrades and second platoon, or their survivors, he saved on 11 July 1944, near Anamo, New Guinea. My objective is to display in a museum exhibit his Medals honorably and to give gratitude to those who have served with or saved and rightfully deserve such a recognition. tas1bo@aol.com

    • 20.5
      Lynn (Krzmarcik) Kordus says:

      Hi, Sharon, are any photos identified with anyone named "Fritz" or "Fritzie"? That was my father's nickname (Edward J. Krzmarcik). Thank you!

    • 20.6
      bob karberg says:

      My uncle US Army S/Sgt. Gerald Endl, was with Co. C, 128th Infantryof the 32nd. Is it possible that you have any photos. Gerald is a MOH and 2-PurpleHeart recipient. He saved 11 comrades and one platoon but was killed that day on 11 July1944. Any information would be greatly appreciated. My address is: Tas1bo@aol.com

    • 20.7
      Ron Michalski says:

      Sharon I would love to see copies of those pictures and the letter you spoke of, my dad Harry Michalski was a Staff Seargenat with the 32nd 127th infantry Company C

    • 20.8
      Steven McNeal says:

      Hi saw your posting about your Dad on the villa verde trail. I have a Great-Uncle who was killed on Leyte with the 32nd division. He was in M company 127th Infantry. I have been searching for photos from Leyte or New Guinea of these units. I was wondering if you still have access to the photos you referenced.
      Thanks for your time
      SteveMcNeal
      503-580-9088
      smcneal1957@yahoo.com

    • 20.9
      Justin Hendrix says:

      Hi Sharon, my grandfather S/SGT Andrew (Andy) Hendrix served with the F company 32nd Red Arrow. I would like to see any pics you may have. My email is jhendrix30@gmail.com Thank you

    • 20.10
      Lynn Kordus says:

      I would love to see those photos as well. My father was in the 127th (Companies B and later C).

    • 20.11
      Jaren Brooks says:

      I would love to see any pictures that you might have. My grandfather served with the 128th.

    • 20.12
      Lesli Durham says:

      My grandfather served in the 32nd infantry Red Arrow division also. I would love to see those pictures. I was on this site researching a ring that my grandfather had made for my grandmother. Gold, with the Red Arrow insignia. Stamped inside P.I. 1945. The red in the arrow is said to be a melted down military toothbrush injected in the ring. I am guessing there are more out there. i would like to know if anyone has or seen one. Thanks!

      • 20.12.1
        Bridget says:

        I have my Dad's ring, it is stamped 10k gold and a K inside of a sideways horseshoestamped inside. Red Arrow insignia either raised or as a separate piece soldered on top of the ring. On the side of the ring there are 3 lines and 2 small scroll like figures.

      • 20.12.2
        Roger Courey says:

        Lesli, I have one of these rings. It was sent to my aunt by my father, 32nd Div, 127th Inf, 2nd Btn, HQ Co., sometime during his deployment, May 42' to Oct 45' It's a small ladies ring which looks silver with the red arrow injected. I can send a picture if you would like.

      • 20.12.3
        Lesli Durham says:

        I would love to see a picture of that ring, mine is gold but they sound the same. durham513@hotmail.com

    • 20.13
      Eric Killen says:

      Bridget, I am in the process of collecting historical photos for a book I am putting together on the history of the Wisconsin National Guard. I live just outside of Madison, WI. I would love to look at the photos you have and possible include some in the book.

      I can provide more details and info if this is of interest.

      regards

      Eric Killen

  21. 21
    Leslie McGuigan says:

    I am trying to track down anybody who knew my husband's uncle John P Dorigan, 32nd div., and may know the circumstances of his death on March 8, 1945 on the Villa Verde Trail.'You may contact me at lesliemcguigs@comcast.net.
    Thank you.

  22. 22
    David W. Morrison says:

    I am looking for anyone who may have served with my Father in WWII. He was in the 128th unit of the 32nd red arrow division and was involved in the invasion of Leate in the Phillipian Islands. Dad was PFC Edward W. Morrison.

    • 22.1
      Charlie Nieto says:

      My father was also in the 128th unit – 32nd red arrow division S/ SGT. Nieto.

    • 22.2
      Kathy Fisher says:

      My Grandfather, Mike McDermott served in the 128th unit C CompNY of the 32nd Red Arrow Division. He is still alive and has his faculities. We just discussed the trail the other day and he told me to look up information on it. I will ask Grandpa if he remembers the name. Also, if anyone is related to someone with the last name Lemus, Hispanic young man from California who died in action, i would like for you to contact me: paul.kathy.fisher@gmail.com

  23. 23
    Barbara Doebley Campion says:

    My father, Eugene J Doebley, served in 32nd Division, 128th Infantry, Company L. He shipped out for Austraila from San Francisco in 1942. He then was sent to New Guinea and the Philippines. He was injured in April 1945 near Baguio by a mortar shell and was sent home. Dad is 92 years old and would love to hear from any of his old buddies.

    • 23.1
      Kathy Fisher says:

      My Grandfather, Mike McDermott, served in the 32nd Division, 128th Infantry, Company C. They may not know one another but Grandpa is 89 and would be interested in visiting. You may reach him via me, his grandaughter at: paul.kathy.fisher@gmail.com.

    • 23.2
      Jeanette Pando says:

      Hi Barbara, My dad took pictures of men in Ft Benning, GA – Paracute Training 1944. I have 3 pictures of men – no names. Could your dad be in these?

    • 23.3
      Jeanette Pando says:

      I didn't search it yet but I just found this site called WWII in Color. Photos can be uploaded. http://www.ww2incolor.com/ I had been here first wishing I could upload to you all and this site may be a great place to see many more from the 32nd Division…???

  24. 24
    David W. Morrison says:

    My Father, Edward Walter Morrison passed away 8years ago. I have an interest in learning more about his service. He never talked about it in the early years but shared with me wnen he was older. He was shot through the throat in April of 1945 in the Phillipean Islands. It was a gun accident and he was shot with a US 45 pistol. He was sent home to die but by the mercy of God lived to raise his seven children of wich I am the youngest.
    Glad your Dad is still with you. Looking for someone who remembers dad.
    Thanks for responding.

