Army Division

Army Division

Organising soldiers into divisions first began in France in the 18th century. In 1794 all three categories in the French Army: infantry, cavalry and artillery. The British did not adopt the division until 1807. By 1914 the normal infantry division totalled about 16,000 men, organised into two infantry brigades of four three-battalion regiments, one artillery brigade and supporting units. By March 1915, there were 75 divisions in the British Army.


U.S. Army Divisions in World War II

This site provides a history of all 91 U.S. Army divisions that served in World War II from 1939 to 1945. Information includes: commanding generals, campaigns fought, division chronicle, and campaign maps.

A comprehensive visual history of all 91 divisions, U.S. Army Divisions in World War II charts the formation and achievements of the infantry, armored, airborne, mountain and cavalry forces. This chart can be zoomed in and is available for purchase at HistoryShots.com.

The U.S. Army

During World War II about 16,000,000 personnel served in the U.S. Military. Approximately 11,200,000 or 70% served in the U.S. Army 4,200,000 served in the Navy and 660,000 served in the Marines.

The U.S. Army was re-organized into three forces in March 1942:

Army Ground Forces (AGF). According to the The Army Almanac, "Its mission was to provide ground force units properly organized, trained and equipped for combat operations." About 4,400,000 personnel were part of the Army Ground Forces during the war. They sustained about 80% of the U.S. Army casualties.

Army Service Forces (ASF). The ASF, originally called Services of Supply, was responsible suppling and servicing the U.S. Army. Organizations under ASF included: corps of engineers, quartermaster corps, medical corps, signal corps, chemical warfare service, ordnance department, and the military police.

Army Air Forces (AAF). The AAF was responsible for the training and making ready the air component of the U.S. Army. The Army Air Forces became an independent service (U.S. Air Force) in 1947.

At it's peak in March 1945, the U.S. Army had 8,200,000 personnel. A comparison of Army Ground Forces strength with total U.S. Army strength is provided below.

The Army Ground Forces

Personnel in the Army Ground Forces were grouped into two areas: divisional forces and non-divisional forces. In March 1945, there was about 1,200,000 personnel assigned to divisions and 1,500,000 to non-divisional units.

The core combat arm of the Army Ground Forces was organized around the division formation. The division was created to be the smallest Army organization capable of performing independent operations. Ninety-one divisions were formed by the U.S. Army in World War II. In general, a division contained about 15,000 troops. See below for a complete breakdown of a division.

Non-divisional forces included service units and some additional combat troops not initially assigned to a division. Note: most service units were allocated across all U.S. Army organizations. For example, both the Army Service Forces and Army Ground Forces had engineer units. In addition, engineer units were part of divisions while other engineer units were part of non-divisional personnel.

Divisions Overview

Combat troops of the U.S. Army are classified by the weapons and methods used in combat:

91 divisions were mobilized during the war: 68 infantry divisions, 1 mountain division, 16 armored divisions, 5 airborne divisions, and 2 cavalry divisions.

All divisions were activated in the United States except for the following divisions: Philippine (activated in the Philippines), Hawaiian (activated in Hawaii and renamed the 24th division), 25th (activated in Hawaii from troops of the Hawaiian division), and Americal (activated in New Caledonia.)

There were three major theaters of operation during the war: Pacific (22 divisions were deployed to the Pacific), Mediterranean (15 divisions), and Europe (61 divisions). Seven divisions served in both the Mediterranean and European Theaters (1st, 3rd, 9th, 36th, 45th infantry divisions 82nd Airborne and 2nd Armored.)

Two divisions were disbanded or deactivated before the end of the war: the Philippine division was destroyed and disbanded on 10 April 1942 and the 2nd Cavalary division was activated and inactivated twice: 15 Apr 41 to 15 Jul 42 and 23 Feb 43 to 10 May 44.

Three divisions did not enter combat: 98th Infantry division, 13th Airborne division, and the 2nd Cavalary division.

By June 1946, 74 divisions were inactivated or disbanded leaving 17 divisions on active duty.


Division History

On November 17, 1917, the same year that America entered World War I, the 4th Division was formed at Camp Greene, North Carolina to begin its long tradition of service to our country. Filled with draftees, the Fourth Division, whose insignia had been adopted by its first commanding general, Major General George H. Cameron, became known as the &ldquoIvy&rdquo division. Its insignia consisted of four green ivy leaves on a khaki background. The Division also derived its numerical designation from the Roman numeral IV (4 and IV mean the same thing) hence the nickname, &ldquoIvy&rdquo division. The division&rsquos motto is &ldquoSteadfast and Loyal&rdquo.

In April 1918, the Ivy Division embarked en route to fight in France. By the time the &ldquoGreat War&rdquo ended some months hence, the Ivy Division would serve with distinction. They were the only American combat force to serve with both the French and the British in their respective sectors, as well as with all Corps in the American sector.

When the war ended on November 11, 1918, the Ivy Division had earned five battle streamers. Over 2,000 officers and men had been killed in action, total casualties were almost 14,000.

As war clouds engulfed Europe, the 4th Division was reactivated on June 1, 1940 at Fort Benning , Georgia. Selected as an experimental unit, the 4th Motorized Division began a three-year, wide-open experiment. From August 1940 through August 1943, the division participated in the Louisiana Maneuvers, then moved to the newly opened Camp Gordon, Georgia where they participated in the Carolina Maneuvers, and finally moved to Fort Dix, New Jersey where they scrapped the motorized experiment and were re-designated the 4th Infantry Division. A move in September 1943 to Camp Gordon Johnston, Florida gave the division realistic amphibious training in preparation for the assault on fortress Europe.

Chosen as the spearhead amphibious division of the D-Day landing on the Normandy coast of France, the men of the 4th Infantry Division stormed ashore at H-Hour (0630 hours) on a stretch of the French coast named - for this operation and forever after - Utah Beach. It was for his actions that day that Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr ., Assistant Division Commander, earned the first Medal of Honor of the division.

After their successful D-day landing, the men of the Ivy division fought through the hedgerows of the Cotentin Peninsula en route to taking the critically important port of Cherbourg on June 25, 1944. The division was in continuous action during the period of June 6 to June 28 when the last resistance around Cherbourg was eliminated. During this period, the 4th Infantry Division sustained over 5,450 casualties and had over 800 men killed.

With hardly a pause to catch their breath, the Ivymen continued to attack through the hedgerow country and, along with the 2nd Armored Division, spearheaded the breakthrough at St. Lo on July 25, 1944. Exploiting the break in the German lines, the division continued the attack across France. On August 25, 1944 they, along with the French 2nd Armored Division, were the troops who earned the distinction of liberating Parisfrom four years of Nazi rule. Passing through the wildly applauding Parisians, the Ivymen left the victory parade to outfits following in their wake and continued to pursue the Germans.

On September 11, 1944, a patrol from the 4th Infantry Division became the first Allied ground force to enter Germany. Fighting in the Siegfried Line followed. Mid November found the division in the bloodiest battle of its history. The most grueling battle in Europe was fought in the Hurtgen Forest. Fighting in the cold rain and snow and in a forest of pine and fir trees 150 feet in height, the Ivymen slugged it out yard-by-yard and day-by-day against determined German artillery and infantry resistance. By early December, the division had fought through what had become a twisted mass of shrapnel-torn stumps and broken trees and had accomplished its mission. Casualties in the Hurtgen often exceeded 150 percent of the original strength of a rifle company.

With the Hurtgen Forest behind them, the division moved into a defensive position in Luxembourg and was soon engaged in the Battle of the Bulge. General George S. Patton wrote to Major General Raymond Barton of the 4th Infantry Division: &ldquoYour fight in the Hurtgen Forest was an epic of stark infantry combat but, in my opinion, your most recent fight &ndash from the 16th to the 26th of December &ndash when, with a depleted and tired division, you halted the left shoulder of the German thrust into the American lines and saved the City of Luxembourg, and the tremendous supply establishments and road nets in that vicinity, is the most outstanding accomplishment of yourself and your division.&rdquo

As the German push was halted in the Bulge, the Ivy Division resumed the attack and continued the pursuit through the Siegfried Line - the same location it had crossed in September - and fought across Germany as the war ground on in the first four months of 1945. When the war ended on May 8, 1945, the 4th Infantry Division had participated in all of the campaigns from the Normandy Beach through Germany. Five more battle streamers were added to the 4th Infantry Division colors and personnel of the Division during this period wear the five campaign stars of Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe. The division suffered almost 22,000 battle casualties and over 34,000 total casualties, including over 5,000 who were killed or died of injuries, during their eleven months of fighting across Europe. For 199 straight days, the 4th Infantry Division was in constant contact with the Germans.

On July 11, 1945, the Ivy Division returned to New York harbor and began preparing at Camp Butner , North Carolina, for the invasion of Japan. Fortunately, the war ended before that was required.

The Cold War found the 4th Infantry Division again standing tall in defense of freedom. While others fought the Communists in Korea, the Ivy Division returned to Germany in 1950 and for the next six years stood strong against the Communist threat to Western Europe. After returning to the States in 1956, the division trained at Fort Lewis, Washington, for the next time they would be called into battle. The next time was in Vietnam in the late summer of 1966, twenty-two years and two months after the Ivymen landed on Utah Beach.

