The Regiment was mustered into Federal Service on November 25, 1940, and arrived at Camp Bowie (near Brownwood), Texas, in January 1941. The Division was changed from a "square" division to a "triangular" division at Camp Bowie. In February 1942, the Division was moved to Camp Blanding, Florida, where it remained in training until July 1942. After the Carolina maneuvers in 1942, the Division was moved to Camp Edwards, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod.

The Regiment was scheduled for the initial invasion in Africa on November 8, 1942, with Cape Bone as the objective. However, due to lack of shipping space, the move was cancelled and it was not until April 2, 1943, that the Division embarked from Staten Island for Africa. The Division landed at Oran and Mers-El-Kabir, Algeria, on April 13, 1943, and the Regiment moved south about 70 miles into the Atlas Mountains for mountain training. Specialized training was given the Regiment and plans had been made for relief of the 1st Infantry Division. Then the Africa phase of World War II suddenly ended. Immediately, the Regiment was redeployed on the Spanish Morocco border, patrolling the 70 miles between Port Lyautoy to Fedela. One Battalion was used during this time for escort Guards for German and Italian prisoners of war and to guard President Roosevelt when he met with Prime minister Churchill at Casa Blanca.


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