93rd Infantry Division
The 93rd Infantry Division in training at Fort Huachuca, May 1942. Note the soldiers are still equipped with the World War I British-style “Brodie” helmets, and manning a World War I-style trench.
On March 21, 1944 the commanding general, United States Army Forces in the South Pacific area ordered the 93rd Infantry Division to move its 25th Combat Team to Empress Augusta Bay Perimeter on Bougainville Island with the least practically delay. The combat team was composed of the 25th Indantry Regiment, 593rd Field Artillery Battalion, 596th Field Artillery Battalion, Company A of the 318th Combat Engineer Battalion, Company A of the 318th Medical Battalion, one platoon of Company D, 318th Medical Battalion, 93rd Reconnaissance Troop, a detachment of the 93rd Signal Company, a detachment of the 793rd Ordnance Company, and a detachment of the 93rd Military Police Platoon.
By March 31, the Combat Team was in position and at 2:30 p.m., on April 2, Private-First-Class Isaac Moore of Brooklyn, New York, pulled the lanyard on the No. 2 gun of Battery A of the 593rd Field Artillery which sent the first round fired by the 93rd Division into enemy positions. The 93rd Infantry Division was in combat.
On April 4, the 2nd Battalion of the 93rd Division which had been detached from the American Division and passed to operational control of the Commanding General of the 37th Infantry Division closed with the enemy and killed approximately 25 Japanese soldiers.
Four men were lost by the by the A and P Platcon while it was returning from a supply mission to the Americal Division on Hill 500. These soldiers, Pfcs Hugh Carrol, Oginal I. Ryan, William W. Ash and Joseph C. Mallory, were the first men of the 93rd to be killed in action in this war.
On April 5, the men of the 593rd Field Artillery received a commendation from Brig. Gen. W. C. Dunckly for their firing on the Numa Numa Trail.
On April 7, Company K contacted the enemy before an ambush could be established and in the fire fight that resulted one officer and 17 men were killed and 7 wounded. The forces withdrew about 100 yards and called for artillery fire. All bodies were recovered and the men were buried in the Bougainville cemetery.
On April 15, litterbearers were subjected to enemy fire during the night and fought with as much vigor as the infantrymen. On one such occasion T5g Mose Wheeler, of Company A, 318th Medical Battalion, became the first casualty of his unit.
Thirty-five Japanese were killed by Company G on April 16 in repelling an attack by an enemy force aimed at a Fiji Battalion located on the right of Company G. In this encounter the 593rd Field Artillery fired 1,216 rounds.
Battle casualties of the 25th Combat Team as reported through May 30, 1944, totaled 26 killed 13 seriously wounded in action, and 27 slightly wounded in action.
The records of the War Department contain the names of many men such as Thomas J. Caveness, private, first class, Corps of Engineers, a native of Los Angeles, California, who was cited for heroism in risking his life in going to the assistance of his comrades buried under debris from an ammunition dump which had been set on fire by Japanese bombers.