Cacti

35th Infantry Regiment
(The Cacti)

[Introduction] [History: 1916-1941] [World War II] [Occupation Duty 1945-1950] [Korean War]
[Pacific Strategic Reserve] [Vietnam] [Post-Vietnam] [Coat of Arms and Insignia] [Lineage and Honors]

The 35th Infantry Regiment, known as “The Cacti”, has compiled a distinguished combat record since its activation in 1916. The Regimental Color carries twenty-six campaign streamers for participation in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. In addition, “The Cacti” has been awarded two Presidential Unit Citations, a Valorous Unit Award, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation and three Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations.

REGIMENTAL HISTORY: 1916-1941

The 35th Infantry Regiment was constituted on 1 July 1916 in the Regular Army. The Regiment was organized 8-19 July 1916 at Douglas Arizona with personnel from the 11th, 18th, and 22nd Infantry. Colonel James H. Frier was assigned as the first regimental commander of the 35th Infantry.

The Regiment’s mission was the protection of the U.S. border with Mexico. In March 1917 the 35th was transferred to Camp Stephen D. Little at Nogales, Arizona and on 7 August 1917 was assigned to the 18th Division, the command element for U.S. Army forces stationed along the Mexican border.

Nogales had been the scene of a skirmish in 1915 between the U.S. 12th Infantry and the Mexican army resulting in casualties. By 1916 the U.S Army had mustered a force of over 10,000 soldiers at Nogales and tensions were still high when the 35th arrived to relieve the 12th Infantry in 1917.

On 25 August 1918 another skirmish occurred at Nogales. It started when a U.S. Customs inspector and a 35th Infantry soldier attempted to stop a Mexican national believed to be a smuggler from crossing into the U.S. A Mexican guard shot and killed both Americans and a U.S. Customs official then shot and killed the Mexican guard. The firing then became general with both military and civilians on both sides of the border participating. Four companies of the 35th Infantry and two troops of the 10th Cavalry were rushed to the border and engaged the Mexicans. The firing continued all day. At sundown the Mexicans raised a white flag and firing ceased. The 35th Infantry suffered one officer and one soldier killed and sixteen soldiers wounded. A meeting between American and Mexican senior officers resulted in regrets expressed by both sides and the border was reopened.

On 14 February 1919 the 35th Infantry was relieved from assignment to the 18th Division and transferred to Camp Travis, Texas. From there the Regiment moved to Camp Lewis, Washington.

On 17 October 1922 the 35th Infantry was transferred to Schofield Barracks, Territory of Hawaii and assigned to the Hawaiian Division. The Hawaiian Division, was activated in 1921 and organized as a “square” division of the World War I type with two infantry brigade of two infantry regiments each, a field artillery brigade and supporting units.

The 35th Infantry was initially paired with the 21st Infantry Regiment in the Division’s 21st Infantry Brigade. Shortly thereafter, when the 19th Infantry was assigned to the Hawaiian Division and the decision made to assign it to the 21st Brigade, the 35th was transferred to the Division’s 22nd Infantry Brigade and paired with the 27th Infantry Regiment. For the next eighteen years “The Cacti” and the “Wolfhounds” would serve side-by-side carrying out the Hawaiian Division’s mission of defending the Territory of Hawaii.

By 1940 the Army had concluded that the square division was too cumbersome for the modern battlefield. The infantry divisions were restructured from two brigades of two regiments to a triangular concept of three infantry regiments, four field artillery battalions plus supporting elements. On 1 October 1941 the Hawaiian Division was inactivated and in its stead two triangular divisions were activated, the 24th Infantry Division and the 25th Infantry Division with the units of the Hawaiian Division transferred to the two divisions. The 22nd Infantry Brigade along with the 8th Field Artillery Regiment formed the nucleus of the 25th Division. Both the 27th Infantry and the 35th Infantry were assigned to the 25th Division on 1 October 1941 thus permitting the close relationship between the “Wolfhounds” and “The Cacti” to continue as they fought side-by-side through World War II and then the Korean War.

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WORLD WAR II

Only two months after activation on December 7th 1941 the 25th Infantry Division received its baptism of fire when the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Navy Base at Pearl Harbor as well as attacks on Hickam Army Air Field and Wheeler Army Airfield, the latter adjacent to Schofield Barracks. After the Japanese fighters struck at Wheeler, they flew over Schofield strafing the barracks and officer’s quarters causing some casualties. Groups of soldiers returned fire with small arms shooting down at least one enemy aircraft. After the attack the 35th along with the rest of the 25th Division quickly moved out to their pre-assigned defensive positions on the shores of the island of Oahu to repel a possible Japanese invasion. In May 1942, Major General James L. Collins assumed command of the 25th Division.

