37th Infantry Division (United States)

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37th Infantry Division
37th Infantry Division SSI.svg
37th Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia
Active 1917–68, 2007-present (as 37th IBCT)
Country United States of America
Allegiance Ohio
Branch Army National Guard
Type Infantry
Nickname "Buckeye Division"
Engagements

World War I

World War II

US infantry divisions (1939–present)
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36th Infantry Division 38th Infantry Division

The 37th Infantry Division was a unit of the United States Army in World War I and World War II. It was a National Guard division from Ohio, nicknamed the "Buckeye Division". Today it is the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, with battalions from both Ohio and Michigan.

World War I[edit]

It was initially activated as the 16th Division, a National Guard formation from Ohio and West Virginia in 1913. It was federally activated in August 1917 as a National Guard Division from Ohio. It was sent overseas in June 1918 and fought at the Meuse-Argonne and at Ypres-Lys.

  • Casualties: Total: 5,387
  • Commanders:
    • Brig. Gen. William R. Smith (26 August 1917)
    • Maj. Gen. Charles G. Treat (3 September 1917)
    • Brig. Gen. William R. Smith (18 September 1917)
    • Maj. Gen. Charles G. Treat (5 December 1917)
    • Brig. Gen. Joseph A. Gaston (25 April 1918)
    • Maj. Gen. Charles S. Farnsworth (8 May 1918)
    • Brig Gen. William M. Fassett (5 December 1918)
    • Maj. Gen. Charles S. Farnsworth (10 December 1918)
    • Brig Gen. Steven W. Stepien (14 December 1918)

World War II[edit]

Combat chronicle[edit]

37th Infantry Division troops carry weapons and ammuniton forward, 5 August 1943 in New Georgia.

The 37th Infantry Division arrived in the Fiji Islands in June 1942 to fortify the islands against possible invasion. The division continued its training on the islands. With the end of ground fighting on Guadalcanal, the division moved to that island in April 1943, continued training, and staged for the Munda campaign. Two battalions joined the Marine Raiders on New Georgia, 5 July 1943, while the remainder of the division landed, 22 July, and assisted the 43d Infantry Division in taking Munda airfield in heavy fighting. After mopping up on New Georgia, the division returned to Guadalcanal, 9 September 1943, for rest and rehabilitation.

The division's next assignment was Bougainville as part of the I Marine Amphibious Corps. Landing between 8 and 19 November 1943, the 37th Division expanded the western beachhead sector, constructed roads and bridges, and engaged in extensive patrol activity. On 15 December 1943, IMAC was relieved by the XIV Corps, to which the 37th Division was then assigned. In March 1944, two Japanese divisions made eight major attacks, but division lines held. In April patrols cleared the Laruma Valley area of major enemy units. The division remained on Bougainville and trained for the Luzon campaign. Landing with the Sixth Army on the beaches of Lingayen Gulf, 9 January 1945, the 37th raced inland against slight resistance to Clark Field and Fort Stotsenburg where fierce resistance delayed capture of those objectives until 31 January. The division continued to drive to Manila against small delaying forces, and entered the city's outskirts, 4 February. Upon crossing the Pasig River, it ran into bitter Japanese opposition.[1] By heavy street fighting, American and Filipino troops cleared the city by 3 March 1945.

After garrison duty in Manila, 5–26 March, the division shifted to the hills of Northwest Luzon, where heavy fighting culminated in the capture of Baguio, 26 April with aided Filipino troops under the 66th Infantry Regiment, Philippine Commonwealth Army, USAFIP-NL. Rest and rehabilitation during May were followed by action in June in the Cagayan Valley against deteriorating Japanese resistance. With the end of hostilities, 15 August, the division was concerned with the collection and processing of prisoners of war, leaving November 1945 for the States and demobilization.

Major General Robert Beightler was one of only eleven generals who commanded their divisions for the entire war, and was the only National Guard general to do so.[2]

Cold War Era through transformation[edit]

The division was reorganized in the Ohio Army National Guard in 1946. It served on Federal service from 1952 to 1954 at Camp Polk, Louisiana. Although the division was not sent to Korea, nearly every soldier was as an individual replacement. The 37th went through a number of reorganizations from 1959 until it was disbanded on 15 February 1968. The bulk of the division's combat units became the 73d Brigade, 38th Infantry Division with the remaining becoming the 16th Engineer Brigade and other combat support units.

