30th Infantry Division (United States)

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30th Infantry Division
Shoulder sleeve insignia
Country United States
Branch United States Army
Nickname(s)"Old Hickory"
EngagementsWorld War I

World War II

William Hood Simpson
Leland Hobbs

The 30th Infantry Division was a United States Army unit of the National Guard that served in World War I and World War II. It was nicknamed the "Old Hickory" division, in honor of President Andrew Jackson. The Germans nicknamed this division "Roosevelt's SS".[1] The 30th Infantry Division, involved in 282 days of intense combat over a period from June 1944 through April 1945, was regarded by a team of historians led by S.L.A. Marshall as the American infantry division that had "performed the most efficient and consistent battle services" in the European Theater of Operations (ETO).[2] In the present day, the division's lineage continues as 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, part of the North Carolina National Guard. The unit's most recent combat deployment was in 2019.

World War I[edit]

British King George V, along with Major General Edward M. Lewis, commander of the U.S. 30th Division, review elements of Lewis's division in France, August 6, 1918. Standing behind the King is Brigadier General Samson L. Faison, commanding the 30th Division's 60th Brigade.

The division was originally activated as the 9th Division (drawing units from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee) under a 1917 force plan, but changed designation to the 30th Division after the American entry into World War I in April 1917.[3] From August 28, 1917 to May 1. 1918, the 30th Division trained at Camp Sevier in Taylors, South Carolina.[4][5] It was formally activated under its new title in October 1917, as an Army National Guard division from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee.

Doughboys of the U.S. 30th Division at rest with German prisoners following the capture of Bellicourt, France, September 29, 1918.

In May 1918, the division was sent to Europe and arrived in England, where it departed for the Western Front soon after. The division, along with the 27th Division, was assigned to the U.S. II Corps but did not serve with the main American Expeditionary Force (AEF) and was instead attached to the Second Army of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), trading American equipment for British equipment.

The major operations the 30th Division took part in were the Ypres-Lys, and the Somme offensive, in which it was one of the two American divisions that assisted the Australian Corps to break the Hindenburg Line in the Battle of St. Quentin Canal.[6] The division had, in three months, from July until October 1918, sustained 1,237 officers and men killed in action (KIA), with a further 7,178 wounded in action (WIA) or missing in action (MIA).

Interwar period[edit]

The 30th Division headquarters arrived at the port of Charleston, South Carolina, aboard the USS Madawaska on 2 April 1919 after 11 months of overseas service and was demobilized on 7 May 1919 at Camp Jackson, South Carolina. In accordance with the National Defense Act of 1920, the division was allotted to the states of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and assigned to the IV Corps. The division headquarters was reorganized and federally recognized 24 August 1926 at 121 Capitol Square, Atlanta, Georgia. The division headquarters was relocated on 20 September 1932 to Macon, Georgia. The designated mobilization training center for the “Old Hickory” Division was Camp Jackson, where much of the division’s training activities occurred between the wars. For most years, the division’s subordinate units held separate summer camps at locations usually within their respective states: Tybee Island or St. Simons Island for Georgia units; Camp Glenn near Morehead City for North Carolina units; Camp Jackson for South Carolina units; Camp Peay near Tullahoma or Camp John Sevier near Greenville, South Carolina for Tennessee units. The division staff, composed of personnel from all four states, came together to conduct joint training for several summers before World War II. The division staff usually assembled at Camp Jackson most summers, but conducted their training at Tybee Island for at least one camp. The division also participated in several corps area and army-level command post exercises.

The first opportunity that the division’s units had to operate together came in 1928 when the entire “Old Hickory” Division was assembled at Camp Jackson from 8–22 July under a War Department experimental program designed to bring together multistate National Guard divisions for joint training. The experiment was declared a success, but due to budget constraints, the program was never fully implemented. The division was assembled again for the 1932 camp, but units were staggered over a 6-week period, so no large- scale training was conducted. The next opportunity came in August 1938 when the division was assembled at the DeSoto National Forest in Mississippi for the Fourth Corps Area concentration of the Third Army maneuvers. In that maneuver, the “Old Hickory” Division operated as part of the provisional IV Corps. The division’s final training event before induction came in August 1940 when the 30th Division participated in the Third Army maneuvers in the Kisatchie National Forest near Alexandria, Louisiana. For that maneuver, the division again operated as part of the IV Corps against the provisional VIII Corps. The division was inducted into active federal fervice at home stations on 16 September 1940, assigned to the IV Corps, and ordered to move to Camp Jackson, where it arrived about 20 September 1940. After the division’s initial train-up period, the division participated in the VII Corps Tennessee Maneuvers in May–June 1941, and in the Carolina Maneuvers as part of the I Corps near Cheraw-Chesterfield, South Carolina, in November 1941[7]

