THE TOY FEDERATION :: Military Prints :: Red Arrow at War Print by Michael Gnatek

Red Arrow at War Print by Michael Gnatek

Red Arrow at War Print by Michael Gnatek
This Print was put out by The National Guard Heritage Series.

The Heritage Series is an extensive collection of paintings depicting the National Guard in military action from earliest colonial times to Operation Desert Storm.

Size: 11" x 14" total size, with an 8.5" x 11" image

Description: The 32nd Infantry Division at Buna, Papua, New Guinea -- December 1942

The 32nd Infantry Division, known as the "Red Arrow" Division and made up of units from the Michigan and Wisconsin National Guards, was mobilized on Oct. 15, 1940. Slated to depart for Northern Ireland after World War II began, the division was diverted to the Pacific at the last minute, arriving in Australia in May 1942. Elements moved to Port Moresby, New Guinea, in September 1942, in order to halt the Japanese invasion which threatened Australia. The Red Arrow's 126th Infantry Regiment went by ship; the 128th Infantry was airlifted in the first mass troop movement by air in World War II. Joining the Australians, the 32nd entered combat on Nov. 16, 1942. The allied forces were to take heavily-fortified Japanese positions at Buna, on New Guinea's southeast coast. It proved to be one of the most difficult campaigns of the war. Fighting in the hot, steamy jungles, the 32nd was desperately short of basic equipment, weapons, medicine and even food. In the terrible heat and drenching rain, the men of the 32nd -- many burning with fever -- had to reduce Japanese positions one at a time, usually by rushing them with grenades. Most of the Japanese fought to the death but, finally, on Jan 2, 1943, Buna fell. It was the Japanese army's first defeat in modern history, but for the 32nd Division the cost was high: 1,954 were either killed or wounded, with 2,952 hospitalized due to disease. After Buna, the 32nd participated in the long campaign to drive the Japanese from the rest of New Guinea, and went on to see heavy fighting in the Philippines. Today, the 32nd Infantry Brigade, Wisconsin Army National Guard, continues to maintain the Red Arrow heritage.


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