  25. 25
    Chris says:

    My Great Uncle Robert Melvin Powell was reported killed at Luzon. My Grandfather (his brother) wore a ring that was sent home with Melvins personal effects. I remember my grandfather wearing this ring everyday of his life. It was a silver ring with the red arrow insignia. Since his passing I have continured to wear his ring. I was wondering if there is anyone that may have a similiar ring or know any history as to wear the soldiers may have obtained it. Also, if anyone has any knowledge of Robert "Melvin" Powell I would certainly be interested. However hopeful, I doubt this will come to pass. According to my Grandfather, Melvin passed without having spent a large amount of time in combat, As he said, a large Georgia boy carrying one of the few BAR's makes a tempting first target.
    if you have any info, please reply to
    tkhuddleston@cox.net
    Thanks,
    Chris

    • 25.1
      Lynn (Krzmarcik) Kordus says:

      Have you found any sources for obtaining a ring with the Red Arrow insignia? I would like to obtain one as my father was 32nd Division, 127th Infantry, Co. B (later C). Thank you!

    • 25.2
      Carolyn Denson says:

      My father had a red arrow ring also. If you go on the genforum WWII site there is a discussion about them. My dad worked in the factories of MI and supposedly made his own ring after the war, but some say they were also made in the field by a fellow. He supposedly used red toothbrushes melted down to create the red of the arrow. My fathers ring was made of white metal with the red arrow insignia in the front with the arrow tip pointing up to his first knuckle. It was a plain ring, but meant a lot to him.
      Carolyn

      • 25.2.1
        Chris says:

        I've read the genforum posts and not sure the ring I have is anything like what was mentioned there. I will take a photo of it and post a link here. Me and My Grandfather wore his ring for so many years the back of the band cracked and I have it put away with the intention of getting it repaired.

      • 25.2.2
        Chris says:

        Pictures of Red Arrow ring sent home with the personal effects from my Great Uncle Robert "Melvin" Powell after being KIA

        https://picasaweb.google.com/115186067539896370999/ScrapbookPhotos?authuser=0&feat=directlink

      • 25.2.3
        Chris says:

        Posted a link to the photos of the Red Arrow ring, however looks like the comment ts stuck awaiting moderation (probably due to posting a link) If you would like the photos emailed to you just let me know.

      • 25.2.4
        joe W. Smith says:

        My dad (Pvt. Joe Herron Smith) had a ring that was silver in color, but he said that a native filipino made it for him out of a red toothbrush handle a piece of wing from a Japanese zero. Unfortunately, a cousin lost it in the 60's.

    • 25.3
      Lesli Durham says:

      I have a ring that is gold with the Red Arrow insignia, stamped P.I. 1945 ingraved Helen from Bob. I am also looking for information about this ring. My Grandfather (Robert Durham) served in the 32nd Red Arrow, I am still researching more info.

      • 25.3.1
        Joe Camp says:

        Re: Red Arrow Rings

        Funny, I bought one of these rings earlier this year, from a militaria collector. It seemed like an orphan alongside all this grandiose Nazi stuff the guy was selling. Being a researcher on the 32nd Infantry, I grabbed it up and paid his asking price, no questions asked, no haggling. I wear it frequently. It does have the red in the arrow, and I never realized it was red plastic melted in. Very neat. I noticed some faint engraving inside one day and looked at it under a microscope (I work in a lab; shhhh). It read consistent with the engraving mentioned one one of the rings here–" Luzon PI 1945". The guy told me who it belonged to previously, he had known him and acquired it from his estate. It is not gold but not aluminum, most likely sterling silver. It is not on my person right now but I will try to post a link to a picture of it in a couple of weeks. This is really a neat forum, glad I found it. JHC

  26. 26
    Vivian Morrow Jones says:

    My uncle, Pvt. James Curtis Morrow was killed by a guard near the 128th command post on Nov. 30, 1944. He was in Co.M, 127th Reg., 32nd Div. I would love to hear from anyone who has information about this friendly fire incident.

  27. 27
    David L. Wiles says:

    My Uncle, Warren R. Wiles, was in the 127th infantry, 32nd. division, Co. L, Red Arrow Division.
    He was awarded the Asiac -Pacific Service Medal
    The Philipine Liberation Ribbon
    and the Cir. 136 WD 45 Lapel Button.
    I would like to know if anybody might remember serving with him and give me more inforamation that I may record more info in my family tree. The only story he ever told me was of hiding in fox holes so close to the japs that he could smell them and hear them.
    He past away on June 9, 2001 in Cherryvale, Kansas.
    Any additional servicce info about him would be greatly appriaciated.
    Thank you and all of our service men and women, God Bless!

  28. 28
    Tommy Fields says:

    My Dad, Carney Fields was in Company "K", 126th Infantry, 32 Div. According to the letters from the war department that was sent to my mother stated that on the11 of April 1945 the enemy laid down an artillery barrage on their positions on Mt Imugan, Villa Verde Trail, Luzon. Carney was hit by Shell fragments and was killed instantly. Even though I was to young when he was killed to have any memory of him. I do enjoy reading the blogs and I will place this web site in my favorites.

    • 28.1
      Jim Harris says:

      My grandfather, Bithel Price was a BAR man in Company K, 126th Infantry. Until recently, my grandpa wouldn't even talk about his service in WWII other than to say that he served in the Philippines or comment about climbing cargo netting with 50lbs of equipment on his back. He isn't one that likes to tell war stories.

      I am a history teacher and I just finished viewing "The Pacific" mini-series from HBO. Today (9/5/2011) I called my grandpa and told him I was doing research. I asked him about his experiences in WWII, which had been a somewhat taboo subject.

      While my 93 year old grandfather did not go into stories of combat, he did tell me that he served in K Company, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division. As a BAR man, he had to carry a 19 lb weapon, 400 rounds of ammunition, 2 canteens, a backpack, and two grenades. He was "up in the hills" of Luzon where the rainfall "cooled you off for about 30 minutes."

      After that, sent to Japan and released from service in 1946. He returned to Oklahoma and farmed for several years.

      • 28.1.1
        Justin Hendrix says:

        Hi Jim, my grandfather Andrew (Andy) Hendrix was also a BAR man with F company. Maybe they knew each other. Please thank your grandfather for me.

      • 28.1.2
        Clark says:

        My father-in-law was a BAR man that went over the "Ghost Mountains" in New Guinea, was wounded at Buna, patched up and sent back. Continued on through Luzon, and varies other islands. Everett Burkhiser from Middletown, Iowa in the 126th, he passed away in March 2009. He farmed his whole life and never talked about the war much. Never had a kind word for MacArthur or the Japanese.