The 35th continued to man its defensive positions well into the summer of 1942. With the Japanese defeat at Midway the threat of an invasion was greatly diminished. Thus the 35th along with the rest of the 25th Division was able to begin a vigorous training program in preparation for offensive combat to include jungle warfare training and amphibious exercises. In November the 25th Division was ordered to Guadalcanal as part of the XIV Corps in relief of the 1st Marine Division. As the first of three convoys to carry the 25th Division, the 35th Infantry departed Oahu on 25 November arriving at Guadalcanal on 17 December 1942. By the end of the first week in January, all three regimental combat teams of the 25th had arrived on Guadalcanal.

Guadalcanal
It was determined by the Commander, U.S. Army Forces in the South Pacific Major General Millard F. Harmon, that the initial offensive action would be against Japanese fortifications on Mount Austin, which dominated the American positions around the airfield. The mission to take Mount Austin was given to the 35th Infantry commanded by Colonel Robert B. McClure. On 10 January 1943 the 25th Division as part of the XIV Corps launched the offensive.

The 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry was to relieve an Americal Division regiment near a Japanese strongpoint known as the “Gifu” and continue the attack to destroy that strongpoint. The 3rd Battalion, 35th Infantry was to capture two hills known as the Sea Horse and push westward toward another hill complex known as Galloping Horse, which was the objective of the 27th Infantry.

The 3rd Battalion’s attack encountered difficulties as the battalion made its way through the jungle toward Hill 43 the head of the Sea Horse. While crossing the Matanikau River Company K was ambushed by the Japanese. As the Japanese charged, Sergeant Fournier and Technician 5th Grade Hall of Company M manned a heavy machine gun and broke up the Japanese attack saving the company. While doing so they were mortally wounded. Both soldiers received the Medal of Honor posthumously for their heroism. By nightfall of 10 January the 35th was in position to assault Sea Horse. The next day the 3rd Battalion joined by the 1st Battalion drove the enemy off of Sea Horse.

The 2nd Battalion found tough going in attempting to reduce the Gifu strongpoint. Originally estimated to have been manned by 100 men and 10 machine guns, the strongpoint actually consisted of over 500 men with 52 crew-served weapons. From the 10th to the 21st of January the 2nd Battalion fought a yard-by-yard struggle against heavily fortified positions manned by Japanese determined to fight to the death. On the 21st three Marine light tanks joined the assault, opening a 200-yard gap in the enemy lines. Still unwilling to surrender, the Japanese made a Banzai charge the night of 22-23 January, which was repulsed by the 2nd Battalion with heavy Japanese losses. The next morning the 2nd Battalion mopped up the Gifu.

For its gallantry in driving the Japanese off of Mount Austin, the 35th Infantry Regiment was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation Streamer embroidered Guadalcanal. The first awarded to a unit of the 25th Infantry Division. For the remainder of the Guadalcanal campaign the 35th served as the division reserve.

After the capture of Guadalcanal the 25th Division, also now known as Tropic Lightning for how swiftly it accomplished its missions, spent the spring and summer of 1943 in defending the island against possible Japanese attacks and improving the facilities as a base for future operations.

Northern Solomons
The planning for the campaign to drive the Japanese forces out of the northern Solomon Islands did not initially include the 25th Division. However as the American forces ran into stronger than expected Japanese resistance the Tropic Lightning Division was committed. After the Japanese were driven off the island of New Georgia they fled to the island of Kolombangra. Rather than attack the Japanese dug in on Kolombangra, it was decided to occupy adjacent islands and render Kolombangra useless to the Japanese.

The mission of seizing the island of Vella Lavella was given to the 35th Infantry. On 15 August 1943 the Cacti made an amphibious assault landing on the island. The 35th advanced steadily meeting light resistance and by 18 September the responsibility for the island was turned over to New Zealand forces. For its assault landing on Vella Lavella the 35th received the bronze assault landing arrowhead device on its Northern Solomons campaign streamer.

In November of 1943 the 25th Division returned to Guadalcanal and then to New Zealand for rest and refitting and to receive personnel replacements. In February 1944 the 25th moved to New Caledonia for extended training. The training lasted throughout the summer and into late fall. Maneuvers and amphibious landings were conducted with the 35th Infantry now under command of Colonel Stanley “Swede” Larsen playing the role of opposing forces in preparation for the anticipated invasion of the island of Luzon in the Philippines.

Luzon
For the liberation of the island of Luzon General McArthur chose to strike first at Lingayen Gulf on the island’s northwest coast where sheltered beaches would facilitate a large amphibious assault and place U.S. forces on the best roads leading through the central plains south to Manila his main objective.

On 9 January 1945 the U.S. Sixth Army landed against light resistance. I Corps had the mission of defending the flanks of the beachhead while the XIV Corps would drive south to Manila. The 25th Division was held as the Sixth Army’s reserve. On 17 January the 25th was assigned to I Corps and committed to combat less the 35th Infantry which was retained as the Sixth Army’s reserve.

As the Tropic Lightning Division pushed toward the town of Umingan the 35th was released to the 25th and prepared to participate in the upcoming operation. The 27th Infantry approached the town from the north while the 35th moved to encircle the Japanese from the south and block their escape. The 27th attacked on 1 February. The next morning the 35th attacked from the south meeting scattered resistance and trapping the enemy in the northern and western sections of the town where the Wolfhounds mopped them up.

