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Infantry Regiment

10th Mountain Division  

Joseph Henry Hudspeth entered active service on December 14, 1942 in Tulsa , Oklahoma. After 3-1/2 months of infantry basic training in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he joined the 87th Infantry Regiment at Camp Hale, in Pando, Colorado.  He served first in HQ Company of the regiment's 2nd Battalion (87-HQ-2); then transferred to 87-E, and finally to the 87th H Company.

The 87th Infantry Regiment, at Camp Hale, was the first of the 10th Mountain Division's three regiments to form - 85th, 86, and 87th.  They went through rigorous training in mountain and winter warfare.

In June 1943, the 87th moved to Fort Ord, California, for amphibious training as part of a 30,000-man task force getting ready to take back the Aleutian island of Kiska, which was occupied by the Japanese.  

On August 15 and 16, 1943, his regiment went ashore on Kiska to find that the enemy had departed.  

87th Infantry Regiment training in skiing, snowshoeing, mountain-climbing for mountain and winter warfare near Camp Hale, Colorado.
Joseph Henry is on the far right of the back row.

Joseph Henry is standing in this photograph.  
Date and location are unknown.

Cooper Hill, the primary ski training area for the Tenth Mountain Division, which was located above Camp Hale

Amphibious Taskforce 9.

In January 1943, the 35th Division less the 110th Engineers and certain other of its units, was ordered back to Camp San Luis Obispo. The 110th Engineers continued its duties as Southern California sector troops until April and then moved to Fort Ord to become a part of the Amphibious Force Number 9. Immediately upon arrival at Fort Ord, the unit began amphibious training and in July 1943 set sail for the assault on Kisha. Enroute, a four-day stop was made at Adak where the unit debarked and familiarized themselves with weather and terrain of the Aleutian Islands. After embarking again, the force set sail and on August 15, 1943, landed upon Kiska. What was supposed to be a surprise landing against the Japanese, turned out to be a surprise to the ATF number 9 for the Japanese had pulled out leaving the island deserted. The 110th spent the next seven weeks in unloading supplies, building roads, docks and Headquarter buildings, and on the 25th of September loaded again on a ship and set out for Hawaii arriving there on October 2, 1943.

Kiska  Alaska | United States

Japanese Capture
On the 6th of June, 1942, the Japanese No. 3 Special Landing Party and 500 Marines went ashore at Kiska. The Japanese captured a small American Naval Weather Detachment consisting of ten men, including a Lieutenant along with their dog. One member of the detachment escaped for 50 days. Starving, thin, and extremely cold he finally surrendered to the Japanese.

Allied Liberation
The island was bombed for 2 1/2 months after Attu's liberation. Thousands of US and some Canadian troops landed on August 15, 1943. The Japanese garrison of 5,200 men had been evacuated from the island on July 23 under the cover of fog. Despite massive US air power, the evacuation slipped by unnoticed. Allied casualties during the invasion nevertheless numbered close to 200, all from friendly fire, booby traps set out by the Japanese to inflict damage on the invading allied forces, or disease. There were seventeen Americans and four Canadians killed from either friendly fire or booby traps, fifty more were wounded as a result of friendly fire or booby traps, and an additional 130 men came down with trench foot.
Susan Hudspeth
Copyright 2004 Susan Kay Hudspeth
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