      • 28.1.3
        Michael Hall says:

        My grandfather, Thomas Kirsch, was also a BAR gunner in Company K, 126th Infantry. I wonder if they knew each other.

    • 28.2
      Aunt Ninkie says:

      I knew your dad Personally, he was 5'11" tall, about your size, he could
      dance, played poker, he would grin and show me his cards

  29. 29
    Tommy Fields says:

    My e-mail address is NativeFields@aol.com

  30. 30
    Anthony Opalacz says:

    My Father, Tec Sarge Anthony F Opalacz served with the 1st BN 128TH INF REG from 1942 until 1945. He participated in the campaigns in New Guinea, the Southern Philippines and Luzon. He never spoke of his experiences but they certainly had a profound effect on him.

  31. 31
    Greg McQuibben says:

    Hi, I'm looking for any information about my father, Fred McQuibben, who served in Company "K", 32nd Infantry. He arrived in the APT in June of '45. He wouldn't speak much of the war. His war records were destroyed and all I have are his discharge and separation papers.
    Thank you,
    Greg Mcquibben
    gmcquibben@eagles.nfl.com

  32. 32
    Gail Hogentogler says:

    My father served with Red Arrow 32nd Division, H Company, 127th Infantry, Joseph Hicks. He never talked about the war and suffered from PTSD. He died a year ago, right after he started talking about his experience and memories. Right now I am watching a special on the Korean War on Military Channel…Crying…To all you guys, I didn't know, how terrible..how courageous. Thanks cannot express what I feel for your service.

    Thank you,
    Gail Hogentogler

  33. 33
    Rommel Bundalian says:

    Images of Valle Verde Trail and Sherman tank at Imugan.

    http://360virtualphilippines.blogspot.com/

  34. 34
    Kirk Fry says:

    My grandfather, Woody SItes, was a Tech Sergeant in Company F of the 127th. He died in 1967 when I was only 5, but my grandmother had a scrapbook of his from the 32nd Division.
    My grandfather's brother Dale Sites was killed in New Guinea, and I believe he might also have been in the 32nd.

  35. 35
    Kerry John Morley says:

    My father also served there for 2 + years with the 126 Infantry Company E, Tech Sgt. John H. Morley would love to find out more information on his outfit if anybody out there knows of it.Thank You

    • 35.1
      Tom Schulz says:

      Kerry:

      Was your father from the Big Rapids (or W. Mich) area? Contact me an I may have some info for you.

    • 35.2
      Salvador Castro says:

      H i Kerry,
      I was in Co. E. I joined them at Aitapi on 2 July. I was wounded on Leyte 6 Dec and sent back to the US..

      • 35.2.1
        Justin Hendrix says:

        Any chance you knew my grandfather Andrew (Andy) Hendrix? He was a BAR man with F company. Either way, thank you for your service. Forever grateful. jendrix30@gmail.com

        Justin Hendrix

  36. 36
    Roger Malbuisson says:

    This is a wonderful source of information concerning actions in the M-1 Linguyan Gulf Operations. My father, S/Sgt. Paul Malbuisson, served with the 201st CIC which was a functioning unit with I Corps. I would appreciate hearing from anyone with knowledge of CIC activities on Luzon, especially those regarding the securing of Philippine government silver pesos at or near San Nicolas. You may find http://www.201stCIC.com of interest.
    Thanx.
    Roger Malbuisson

  37. 37
    Will Reynolds says:

    I have a great Uncle Robert Rosenbaum 128th Ifn. Reg. Co. K.
    KIA Papua New Guinea in November 1942.
    Any who may have known this great American Hero who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his fellow countryman, it would be great to hear from you!

  38. 38
    Heather B says:

    My grandfather, John L Akers was a member of the 32 Infantry Red Arrow Division. He recently passed away at the age of 89. He was very proud if his Purple Heart, but did not like to speak of his time spent in WWII. I would love to read some of the articles that some of you are speaking of. Anyone that has any info, would you please send to my email @ hbaumgarner@charter.net. Thank you.

    • 38.1
      Tom Schulz says:

      Heather:

      Send me an email….let me know what unit your grandfather was with, hometown, etc….I may have some data.

      • 38.1.1
        Robert himber says:

        Any inf on Charles brown? He received Purple Heart on ville verda trail He Came out as staff sarg , with 127th he was anti tank unit I have many documents to share ,
        Bob Himber , himbees@ att .net

  39. 39
    Donald Larson says:

    I had an uncle named Raymond Larson from Troy South Dakota that was wounded by a grenade on hill 7, Villa Verde Trail on April 16th and died April 20, 1945. He was attached to Company M, 128th Inf. Regiment 32nd div, And would like correspondence from anyone that served with him or had a relative that knew him.

  40. 40
    Ron Michalski says:

    Sharon,

    My father served with the 127th Infantry Company C and was a Staff Sargeant. I would love to have a copy of that letter.

    Thanks,
    Ron

  41. 41
    Ron Michalski says:

    I have a photo from boot camp of the 127th infantry company C group. I would believe the phot would be from early 1943. Not sure if the entire boot group would have served in the company they trained with but would assume that would be the case.

    That being said if you would like the opportunity to see the photo, it is large (over 3 feet wide) but I think I could do a piece mail scan on it and send. It really is an extraordinary photo to look at, when you look at the innocent faces in the picture and contemplate that these young men (boys) probably had no idea of the hell that lied in from of the.

    • 41.1
      Joe Camp says:

      Ron– Was your dad at Buna, or did he join the 127 later, after they returned to Australia to rebuild the regiment? If he was there at the beginning, you might be interested in some research I am doing on the 32nd during the Papuan campaign. Please scroll down and see my post at entry 49.2. Thanks, Joe C.

  42. 42
    Pat Leslie says:

    My Dad was Rab Leslie (Robert E.) he was in In the Red Arrow 32nd 127 Infantry Company G…life long friend of Lt. Carl Patrinos (my God Father). Dad passed in 2004 …Carl is a great man and I would love to see him honored in any way!!!