In August 1966, led by the 2nd Brigade, the Ivy Division headquarters closed into the central highlands of Vietnam. On September 25, 1966, the division began a combat assignment against the North Vietnamese that would not end until December 7, 1970.

Eleven additional battle streamers would be added to the 4th Infantry Division colors as the Ivy Soldiers fought in places such as the Ia Drang Valley, Plei Trap Valley, Fire Base Gold, Dak To, the Oasis, Kontum , Pleiku , Ben Het , An Khe , and Cambodia. With the largest assigned area of operations of any division in Vietnam, the Ivy division was charged with screening the border of South Vietnam as the first line of defense against infiltration down the Ho Chi Minh trail through Laos and Cambodia, and, to preempt any offensive on the more populated lowlands. Triple canopy jungles, extreme heat, and seasonal monsoons were constant challenges to the division as were the North Vietnamese Regulars and Viet Cong. By the time the Ivy Division completed their assignment in Vietnamand returned to Fort Carson, Coloradoat the end of 1970, 2,497 Ivy Soldiers had been killed and 15,229 had been wounded. Eleven Ivy division Soldiers earned the Medal of Honor during that period.

Resuming training and Cold War missions, the 4th Infantry Division remained stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado from 1970 through 1995. During this period, the division was converted to a Mechanized organization and frequently sent units to Europe to continue the Cold War mission of standing against the Communist threat. It was during their time in Fort Carson that the division assumed the nickname, &ldquoIronhorse&rdquo .

In December 1995, the Ivy Division was moved to Fort Hood, Texas when the 2nd Armored Division was deactivated as part of the downsizing of the Army. Combining five armor battalions of the 2nd Armored Division with four mechanized infantry battalions of the 4th Infantry Division, the Ivy Division again became the experimental division of the Army, as it had been in the early 1940&rsquos. Until completing the mission in October 2001, the Ivy men and women led the United States Army into the twenty-first century under the banner of Force XXI . They developed and tested state-of-the-art digital communications equipment, night fighting gear, advanced weaponry, organization, and doctrine to prepare the United States Army for wars in the new century, in addition to being ready to deploy to any hot spot in the world.

That hot spot was to be the country of Iraq. On 18 January 2003, the 4 th Infantry Division, under the leadership of MG Raymond Odierno , was given the deployment order for movement to Iraqas part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In record time for a heavy armored Division, the 4 th Infantry Division, augmented by artillery, engineer, and support troops from active duty, National Guard, and Army reserve units to make them &lsquoTask Force Ironhorse&rsquo , loaded their equipment onto 37 ships bound for Turkey.

The Turkish government refused to allow the Division to land as the northern force in the planned assault into Iraq. For two months the Ivy Soldiers awaited word on where they would be going. In March, word arrived that the division would be landing in Kuwait with immediate movement into Iraq. On 18 April, the Division entered combat north of Baghdad. Their initial assignments were the airfields at Taji and Balad , which were quickly secured, followed by moving into and establishing their headquarters in Tikrit , Saddam Hussein&rsquos home town. Joined by other brigade sized units, including 173 rd Airborne Brigade which made the first ever combat jump from C-17 airplanes (March 25, 2003 into northern Iraq), the 4 th Infantry Division became the command for Task Force Ironhorse , a force of over 32,000 Soldiers.

During the year long deployment from March 2003 to April 2004, the Division and other Task Force Ironhorse units, carried out aggressive offensive operations designed to hunt down the last holdouts of the old regime. At the same time, the Division had the massive job of rebuilding the infrastructure of the many villages within their Area of Operations and reestablishing a governmental structure. In Operation Red Dawn, conducted on 13 December 2003, in 4 th Infantry Division, in coordination with a special operations unit, captured Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq. His capture has been described by the news media as the number one news story of 2003.

On 18 June 2004, soon after their return to the US, MG James D. Thurman (Left) assumed command of the 4 th Infantry Division. The division went through a massive reorganization, forming combined arms battalions consisting of Infantry, Armor, and Engineer companies, with support units also assigned in each unit. All the equipment that had been returned from Iraq began the long process of rebuild and upgrade. The Division also stood up a 4 th Brigade Combat Team, bringing the total strength of the division to slightly over 20,000 personnel. The end goal was to have the Division postured so it could return to Iraq in the fall of 2005, which they did.

The Division returned to Iraq starting in the fall of 2005, this time to Baghdad where MG Thurman now led Multi-National Division &ndash Baghdad ( MND-B ), with the 4 th Infantry Division as the command component. With attached units, MND-B numbered over 30,000 personnel and was responsible for the largest population area of Iraq, including the always volatile city of Baghdad.

This deployment saw a rise in the sectarian violence which was beginning to plague the new government. Accomplishments during this critical year were many. A new government was elected and installed. Iraqi security forces were beginning to take a larger role in the security of their own country. Infrastructure improvements continued so that larger sections of the population were afforded clean water and improved electrical service. Oil production was back to its pre-war levels and improvements were made to schools and medical facilities. In December 2006, the Division again returned to its home at Forts Hood and Carson.

Within a month of their return to the US, on January 19, 2007, MG Jeffrey Hammond assumed command of the 4 th Infantry Division and began the task of resetting the equipment, retraining the personnel, and preparing for a return to Iraqin late 2007.

On December 19, 2007, the 4ID again assumed command of Multi-National Division &ndash Baghdad with a fifteen month mission to exploit the gains made during the &ldquosurge&rdquo in 2007. The mission was defined as clear, control, retain, and transition. In a Christmas letter, MG Hammond explained the challenge for the next fifteen months as, &ldquoto continue to build upon the momentum built by Soldiers of Multi-National Division &ndash Baghdad. To do this we must, first and foremost, in partnership with the Iraqi Security Forces, continue to protect the Iraqi people, aggressively hunt the enemy down, and build upon the partnerships with the Iraqi people, their security services and the local and provincial governments&hellip&rdquo

On Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008, all hell broke loose in Baghdad. After experiencing attack rates which had been reduced by 63% between September 2007 and February 2008, the attacks during the last few days of March brought the attack level back up to what had been experienced when the surge was still taking hold in the fall of 2007. Mortar and rocket attacks, launched primarily from Sadr City, rained down on the International Zone. IED , small arms, and indirect fire attacks were launched against MND-B and Iraqi Security Forces bases, convoys, and patrols at a level which had not been seen since early in 2007. Through April into mid May, MND-B forces built a wall separating the southern portion of Sadr City from the volatile northern section and systematically cleaned out the aggressor forces, bringing a new level of calm to the entire city of Baghdad by early summer as the uprising of the JAM militia was stopped.

Through the summer, fall and winter, work continued to transition the lead from Coalition to Iraqi Security Forces ( ISF ) and the 4ID and MND-B prepared to turn over the lead to the ISF on 1 January 2009. That was accomplished on schedule with the ISF taking lead as the New Year came in. On 31 January 2009, successful provincial elections were conducted, without a significant enemy attack on election day. A few weeks later, the 4ID once again returned to FortHood , ending their third deployment to Iraq since 2003.

In the three deployments to Iraq, 84 4ID /Task Force Ironhorse Soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice in 2003-2004, 235 4ID /Multi-National Division &ndash Baghdad Soldiers lost their lives in 2005-2006, and 113 4ID /Multi-National Division &ndash Baghdad Soldiers were killed in 2007-2009.

July 2009 MG David Perkins took command to become the 56 th Commanding General of the 4 th Infantry Division. With this change of command, even more significant events happened as the 4ID completed 14 years calling Fort Hood, TX home and returned to Fort Carson, CO, where they had served from late 1970 through late 1995. Immediately, the division&rsquos brigades started preparing for their next return to combat.

The 4 th Infantry Brigade Combat Team completed a year long tour in Afghanistan that began in May 2009 the 3 rd Brigade Combat Team has completed a deployment to southern Iraq, as an Advise and Assist Brigade, which began in March 2010 1 st Brigade Combat Team deployed to Afghanistan in late summer 2010 and 4ID HQ and DSTB deployed in October to Iraq, for the fourth time. The 2 nd Brigade Combat Team, which returned from Iraq late in 2009, returned to combat duty in 2011.

From early 2003 through 2011, the 4ID focused on Iraq and played a key role in the successful completion of that war, including the capture of Saddam Hussein. Since 2009 we have had Brigade elements deployed to Afghanistan and that effort continues today.

MG Joseph Anderson became Division Commander on November 16, 2011. Fort Carson is now the home base and as 2012 begins the 4ID is resetting, refitting, and training to deploy as required to serve our nation for their next operation in the Global War on Terror.

Maj . Gen. Paul LaCamera , assumed command of the 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, on March 14, 2013.

Since January 2013, three 4ID BCTs have deployed to Kuwait as the Army&rsquos Mid-East Ready Reaction Brigade. From July 2013 to July 2014, 4ID HQ was deployed to Afghanistan.

Sergeant's Clinton L. Romesha and Ty Michael Carter received the nation's highest military award for extraordinary gallantry and selfless actions during the Battle of Kamdesh at Combat Outpost Keating, Afghanistan, on Oct. 3, 2009. Both were assigned to Bravo Troop, 3-61 Cavalry, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

Maj . Gen. Ryan F. Gonsalves assumed command of 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson May 14, 2015.

