78th Infantry Division (United States)

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78th Training Division (Operations)
78th Infantry Division SSI.svg
78th Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia
Active 1917 – 19, 1921 – 46, 1946 – present
Country United States of America
Branch United States Army Reserve
Role Training
Size Division
Nickname "Lightning" (special designation)[1]
Motto Audaciter (Boldly)
Engagements World War I
World War II
*Battle of the Bulge
Commanders
Current
commander
Colonel Bruce E. Hackett
Notable
commanders
Hugh L. Scott, Norman Schwarzkopf, Sr.
Insignia
Distinctive unit insignia 78th Division Distinctive Unit Insignia.PNG
US infantry divisions (1939–present)
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77th Infantry Division 79th Infantry Division

The 78th Training Division (Operations) ("Lightning"[1]) is a unit of the United States Army which served in World War I and World War II as the 78th Infantry Division, and currently trains and evaluates units of the United States Army Reserve for deployment.

Lineage[edit]

  • Constituted 5 August 1917 in the National Army as Headquarters, 78th Division
  • Organized 23 August 1917 at Camp Dix, New Jersey
  • Demobilized 9 July 1919 at Camp Dix, New Jersey
  • Reconstituted 24 June 1921 in the Organized Reserves as Headquarters, 78th Division
  • Organized in November 1921 at Newark, New Jersey
  • Redesignated 20 February 1942 as Division Headquarters, 78th Division
  • Ordered into active military service 15 August 1942 and reorganized at Camp Butner, North Carolina; concurrently redesignated as Headquarters, 78th Infantry Division
  • Inactivated 22 May 1946 in Germany
  • Activated 1 November 1946 at Newark, New Jersey
  • (Organized Reserves redesignated 25 March 1948 as the Organized Reserve Corps; *Redesignated 9 July 1952 as the Army Reserve)
  • Location changed 9 November 1955 to Kearny, New Jersey; on 6 December 1958 to Edison, New Jersey
  • Reorganized and redesignated 1 May 1959 as Headquarters, 78th Division (Training)
  • Reorganized and redesignated 1 October 1993 as Headquarters, 78th Division (Exercise)
  • Reorganized and redesignated 17 October 1999 as Headquarters, 78th Division (Training Support)
  • Reorganized and redesignated 1 October 2009 as Headquarters, 78th Training Brigade
  • Reorganized and redesignated 1 October 2010 as Headquarters, 78th Training Division

Honors[edit]

Campaign participation credit[edit]

  • World War I:
  1. St. Mihiel;
  2. Meuse-Argonne;
  3. Lorraine 1918
  • World War II:
  1. Rhineland;
  2. Ardennes-Alsace;
  3. Central Europe

Decorations[edit]

  • None

Other honors[edit]

A portion of Pine Swamp Road in Mineral County, West Virginia was named "WWII 78th Lightning Division Road" in honor of the division by the West Virginia Legislature.[2][3]

World War I[edit]

Private James W. Brown of the United States Army's 78th Infantry Division. He was part of the 308 Supply Company Field Artillery during World War I. The photo was taken somewhere in France during his tour in the war

The 78th Infantry Division of the United States Army was activated on 23 August 1917 at Camp Dix, New Jersey. It consisted of four Infantry Regiments – the 309th, 310th, 311th and 312th and three Artillery Regiments – the 307th, 308th and 309th.

The division was originally allocated to New York and northern Pennsylvania in the National Army plan. Whilst the HQ of the 78th Division was activated in August, with the first draftees arriving in September, it was not fully active until early 1918. It was transported to France in May and June 1918.

In France, during the summer and fall of 1918, it was the "point of the wedge" of the final offensive which knocked out Germany. The 78th was in three major campaigns during World War IMeuse-Argonne, St. Mihiel, and Lorraine. Demobilization at the end of the war took place in June 1919.

HQ, 78th Division was returned to the Organized Reserve List, and reallocated to the Second US Corps in Spring of 1921, with its area of allocation changed to New Jersey and Delaware.

World War II[edit]

Evert VanderRoest, before being sent to Europe as a part of the United States Army's 78th Infantry Division during World War II.

In World War II, the 78th Division was reactivated at Camp Butner, North Carolina on 15 August 1942. It was designated as a replacement pool division on 1 October 1942, and remained in this assignment until 1 March 1943, when the 78th Division was restored to field duty, and to its training regimen. 78th Division moved to the Carolina Maneuver Area on 15 November 1943 to test its training, and then returned to Camp Butner on 7 December 1943. The personnel then went on Christmas leave, and deployed to the Tennessee Maneuver Area on 25 January 1944, where they participated in the 5th Second Army Tennessee Maneuvers. They then moved to Camp Pickett, Virginia, where they filled their TO&E,(table of organization and equipment), then deployed to the staging area at Camp Kilmer, NJ on 4 October 1944.

After two years as a training division, the 78th embarked for the European Theatre from the New York POE on 14 October 1944, whereupon they sailed for England. They arrived on 26 October 1944, and after further training crossed to France on 22 November 1944.

