Eighth Army was born 76 years ago today. Eighth Army was officially activated in Memphis, Tennessee, on June 10, 1944. It deployed to the Southwest Pacific soon after. Under the command of Lt. Gen. Robert L. Eichelberger, Eighth Army methodically eliminated the last enemy resistance remaining in New Guinea and New Britain, and from Dec. 26, 1944 until Aug. 15, 1945, the “Amphibious Eighth” engaged in the reconquest of the Philippines – the largest joint campaign of the War in the Pacific.
While combat operations were still on-going in the Philippines, Eighth Army simultaneously began preparations for Operation Downfall – the invasion of Japan. However, with the sudden surrender of the Japanese Empire on Aug. 15, 1945, Eighth Army’s mission transitioned from one of conquest to one of occupation and it was the “Amphibious Eighth” that led the Army of Occupation into Japan.
Then, with the outbreak of hostilities in Korea on June 25, 1950, Eighth Army would face another major operation. It would turn into a destructive war they would see through for three years ending in an armistice, leaving Eighth Army on the Korean Peninsula serving side-by-side with its Republic of Korea ally and host nation to this day.
From Eichelberger to Lt. Gen. Michael Bills, from Yongsan to Camp Humphreys, Eighth Army continues to serve alongside its ROK partners.
Happy birthday Eighth Army and Katchi Kapshida!