    Pat

  43. 43
    Carolyn Denson says:

    Hi Pat,
    My father was also in G Co., 127th, 32nd. Dad must have known your father, as he has his name and address in a little brown book, he brought back from the war. Carl Patrinos stated his best friend, Rab Leslie, was a mortarman when I told him that my dad was one. He told me lots of stories of G Co., many of which include your father. Carl is a great guy and really helped me understand what Dad went through.
    Dad brought home various pics of the men he was with. Most are unnamed. I wonder if one may of been of your father. I have pics of Rab at the reunions when he was older, but no young pic to compare.
    Dad was a gunner in a mortar squad. Do you have any information on mortar squads to help me understand how they worked? I'm not sure what a gunner did?
    My e-mail is:

    mcthelodge@comcast.net

    Thanks,
    Carolyn

    • 43.1
      Pat Leslie says:

      Well if you have any pictures with their shirts off my Dad id the very tanned one! Haha….

      Next time I get together with "Pat" Carl Patrinos…I'll ask a little more about your Dad.

      I know Mortar squads were called in to bail infantry out of trouble…if they were under heavy attack and grenades and guns weren't getting the job done they brought the mortar squads in to lob over the top the explosives to attempt to clear out the trouble ahead…I would think your Dad was responsible for protecting the the soldiers operating the actual mortars since their eyes are on what they are doing rather than the jungle ahead. I'll see what "Pat" says! I have quite a bit of pics and things that might show him??? Do you know what years he was there?

      Pat

      • 43.1.1
        Carolyn Denson says:

        Hi Pat,
        Carl (Pat) has told me all he could about my Dad (Roger "Pappy" Lewis). He remembered him in pictures I sent, but did not know him personally as they were in different platoons. He said the 60mm mortarmen were in 4th platoon. Your Dad being a mortarman probably knew him but since Rab was there from the beginning, my dad would have probably just been a raw recruit to him. My dad came in as a replacement in 1943 to Australia, when the 32nd was at rest after Buna and stayed to Sasebo Japan after the war ended Dec. 1945.
        Funny you mention the shirt and tan. Dad never wore a shirt if he could help it and would tan extremely dark. I always wondered if the Atabrine tan stayed with you forever. His skin always had a yellow hue even in winter.
        Write me at my e-mail address and possibly we could swap some pics.

        mcthelodge@comcast.net
        Carolyn

  44. 44
    Taylor says:

    My Grandfather, Elias Halseide, served in the 127th infantry at Luzon. Would anyone be able to tell me how I could go about finding which platoon he was assigned with?

  45. 45
    Sal Calvagna says:

    My Father, TSgt Salvatore Calvagna served in the 32nd Red Arrow Division and fought on the Villa Verde Trail. I know he was wounded by grenade shrapnel and was awarded the Purple Heart medal. Sadly he passed away in May of 1984.

    Sal

  46. 46
    Teresa White says:

    My father, Raymond C.F. Mueller, of the 32nd Division fought in Manilla and Luzon. He was awarded a Silver Star and a Purple Heart for his service. He enlisted somewhere in Texas (not sure). I think it was Lubbock. His little brother, Otto was shot in the line of duty and was killed. If anyone has any information on my dad, please let me know. He passed away in 1982. My email is teresawtwhite @aol.com.

  47. 47
    Bridget Kirkish says:

    My Dad was in Co K 127th of 32nd in WWII New Guinea
    Battle of Buna and Druinimor river. Bronze star , 2 purple hearts.
    Enlisted in Milwaukee

    • 47.1
      Teresa White says:

      Thanks Bridget,

      I am pretty sure if it were today, he would have been diagnosed with post tramatic stress disorder. Is your dad still alive? I hope he was a normal
      father, not dealing with PTSD. I am trying to find out things about dad so I

      can,help with my daughter's thesis. If there is any thing else you can think of please let me know.

      • 47.1.1
        Bridget Kirkish says:

        Sadly he passed on in 2007 2 weeks shy of his 89th birthday.
        He was quite normal, the only thing that he did "oddly" was he told us never to touch him or shake him to wake him up if he fell asleep on the couch. A few times when we were young kids, we saw him sit up in his sleep and act like he had a rifle and was scopng out the living room. He was a staff sgt and told us some of the story of Buna as younger kids, but as he aged he told me more of the things he saw and what had happened.
        He had dementia in his final months and the short term memory was long gone but he still spoke of Port Morsby and getting his men safely through the jungles. Spoke of the kookabura birds calling in the early am and large snakes.
        I have many photos of his from the war and Australia, his machete and al his medals.
        He was a very good Dad.

    • 47.2
      Bridget Kirkish says:

      His name was Eugene Karth
      My husband's relative Joseph Kirkish was also in the 32nd ww2

      • 47.2.1
        Teresa White says:

        I am presently looking for his medals and any photos , newspaper clippings
        ( he or my mom) may have had. She passed away last Aug, and we are still going through her house. Please excuse my ignorance, but do you know how many 32nd divisions there were? Since my dad and yours were in different places, I can only assume there were many 32nd divisions.

  48. 48
    Teresa White says:

    Bridget,
    I am sorry, I honestly thought there were more than one 32nd divisions.
    I didn't think that when they won the battle, they were moved, or could have been fighting in more than one place at a time

    • 48.1
      Steve McNeal says:

      One could be the 32nd Infantry Regiment, part of the 7th Infantry Division. This happens a lot, confusing the 32nd Regiment with the 32nd Division.

    • 48.2
      Bridget Kirkish says:

      I only know of the 32nd Division(Red Arrow) 127th Infantry CoK
      I It definitely was not 32nd Regiment or 7th Infantry for my Dad

  49. 49
    Bridget Kirkish says:

    He has a book in his Army trunk and it shows photos of all the guys in the different companies(C,K etc)
    It's like a yearbook form the 40's

    • 49.1
      Carolyn says:

      Hi,
      I would be interested in the yearbook you speak of. My father was in 32nd Div. 127th Reg. G Company. What year was the book for? Was it while they were in training in the states? and made up of National Guard units?
      Is there a way you can send a pic of G Company to me at

      mcthelodge@comcast.net

      Thanks,
      Carolyn

      • 49.1.1
        Bridget Kirkish says:

        Hi,

        I will have to get it out from the trunk but I dont have a scanner.
        Let me check the book out this weekend and I can let you know but I think it was fro whne the 32nd was in the States prior to shipping out

      • 49.1.2
        bob himber says:

        hello, is there "E" company or anti tank comp.?
        thanks bob Himber

    • 49.2
      Joe Camp says:

      Hi, I was reading the posts here and wondered if you were able to get more info on the "yearbook" you mentioned for the 127th Regt. 32nd Div. I am writing a manuscript on some Southern officers who wound up at Buna with the 32nd. There is a lot on the 126th, but less on the 127th and 128th. A lot of what I am doing is placing/confirming individuals in certain companies at this time. If this yearbook is from '42 then it would be a big help to me. Thanks, and let me know. Regards, Joe H. Camp, Jr., Ph.D. in South Carolina

      • 49.2.1
        Lynn Kordus says:

        My father was in 127th Infantry Regiment, Company B to begin, then Company C after he received his battlefield commission. I also am working on a manuscript of my father's experiences during WWII and the effect it had on him for the remainder of his life.

