98th Infantry Division, WW II

Sharing stories for future generations will ensure that the history and legacy of the Iroquois soldiers will be remembered.  I hope you will share stories however small for others to enjoy.


Private First Class: Harland B. Greene.  391st Infantry Regiment, Co. C.

My dad entered the service on Nov. 2, 1942 at Camp Devens, Mass. He arrived at Camp Breckinridge, Ky. a few days later and made his first entry into his daily dairy;

(Nov. 16, 1942) "I start my diary today. Received it as a birthday gift from Arlene and Allen. I am stationed at Camp Breckinridge,Kentucky as a Pvt. in the U.S. Army. We drilled all day long. I am very lonesome for my wife as usual. I received a letter from my mother, Dickie and Allen, and Loring Humphries. Arose at 5:45 AM. retired at 9:00 PM."

(Nov 19, 1942) "Today I was picked out of 3,000 men in my regiment along with 7 other fellows to attend radio school. We went on a 4 mile hike"

(Nov. 21, 1942) "Today I worked again in the orderly doing clerical work. Received a package from my wonderful wife & letter"

(Dec. 10, 1942) "Today was rifle sighting, went over the obstacle course. Had a feeling today that the end of the war was close"  Hope I'm right!

(Dec. 16, 1942) "God was good to me today. I qualified as marksman. It was cold. Worked in the pit in the afternoon.  Wish I was with my wife."

(Dec. 25, 1942) "Today is Christmas. We had very nice dinner. I was terribly lonesome for my wife and home.


Camp Breckinridge, Christmas Day, 1942

(Back Row: Eugene Major, Andy McCormack, Angelo Anatasis
Front Row: Jim Brody, Carl Thema, Harland Greene)

In September 1943, my Dad along with the rest of the 98th Division participated in the Second Army No. 3 Tennessee Maneuvers.  I remember my father telling me that his company needed to make a river crossing at night. Being a good swimmer he volunteered to swim across the river to secure a rope to help the rest of the company proceed.


Camp Rucker, Alabama

After the Tennessee Maneuvers and few months stay at Camp Rucker, it was off to Seattle POE and to Hawaii.   There my father was sent on detached service with the Military Police at the District Headquarters.    Soon after, the Special Service office of the 391st Infantry put together a Dance Band called the "14 Hawks"


"The 14 Hawks - 391st Infantry"

Without question, my father's fondest memories was playing trumpet and arranging much of the music for the "14 Hawks". They provided much entertainment for the troops in Hawaii and while on occupation duty in Japan.  Some of the members of the band had played with some top bands of the day prior to the war.

The one story my father told me about Japan was a time when he and a friend were in a hotel or some type of building. While looking around the came across a group of Japanese broadcasting on a radio. They immediately informed the MP's but don't know the result of that encounter. My father left the 98th Division on Dec. 8, 1945, as shown in the "Morning Report" shown below (apparently, he had previously been transferred to Co. "A") and finally returned home, being discharged on Jan. 17, 1946.




U.S.N.S. General Blatchford - Dad's ride home!

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Sgt. Cameron M. Kissell, Chief of Staff Section, 98th Division Headquarters Co.

(Anecdotes on Experiences in the 98th Infantry Division - WWII shared with me in 1995)

Cameron entered the Army as a private at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in October 1942, and after initial processing, found himself on a troop train headed for Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky. Upon arrival, he was assigned to the Chief of Staff Section of the 98th Infantry Division Headquarters. He was assigned as Secretary to Brigadier General George L. Eberle, Assistant Division Commander. He also performed duties for Chief of Staff Colonel Ray L. Burnell and later for Major General Paul L. Ransom, Division Commander.


(1) 
When the 98th Division was on maneuvers in Tennessee in September-November 1943, at the conclusion of some of the field problems, that lasted for 3 to 4 days, the enlisted men would be granted 12-hour passes to visit nearby towns or cities, usually Nashville. The Headquarters Commandant, who also serves a Company Commander  for Division Headquarters Company, was Captain Thomas Beck. We were told that in civilian life he had parts in some Will Rogers movies. At times, Captain Beck's penchant for the dramatic was discernible in his actions. At the en of one field problem, the men of the company were gathered around the command post like a pack of hungry jackals, eagerly waiting to be "awarded" one of the small paper passes which Captain Beck held in his hand. All of a sudden, he drew himself up and addressed us as follows: "Men, will you please stop looking at me so reproachfully!" He then proceeded to hand out the passes which were the men's passport via an Army 2-1/2 ton truck into Nashville.

(2) Ont he final week-end of Tennessee Maneuvers, on or about November 6, 1943, I was detailed to duty in the Message Center of the 98th Division Command Post, near Manchester, Tennessee. Many or most of the officers would usually go into nearby towns for the week-end, but on this particular day Brigadier General George L. Eberle, Assistant Div. Commander, was on duty in the Command Post.

While in the Message Center, I observed a message coming in on the TWX-type machine reading, substantially, as follows:

PAUL L. RANSOM, MAJOR GENERAL, IS HEREBY RELIEVED OF COMMAND OF THE 98TH INFANTRY DIVISION, AND IS HEREBY ORDERED TO REPORT TO FORT MONROE, VIRGINIA...

This message hit me like a "bolt our of the blue, as I had personally heard or seen nothing to indicate that General Ransom's relief was in the offing. My first reaction was to take the message immediately to General Eberle, who I found sitting at a table in his pyramidal tent. I saluted the General and handed him the message. I purposely lingered a few seconds to observe any possible reaction and his facial expression, since General Eberle had served with General Ransom since the Division had been activated over a year before. He read the message without seeming to evidence even the slightest twitch of emotion, thanked me, and I departed. Of course, it is possible the General Eberle knew that General Ransom's relief was imminent, but I preferred to attribute his reaction to General Eberle's  military mien and excellent soldierly discipline that he manifested at all times.

(3) In late June or early July 1944, while on duty in the Chief of Staff Section, 98th Division Headquarters on Kauai, Hawaii, I answered the telephone. The voice was that of Lieutenant General Robert C. Richardson, Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces in the Central Pacific Area ( USAFICPA), on the island of Oahu. He inquired if General Griner (98th Commander) was in. I went to the door of General Griner's office and informed him that General Richardson was on the line. A few minutes later, the General called me into his office and ordered me to "get in touch with Lieutenant Wheeler ( his Aide, who at that time was taking jungle training), and have him report to me immediately."

With this telephone call, General Griner was being "tapped" to assume command of the 27th Infantry Division then engaged in the Battle of Saipan, in relief of Major General Ralph C. Smith who had just been relieved of command of the 27th by  Marine Corps Lieutenant General Holland M. "Howlin' Mad" Smith, who commanded land forces in teh Saipan operation. The relief of General Ralph Smith set off a fiery controversy that received national media attention in the midst of the War. Shortly thereafter, General Ralph Smith was given command of the 98th Division, still training in Hawaii, and I served briefly as his secretary before returning to the States and Officer Candidate School.

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Pfc. Trevor J. Harris, Headquarters Co., 1st Bn., 391st Inf. Regiment

Trevor Harris was a friend of my Dad, (Harland B. Greene) who I had the pleasure of meeting at a reunion of the "14 Hawks" 391st Regiment Dance Band.  Trevor played Tenor Sax in the Band.  In 1995 he sent me these sketchings that he drew while station at Camp Rucker Alabama and one in Hawaii.



Company Street, Camp Rucker, Alabama


Inside the Barracks, 391st Infantry,  Camp Rucker, Alabama, January 30. 1944


Inside of a Squad Hut.  Hawaii