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49th Infantry Division

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Forty-Nineth Infantry Division / 49th Division



"Argonaut Division"



None reported.



Aug 15, 1946



Jan 29, 1968





The 40th and 52d Divisions were allocated to the State of California after World War II. The 52d Infantry Division was activated on 15 August 1946. Since the Centennial celebrations lay ahead for the state in 1949 and the division was to be stationed in the general area of "the days of 49" in Northern California, it was requested that the 52d Infantry Division designation be changed to 49th Infantry Division.


The designation was changed to the 49th Infantry Division by a National Guard Bureau Letter, CSNGB, dated 24 October 1947, Subject: "Change in Designation of 52d Infantry Division" and an Adjutant General Letter, AGAO-I 325 dated 20 October 1947, Subject: "Allotment of National Guard Units (California)." The change was retroactive to 5 August 1946 in both documents.


Note however, that the original General Orders Number 7, dated 15 August 1946 indicated an effective date of activation as 0001 hours 15 August 1946. The AG Letter and NGB Letter both give an effective date of 5 August 1946. The latter date is probably an error since the GO was not amended.


Thereafter the division was known as the "Argonaut Division" and its shoulder sleeve insignia depicted a 49er mining gold. An Argonaut is defined as any of the men who sailed with Jason after the Golden Fleece in Greek Mythology and/or a person who took part in the California gold rush of 1848-49.


The 49th Infantry Division was federally recognized on 14 October 1946 and it was deactivated on 29 January 1968.


Division Commanders

The following is a list of the 49th Infantry Division Commanders and the dates that they served:


MG Richard E. Mittelstaedt 15 August 1946 - 23 January 1948

MG John U. Calkins Jr. 24 January 1948 - 30 September 1949

MG Otto E. Sandman 1 October 1949 - 31 May 1950

MG Curtis D. O'Sullivan 1 June 1950 - 30 October 1954

MG Roy A. Green 1 November 1954 - 13 May 1957

MG Clarence H. Pease 14 May 1957 - 31 October 1961

MG William J. Lange 1 November 1961 - 15 July 1964

MG Paul R. Teilh 16 July1964 - 29 January 1968


Divisional history from:





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Korean War veteran, later a member of 49th Infantry Division, shown here with his wife, ca. 1959.








Then out spake brave Horatius, the Captain of the Gate:

"To every man upon this earth death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better than facing fearful odds,

For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his gods."







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