“Jack” John Hopper Gabbott
Born: 16 June 1909
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co, Utah
Died: 3 January 1991
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., Utah
Burial: 7 January 1991
Murray City Cemetery,
Salt Lake Co., Utah
Early 1944 John H. Gabbott, “Jack” as he known by friends
and family, worked in the automotive industry and became a
very proficient auto body repairman. He was married (1933)
with two lovely daughters.
During 1944 WWII was a major item of everyday conversation.
Jack Gabbott was 35 years old and well beyond draft age.
However, he decided he had enough; he was going to help, so on
11 April 1944 Jack was inducted in the U.S. Army. At his age he
said the youngsters soon started calling him “Pops” Most young recruits were 16 to early
20’s years old.
Typical early 1944 New Headlines
Jan 10th - British troops conquer Maungdaw, Burma
Jan 16th - Gen Eisenhower took command of Allied Invasion Force in London
Jan 20th - RAF drops 2300 ton bombs on Berlin
Jan 21st - 447 German bombers attack London
Jan 21st - 649 British bombers attack Magdeburg
Jan 22nd - Allied forces begin landing at Anzio Italy
Jan 24th - Allied troops occupy Nettuno Italy
Jan 27th - Leningrad liberated from Germany in 880 days with 600,000 killed
Jan 30th - US invades Majuro, Marshall Islands
Jan 30th - United States troops land on Majuro
Feb 2nd - 4th US marine division conquerors Roi, Marshall Islands
Feb 2nd - Allied troops 1st set foot on Japanese territory
Mar 22nd - 600+ 8th Air Force bombers attack Berlin
Jack served with the 32nd
Infantry Division, 121st
Field Artillery, Battery C. After WWII
ended he returned to his family and previous profession. He seldom spoke of his time in
the U.S. Army. The following provides some glimpse for posterity of this time in his life.
John Hooper Gabbott, age 81, loving husband, died January 3, 1991.
He was born June 26, 1909, in Salt Lake City, Utah. On June 10, 1933, he married Ruth E.
Anderson in Murray, Utah. Their marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake LDS Temple.
Jack was a veteran of World War II, serving in the Army and was a High Priest in the
LDS Church. A "Jack-of-All-Trades" he was a skillful and giving man, always ready to
help benefiting both family and friends.
He was a good and loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Survivors: wife, two
daughters, ten grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren and seven sisters and brother.
“Jack” John Hooper Gabbott
1- April 11, 1944 - Join Army
Report to Camp Roberts, Calif. - 17 Weeks Training
2- Late Aug. 1944 - completes Training
3- Leave to Visit Home, Busy Work On Base.
4- Dec. 2, 1944 - Depart U.S.A From San Franciso, Calif,
5- Dec. 23, 1944 - Arrive in So. Pacific.
Participated in Leyte, Philippine Island Fighting.
6- Jan, 30, 1945 to Aug. 15, 1945 -
Fighting in Luzon, Phillipine Islands
7- March 26, 1945 – PROMOTED To Private First Class
8- May 24, 1945 - Purple Heart for Wounds in Battle
9- Aug. 22, 1945 – PROMOTED To Tech 5
10- Nov. 16, 1945 – PROMOTED To Tech. 4
11- Nov or Early Dec. 1945 - Departs for U.S.A
12- 20 Jan. 1946 - Honorable Discharge
John “Jack” H. Gabbott assigned to:
Battery C, 121st
Infantry Division – “RED ARROW DIVISION”
32nd Infantry Division, 121st Field Artillery Battalion – Battery C - 75 mm howitzers
On February 1, 1942, the 32nd Division was converted from "square" configuration to "triangular" and
redesignated as the 32nd Infantry Division. Under the Division reorganization, the 121st Field
Artillery Regiment was divided. The 1st Battalion was redesignated as the 121st Field Artillery
Battalion and the 2nd Battalion became the 173rd Field Artillery Regiment. The 121st Field Artillery
Battalion, as designated on February 1, 1942, distinguished itself in the Pacific Theatre of
Operations. Its honors were: Aitape, Biak, Leyte, Luzon and New Guinea (with Saidor Arrowhead).
