CMH Home
27th Infantry Division

World War I

Activated: July 1917 (National Guard Division from New York).

Overseas: Early summer 1918.

Major Operations: Meuse-Argonne, Ypres-Lys, Somme offensive.

Casualties: Total 8,334 (KIA-1,442; WIA-6,892).


Maj. Gen. J. F. O'Ryan (16 July 1917)
Brig. Gen. C. L. Phillips (19 September 1917)
Maj. Gen. J. F. O'Ryan (6 December 1917)
Brig. Gen. C. L. Phillips (23 December 1917)
Maj. Gen. J. F. O'Ryan (29 December 1917)
Brig. Gen. C. L. Phillips (22 February 1918)
Maj.. Gen. J. F. O'Ryan (1 March 1918)
Brig. Gen. Palmer E. Pierce (16 June 1918)
Maj. Gen. J. F. O'Ryan (18 June 1918)
Brig. Gen. Palmer E. Pierce (14 November 1918)
Maj. Gen. J. F. O'Ryan (23 November 1918).

Inactivated: April 1919.

World War II

Activated: 15 October 1940.

Overseas: 10 March 1942.

Campaigns: Various elements participated in several campaigns in the Pacific but not the entire division.

Distinguished Unit Citations: 2.

Awards: MH-3 ; DSC-21 ; DSM-2 ; SS-412 ; LM-15; SM-13 ; BSM-986 ; AM-9.


Maj, Gen. William N. Haskell (October 1940-Octo-


ber 1941)
Brig. Gen. Ralph McT. Pennell (November 1941-October 1942)
Maj. Gen. Ralph C. Smith (November 1942-May 1944)
Maj. Gen. George W. Griner, Jr. (June 1944-December 1945).

Returned to U. S.: 15 December 1945.

Inactivated: 31 December 1945. (See National Guard.)

Combat Chronicle

The 27th Infantry Division arrived in Hawaii, 21 May 1942, to defend the outer islands from amphibious attack. Elements of the Division first saw action in the attack and capture of Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands, 21 to 24 November 1943. One battalion of the 106th Regiment participated in the attack on Eniwetok Atoll, 19-26 February 1944, returning to Oahu in March. During this mission, one battalion landed unopposed on Majuro Island, 1 February, and completed its seizure, 3 February. The Division began preparations for the Marianas operations, 15 March. On D-day plus 1, 16 June 1944, elements landed at night on Saipan to support the Second and Fourth Marines. A bridgehead was established and Aslito Airfield captured, 18 June. Fighting continued throughout June. During a pitched battle, 7 July, Japanese overran elements of the Division in a banzai attack, but organized resistance was crushed the next day. During the months of July and August, the 27th cleaned out isolated pockets in the mountains and cliffs of Saipan. Beginning in the middle of August, the Division moved to the New Hebrides for rest and rehabilitation. On 25 March 1945, the 27th sailed from Espiritu Santo, arriving at Okinawa, 9 April 1945. The Division participated in the XXIV Corps general attack, 19 April 1945, securing a dominating ridge line south of Machinato and Kakazu. Machinato Airfield was captured, 28 April, after a severe struggle. On 1 May, the Division was relieved by the 1st Marine Division and attached to the Island Command for garrison duty. Tori Shima was seized, 12 May, without opposition. The 27th attacked from the south end of Ishikawa Isthmus to sweep the northern sector of Okinawa. The enemy fought bitterly on Onnatake Hill from 23 May until 2 June, before losing the strong point. After a mopping-up period, the Division left Okinawa, 7 September 1945, moved to Japan and occupied Niigata and Fukushima Prefectures.


Nickname: New York. Shoulder patch: Khaki-bordered circle with black background and within a red circle the letters "NY" worked into a monogram; with the red circle are stars depicting Orion. Association: 27th Division Association, Headquarters, 71st Regiment Armory, Park Avenue at Thirty-fourth Street, New York City. Publication: History of the 27th Infantry Division; by unit members; The Infantry Journal, Washington 6, D. C. ; 1947.


[Nota Bene: These combat chronicles, current as of October 1948, are reproduced from The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950, pp. 510-592.]

Return to the Main Combat Chronicles Page