The 26th “Yankee” Division on Coast Patrol Duty, 1942–1943


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About the Book

Within hours of the strike against Pearl Harbor, the U.S. military sprang into action to implement a “contingency plan” previously drawn up to protect the coast against a full-scale German invasion or incursions by Nazi espionage agents and saboteurs. The War Department placed the 26th “Yankee” Division (YD) under the jurisdiction of the 1st Coast Artillery District, a subdivision of the U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps. Military leaders charged the division with securing the coast of New England and Long Island, later expanding its area to include the entire eastern seaboard.
Focusing primarily on the unit’s work in “home defense” from January 1942 through November 1943, this history begins with prewar activation and training and recounts in detail the two highly publicized incidents of saboteurs coming ashore in June 1942. Also included are reports of U-boat sightings and encounters with subversive agents by veterans of the YD while on patrol. Firsthand accounts by members of the division provide a look at day-to-day operations.
Appendices contain a number of previously unpublished historical documents. Many period photographs complete this history of a previously undocumented chapter of World War II history.

About the Author(s)

Retired teacher and media specialist Dennis A. Connole spent 32 years in the Worcester school system. He is the author of three books and numerous scholarly articles and lives in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic Details

Dennis A. Connole
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: 85 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3142-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0730-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Preface      1

Introduction      3

1. The 26th “Yankee” Division: Mobilization Period      11

2. Trainees Arrive at Camp Edwards      20

3. Basic Training: March–September 1941      29

4. The “Stovepipe” Platoon      47

5. Time Off from Training: Off Duty Hours      51

6. Public Relations Exercise: Three Day Bivouac in Worcester, Massachusetts      54

7. Advanced Infantry Training: June 16–August 15      59

8. Fort Devens Maneuvers: August 19–September 12, 1941      62

9. Planning Prior to the Carolina Maneuvers of 1941      66

10. The Carolina Maneuvers: October 2–December 3, 1941      71

11. Conclusions of the Carolina Maneuvers      90

12. Return to Camp Edwards: December 6, 1941      94

13. On Shore Patrol in New England and New York: December 1941 to May 1942      98

14. Living Accommodations for Men on Coast Patrol Duty      107

15. Return to Coast Patrol Duty, May 1942: German Spies and Saboteurs Land on American Shores      113

16. U-Boat Sightings and Encounters by the Men of the 181st Infantry      125

17. Problems and Developments      127

18. Saco, Maine—Headquarters, 2nd Battalion, 181st Infantry: May 1942 to November 1943      129

19. Duties and Assignments of the Units on Coast Patrol      139

20. Social and Recreational Activities      149

21. Patrol-Scout Dogs      154

22. Provisional Military Police Unit      162

23. The Rockland Sector      165

Conclusion      175

Appendix A. Organizational List, National Guard of Massachusetts—1939      177

Appendix B. Organizational List, 181st Infantry Regiment, 26th Division—1941      182

Appendix C. Station List, 181st Infantry Combat Team      183

Appendix D. History of the 181st Infantry      186

Appendix E. Résumé of Regimental Activities, 181st Infantry, Since Induction on January 16, 1941      190

Chapter Notes      195

Bibliography      205

Index      207

Book Reviews & Awards

“an outstanding perspective…quite enjoyable…an excellent view…a very enjoyable well-written book”—The Coast Defense Journal; “interesting…an important addition to the literature on the Army in World War II”—On Point; “in depth…strongly recommend…a great addition”—Yankee Doings.