35th Infantry Regiment in WWII


1941 - 1942

The 35th Inf. Regt. and the Attack on Pearl Harbor

Barely two months after joining the newly formed 25th Division, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and the surrounding military installations. The 35th Infantry Regiment was deployed to defend against what was thought to be an imminent ground invasion by Japanese troops. That attack never developed and the 35th spent the next year preparing for the American response.

December 7, 1941

25th Inf. Div Daily Journals

Fully illustrating the "fog of war" the Daily Journal of the 25th Division offers a first hand look of the events as they unfolded that day. Japanese paratroopers were reported landing, invasion forces were reported just offshore and spies were communicating with the Japanese.



January 1943 - August 1943


By late 1942, the Japanese had pushed deep into the Pacific. Guadalcanal was at the tip of their push and the first major land pushback by the Americans. The Marines invaded the island in August of 1942  and won many hard fought battles but had made little progress in moving the Japanese from the island. On 25 November the 25th Division was ordered to Guadalcanal. By the end of the first week in January 1943, the 35th Infantry Regiment was in place to join the effort to displace the Japanese. The speed with which the 25th Division carried out her mission earned her the nickname "Tropic Lightning" Division. The 35th Infantry Regiment would earn a Presidential Unit Citation and two of her members the Medal of Honor.



August 1943 - January 1945

Vella Lavella to New Caledonia 

With Guadalcanal now firmly in American hands, the drive to push the Japanese from the Solomon Islands continued, but was met with stiff resistance. Fearing a long campaign to drive the enemy from Kolumbangara, it was decided to bypass the Japanese stronghold. The 35th Infantry Regiment was chosen to spearhead the attack on the Island of Vella Lavella. On August 15, 1943 the 35th Infantry Regiment invaded, earning her a bronze assault landing arrowhead on her Northern Solomon's campaign streamer. On 18 September the defense of Vella Lavella was turned over to New Zealand forces and the 35th returned to Guadalcanal. In late November she moved to New Zealand for a much needed rest. But too soon she was transferred to New Caledonia for training for the next battle.


January 1945 - September 1945

Luzon, Philippines 

In January 1945 the battle to retake the Philippines from Japan was begun. This narrative is from the official report from 35th Infantry Regiment commander Stanley R "Swede" Larson. The American forces in the north of the Philippines were facing 150,000 Japanese troops who were well supplied and well dug in to resist the American invasion. The Japanese strategy was not to oppose the landing, but to fight from strongpoint's and make the US forces pay for every inch of terrain. They achieved that goal and over the next 165 days the fight was fierce and bloody. The report is illustrated with drawings from William Rutherfoord's 165 Days A Story of the 25th Division on Luzon.

William Rutherfoord's Book

"165 Days-25th Division on Luzon"

Captivating Illustration of the Life of a Grunt Fighting on Luzon



William De Jarnette Rutherfoord spent the entire Luzon Campaign embedded with the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. During that time he made drawings of what it was like to be a doughboy fighting against the Japanese. Chronicling the fight across Luzon, the book is filled with images of war and memorializes the bravery of the American GI.



Occupation of Japan




Following the surrender by Japan, the 35th Infantry Regiment landed at Nagoya, Japan on 25 October 1950. In January of 1945, she transferred to Camp Otsu in the Japanese interior.

Russell P Rexrode Photo Collection


Russell P Rexrode Collection provided by grandson Russell Weaver. This collection covers Pvt Rexrode's time with the 35th Infantry in 1938-39 while the 35th was still part of the Hawaiian Division. Some great photos of Schofield, the division on parade, planes and ships, and a few postcards from the time.



Joseph J Ransdell Photo Collection 


Joseph John Ransdell Collection provided by grandson Mathew Ransdell. This collection shows many photos from Camp Otsu where the 35th was stationed in January of 1946 during the occupation of Japan.