In Honored Glory!
World War II Honor Roll

Peter J. Vollanovitch

Private First Class, U.S. Army


165th Infantry Regiment,
27th Infantry Division

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: April 23, 1945

Honolulu Memorial
Honolulu, Hawaii
Awards: Bronze Star, Purple Heart

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS PETER J. VOLLANOVICH was born in 1916, according to his enlistment records in Massachusettes, according to US Census records in Pennsylvania, the third of three children. The son of Czech immigrants who came to America, his mother was widowed by April of 1930, when the census was enumerated. The family was then living at 632 Central Avenue in Camden's 8th Ward, where Mrs. Vollanovich worked as a laborer in one of Camden's industrial businesses to support the family. Fortunately, their home had been paid off, and they owned a radio set as well. Peter Vollanovitch left school shortly afterwards, as did many boys of his generation in those times, to help support his family.

Peter Vollanovitch was inducted into the United States Army at Trenton NJ on February 4, 1941. In the June 10, 1942 edition of the Camden Courier-Post it was reported that he was stationed in Hawaii, where he was training as a machine gunner. He was also rated as a marksman, scoring 98 out of 100 on a test.

After being drafted into the Army, Peter Vollanovitch saw action with the 27th Infantry Division at Butaritari on the Makin Atoll, Saipan, and Okinawa. His regiment was committed on April 20, 1945 to an area on Okinawa known as the Item Pocket, where he fell on April 23, 1945

Combat Narrative of the 27th Infantry Division


Inducted into federal service at New York N.Y. on 15 Oct 40 as the 27th Division. Moved to Fort McClellan, Ala. 25 Oct 40; moved to Camp Forrest, Tenn., 21 May 41 and participated in the VII Corps Tennessee Maneuvers; returned to Fort McClellan, Ala. 28 Jun 41 and went to the Sabine Area, Ark. 6 Aug 41 for the VII Corps Arkansas maneuvers and the Sep 41 Louisiana Maneuvers; returned Fort McClellan, Ala. 3 Oct 41 and moved to Riverside, Calif. 21 Dec 41; arrived San Francisco Port of Embarkation 28 Feb 42 and departed 10 Mar 42; arrived Hawaii 20 mar 42 where redesignated 27th Infantry Division 1 Sep 42; began combat training program 13 Aug 43 when relieved of island defense; left Hawaii 31 May 44 and landed on Saipan 17 Jun 44; arrived Espiritu Santo 18 Aug 44 and left 25 Mar 45; landed on Okinawa 9 Apr 45; went to Japan 7 Sep 45 and arrived Seattle Port of Embarkation 24 Dec 45; inactivated at Fort Lawton, Wash. 31 Dec 45.

The division moved to Hawaii in echelon 28 Feb-29 Mar 42 and there was assigned the defense of the outer islands until 2 Nov 42 when it was relieved of this mission, and moved to Oahu to assume the defense of Hawaii's south sector combined with training. A division task force based on the 165th Infantry and 3rd Battalion, 105th Infantry left Hawaii 10 Nov 45 the operations in the Marshalls, and invaded Butaritari Island, Makin Atoll 20 Nov 43, the Japanese being defeated by 23 Nov 43. This task force returned to Hawaii on 2 Dec 43. The 106th Infantry left Hawaii 23 Jan 44 for the Marshalls and assaulted Majuro 1 Feb 44 and the lagoon shore of Eniwetok island 19 Feb 44. It garrisoned that island until returned to Hawaii 13 Apr 44.

The division began preparation for the Marianas operation 15 Mar 44 and departed Hawaii by echelon 25 May-1 Jun 44. On the night of 16 Jun 44 the 165th Infantry was landed on Saipan to support he heavily engaged 4th Marine Division, and the 10th Infantry was landed on the island the day following. The 165th Infantry was supported by artillery and naval gunfire as it cleared Aslito Airfield and the surrounding heights 18 Jun 44. The 105th and 165th Infantry then moved over rugged terrain and attacked Nafutan point, and the 106th Infantry was landed on Saipan 20 Jun 44. On 23 Jun 44 the division was committed in the cave-studded heights as the 106th Infantry assaulted Death Valley and the 165th Infantry fought on Purple Ridge by 30 Jun 44. Attacking with all three regiments, the division gained positions commanding Tanapag Plain, and on 4 Jul 44 the 106th Infantry reached the seaplane base at Flores Point. A Japanese counterattack smashed the 10th Infantry 7 Jul 44, and the 165th Infantry moved to block it. Isolated division troops had to be pulled off the island by water. The 165th Infantry then cleared Harakiri Gulch and Saipan was declared secure 9 Jul 44, although the division continued to mop up in the mountains and cliffs of the island throughout August.

The division moved to Espiritu Santo 7 Aug-4 Oct 44 for rehabilitation and initiated specialized training for the upcoming Ryukyus operations. It left Espiritu Santo on 25 Mar 45 and arrived off Ulithi 3 Apr 45 where it was directed to Okinawa and the 105th Infantry was detached to operate against Kerama Retto. The division landed across the Hagushi beaches on Okinawa 9 Apr 45 and established its command post at Kadena Airfield. The following day the 105th Infantry assaulted Tsugen Shima and captured it by 11 Apr 45, after which it rejoined the division on Okinawa 13 Apr 45. The division participated in the 19 Apr 45 general assault against the outer belt of the Shuri defenses after heavy naval and air preparation which proved to have little effect on the well-organized system of Japanese cave and tunnel positions. The 106th Infantry was halted at the Urasoe-Mura Escarpment which was only secured after the defeat of several Japanese counterattacks and a fierce battle which ended 23 Apr 45. The 105th Infantry battled up Kakazu Ridge in a costly attack which also claimed 22 tanks, and a gap developed between it and the 96th Infantry Division. The 165th Infantry was committed 20 Apr and became engaged in the Battle for Item Pocket which lasted until 27 Apr 45. The division made limited efforts to improve its positions, and captured contested Machinato Airfield 28 Apr 45, and on 1 May 45 was relieved by the 1st Marine Division and moved to Nago for rest