State highway signs tell us what route we’re on but one state highway sign for Route 32 has something added-a red arrow, honoring the 32nd infantry division of WW I and WW II.
The 32nd was formed from National Guard units in Wisconsin and Michigan and the red arrow symbolizes how they fought through the line of the enemy in battle. They made their fighting debut in Alsace Germany where the French tagged them with the nickname “Les Terribles” breaching the famed Hindenburg Line which many think was the turning point of the war; they captured 63 towns.
In WW II the 32nd was assigned to the Pacific theater of war and after four months drove the Japanese out of Papua New Guinea.
Wisconsin Route 32 Memorial Highway starts at the southern Wisconsin state line where Illinois 137 ends and continues north to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan border at Land O’ Lakes.
The 32nd Division is honored in Oshkosh, WI with a memorial at Red Arrow Park and on the Route 32 highway signs in Wisconsin.