        I have a book that lists the members of the Wisconsin and Michigan companies going over as part of the 32nd Division…no pictures, just names.

        Lynn (Krzmarcik) Kordus
        Wausau, Wisconsin USA

      • 49.2.2
        Joe Camp says:

        Hi Lynn- Is that book the one written by Gen. Blakeley and called, 32d Infantry Division in WWII? The one I am thinking of has a red arrow symbol and a palm tree on the cover. A very difficult book to find. Regards, JHC

      • 49.2.3
        Lynn Kordus says:

        Hi, JHC,

        Yes, that is the one I have.

        Lynn

      • 49.2.4
        Joe Camp says:

        If your dad was an officer in Co. C then his Company C.O. was one of the guys I am researching. The C.O.'s name was Fulmer– T. D. Fulmer. Fulmer was a South Carolinian who came in before they left Camp Livingston La. His hometown was right down the road from where I am. His son is still living and has helped me quite a bit over the last year or so. I have some documents regarding C Company 127th if you want to share some rsrch. info offline. Feel free to email me. campjoe@hotmail.com. Nice to meet you. Regards, Joe C.

  50. 50
    Jaren Brooks says:

    My grandfather served with the 128th and arrived shortly before the division left Leyte. His records state that he was with Headquarters company, 128th infantry. Later he served in the Adjutant Generals Office in Japan. If anyone has any information on him it would be greatly appreciated.

  51. 51
    Karuna Gomez says:

    My father, Oliverio Gomez, served in the 32nd in World War II. He is still alive, he is 87 now. Sadly his memory is starting to go.

  52. 52
    Hugh Campbell says:

    My father served with Company B 128th Infantry 32 Division and wrote an amazing book. The only man to fight every battle and come home alive. He wrote a book "Kindling for the Devils Fires" a must read for anyone seeking knowledge of the horrible conditions encountered by the men who fought in the jungles.
    The book can be purchased online, just do a search.
    If you would prefer a signed copy, my Dad is still kicking at 91 years of age would be honored to use his ink pen. My email address is hucampbell@yahoo.com
    God Bless
    Hugh Campbell

  53. 53
    Gary hummelt says:

    My girlfriend was going threw her moms garage and found a book from the 32nd division I believe the book is called 13000 it tells about the 32nd when u open to the first pape there is about 20 people that signed the book the book is only about 30 pages the cover also says combat history of the 32nd inf division world war 2 if some one knows anymore of this book please let me know. Hummelt@sbcglobal.net thanks Gary hummelt

  54. 54
    bob himber says:

    my grandfather charles brown served here also, with 32 division 23rd army corp, 6th army, I have his uniform and scrap book with letters and a letter from a general to him he also earned a purple heart at villa verda I have many dates and storys in his scrap book also
    Himbees@att.net
    bob himber illinois

    • 54.1
      bob himber says:

      on further research ive found he was a staff srg. anti tank squad leader, with the 32nd div. 127th inf. and I belive attached to the "E" company, his purple heart papers has a list of names awarded purple heart from april and may of 45 wounded along villa verde trail

  55. 55
    Scott Cipinko says:

    My father was in the 127th Military Combat Engineers under General Patton. My Father passed away and did not talk about the War. Is there a good book that details the 127th?

  56. 56
    David Smith says:

    Hello all,

    I am trying to find information on my great grandfather Russell William Smith. I Believe he was an engineer with Service Co. 127IN 32 ID. my family doesnt know a whole lot of information so I am trying to put together what I can. Also if anyone has any information on how to find citations of Silver Stars it would be much appreciated. You can reach me at my Email: d.m.smith2003@gmail.com
    Thanks in advance!!!!!

    David Smith
    SPC/USA

  57. 57
    Mark says:

    I am looking for information on anyone that may have heard stories or remembers my uncle he died 23 Mar 1945, his rank and name was SSgt Otis Clevenger assigned to Co E 127 INF.

    Mark

  58. 58
    Larry Farnquist says:

    My uncle, Clarence \Jake\ Wade, served with the Division throughout WWII, from NGrd in Sault Ste Marie, MI, to the La. maneuvers to Australia, New Guinea, Leyte & Luzon and finally rotated home in 1945.
    Trained in Australia as a machine gunner, his life was undoubtedly saved by his Co. CO, who gave him an ultimatum just before they shipped out for New Guinea: \I know you are a musician. You can either transfer as sergeant immediately into the Division Band or I'll bust you to private & you'll go with us into combat.\
    He transferred & was in the Band for the duration. After the war, he got his degree in music & directed HS bands in Port Huron, MI, his entire career. Now 93 & in failing health, until a few yrs ago he was still playing trumpet and active as a soloist.

    • 58.1
      Joe H. Camp,Jr., Ph.D. says:

      Hi Larry–Reading this latest post of yours is very interesting to me. First because I think I know who your uncle's CO was who told him that. The roster that I have shows your uncle in Company "L" 126th Infantry at the time the Division shipped out from San Fran for Australia. That means his CO was Captain Bevin D. Lee, a South Carolinian and one of the guys on whom I am doing research. If you are able to confirm this with your uncle and get back to me, that would be great. I will add this to my manuscript, on Southern Officers with the 32nd at Buna. Second there was another member of the 126th band named "Wally Wakeman," who is also part of my research. Do you think your uncle would remember him? Feel free to email me directly at campjoe@hotmail.com I would really appreciate it. I can fill you in more on what I am working on. Best, Joe H. Camp, Jr., Ph.D.

  59. 59
    Zina Carter Jr says:

    My Father was 1st Lt Zina Carter of the 126th, I am aware of his award, I was wondering if any of the 32nd members remember him.

  60. 60
    Joe Camp says:

    Dear Mr. Carter– Please email me directly, I can help you out.

    campjoe@hotmail.com is my email address.

