100th Infantry Division / 100th Airborne Division
Posted 04 November 2006 - 07:36 PM
Without "Airborne" Tab: One Hundredth Infantry Division / 100th Division
With "Airborne" Tab: One Hundredth Airborne Division / 100th Airborne
"Century Division" and "Sons of Bitche"
World War II [Infantry]
June 1918 [Infantry]
June 1921 [Infantry]
Nov 15, 1942 [Infantry]
Sept 1946 [Airborne]
Nov 1919 [Infantry]
Nov 14, 1942 [Infantry]
Jan 26, 1946 [Infantry]
Soldiers from the 100th Infantry Division earned the first EIB, were the first to ever fight their way through the Vosges Mountains, seized the Citadel at Bitche for the first time in its 250-year history, and were the only unit to hold its ground during the last German offensive in the west of World War II.
World War I & the Interwar Years
Activated: June 1918.
Inactivated: 11 November 1918.
The 100th Infantry Division was constituted and activated at Camp Bowie, Texas, in June of 1918 in preparation for deployment to Europe. Before the division could deploy, though, the war had ended, and on 11 November 1918, Armistice Day, the formation was inactivated. It would remain on the U.S. Army's roll until November 1919, when it was completely demobilized.
Only two years later, in June of 1921, the division was reconstituted with its headquarters in Wheeling, West Virginia.
World War II
Activated: 15 November 1942.
Overseas: 6 October 1944.
Campaigns: Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland, Central Europe.
Days of combat: 163.
Distinguished Unit Citations: 7
Awards: MH-3; DSC-9; DSM-1; SS-560; LM-24; DFC-1; SM-23; BSM-5,208; AM-90.
Commanders: MG Withers A. Burress (November 1942-September 1945), BG Andrew C. Tychsen (September 1945-January 1946).
Returned to U. S.: 10 January 1946.
Inactivated: 26 January 1946.
Preparations for Combat
The 100th Infantry Division was reactivated on 15 November 1942 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Enlisted personnel were drawn primarily from the 76th Infantry Division, while officers came from throughout the Army. The commander of the 100th was Major General Withers A. Burress, one of only eleven generals who commanded their divisions for the entire war.
From late 1943 to early 1944, the division trained in the mountains of Tennessee and was subsequently sent to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for further training. While at Bragg, Technical Sergeant Walter L. Bull [399th Infantry Regiment] earned the first Expert Infantryman's Badge.
The division was made part of the U.S. Seventh Army's VI Corps and deployed to France in the fall of 1944.
The 100th Infantry Division landed at Marseille, France, 20 October 1944, and sent its first elements into combat at St. Remy in the Vosges Mountains on 1 November 1944. The division as a whole began the relief of the 45th at Baccarat on 5 November, and assumed control of the sector on 9 November. The attack jumped off on 12 November, and the division drove against the German Winter Line in the Vosges Mountains. The 100th took Bertrichamps and Clairupt, pierced the German line, and seized Raon-l'Étape and Saint-Blaise—16-26 November. Later in November, elements assisted in holding the Saverne Gap bridgehead while the bulk of the division went into reserve.
In December, the division went on the offensive in the vicinity of Bitche. Wingen and Lemberg were occupied in fierce fighting from 6-10 December, and Reyersweiler fell from 11-13 December. Fort Schiesseck capitulated after a heavy assault—20 December. With the outbreak of the Von Rundstedt offensive, the division was ordered to halt the attack and to hold defensive positions south of Bitche as part of the Seventh Army's mission during the Battle of the Bulge. The German counterattacks of 1 and 8-10 January 1945 were repulsed; thereafter the sector was generally quiet and the division prepared to resume the offensive.
On 15 March 1945, the attack jumped off and on 16 March, Bitche fell to the 100th. Taking Neustadt and Ludwigshafen, the division reached the Rhine on 24 March. 31 March, the Century Division crossed the Rhine and moved south in the wake of the 10th Armored Division and then east across the Neckar River, establishing and enlarging a bridgehead—4-11 April. Heilbronn fell in house-to-house fighting on 12 April and the division resumed its rapid pursuit of the enemy, reaching Stuttgart by 21 April. The 100th was mopping up along the Neckar, southeast of Stuttgart on 23 April when it was pinched out of VI Corps, and confined its action to patrolling the sector east of Stuttgart. Shifting to Göppingen, 30 April, the Division engaged in occupational duties as the war in Europe came to an end.
Assignments in the European Theater of Operations
1 November 1944: U.S. VI Corps, U.S. Seventh Army, U.S. 6th Army Group.
27 November 1944: U.S. XV Corps.
22 March 1945: U.S. XXI Corps.
25 March 1945: U.S. VI Corps.
25 April 1945: U.S. Seventh Army, U.S. 6th Army Group.
Post World War II to Present
The unit was inactivated in January 1946 at Fort Patrick Henry, Va., and reactivated as the USAR 100th Airborne Division later that fall in Louisville. The unit was redesignated as the 100th Infantry Division in 1952, and the 100th became a replacement training division in 1955.