After landing in France, the division moved to Tongeren, Belgium on 27 November 1944, and to Rotgen, Germany on 7 December 1944, to prepare for combat. The 311th Infantry Regiment was attached to the 8th Armored Division in the Hurtgen Forest, 10 December. The 309th and 310th Infantry Regiments relieved elements of the 1st Division in the line in the vicinity of Entenpfuhl, 1–12 December. On the 13th these regiments smashed into Simmerath, Witzerath, and Bickerath and were fighting for Kesternich when Gerd von Rundstedt launched his counteroffensive in the Monschau area, on 18 December.

The 78th held the area it had taken from the Siegfried Line against the violent German attacks throughout the winter. The Division attacked, 30 January 1945, and took Kesternich, 2 February, the town of Schmidt on the 8th, and captured intact the vital Schwammanauel Dam the next day. In the advance, the Roer River was crossed, 28 February, and the division joined the offensive of the First and Ninth Armies toward the Rhine. That river was crossed over the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen, 8 March, by the 310th Regiment, the first troops to cross in the wake of the 9th Armored Division. That unit, attached to the 9th Armored and acting as a motorized unit had driven across Germany capturing Euskirchen, Rheinbach, and Bad Neuenahr. The 78th expanded the bridgehead, taking Honnef and cutting part of the Autobahn, 16 March. From 2 April to 8 May, the division was active in the reduction of the Ruhr Pocket and at VE-day was stationed near Marburg. The division remained on occupation duty in Germany until it was deactivated on 22 May 1946.

On parade in Berlin, 8 May 1946

World War II troop list[edit]

  • Maneuver regiments
    • 309 Inf Rgt DUI.gif 309th Infantry Regiment
    • 310 Inf Rgt DUI.jpg 310th Infantry Regiment
    • 311 Inf Rgt DUI.jpg 311th Infantry Regiment
  • Division Artillery
    • 307th Field Artillery Battalion (105 mm)
    • 308th Field Artillery Battalion (105 mm)
    • 309th Field Artillery Battalion (155 mm)
    • 903rd Field Artillery Battalion (105 mm)
  • Additional assigned units
    • 78th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop (Mech)
    • 78th CIC Detachment
    • 78th Signal Company
    • 78th Quartermaster Company
    • 78th Military Police Platoon
    • 303rd Engineer Battalion (CBT)
    • 303rd Medical Battalion
    • 778th Ordnance Company (LM)
    • HQ Co, 78th Infantry Division
    • HQ 78th ID Special Troops
    • HHB, 78th ID Artillery
  • Attachments
    • 552nd Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion (AW) 20 December 1944 – after VE day[when?]
    • 628th Tank Destroyer Battalion 19 December 1944 – 23 December 1944
    • 709th Tank Battalion 10 December 1944 – 25 January 1945
    • 736th Tank Battalion 25 January 1945 – 1 February 1945
    • 774th Tank Battalion 3 February 1945 – 24 February 1945
    • 817th Tank Destroyer Battalion 1 December 1944 – 6 December 1944
    • 893rd Tank Destroyer Battalion 11 December 1944 – after VE day[when?]

Assignments in European Theater of Operations[edit]

  • 9 November 1944: Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.
  • 28 November 1944: XIX Corps
  • 5 December 1944: V Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.
  • 18 December 1944: VII Corps.
  • 20 December 1944: Attached, with the entire First Army, to the British 21st Army Group.
  • 22 December 1944: XIX Corps, Ninth Army (attached to the British 21st Army Group), 12th Army Group.
  • 2 February 1945: V Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.
  • 3 February 1945: XVIII (Abn) Corps.
  • 12 February 1945: III Corps.
  • 16 March 1945: VII Corps.
  • 3 April 1945: XVIII (Abn) Corps.
  • 19 April 1945: First Army, 12th Army Group.
  • 22 May 1946: Deactivated

Summary[edit]

World War II individual awards: one Medal of Honor recipient (Jonah Edward Kelley, of the 311th Infantry); nine Distinguished Service Crosses; 599 Silver Star medals; 3,909 Bronze Star medals and 5,454 Purple Hearts. 1,368 officers and enlisted men had perished.

  • Unit casualties
  • KIA: 1,427
  • WIA: 6,103
  • DOW: 198

Post-war service[edit]

In November 1946, the 78th Infantry Division was reactivated at Newark, New Jersey and in May 1959 it was reorganized as a Training Division.

The 78th Division was deployed to Southwest Asia 1990 and 1991 when the 920th Transportation Company (Medium, Petroleum) to support operations in Desert Storm. The 1018th Reception Battalion, the 2nd Brigade OSUT Headquarters, and the 1st and 3rd Battalion of the 310th Regiment as well as the 1st Brigade's 3rd Battalion, 309th Regiment with a composite detachment from the 78th Training Support Brigade, provided assistance in necessary training base expansion at Fort Dix. The 348th MP Detachment conducted protective service missions for key national leaders throughout the world during the mobilization period. In addition, many individuals from the 78th served as "fillers" in other deployed units..

