Search Our Catalog

Newly Added Items

WWII US Army Theater Made Bullion 7th Division Shoulder Patch
Item #: MCJ35

Click image to enlarge
WWII US Army theater made 7th Division shoulder sleeve insignia in bullion. Insignia is in mint condition and exquisitely executed and certainly made in Japan during the Occupation.

World War II
World War II organization

On 1 July 1940, the 7th Division was formally reactivated at Camp Ord, California, under the command of Major General Joseph W. Stilwell. Most of the early troops in the division were conscripted as a part of the US Army's first peacetime military draft. The 7th Division was assigned to III Corps of the Fourth United States Army, and transferred to Longview, Washington, in August 1941 to participate in tactical maneuvers. Following this training, the division moved back to Fort Ord, California, where it was located when the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor caused the United States to declare war. The formation proceeded almost immediately to San Jose, California, arriving 11 December 1941 to help protect the west coast and allay civilian fears of invasion. The 53rd Infantry Regiment was removed from the 7th Division and replaced with the 159th Infantry Regiment, newly deployed from the California Army National Guard. For the early parts of the war, the division participated mainly in construction and training roles. Subordinate units also practiced boat loading at the Monterey Wharf and amphibious assault techniques at the Salinas River in California. On 9 April 1942, the division was formally redesignated as the 7th Motorized Division and transferred to Camp San Luis Obispo on 24 April 1942. Three months later, divisional training commenced in the Mojave Desert in preparation for its planned deployment to the African theater. It was again designated the 7th Infantry Division on 1 January 1943, when the motorized equipment was removed from the unit and it became a light infantry division once more, as the Army eliminated the motorized division concept fearing it would be logistically difficult and that the troops were no longer needed in North Africa. The 7th Infantry Division began rigorous amphibious assault training under US Marines from the Fleet Marine Force, before being deployed to fight in the Pacific theater instead of Africa. USMC General Holland Smith oversaw the unit's training.
Aleutian Islands Campaign
Elements of the 7th Infantry Division first saw combat in the amphibious assault on Attu Island, the western-most Japanese entrenchment in the Aleutian islands chain of Alaska. Elements landed on 11 May 1943, spearheaded by the 17th Infantry Regiment. The initial landings were unopposed, but Japanese forces mounted a counteroffensive the next day, and the 7th Infantry Division fought an intense battle over the tundra against strong Japanese resistance. The division was hampered by its inexperience and poor weather and terrain conditions, but was eventually able to coordinate an effective attack. The fight for the island culminated in a battle at Chichagof Harbor, when the division destroyed all Japanese resistance on the island on 29 May, after a suicidal Japanese bayonet charge. During its first fight of the war, 549 soldiers of the division were killed, while killing 2,351 Japanese and taking 28 prisoners. After American forces secured the island chain, the 159th Infantry Regiment was ordered to stay, and the 184th Infantry Regiment took its place as the 7th Division's third infantry regiment. The 184th Infantry remained with the division until the end of the war. The 159th Infantry Regiment stayed on the island for some time longer until returning to the Lower 48, where it remained until the end of the war.  American forces then began preparing to move against nearby Kiska island, termed Operation Cottage, the final fight in the Aleutian Islands Campaign. In August 1943, elements of the 7th Infantry Division took part in an amphibious assault on Kiska with a brigade from the 6th Canadian Infantry Division, only to find the island deserted by the Japanese. It was later discovered that the Japanese had withdrawn their 5,000-soldier garrison during the night of 28 July, under cover of fog.
Marshall Islands
Operation Flintlock:

After the campaign, the division moved to Hawaii where it trained in new amphibious assault techniques on the island of Maui, before returning to Schofield Barracks on Oahu for brief leave. It was reassigned to V Amphibious Corps, a US Marine Corps command. The division left Pearl Harbor on 22 January 1944, for an offensive on Japanese territory. On 30 January 1944, the division landed on islands in the Kwajalein Atoll in conjunction with the 4th Marine Division, code named Operation Flintlock. The 7th Division landed on the namesake island while the 4th Marine Division forces struck the outlying islands of Roi and Namur. The division made landfall on the western beaches of the island at 09:30 on 1 February. It advanced halfway through the island by nightfall the next day, and reached the eastern shore at 1335 hours on 4 February, having wrested the island from the Japanese. The victory put V Amphibious Corps in control of all 47 islands in the atoll. The 7th Infantry Division suffered 176 killed and 767 wounded. On 7 February, the division departed the atoll and returned to Schofield Barracks. Elements took part in the capture of Engebi in the Eniwetok Atoll on 18 February 1944, code named Operation Catchpole. Because of the speed and success of the attack on Kwajalein, the attack was undertaken several months ahead of schedule. After a week of fighting, the division secured the islands of the atoll. The division then returned to Hawaii to continue training. There, in June 1944, General Douglas MacArthur and President Franklin Roosevelt personally reviewed the division.
Leyte
Invasion of Leyte Map, October 1944.

