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Military History/27th Infantry Division

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Question
QUESTION: Hello,
I am researching a WW2 veteran, who served with the 43rd Infantry Division, 172nd Infantry Regiment.  Do you know if the 172nd Infantry Regiment is the same as the 172nd Combat Team?
Thanks so much.
Sincerely,
Jill Johnson

ANSWER: Good question. The difference between the 172nd Infantry Regiment and the 172nd Combat Team (sometimes written as RCT Regimental Combat Team) is a matter of military organization.

Long story short, Military Theorists spend a lot of time trying to come up with the best ways to organize groups of soldiers. 172nd Combat Team was basically US Army jargon for the 172nd Infantry Regiment, with some additional soldiers, vehicles and weapons added.

In summary: 172nd Regiment + Friends=172nd Combat Team

For the purposes of your biographical research, they essentially mean the same thing.

See History of the 43rd Infantry Division, 1941-1945.   by Zimmer, Joseph E for more information.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Isaac,
I do have another question that has me puzzled. Another WW2 soldier killed on Saipan on July 9, 1944 has (ELT) listed after the date of death.  He served with the 27th Infantry Division.  Any idea what ELT means?
Once again, thank you.
Sincerely,
Jill

Answer
It's hard to say for sure.

It could be Emergency Locator Transmitter (A distress beacon in airplanes) indicating that it was his job to find downed planes or he happened to die while searching for one.

It could also be English Language Teacher (again, possibly indicating his job).

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Isaac Edmondson

Expertise

Topics on which I can provide answers: European warfare and military affairs from 1600 to 1950. Israeli / Islamic conflicts from 1900 to present day. Areas of particular interest/knowledge: The German Peasantís War. Hannover and Brunswick during the Napoleonic wars. Armor (Tanks) during the first and second world wars. Topics best left to other experts: Military history of Eastern Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, South America and India.

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Numerous (not for publishing) papers written on relevant topics and countless pleasant hours spent researching.

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Currently enrolled at the University of Maine

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