In 1959 it was redesignated the 100th Division for institutional training, one of only 12 in the nation (now reduced to seven by 2000). The mission was to teach basic, advanced individual and common training to new soldiers. In 1961 President John F. Kennedy mobilized 1,500 soldiers to Fort Chaffee, Ark., during the Berlin Crisis. The 100th did the country proud by training some 32,000 soldiers after rebuilding long unused and dilapidated rifle ranges, barracks and other facilities. With the training mission accomplished, the unit was demobilized in August 1962 and returned to reserve status.
In 1971 Staff Sgt. Sherron Cooper became the first female soldier in the 100th. The division played a key role in "Reptrain 76" during by relieving a backlog of untrained reservists and guardsmen. Within a 13-week period, 1,000 soldiers were graduated from intensive training supplied by the 100th.
In 1977 the unit's mission changed from basic combat and advanced individual armor training to one station unit training. The mission was to prepare for mobilization mission by conducting entry level training for enlistees in one station format in armor or armor recon. In 1978 it was selected as the first Army Reserve unit to be equipped with its own M-1 tanks, and the only training division with the mission of conducting training on the M-1 Abrams tank and the M-3 Bradley Cavalry vehicle. By 1986 the Division was considered the largest reserve unit in Kentucky, commanding 58 percent of all reservists in the state with an annual economic impact of $25 million.
Within 10 days after Operation Desert Storm was launched in January 1991, two brigade task forces (1,147 soldiers) were activated to go to Fort Knox to train 2,000 tank crewmen and armored Cavalry scouts. As a first, in 1992 the 100th Division trainers took total responsibility for three company cycles of Basic Training at Fort Knox; the 100th Division established a 21st Century Division Management System to provide a direct link between commanders' quantifiable objectives and resource spending. Basically, it gave the 100th efforts accountability a bottom line.
In 1995 the Division was reorganized to include USAR Schools by taking over responsibilities for TASS; implemented a distance learning systems approach to military career training. In 1996 the 100th Division's 1st Brigade worked with Readiness Group Knox to pioneer the national training experiment to USAR combat units at crew and platoon levels. During 1997 the Division played a major role in Operation Future Challenge, a Fort Knox-based Basic Camp for JROTC. Three years later, the 100th Division was solely responsible for the six-week camp.
The 100th Division took the 2000 USAR Communities of Excellence Award; 2nd Bn, 399th Regiment, 7th Brigade began turn-in of M1A1 tanks, bringing to a close the end of a training era. The division continued the training mission, but leased the equipment. The Division also hosted a reunion of 100th Infantry Divsion veterans from WW II.
The 100th Division (IT) quickly responded to the call for volunteers following the events of September 11th.
As Army National Guard units from Ohio and Kentucky mobilized at Fort Knox, a need was identified for additional cadre to assist in their in-processing, training and transportation.
Approximately 20 members of various units within the 100th Division volunteered to perform up to 30 days of Active Duty Training. Working closely with the 1st Armored Training Battalion cadre, the 100th Division soldiers made sure the newly activated soldiers had the administrative and mission support needed to complete their mobilization training.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to relocate the 100th DIV(IT) headquarters to Fort Knox. According to DoD, the relocation of the 100th Division (Institutional Training) to Fort Knox would support the re-engineering and streamlining of support delivered by Army Reserve training base units in order to significantly enhance training in support of mobilization and deployment.
100th Infantry Division Today
The 100th Division (IT) offers itself as a premier training resource for the U.S. Army. It was headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, with units located in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee, but has been recommended to relocate to Fort Knox, KY in the Defense Dept.'s 2005 BRAC Recommendations. The Division is organized in eight major subordinate commands with 44 units and 3,000 reservists in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.
The 100th Division (IT) quickly responded to the call for volunteers following the events of September 11th. As Army National Guard units from Ohio and Kentucky mobilized at Fort Knox, a need was identified for additional cadre to assist in their in-processing, training and transportation. Approximately 20 members of various units within the 100th Division volunteered to perform up to 30 days of Active Duty Training. Working closely with the 1st Armored Training Battalion cadre, the 100 th Division soldiers made sure the newly activated soldiers had the administrative and mission support needed to complete their mobilization training.
Books and hundreds of speeches have been written. Numerous videos have been developed about the gallantry, heroism and significant contributions to the national defense and security from this institutional training division, now one of only seven in the nation. In 1998, reservists nationwide contributed over 13 million duty days to active component missions and exercises, the equivalent of adding 35,000 personnel to the active force, or two Army divisions. This action reflects the increasing downsizing of active military forces and growing reliance on the citizen soldier. The 100th's motto, "Train Em' Tough," captures the spirit of the organization striving for the highest standards of soldiering.
The 100th's past is rich in details of battles fought, leadership from numerous company grade officers and the foot-meets-the-ground efforts of enlisted soldiers. To detail the accomplishments of the Division would exhaust the researcher and reader alike.
Divisional history from:
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