198th Regiment Mobilizes into Combat

The men of the 198th Regiment spent months establishing a naval base on the Island, but their work turned out to be for naught, as the action moved farther north toward Japan. As a result of changing strategies, the 198th Regiment was reorganized as the 198th AAA (Anti-Aircraft Artillery) Group.  From this point on, the 198th AAA was engaged in garrison support as an aerial defense unit at Efate, New Hebrides, Guadalcanal, Treasury Island in 1943 and 1944, and the Philippines in 1945. In addition, the 198th saw ground combat action in the invasion of Mono Island in the Treasury Islands in October 1943. 

The men of the 198th pose for a photograph after they waited for a combat assignment that never came. Compared to the previous image from training camp where all the troops were aligned (see Exhibit 2: Time Up), this image expresses some soldier fatigue. The different expressions, postures, and the directions of their gazes suggest that they were not the tight unit that they once were.  Credit: Black and white photograph, photographer unknown, 1942. Delaware Military Museum Archives.

Here are Soldiers at Officer Candidate School in 1943.  Many members of the 198th returned to the States and received further training before being redeployed to other theaters of war.  Credit:  black and white photograph, photographer unknown, 1943.  Delaware Military Museum Archives.

In contrast to the idle time and tropical conditions that soldiers experienced in Bora Bora, the men of 198th had to face severe cold and brutal combat in the European theater, as pictured here in the Battle of the Bulge in Ardennes in Belgium and France, Credit: black and white photograph, photographer unknown, 1943. Delaware Military Museum Archives.

The 198th Regimental Band served the mission as musicians who entertained the troops, dignitaries, and the Bora Borans.  But they were also combat ready and after leaving Bora Bora reorganized into the 287th Ground Forces Band. Credit: Black and white photograph, photographer unknown, 1942-43. Delaware Military Museum Archives.