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The 33rd Infantry Regiment was an American unit stationed in the Panama Canal Zonemarker and Caribbeanmarker from 1916-1956. Though providing troops for various other American military formations, the Regiment had no battle honours of its own.


Though other American Regiments in the War of 1812 and American Civil War (33rd Infantry Regiment United States Colored Troops formed from the 1st South Carolina Coloured Infantry on 8 February 1864-disbanded 31 January 1866) had the designation of 33rd Infantry, they have no lineage with the most recent 33rd Infantry Regiment.

The 33rd Infantry was activated on 6 July 1916 in accordance with War Department General Orders Number 22 dated 30 June 1916 that ordered seven new Regiments to be organised; four in the Continental United States, one in the Philippine Islands (31st Infantry Regiment , one in Hawaii (32nd Infantry Regiment , and one, the 33rd Infantry, in the Canal Zonemarker.

The Regiment guarded the Panama Canal, was trained in jungle warfare and was based at Fort Claytonmarker. In 1941 the Regiment was transferred from the Panama Canal Department to the Caribbean Defense Command. On 6 September 1941, the First Battalion was sent to Trinidadmarker, with elements of the First Battalion later transferring to Surinammarker to guard bauxite mines, protect the Dutch government in exile, and watch the border of Vichy French Guinea . The 2nd and 3rd Battalion later arrived at Fort Read in Trinidad. The First Battalion was withdrawn from Surinam in June 1943 and moved to Arubamarker.

In March 1944 the Regiment departed Trinidad arriving in New York in 1944, the first time the Regimental Colours arrived on Continental American soil. The Regiment was assigned to Camp Claibornemarker Louisiana and assigned to the Fourth United States Army. Many of the Regiment volunteered for Merrill's Marauders and were sent to Burma as the 2nd Battalion 5307th Composite Unit . The Regiment was inactivated on 26 June 1944.

The 33rd Infantry was reactived at Fort Clayton on February 1946, inactivated again on September 1948 at Fort Gulick, then reactivated at Fort Kobbemarker Canal Zone. During the Korean War the 3rd Battalion of the 33rd was transferred to the 65th Infantry Regiment for war service.

The 33rd Infantry became part of the Americal Division in the Canal Zone on 2 December 1954, with the regiment being inactivated again on 26 May 1956, the unit being redesignated the 20th Infantry Regiment .


  1. 33rd Infantry Regiment, USCT

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