The 35th Infantry then continued southeast, advancing on the village of Lupao. Here the Japanese conducted a determined defense including the use of tanks, halting the initial attack of all three battalions. In the battle between infantrymen and tanks Technical Sergeant Charles McGaha of Company G received the Medal of Honor for his bravery. The enemy held out for a week and it was not until 8 February that the Cacti liberated the town.

With the drive to clear the central plain of Luzon having been successfully completed by the end of February, I Corps, consisting of the 25th, 32nd and 33rd Infantry Divisions, turned its attention to clearing the mountains of northern Luzon. Here was located the majority of the Japanese forces on Luzon known as the Shimbu Group. Directly opposing I Corps were several Japanese divisions from the Shimbu Group reinforced with tanks defending the southern approaches to the mountains.

The 25th received the mission of clearing Highway 5 from San Jose north to the village of Digdig. In the move up the highway the 35th was used as an enveloping force. While the other two regiments met some resistance the Cacti faced little, and three days after the 25th Division’s advance began the 35th liberated the village of Carranglan, due east of Digdig. It was then ordered to Digdig and Puncan. The 2nd Battalion liberated Puncan on 2 March 1945 and the 3rd Battalion drove the Japanese out of Digdig the next day. By 5 March the 25th Division had accomplished its mission of opening Highway 5 from San Jose to Digdig. Because of their swift success the 25th was ordered to continue to clear Highway 5 to the north.

The first objective was the town of Putlan with the 1st Battalion 35th Infantry leading the attack. The 1st Battalion reached the town on 8 March but was unable to dislodge the enemy force that had destroyed the bridge crossing the Putlan River. Reinforcements from the other two regiments arrived on 10 March and the Japanese were forced to retreat.

Again, given the success of the 25th Division in clearing Highway 5, the Tropic Lightning was assigned the mission of proceeding north on the highway to the town of Kapintalan then through the Belete Pass to the town of Santa Fe. The 35th was chosen to lead the attack on Kapintalan. On 2 April the 3rd Battalion assaulted the ridge south of the town, which was heavily defended by the enemy in caves and pillboxes. It took the 3rd Battalion a week to secure the ridge. The 2nd Battalion cleared the high ground to the east of the town while the 1st Battalion followed up, clearing bypassed pockets of the enemy. By 21 April Kapintalan was secured.

The battle for Belete Pass continued with fierce fighting until 6 May 1945 when the pass was declared open. The 25th resumed its march on Santa Fe with the 35th Infantry astraddle the highway itself and the 27th and 161st on its flanks. The Japanese strongly resisted the advance in the 27th and 161st sectors. The 35th met only moderate resistance and reached Santa Fe on 26 May.

The last mission of the war for the 25th was the clearing of the Old Spanish Trail, which ran north from Carranglan to the village of Arito. The 35th pushed south from Arito while the 27th moved north from Carranglan. The Japanese offered only light resistance and by 22 June the trail was opened. On 4 July 1945 the Luzon campaign was officially declared over.

On 30 June 1945, the 25th Division along with the rest of the Sixth Army was relieved by the Eighth Army which took over the mission of eliminating pockets of enemy resistance. By mid-July the Sixth Army had established training camps to prepare for the assault on Japan. Plans called for the 25th Division to be a lead element in the invasion of Japan and amphibious exercises were conducted in preparation. However the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war with Japan’s surrender on 14 August 1945.

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OCCUPATION DUTY 1945-1950

On 19 September 1945 the first elements of the 35th Infantry left Luzon for Japan. The 25th Division was assigned an occupation sector in the south central area of the island of Honshu with the Division Headquarters located in the city of Osaka. The 35th Infantry Regiment initially took up occupation duties in the city of Nagoya. In January 1946 the 35th was transferred to the city of Otsu where it conducted occupation duties until July 1950.

On 1 July 1950 the 24th Infantry Division was ordered to Korea. On the same date the 25th Division was ordered to take over the occupation sector being vacated by the 24th on the southern most island of Kyushu. The 2nd Battalion of the 35th formed the advance guard of the 25th in the Division’s move south arriving at the city of Kokura the next day. By 5 July the 24th Division had turned over all of its occupation sector to the Tropic Lightning. However as soon as the Division had completed the move to Kyushu, it too was ordered to Korea.

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KOREAN WAR

1950
On 13 July 1950, the 35th Infantry Regiment landed at the southern port city of Pusan, Korea. Commanded by Colonel Henry G. Fisher the Regiment initially set up defensive positions with one battalion near Kyong-ju and the other at Pohang Dong. The 35th, like most other regiments coming from occupation duty in Japan, was minus its third battalion.

In August the 25th Division was given the assignment to defend the southwestern sector of the 140-mile Pusan perimeter. The Cacti Regiment was ordered to hold the Chung-ni-Masan route into the Pusan Perimeter. On the 18 August a strong communist attack at 0430 hours hit the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry. A North Korean battalion struck Company A pushing it back, but reinforced by Company C the battalion line was restored.