World War II[edit]

Early years[edit]

After being ordered into federal service, the 30th Division was initially assigned to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, on 16 September, where it was located until October 1942. The 30th was moved to Camp Blanding, Florida, where it stayed from October 1942 to May 1943, then to Camp Forrest, Tennessee, between May 1943 to 9 November 1943, and finally Camp Atterbury, Indiana, from 10 November 1943 to 26 January 1944.[8]

  • Overseas: 11 February 1944

Combat chronicle[edit]

After training in the United States for just over two years, the 30th Infantry Division, under the command of Major General Leland Hobbs, arrived in England, 22 February 1944, and trained for the Allied invasion of Normandy until June.[9]

It landed at Omaha Beach, Normandy, on 11 June 1944, five days after the initial D-Day landings of 6 June 1944, secured the Vire-et-Taute Canal, crossed the Vire River on 7 July.[10] Beginning on 25 July, the 30th Division spearheaded the Saint-Lô break-through of Operation Cobra, which was intended to break out of the Normandy beachhead, thus ending the stalemate that had occurred.

During the battle of Mortain, Typhoons devastated German tank and mechanized columns attempting to reach the French coast, 7 August 1944.

During the operation, on both 24 and 25 July, the 30th Division encountered a devastating friendly fire incident. As part of the effort to break out of the Normandy hedgerows, US Army Air Forces (USAAF) bombers from England were sent to carpet bomb a one-by-three-mile corridor of the German defenses opposite the American line. However, USAAF planners, in complete disregard or lack of understanding of their role in supporting the ground attack, loaded the heavy B-24 Liberator and B-17 Flying Fortress bombers with 500-pound bombs, destroying roads and bridges and complicating movement through the corridor, instead of lighter 100-pound bombs intended as antipersonnel devices against German defenders. Air planners switched the approach of attack by 90 degrees without informing ground commanders, thus a landmark road to guide the bombers to the bombing zone was miscommunicated as the point to begin the bombing run. Start point confusion was further compounded by red smoke signals that suddenly blew in the wrong direction, and bombs began falling on the heads of the American soldiers. There were over 100 friendly fire casualties over the two days, including Lieutenant General Lesley J. McNair, commander of Army Ground Forces under Malisau.

The division relieved the veteran 1st Infantry Division near Mortain on 6 August.[11] The German drive to Avranches began shortly after. The 30th Division clashed with the elite 1st SS Panzer Division, and fierce fighting in place with all available personnel broke out. The division frustrated enemy plans and broke the spearhead of the enemy assault in a violent struggle from 7–12 August. After the liberation of Paris, the division drove east through Belgium, crossing the Meuse River at Visé and Liège on 10 September. Elements of the division entered the Netherlands on 12 September, and Maastricht fell the next day. Moving into Germany and taking up positions along the Wurm River, the 30th Division launched its attack on the heavily defended city of Aachen on 2 October 1944, and succeeded in contacting the 1st Division on 16 October, resulting in the encirclement and takeover of Aachen.

Men of the 117th Infantry Regiment, part of the 30th Infantry Division, move past a destroyed American M5 "Stuart" tank on their march to capture the town of St. Vith at the close of the Battle of the Bulge, January 1945.

After a rest period, the 30th Division eliminated an enemy salient northeast of Aachen on 16 November, pushed through Alsdorf to the Inde River on 28 November, and then moved to rest areas. On 17 December the division rushed south to the Malmedy-Stavelot area to help block the powerful enemy drive in the Battle of the Bulge—the Germans's last attempt to win a decisive victory over the Western Allies. Again the division met the 1st SS Division, and again broke the spearhead of their assault. The 30th Division launched a counterattack on 13 January 1945 and reached a point 2 miles south of St. Vith, Belgium on 26 January, before leaving the battle and moving to an assembly area near Lierneux on 27 January, and to another near Aachen to prepare for attack deeper into the western edge of Germany at the Roer River. The Roer was crossed on 23 February 1945, near Jülich.