A Medal of Honor was presented posthumously on June 2 nd 2015 to the family of WWI soldier Sergeant William Shemin for his heroic actions in 1918 when he put his own life in grave peril rescuing his comrades. He was assigned to Company G, 2 nd Battalion, 47 th Infantry Regiment ( 4 th Infantry Division), and the only 4ID WWI Soldier to be awarded the national highest medal.

A third Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan was presented to Capt . Florent A. Groberg during a White House ceremony, November 12, 2015 for action on August 8, 2012 while providing a personal security detail in the city of Asadabad .

As they have done since the Division's birth in December 1917, The 4 th Infantry Division Soldiers are 'Steadfast and Loyal' and 'Fit for Any Test' &ndash they remain, 'The Mighty Fourth Division &ndash America&rsquos Best'.

Division Honors

Campaign participation credit

World War I:

Aisne-Marne
St. Mihiel
Meuse-Argonne
Champagne 1918
Lorraine 1918

World War II:

Normandy
Northern France
Rhineland
Ardennes-Alsace
Central Europe

Vietnam:

Counteroffensive, Phase II
Counteroffensive, Phase II
Tet Counteroffensive
Counteroffensive, Phase IV
Counteroffensive, Phase V
Counteroffensive, Phase VI
Tet 69/Counteroffensive
Summer-Fall 1969
Winter-Spring 1970
Sanctuary Counteroffensive
Counteroffensive, Phase VII

Iraq War:

Liberation of Iraq &ndash 2003
Transition of Iraq &ndash 2003 - 2004
Iraqi Governance &ndash 2004 - 2007
National Resolution &ndash 2005 - 2007
Iraqi Surge - 2007 - 2008

Division Decorations

Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for PLEIKU PROVINCE ( 1st Brigade Only)
Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for DAK TO DISTRICT ( 1st Brigade Only)
Belgian Fourragere 1940
Cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action in BELGIUM
Cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action in the ARDENNES
Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for VIETNAM 1966&ndash1969
Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for VIETNAM 1969&ndash 1970
Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class for VIETNAM 1966&ndash1969
Army Superior Unit Award (Selected Units) for Force XXI Test and Evaluation (1995&ndash1996)
Valorous Unit Award ( 1st Brigade Combat Team & Supporting units) for Operation Red Dawn, Iraq &ndash 2003


WORLD WAR I

Amer Battle Monuments Comm. 42d Division Summary of Operations in the World War . Wash, DC: GPO, 1944. 117 p. #05-42.1944.

Brown, J. Douglas. "In Action With the Rainbow Division, 1918-19." Mil Rev 58 (Jan 1978): pp. 35-46. Per.

Brown, Warren J. Child Yank Over the Rainbow Division, 1918 . Largo, FL: Aero-Medical Consultants, 1975. 289 p. #05-42.1975.

Cochrane, Rexmond C. The 42nd Division Before Landres-et-St. Georges . Army Chem Ctr, MD: USA Chem Corps Hist Off, 1959. 88 p. UK23A5C64.1959-1960.

George, Herbert. The Challenge of War . NY: Vantage, 1966. 258 p. #05-42.1966.

Goode, J. Roy. The American Rainbow . s.l: Straus Economic Printers & Stationers, 1918? 20 p. #05-42.1918.

Grier, Harry S. Papers. 2 Bxs. Arch. Incls papers relating to G-2 Sect of Div.

Johnson, Harold S., ed. Roster of the Rainbow Division . NY: Eaton & Gettinger, 1917. 543 p. #05-42.1917.

Reilly, Henry J. Americans All, The Rainbow at War: Official History of the 42nd Rainbow Division in the World War . Columbus, OH: Heer, 1936. 888 p. #05-42.1936. (And 2d ed #05-42.1936/2).

Sherwood, Elmer W. Diary of a Rainbow Veteran . Terre Haute, IN: Moore-Langen, 1929. 217 p. #05-42.1929.

Tompkins, Raymond S. The Story of the Rainbow Division . NY: Boni & Liveright, 1919. 264 p. #05-42.1919.

U.S. Army. Amer Expeditionary Forces. Program of Training for the Sanitary Units of the 42nd Division, A.F.E. n.p., 17 p. UM400P76.1917.

U.S. Army War Coll. Hist Sect. Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War: American Expeditionary Forces, Divisions . Wash, DC: CMH, 1988. pp. 272-87. D570.2O72.1988v2.

Wolf, Walter B. A Brief Story of the Rainbow Division . NY: Rand McNally, 1919. 61 p. #05-42.1919/2.


History of the 1st Cavalry Division

The history of the 1st Cavalry Division is a colorful tale of Troopers on horseback in the desert areas around Fort Bliss, Texas fighting in World War II occupation duty in Japan combat in the Korean War service in Hokkaido patrols along the Korean DMZ Airmobile warfare in Vietnam the Cold War with service at Fort Hood desert fighting in the Gulf War peacekeeping in Bosnia and fighting the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. This page will provide you with a brief history of the First Team and links to other web pages and historical documents that honor the First Team!

The 1st Cavalry Division was formally activated on 13 September 1921 at Fort Bliss, Texas. Our early duties in West Texas included rough-riding and patrolling the Mexican border. Technological progress of the 1940’s diminished the usefulness of horse-mounted Soldiers, and the division turned in its horses and prepared to serve as dismounted cavalry in World War II’s Pacific Theater.

In February 1943, the 1st Cavalry Division was alerted for overseas assignment and closed at Strathpine in Queensland, Australia on 26 July to train for jungle and amphibious operations. On 29 February 1944, the 1st Cavalry Division had its first combat as the Troopers stormed the beaches of Los Negros Island fighting a fierce campaign that took some 7,000 Japanese casualties. The division’s next action was a few months later on the Philippine Island of Leyte. When the last Japanese stronghold was eliminated, the division moved to Luzon. The 1st Cavalry Division was first into Manila in February 1945 following one of the most important actions of the war which is known as the “Flying Column”. The Division’s Troopers entered Manila and freed the internees at Santo Tomas University. Two Troopers of the 1st Cavalry Division were awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously during World War II. Major General William C. Chase officially took command months later, and his nickname for the division, “First Team”, was well-received and remains today.

In September of 1945, the “First Team” led occupational forces into Japan’s capital city, earning the distinction of “First in Tokyo”. The 1st Cavalry Division spent the next five years in Japan on Occupation Duty. First quartered on the Yoyogi Parade Grounds the Division moved to the outskirts of the city and occupied Camp Drake in September 1945. The Division’s first mission in Tokyo was to assume control of the central portion of the city. Daily patrols began the long task of locating, investigating, and reporting all Japanese installations which had contributed to the nation’s war effort. All arsenals, factories, barracks, and storage grounds had to be examined and reports made of their contents. In addition, the Division was concerned with the status of demobilization of the Japanese armed forces. The 1st Cavalry Division’s occupation jurisdiction extended over 5,000 square miles. The years 1946 to 1950 saw further easing of tensions between Japanese and Americans. Whenever floods or earthquakes hit the Japanese mainland, the Cavalrymen joined the rescue efforts. Once every few weeks, the Division staged colorful parades in the Imperial Plaza in the heart of Tokyo. Division Troopers contributed time, money and their talents to a number of Japanese orphanages and other social relief agencies. In June 1950 North Korea invaded South Korea and despite woeful manning and equipment shortages, the First Team prepared for their next combat.

The 1st Cavalry Division stormed ashore at Pohang Dong, South Korea, in the Korean War’s first amphibious landing. By July 1950, the division began offensive operations to the north and crossed the 38th parallel on October 9th. Closing on North Korea’s capital ten days later, the “First Team” was “First in Pyongyang”. With the war almost won and US forces just south of the Chinese border the Chinese Communist Forces entered the war and the onslaught of numerically superior forces overran and encircled the 8th Cavalry Regiment at Unsan. United Nation’s forces began a withdrawal and were pushed past the 38th Parallel and below Seoul. The UN forces counter attacked and the 1st Cavalry Division again crossed the 38th parallel as fighting settled along that area. After 549 days of continuous combat, the division began planning to return to Japan. The division established a defensive military presence in the northern island of Hokkaido. Several units of the division returned to serve in Korea. During the Korean War eleven Troopers of the First Team were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions.

At the end of the Korean War the division remained on duty in Japan until its move back to the Korean Peninsula and duty along the Demilitarized Zone in 1957. The division spent the majority of its time in the field operations patrolling the southern border of the DMZ and adjacent areas in observation and listening posts that were manned 24 hours a day until departing for Fort Benning, Georgia in July 1965.

Reorganized and equipped as an airmobile division the “First Team” was quickly shipped to Vietnam becoming the first fully committed division in country. The division became the first division to earn the Presidential Unit Citation during the thirty-five day Pleiku Campaign. Airmobile tactics permitted fast movement on the battlefield as the “Sky Troopers” of the 1st Cavalry Division rode their helicopters into numerous battles. The enemy launched the famous Tet Offensive in late January 1968. Already on the move, the “First Team” rushed north, liberating cities and boldly repelling the enemy offensive. The division’s “Sky Troopers” flew in to relieve the besieged Marine base at Khe Sahn and the division was first into Cambodia in May 1970. The first full division into Vietnam was the last full division to leave Vietnam. Thirty Troopers of the 1st Cavalry Division were awarded the Medal of Honor for their valor during the Vietnam War. Redeployment to Fort Hood, Texas began in 1971 where the “First Team” reorganized into a “Triple Capability” or “Tricap” Division, incorporating an armor brigade, an air mobility brigade, and an air cavalry brigade. While the Division colors left Vietnam in 1971, the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (Separate) remained in Vietnam until June 1972.