Deployed on a 25,000 yard front along the Nam River, the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 35th Infantry and the attached 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry repulsed fierce attacks by elements of four North Korean divisions from 1 through 4 September 1950. On 1 September a North Korean regiment struck the 2nd Battalion, cutting off Company G. For two days Company G fought off the North Korean attempts to wipe it out. Finally an armored column broke through to the encircled company and rescued the survivors, consisting of 40 enlisted personnel. On 3 September the North Koreans struck again at the 1st Battalion, surrounding two companies and the battalion command post. Calling artillery as close as possible, the attack was repulsed and the encircled companies broke out of the trap. Field artillery and rear-echelon elements attacked by infiltrating North Korean units often resorted to hand-to-hand combat to defend their positions. For the gallantry displayed in preventing the North Koreans from breaking through to the port of Pusan, the 35th Infantry Regiment and its attached and supporting units were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation embroidered NAM RIVER.

Shortly thereafter, the 35th Infantry was assigned an organic third battalion when the 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry was redesignated as the 3rd Battalion, 35th Infantry. By 16 September with the success of the Inchon landing taking the pressure off the Pusan perimeter, the 25th was able to drive the North Korean units from the southwestern part of the Korean peninsula. The 25th then swung north, and along with the rest of the Eighth Army headed for a link up with the Inchon landing forces.

As the 1st Battalion approached Chungam-ni, Company C was ordered to clear dug-in enemy forces on a ridgeline. In the ensuing battle the leadership and bravery of Sergeant William R. Jacelin of Company C turned the tide of battle and the ridgeline was seized. For his extraordinary heroism Sergeant Jacelin was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

By 30 September the Tropic Lightning had captured Kunsan on the west coast. In October the Division was employed in mopping up operations in the Eighth Army rear area. By early November the 25th Division was moved north and assembled along the 38th Parallel at Kaesong where the Division continued to eliminate bypassed enemy units.

The 35th Infantry along with the rest of the 25th Division moved back into the front line north of Pyongyang at Anju near the western coast at the neck of Korean Peninsula. On 24 November the Division launched an offensive but at the same time the Chinese Communists entered the war, launching a major offensive, which smashed through the Eighth Army front on the right flank of the 25th Division.

The 35th Infantry along with the rest of the 25th Division conducted a series of delaying actions back to Kaesong by early December and then south of the Imjin River by the 14 December.

In December 1950 the command of the 35th was transferred to LTC Gerald C. Kelleher after Colonel Fisher contracted pneumonia. The 35 Infantry had established itself as a solid veteran regiment by the time LTC Kelleher assumed command. Under Kelleher’s leadership, the Cacti became one of the best infantry regiments in the Eighth Army.

1951
By February 1951 the Eighth Army had managed to halt the Chinese attack south of Seoul and had stabilized a defensive line along the Han River. On 7 March the 25th Division resumed the offensive. In minus 15-degree temperature the 35th Infantry crossed the Han River and drove north, recapturing the town of Yong Dong-Po and inflicting heavy enemy casualties. Then along with the rest of the Division they drove the Chinese and North Koreans out of the Seoul-Inchon area. By the middle of March the Cacti Regiment was holding a line 35 miles north of Seoul.

On 22 April 1951 the Chinese launched a spring offensive that drove United Nations forces back to within 5 miles of Seoul. Here the 35th Infantry stood its ground and repulsed the Chinese attack in its sector. With the defeat of the Chinese spring offensive, the Eighth Army resumed its offensive in May. The Cacti’s mission in Operation Detonate was to seek out and destroy the enemy.

On 20 May the 2nd Battalion was attacking dug in enemy positions north of Seoul when a platoon of Company E hit heavy resistance, killing the platoon leader and sergeant. Sergeant First Class Donald R. Moyer took command of the platoon and led it in the attack against the enemy. During the attack a Chinese grenade fell in the midst of the platoon. Sergeant Moyer unhesitatingly threw himself on the grenade saving the lives of his men at the loss of his own. For his gallantry he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

As the battle lines solidified the 25th Division secured the high ground overlooking Kumwha in early June. The command of the 35th Infantry changed on 3 June when Colonel Thomas W. Woodyard assumed command from Colonel Kelleher. In late June the 25th was pulled off the line and placed in I Corps reserve near Uijongbu where the 35th Cacti prepared a secondary defensive line and conducted training and rear area security missions.

When armistice negotiations began on 10 July 1951, the war entered a new stage. The lines became static with limited objective attacks replacing major offensives. In mid-July the Tropic Lightning returned to the front line in its previous positions in the Ch’orwon-Kumhwa area.

