The 31st Infantry Regiment

A History of “America’s Foreign Legion” in Peace and War

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About the Book

Formed in 1916, the U.S. Army 31st Infantry Regiment—known as the Polar Bears—has fought in virtually every war in modern American history. This richly illustrated chronicle of the regiment’s century of combat service covers their exploits on battlefields from Manila to Siberia—including Pork Chop Hill, Nui Chom Mountain and Iraq’s Triangle of Death—along with their survival during the Bataan Death March and the years of brutal captivity that followed.

Bibliographic Details

By the members of the 31st Infantry Regiment Association
Foreword by General Barry R. McCaffrey
Afterword by General Stephen J. Townsend
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 527
Bibliographic Info: 187 photos, 19 maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6909-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3276-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Foreword by General Barry R. McCaffrey 1

Preface 5

Introduction 6

Prologue: Birth of a Regiment by Karl H. Lowe 9

Part I. Initial Deployments by Karl H. Lowe

 1. Siberia, 1918–1920 15

 2. Return to Manila, 1920–1932 46

 3. Shanghai, 1932 53

 4. Manila Again, 1932–1941 72

Part II. World War II by Karl H. Lowe

 5. Enemy Attacks in the Philippines, 1941–1942 87

 6. Jungle Warfare 101

 7. Surrender 115

 8. Captivity 127

 9. Occupation Duty: Korea and Japan, 1946–1950 136

Part III. Korea by Karl H. Lowe

10. Inchon, 1950 153

11. North Korea, 1950 163

12. The Chosin Reservoir 171

13. Task Force Faith 181

14. Back to the Offensive: 1951 195

15. Central Korea, 1952 211

16. The Bloodiest Year: 1953 218

17. The Cold War in Korea, 1953–1987 230

Part IV. Vietnam and Cambodia

A. 4th Battalion by James B. Simms

18. Fort Devens, Deployment, Initial Operations 245

19. 4th Battalion in Vietnam, 1967 256

20. 4th Battalion in Vietnam, 1968 270

21. 4th Battalion in Vietnam, 1969 287

22. 4th Battalion in Vietnam, 1970–1971 302

B. 6th Battalion by Karl H. Lowe

23. Fort Lewis, Deployment, First Casualties, 1967–1968 311

24. 6th Battalion in Vietnam: Battles of Da Phuoc and Saigon, 1968 326

25. 6th Battalion in Vietnam: Battles of Can Giuoc and Cai Nua, 1968–1969 344

26. 6th Battalion in Vietnam, 1969–1970 361

27. 6th Battalion in Vietnam and Cambodia, 1970 371

Part V. The 10th Mountain Division Era

by Grady A. Smith

28. Fort Drum: Initial Deployments; Afghanistan 387

29. Iraq and Afghanistan 401

Conclusion: Celebrating the First Hundred Years by Grady Smith 421

Afterword by General Stephen J. Townsend 423

Appendix 1. Officers Roster Upon Activation; Chain of Command at First Deployment 429

Appendix 2. 31st Infantry Chain of Command, 14 December 1941 431

Appendix 3. The Shanghai Bowl Ceremony 432

Appendix 4. 31st Infantry Regiment Soldiers Killed in Action in All Wars 434

Chapter Notes 480

Bibliography 497

Index 503