With the unexpected Japanese strike against Pearl Harbor and the subsequent declaration of war, the United States military sprang into action, combating, among other things, the possibility of a German invasion on American soil. Under the jurisdiction of the 1st Coast Artillery District and a branch of the U.S. Army known as the Coast Artillery Corps, the 26th ""Yankee"" Division was assigned to patrol, first, the New England coast and, eventually, the entire eastern seaboard. This volume follows the 26th Infantry Division of the Massachusetts National Guard from their prewar activation on January 16, 1941, through basic and advance infantry training, chronicling their buildup to full war strength. The main focus of the book, is the unit's time spent on homeland coastal patrol from January 1942 through November 1943. Their actions during various Nazi incursions including the famous incidents at Amagansett on Long Island and at Ponte Vedra near Jacksonville, Florida, are discussed. Firsthand accounts gathered from division and regimental publications as well as extensive interviews and correspondence with veterans of the 26th division provide a day-to-day look at the men who made up this impressive unit. Appendices contain an organizational list of the 1939 Massachusetts National Guard; a 1941 organizational list and brief history of the 181st Infantry Regiment; a station list of the 181st Infantry combat team; and a resume of regimental activities. Period photographs complete the history of this previously underrecognized division.
Retired teacher and media specialist Dennis A. Connole spent 32 years in the Worcester school system. He is the author of three books and numerous scholarly articles and lives in Worcester, Massachusetts.