The 7th Infantry Division left Hawaii on 11 October, heading for Leyte and include the Filipino troops of the Philippine Commonwealth Army and Philippine Constabulary were aided against the Japanese. At this time it was under the command of XXIV Corps of the Sixth United States Army. On 20 October 1944, the division made an assault landing at Dulag, Leyte, initially only encountering light resistance. Following a defeat at sea on 26 October, the Japanese launched a large, uncoordinated counteroffensive on the Sixth Army. After heavy fighting, the 184th Infantry secured airstrips at Dulag, while the 17th Infantry secured San Pablo, and the 32nd Infantry took Buri. The 17th Infantry troops moved north to take Dagami on 29 October, in intense jungle warfare that produced high casualties. The division then shifted to the west coast of Leyte on 25 November and attacked north toward Ormoc, securing Valencia on 25 December. An amphibious landing by the 77th Infantry Division effected the capture of Ormoc on 31 December 1944. The 7th Infantry Division joined in the occupation of the city, and engaged the 26th Japanese Infantry Division, which had been holding up the advance of the 11th Airborne Division. The 7th Division's attack was successful in allowing the 11th Airborne Division to move through however, Japanese forces proved difficult to drive out of the area. As such, operations to secure Leyte continued until early February 1945. Afterward, the division began training for an invasion of the Ryukyu island chain throughout March 1945. It was relieved from the Sixth Army and the Philippine Commonwealth military, which went on to attack Luzon.
Okinawa:
The division was reassigned to XXIV Corps, Tenth United States Army, a newly formed command, and began preparations for the assault on Okinawa. The Battle of Okinawa began on 1 April 1945, L-Day, when the 7th Infantry Division participated in an assault landing south of Hagushi, Okinawa alongside the 96th Infantry Division, and the 1st, and 6th Marine Divisions. of III Amphibious Corps. These divisions spearheaded an assault that would eventually land 250,000 men ashore. The 7th Division quickly moved to Kadena, taking its airfield, and drove from the west to the east coast of the island on the first day. The division then moved south, encountering stiff resistance from fortifications at Shuri a few days later. The Japanese had moved 90 tanks, much of their artillery, and heavy weapons away from the beaches and into this region. Eventually, XXIV Corps destroyed the defenses after a 51-day battle in the hills of southern Okinawa, which was complicated by harsh weather and terrain. During the operation, the division was bombarded with tens of thousands of rounds of field artillery fire, encountering Japanese armed with spears as it continued its fight across the island. Japanese also fought using irregular warfare techniques, relying on hidden cave systems, snipers, and small-unit ambushes to delay the advancing 7th Infantry Division. After the fight, the division began capturing large numbers of Japanese prisoners for the first time in the war, due to low morale, high casualties, and poor equipment. It fought for five continuous days to secure areas around the Nakagusuku Wan and Skyline Ridge. The division also secured Hill 178 in the fighting. It then moved to Kochi Ridge, securing it after a two-week battle. After 39 days of continuous fighting, the 7th Infantry Division was sent into reserve, having suffered heavy casualties. After the 96th Infantry Division secured Conical Hill, the 7th Infantry Division returned to the line. It pushed into positions on the southern Ozato Mura hills, where Japanese resistance was heaviest. It was placed on the extreme left flank of the Tenth Army, taking the Ghinen peninsula, Sashiki, and Hanagusuku, fending off a series of Japanese counterattacks. Despite heavy Japanese resistance and prolonged bad weather, the division continued its advance until 21 June 1945, when the battle ended, having seen 82 days of combat. The island and surrendering troops were secured by the next day. During the Battle of Okinawa, the soldiers of the 7th Infantry Division killed between 25,000 and 28,000 Japanese soldiers and took 4,584 prisoners. Balanced against this, the 7th Division suffered 2,340 killed and 6,872 wounded for a total of 9,212 battle casualties during 208 days of combat. The division was slated to participate in Operation Downfall as a part of XXIV Corps under the First United States Army, but these plans were scrapped after the Japanese surrendered following the use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
World War II casualties
Total battle casualties: 9,212
Killed in action: 1,948
Wounded in action: 7,258
Missing in action: 4
Prisoner of war: 2
During World War II, soldiers of the 7th Infantry Division were awarded three Medals of Honor, 26 Distinguished Service Crosses, one Distinguished Service Medal, 982 Silver Star Medals, 33 Legion of Merit Medals, 50 Soldier's Medals, 3,853 Bronze Star Medals, and 178 Air Medals. The division received four campaign streamers and a Philippine Presidential Unit Citation during the war. The three Medals of Honor were awarded to Leonard C. Brostrom, John F. Thorson, and Joe P. Martinez.
Occupation of Japan:
A few days after V-J Day, the division moved to Korea to accept the surrender of the Japanese Army in South Korea. After the war, the division served as an occupation force in Korea and Japan. Seven thousand, five hundred members of the unit returned to the United States, and the 184th Infantry Regiment was reassigned to the California Army National Guard, cutting the division to half its combat strength. To replace it, the 31st Infantry Regiment was assigned to the division. The 7th Infantry Division remained on occupation duty in Korea patrolling the 38th parallel until 1948, when it was reassigned to occupation duty in Japan, in charge of northern Honshū and all of Hokkaido. During this time, the US Army underwent a drastic reduction in size. At the end of World War II, it contained 89 divisions, but by 1950, the 7th Infantry Division was one of only 10 active divisions in the force. It was one of four understrength divisions on occupation duty in Japan alongside the 1st Cavalry Division, 24th Infantry Division, and 25th Infantry Division, all under control of the Eighth United States Army.
Price: $100.00 USD (Sale Pending)