The 30th moved back for training and rehabilitation on 3 March, and on 24 March made its assault crossing of the Rhine. It pursued the enemy across Germany, mopping up enemy pockets of resistance, took Hamelin on 7 April, Braunschweig on 12 April, and helped to reduce Magdeburg on 17 April. As the 30th was capturing Braunschweig, elements of the Division also liberated Weferlingen, a sub-camp of Buchenwald. Approximately 2,500 prisoners were freed through the efforts of the 30th.[12] The Russians were contacted at Grunewald on the Elbe River. The end of World War II in Europe came soon afterwards and, after a short occupation period, the 30th Division began its return to the United States, arriving on 19 August 1945. The surrender of Japan followed soon, which brought the war to an end, and the division was subsequently deactivated on 25 November 1945. By its disbandment, It had spent a cumulative 282 days in combat and had participated in the campaigns and battles of Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe.


  • Total battle casualties: 18,446[13]
  • Killed in action: 3,003[13]
  • Wounded in action: 13,376[13]
  • Missing in action: 903[13]
  • Prisoner of war: 1,164[13]
An M8 reconnaissance armored car of the 30th Infantry Div., rolls through the streets of Kinzweiler, November 21, 1944.

Assignments in ETO[edit]

  • 18 February 1944: XIX Corps, First Army.
  • 15 July 1944: VII Corps
  • 28 July 1944: XIX Corps
  • 1 August 1944: XIX Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group
  • 4 August 1944: V Corps
  • 5 August 1944: VII Corps
  • 13 August 1944: XIX Corps
  • 26 August 1944: XV Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to First Army
  • 29 August 1944: XIX Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group
  • 22 October 1944: Ninth Army, 12th Army Group
  • 17 December 1944: Ninth Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to V Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group
  • 22 December 1944: XVIII Airborne Corps, and attached, with the First Army, to the British 21st Army Group
  • 18 January 1945: XVIII Airborne Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group
  • 3 February 1945: XIX Corps, Ninth Army, 12th Army Group
  • 6 March 1945: XVI Corps
  • 30 March 1945: XIX Corps
  • 8 May 1945: XIII Corps


Following the war, the 30th Division was once again reactivated as a National Guard formation in 1947, split between three states.[14] It included the 119th, 120th, and 121st Infantry Regiments.[15]

In 1954, the division became an entirely North Carolina Army National Guard manned formation, as Tennessee's portion became the 30th Armored Division, which was maintained with the Alabama Army National Guard. In 1968 the division was designated as the 30th Infantry Division (Mechanized). On 4 January 1974 the division was again inactivated, and the brigade in North Carolina become the 30th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) (Separate). The 2nd Brigade, 30th Infantry Division, became the 218th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) (Separate).[18]

Order of Battle[edit]

World War I[edit]

