1st Infantry Division (U.S.)

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Known as the "Big Red One" for its insignia, a bold red 1 on a green shield, the 1st Infantry Division is a division headquarters for Heavy Brigade Combat Teams, in the model of the restructuring of the United States Army division of the United States Army. Its home base is at Fort Riley, Kansas. Prior to that restructuring, it was a major combat headquarters organizations with permanently attached brigades.

First World War

Officially created on June 8, 1917 it was officially organized, as the First Expeditionary Division, in New York City, and, in stages, deployed to France for training. On July 4, 1917, a battalion paraded through Paris to help French morale; this was the occasion at which an Army officer said "Lafayette, we are here!"

Redesignated the 1st Infantry division, its artillery fired the first American cannon shot of the war on October 23. Two days later, July 6, the First Expeditionary Division was redesignated the First Infantry Division. On the morning of Oct. 23, the first American shell of the war was sent screaming toward German lines by Battery C, 6th Field Artillery. The Division suffered the first U.S. casualties two days later.

It went into divisional action in April 1918, reinforcing the French. The 28th Infantry Regiment counterattacked and captured the village of Cantigny; the regiment was designated the "Lions of Cantigny".

In greater strength, it took part in the battles Soissons, St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne Forest.

Second World War

The First was among the divisions landing in North Africa in Operation Torch. It was part of MG Lloyd Fredendall's Center Task Force, with the 1st Ranger Battalion attached and Combat Command B of the 1st Armored Division (U.S.). Their mission was to capture the city of Oran in Morocco.

It distinguished itself at the Battle of Sicily.

At the Battle of Normandy, along with the 29th Infantry Division (U.S.), it was the initial landing force at Omaha Beach.

Vietnam War

The first U.S. division to enter the Vietnam War, its 2nd Brigade arrived at 12 July 1965. Eventually, it was deployed in Binh Duong Province:

Its first combat was fought on November 12, near Bau Bang on National Highway 13.

Gulf War

It was part of the VI Corps making the main mechanized strike into Kuwait during Operation DESERT SHIELD.

Iraq War

References