Company F Goes To War

As part of the 40th Division the unit went to the Southwest Pacific in January 1944 to relieve troops on Guadalcanal, Glouchester, and Arawa in the Bismark Archipelago. Relieving the 1st Marine Division they conducted security operations on New Britain until 27 November 1944 when relieved by the Australian 5th Division. On 28 November the Division landed at Lingayan Gulf, Philippine Islands. On 23 Feb. 1945 the 108th and 185th Inf. Regiments renewed offensive and took Sacobia Ridge. The 108th was detached to the 8th Army Area Command. It arrived on Leyte Island on 13 March, where it was involved destroying Japanese remnants and reconnoitering Masbate and Northern Mindanao. On Mindanao the 108th landed at Macajalar Bay and assisted in clearing the Sayre Highway. It was here that the unit was authorized campaign silver bands for Leyte, Luzon and the Southern Philippines (with arrowhead). Company F as part of the 108th Inf., was also entitled to the Philippine Presidential Unit Streamer embroidered “”17 October 1944-4 July 1945”. On 28 June, the unit returned to Division control. The 40th Division left Luzon on 15 March 1945. The Division next landed on Los Negros Island on 29 March.

During operations in the Philippines, seven members of the original unit were wounded and four died as a direct result of these injuries. For action at Masbate three members of the unit were awarded the Bronze Star. Receiving this medal were 1st Lt. Donald Q. Sheldon of Chicago, Il., T-Sgt. Ralph Nutter, Harrisville WV. and T-Sgt. Garry Pescara, Medina NY.

The Regiment rejoined the Division on Ponay and went to Korea as an occupation force. The 40th Inf. Division was the last National Guard Division to return to the US following the war and was inactivated at Camp Stoneman, Ca. on 7 April 1946. The Division which included the 108th Inf. Regiment recorded 614 KIA, 2,407 WIA and 134 dying of wounds in World War II. It should be noted some members of Co. F were discharged because of a point system prior to the 40th Division inactivation.

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