WWII US Army 508th Airborne Felt Pocket Patch PIR
Item #: MCJ34

Click image to enlarge
WWII US Army 508th pocket patch on felt from the 508th parachute infantry regiment. This direct embroidered on felt insignia is in excellent condition.

World War II
The 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment was activated during World War II on 20 October 1942 at Camp Blanding, Florida. Lieutenant Colonel Roy E. Lindquist formed the unit and remained its commander throughout the war.
After extensive training and maneuvers the 508th embarked on 19 December 1943 in New York City, New York and sailed on 28 December 1943 for Belfast, Northern Ireland, arriving there on 8 January 1944. After additional training at Cromore Estate in Portstewart, the regiment was moved by ship to Glasgow in Scotland and by train on 13 March 1944 to Wollaton Park in Nottinghamshire, England, where they became part of the veteran 82nd "All American" Airborne Division, commanded by Major General Matthew Ridgway, which had seen distinguished service in Sicily and Italy. A sister unit, the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment (later to become attached to the 17th Airborne Division), who were part of the 2nd Airborne Brigade with the 508th, were camped less than ten miles away at a former country hotel called Tollerton Hall, Nottinghamshire. During training in England Brigadier General James M. Gavin, the Assistant Division Commander (ADC), was particularly impressed with the regiment, noting that the 508th "looks as good as any new outfit that I have ever seen, if they cannot do it, it cannot be done by green troops." The 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment participated in Operation Overlord, jumping into Normandy at 2:15 a.m. on 6 June 1944. Their immediate objectives were to capture Sainte-Mère-Église, secure crossings at the Merderet River near La Fiere and Chef-du-Pont, and establish a defensive line north from Neuville-au-Plain to Breuzeville-au-Plain. There they were to tie in with the 502nd Parachute Infantry, of Major General Maxwell Taylor's 101st Airborne Division. Like most paratroop units involved in Overlord, the 508th were dropped in the wrong locations and had extraordinary difficulty linking up with each other. During the assault on June 6, a platoon leader of the 508th, First Lieutenant Robert Mathias, of Company E of the 2nd Battalion, was the first American officer killed by German fire on D-Day. Portions of the 508th regrouped and remained in contact with German forces until relieved on 7 July when they became the divisional reserve force. On 13 July, they were transported back to England in two LSTs and returned to their station at Wollaton Park. Of the 2,056 paratroopers of the regiment who participated in the D-Day landings, only 995 returned. The 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment had, by this time, suffered 1,061 casualties, out of an initial strength on D-Day of 2,056. 307 had paid the ultimate price, including the Commanding Officer (CO) of the 1st Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Herbert F. Batchellor, the highest-ranking officer to lose his life in the regiment. For its gallantry and combat action during the first three days of fighting, the unit was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation (later re-designated as the Presidential Unit Citation), quoted in part below: 
"The 508th Parachute Infantry is cited for outstanding performance of duty in action against the enemy between 6 and 9 June 1944, during the invasion of France. The Regiment landed by parachute shortly after 0200 hours, 6 June 1944. Intense antiaircraft and machine-gun fire was directed against the approaching planes and parachutist drops. Enemy mobile antiairborne landing groups immediately engaged assembled elements of the Regiment and reinforced their opposition with heavily supported reserve units. Elements of the Regiment seized Hill 30, in the wedge between the Merderet and Douve Rivers, and fought vastly superior enemy forces for three days. From this position, they continually threatened