In the following years the First Team fought the “Cold War” as they trained and readied for combat in any area of the world. Training at Fort Hood, deploying to Germany as part of Return of Forces to Germany (REFORGER), and fighting the Opposing Force at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California became the routine of America’s only Cavalry Division.

In August 1990, the 1st Cavalry Division was alerted for deployment o Southwest Asia as part of the joint forces participating in Operation Desert Shield. The focus at that time was the defense of Saudi Arabia against a potential Iraqi attack.

In January 1991, the division was attached to VII (US) Corps and the focus of the First Team clearly began to shift toward offensive action. The division moved nearly 500 kilometers to another assembly area near King Khalid Military city (KKMC) in Northern Saudi Arabia. This put the division in a key strategic location covering the historic Wadi al Batin approach into Saudi Arabia. The stay near KKMC was short and the division jumped north toward the juncture of the Saudi, Iraq, and Kuwait borders beginning a calculated war of deception along the Saudi border.

The deception caused Iraq to focus their forces along the Wadi and on 20 February, prior to the main attack by coalition forces the First Team’s 2nd Brigade mounted the first major mounted ground attack 10 miles into Iraq ensuring that the Iraqi Army thought the main attack was to be through the Wadi al Batin.

On February 26, the commander of the Allied forces, General Norman Schwartzkopf directed, “send in the First Team. Destroy the Republican Guard. Let’s go home.” The entire division, minus the 2nd Armored Division’s “Tiger” Brigade who was with the Marines moving into Kuwait, pausing only to refuel before passing through the breeches continued north, then east, moving in a vast armada of armor and went 300 kilometers in 24 hours, slicing deep into the enemy’s rear.

In 1998, the 1st Cavalry Division assumed the mission of Task Force Eagle, conducting peace support operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Following four months of highly successful and intensive planning, training, and maintaining, America’s “First Team” assumed the mission of ensuring peace and stability throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina for over a year, transferring authority to the 10th Mountain Division in August 1999.

In early 2003, select divisional units were designated to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom through the initial phase of combat culminating in the liberation of the Iraqi people from the tyrannical rule of Saddam Hussein. In the fall of 2003, the division as a whole was ordered to prepare for deployment in Operation Iraqi Freedom II. Assuming control of Task Force Baghdad in April of 2004 the division engaged the enemy across multiple lines of operation, helping the Iraqi people forge a new, democratic government – the first in the nation’s history. Two major events occurred during the division’s year in the Iraqi capital: first, the coalition returned sovereignty to the people of Iraq in June 2004 and second, the national elections of January 2005 demonstrated the resolve of the Iraqi people to gain control of their country. The division transferred authority to the 3rd Infantry Division in February 2005 and completed their return to Fort Hood on April 2nd.

After returning from Iraq in 2005, the Division underwent a transformation to the Army’s new modular design becoming a combined arms division. Many of our units were inactivated or redesignated as the Division reorganized into a more deployable and lethal configuration. Adding a fourth maneuver brigade that was temporarily located at Fort Bliss, Texas the Division began a training program to prepare for a return to Iraq in 2006.

On 15 November, 2006 the 1st Cavalry Division assumed control of Baghdad for the second time and leadership of Multi-National Division Baghdad. Two of our brigades, the 3rd and 4th Brigade Combat Teams, were attached to the 25th Infantry Division working in a different area of Iraq while the ranks of the First Team were expanded by the attachment of brigades from divisions across the Army. The surge in Iraq brought the assigned and attached strength of the First Team and MND-Baghdad to over 100,000 Soldiers.

Returning to Fort Hood in late 2007 the division relocated the 4th Brigade Combat Team from Fort Bliss to Fort Hood and saw the departure of the 15th Sustainment Brigade from division control in 2008. The 4th BCT again deployed to Iraq leaving the rest of the division to train and prepare for a third deployment in 2009.

In late 2008, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq followed by the 2nd BCT, 1st BCT and the Division Headquarters in early 2009. The First Team once again accepted the control on MND-Baghdad from the 4th Infantry Division on 10 February, 2009. Only the 1st BCT remained assigned to the Division with the other three Heavy Brigade Combat Teams being attached to other divisions in Iraq. The 1st Air Cavalry Brigade deployed to Iraq in the spring of 2009 for a one-year deployment and was the last 1st Cavalry Division unit to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The 4th BCT was one of the first units to deploy for Operation New Dawn with the mission to train and assist Iraqi Security Forces in September, 2010 followed by 2nd Brigade who deployed in 2011, helping to advise, train, assist and equip Iraqi forces while simultaneously transitioning more than a half-dozen bases back to Iraqi control. The other brigades followed on to Iraq for Operation New Dawn and the movement out of Iraq and into Kuwait. On the morning of 18 December 2011, after almost nine years, the 3rd Special Troops Battalion of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Grey Wolf) was the last unit to leave Iraq. The units of the First Team had completed a flawless movement involving multiple passages of lines conducted without incident. After leaving Iraq, the 1st Brigade Combat Team remained in Kuwait for several months as a contingency force for the CENTCOM area.

On 19 May 2011, in continuing to expand its role in the mid-eastern theater of operations, the 1st Cavalry Division unfurled the unit’s new colors in a transfer of authority ceremony with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. During a pivotal time in the war on terror and in Afghanistan’s history, The command authority of the Regional Command – East (RC-E) shifted from Combined Joint Task Force-101 to CJTF-1. In this new mission of the 1st Cavalry Division took control of over 35,000 Soldiers from eight US, French and Polish task forces and 14 provinces that, combined, provide safety and security in an area populated by approximately 7.5 million Afghans. The Area of Command consists of 43,000 square miles and shares 450 miles of border with Pakistan. The Division’s Air Cavalry Brigade also deployed to Afghanistan and conducted operations in almost all areas of Afghanistan for a full year.


Army Division - History

SHOP FOR 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION APPAREL & GIFTS:

"Tropic Lightning"

(Updated 5-9-08)

The U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Division, nicknamed "Tropic Lightning," is headquartered at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii and is assigned to the Pacific Command. The Division of nearly 17,000 soldiers stationed in Hawaii, at Fort Wainwright and Fort Richardson, Alaska, focuses primarily on training for low intensity conflicts throughout the Pacific region. However, the 25th ID is fully involved in the Global War on Terror and deploys units in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. The Tropical Lightning Division underwent the Army's modular re-organization in 2006. The 25th Infantry Division now has four Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) and an Aviation Brigade. The 1st and 2nd BCTs have fielded the Stryker combat vehicle, and the 4th BCT is Airborne qualified.

The division's shoulder patch, a lightning bolt superimposed on a taro leaf, was formally adopted in 1943. The colors of gold and red were those of the late Hawaiian monarchy. While soldiers over the years have jokingly nicknamed the patch the "Electric Chili Pepper" or the "Electric Strawberry," in 1953, the nickname "Tropic Lightning" was officially adopted.

In 1921, the United States Army formed the Hawaiian Division to protect the islands and our growing interests in the Pacific region. On October 1, 1941, the Hawaiian Division was split to create the 24th and 25th Infantry Divisions. The 25th Infantry Division was stationed at Schofield Barracks, on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The Division was just over two months old when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor thrusting the United States into World War Two. After the attack, the Division moved into beach defensive positions, preparing to defend Honolulu from invasion.

The division continued in its role as protector of Oahu until November 1942, when they were ordered into action against the Japanese in the Solomon Islands. On November 25th the Division moved to Guadalcanal. The 25th Infantry Division took part in some of the bitterest fighting in the Pacific Theater. By February 5, 1943, organized enemy resistance had ended on Guadalcanal. A period of garrison duty followed until July. Due to their superior performance during the operation, the 25th Infantry Division earned its nickname: "Tropic Lightning."

Beginning July 21st the Tropic Lightning participated in the seizure of the islands of New Georgia, Vella LaVella, Sasavele and Kolombangara. The Solomons Campaign ended in August of 1943. The Division was sent to New Zealand for rest and training, with the last elements arriving December 5th. The soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division then moved to New Caledonia on 8 February 1944 to prepare for the invasion of the Philippines.

On 11 January 1945 the 25th Infantry Division landed on Luzon, entering the fight for the liberation of the Philippine Islands. The Division met stiff resistance from the Japanese as it drove across the central plain of Luzon. Beginning on February 21, 1945 the Tropic Lightning attacked Japanese forces in the Caraballo Mountains in order to secure the left flank of the Sixth Army as it drove for Manila. The 25th Infantry Division fought its way from hill to hill until the key Balete Pass fell to the Division on May 13, 1945. The Tropic Lightning Division was relieved on June 30, 1945. The 25th Infantry Division had suffered the most casualties of any division of the Sixth Army in its amazing 165 days of continuous combat. The 25th Infantry Division participated in four campaigns of the Pacific Theater: Central Pacific, Guadalcanal, Northern Solomons and Luzon. Six Tropic Lightning soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor.

The Division was in Tarlac on the island of Luzon in the Philippines when the Japanese surrendered. On September 20, 1945 the Tropic Lightning began moving to Japan to act as occupation forces. The 25th Infantry Division remained on occupation duty for the next five years until called upon again to serve their country. This time the fight would be on the Korean Peninsula.

