2013 Reading at Alto Elementary

Red Arrow History

Many of you might not know, but the Lowell "Red Arrows" are named after theRed Arrow Brigade.

The Red Arrow Brigade were activated into duty in the "Great War" otherwise known as WWI.

This brigade was made up of men from Wisconsin and Michigan. A significant number of the men from Michigan were from the Lowell area.

In WWI, the Red Arrow Brigade fought their way through the German lines in some of the most fearful fighting. Germany regarded the Red Arrows to be the toughest group of men that they had to go up against.

The Red Arrow Brigade really got to be known as a fighting machine in WWII fighting the Japanese. Gen. Douglas MacArthur requested that the men with the bold red-arrow insignia on their sleeves be sent straight into the heart of the Pacific war. They were the first U.S. division to be airborne into combat.

Red Arrow Division Patch

By the time the Red Arrow division returned home, the soldiers had fought in six major engagements in four campaigns and logged 654 days of combat, more than any other U.S. division in the Pacific and in WWII. More than 1,954 guardsmen were either killed or wounded, and another 2,952 were hospitalized due to disease. Diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and typhus took a deadly toll on the men of the 32nd, afflicting from 70 percent to 80 percent of the soldiers.

They earned more than 11,500 Purple Hearts, 78 Soldiers Medals, 98 Air Medals, 1,854 Bronze Stars, 845 Silver Stars, 49 Legion of Merit Awards, 157 Distinguished Service Crosses, and 11 Medals of Honor, which only two men survived to receive.

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