Private Billie G. Kanell of Company I received the Medal of Honor posthumously when on 7 September 1951 a large Chinese force attacked his position. Delivering accurate fire Private Kanell caused significant casualties in the attacking force. When an enemy grenade was hurled into his emplacement he fell on it to protect his fellow soldiers A few seconds later another grenade fell into the position and Private Kanell again rolled on to the second grenade saving the lives of his comrades at the loss of his own.

In October 1951 the 35th Infantry was pulled off the line for rest and training that lasted until 7 November 1951 when the 35th moved back to the front line. In mid-December 1951 the 2nd Division relieved the 25th Division which then moved into reserve near Kapyong.

1952
On 23 February 1952 the 35th along with the rest of the Division returned to the front line in the center of the X Corps sector near Mundung-Ni, northwest of the Hwach’on Reservoir. The Division resumed frontline patrolling and defending the main line of resistance. Patrol raids of enemy outposts were the primary offensive actions taken by the Cacti.

On 10 September 1952 the 35th was attached to the Korean Communications Zone and assigned to guard enemy prisoners on Koje-Do and Cheju-Do islands. The Regiment was relieved from guard duty and returned to the 25th in early November 1952.

On 12 November 1952, the 25th Division was recommitted to the front in the IX Corps area, returning to its old section of the line near Kumhwa where the 35th Infantry conducted aggressive patrolling and ambush operations.

1953
At the end of January 1953 the 3rd Division replaced the 25th on line. The 25th moved to Yongp’yong and began intensive training. ON 5 May 1953 the 25th Division returned to the line on the extreme left flank of the Eighth Army near Munsan-Ni. The Cacti Regiment assumed responsibilities in the Munsan-Ni area overlooking the Panmunjom corridor and resumed aggressive patrolling and defensive activity. On 8 July 1953 the 35th Infantry was pulled off the line along with the rest of the 25th Infantry Division and placed in reserve where it remained until the armistice became effective on 27 July 1953.

The 35th Infantry Regiment compiled a distinguished record as one of the best regiments in the Eighth Army, serving in all ten campaigns of the Korean War, receiving a Presidential Unit Citation and three Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations.

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PACIFIC STRATEGIC RESERVE

In 1954 the 25th Infantry Division returned to its birthplace at Schofield Barracks, Territory of Hawaii. As the Army’s strategic reserve for the Pacific, the Tropic Lightning Division began a full-scale training program to prepare it for any contingency. Jungle training and counter-guerrilla operations were emphasized.

By 1957 the Army had concluded that tactical infantry regiments were obsolete on the atomic battlefield. Consequently the three infantry regiments of each airborne and infantry division were reorganized into five infantry battle groups.

To preserve the history and honors of famous infantry regiments, the Army set up the Combat Arms Regimental System (CARS). The original line companies of a pre-1957 infantry regiment would serve as the historical links to elements activated under the CARS. The 35th Infantry was one of the historical regiments selected to provide infantry elements. On 1 February 1957 Company A, 35th Infantry was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battle Group, 35th Infantry and assigned to the 25th Infantry Division. The organic companies of the 1st Battle Group were concurrently constituted and activated on that date.

With the reassignment of the 2nd Battle Group, 19th Infantry to the 24th Infantry Division, the 2nd Battle Group, 35th Infantry (descending from Company B) was activated and assigned to the 25th Infantry Division on 19 February 1962.

In 1963, the Army concluded that battle groups were not the answer and instead returned to a quasi-tactical regimental system in the airborne and infantry divisions by activating three brigades of three infantry battalions each. The Combat Arms Regimental System would continue to be used to provide the infantry battalions as they had provided the battle groups.

As an economy measure only seven battalions would be activated in the 25th Division. Both the 1st and 2nd Battle Groups, 35th Infantry were reorganized and redesignated as the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 35th Infantry on 12 August 1963 and assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 25th Division.

The deterioration in Vietnam led to accelerated jungle and counter-insurgency training to ensure that the 25th Infantry Division as the primer jungle warfare division of the Army would be fully prepared for its anticipated assignment to Vietnam. In fact since 1963, the 25th Division including the battalions of the 35th Infantry were furnishing door gunners on a temporary basis to Army helicopter units already in Vietnam.

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OPERATIONS CONDUCTED IN VIETNAM

In the fall of 1965 the 25th Division received its expected orders to Vietnam. The initial brigade to go was the 3rd Brigade composed of the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry and the 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery. The urgency of getting the 3rd Brigade to the Central Highlands of Vietnam led to the Army and Air Force undertaking Operation Blue Light, a massive airlift of the entire 3rd Brigade from Hawaii to Pleiku. The airlift began on 28 December 1965 and was successfully concluded on 17 January 1966.

For the remainder of 1966 until August of 1967 the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division hunted Viet Cong and North Vietnamese units in Darlac Province. Operation Paul Revere conducted by the 3rd Brigade on 10 May 1966 was designed to counter North Vietnamese activities against Special Forces border camps. On 24 June 1966 the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry engaged the North Vietnamese regulars in heavy fighting along the Cambodian border.