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950 when the North Korean People's Army crossed the 38th Parallel in an unprovoked attack on the Republic of South Korea. Under United Nations orders, the 25th Infantry Division was deployed to Korea from 5-18 July 1950. Upon arrival they successfully completed their first mission of blocking the approaches to the port city of Pusan. After weeks of bitter fighting, the division was able to break out from the Pusan area in September 1950 along with U.S. and United Nations forces to link with U.S. Marines who landed at the city of Inchon. Most of Korea was liberated and North Korean forces were driven to the Yalu River, when Chinese forces joined the fight in November 1950. The 25th Infantry Division and allied forces were driven south once again. A permanent battle line was established south of Osan. The division began retaking lost territory in January 1951. By February 10, 1951 the city of Inchon and Kimpo Air Base were recaptured. The Division next participated in Operation Ripper, which drove the enemy north of the Han River. The spring of 1951 continued with successful Operations Dauntless, Detonate, and Piledriver. These offensive operations enhanced the United Nations position for negotiating an end to the fighting. Peace talks began in the summer of 1951. Unfortunately the Chinese and North Koreans were not ready to settle. A stalemated, trench warfare situation continued with patrolling and defensive actions for the next two years. On occasion, fierce battles were fought as enemy forces tried to break the main line of resistance. From May to July of 1953, a heavy Chinese assault was thrown at the Tropic Lightning's section of the line that guarded the approaches to Seoul. The 25th Infantry Division repulsed this attack and protected the South Korean capital. The 25th was placed in reserve status in July. The Korean War ended on July 27, 1953 when an armistice took effect.

The 25th Infantry Division had spent 37 months in combat during the Korean War. The Division received two South Korean Presidential Unit Citations and was credited with participation in all ten Korean War campaigns. Fourteen Tropic Lightning soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor. By October 1954, the division had returned home to Hawaii after a 12 year absence.

In response to a request from the U.S. Military Assistance Command in Vietnam, the Division sent 100 helicopter door-gunners to the Republic of South Vietnam in early 1963. By August 1965, further Division involvement in the coming Vietnam Conflict included the deployment of Company C, 65th Engineer Battalion, to South Vietnam to assist in the construction of port facilities at Cam Ranh Bay.

In December 1965, the Tropic Lightning Division deployed to South Vietnam in force. In a massive airlift, 3rd Brigade deployed to the central highlands at Pleiku, while the rest of the division was transported by sea. Operation Blue Light was the largest and longest airlift of personnel and cargo into a combat zone in military history before Operation Desert Shield. The Command Group of the division had established their base in Cu Chi district, 20 miles northwest of the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon. By April 1966, the entire division had arrived in country and ready to strike the enemy.

During the period from the summer of 1966 to the spring of 1967 the 25th Division was the largest division in Vietnam with four brigades under its command, the division's 1st and 2nd Brigades as well as the 3rd Brigade, 4th Division and the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. During 1966 and 1967 the division engaged in operations to destroy communist forces within their Area of Responsibility while engaging in humanitarian missions to support the Vietnamese people. In the fall of 1966 the division took part in Operation Attleboro, which was the largest unit operation of the war at that time. The fierce fighting during this operation resulted in the defeat of the 9th Viet Cong Division. The lessons learned were successfully applied by the Tropic Lightning in Operations Cedar Falls and Junction City conducted in War Zone C in early 1967.

From 1966 to 1970, the Division fought the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong north and west of Saigon. In late January 1968, enemy forces began a major offensive during Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. During the 1968 Tet Offensive the 25th Infantry Division stopped the Viet Cong attempts to seize Tan Son Nhut airfield and participated in the defense of Saigon.

The Vietnamization of the war, or the turning over of fighting roles to South Vietnamese forces, and the withdrawals of U.S. forces began in 1969. In April 1970 the division took part in operation Bold Lancer, which took the Vietnam War into neighboring Cambodia to destroy enemy sanctuaries previously immune from attack. In this operation, the division confiscated thousands of tons of supplies and hundreds of weapons. This incursion crippled the Cambodian-based efforts against American units and allowed the South Vietnamese time to prepare to take over the war.

By late December 1970, elements of the 25th Infantry Division were able to begin redeployment to Schofield Barracks. The 2nd Brigade was the last element of the Tropic Lightning Division to depart Vietnam. It arrived at Schofield Barracks in the early days of May 1971. The 25th Infantry Division served for 1,716 days in Vietnam, receiving participation credit for twelve Vietnam campaigns and being twice awarded the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm. Eight Tropic Lightning units were awarded Presidential Unit Citations and eleven received Valorous Unit Awards. Twenty-one Tropic Lightning soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor.

The face of the 25th Infantry Division changed in 1985 when it was selected to change into a light infantry formation. By 1 October 1986, the division had lost its heavy equipment and gained the designation of 25th Infantry Division (Light). The four primary characteristics of this new light infantry division were: mission flexibility, rapid deployment and combat readiness at 100 percent strength with a Pacific Basin orientation.

The 25th Infantry Division would see its first major deployment as a Light Infantry Division in January 1995 when the 2nd and 3rd Brigades were sent to Haiti as part of Operation Uphold Democracy. The division became a critical element in the stabilization and reconstitution of Haiti, providing security and rebuilding the infrastructure. The division's mission was officially completed in March 1995 however, the final contingent of Tropic Lightning soldiers stayed until June. From April to September 2002, the 25th Infantry Division (Light) continued its peacekeeping mission into the 21st Century as 1,000 Tropic Lightning soldiers took part in operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina. As part of Stabilization Force XI, division troops took part in mine-clearing operations, reconstruction, and the destruction of weapons turned in by civilians.

The 25th Infantry Division did not participate as a whole in Operation Desert Storm due to the division being earmarked for Pacific contingencies. However, during the Gulf War, one platoon each from Companies A, B and C, 4th Battalion, 27th Infantry, "Wolfhounds" deployed to Saudi Arabia in January 1991. These Tropic Lightning soldiers were scheduled to be replacement squads in the ground campaign however, after observing their thoroughly outstanding performance in desert warfare training, the Assistant Commander of Third U.S. Army asked for them to become the security force for the Army's Forward Headquarters. In that role, the Wolfhound platoons were alerted and attacked with Third Army (Forward) into Kuwait City on February 26. Company A's platoon was separated from the other Wolfhounds following that battle to accompany General H. Norman Schwarzkopf into Iraq on March 1, 1991 and provided security at the truce signing. The three platoons returned to Schofield Barracks without casualties on March 20, 1991.

The Army's evaluation of Desert Storm recognized the need for a rapidly deployable organization that could fill the operational gap between initially deployed light forces, which lack staying power, and the slower deploying heavy armored forces. Originally known as the Interim Brigade Combat Team it is now known as the Stryker Brigade Combat Team. It is an infantry brigade mounted on some three hundred Stryker, 19-ton wheeled armored vehicles in ten different configurations with significant upgrades in firepower and capable of being transported in C-130 aircraft.

The transformation began in 1999 with the conversion of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Lewis to a Stryker Brigade. In the spring of 2002 the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division began to reorganize from a light infantry brigade to the Stryker configuration. The conversion of the 2nd Brigade to a Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) began in 2005. By late 2007 the brigade had received its full complement of Stryker vehicles and became combat certified.

In July 2005, a 4th Brigade was added to the 25th Infantry Division as an airborne brigade stationed in Fort Richardson, Alaska. It deployed in October 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In January, 2006 the 25th Infantry Division (light) was redesignated as the 25th Infantry Division. The "light" segment of the name was dropped to reflect the changes the force underwent during the Stryker and modular force transformations.

The 25th Infantry Division was called on to support of the Global War on Terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan in July 2003 to prepare for deployment in 2004. This deployment would mark the first time the division deployed as a whole outside the Pacific region.

The 2nd Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq in January 2004. The brigade was stationed outside the city of Kirkuk where they engaged in peacekeeping operations and nation building projects. The "Warrior" Brigade fought and destroyed insurgent forces in various cities and towns including Najaf, Huwijah, Samarra, and Kirkuk. The high point of the 2nd Brigade deployment was their support of the first free elections held in Iraq in over 50 years. After over a year away from home, the 2nd BCT had returned to Schofield Barracks by March 2005.

Tropic Lightning deployed an impressive force to assist in the stabilization of Afghanistan. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, Division Artillery and units of the Division's Aviation Brigade deployed in March 2004. Soldiers of the "Bronco" brigade, "Tropic Thunder", and "Wings of Lightning" engaged in combat operations against Al-Qaida and remnants of the former Taliban regime while helping to rebuild a country ravaged by decades of war. During operations Lightning Resolve and Lightning Freedom, Tropic Lightning units supported the first ever democratic elections in Afghanistan. All units of Tropic Lightning deployed to Afghanistan returned home to Hawaii by June 2005.

In September 2005, the 25th Infantry Division was ordered to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08. The Division Headquarters, with 3rd IBCT, and 25th CAB deployed to Multinational Division-North in Iraq for a 15 month tour. During the months of July and August, the Division moved its personnel and equipment through Kuwait into Iraq. The Mission Assumption Day ceremony was held on September 13, 2006. The Division was already deep into the war as Task Force Lightning. Task Force Lightning included units from the 1st Cavalry Division, 2nd and 4th Infantry Divisions, the 82nd Airborne Division, 25th CAB, 3rd IBCT, National Guard and Reserve units, with a strength of a 23,000 Soldiers. The size of Task Force Lightning's Area of Operations was roughly the size of Pennsylvania and included over 10 million people spread through six provinces.

