Second Army / 2nd Army / Second United States Army
Oct 15, 1918
Oct 20, 1939
April 15, 1919
World War I
Second Army's task during the First World War was to hold the line a short distance east of the Moselle River in France following the end of the Saint-Mihiel offensive along the Western Front. The army was also tasked with reinforcing units from the active-in-combat soldiers of the U.S. First Army.
On 10 November, Second Army advanced on German positions, already in disorder and retreating. Word did not reach the units advancing until after eleven-hundred hours on 11 November, making it one of the last units to fight to the very conclusion of the war.
On 15 April of the following year, Second Army was inactivated.
Along the line
U.S. 33rd Division (Illinois National Guard)
U.S. 28th Division (Pennsylvania National Guard)
U.S. 7th Division (Regular Army)
U.S. 92nd Division (United States Colored Troops)
U.S. 4th Division (Regular Army)
U.S. 35th Division (Missouri and Kansas National Guard)
One brigade, U.S. 88th Division (Minnesota and North Dakota National Guard)
1920s to 1930s
World War I did not spell the end of the Second Army. With tensions in Europe and Asia heating up, on October 20, 1939 the Second Army was once again reactivated.
World War II
Throughout the war, the Second Army's headquarters was located in Memphis, Tennessee.
Its mission was as the Army's premier stateside training facility for army ground troops. By the end of the war, fifty-seven of the Second Army's superbly trained divisions had been sent into combat.
Of course, the training emphasis of the Second Army in Memphis was not merely for warfare, but also for Army medical studies. It was the prevailing attitude by many GIs that, while hygiene standards were high during initial boot camp conditions, the closer to combat situations they came, the more GIs believed these standards did not matter - thus hygiene considerations should be relaxed. This lead to increasing reports of poor hygiene leading to a variety of diseases. In response to these problems, the Army commissioned numerious studies during the Second Army's battlefield training maneuvers. The focus of these studies was to find out the typical hygiene habits of GIs in the field. It was through these studies that the Army was able to modify their training in order to impress on soldiers that hygiene was still just as important (if not more so) on the battlefield.
In 1945, with the war over and the GI's being processed out of the Army, the Army Ground Forces, Second Army at Fort Benning became the temporary unit assignment for a number of ground force units.
Post-World War II
On June 15, 1947, the Second Army's headquarters was transfered from Baltimore, Maryland to Fort Meade in Maryland. Not long after the Second Army was re-designated as the Second United States Army.
The Second Army's mission at Fort Meade was primiarly as a training ground for the Organized Reserves. It operated out of Fort Meade for nearly 20 years until the Army began to consolidate its formations.
Army consolidation in 1966 caused the Second Army to be inactivated and merged with First Army.
Divisional history from: