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Arrival of American Expeditionary Force Divisions - 1918

American Soldiers Get Their First View of the Beautiful Country Which They Were to Have the Privilege of Helping to Save.

American Soldiers Get Their First View of the Beautiful Country Which They Were to Have the Privilege of Helping to Save. The United States in the Great War, 1919. GGA Image ID # 1929758119

Descriptions of various American Expeditionary Force Divisions that Arrived in France During 1918: Five divisions arrived during July 1918, Five during August, and another five during September for a total force of 15 divisions.

Five Divisions Arrive During July 1918

Of the five divisions which arrived from the United States in July, four were made combat divisions, and the fifth was made a replacement division. This brought the total number of combat divisions in France on 1 August to twenty - four. With the three replacement and depot divisions, twenty entire American divisions had reached France by 1 August 1918.

THE 90TH DIVISION: The first of the new divisions to arrive was the goth, with men from Texas and Oklahoma. It was organized at Camp Travis, Texas, by Major General Henry T. Allen. All the men from Texas went to the 180th Brigade, and the men from Oklahoma to the 179th Brigade, better known as the "Texas Brigade" and the "Oklahoma Brigade." By 30 June, all units of the Division had sailed from Hoboken. The majority of the units landed in France, while the 358th Infantry paraded in Liverpool on 4 July and was given a banquet by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool. The Division was assembled in the Aignay-le-Duc Training Area, except for the Artillery Brigade, sent to Bordeaux for its training and equipment.

THE 27TH DIVISION: The 27th Division (New York National Guard) was trained at Camp Wadsworth, S. C., under the command of Major General John F. O 'Ryan of the New York National Guard, who was the only National Guard Division Commander in France, and who commanded the 27th from its organization until mustered it out of the service. The last units of this Division arrived in France on 7 July 1918. It was assembled in a British training area and later entered the line with the British opposite Mt. Kemmel.

THE 91ST DIVISION: The 91st Division, with men from California, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, and Alaska, was organized at Camp Lewis, Washington, and the first units sailed from the United States, 6 July. The last units arrived in France on 26 July, and the Division was assembled in the Eighth Training Area, except for the Artillery Brigade, which trained at Clermont-Ferrand. On 31 August, Major General W. H. Johnston succeeded Brigadier General F. S. Foltz in the command.

THE 36TH DIVISION: The 36th Division (Texas and Oklahoma National Guard) was organized at Camp Bowie, Texas, and on 18 July, sailed for France, arrived 30 July, and proceeded to the 13th training area in the vicinity of Bar-sur-Aube, near Chaumont. The Division was under the command of Major General W. R. Smith.

THE 76TH DIVISION: The 76th Division (New England National Army) embarked for overseas 5 July, and the last units arrived in France on 31 July. Upon its arrival in France, this Division was designated as a depot division and ordered to St. Aignan. Here the Division was broken up, and the personnel was sent up to the front as replacements to the combat divisions. The specialized units were sent forward entire as Corps and Army troops. Major General H. F. Hodges commanded the Division.

Five Divisions Arrive During August 1918

The August troop movement from the United States included five new divisions. Three of these became combat divisions, swelling the total of combat divisions from twenty-four to twenty-seven. Two divisions were made replacement divisions on arrival, which produced five replacement divisions. These five replacement divisions supplied 60,000 new infantry to the combat divisions.

THE 79TH DIVISION: The August divisions' first to arrive was the 79th Division (Liberty). This Division was organized at Camp Meade, Md., with men initially drawn from eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. However, most of these men were sent off to fill up southern divisions, and the later increments came from New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. The last units arrived in France on 3 August. The artillery brigade went to Clermont-Ferrand for its training and did not join the Division until after the armistice. The remainder of the Division, which Major General Joseph E. Kuhn commanded, was assembled in the 9th training area around Prauthoy and Champilite, between Chaumont and Dijon.

THE 85TH DIVISION: The second of the August divisions to arrive in France was the 85th Division (Custer). It was organized at Camp Custer, Mich., from men drawn from Michigan and Wisconsin. The last units arrived in France on 12 August. Upon arrival in France, this Division was designated as a depot division and ordered to Pouilly (Nievre ), north of Nevers on the river Loire, where the infantry regiments were broken up and sent to the front as replacements for combat divisions, while the special units became Corps and Army troops. Major General C. W. Kennedy commanded the Division.

