World War I
Activated: 8 June 1917.
Overseas: Move completed 22 December 1917.
Major Operations: Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, Montidier-Noyons.
Casualties: Total-22,320 (KIA-3,730; WIA-18,590).
Maj. Gen. William L. Sibert (18 June 1917)
Maj. Gen. R. L. Bullard (14 December 1917)
Brig. Gen. Beaumond B. Buck (5 April 1918)
Maj. Gen. R. L. Bullard (13 April 1918)
Maj. Gen. C. P. Summerall, II (15 July 1918)
Brig. Gen. F. E. Bamford (12 October 1918)
Brig. Gen. Frank Parker (18 October 1918)
Maj. Gen. E. F. McGlachlin, Jr. (21 November 1918).
Returned to U. S.: September 1919.
World War II
Overseas: 7 August 1942.
Campaigns: Algeria-French Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe.
Days of Combat: 443.
Distinguished Unit Citations: 20.
Awards: MH-16 ; DSC-130 ; DSM-5 ; SS-6,019 ; LM-31 ; SM-162 ; BSM-15,021 ; AM-76.
Maj. Gen. Donald Cubbison (February 1941)
Maj. Gen. Terry de la Mesa Allen (2 August 1942)
Maj. Gen. Clarence R. Huebner, July 1943)
Maj. Gen. Clift Andrus (December 1944)
Maj. Gen. Frank Milburn (August 1946).
The 1st Infantry Division saw its first combat in World War II in North Africa, landing at Oran and taking part in the initial fighting, 8-10 November 1942. Elements then took part in seesaw combat at Maktar, Medjez el Bab, Kasserine Pass, Gafsa, El Guettar, Beja, and Mateur, 21 January-9 May 1943, helping secure Tunisia. The First was the first ashore in the invasion of Sicily, 10 July 1943 ; it fought a series of short, fierce battles on the island's tortuous terrain. When that campaign was over, the Division returned to England to prepare for the Normandy invasion. The First Division assaulted Omaha Beach on D-day, 6 June 1944, some units suffering 30 percent casualties in the first hour, and secured Formigny and Caumont in the beachhead. The Division followed up the St. Lo break-through with an attack on Marigny, 27 July 1944, and then drove across France in a continuous offensive, reaching the German border at Aachen in September. The Division laid siege to Aachen, taking the city after a direct assault, 21 October 1944. The First then attacked east of Aachen through Hurtgen Forest, driving to the Roer, and moved to a rest area 7 December for its first real rest in 6 months' combat, when the von Rundstedt offensive suddenly broke loose, 16 December. The Division raced to the Ardennes, and fighting continuously from 17 December 1944 to 28 January 1945, helped blunt and turn back the German offensive. Thereupon, the Division attacked and again breached the Siegfried Line, fought across the Roer, 23 February 1945, and drove on to the Rhine, crossing at the Remagen bridgehead, 15-16 March 1945. The Division broke out of the bridgehead, took part in the encirclement of the Ruhr Pocket, captured Paderborn, pushed through the Harz Mountains, and was in Czechoslovakia, at Kinsperk, Sangerberg, and Mnichov, when the war in Europe ended.
Assignments in the ETO *
1 November 1943: First Army.
6 November 1943: VII Corps.
2 February 1944: V Corps.
14 July 1944: First Army.
15 July 1944: VII Corps.
1 August 1944: VII Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.
16 December 1944: V Corps.
20 December 1944: Attached, with the entire First Army, to the British 21st Army Group.
26 January 1945: XVIII (Abn) Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.
12 February 1945: III Corps.
8 March 1945: VII Corps.
27 April 1945: VIII Corps.
30 April 1945: V Corps.
6 May 1945: Third Army, 12th Army Group.
Nicknames: The Red One; The Fighting First. Slogan: No mission too difficult, no sacrifice too great, duty first. Shoulder patch: Red Arabic numeral "I" on solid olive drab background. Association: Society of the First Division, Box 13, Station C, Grand Rapids,, Mich. (executive secretary, Robert J. Riekse). Publications: First; by the Division TI&E Officer: F. Guhl & Co., Frankfurt am Main, Germany; 1945. First, The Story of the 1st Infantry Division; by unit members TI&E, ETOUSA ; distributor, Society of the First Division; 1945. History of the 1st Infantry Division ("Danger Forward"); by unit historian; Albert Love Enterprises, Atlanta 2, Ga. ; 1948.
The 5th FA Bn. of the 1st Infantry Division traces its history to 1 March 1776 when Capt. Alexander Hamilton formed what is now Battery D, 5th FA Bn. Then known as "The Provincial Company of the Artillery of the Colony of New York," the Alexander Hamilton Battery fired the first round in defense of the United States on 12 July 1776 at Fort George (The Battery), N. Y. Shortly after the Revolution, this battery was stationed at West Point, its complement of 40 men then comprising the bulk of the United States Army.
* In these tabulations, the army and higher headquarters to which the division is assigned or attached is not repeated when the division is assigned or attached to a different corps in the same army. On 6 November 1943, for example, the 1st Infantry Division was assigned to the VII Corps which was itself assigned to First Army; on 1 August 1944, the 12th Army. Group became operational; and on 6 May 1945, the 1st Infantry Division left First Army for the first time during the operations on the Continent for reassignment to the Third Army.
[Nota Bene: These combat chronicles, current as of October 1948, are reproduced from The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950, pp. 510-592.]