In 1977, the 73d Brigade was released from assignment to the 38th ID and was redesignated the 73d Infantry Brigade, a separate brigade. During the draw down of forces after the Cold War, units of the 73rd and the 107th Armored Cavalry Regiment consolidated to form the 37th Brigade, 28th Infantry Division. A year later, the brigade was reunited with the 38th Infantry Division.

37th IBCT[edit]

On 1 September 2007, the brigade was redesignated as the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team under the Army's modular plan. With the reorganization came the return of the shoulder sleeve insignia of the 37th Infantry Division.

Commanders[edit]

Stationing[edit]

The headquarters of the brigade is in Columbus and includes the 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment (Walbridge), 1st Battalion, 134th Field Artillery Regiment (Columbus), 237th Support Battalion (Cleveland) and Special Troops Battalion, 37th IBCT (Springfield) of the Ohio Army National Guard. The 1st Battalion, 125th Infantry Regiment (Flint, MI) and 1st Squadron, 126th Cavalry Regiment (Wyoming, MI), Michigan National Guard round out the brigade.

Iraq[edit]

Mobilized and deployed in 2008 to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team was Commanded by COL Richard T. Curry (1 February 2006 through 31 August 2009). The brigade conducted convoy security operations throughout Iraq, forward operating base security and life support, SECFOR operations at the two major shipping ports in Kuwait, and combat patrols, SECFOR operations in Ramadi, Iraq (Anbar Province). This was the largest deployment of any singular Ohio National Guard unit since World War II (2,528 soldiers).[citation needed] 37 IBCT battalions/units mobilized and deployed in support of OIF: 1–125 IN, 1–148 IN, 1–126 CAV, 1–134 FA, 237 BSB, 37 STB, and the HHC 37 IBCT.

Afghanistan 2008[edit]

During the 37th IBCT's 2008 OIF mission and within 90 days of the brigade's re-deployment to the United States of America, it was tasked by CENTCOM and ARCENT (3rd Army) to provide 42 signal soldiers and their Joint Nodal Network (Communications) systems to Afghanistan for the remainder of their tour. C/37 STB (Signal Company), known as Task Force Dragon Blade, performed this mission. The task force was led by the brigade leadership of MAJ Teri Williams and MSG Christopher Ravis and by the company leadership of CPT Walt Work and 1SG Ray Tummel. The soldiers provided signal services and filled a vital communication gap that existed in that theater. The entire network was up and operational two days in advance of the deadline. On 10 December 2008, the 37th IBCT soldiers redeployed to Kuwait and then to home station on 12 December 2008 on schedule with the brigade headquarters which was the last 37th IBCT element to re-deploy.

Afghanistan 2011[edit]

The Ohio National Guard received an alert order for a possible mobilization of the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team to Afghanistan, expected to depart in the fall of 2011.

An alert order is one step in a process leading to mobilization. The intent of the alert order is to two-fold. First, it gives soldiers the opportunity, along with their families and their employers, to prepare for their upcoming deployment. Second, it gives the National Guard and the 37th IBCT command the time and resources necessary to meet the training and validation requirements prior to the unit reporting to the mobilization station in the United States to complete their training prior to moving into theater. The full deployment, including the likely two months at the mobilization station, will last one year.

The 37th will replace the 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, V Corps (US Army Garrison Baumholder in Germany), conducting counter-insurgency operations alongside Afghan National Security Forces. The Ohio National Guard Infantry Brigade Combat Team has six battalions – four are based in Ohio and two in Michigan.

See also[edit]

  • Rodger Wilton Young
  • John N. Reese, Jr.
  • George Sweigert, inventor of the cordless phone, veteran of the 37th Division, participated in action at Guadacanal and the Solomon Islands. Sweigert was assigned to the 145th Headquarters Company as a radioman and intelligence scout.

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Video: Aircraft Carrier is Named for President Roosevelt etc. (1945). Universal Newsreel. 1945. Retrieved February 20, 2012. 
  2. ^ Order of Battle, p. 374.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]