HEADQUARTERS 41ST INFANTRY DIVISION

APO 41

26 August 1944

GENERAL ORDERS : no. 65

COMMENDATION

Recent landings at Wardo and Korim Bay have broken all active organized resistance of the Japanese. The 41st Infantry Division may well be proud of its action against the enemy in the Biak operation. The victory was difficult. We take pride in the fact that the division came through with a shining record. Information obtained after the landing showed the Japanese strength to be approximately 11,000. The counted enemy dead to date is over 4700. In addition to that, there are thousands of uncounted dead and over 330 prisoners. The survivors are dying of starvation and disease. We have liberated some 600 Javanese citizens of the Netherlands Indies and 25,000 natives. While our losses cause a note of sadness to each and every one of us, they were only a very small fraction of the casualties inflicted upon the enemy.

Our arduous days of training in learning the use of our superior weapons enable us to keep our losses down. We intend to take advantage of every one of the strategems of modern war to exploit our material advantages to save the lives of our men.

This is the first time the division has operated as a unit. Sananda, Salamaua, Aitape, Hollandia, Toem, Wakde, saw operations of portions of the division. The Biak operation finally allowed the division to operate as a whole and to evaluate its worth as a unit. How well it did operate is reflected in the victory obtained at Biak.

The enemy was a cunning, aggressive foe. He was from a veteran division of the China and Burma campaigns. His record was superb and during this action he maintained it. Defeating his enemy was an accomplishment which reflects great credit on the Task Force.

The artillery has well demonstrated its capabilities. The excellent tactical and technical employment of the artillery has made the task of the infantry much easier. The artillery in its support cracked enemy strongpoints; it was accurate, enabling the infantry to close with minimum losses. The artillery forward observers, liaison pilots and their enlisted assistants, have shared the hazards of the infantry. The gunners and the ammunition details performed well in keeping the guns operating.

Our medical corps performed in its usual outstanding manner. Their devotion to duty in caring for our wounded is worth every bit of praise we can bestow. The medical personnel of the division have received more decorations in proportion to their numbers than any other branch.

Our supply services, the ordnance, quartermaster, medical, signal and engineers were not found wanting. Their contribution to the common effort was notable.

The division engineers made possible the forward movement of the infantry by construction of roads, by demolition crews often sharing the intense fire of the infantry in order to accomplish their mission.

In communications, one of the most important factors in controlling troops, our signal corps functioned as a fine integrated team. Not only the division signal company, but the signal communication teams of the artillery, infantry and other units, carried out their duties under trying and hazardous conditions.

No other task in the division is comparable to the load carried by the infantry soldier. He is our only reason for existence. He is the man who captures and holds the ground. He carries the fight to the enemy. The infantry soldier was the one who met in hand-to-hand combat the crack troops of the Japanese, threw from him from his positions, destroyed him, and gave us our victory. To these men we are eternally grateful and a pride rises in our hearts that is going to carry us on from victory to victory in the future.

We had with us attached personnel—anti-aircraft units, additional artillery, service troops. Each and every one did his part to assist in securing the victory we have gained. The whole was an integrated team which has carried on to complete successfully the mission assigned.

To every member of the division and attached units I extend my congratulations on the record you have made. You have fulfilled the highest traditions of the military service of the United States Armed Forces.

s/ Jens A. Doe

t/ JENS A. DOE

Major General, U. S. Army, Commanding