158th Regimental Combat Team
The 158th Regimental Combat Team, an Arizona National Guard unit of mostly Hispanic soldiers, also fought in the Pacific Theatre. Early in the war, the 158th, nicknamed the "Bushmasters", had been deployed to protect the Panama Canal and had completed jungle training. The unit later fought the Japanese in the New Guinea area in heavy combat and was involved in the liberation of the Philippine Islands. General MacArthur referred to them as "the greatest fighting combat team ever deployed for battle." The 158th was selected to spearhead the invasion of Japan and was sent to attack the island of Tanega Shima to silence Japanese air warning stations. The planned invasion of Japan was never realized; after Japan's surrender, the unit was sent on October 13, 1945 to Yokohama, Japan as part of the United States Army of occupation.
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