In February 1967 MACV decided to combine three separate brigades into Task Force Oregon to be located at Chu Lai, to replace the 1st Marine Division that had been ordered north to reinforce the Demilitarized Zone. The Task Force consisted of the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, the 196th Light Infantry Brigade and the 3rd Brigade, 25th Division.

The 3rd Brigade was directed to engage main force Viet Cong units operating in Quang Ngai Province. The 2nd Battalion 35th Infantry won a decisive battle at the hamlet of An Thach on 20 August 1967, destroying a significant portion of the 2nd Viet Cong Regiment.

The Army determined that a full infantry division was needed to counter the North Vietnamese threat to the Central Highlands. Consequently, the 4th Infantry Division was dispatched from Fort Lewis Washington to Pleiku in the summer and fall of 1966. As the 3rd Brigade of the 25th Division was returning to the Central Highlands, the 3rd Brigade, 4th Division was diverted to Dau Tieng, arriving on 18 October 1966 and was placed under the operational control of the 25th Division based at Cu Chi. On 1 August 1967 the de-facto reality of the situation was formally recognized when the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division and the 3rd Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division exchanged designations. However the battalions of each brigade were not redesignated, thus the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 35th Infantry were reassigned to the 4th Infantry Division on 1 August 1967 as well.

In over three years of combat in Vietnam the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 35th Infantry upheld and significantly enhanced the reputation of “The Cacti Regiment” of being one of the Army’s best fighting units. For a detailed description of how the 35th Infantry fought the war in Vietnam see “Lessons Learned, Vietnam 1966-1967″.

The 1st Battalion served in ten Vietnam campaigns. The 1st Battalion received the Valorous Unit Award Streamer embroidered Quang Ngai Province, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, three Republic of Vietnam Crosses of Gallantry with Palm and the Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal. In addition Company A, 1st Battalion received a Presidential Unit Citation embroidered PLEIKU PROVINCE and a Valorous Unit Award embroidered DARLAC PROVINCE. The 1st Battalion returned to Fort Lewis with the 4th Division where it was inactivated on 10 April 1970.

The 2nd Battalion served in twelve Vietnam campaigns. The 2nd Battalion received a Valorous Unit Award embroidered QUANG NGAI PROVINCE, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, three Republic of Vietnam Crosses of Gallantry with Palm and the Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal. In addition, Company A, 2nd Battalion received a Valorous Unit Award Streamer embroidered PLEIKU PROVINCE and Company B, 2nd Battalion received a Presidential Unit Citation Streamer embroidered PLEIKU PROVINCE. The 2nd Battalion left Vietnam on 8 December 1970 and was reassigned to the 25th Infantry Division 15 December 1970.

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POST VIETNAM

The 25th Division returned from Vietnam to its home at Schofield Barracks in 1971. Shortly after the Division’s return a decision was made to reduce the 25th to two active brigades as a cost-saving measure. Subsequently the 3rd Brigade was inactivated. As part of the realignment of infantry battalions the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry was inactivated on 5 June 1972 and the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry was reassigned from the 4th Infantry Division back to the 25th Division and reactivated on that date. For the next fifteen years the 1st Battalion served as an integral part of the Tropic Lightning Division in carrying out the mission of the strategic reaction force for the Pacific area.

The 35th Infantry under the U.S. Army Regimental System
In 1981 the Army replaced the Combat Arms Regimental System (CARS) with the U.S. Army Regimental System in conjunction with the decision to abandon the long established individual replacement system and replace it with a unit replacement system featuring like-organized battalions of the same regiment assigned to both overseas and CONUS commands. In theory an infantry soldier would be assigned to a regiment and spend the majority of his service rotating between battalions of that regiment.

As part of the plan the number of historical infantry regiments was to be severely reduced from fifty-nine to twenty-six. The planners had concluded that the traditional regiments of the 25th Division (the 14th 27th and 35th Infantry) despite their many battlefield honors were not historical enough to be retained as line regiments and would be reassigned to the training base. The 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry was scheduled for inactivation and the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry was to be activated as a basic training battalion at Fort Dix, NJ.

Strong opposition by 25th Division advocates caused the plan to be modified to the extent that elements the 14th and 27th Infantry were retained in the 25th Division but such was not to be with the 35th Infantry. Subsequently the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry was inactivated on 27 July 1987. A change in training requirements led to the decision not to assign any 35th Infantry elements to the training base. Consequently for the first time since its activation in 1916 there were no regular army elements of the 35th Infantry on active duty.

The responsibility for maintaining the traditions and spirit of the Cacti fell solely to the 3rd Battalion, 35th Infantry an army reserve infantry battalion stationed at Springfield, Massachusetts. The 3rd Battalion, (descending from Company C) was activated as the 3rd Battle Group, 35th Infantry and assigned to the 94th Infantry Division in 1959. In 1962 it was redesignated as the 3rd Battalion and in 1963 assigned to the 187th Infantry Brigade. When the Army decided to eliminate combat arms units from the Army Reserve, the 3rd Battalion, 35th Infantry was inactivated on 15 April 1994.

