Original U.S. WWII 1st Infantry Division Brass Miniature M1 Bayonet - USGI Souvenir Trench Art

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a World War Two souvenir for a solider assigned to the 1st Infantry Division, 18th Infantry Regiment. This is an all brass miniature M1 Grand bayonet (letter opener) with the Big Red One insignia in one grip panel and the crossed rifles with 18 on the other grip panel. The blade is engraved on both sides with the following: (Side 1) Algeria, Tunisia, Sicily (Side 2) France, Belgium, Germany, Czechoslovakia, which are the countries for the campaigns of the 18th ID. The bayonet measures 9" in overall length.

18th Infantry Regiment in WWII
North African campaign. On 8 November 1942, the 18th Infantry Regiment (part of the 1st Infantry Division) went ashore at Oran, Algeria. Ensuring that the 18th was one of the first U.S. Army infantry units to engage in combat against Axis forces. The regiment (or elements of the regiment) would experience heavy action over the following seven months at Maktar, Tebourba, Medjez el Bab, the Battle of Kasserine Pass (where American forces were pushed back), and Gafsa. It also participated at El Guettar, Béja, and Mateur. The 18th Infantry Regiment was in combat in the Tunisian Campaign from 21 January 1943 to 9 May 1943, helping secure Tunisia for the Allies.

Invasion of Sicily. The regiment participated in The Battle of Gela (10 - 12 May 1943) where it withstood heavy counterattacks from Italian and German forces. On 7 August 1943, the 18th Infantry Regiment captured Mount Pellegrino which overlooked the Troina defenses allowing accurate direction of Allied artillery.

Invasion of Normandy. The 18th Infantry Regiment was part of the landing forces that participated in the initial onset of Operation Overlord. The 18th Regimental Combat Team (RCT) was part of the 1st Infantry Division forces that stormed Omaha Beach. The regiment was scheduled to land at 09:30 on Easy Red. The first battalion to land, 2/18, arrived at the E-1 draw 30 minutes late after a difficult passage through the congestion off shore. Casualties were light, though despite the existence of a narrow channel through the beach obstacles the ramps and mines there accounted for the loss 22 LCVP's, 2 LCI(L)'s and 4 LCT's. Supported by tank and subsequent naval fire, the newly arrived troops took the surrender of the last strong point defending the entrance to the E-1 draw at 11:30. Although a usable exit was finally opened, congestion prevented an early exploitation inland. The three battalions of the 115th RCT, scheduled to land from 10:30 on Dog Red and Easy Green came in together and on top of the 18th RCT landings at Easy Red. The confusion prevented the remaining two battalions of the 18th RCT from landing until 13:00 and delayed the move off the beach of all but 2/18, which had exited the beach further east before noon, until 14:00. Even then, this movement was hampered by mines and enemy positions still in action further up the draw.

Northwest Europe The 18th Infantry Regiment would experience almost eleven months of continual combat operations from the allied invasion of Normandy (June 6, 1944) to the end of World War II in Europe in May 1945. Among the many actions that the regiment participated in were Battle of Aachen, Battle of Hürtgen Forest, The Battle of the Bulge and crossing at the Remagen bridgehead 15 - 16 March, 1945.
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