132nd COA 132nd Infantry Regiment-Illinois National Guard 182nd Coat of Arms

      The 132nd Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry is an infantry regiment that first served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. It was among scores of regiments that were raised in the summer of 1864 as "Hundred Days Men", an effort to augment existing manpower for an all-out push to end the war within 100 days. The 132nd Illinois Infantry was organized at Chicago, Illinois, and mustered into Federal service on June 1, 1864. The 132nd relieved veteran troops and performed garrison duty at Paducah, Kentucky, until October, 1864. The regiment was mustered out of service on October 17, 1864. The regiment suffered a total of 12 fatalities, all enlisted men who died of disease. Later reactivated as the 132nd Infantry Regiment, the unit served as an active-duty regiment with the United States Army in World War I and World War II.

      In World War I, the 132nd Infantry Regiment was organized from other Illinois militia units, assigned to the 33rd Infantry Division and activated in July, 1917: it was redesignated on October 12, 1917 as the 132nd Infantry Regiment and sent overseas in May, 1918. The 132nd participated many engagaements; among them, the Battle of Hamel, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and the 1918 Somme offensive. The 132nd returned to the United States and was demobilized on May 31, 1919 at Camp Grant, Illinois. That same year, it was deactivated as an active duty infantry regiment. The unit reorganized between 1920-1921 in the Illinois National Guard at Chicago as the 2nd Infantry Regiment, while its regimental headquarters was federally recognized on July 7, 1921 at Chicago. The 2nd Infantry Regiment was redesignated on December 31, 1921 at the 132nd Infantry and re-assigned to the 33rd Division as a National Guard Regiment.

      The 132nd Infantry Regiment was again inducted into federal service on March 5, 1941, at Chicago, Illinois as part of the 33rd Infantry Division, and participated in divisional maneuvers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee. It was relieved from the 33rd Division on January 14, 1942, and assigned to Task Force 6814, an assemblage of units gathered for immediate transfer to Australia to defend against threatened Japanese invasion. On January 20, 1942, it sailed from New York and arrived in Australia on February 27th. On March 6th it sailed again, arriving in New Caledonia, where it became an infantry component of the newly-created Americal Division on May 24, 1942. The 132nd Infantry arrived on Guadalcanal on December 8, 1942, where it engaged in combat in the Guadalcanal campaign, including fierce fighting to capture Japanese positions in the Battle of Mount Austen. The regiment was relieved and sent to Fiji with the rest of the Americal Division to rest and refit. See: Guadalcanal Order of Battle

      The 132nd next fought in the Bougainville campaign. It arrived at Cape Torokina on January 9, 1944, and relieved the 3d Marine Parachute Battalion, the 3rd Marine Raider Battalion, and units of the 145th Infantry, which then reverted to the 37th Division. The 132nd Infantry took over that portion of the perimeter paralleling the Torokina on the extreme right flank and engaged in patrolling and in strengthening defensive positions. On April 5, 1944, after establishing patrols along Empress Augusta Bay, the 132nd successfully launched an attack to capture Mavavia Village. Two days later, while continuing a sweep for enemy forces, the regiment encountered prepared enemy defenses, where they destroyed some twenty Japanese pillboxes using pole charges and bazookas. Later, the 132nd secured the heights west of Saua River in fierce fighting that lasted until April 18th, when the last of the Japanese defenders were killed or driven off.

      TIn 1945, the 132nd participated in the retaking of the Philippine Islands. On March 26, 1945, preceded by a heavy naval and aerial bombardment, troops of the 3rd Battalion, 132nd Infantry waded ashore across heavily-mined beaches during an amphibious invasion of Cebu Island, at a point just south of Cebu City. Elements of the 132nd later secured Mactan Island and Opon Airfield in Cebu province. On November 26, 1945, the 132nd was inactivated at Fort Lewis, Washington.

      The 132nd was relieved on July 5, 1946, from assignment to the Americal Division and re-assigned to the 33d Infantry Division. It was reorganized and federally recognized on February 11, 1947 at Chicago as a component of the Illinois Army National Guard. It consolidated on March 15, 1954, with the 131st Infantry and the consolidated unit was designated as the 131st Infantry, an element of the 33rd Infantry Division.

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