Early in 1943 the 121st Field Artillery Battalion was issued 75 mm howitzers in place of the
155 mm howitzers that were its normal weapons as the general support battalion of Division Artillery
“Red Arrow” Infantry Division
On 15 October 1940, the 32nd Division, Wisconsin and Michigan National Guard, was again
called to Active Duty.
In August and September of 1941, the 32nd Division participated in the 'Louisiana Maneuvers,'
the greatest peacetime maneuver in the history of the United States Army.
On 22 April 1942, the 32nd Division sailed from San Francisco, bound for the war in the South
Pacific. They arrived in Port Adelaide, South Australia on 14 May 1942.
On 15 September 1942 the first elements of the Division were flown from Australia to Port
Moresby, New Guinea.
The 32nd Division was the first U.S. Division to fight an offensive action against the Japanese in
the Southwest Pacific. The Division fought in six major engagements in four Campaigns involving
654 days of combat, more than any other American Division. Many firsts were accredited to the
32nd “Red Arrow” Division. Eleven Medals of Honor, 157 Distinguished Service Crosses, 49
Legion of Merit, 845 Silver Stars, 1854 Bronze Stars, 98 Air Medals, 78 Soldiers Medals and
11,500 Purple Hearts were awarded its heroes.
On 2 September 1945 General Tomoyuki Yamashita, Highest Commander of the Imperial
Japanese Army in the Philippines, surrendered to the 32nd Infantry Division on Luzon.
On 4 September 1945, an advance detachment of the 32nd Division (1st Battalion, 127th Infantry)
was flown to Kyushu (southern most of the four main Japanese islands) for occupation duty, only 5
days behind the earliest troop landings anywhere in Japan. The remainder of the Division arrived in
Japan by 14 October 1945.
The 32nd Division was inactivated at Fukuoka, Japan on 28 February 1946.
On 8 November 1946 the Division was again Federally recognized as the 32nd Infantry Division,
Wisconsin National Guard.
Highlights of the
32nd Infantry Division
"The Red Arrow"
in World War II
654 days of combat (15,696 hours) - more than any U.S. division in any war.
This represents 48% of the total time the U.S. was in World War II.
41 months overseas, over 21 of them spent in combat.
6 major engagements in 4 campaigns.
Decorations and Awards
11 Medals of Honor
157 Distinguished Service Crosses
845 Silver Stars
49 Legion of Merit
78 Soldiers Medals
1,854 Bronze Stars
11,500 Purple Hearts
98 Air Medals
1- First U.S. Division to fight an offensive action against the Japanese in the
Southwest Pacific (Papuan Campaign).
2- First U.S. Division to be airborne into combat (Papuan Campaign).
3- First U.S. Division to make a beach landing in New Guinea Campaign (Saidor).
4- First to employ General MacArthur's by-pass strategy.
5- First U.S. Division to embark for overseas service in one convoy after 7 Dec. 1941.
6- First to simultaneously supply 11 battalions in combat in one action completely by
7- First to supply four infantry battalions for two days from artillery liaison "Cub"
8- First to publish an American servicemen's letterpress newspaper in the Southwest
9- First to go into action at the foot of "the road back," was still fighting when the
"cease fire" order came on 15 August 1945.
10- Elements of the 32nd Division were also among the first American occupation troops
to land in Japan.
World War II Campaigns of the 32nd “Red Arrow” Division
Campaigns Dates Days
Buna 20 Sep. 42 – 22 Jan. 43 117
2 Jan. 44 – 29 Apr. 44
22 Apr. 44 – 25 Aug. 44
15 Sep. 44 – 10 Nov. 44
Leyte 16 Nov. 44 – 2 Jan. 45 47
Villa Verde Trail
30 Jan. 45 – 28 May 45
29 May 45 – 15 Aug. 45
Less 7 days overlapping when the Division was in
combat at both Saidor and Aitape.
- 7 days
Grand Total: 654
The 32nd Infantry Division
End of Leyte Campaign
Dec 1944 - Jan 1945
Less than two months before, Yamashita had sent to his troops a message which carried all the tremendous
prestige and authority of an Imperial Rescript: “The Army has received the following order from His Majesty,
the Emperor: ‘Enemy ground forces will be destroyed.’” Fighting literally to the death, the Japanese could no
longer carry out the orders of their Emperor. The fanatic courage with which they tried is testified by the
enemy’s casualty totals for the Leyte Campaign: 56,263 killed, 392 captured.