By 1990 the Army belatedly recognized that with the large force draw-down after Desert Storm and with the increasing peace keeping duties a unit replacement system based on the Army’s organization as of 1986 could not be implemented. The Army recognized that severe damage had been done to the historical ties between many regiments and divisions in attempting a unit replacement system. In 1995 the Center of Military History developed a plan to restore as many of these historical ties as possible. The CMH plan was implemented in 1995 leading to the return of the 35th Infantry to its historical home at Schofield Barracks and the 25th Division. The 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry was reactivated on 16 August 1995 as a light infantry battalion and assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division.

The 35th Infantry in Operation Enduring Freedom
The 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry deployed to Afghanistan with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team in April 2004 and was based at Kandahar Airfield. Organized as Task Force 2-35 Infantry, its mission was to provide security and stability in Zabol Province and to maintain a platoon-seized Division Quick Reaction Force (QRF) for southern Afghanistan. The QRF conducted over twenty missions in support of combat operations, security operations and rescue missions. In the first eight months of its tour of duty the Cacti conducted eleven combat operations resulting in the insurgents being unable to disrupt the October national election voting in Zabol Province. By January 2005 the battalion had established an effective police and government presence in all eleven districts of Zabol Province while continuing to rout out pockets of insurgent activity. In April 2005 TF 2-35 Infantry turned over its mission to the 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry a unit that had formally served with the Tropic Lightning from 1960-61. The Cacti returned to Schofield Barracks justifiably proud of the combat and reconstruction accomplishments achieved during its one-year tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Other 35th Infantry Regiment Resources
The 35th Infantry Regiment Association and the Third Brigades of the 25th and 4th Infantry Divisions site is shared by two sets of pages: The 35th Regiment Association, and a broader section on the3rd Brigade (1/14; 1/35; 2/35 Infantry). Among the features of these pages, you will find a “KIA” listing by unit, a Time Line for Vietnam, and a Roster by company for all members of these units. Included within the Roster are those who served in the field with these troops: medics, artillery forward observers, their RTOs, Clergy, etc. Stop over if you have a little time, help out with the “KIA” or “Time Line” if you can, and add your name to the Roster.

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COAT OF ARMS

Cacti
Motto: Take Arms

Symbolism: The regiment was originally organized in Arizona with personnel from the 11th, 18th, and 22nd Infantry. These organizations are shown on the canton. During the Civil War the predecessor of the 11th Infantry was in the 2nd Division, V Corps, the badge of which was a white Maltese cross; the 18th Infantry was in the 1st Division, XIV Corps, with a red acorn as the badge. The 22nd Infantry is representedby the embattled partition line of the canton. The cactus represents the original service of the 35th Infantry on the Mexican border.

The crest commemorates the regiment’s baptism of fire at Nogales, Spanish for walnut trees.

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35th INFANTRY REGIMENT LINEAGE AND HONORS

Constituted 1 July 1916 in the Regular Army as the 35th Infantry

Organized 8-19 July 1916 at Douglas, Arizona

Assigned 7 August 1918 to the 18th Division

Relieved 14 February 1919 from assignment to the 18th Division

Assigned 17 October 1922 to the Hawaiian Division

Relieved 1 October 1941 from assignment to the Hawaiian Division and assigned to the 25th Infantry Division

Relieved 1 February 1957 from assignment to the 25th Infantry Division and reorganized as a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System (CARS)

Withdrawn 16 August 1995 from the Combat Arms Regimental System and reorganized as a parent regiment under the United States Army Regimental System

CAMPAIGN PARTICIPATION CREDIT

World War II
Central Pacific
Guadalcanal
Northern Solomons (with arrowhead)
Luzon

Korean War
UN Defensive
UN Offensive
CCF Intervention
First UN Counteroffensive
CCF Spring Offensive
UN Summer-Fall Offensive
Second Korean Winter
Korea, Summer-Fall 1952
Third Korean Winter
Korea, Summer 1953

Vietnam
Counteroffensive
Counteroffensive, Phase II
Counteroffensive, Phase III
Tet Counteroffensive
Counteroffensive, Phase IV
Counteroffensive, Phase V
Counteroffensive, Phase VI
Tet 69/Counteroffensive
Summer-Fall 1969
Winter-Spring 1970
Sanctuary Counteroffensive
Counteroffensive, Phase VII

DECORATIONS

Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered GUADALCANAL

Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered NAM RIVER

Valorous Unit Award, Streamer embroidered QUANG NGAI PROVINCE

Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1967-1968

Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered 17 OCTOBER 1944 TO 4 JULY 1945

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered MASAN-CHINJU

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered MUNSAN-NI

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered KOREA

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1st BATTALION, 35th INFANTRY REGIMENT LINEAGE AND HONORS

