(above insignia)88th GIR Patch
88th Glider Infantry Regiment
he 88th Infantry Airborne Battalion was activated at Fort Benning, Georgia on 10 October 1941.
General Marshall ordered its formation because of the impressive results of the Panama Maneuvers involving the 550th
Infantry Airborne Battalion with Company C, 501st Parachute Battalion attached. Its original cadre included 27 officers,
500 enlisted men and was commanded by Lt Colonel Eldridge G Chapman who would later go on to command the 13th Airborne
During the next 6 months the 88th was used for testing and experimentation of new methods
of loading men and securing equipment for Airborne missions. The results of this experimentation helped influence
the layout designs of troop transports and gliders still under development.
In April, 1942 the 88th was expanded to full battalion strength of 1000 men. Colonel Robert C. Aloe
assumed command replacing Colonel Chapman who was promoted to General Lee's Executive Officer in Airborne Command.
The next month the battalion changed stations from Fort Benning, Georgia to Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
In June, 1942, the 88th was reorganized and expanded into the 88th Glider Infantry Regiment.
Since no gliders were available yet the mission of the 88th was to refine air-landing techniques and instruct these techniques
to several infantry divisions. Airborne Training Instructional Teams were created for this purpose using Colonel
Gavin's "Instructional Pamphlet for Airborne Operations" extensively.
Colonel Joseph Hinton (picture right) replaced Colonel Aloe in December, 1942 and began studying advanced glider techniques.
In April, 1943 the 88th was assigned to the First Airborne Infantry Brigade along with the 326th Glider Infantry Regiment
and the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment. After participating in several maneuvers, the 88th returned to Fort, Bragg, NC
and joined the newly formed 13th Airborne Division on the first of December 1943.
Colonel Samuel Roth, who had just returned from the North African Campaign,
assumed command of the 88th in April, 1944. On the 13th of January 1945, the 88th moved from Camp Mackall NC to Camp Shanks, NY for
overseas deployment. Six days later the 88th GIR arrived by train to New York and embarked onto the U.S.A.T.
George Washington, a converted German luxury liner. Both regiments landed in Le Harve, France on February 6th. On that same day the regiments were
packed into 40 and 8s bound for the staging area called Camp Lucky Strike.
On March 1, 1945 a reorganization occurred and the 88th GIR was incorporated into the 326th
thus forming one Glider Infantry Regiment of 3 battalions. During this time the 13th Airborne Division was alerted
several times for possible operations, however each time the fast moving Army ground forces preempted the need for
an airborne operation.
After the German surrender on May 7, 1945 the 13th and 101st Airborne Divisions were notified
of their reassignment to the Pacific. However, the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan in August, 1945
again dashed the 326th's chance to prove themselves. That same month the regiment was
shipped home aboard two overcrowded Victory ships, the Cranston Victory and the Georgetown Victory.
The 326th GIR arrived in New York Harbor on August 27th and was deactivated soon after at Camp Kilmer, NJ.
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