German units moving in from the west, as well as the enemy forces opposing the crossing of our troops over the Merderet near La Fiere and Chef-du-Pont. They likewise denied the enemy opportunity to throw reinforcements to the east where they could oppose the beach landings. The troops on Hill 30 finally broke through to join the airborne troops at the bridgehead west of La Fiere on 9 June 1944. They had repelled continuous attacks from infantry, tanks, mortars, and artillery for more than 60 hours without resupply. Other elements of the 508th Parachute Infantry fought courageously in the bitter fighting west of the Merderet River and in winning the bridgeheads across that river at La Fiere and Chef-du- Pont. The regiment secured its objectives through heroic determination and initiative. Every member performed his duties with exemplary aggressiveness and superior skill. The courage and devotion to duty shown by members of the 508th Parachute Infantry are worthy of emulation and reflect the highest traditions of the Army of the United States." After their success in Normandy, the 508th PIR returned to its billet at Wollaton Park and prepared for its part in Operation Market Garden, jumping on 17 September 1944. The regiment established and maintained a defensive position over 12,000 yards (11,000 m) in length, with German troops on three sides of their position. They seized a key bridge and prevented its destruction. Other units prevented the demolition of the Waal river Bridge at Nijmegen. The regiment additionally seized, occupied, organized and defended the Berg en Dal hill mass, terrain which controlled the Groesbeek-Nijmegen area. They cut Highway K, preventing the movement of enemy reserves, or escape of enemy along this important international route. After being relieved in the Netherlands, they continued fighting the Germans in the longest-running battle on German soil ever fought by the U.S. Army, then crossing the border into Belgium. The 508th later played a major part in the Battle of the Bulge in late December 1944, during which they screened the withdrawal of some 20,000 troops from St. Vith and defended their positions against the German Panzer divisions. They also participated in the assault led by the 2nd Ranger Battalion to capture (successfully) Hill 400. The regiment saw little further service in the war and in April 1945 were detached from command of the 82nd Airborne Division, coming under direct control of the First Allied Airborne Army. Lindquist, now a full colonel, relinquished command of the regiment to Lieutenant Colonel Otho Holmes in December, 1945. The 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment returned to the United States soon after, settling at Camp Milner, New Jersey and was inactivated on 25 November 1946.
Individual awards
The following awards were received by individuals.
Medal of Honor:1 (First Sergeant Leonard A. Funk, Jr.)
Distinguished Service Cross:14
Silver Star:111
Bronze Star:341
Legion of Merit:3
Soldier's Medal:7

Shipping Weight: 0.6 lb
Your Price $175.00 USD

Pre WWII US Army 45th Division Felt on Felt Shoulder Sleeve Patch
Item #: MCJ33

Click image to enlarge
Beautiful Pre WWII 45th Division shoulder sleeve  insignia of the 45th Division. Patch is a felt on felt variety and in near mint condition.
The 45th Infantry Division was an infantry division of the United States Army, part of the Oklahoma Army National Guard, from 1920 to 1968. Headquartered mostly in Oklahoma City, the guardsmen fought in both World War II and the Korean War. The 45th Infantry Division guardsmen saw no major action until they became one of the first National Guard units activated in World War II in 1941. They took part in intense fighting during the invasion of Sicily and the attack on Salerno in the 1943 Italian Campaign. Slowly advancing through Italy, they fought in Anzio and the Beachhead breakout to the liberation of Rome. After landing in France during Operation Dragoon, they joined the 1945 drive into Germany that ended the War in Europe.
Shipping Weight: 0.6 lb
Your Price $90.00 USD

Additional Pages
[Previous Page]  1  2