    I am doing very intensive research on the 126 at Buna. Your dad was in Company M, 3rd Battalion 126th Regt. and was involved in re-supply of the Huggins Roadblock on the Sanananda-Soputa trail.

    Lt. Carter won his commendation there for getting through to the Roadblock with supplies and ammunition, after there had been several unsuccessful attempts by other ration parties over a period of days. Carter is mentioned in the official reports and was also mentioned by correspondent George Weller in an article that appeared in the Chicago Daily News.

    I myself would like to find out more about him from you, because he overlaps quite a bit with the story I am hoping to tell about Southern officers in the Red Arrows. Lt. Carter is listed as being called up from Florida.

    I would like to know also if he stayed on with the 3rd Battalion after Buna, maybe all the way to Luzon, or did he rotate stateside earlier than that on points. Most of 3rd Battalion was hit hard by malaria and other ailments as you may know, so any officer who stayed on after Buna was very lucky.

    I also have a group picture of all 3rd Battalion 126 officers so perhaps you can pick him out of the crowd. Can send it to your email address.

    Looking forward to hearing from you as soon as you can.

    Regards, Joe H. Camp, Jr., Ph.D.

  61. 61
  62. 62
    Dan Byron says:

    My paternal grandfather was killed on the Trail in 1945 as well. That is as much information I have right now. His name was CPL Arthur Stanley Byron. If any veteran has info about his service I would love to know.

    Dan

  63. 63
    Darlene says:

    I would love to see pictures also because I take care of a Man that was also in the 126th 35th div and he is 101 years old and he was injured as I hear head butted with a gun from a Jap and left for dead.
    They told me that is what they would do when they had no more ammo. I found out from the VA that they have record of him having malaria 25 times. He don't talk about the battle too much it just will say is was terrible and he will cry and say he lost a lot of his friends. If anyone from the 126th Inf. 35th div. is still alive I would love to hear from you.

  64. 64
    Scott Sorenson says:

    Dear Pat Leslie,
    I don't know if you remember me, but your father and my father would get together at you house to play cards. I have a picture of your father and my standing next to each other. I think the picture was taken in New Guinea. I also have a picture that Mr. Sipla gave me. I think it is of Company G. Again, I think it was taken in New Guinea. Been trying to get in touch with Pat Patrinos. My father and mother would walk over to his house and sit and talk.
    My father name was Charles Sorenson. My name is Scott Sorenson and my brother name is Greg Sorenson.

  65. 65
    Ed Sobkowiak Jr says:

    My father, Ed Sobkowiak served as Tech Sgt in the 128th. He passed in 2000 and did not speak much of the war…once in a while he would share some memories but not often.

    I have original photos of my fathers platoon and squad leaders with signatures on the back. Not everyone signed…but most did.

    Send me names that could possibly be in this platoon….will gladly share photos.

    Ed

  66. 66
    Ed Sobkowiak Jr says:

    Hi Joe, I am not sure. I have much of his paperwork but no indications of what company…nor did he mention it over the years. It's the only piece missing. I have all the pins, stars, badging, ring, Gill's letter, etc…

    Is there a way to find out?

    Thanks.

    • 66.1
      Bob Karberg says:

      Hi Ed . . . My uncle was SSgt. Gerald Endl of Company 'C'. Does his name appear on any of the photos that you have. I would love to include them in the new MOH exhibit in his honor at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum opening this year on 13 Nov. Bob

      • 66.1.1
        Ed Sobkowiak Jr says:

        Hi Bob…your uncle's name does not appear on the platoon photo but it is missing 4 names.

        Drop me an email at ejsobkowiak@charter.net and I will send you the photo..he may be there…you never know.

        Unfortunately I am not sure which company my father was in.

        Thanks. Ed.

  67. 67
    Joe H Camp Jr says:

    Ed– Does any of the paperwork have the name of his C.O.? Or maybe the name of his Battalion Commander? This could also be in the "Gill letter" if the letter was written about your dad. Thanks JHC

  68. 68
    Ed Sobkowiak Jr says:

    Unfortunately nothing with C.O. or Battalion Commander on it.

  69. 69
    Joe H Camp Jr says:

    Ed–

    OK thanks for checking. I will keep my eyes open in my own research for clues.

    JHC

  70. 70
    barbara ann says:

    My father was in Company L of the 128th. His name is Eugene Doebley. Is he in the picture? Thank you.

    • 70.1
      Ed Sobkowiak Jr says:

      Hi Barbara Ann, don't see your dad's name on the back of the photo but it is missing 4 names. Send me an email to the email address I mentioned above in 66.1.1 and I can send you the photo…you never know.

      Ed.

  71. 71
    Ed Sobkowiak Jr says:

    Thank you Joe Camp Jr for helping me identify my fathers company in the 128th.

    - Edward Sobkowiak TSgt./128th/Co I

  72. 72
    Roger Courey says:

    Mr. Camp,
    My father was with the 127th from Buna on through Luzon and the surrender. He was wounded on Aitape during the Driniumor River battle in late July 1944. Is there a resource for finding details on exactly how he may have been wounded? Also sometime during his deployment, he was lost behind Japanese lines for days and I would assume listed as MIA. Would this source help with these details?

    • 72.1
      Lynn Kordus says:

      Hi, Roger,
      My father also served in the 127th (Buna, Villa Verde, Aitape, and others). What company was your father in? My father served in Co. B first, and then Co. C after he received his battlefield commission.

      Do you have access to the following publications:
      Blakeley's History of the 32nd Division
      Lauer's History of the 127th Infantry Regiment, Wisconsin National Guard in World War II in the Pacific 1940-1945.
      This latter publication I had to actually just make copes of at the historical society in Madison, Wisconsin, as I do not believe it was formally published. They are just typewritten pages.

      • 72.1.1
        Joe H. Camp, Jr. says:

        Lynn– Is there way you might could pdf me a copy of the Lauer history of the 127th in WW2? And- did you ever find out who was the CO of C Company after Capt. Fulmer rotated out? This would have been after Aitape and before Leyte and Luzon. Hope your research is going well. Best, Joe Camp

      • 72.1.2
        Bob Karberg says:

        Lynn . . . My uncle, SSgt. Gerald Endl served in the 128th, Company "C". He lost his life on July 11, 1944 on the front line near Anamo, New Guinea, fighting against General Adachi's fanatical troops. He saved eleven from his troop and another platoon within a very short period in this battle. He died carrying the last in his arms. Both were killed on their return to safety. Is it possible that your father may have been one of the soldiers he saved. Any reference to his name would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your response. Bo

      • 72.1.3
        Roger Courey says:

        Lynn, My father was discharged from the 2nd Btn, HQ Co. I don't know if he spent the entire duration with this unit, I do know he was with the 32nd the entire time. I do have a copy of Blakeley's book, I do not have a copy of Lauer's history. I would be interested in it if available. Is it possible to make a copy or is it too large? I also have a copy of the 32nd unit history from WW I. Interesting reading.