Troops of the 127th
Div., look over burning Japanese tanks knocked out by
American tanks north of Lonoy, Leyte, P.I. on 22 December 1944.
On 22 December, General Gill issued General Orders 104, Headquarters, 32nd Infantry Division:
Today the “Red Arrow” Division successfully completed its primary mission of forcing a passage through
the mountains from Pinamopoan to the Ormoc Valley. After 36 days of the bitterest hand-to-hand fighting
yet experienced in this war the Division has annihilated the 1st Imperial Division (reinforced), and by this
determined action has shortened the completion of the Leyte Campaign.
With all of Highway No. 2 now in American hands, an X Corps order shifted the direction of advance of the
32nd Division westward toward the coast.
Dec. 23, 1944 “Jack” John H. Gabbott Arrives.
The 128th Infantry, which had been busily engaged in searching the Limon area and eliminating bypassed
pockets of enemy troops, started patrols west on 23 December. And on 24 December, the 127th and 128th
started toward the coast at 0800. Fortunately, enemy resistance was scattered and ineffective for the terrain itself
was almost enough to stop the advance. Supply, which had been a major problem throughout the campaign, was
now nearly impossible. Rations were soon low or completely gone. It wasn’t a question of Christmas dinner but
rather would they eat at all? The problem was solved largely by the use of the artillery’s “grasshoppers” – the
little observation planes that were certainly never designed as cargo carriers. Although their drops were
understandably not always accurate, the planes did get enough supplies to the doughboys to enable them to push
through to the coast.
Carrying 50 lb. loads, the tiny planes shuttled from the airstrip to the advancing troops. They swept low over the
trees to drop the supply cases, and then returned to pick up another load. Shoes, leggins, clothing, food,
ammunition, radio batteries, atribrine and all the other items needed on the march made up the cargoes. For two
consecutive days the four battalions were completely supplied by this method. It was the largest operation of
this kind ever successfully attempted in any theater.
On 29 December, both regiments reached their objectives: The 127th, the high ground overlooking Antipolo
Point; The 128th, the vicinity of Compopo and Tabango Bays. Patrols were sent out which made contact with
the 24th Infantry Division on the north and the 1st Cavalry Division to the south.
This terminated for the 32nd Division a campaign which had, in General Krueger’s words, “made inordinate
demands upon the troops,” but there was little time available for rest, rehabilitation, and training. Sixth Army’s
next objective was Luzon, and the 32nd had its place in Krueger’s plans. The first step was the assembly of the
Division in the Carigara-Pinamopoan area along the shores of Carigara Bay.
The Leyte Campaign appears to have marked for the 32nd Division its emergence from a sometimes
bewildered and often scattered group of units into an integrated division capable of smooth teamplay.
The service units of the 32nd Division now had about three weeks in which to get the weapons, transportation,
communications equipment, medical supplies, clothing, and personal equipment ready for another extensive
The 732nd Ordnance Company in particular had to meet extraordinarily heavy demands. The Leyte Campaign
had been hard on weapons, vehicles and instruments. Inspections showed that about 10% of the Division’s
motor transport was now unserviceable and would have to be salvaged. Thirty crated 2 ½ ton trucks had to be
assembled, serviced and delivered to Division units. Hundreds of repair jobs were accomplished by mechanics
who worked almost around the clock. When loading began in preparation for the sailing of the Division convoy
set for 24 January 1945, the Division’s arms and equipment were not perfect or complete, but they were
Luzon Campaign - The Villa Verde Trail
Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines and is the northern most of the main islands in the archipelago. It is
about 500 miles long and is over 40,000 square miles in area. The largest mountain ranges in the Philippines are
located on Luzon, the highest peak rises over 9,600 feet, and the mountains generally extend the length of the
During the initial planning for the Luzon campaign, the Allies estimated that the Japanese forces on Luzon
numbered some 150,000, the majority of which (110,000) were believed to be combat troops. The Allies
believed that these forces, ably commanded by General Yamishita, would put up determined opposition.