In 1992, the division transformed into an exercise division under the Army's "Bold Shift" initiative. The new mission is to conduct small unit collective training (LANES) and computerized battle simulation exercises for client units in the First Army East area (a 14 state region). Like the other exercise divisions, the 1st Brigade was designated as the simulations exercise unit, conducting Battle Command and Staff Training for USAR and Army National Guard units at the battalion, brigade, command, and division levels. This training uses the simulations models used by the Regular Army in conducting WARFIGHTER exercises. The other brigades within the division (2d through 5th depending on the division) conducted field training for units at the squad, platoon, and company levels. In all units, then made up of US Army Reserve soldiers, there were detachments of Regular Army soldiers assigned to manage the day-to-day requirements and planning of exercises as part of the Congressionally mandated Ground Forces Readiness Enhancement (GFRE – popularly known as "Jeffries") program. This program was partially instituted to ensure that reserve component units would have continual training support in order to preclude some of the training and readiness problems that were discovered in the ramp-up, and eventual deployments, in support of Desert Storm.

One of five exercise divisions in the United States Army, the 78th Division Headquarters, and its 1st Brigade, were for many years headquartered at the Kilmer Reserve Center (the former Camp Kilmer) in Edison, New Jersey with subordinate units located in New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York.

As a result of the 2005 BRAC, the division's headquarters and its 1st Brigade were relocated to Fort Dix, New Jersey, joining the already located Division's 2d Brigade (LANES) and some 1st Brigade (BCST) subordinate elements.

In late 1999, the division was redesignated from 78th Division (Exercise) to 78th Division (Training Support) to reflect the growing change in the type of training provided by the division's units. There was also an associated change in the manning of the unit, adding National Guard personnel to the regulars and Army Reservists already assigned. This was one of the first instances of the growing multi-component organization of US Army units that deal with Reserve Component training and operations.

In 1999, the 189th Infantry Brigade was reflagged as the 4th Brigade, 78th Division (TS) and merged with the existing 4th Brigade, 78th Division (Exercise). The reorganization created a unique unit consisting of active-component, National Guard, civilian and drilling US Army reservists.

The 4th Brigade is a tenant unit on Fort Bragg with Headquarters at the 78th Division (Training Support), Edison, New Jersey. The brigade's responsibility is to train, coach, teach and mentor the Reserve and Army National Guard units of North Carolina.

The 4th Brigade, 78th Division (Training Support) provides training assistance, support, and evaluation to priority Reserve Component units and all other units within capabilities. Synchronize training support within area of responsibility in order to enhance individual and unit readiness to meet directed mobilization and/or wartime requirements. On order, activate or augment mobilization assistance teams (MAT) to assist installation commanders in post-mobilization training and validation of mobilized units for deployment. On order, deploy a defense coordinating officer (DCO) and/or a defense coordinating element (DCE) to coordinate military support to civilian authorities (MSCA) during federal disaster response operations. Provide command and control of subordinate units.

1st BN (LS), 313th Regiment, 4th BDE, provides logistic support for a multi-component (AC/USAR/ARNG) training support brigade that conducts lanes training, TAM evals for priority RC client units; On order provides mobilization augmentation training and military support to civilian authorities.

Current Mission[edit]

The 78th Training Division (Operations) is a subordinate unit under the 84th Training Command, 84th Division in the United States Army Reserve. It plans and executes warrior exercises (WAREX) and combat support training exercises (CSTX). These exercises provide realistic, simulated environments and scenarios to help prepare and evaluate United States Army Reserve units for deployment throughout the world.

Structure:

Headquarters, 78th Training Division (Operations), Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ

Operations Brigade, 78th Training Division (Operations), Fort Gillem, GA

Support Battalion, 78th Training Division (Operations), Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ

11/80 Observer Controller/Trainer Battalion, Fort Belvoir, VA

2-323 Observer Controller/Trainer Battalion, Lumberton, North Carolina

1st Small Arms Battalion, Fort Gillem, GA

Observer Controller/Trainer Detachment, Fort Polk, LA

Insignia[edit]

The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved for the 78th Division on 27 May 1922. It was retained for the 78th Division (Training) on 11 Sep 1959. The insignia was redesignated on 1 Oct 1993 for the 78th Division (Exercise) and the description revised to provide metric measurements. The insignia was redesignated for the 78th Division (Training Support) on 17 Oct 1999.

Distinctive unit insignia[edit]

  • Description: A gold color metal and enamel device 1 3/16 inches (3.02 cm) in height overall, consisting of a white enamel alerion on a scarlet enamel disc centered upon a blue enamel equilateral triangle with notched sides, all in front of two white enamel lightning flashes in a V form contained at top and bottom by a continuous scarlet scroll inscribed below with the word "AUDACITER" in gold.
  • Symbolism: The white alerion on scarlet is from the arms of Lorraine Province in France where the organization served in three World War I campaigns. In World War II, the unit participated in the Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns indicated by the three points, in the color blue for Infantry and for the area of the Rhine River. The white flashes and the red of the scroll allude to the Division shoulder sleeve insignia.
  • Background: The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 78th Division (Training) on 21 Dec 1971. It was redesignated on 1 Oct 1993 for the 78th Division (Exercise) and the description revised to provide metric measurements. On 17 Oct 1999 the insignia was redesignated for the 78th Division (Training Support).

References[edit]