The efforts of Task Force Lightning during Operation Iraqi Freedom VI brought incredible results: a dramatic reduction in attacks, tribal groups working with the government, better trained and capable Iraqi Security Forces, and a once emboldened enemy beaten back. The Division returned to Hawaii in October 2007.

The high standards set by the 25th Infantry Division in its conduct of combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq effectively demonstrates the division motto "Ready to Strike, Anytime Anywhere" and such traditional high standards set by the Tropic Lightning in four wars will continue in its current and future deployments in the Global War On Terror.

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Army Division - History

SHOP FOR 5TH INFANTRY DIVISION APPAREL & GIFTS:

"Red Devils"

(Updated 6-2-10)

The 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) has the nicknames of "Red Devils" or the "Red Diamond" for the simple design of their shoulder sleeve insignia. The 5th I.D., currently inactive, is a regular army division that saw service in WWI, WWII, Vietnam, and Operation Just Cause in Panama.

As part of the United States Army's buildup for World War I, the Fifth Division was activated on December 11, 1917 at Camp Logan, near Houston, Texas. The Division's organization called for four infantry regiments. However, only the headquarters and a few units were at Camp Logan. The Division's remaining units were training at locations spread over the Eastern and Southern United States. The 5th Division did not assemble as a unit until their arrival in France was completed on May 1, 1918.

It was during WWI that the 5th Infantry Division adopted their shoulder patch, the red diamond, and their nom de guerre. German soldiers during the St. Mihiel campaign called the American soldiers "Die rote teufel," which means "red devils."

The Red Diamonds were the eighth division to arrive in France. On arrival, the 5th Division conducted intensive training under the tutelage of French instructors. By the end of May the 5th Division was declared ready for combat and placed at the disposal of the French to reinforce the French Seventh Army in the Anould Sector in the Vosges Mountains in Alsace. Here they occupied trenches with French troops and suffered the Divisions first casualties on the night of June 14, 1918.

On July 14, the Red Diamond was removed from the line and took over the St. Die Sector, relieving French troops. The 5th Division immediately initiated aggressive patrolling. The Division's artillery relished the opportunity to fire on live targets. As a result, "No Man's Land" became "Our Land." The 5th Division's machine gunners even brought down the first enemy airplane from ground fire.

By Armistice Day, the 5th Division had advanced further east than any other Allied division. In World War I, the 5th Division participated in the following campaigns: Alsace 1918, Lorraine 1918, Saint Mihiel, and the Meuse-Argonne. Since its first introduction into the trenches in June 1918, the Red Diamond had been in the line for 103 days. The 5th Division captured 2,367 German soldiers. The Red Devils sustained 9,981 casualties, 1,098 of those were killed in action. Decorations for valor were awarded to 351 Red Devils.

After the Armistice on November 11, 1918, the 5th Division was one of ten American divisions that served as occupation troops. Beginning November 27, the Red Diamond was stationed in Luxembourg and southeastern Belgium where it guarded the line of communications for Allied troops in Germany. During the summer of 1919, the Red Devils returned to the United States. The 5th Division was inactivated on October 4, 1921, at Camp Jackson, South Carolina.

With the American concern over the start of World War II in Europe, the 5th Infantry Division was once again activated on October 16, 1939 at Fort McClellan, Alabama. This time the Red Diamond was formed as a "triangular" division with the 2nd, 10th, and 11th Infantry Regiments for an authorized strength of approximately 15,000.

After periods of intensive training, the Red Diamond settled in their permanent post at Fort Custer, Michigan in September 1940. By April of 1941, the 5th Infantry Division had received their first batch of draftees, approximately 5,000, that brought the Division up to authorized strength. In September 1941, units of the Red Diamond began deployment to Iceland. The remainder of the Division had arrived by May 1942. While in Iceland, the Red Devils performed arduous and monotonous duties of operating observation posts, unloading boats, building roads and buildings, all while still maintaining training schedules.

In August 1943, the 5th Infantry Division moved from Iceland to Tidworth Barracks, England. Then in October, the Red Devils moved to Northern Ireland to continue training for the invasion of France. The Red Diamond landed in Normandy at Utah Sugar Red Beach, in the St. Mere Eglise area, on July 9, 1944. It was assigned to the V Corps, First Army, and relieved the 1st Infantry Division in the Coumont area. The division launched its first attack on Vidouville on July 26, 1944. From August 3, 1944, the 5th Infantry Division served in the XII and XX Corps, in Patton's Third Army until the end of hostilities on May 7, 1945.

The 5th Division, from its landing in Normandy July 9, 1944 to the last Division Headquarters in Vilshofen, Germany, traveled 2049 miles and engaged in all five of the ETO's major campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe. The Red Diamond has spent 300 days in combat, where they suffered battle casualties of 2,659 killed in action, 9,153 wounded, 1,050 missing in action, and 101 captured. Red Devils recognized for valor included the Medal of Honor (to Private Harold A. Garmen, a medic), 34 Distinguished Service Crosses, 602 Silver Stars, 10 Soldiers Medals, and 2,066 Bronze Stars.

The Red Diamond Division was inactivated September 20, 1946 at Camp Campbell Kentucky. However, this was not the end of the Red Diamond's history. The 5th Infantry Division would be activated and inactivated many times in the future. The Red Devils were part of NATO forces in Germany in the mid 1950's as part of the United States' Cold War defense of Europe. On March 25, 1968, the 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) was alerted for deployment to Vietnam.

In order to make the Red Devil's 1st Brigade combat effective as a separate maneuver unit, there were a number of new assignments and attachments. In addition to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) the following units were assigned: 1st Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment (Mechanized) 1st Battalion, 77th Armor A Troop, 4th Squadron, 12th Cavalry Regiment 5th Battalion, 4th Artillery 75th Support Battalion A Company, 7th Engineers 298th Signal Company 517th Military Intelligence Detachment 86th Chemical Detachment 48th Public Information Detachment 407th Radio Research Detachment and the 43rd Scout Dog Platoon. On February 24, 1969, the 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division (Mech) was assigned operational control of the 3rd Squadron, 5th Cavalry. Charlie Troop, 3rd Squadron, 17th Air Cavalry was placed under the operational control of the Red Devil Brigade in the summer of 1970. At peak strength, the brigade had over 6,000 personnel assigned and was one of the most potent fighting forces in the Republic of Vietnam.

Initially the Red Diamond Brigade conducted a 13-week training and familiarization program to adjust the brigade's personnel to situations in Vietnam. The emphasis was on independent small unit tactics and rapid response to alerts. In June 1968, the brigade began the long and difficult overseas movement. The advance party arrived in Quang Tri base on July 2, 1968. The remainder of the Brigade had closed on Quang Tri by July 22, and three maneuver battalions were located at separate base camps outside Quang Tri base proper.

A Company, 1st Battalion, 77th Armor was the first unit of the Red Diamond Brigade to be tactically committed. On August 12, 1968, the unit moved north to Con Thien to support the 1st Marine Regiment for ten days against North Vietnamese Army units attempting to infiltrate through the demilitarized zone. A Company made five contacts, was credited with 80 killed, and set the standard for the Brigade.

The Red Devils continued to operate in an area known as "Leatherneck Square," assisting the 3rd Marine Division deny access to the south through the DMZ. During April and May 1969, the Red Diamond Brigade attempted to deny the enemy access to the rice harvest. To accomplish this, the Brigade provided security for the friendly populace as they harvested their crops and patrolled at night to inhibit the movement of North Vietnamese tax collectors. The Red Diamonds showed that mechanized forces could be effective, even though they operated in terrain that was not optimal for armored forces.

In August 1969, the Red Devils assumed full responsibilities for "Leatherneck Square." For six weeks, constant activity kept all units of the Brigade busy in this area. On October 22, the Brigade was removed from the operational control of the 3rd Marine Division and placed directly under the commanding general of XXIV Corps. In conjunction with the 1st ARVN (South Vietnamese) Division, the Brigade now had sole responsibility for the defense of Quang Tri and Dong Ha combat bases.

In January 1971, the reinforced 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, initiated operation Lam Son 719. The Brigade opened the QL9 Road from Dong Ha to the Laotian border at the same time, engineers constructed access roads from the Rock Pile through the Punch Bowl to Khe Sanh. Following this, a 20,000-man ARVN Task Force moved to the Laotian border. The Red Diamond Brigade's missions were to secure QL9 as a supply route and provide mobile defense for the huge forward support area of Vandergrift and Khe Sanh. For 69 days of increasingly confused and bitter fighting, the Red Devils prevented the enemy from making a successful offensive move against any of these vital links in the ARVN offensive. A body count of 400 North Vietnamese was made, and the primary mission to keep the logistical support channels operational at all times was accomplished. When the last of the logistical units had withdrawn, the Red Diamond resumed its search and cordon patrols and rice denial efforts in eastern Quang Tri Province.