However, during the final planning for the assault of Luzon, the estimate of Japanese strength on the island was
increased to 235,000 troops. As a result, the 32D
Infantry Division (plus the 1ST
Cavalry Division, 112TH
Cavalry RCT, and 3 additional Infantry divisions) was added to the Sixth Army order of battle.
The arrival of the 32D
on the Lingayen beaches was scheduled for 27 January, eighteen days after the
assault landings. The 1ST
Cavalry Division and the 112TH
RCT were to land the same day.
Division went ashore in the Mabilao area of the Lingayen Gulf beaches, and assembled in the
Manaoag-San Vincente-Mapandan area
The Division was promptly committed to action. Although General Krueger had decided against a “precipitate
advance” until reinforcements arrived, he had pushed steadily forward both his I Corps on the north and XIV
Corps on the south. XI Corps, which had been landed by Eighth Army near Subic Bay, passed to the command
of General Krueger on 30 January. The troops were now set for the attack on Manila.
Division (less its 126TH
Infantry) was committed on the left of the 25TH
Division, and by 2 February it
had crossed the Agno River and cleared the enemy from the Natividad-San Nicolas-Tayug triangle and captured
Santa Maria. The 126TH
Infantry was held in Army reserve in the Manaoag-Mapandan area.
For the first time in the Division’s World War II history, the 32D
Division Artillery (BG Robert B. McBride, Jr.)
was committed in normal fashion at the start of a campaign, armed with standard division artillery weapons.
Sketch of the Villa Verde Trail
The Division’s zone of
advance was now in a
astride the Villa Verde
Trail. Originally a foot
and carabao path pioneered
in the 1880s by a Spanish
Priest named Juan Villa
Verde, this trail leads from
the Lingayen Gulf area
over the Caraballo
Mountains to the lush
Cagayan Valley of
northeast Luzon. From
Santa Maria, where it
begins, the trail twists and
turns for 27 miles (43
kilometers) to cover the
distance to Santa Fe.
Before the start of World
War II, the trail had been improved to handle cart traffic for about 9 kilometers from Santa Maria, but this
section was only a 10 to 12 foot width of ungravelled clay. Although some construction was in progress in 1941
beyond this southern section, most of the rest of the trail was simply a footpath over a 4,800-foot high Salacsac
Pass to Imugan, where it joined the road to Santa Fe.
Although the 32D
was meeting increased resistance, its progress and that of the other divisions of I Corps had by
now deprived the enemy of the capability of moving troops into the Central Plain area and disrupting Sixth
Army’s attack on Manila either by attacks on the American rear and flanks or by cutting the attacking troops off
from Lingayen Gulf supply bases. The importance of this phase of I Corps’ mission was emphasized by the
determined resistance offered by the Japanese to the capture of Manila, a stubborn defense which was not to be
completely overcome until 4 March.
The attack along Villa Verde Trail northeasterly from Santa Maria during the period 12 to 24 February is
called “The Fight for the Bowl.” The other phase of the operation, which started at about the same time but
extended to 3 April, is called “Probing the River Valleys.” This phase was conducted mostly by the 126TH
Infantry and it included the driving of enemy forces from the Arboredo, Ambayabang, and Agno River Valleys
to the west of the Villa Verde Trail area.
With the battle for Manila still raging, only the 25TH
Divisions were available to drive the enemy out of
his main position here
The advance from the Bowl to the Salacsac Pass area and the securing of that area was to be a long, hard job for
all the elements of the Division. The difficulties for the infantry are plain enough. For the artillery, the problems
of getting guns in and out of suitable firing positions, of finding and occupying observation posts, and of
maintaining communications and keeping the guns supplied with ammunition – these were all complicated by
the rugged terrain and lack of roads. The quartermaster, ordnance, signal, and medical troops had similar
handicaps. For the engineers, particularly, the campaign soon became a nightmare of effort to keep Villa Verde
Trail open and functioning as the troops advanced.
