103d INFANTRY DIVISION WORLD WAR II ASSOCIATION

World War II Association

In 1946, shortly after the de-activation of the 103d Infantry Division (Cactus), an initiative started by Colonel Guy S. Meloy, Jr., former Chief of Staff, began planning for an association.  Colonel Meloy enlisted the assistance of CWO George R. Hackett, Headquarters Company, 103d Infantry Division to acquire a comprehensive roster of former members of the Cactus Division.

 

Colonel Meloy, then a professor of Military Science at Texas A&M University, sponsored the development of an organization for the Association. Major Generals Haffner and McAuliffe would serve as Honorary Presidents, splitting their duties into a half year a piece. An election of officers was slated for 1947 with elections occurring every year thereafter.

 

The group was unable to form an official Association until 1964.  Members of the 3d Battalion, 409th Infantry Regiment gathered in 1964 and agreed to schedule a meeting in 1965.  After the first successful reunion in 1965, the association held a second reunion in 1966, also in Lansing, Michigan.

 

In 1966 the Association elected Harvey T. Ellsworth (HHC/3d/409th/103d) as president. Subsequently, Betty Ellsworth, Harvey's wife, was elected Secretary/Treasurer and together the couple organized annual reunions.

 

In 1982, at the San Antonio reunion, the Association adopted a formal constitution and by-laws. Furthermore, the Association agreed to send a yearly delegation to Washington, DC to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

 

Each summer since 1982 the Association has held a reunion.

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