Statistical summaries for Army overseas strength a year after Pearl Harbor are found in a number of diverse sources, published and unpublished. There are certain discrepancies in strength figures and even in identity and number of units cited in the various sources used as a result partly of differences in time of reporting--varying from a few days to a few weeks--and partly of varying statistical bases of counting and reporting. Wherever possible, these data have been checked against one another and reconciled.
Geographic Distribution of Army Strength
in Overseas Theaters--Early December 1942
The strength figures in each of the following tables are taken from the OPD Weekly Status Map of 3 December 1942. Figures in the monthly Strength of the Army Reports for 30 November 1942 correspond roughly with the 3 December Status Map figures. Figures in the OPD Weekly Status Maps include ground service with ground troops and air service with air troops. The OPD Weekly Status Maps do not necessarily correspond with other statistical records kept in the field or in Washington during the war, but they did provide the War Department with its most reliable detailed contemporary summary of over-all Army deployment for planning purposes. Rough as their statistics are, they still represent one of the most valuable sources available on total deployment, area by area, of personnel present, en route, and projected. The post-1945 reports of the Strength of the Army, issued by Office, TAG, Strength Accounting Branch, as part of its STM-30 series, contain revised and official monthly summaries on actual Army strength and ,deployment in theaters of operations and major commands during the war years.
The number and identity of divisions are taken from: (1) Directory of the Army of the U.S. Outside Continental Limits of the U.S. as of 7 December 1942; and (2) Combat Chronicle, An Outline History of U.S. Army Divisions, prepared by the Order of Battle Section, OCMH.
ARMY STRENGTH IN OVERSEAS THEATERS
Present En Route Projected TOTAL1 24,640 Ground 760,960 (17 Divs)2 1,560,190 (30 Divs) Air 202,100 (66 Groups)2 420,610 (73 Groups) EUROPEAN THEATER: British Isles and Iceland:3 Ground 156,970 (2 Divs)4 912,160 (21 Divs) Air 50,190 (16 Groups) 214,500 (30 Groups) Total 1,580 French North Africa5
(Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia):
Ground 127,980 (6 Divs)6 Air 12,600 (11 Groups) MIDDLE EAST-AFRICA: Egypt-Levant States-Eritrea-Aden, Iran-Iraq, Palestine: Ground 6,590 36,560 Air 10,150 (7 Groups) 23,190 (9 Groups) Total 8, 090 Central Africa (Liberia, Gold Coast, Belgian Congo, French Equatorial Africa, Kenya): Ground 2,760 4,030 Air 2,120 2,050 CENTRAL PACIFIC AREA: Hawaii, Fanning Island, Christmas, Canton, Midway, Johnston, Palmyra: Ground 122,540 (4 Divs)7 120,510 (3 Divs) Air 22,520 (4 Groups) 28,720 (5 Groups) Total 2, 590 SOUTH PACIFIC AREA Borabora, Fiji Islands, Efate, Espiritu Santo, Tongatabu, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Guadalcanal, Tongareva, Aitutaki: Ground 77,580 (3 Divs)8 122,610 (4 Dies) Air 13,560 (5 Groups) 20,040 (3 Groups) Total 6, 600 SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines: Ground 77,280 (2 Divs)9 128,340 (2 Divs) Air 32,460 (10 Groups) 53,730 (11 Groups) CHINA-INDIA: Ground 4,770 8,270 Air 9,360 (4 Groups) 12,470 (5 Groups) Total 2,540
Present En Route Projected WESTERN HEMISPHERE Alaska: Ground 72,050 83,650 Air 13,950 (2 Groups) 14,740 (1 Group) Total 1,260 North America (Newfoundland, Greenland, Bermuda, Bahamas, Eastern (Crimson Project) and Western (N.W. Service Command) Canada): Ground 27,540 47,190 Air 2,560 6,550 (1 Group) Latin America (South America: Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Venezuela; Caribbean Defense Command: Puerto Rico, St Thomas, St Croix, Jamaica, Antigua, Panama, Trinidad, Curaçao, Aruba, St Lucia, Surinam, British Guiana; Ascension; Guatemala; Galapagos; Cuba): Ground 84,950 96,870 Air 32,630 (7 Groups) 44,620 (8 Groups) Total 1,980
Table of Contents
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1. Summary for "TOTAL" is taken from: (1) OPD Weekly Status Map, 3 Dec 42; (2) Army Service Forces Statistical Review, App G; (3) AAF Statistical Digest, Table 1; (4) SYMBOL: Casablanca Books, Vol II, Exec 6 and (5) Monthly Strength of the Army.
2. Certain divisions and combat groups were not complete For the shipment of divisions overseas in 1942, see Appendix F, below. The number of air combat groups overseas, a year after Pearl Harbor, varies in different compilations. The difficulties of arriving at an exact figure for the first week in December 1942 are increased by the necessity of adding incomplete groups, converting lists of squadrons to the equivalent number of groups or parts of groups, and taking into account at least one group in transit to the United States. The figure 66--used here--is based on the AAF Statistical Digest total for 30 November 1942.
3. The strength figures for the ETO are only estimated in the Weekly Status Map of 3 December, since there was some confusion and lag in reporting units en route from the British Isles to North Africa.
As of 21 December, strength figures (present) were:
Source: Memo, OPD for CofS, 30 Dec 42, sub; Troop Strength in ETO, SYMBOL: Casablanca Books, Vol II, Exec 6.
British Isles Iceland AGE 77, 668 24,797 SOS 43,549 10,385 AAF 51,212 3,142 Total 12,429 38,324 Projected 422,460 51,700
4. 5th Infantry Division (Iceland) and 29th Infantry Division (British Isles)
5. As of 21 December strength figures (present) were: AGE, 141,409; SOS, 2,566; AAF, 33,812; total, 177,787, The total projected as of 21 December was 450,000 (Memo cited n3).
6. 1st and 2d Armored Divisions; 1st, 3d, 9th, and 34th Infantry Divisions. Only elements of the 2d Armored and 9th Infantry Divisions were present.
7. The 24th, 25th, 27th, and 40th Infantry Divisions. The 25th Infantry Division began moving to Guadalcanal from Hawaii on 25 November 1942 and arrived on 17 December 1942.
8. The Americal, 37th, and 43d Infantry Divisions. The Americal Division left New York as a task force and was constituted and organized as a division after its arrival in New Caledonia.
9. The 32d and 41st Infantry Divisions.