The 88th Infantry Division Association was an organization founded in remembrance and support of the 88th Infantry Division. Their commitment to honoring Soldiers and giving assistance whenever possible is in alignment with AER’s own commitments. With only ten veterans left in the group, the Southeast Chapter recently agreed to dissolve their association and donate the remanding funds to Army Emergency Relief. Mrs. Denise Hammaker, the Treasurer of the Southeast Chapter of the 88th ID Association, presented a check of $15,000 to AER Director LTG (Ret.) Raymond Mason on behalf of their respective associations.
AER is proud to maintain the principals and rights of the 88th ID Association and aims to carry on its legacy in aiding Soldiers and Families when they need it most.
In recognition, here is a historical overview of the service of the Division:
The 88th Infantry Division, formed in Camp Dodge, Iowa, earned nicknames ranging from “Cloverleaf Division,” to “Blue Devils” during World War I and II. In World War I, this Division earned a streamer for the Alsace Campaign, where they helped the French regain Alsace and Lorraine, both of which were lost 43 years earlier to the Germans in the Franco-Prussian War. The Division suffered approximately 590 casualties in their time of service during World War I, and it was temporarily demobilized on June 10, 1919.
They were again ordered to active service for World War II on July 15, 1942, at Camp Gruber, Oklahoma. After training in several US and overseas locations, the 88th ID entered the front line on February 27, 1944, during the Italian Campaign. In this Campaign, they were awarded campaign streamers for the Rome-Arno, North Apennines, and Po Valley battles. The 88th ID is officially credited with being the first all-draftee division to enter combat in World War II. In Italy, the division battled through mountainous terrain against a determined enemy who was well dug in, becoming officially recognized as the first unit to enter Rome.
After World War II, most of the 88th ID was once again inactivated, but the 351st Infantry Regiment was used to create The Trieste United States Troops in May 1947. TRUST Soldiers stayed in Europe to keep peace after a border disagreement between Italy and Yugoslavia. Likewise, the 350th Infantry Regiment was activated in June 1948, at Camp Truscott in Austria aiding the United States Zone of Vienna.