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Sgt Ernesto R. Garcia
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Birth: Sep. 30, 1924
Conejos County
Colorado, USA
Death: Apr. 19, 1945
Okinawa, Japan

Ernesto was the son of Jose L. and Anita Garcia. Identified siblings were Silfredo, Roberto, Emma, Erminio, and Eufelia S.

Ernesto was a World War II veteran assigned to the 381st Infantry Regiment of the 96th Infantry Division. An abbreviated history of Ernesto's Unit follows:

When the U.S. entered the Second World War, the 96th Infantry Division assumed a more active role in the summer of 1942. The Division's main combat elements were: the 381st, 382nd, and 383rd Infantry Regiments; 361st, 362nd, 363rd, and 921st Field Artillery Battalions; and the 321st Engineer Battalion and were activated 15 August 1942 at Camp Adair, Oregon. The Organized Reserve divisions were known as "draftee divisions." The Division's nickname, "The Deadeyes," was a reference to Division Commander Major General James L. Bradley's emphasis on individual rifle marksmanship. After an initial period of turbulence, the Division stabilized its personnel, losing relatively few men via transfers to other programs, cadres to form new units, or as replacements for divisions already overseas. In the spring of 1944, the 96th received 2000 soldiers from the discontinued Army Specialized Training Program to fill out vacancies in rifle and weapons platoons. These men, who scored in the Army's highest aptitude grades, proved in combat to be highly motivated and resourceful soldiers. The Division completed unit training and corps maneuvers by November 1943, and amphibious assault training by July 1944. It left San Francisco for Hawaii in July 1944, where it underwent jungle training on Oahu, a combat loadout at Pearl Harbor, and a practice amphibious assault on Maui. The 96th was now ready to take part in the first step in reconquering the Philippines, the invasion of Leyte Island. On 20 October 1944 the Division landed on Leyte above Dulag. By 30 October it had cleared a series of fortified Japanese positions along the Labir-Catmon-San Vicente Hill axis and secured the northern portion of the Corps zone to the Tanauan-Dagimi Road. The 96th then made a holding attack to the North from Dagimi to permit the 7th Division to cross to the island's East Coast and drive north along Ormoc Bay. This resulted in a series of battalion-sized actions on the Dagimi Heights that began on 3 November. The 382nd Infantry assaulted "Bloody Ridge" near Hitomnog, repelled a Japanese attack, and secured "Suicide Ridge" before being relieved by the 381st Infantry on 20 November. The Leyte Campaign provided the 96th a final course in combat techniques before its next, and far more costly, campaign on Okinawa. The invasion of Okinawa began on Easter Sunday, 1 April 1945. U.S. forces quickly secured the northern half of Okinawa, but any hope that the campaign would be short was dispelled when XXIV Corps struck the first strongpoints of the "Shuri Line," a sequence of increasingly more formidable defensive belts in depth, on 9 April. Between 9 and 29 April the Division fought through Cactus Ridge and secured Tombstone Ridge, Nishibaru Ridge, and the Maeda Escarpment.

It isn't certain how included Ernesto was with the 96th Infantry Division's movements. But his date of passing does place him at the Okinawa campaign and likely with the Cactus Ridge, Tombstone Ridge, Nishibaru Ridge, and the Maeda Escarpment engagements.
381 Infantry 96 Infantry Division; World War II
Conejos Cemetery
Conejos County
Colorado, USA
Created by: truchasnm
Record added: Jul 19, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 73621696
Sgt Ernesto R. Garcia
Added by: Jacqueline tarr
Sgt Ernesto R. Garcia
Added by: truchasnm
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My Dad, Jack, fought with the 96th division and by the grace of God returned home. He spoke of "Garcia" often. I have many great stories. The 96th Division soldiers had a bond that will never die. God Bless you--Jacqui Starr
- Jacqueline tarr
 Added: Oct. 31, 2013
The 381st Infantry Regiment Crest, Motto "Paratus et Vigilans-Ready and Alert". Thank you for your service to protect our liberty and freedom Ernesto.
- truchasnm
 Added: Jul. 19, 2011

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