THE 81ST DIVISION: The third in August's arrival was the 81st Division (Wildcat). This Division was organized at Camp Jackson, S. C ., from National Army drafts from North and South Carolina and Tennessee. The last units arrived in France, via England, on 26 August. Upon arrival in France, the Wildcat Division was ordered to the Tonnerre (Yonne) training area, between Troyes and Nevers, where it remained until the middle of August. Brigadier General Charles H. Barth commanded the Division until 8 October, when Major General Charles J. Bailey assumed command.

THE 6TH DIVISION: The 6th Division (Regular Army) was the next to arrive in August. It was organized at Camp McClellan, Ala., from units of the Regular Army. It was later sent to Camp Wadsworth, S. C. Preceding the Division, the 318th Engineer Regiment arrived in France on 18 May and was engaged in construction work at Gièvres before joining the Division. The last units arrived in France on 28 August. The Division had spent some time in training in England. The Artillery Brigade landed on 29 July and went to Valdahon for its training, while the remainder of the Division was assembled in the Châteauvillian area, southwest of Chaumont. Brigadier General James B. Erwin was in command of the Division.

THE 40TH DIVISION: The 40th Division (Sunshine) was the last of the August divisions to arrive in France. It was organized at Camp Kearny, California, from the National Guard of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. The last units arrived in France on 28 August. Upon its arrival in France, the 40th Division was designated as the 6th depot division. It was ordered to the La Guerche area, west of Nevers, where the units were broken up and used as replacements for the Combat Divisions. Major General Frederick S. Strong commanded the Division.

In September 1918, there were twenty-seven combat divisions in the A. E. F. in France and two with the British. These were in five separate groups, as follows:

  1. In the Vosges Mountains for preliminary training, under the French, the 35th, 37th, 92nd, 29th, 6th, and list. On 11 September, the 35th Division (Kans. & Mo. N. G.) was withdrawn from the Vosges and sent as army reserve to the St. Mihiel operation.
  2. In the American Army Area were the following fourteen divisions: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th (Regular Army); 26th, 35th, 42nd (National Guard); 78th 80th, 82nd, 86th, 90th, and 91st (National Army).
  3. The 36th (Texas N. G.) Division was in a training area.
  4. Verdun and the Argonne Forest's vicinity were five American Divisions: 28th, 32nd, 33rd (National Guard), 77th, and 79th (National Army).
  5. With the British as the Second Corps composed of the 27th and 30th National Guard Divisions.

Five Divisions Arrive During September

During September, five divisions arrived from the United States. Two of these, the 7th and the 88th, were combat divisions. Simultaneously, the other three became replacement divisions and sent their personnel forward during October to take the places of the men in the combat divisions who had fallen in the heavy fighting of the last three months of the war. This brought American combat divisions in France to twenty-nine and the number of replacement divisions to eight.

THE 7TH DIVISION: The 7th Division (Regular Army) was the first of those arriving in September. Organized from the regular army elements, the Division began the overseas movement on 31 July, and the last units arrived in France on 3 September 1918. On 19 August, the Division entered the 15th training area, Ancy-le-Franc, and by 20 September, the entire Division, less the artillery, was in training there. On 30 September, it moved to the vicinity of Toul, where on October 10th - 11th, it relieved the 90th Division on the west bank of the Moselle. The 7th Artillery Brigade did not join the Division until after the armistice, and the 5th Artillery Brigade supported the 7th Division in this sector.

THE 39TH DIVISION: The 39th Division (National Guard of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas) began the overseas movement's July, and the last units arrived in France, 7 September 1918. The Division was designated as the 5th Depot Division and was sent to the St. Florent area, where it remained until 1 November, training its personnel as replacements for the combat divisions. The training cadres were then transferred to the 1st Depot Division at St. Aignan.

THE 88TH DIVISION: The 88th Division was organized from men drawn from North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois. The overseas movement began 8 August, and the last units of the Division reached France on 9 September 1918. The Division was assembled in the 21st training area at Sammer, where it remained until 14 September, when it was placed in the Fourth French Army. On 23 September, relieved the 38th French Division in the center sector of Upper Alsace.

THE 87TH DIVISION: The 87th Division was organized from men drawn from Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The overseas movement was begun 23 August 1918, and the last units reached France on 13 September 1918. This Division was turned over to the S. O. S. and placed on work throughout the Intermediate Section of the S. O. S.

THE 84TH DIVISION: The 84th Division, organized from men drawn from Indiana and Kentucky, arrived in France late in September and was designated as a depot division, and ordered to Le Mans where the units were broken up and sent to the front as replacements for the combat divisions.

Harper's Pictorial Library of the World War, Volume 5: The United States in the War - The American Armies Abroad and At Home, 1920. pp. 196-198.

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