General Krueger’s comments on the situation which the 32D
faced in the latter part of February not only
confirm the difficulties of the Division’s mission, but marked the Sixth Army’s commander’s faith in it. “The
32nd Division,” he says, “found it increasingly difficult to reduce the cleverly organized and stubbornly
defended position of the enemy. Moreover, the necessity of making the extremely poor, winding Villa Verde
Trail passable for heavy vehicles to meet logistic requirements and the difficulty of supplying troops in the
rugged terrain of the trail by native cargadores restricted enveloping movement and compelled the division to
assault one hill after another and slowed up the advance. Repeated visits to this front had made me fully
cognizant of the tough conditions facing the 32D
Division, but I was confident that it would overcome all
There was one pleasant change for the Red Arrow veterans as the campaign progressed. The days were still hot
and the rains poured down as the dry season ended, but the nights were cool and there was even the bracing
smell of pine trees as the Division fought its way up onto the knife-like ridges of the Caraballo Mountains. It
was a stimulating change from the steaming jungle damp of Buna, Saidor, Aitape, and Leyte.
But there was no comparable encouraging change in the enemy’s resistance. On the contrary, his fanatic will to
fight to the death even seemed to increase as the overall war situation grew more and more hopeless for the
Tactically the forces opposing the 32D
had many advantages. They not only had better observation from the
higher ground they occupied, but they were thoroughly familiar with the terrain over which the Red Arrow
Infantry had to advance. As an interior division in the I Corps attack, the 32D
was largely limited to frontal
attacks along routes which the enemy was well prepared to defend from dug in positions covered by mines,
small arms fire, and bands of machine gun fire, and further supported by registered mortar and artillery fire.
The enemy’s main defenses were reached early in March. They were generally astride Villa Verde Trail about
four miles west of Imugan, and covered the passes.
Sixth Army had by now split the enemy forces on Luzon into three main groups. By far the largest of these,
numbering probably over 110,000, was that in northern Luzon. It was under vigorous personal command of
General Yamashita, and he was still believed capable of reinforcing the Balete Pass-Santa Fe-Imugan area. On
the other hand, the smaller enemy groups in western Luzon and southern Luzon were each practically isolated
and that had largely lost the ability to maneuver. They were incapable of aiding one another or of escaping to
join the northern group.
As the operations progressed, it was evident that Yamashita was going to defend at all costs the mountain
positions dominating the passes into the great and fertile Cagayan Valley of northern Luzon.
On 6 March, I Corps was ordered by General Krueger to make determined efforts to secure the vital Balete
Pass-Santa Fe-Imugan area at an early date.
The next few weeks were marked by some of the hardest fighting in the 32D
Division’s history. Not only were
units of the Division restricted by the terrain and the tactical situation to costly frontal attacks, but the enemy
made many vigorous counterattacks.
As the attack progressed, positions that could not be readily reduced were by passed, kept ineffective by air
attacks and continued artillery fire, and later eliminated when surrounded and cut off from supplies and
reinforcements. Antiaircraft guns, little needed for defense against the now almost impotent Japanese air forces,
were in some cases used to hit cave strongpoints with their high velocity shells.
By 3 April the 126TH
Infantry had largely completed its missions of probing the river valleys to the west of the
Villa Verde Trail area. The final major action had been the clearing of the enemy from the horseshoe ridge
around the headwaters of the Arboredo River by the 1ST
Battalion of the Regiment during the time from 10
March to 3 April. By Corps orders, the 126TH
was relieved in its zone of action by the 130TH
Infantry of the
Aerial view of Villa Verde Trail area
Soldiers cross the Arboredo River on northern Luzon on 25 February 1945
Soldiers entrenched atop Hill 504 along the Villa Verde Trail on 1 April 1945.
On 6 April the 126TH
Infantry was committed to the Villa Verde Trail fight with the mission of attacking east in
a zone north of that of the 128TH
Infantry. Its objective was the high ground north and east of the trail.
The final push for Salacsac Pass No. 2 now began. The 128TH
was on the right and the 126TH
on the left and
they were advancing in a generally easterly direction although battalions and companies were often attacking
south or north, and sometimes even in a westerly direction, as they forced the enemy into pockets of resistance.
The Salacsac Pass No. 2 position was captured after bitter fighting on 10 April, according to Division records,
but not until 16 April by other accounts. The discrepancy is probably explained by the fact that the “position”
was not an isolated one but part of the whole main enemy position and the fighting continued with no well-
defined break to mark the completion of the Pass No. 2 action from the attack to capture Pass No. 1.