In June, the Red Devils received stand down orders with stateside redeployment to commence on July 1, 1971. Brigade activities were limited to base security in anticipation of a North Vietnamese Army effort to achieve a propaganda victory over the departing unit. The Brigade colors departed Quang Tri on August 8, 1971, after a ceremony the previous day in which several Vietnamese decorations were awarded to the Brigade and to Brigade personnel. The Red Devils returned to Fort Carson, leaving the defense of Quang Tri in the hands of the ARVN 1st Division, a unit that they had largely trained. On August 22, 1971, the Brigade colors were cased at Fort Carson, Colorado. The Red Diamond was inactive once again.

The 5th Mechanized Infantry Division was re-activated and re-organized at Fort Polk, LA in 1976. From 1989 through 1992, the division was attached to III Corps and shared its Cold War mission of reinforcing Allied Forces in Central Europe. According to Army doctrine of the time, the division was organized with two active brigades and "rounded out" by a brigade from the Army National Guard. In 1989, after months of deteriorating relations between the governments of the United States and that of Dictator Manuel Noriega of Panama, the situation became critical with the killing of a Marine officer and the harassment of American personnel by the Noreiga forces. When it came time for U.S. President George H.W. Bush to stop Noriega's repressive regime, the Red Diamond was standing in the wings and ready to be called.

A part of the division had been deployed in the Panama City area in May 1989 to secure American facilities. The following September these troops were replaced by "Task Force Regulars." This task force consisted of the 4th Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized), and supporting elements. Task Force Regulars was assigned the mission of the assault of "la Comandcia," the headquarters of Noriega's Panama Defense Forces (PDF). Augmenting the 4/6 Infantry were Company A, 7th Engineers, elements of 5th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery, 5th Support Battalion (Forward), Company C, 508th Airborne Infantry Regiment, four M551 Sheridans from the 82nd Airborne Division, four Marine light armored vehicles (LAVs) and two platoons of military police from Fort Benning, GA. Operation Just Cause, the invasion of Panama, opened in the first hours of December 20, 1989. Task Force Regulars returned to their home station, Fort Polk, Louisiana, in late January. The returning Red Diamond veterans of Operation Just Cause were honored with a division review and awards ceremony on February 9, 1990.

The last inactivation of the Red Diamond was on November 24, 1992, exactly 75 years from the date of its first order to activate, November 24, 1917. Through the efforts of the unit soldiers, the Red Devils, the 5th Infantry Division earned its motto: "We will."

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Army Division - History

SHOP FOR 24TH INFANTRY DIVISION APPAREL & GIFTS:

Victory Division

(Updated 9-22-10)

The United States Army's 24th Infantry Division has a special designation as the "Victory Division from the Center for Military History. The 24th Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia is a green taro leaf bordered in yellow, superimposed on a red circle that is bordered in black. It symbolizes the Division's heritage in the Hawaiian Division. Soldiers of the 24th ID are veterans of the Pacific Theater in WWII, the Korean War, the Cold War, and the Persian Gulf. In their service to the country, they have lived up to the division motto of "First to Fight!"

On February 25, 1921, the Hawaiian Division was activated at Schofield Barracks on Oahu, Hawaii. The 21st and 22nd Infantry Brigades, assets of the WWI era 11th Infantry Division, were initially assigned to the Division. The Hawaiian Division, along with the Philippine Division and the Americal were the last three divisions in the army to be designated with a name rather than a number. In the late summer of 1941, as part of the reorganization of the army in the buildup for World War II, the Hawaiian Division was disbanded and its subordinate units were used to create two new divisions: the 24th Infantry Division and the 25th Infantry Division (Tropical Lightning). The 24th ID received the Hawaiian Division's shoulder sleeve insignia, which was created in 1921.

The 24th and 25th Divisions were organized under a new table of organization and equipment (TO&E) that created a three brigade, or "triangular," division. The 24th Infantry Division Headquarters was activated on October 1, 1941. The Division's three infantry regiments were the 19th and the 21st from the active army, and the 299th Infantry Regiment of the Hawaii National Guard. Also attached to the division were the 13th Field Artillery Battalion, the 52nd Field Artillery Battalion, the 63rd Field Artillery Battalion, the 11th Field Artillery Battalion, the 24th Signal Company, the 724th Ordnance Company, the 24th Quartermaster Company, the 24th Reconnaissance Troop, the 3rd Engineer Battalion, the 24th Medical Battalion, and the 24th Counter Intelligence Detachment.

The 24th Infantry Division was among the first divisions to see combat in World War II. Headquartered at Schofield Barracks on the island of Oahu, the 24th I.D. sustained minor casualties when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The division was tasked with the defense of northern Oahu, where it built an elaborate system of coastal defenses. In May 1943, the division was alerted for movement to Australia and by September of that year, it had deployed to Camp Caves, near Rockhampton on the eastern coast of Australia. The 24th was part of the assault forces that landed on Dutch New Guinea, where it fought its way to the Hollandia airfield. After occupation duty in the Hollandia area, the 24th Infantry Division was assigned to X Corps of the Sixth United States Army in preparation for the invasion of the Philippines. The 24th Division was among the assault forces on Leyte. From there the division went to Luzon and eventually formed an element of the assault forces in the Southern Philippines. During World War II the division adopted its nickname, "Victory Division." After serving in five campaigns and being decorated by the Philippine government, the 24th ID departed Mindanao on October 15, 1945 for occupation duty in Japan.

During World War II, members of the 24th Infantry Division won 3 Medals of Honor, 15 Distinguished Service Crosses, 2 Distinguished Service Medals, 625 Silver Star Medals, 38 Soldier's Medals, 2,197 Bronze Star Medals, and 50 Air Medals. The division itself was awarded eight Distinguished Unit Citations for actions during their participation in the Pacific Campaign.

During the post-war occupation, the Victory Division remained on mainland Japan. The 24th ID occupied Kyushu from 1945 until 1950. During this time, the US Army shrank from its wartime strength of 89 divisions to only 10 active. The 24th Infantry Division was one of four under strength divisions on occupation duty in Japan. The Division retained the 19th, 21st, and 34th Infantry Regiments, but the formations were undermanned and ill equipped due to the post-war drawdown and reduction in military spending.

After North Korea attacked South Korea on June 25, 1950, elements of the 24th Infantry Division were the first to arrive in Korea. On June 30, a 406-man infantry force from 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, supported by a 134-man artillery battery (also from the 24th Infantry Division) was sent into South Korea. This battalion task force, known as Task Force Smith for its commander, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Smith, was lightly armed. Smith was ordered to delay the advance of North Korean forces while the rest of the 24th Infantry Division moved into South Korea. On July 4, the task force set up in the hills north of Osan and prepared to block advancing North Korean forces. The next day witnessed a column of North Korean tanks approaching the American position. The ensuing battle was a rout, as the Task Force's obsolescent weapons were no match for the North Koreans' T-34 Tanks and full-strength formations. Dozens of US soldiers were captured, and when US forces retook the area, some of the prisoners were discovered to have been executed. Task Force Smith suffered 20 killed and 130 wounded in action, approximately thirty percent of the unit. However, the task force was successful in delaying the North Korean forces' advance for seven hours. The Victory Division continued to fight a delaying action against overwhelming odds. The delay permitted the United Nations to build up its forces in the "Pusan Perimeter" around the port city. The 24th ID was awarded the Presidential Citation (Army) for its actions during this period. Over the next nineteen months the 24th Infantry Division fought in seven campaigns and was twice decorated by the Republic of (South) Korea. In February 1952, the Victory Division returned to Japan where it served as part of the Far East reserve.

On July 27, 1953 and armistice was signed ending combat operations in Korea. During this same month, the 24th ID went back to Korea to restore order in prisoner of war camps. The 24th Infantry Division suffered 3,735 killed and 7,395 wounded during the Korean War. The Division remained on front-line duty after the armistice until October 1957, patrolling the 38th parallel in the event that combat would resume.

When the United States reduced and realigned its divisions in the Far East in 1957, the 24th Infantry Division left Korea, eventually replacing the 11th Airborne Division in Germany. While in Germany, in addition to its standard infantry mission, the 24th ID fielded airborne units for about two years. Elements of the 24th Infantry Division deployed to Beirut because of the Lebanon Crisis in 1958. 24th ID units also rotated to Berlin to reinforce the Berlin Brigade when East Germany began building the Berlin Wall in August of 1961. The Division reorganized as a mechanized division under the Reorganization Objective Army Division (ROAD) TO& E in 1963. The Victory Division remained in Germany until 1969 when it redeployed to Fort Riley, Kansas, as part of the REFORGER (Return of Forces to Germany) program. As the Army withdrew from Vietnam and reduced its forces, the 24th Infantry Division was inactivated in April 1970 at Fort Riley.

In September 1975, the 24th Infantry Division was reactivated at Fort Stewart, Georgia, as part of the program to build a sixteen-division army. Because the Regular Army could not field a full division at Fort Stewart, the 24th ID had the 48th Infantry Brigade, Georgia Army National Guard, assigned to it as a round-out unit. Targeted for a NATO role, the Division was again reorganized and designated as a mechanized infantry division in 1979 and later fielded the M1 Abrams tank and the M2 Bradley fighting vehicle. The Division became a mainstay of the Cold War army for the next 15 years.

