In this phase, the Division sequentially built squads, platoons, companies, and battalions through a series of field problems. The intensity of training rose with the Carolina temperature, and personnel attrition took its toll. Between activation and the end of June, 1943, the Division lost over two thousand soldiers to injuries and other problems; nearly 1,000 more volunteered for and were transferred to the Air Corps, airborne divisions, or other advanced training programs; and about 500 men were selected for and left to join the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP). The latter program, designed to use especially intelligent soldiers for the more esoteric military tasks inherent to modern warfare, would later play a large role in the Division's history.

 

By July, 1943, the Division embarked on its third phase of training, the "Combined Arms" phase, in which regimental combat teams from across the Division's infantry, artillery, engineer, and medical units came together for the first time in the field. Leaving the Fort Jackson military reservation, the Division spread out over millions of acres of the Palmetto State, conducting maneuvers between Winnsboro and Chester. Opposition was provided by the Sixth Cavalry Regiment (Mechanized), and the oppressive summer weather added a physical aspect of heat to the organizational welding that occurred across the Carolina Piedmont from July through October, 1943.

Crew from Battery B/375th Field Artillery
Battalion firing during training, October, 1943.

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