Constituted 1 July 1916 in the Regular Army as Company A, 35th Infantry

Organized 13 July 1916 at Douglas, Arizona

(35th Infantry assigned 7 August 1918 to the 18th Division; relieved 14 February 1919 from assignment to the 18th Division; assigned 17 October 1922 to the Hawaiian Division; relieved 1 October 1941 from assignment to the Hawaiian Division and assigned to the 25th Infantry Division)

Reorganized and redesignated 1 February 1957 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battle Group, 35th Infantry, an element of the 25th Infantry Division (organic elements concurrently constituted and activated)

Reorganized and redesignated 12 August 1963 as the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry

Relieved 1 August 1967 from assignment to the 25th Infantry Division and assigned to the 4th Infantry Division

Inactivated 10 April 1970 at Fort Lewis, Washington

Relieved 5 June 1972 from assignment to the 4th Infantry Division and assigned to the 25th Infantry Division; concurrently, activated at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

Inactivated 27 July 1987 at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and relieved from assignment to the 25th Infantry Division

CAMPAIGN PARTICIPATION CREDIT

World War II
Central Pacific
Guadalcanal
Northern Solomons (with arrowhead)
Luzon

Korean War
UN Defensive
UN Offensive
CCF Intervention
First UN Counteroffensive
CCF Spring Offensive
UN Summer-Fall Offensive
Second Korean Winter
Korea, Summer-Fall 1952
Third Korean Winter
Korea, Summer 1953

Vietnam
Counteroffensive
Counteroffensive, Phase II
Counteroffensive, Phase III
Tet Counteroffensive
Counteroffensive, Phase IV
Counteroffensive, Phase V
Counteroffensive, Phase VI
Tet 69/Counteroffensive
Summer-Fall 1969
Winter-Spring 1970

DECORATIONS

Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered GUADALCANAL

Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered NAM RIVER

Valorous Unit Award, Streamer embroidered QUANG NGAI PROVINCE

Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1967-1968

Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered 17 OCTOBER 1944 TO 4 JULY 1945

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered MASAN-CHINJU

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered MUNSAN-NI

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered KOREA

Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1966-1967

Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1967-1969

Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1969-1970

Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class, Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1967-1969

Company A additionally entitled to:
Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered PLEIKU PROVINCE
Valorous Unit Award, Streamer embroidered DARLAC PROVINCE

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2nd BATTALION, 35th INFANTRY REGIMENT LINEAGE AND HONORS

Constituted 1 July 1916 in the Regular Army as Company B, 35th Infantry

Organized 13 July 1916 at Douglas, Arizona

(35th Infantry assigned 7 August 1918 to the 18th Division; relieved 14 February 1919 from assignment to the 18th Division; assigned 17 October 1922 to the Hawaiian Division; relieved 1 October 1941 from assignment to the Hawaiian Division and assigned to the 25th Infantry Division)

Inactivated 1 February 1957 in Hawaii, relieved from assignment to the 25th Infantry Division; concurrently redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2d Battle Group, 35th Infantry

Assigned 19 February 1962 to the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii and activated at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii (organic elements concurrently constituted and activated)

Reorganized and redesignated 12 August 1963 as the 2d Battalion, 35th Infantry

Relieved 1 August 1967 from assignment to the 25th Infantry Division and assigned to the 4th Infantry Division

Relieved 15 December 1970 from assignment to the 4th Infantry Division and assigned to the 25th Infantry Division

Inactivated 5 June 1972 at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and relieved from assignment to the 25th Infantry Division

Assigned 16 August 1995 to the 25th Infantry Division and activated at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

CAMPAIGN PARTICIPATION CREDIT

World War II
Central Pacific
Guadalcanal
Northern Solomons (with arrowhead)
Luzon

Korean War
UN Defensive
UN Offensive
CCF Intervention
First UN Counteroffensive
CCF Spring Offensive
UN Summer-Fall Offensive
Second Korean Winter
Korea, Summer-Fall 1952
Third Korean Winter
Korea, Summer 1953

Vietnam
Counteroffensive
Counteroffensive, Phase II
Counteroffensive, Phase III
Tet Counteroffensive
Counteroffensive, Phase IV
Counteroffensive, Phase V
Counteroffensive, Phase VI
Tet 69/Counteroffensive
Summer-Fall 1969
Winter-Spring 1970
Sanctuary Counteroffensive
Counteroffensive, Phase VII

2nd BATTALION, 35th INFANTRY REGIMENT DECORATIONS

Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered GUADALCANAL

Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered NAM RIVER

Valorous Unit Award, Streamer embroidered QUANG NGAI PROVINCE

Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1967-1968

Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered 17 OCTOBER 1944 TO 4 JULY 1945

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered MASAN-CHINJU

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered MUNSAN-NI

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered KOREA

Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1966-1967

Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1967-1969

Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1969-1970

Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class, Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1967-1969

Company A additionally entitled to:
Valorous Unit Award, Streamer embroidered PLEIKU PROVINCE

Company B additionally entitled to:
Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered PLEIKU PROVINCE


– History researched and organized by John Keliher using U.S. Army historical records. Lineage and Honors Statements furnished by the U.S. Army Center of Military History.