When the United Nations decided to halt Iraqi aggression into Kuwait in 1990, the 24th Infantry Division, as part of the Rapid Deployment Force, was deployed to Southwest Asia. Serving in the Defense of Saudi Arabia and Liberation and Defense of Kuwait campaigns, the Victory Division helped to arrest the Iraqi war machine. In the XVIII Airborne Corps' mission of envelopment, the 24th Infantry Division had the central role of blocking the Euphrates River valley to prevent the escape of Iraqi forces in Kuwait and then attacking east in coordination with VII Corps to defeat the armor-heavy divisions of the Republican Guard Forces Command. The 24th Infantry Division combined the usual mechanized infantry division components of an aviation brigade and three ground maneuver brigades plus combat support units. As a Rapid Deployment Force division, the 24th I.D. had extensive desert training and desert-oriented medical and water purification equipment. When the attack began, the 24th ID was as large as a World War I division, with 25,000 soldiers in thirty-four battalions. Its 241 Abrams tanks and 221 Bradley fighting vehicles provided the necessary armor punch to penetrate Republican Guard divisions. However, with 94 helicopters, and over 6,500 wheeled and 1,300 other tracked vehicles-including 72 self-propelled artillery pieces and 9 multiple rocket launchers, the Victory Division had given away nothing in mobility and firepower.

The 24th Infantry Division performed its Gulf War mission superbly. After the Iraqi forces were defeated, the UN mandated the US withdraw from Iraq, ending the Gulf War. By the time of the ceasefire on February 28, 1991, the 24th Infantry Division advanced 260 miles, destroyed 360 tanks, and other armored personnel carriers, 300 artillery pieces, 1,200 trucks, 25 aircraft, 19 missiles, and over 500 pieces of engineer equipment. The division took over 5,000 Iraqi prisoners of war while suffering eight American soldiers killed, 36 wounded, and 5 non-combat casualties.

The Victory Division returned to Fort Stewart, Georgia in the spring of 1991. As part of the Army's reduction to a ten-division force, the 24th Infantry Division was inactivated on February 15, 1996.

In the wake of the Cold War, the US Army considered new options for the integration and organization of Active duty, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard units in training and deployment. The 7th Infantry Division and the 24th Infantry Division headquarters were designated for training National Guard units. The subordinate brigades of the divisions did not activate, so they could not be deployed as combat divisions. Instead, the headquarters units focused on full-time training. On June 5, 1999, the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) was once again activated, this time at Fort Riley, Kansas. The Victory Division then consisted of an active component headquarters at Fort Riley and three enhanced separate brigades of the National Guard: the 30th Heavy Separate Brigade at Clinton, North Carolina, the 218th Heavy Separate Brigade at Columbia, South Carolina, and the 48th Separate Infantry Brigade in Macon, Georgia. The 24th Infantry Division became the U.S. Army's first integrated active duty/National Guard division.

To expand upon the concept of Reserve and National Guard components, the First Army activated Division East and Division West, two commands responsible for reserve units' readiness and mobilization exercises. Division East activated at Fort Riley. This transformation was part of an overall restructuring of the US Army to streamline the organizations overseeing training. Division East took control of reserve units in states east of the Mississippi River, eliminating the need for the Victory Division headquarters. The 24th Infantry Division was subsequently deactivated for the last time on August 1, 2006 at Fort Riley, Kansas. All of the 24th ID's flags and heraldic items were moved to the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, Georgia following its inactivation.

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Division

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Division, in modern military organizations, the smallest formation that comprises a balanced team of all the arms and services needed for the independent conduct of operations. It usually numbers between 12,000 and 20,000 men and is commanded by a major general. In naval usage a division is a group of ships, usually four, forming part of a squadron or task force. It also denotes units into which a ship’s company is divided for administrative purposes. The term air division denotes a command within an air force, containing two or more wings organized to perform an operational mission such as bombardment, fighter interception, reconnaissance, or airlift.

The military strength of an army for the conduct of war may be roughly measured by the number and quality of the divisions it can bring to bear against an enemy. Divisions, together with additional supporting combat and service troops, are formed into corps and field armies for the conduct of military campaigns.

To meet specialized requirements in warfare, divisions have evolved into several types, falling within two general classifications: infantry and armoured. Infantry divisions, known as rifle divisions in the Russian army, are organized and equipped for combat under all conditions of terrain and weather they comprise the principal portion of the fighting forces of an army. An infantry division consists chiefly of foot soldiers equipped with light weapons but also includes supporting artillery, armour, and engineer units and has its own communication, supply, maintenance, and evacuation services. Divisions of this general type, when modified by the introduction of light equipment and given special training, may perform specialized roles. Examples are airborne (parachute) divisions and mountain (Alpine) divisions. Some armies also have formed motorized (in American usage, mechanized) divisions by adding truck transport and light armoured vehicles sufficient to mount all the troops of an infantry division. The armoured, or (except in American usage) mechanized, division also contains elements of all arms and services but is comparatively much stronger in tank forces than the infantry division. When faced by defenses in depth, the tanks, infantry, engineers, artillery, and antitank weapons of a division work as a coordinated team.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Michael Ray, Editor.


41st Infantry Division, ARNG

During World War II, American troops in the Pacific Theater experienced some of the toughest combat in U.S. military history. Whether in the steamy jungles of New Guinea, Guadalcanal, or the Philippines, or on the various sun scorched atolls of the Pacific, American soldiers faced a tough adversary in the troops of the Japanese Imperial Army, who often fought with suicidal zeal in the name of their emperor. One of the U.S. Army divisions that served in the Pacific Theater was the 41st Infantry Division, nicknamed the “Sunset Division” for its shoulder sleeve insignia.

Originally constituted on 18 July 1917, the division was first organized on 18 September 1917 as the 41st Division at Camp Greene, North Carolina. The division, under the command of MG Hunter Liggett, was largely made up of National Guardsmen from the northwestern U.S., including Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Additional troops came from Guard units from the District of Columbia and draftees. The division included the 161st, 162d, 163d, and 164th Infantry Regiments, the 66th Field Artillery Brigade (146th, 147th, 148th Field Artillery Regiments and 116th Trench Mortar Battery) and various other units.

On 26 November 1917, the first elements of the 41st set sail from Hoboken, New Jersey, for France, with the last units arriving on 6 February 1918. The 41st was the fifth U.S. division to arrive in France. Upon arriving in France, however, the division was broken up and its men used as replacements for other divisions. In February 1919, the 41st arrived back in the U.S. and was demobilized on 22 February at Camp Dix, New Jersey.

The division was reorganized and federally recognized on 3 January 1930, with the division’s headquarters at Portland, Oregon. Throughout the 1930s, the 41st, under the command of MG George A. White, participated in various training maneuvers, including a series of maneuvers against the Regular Army’s 3d Division in August 1937.

As the threat of war grew more ominous in 1940, the 41st was inducted into federal service on 16 September 1940 and moved to Camp Murray, Washington, for training. The division later moved to Fort Lewis, Washington, and participated in a number of training maneuvers with IX Corps and Fourth Army.

After the U.S. entered World War II in December 1941, the division was reorganized as a triangular division, losing the 161st Infantry, and redesignated the 41st Infantry Division on 17 February 1942. Elements of the 41st, now under the command of MG Horace H. Fuller, began leaving the U.S. for Australia on 19 March, with the last units arriving on 13 May. The 41st was the first complete American division sent overseas after Pearl Harbor. After training at Camp Seymour, New South Wales, the division moved to Rockhampton, Queensland, for more intensive training in jungle and amphibious warfare.

The first elements of the 41st, mainly the 163d Infantry, arrived by air in New Guinea on 27 December 1942. They entered combat on 8 January 1943 and began an attack to clear the road to Sanananda. By 22 January, the mission was accomplished, effectively closing the Papua Campaign.

During the New Guinea Campaign, units of the 41st launched operations to clear the Japanese from the northern coast of New Guinea. From 29 June to 12 September 1943, elements of the 41st, primarily the 162d Infantry, remained in contact with the enemy for seventy-six consecutive days. The jungle warfare took a heavy toll on the men of the 41st, not only in terms battle casualties. Many soldiers contracted malaria, dengue fever, and other tropical diseases. Food was scarce, and the damp tropical climate caused uniforms to literally rot off the soldiers who wore them. The 41st’s operations in the jungles of New Guinea earned the division another nickname, the “Jungleers.”

After completing the New Guinea campaign, which included assault landings at Aitape, Biak, Hollandia, Nassau Bay, and Wadke-Arare-Toem, at the end of 1944, the 41st was ordered to the Philippines. On 28 February 1945, the division’s 186th Infantry assaulted Palawan Island. The remainder of the division landed on Mindanao on 10 March and quickly captured Zamboanga City and Caldera Point before running into stiff Japanese resistance. For the rest of the war, the 41st focused on mopping up pockets of Japanese resistance throughout the southern Philippines until hostilities ended in August 1945. During the war, the 41st lost nearly 1,000 dead and over 3,500 wounded. It participated in three campaigns and ten assault landings. Also, with forty-five months away from U.S. soil, it held the distinction of having the longest overseas service of any U.S. division.

After performing occupation duty in Japan, the 41st was inactivated on 31 December 1945 at Hiro, Japan. In 1948, the division was reorganized and federally recognized as the 41st Infantry Division. In 1965, the 41st was reorganized and redesignated as the 41st Infantry Brigade. The 41st is now currently assigned to the 7th Infantry Division, one of the Army’s newly formed integrated divisions that combine active duty headquarter units with National Guard brigades.


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