By the middle of 1943, the Bayonet Division found itself decisively engaged in World War II. After heavy fighting on the Aleutian Island chain, the 7th Division moved to Hawaii where it trained in amphibious landing techniques and jungle warfare. On January 31, 1944 the Division landed on islands in the Kwajalein Atoll in conjunction with the 4th Marine Division and, in a week of heavy fighting, wrested them from the Japanese. Elements then took part in the capture of Engebi in the Eniwetok Atoll on February 18, 1944. The Division then moved to Oahu, T. H., remaining there until mid-September when it sailed to join the assault on the Philippines.
On October 20, 1944, the Division made an assault landing at Dulag, Leyte and, after heavy fighting, secured airstrips at Dulag, San Pablo and Buri. The troops moved north to take Dagami on October 29, and then shifted to the west coast of Leyte on November 26 and attacked north toward Ormoc. By early morning hours on December 7, as the Division pressed forward capturing more and more terrain – hill top after hill top – the Soldiers began to encounter less and less resistance. The landings of U.S. Soldiers at Oromoc had sparked a rapid withdrawal of Japanese forces, and the 7th Division made quick work of enemy stragglers, capturing the last prominent hill by nightfall on December 8. They finally reached Ipil the morning of December 11. By then, the 7th Infantry Division had completed the heaviest fighting on Leyte. Though there remained almost two months of "mopping up" operations, the Battle of Leyte was officially declared over on Christmas Day, 1944.
To any man who ever fought on a Japanese-held Island, this "official" end of hostilities was always a joke. It was only the beginning of long marches, ambushes, small pitched battles, and hours of discomfort. Casualties were still inflicted on both sides. On Leyte, the 7th Division ranged all over the Ormoc Bay area and continued the mission there until called upon to take part in the assault on the Japanese Island of Okinawa not long after.
Sources: Excerpts taken from The Hourglass: A History of 7ID in WWII (Edmond G. Love) and History.army.mil. Edited for content.