Forrest Harding


Born: Stuttgart, Germany


Edwin Forrest Harding (September 18, 1886 – June 5, 1970) commanded the 32nd Infantry Division at the beginning of World War II. He graduated 74th among his classmates from the United States Military Academy in 1909, who included John C. H. Lee (12), Jacob L. Devers (39), George S. Patton (46), Horace H. Fuller (59), Robert L. Eichelberger (68), and William H. Simpson (101). His first field command, the 32nd division was the first American unit, after the Battle for Guadalcanal, to engage in offensive operations in the Pacific Theater of Operations. The 32nd was understrength, ill-trained, poorly equipped, and thrust into its first battle against seasoned Japanese units. The unit finally logged a total of 654 days of combat during World War II, more than any other U.S. Army division. They were among the first to enter the war and were still engaging attacking Japanese after the Armistice was declared.

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