Infantry was by now very much down in strength. The 127TH
Infantry, in Division reserve, had
enjoyed nearly three weeks near Asingan. Gen. Gill now ordered it to take over from the 128TH
. It accomplished
the relief on 17-18 April
was assembled near Asingan, the last elements closing into the area on 19 April. This much-needed
period for rest, rehabilitation, and the absorption of replacements was to continue until 4 May, and it would
have a marked effect on the future successful action of the Division.
In the meantime, the 126TH
, north of Villa Verde Trail, and the 127TH
, astride the trail, continued the pressure
against the enemy positions
Infantry got one company onto the crest of Hill 515 south of Pass No. 1 on 26 April. On the night of
29-30 April, 250 to 300 Japanese launched a vigorous counterattack from three directions against the hill. In the
morning 109 bodies were counted around the perimeter of the company’s position. Another small attack the
following night was also successfully repelled.
During the period 6-9 May the 126TH
Infantry was relieved by the 128TH
, and assembled in a rest area near
At the same time, the 127TH
began a coordinated and somewhat complicated drive to clear the Pass No. 1 area.
Battalion made a two pronged attack eastward mostly south of Villa Verde Trail. The 3D
, from a
position north of the trail and slightly ahead of the 1ST
Battalion, attacked southward toward the trail. The 2D
Battalion, south of the trail, and considerably ahead of the 1ST
Battalion, attacked westward back toward the 1ST
and kept pressure at the same time to the east to protect the rear of his attack.
Fighting continued throughout most of May with a final assault being launched on 23 May against the Japanese
position sometimes called the Kongo Fortress and apparently regarded by them as impregnable. Nevertheless,
the Division overcame the enemy’s resistance and completely eliminated all organized resistance in the area on
Although the final assaults in the Division’s zone of action were made by the 127TH
Regiments, the 126TH
also had a part in the climax of the Villa Verde Trail operation. On 23 May, in
accordance with I Corps orders, the 126TH
, with supporting units attached to make a combat team, arrived in the
Digdig area in the zone of the 25TH
Infantry Division. That division, suffering heavy losses, had fought its way
northward through Balete Pass and on 23 May was within about five hundred yards of Santa Fe in the south,
about 1,000 yards in the southeast, and about 1,700 yards in the southwest.
I Corps passed these orders on to the 32D
with additional missions and details of time and method. Although a
few Japanese positions remained in the Villa Verde Trail area, the seizure of Santa Fe and the activities of the
Division as it pushed north would cut off the enemy’s supplies. Not only could these isolated Japanese
units be controlled by a small force, but the supply of the Division by way of the Trail was rapidly becoming
almost impossible. The heavy downpours and fogs of the rainy season made movements of vehicles very
difficult. Washouts and landslides were frequent.
The withdrawal of the Division began on 30 May with the movement of the 128TH
Infantry, less its 2D
Battalion, to the vicinity of Aringay. The following day, the 127TH
, less detachments, began moving to the
vicinity of Bauang, and the remainder of the Division, less the 126TH
RCT, following during the ensuing week.
Battalion of the 128TH
Infantry, reinforced, called Holden Force from the name of the battalion
commander (LTC Maurice B. Holden), took over the task of cleaning up and controlling what had been the
Division’s zone of action. Companies F and G, plus the mortar platoon of Company H, 127TH
Battery A, 121ST
Field Artillery Battalion, were attached to Volckmann’s force, the Philippine guerrilla
command operating in North Luzon.
RCT remained attached to the 25TH
Infantry Division, and was used primarily to mop up the Santa
Fe – Imugan area.
During the period 4 to 30 June, the bulk of the 32D
Division was located in the Bauang-Naguilian – Caba –
Aringay area engaged in rest, rehabilitation and training, plus security missions in its area. The daily routine
pattern was training in the morning, recreation and athletics in the afternoon, and daily motor patrols throughout
the area for which the Division was responsible.
On 30 June elements of the Division began to move to the south end of Cagayan Valley. At midnight of that
day, the Division passed to control of XIV Corps (LG Oscar W. Griswold). At the same time, the responsibility
for all remaining combat missions on Luzon passed from General Krueger to the Commanding General, Eighth
Army (LG Robert L. Eichelberger). Sixth Army was to get its troops ready for Operation Olympic, the assault
of Kyushu, southernmost island of Japan. Eighth, Tenth and First Armies (the last redeployed from Europe)
were scheduled to attack the main Japanese island of Honshu in the early spring of 1946.