      • 72.1.4
        Lynn Kordus says:

        Hi, Joe…work has been stalled for a time due to other obligations. No, I haven't come up with Fulmer's replacement, but I see in May 1945 that a Col. Murphy was Commanding Officer of the 127th. (Lauer's work, photo reference, Chapter 15).

        The Lauer work is 400+ pages. I have pdfs of it, but some pages are not perfect. I am working on organizing the pdfs and can email when I finish. Send me your email again: lmkordus@gmail.com

    • 72.2
      Bob Karberg says:

      Roger . . .My uncle, SSgt. Gerald Endl served in the 128th, Company "C". He lost his life on July 11, 1944 on the front line near Anamo, New Guinea. He saved eleven from his troop and another platoon of twelve in this battle. Is it possible that one of these men was your father? Bob

      • 72.2.1
        Lynn Kordus says:

        Hi, Bo,
        My father was in the 127th, Company B, then C after receiving his battlefield commission. He spoke very little about his experiences.
        Lynn (Krzmarcik) Kordus

    • 72.3
      Bridget Kirkish says:

      Hi Roger

      My Dad Eugene Karth was also with the 127th Co K in Buna and Drunimoor River Battle as well. I have a photo album of pictures from New Guinea, some are labeled with names.
      I have a few days off next week and could look for your Dad

      • 72.3.1
        Lynn Kordus says:

        Bridget, that would be wonderful!!! His name was Edward (Fritz) Krzmarcik. Thank you so very much!
        Lynn (Krzmarcik) Kordus

      • 72.3.2
        Joe H. Camp, Jr. says:

        Morning Bridget–

        If you get a chance to go through your dad's picture album from Buna etc., can you see if there is a picture or mention of a Lieutenant Ed Greene from K Company 127, who was killed in action at Buna? He was an NC State graduate (1940 or '41). He was one of eight North Carolina reservists furnished to the Red Arrows in early '42; three of those eight did not survive the war, two KIA (Greene being one) at Buna. That would be a big help to me if so. Regards, Joe C. campjoe@hotmail.com

      • 72.3.3
        Roger Courey says:

        Hi Bridget,
        Not sure if dad w0uld be in any of your pics but I would be happy to take a look. Do have the capability to scan them? Also send me your email address and I'll send some of the pics I have.
        Regards,
        Roger

    • 72.4
      Lynn Kordus says:

      Hi, Roger,

      Lauer's material is 400+ pages, which I have copied at the historical society in Madison, Wisconsin. It is typewritten and I have made pdfs of it but some pages are not perfect. I am tryng to organize it by chapter and can send when I finish this. Send me your private email: lmkordus@gmail.com

      Lynn (Krzmarcik) Kordus

  73. 73
    Joe H. Camp, Jr. says:

    Morning Roger– I think you would have to get his "201" file to be able to tell exactly that information. The "201" is the complete personnel folder on a WW2 serviceman. I have never attempted that, but I believe you can request it through the National Archives (online). Be prepared for disappointment because a great number of these records burned in the St. Louis records fire in 1974. But you never know. Good luck. JHC PS–What company was your father in at Buna? campjoe@hotmail.com

  74. 74
    Roger Courey says:

    Joe,
    Thanks for your reply. I sent the answer to your question along with a picture to the email listed as we can't post a picture on this site.
    Roger

  75. 75
    Roger Courey says:

    Bob,
    I am familiar with your uncle. I have a large book published in 1946 on MOH recipients and he is listed with the official description of his award. My dad never mentioned that he was part of this action so cannot confirm your request.
    Roger

    • 75.1
      Bob Karberg says:

      Roger . . . I have the original description of the award. Does it mention anything else or give give reference to? Bob

      • 75.1.1
        Roger Courey says:

        Bob,
        It gives name, rank and place & date. It also states he entered service at Janesville, WI, and was born in Ft. Atkinson, WI. The rest is the description. I can scan it at email if you send me and email address.
        Roger

  76. 76
    Bob Karberg says:

    My email address is tas1bo@aol.com. Thank you in advance for this information. Bob

  77. 77
    joe W. Smith says:

    Does anyone know anything about Joe Herron Smith, my father, who passed away 7-9-1999? I am not sure which company he was with.

    • 77.1
      Roger Courey says:

      Joe, I meant the city he lived in when discharged. Try the county clerks office for that city for help.

  78. 78
    Roger Courey says:

    Joe, do you have a copy of his discharge (form DD 214)? If you don't you may be out of luck with National Archives. However, you can try the county seat of the city where he was discharged. Many times they keep records of veterans.

  79. 79
    juan says:

    Any info on PFC Francisco Olguin Jr. 126 Infantry Regiment 32nd infantry Div-His body was found in 2007 in Papua New Guinea. Any info other than the one provided by the military would be appreciated.

  80. 80
    bridget k says:

    Have you tried checking on line for the local 32nd Division Red Arrow Club?
    We have one in Milwaukee and I know there are many in other states and there are people who can help or you can put a note in their newsletters asking for info on him

  81. 81
    Ed Sobkowiak says:

    Hi Lynn, I have Gen Gill's letter to the 32nd if you are still looking for a copy. Email me at ejsobkowiak@charter.net and I will send it along. My father served in 128th Co I. Thanks.

