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The 186th Regiment History

Campaigns

The 186th Infantry Regiment was constituted on the 7th of December, 1921, as a separate Battalion in the Oregon Army National Guard. By 31 March 1922, it was re-designated the 1st Battalion, 186th Infantry, and was made up of companies from Gresham, Portland, Hood River, Cottage Grove and Medford.  

In 1940, the Regiment was inducted into Federal service for a year of training. When war broke out with the attack on Pearl Harbor, the year extended into ‘the duration'. The 186th, as a part of the 41st Infantry Division, was one of the first American Combat units to be sent overseas.

Papua-New Guinea was the site of the Regiment's first combat. Working with the other Regiments of the Division and elements of the Australian Army, the 186th helped overcome difficult resistance by Japanese troops. The Papuan campaign lasted from early January into September 1943. The Regiment landed in New Guinea in April 1944 and helped secure that archipelago by late July. Following reorganization, the effort shifted to the invasion of the Phillipines.

The 186th went ashore on Palawan Island, in the southern Philippines, in February, 1945. That campaign lasted for the remainder of the war. 

With the 186th scheduled to take part in the invasion of Japan, planned for November, the end of the war allowed the Regiment to enter Japan peacefully, as occupation troops instead. In December 1945, the Regiment, and the 41st Division, were deactivated in Japan, and left active service.  

The Regiment was re-organized in December 1946.  In 1968, the Regiment was reduced to a single Battalion, and the Headquarters was moved to Ashland. 

Units are currently located in Ashland, Medford, Grants Pass, Roseburg and Coos Bay.

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186th Unit Insignia

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Motto:   
CUSTODES PORTAE OCCIDENTIS 

"Guardians of the 
Western Gate"  

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Symbolism:
Design approved May 18, 1925.  The rose is the flower of the Northwest.  The two arms interlocked with swords are indicative of military strength, ready to strike at an enemy who endeavors to enter the U.S. through the Western Gate (represented by the gateway in the tower).  The shield is blue for Infantry and the gold is adapted from the state of Oregon flag.

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186 Infantry in Action:
 
"Approach to the Philippines"

"Southern Philippines" 

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41st Infantry
"Jungleers"
Division History

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Constituted July 1917, the 41st Infantry Division was formed (Named the Sunset Division).  

During World War I the 41st Division was designated a replacement division and did not go to combat as a unit.

After World War I, Oregon was instructed to form the 162nd and the 186th Infantry Regiments, comprising the 82nd Brigade of the Division, as well as the 218th Field Artillery Regiment. Other divisional units were to be furnished by Washington, Idaho, and Montana.

In 1940, the 41st Infantry Division was inducted into Federal service for WWII. It became the first American Division sent overseas after Pearl Harbor, the first American Division trained in Jungle Warfare and the first American division to meet the Imperial Japanese Forces, not in defense, but in an offensive operation.

The Division fought for 76 continuous days in combat against the Japanese at Salamaua. For 26 days only canned "C" rations were available. At the end of this campaign, Tokyo Rose, in her propaganda broadcasts, referred to the 41st as the "Butcher Division" because, among all the records established by the 41st, it established a record for taking the least number of Japanese prisoners-of-war in the entire Pacific theatre.  

The Division spent 45 months overseas (longer than any other Division), and earned the title of "Jungleers". 

The unit deactivated in 1945 in Kure, Japan.

The 41st Infantry Division reformed in Oregon in 1946. It was reorganized in 1965 as the 41st Infantry Brigade. In 1968, the 41st Division was inactivated, but its heritage remain with Oregon. The traditions and spirit of the Division passed to the 41st Infantry Brigade which proudly wears the Sunset patch and bears its colors.

41st Div Combat Chronicle

41st Div History

41st Div Heraldry

41st Div at Papua

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