The officers and men of the 32D
, as indicated by General Gill’s phrase, “I look forward to your continued
success into the heart of Tokyo” in his general order at the end of the Villa Verde Trail operation, expected to
be in the final assault on the heart of Japan, but in the meantime they had a job of mopping up to do.
The Luzon Campaign had, in some degree at least, officially come to an end, but it was, in fact, far from
concluded. General Eichelberger, in his book, criticizes General MacArthur or “his immediate assistants” for
announcing victories too early. He is particularly bitter about the phrase “mopping up.” “If there is another
war,” he says, “I recommend that the military, and the correspondents, and everyone else concerned, drop
the phrase ‘mopping up’ from their vocabularies. It is not a good enough phrase to die for.”
Actually, 30 June 1945 was only the date of the changeover of command on Luzon. Later, the War Department
set 4 July as the termination date for the battle credit, Luzon. But the 32D
Division and other units continued
active operations against opposition until 15 August it was some time after that before Yamashita surrendered.
Photograph at left depicting General Tomoyuki
Yamashita, Supreme Commander of Japanese Imperial
Forces, Philippines, coming out of the mountains to
surrender to the 32D
‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Division
near Kiangan, Luzon, on 2 Sep. 1945.
At 0800 hours on 2 September 1945 General Yamashita, accompanied by a small staff, walked out of the
mountains of northern Luzon and surrendered himself to the 32D
Infantry Division on a hilltop near Kiangan,
Luzon. He was met by a 24-man detachment commanded by 1LT Russell Bauman, from Company I, 128TH
Infantry (commanded by CPT Roy A. Glisson). 1LT Bauman was from Glenbeulah, Wisconsin. Many
considered it very appropriate and symbolic that Gen. Yamashita would be met by a ‘Red Arrow’ man from
either Wisconsin or Michigan, the home states of the 32D
Infantry Division when it was activated from National
Guard status at the start of WWII.
The battle casualties of the 32nd
Division for the Luzon Campaign up to midnight, 30 June 1945, were as
Officers Enlisted Men
Killed in action 41 720
Died of wounds 10 145
Wounded in action 111 2,162
Injured in action 6 234
Missing in action 1 3
Non-battle casualties 153 4,808
Most of the battle casualties occurred in the four month period from 1 February to 31 May 1945.
Casualties - U.S. Army and Army Air Forces
Location Killed Wounded Total
Leyte 3,593 11,991 15,584
Luzon 8,310 29,560 37,870
Central and Southern Philippines 2,070 6,990 9,060
Total 13,973 48,541 62,514
Location Killed Captured Total
Leyte 80,557 828 81,385
Luzon 205,535 9,050 214,585
Central and Southern Philippines 50,260 2,695 52,955
Total 336,352 12,573 348,925
U.S. ARMY - Technician Fourth Grade
Technician Fourth Grade (officially abbreviated as T/4) was one of three United States Army
technician ranks established on January 8, 1942 during World War II. Those who held this rank
were often addressed as Sergeant. Technicians possessed specialized skills that were
rewarded with a higher pay grade. These skills could be directly related to combat, such as
those skills possessed by a tank driver or combat engineer. [ ...] Depending on his or her
function, he or she might be called upon by an officer to command a group of men for a
specific task. They were non-commissioned officers, as were sergeants. Initially, they shared
the same insignia but on September 4, 1942, the three technician ranks were distinguished by
a block "T" imprinted below the standard chevrons.
John Hooper Gabbott
WWII Campaign Ribbons & Medals
TOP - LEFT TO RIGHT
1- Purple Heart
For woundes received on 24 May 1945, Luzon campaign
2- Good Conduct
3- American Theater Ribbon
BOTTOM - LEFT TO RIGHT
4- Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon
With two (2) Bronze stars for: Participation in
a) So. Phillippines (Leyte) Campaign 4 Aug. 1945
b) Luzon Campaign - 10 Sept. 1945
5- Philippine Liberation Ribbon
With one (1) Bronze Star 5 Feb. 1945
6- World War II Victory Medal
NOT SURE BUT BELIEVE THIS IS A MEETING OF
VETERANS FROM 32ND
JOHN H. GABBOTT