    Ed Sobkowiak

  82. 82
    Jon Van Bogart says:

    I would like to get a copy of the book \beyond Perl Harbor\ the only thing i can find is a book with this name by: Ron Werneth please contact me: jvb@cleanfuelusa.com

  83. 83
    Joe H. Camp Jr., Ph. D. says:

    I feel I must share with the forum members the sad news of the passing of Jesse M. Coker, Ed. D., last week (26 Nov. 2013), in Arkansas. Dr. Coker was a member of E Company 128th (Captain Thomas E. Bell, Jr., Commanding). Coker joined E Company as a replacement after Buna, going on to participate in the Saidor, Aitape, Leyte, and Luzon campaigns. His battalion (Lt. Col. Herbert M. Smith, Commanding), was at the epicenter of the Drinuimor River fight in July of 1944. At Leyte, his company suffered heavy losses due to enemy action during the advance on the village of Limon. He was also a participant in the \wild goose chase\, as he himself called it, mentioned in the article above when 2nd Bn 128 was detached to advance through \wilderness\ near the Villa Verde Trail. Coker was himself severely wounded on Friday Apr. 13 1945 during the trail action. After Leyte, he was given a battlefield commission and allowed to stay as a platoon leader in his home company, a rare occurrence to stay in the original home unit and allowed only by special permission. His memoir, published in the 1990s, is one of the best first-person accounts of the Red Arrows in action post-Buna. Dr. Coker made it a point to share even the most brutal, harrowing, and heartbreaking experiences of his combat tenure, in the interest that young people would see first hand what war was really about. He made clear that all proceeds from the sale of his book went to an endowed scholarship at the college where he was professor emeritus. He devoted his entire post WW2 life and career to young people and to higher education. Dr. Coker will be sorely missed by all who had the opportunity to meet him over the years. JHC

    • 83.1
      Joe H. Camp Jr., Ph. D. says:

      Correction– That's Herbert A. Smith, who commanded 2nd Bn. 128th; not Herbert M. Smith. JHC

  84. 84
    Roger Courey says:

    Joe, there are a couple of different books on Amazon with that name. Might one be what your looking for?

    • 84.1
      Joe H Camp, Jr., Ph. D. says:

      Hi Roger– Dr. Coker's Book was called My Unforgettable Memories of WW II. I do have a copy and highly recommend it. They do pop up on Amazon and other bookseller sites, and also on the ebay. Jesse Coker was a very good fellow and a pleasure to talk to about his experiences. He did not pull punches, and equally does not in the narrative of this memoir. JHC

  85. 85
    Paul monnin says:

    Did you know Robert Garber in headquarters company….was killed on leyte Dec. 20th 1944

  86. 86
    Terrence Michalski says:

    My late father, Bruno J. Michalski also served with HQ Company, 128th, 32nd all the way from Australia and through to Japan 654 Days of Combat.
    I would appreciate a copy of that letter written by General Gill. I am currently residing in the Philippines on Luzon and intend to visit the Monuments erected in honor of the Red Arrow Division.

  87. 87
    Terrence Michalski says:

    Please make me a copy. My dad was with 128th HQ Co. 32nd Div.
    Bruno J. Michalski.

    Now that I live in the Philippines, I plan to go to the Villa Verde Trail and monuments.

  88. 88
    Terrence Michalski says:

    My late father was,
    Name: BRUNO J. MICHALSKI
    Date of Birth: November 09, 1924
    Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois
    HQ CO 128th INF
    36 907 857
    TEC 5
    Date of Separation: August 28, 1946
    Location of Separation: FT Sheridan, Illinois.

    2633 Lawndale Ave.
    Chicago, Illinois

    Any information or anyone knowing him, I would appreciate an e-mail. I reside in the Philippines now and plan to visit the monuments.

    • 88.1
      Joe Camp says:

      Terrence– Do you know if your dad was at Buna or did he join the 128th as a replacement in Australia after Buna perhaps in '43 or maybe early '44? I could not locate him on the 128th Roster I have, dated April 1942. If he was born in '24 and his serial was 369xxxxxx then chances are he was drafted but he was too young still yet for Buna service. But there were exceptions of course…

      If you can get over to Leyte sometime, you might try to visit "Limon" where a pretty tough engagement involving the 128th took place. Don't know how easy that village is to get to since the typhoon hit.

      I am working on a book manuscript about the Red Arrows. Feel free to email anytime. campjoe@hotmail.com

      Regards,

      Joe Camp

  89. 89
    Bridget Kirkish says:

    Was going through my Dad's Army trunk on Memorial Day and there are a few books in there I didn't really know he had.
    One is called
    Red Arrow Men-Stories about the 32nd Division on the Villa Verde trail by John M Carlisle
    Copyright 1945
    Publisher looks like it might have been Arnold-Powers inc in Detroit
    It is a hardcover book
    Haven't been able to start reading it but wanted to put the info out to you all

    • 89.1
      Joe H. Camp, Jr., Ph. D. says:

      Bridget– yes that is a nice read. I found a copy too last year. It is more of a war journalist's perspective of the combat on the Villa Verde Trail. Mentions a lot of names and hometowns of guys from Wisconsin and Michigan.

      There is a certain book that I would be in your (or anyone's) debt if you had a copy (or if any of the readership had a copy) and would let me borrow it for a few weeks. It is a "yearbook" titled, "127th Infantry, Camp Livingston 1942." A blue binding with a Red Arrow symbol on the front cover. 127th Infantry is also in red. One turned up on an auction two months ago and I missed it. Would like to borrow, digitally scan pages, and return to owner.

      JHC

      • 89.1.1
        Bridget Kirkish says:

        I do have that book

        My Dad left me as the family keeper of the war items.
        I dont have a scanner but would be willing to send it out to you to borrow and return
        It's really nice with all the guys photos and names

      • 89.1.2
        Joe H. Camp, Jr., Ph. D. says:

        Gosh Bridget, that's great. Thanks very much. Please contact me at campjoe@hotmail.com. Best, regards, Joe C.

  90. 90
    Lynn Kordus says:

    Joe: If you find that yearbook, I would be very interested in seeing your scanned work. Thanks!!!

    Lynn (Krzmarcik) Kordus

  91. 91
    Roger Courey says:

    Bridget, I would be interested in seeing a copy also. If you need someone to scan and print a copy I can help. Your original copy would be returned to you.

  92. 92
    Robert himber says:

    Any mention of Charles brown of Chicago from 127th?

  93. 93
    Bob Karberg says:

    My uncle, SSgt. Gerald L. Endl was with Co. C, 128th Infantry Regiment of the 32nd Division. I would greatly appreciate it if you could check the index of the book, Red Arrow Men-Stories about the 32nd Division on the Villa Verde Trail to see if there is any stories or pictures of my uncle. I would greatly appreciate it. Bob K

  94. 94
    Lynn Kordus says:

    Hi, Bridget….I am in Wisconsin (Wausau), and I will be in Milwaukee for the day on Friday, June 6, for the Bead & Button Show.



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