  • Headquarters, 30th Division
  • 59th Infantry Brigade
    • 117th Infantry Regiment (3rd Tennessee Infantry)
    • 118th Infantry Regiment (1st South Carolina Infantry, detachments from 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 1st North Carolina Infantry, and 3rd Battalion, 2nd South Carolina Infantry)
    • 114th Machine Gun Battalion (Troops A, B, and C, 1st Squadron Tennessee Cavalry)
  • 60th Infantry Brigade
    • 119th Infantry Regiment (2nd North Carolina Infantry, 1st Battalion, Headquarters Company (less band), Supply Company, and detachments from 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 2nd Tennessee Infantry, and detachments from 1st North Carolina Infantry)
    • 120th Infantry Regiment (3rd North Carolina Infantry, detachments from 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 2nd Tennessee Infantry and 1st North Carolina Infantry, and band, 2nd Tennessee Infantry)
    • 115th Machine Gun Battalion (Machine Gun Troop, North Carolina Cavalry, Troops B and C, 1st Squadron, North Carolina Cavalry, and detachment from 2nd Battalion, 1st North Carolina Infantry)
  • 55th Field Artillery Brigade
    • 113th Field Artillery Regiment (1st North Carolina Field Artillery and detachments from 1st North Carolina Infantry)
    • 114th Field Artillery Regiment (1st Tennessee Field Artillery and detachment from 2nd Battalion, 1st North Carolina Infantry)
    • 115th Field Artillery Regiment (1st Tennessee Infantry, less Machine Gun Company, detachment from 2nd Battalion, 2nd Tennessee Infantry, and detachment from 3rd Battalion, 1st North Carolina Infantry)
    • 105th Trench Mortar Battery (Troop D, Tennessee Cavalry)
  • 113th Machine Gun Battalion (Machine Gun Company, 1st Tennessee Infantry, as Company A; Machine Gun Company, 2nd Tennessee Infantry, as Company B; Machine Gun Company, 1st North Carolina Infantry, as Company C; Machine Gun Company, 2d South Carolina Infantry as, Company D; detachments of 2nd Battalion. 2nd Tennessee Infantry and 2nd Battalion, 1st North Carolina Infantry)
  • 105th Engineer Regiment (Companies A, B, and C, North Carolina Engineers, and Sanitary Detachment, Supply Company, Band, and Companies B, C, and D, 1st North Carolina Infantry)
  • 105th Field Signal Battalion (Company A, North Carolina Signal Corps as nucleus)
  • Headquarters Troop, 30th Division (Troop A, South Carolina Cavalry)
  • 105th Train Headquarters and Military Police (Sanitary Detachment and Headquarters Company (loss band), 2nd South Carolina Infantry, and Troops A and D, 1st Squadron, North Carolina Cavalry)
    • 105th Ammunition Train (1st and 2d Battalions, 2nd South Carolina Infantry, and detachments from 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 1st North Carolina Infantry)
    • 105th Supply Train (North Carolina Supply Train, Supply Company, 2nd South Carolina Infantry, and individual transfers)
    • 105th Engineer Train (Company A, 1st North Carolina Infantry)
    • 105th Sanitary Train (1st North Carolina Ambulance Company, 1st North Carolina Field Hospital, 1st Tennessee Field Hospital, 1st South Carolina Field Hospital, and individual transfers)
      • 117th, 118th, 119th, and 120th Ambulance Companies and Field Hospitals

World War II[edit]


Italics indicates the state of headquarters allocation of an inactive unit.


  • Headquarters, 30th Infantry Division
  • 117th Infantry Regiment
  • 119th Infantry Regiment
  • 120th Infantry Regiment
  • Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, DIVARTY
    • 113th Field Artillery Battalion (155 mm)
    • 118th Field Artillery Battalion (105 mm)
    • 197th Field Artillery Battalion (105 mm)
    • 230th Field Artillery Battalion (105 mm)
  • 105th Engineer Combat Battalion
  • 105th Medical Battalion
  • 30th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop (Mechanized)
  • Headquarters, Special Troops, 30th Infantry Division
    • Headquarters Company, 30th Infantry Division
    • 730th Ordnance Light Maintenance Company
    • 30th Quartermaster Company
    • 30th Signal Company
    • Military Police Platoon
    • Band
  • 30th Counterintelligence Corps Detachment

See all attached units: 30thInfantry.org Archived 27 February 2021 at the Wayback Machine


World War I[edit]

Interwar period[edit]

  • Maj. Gen. Ezekiel J. Williams (Regular Army) (24 August 1926-1 August 1929)
  • Maj. Gen. Ephraim G. Peyton (Regular Army) (1 August 1929-19 September 1932)
  • Maj. Gen. Henry D. Russell (Georgia) (September 1940 – April 1942)

World War II[edit]

Awards and distinctions[edit]

  • Distinguished Unit Citations: 8
  • Awards: MH-6 ; DSC-50 ; DSM-1 ; SS-1,773 ; LM-12; DFC-3 ; SM-30 ; BSM-6,616 ; AM-154.
  • Foreign Awards: Belgian Fourragere-2[1] per Belgian decree #1393, dated 20 November 1945

Shoulder sleeve insignia[edit]

Description: The letters "O H" blue upon a red background, the "O" forming the elliptical outline of the device long axis to be 2+12 inches (6.4 cm) and short axis 1+58 inches (4.1 cm). The letter "H" within the "O". The letters "XXX" on the bar of the "H". The insignia to be worn with long axis vertical.[20]

Symbolism: The letters "O H" are the initials of "Old Hickory" and the "XXX" is the Roman notation for the number of the organization.[20]

Background: The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved on 23 October 1918 for the 30th Division. It was redesignated for the 30th Infantry Brigade on 20 February 1974. The insignia was redesignated effective 1 September 2004, with description updated, for the 30th Brigade Combat Team, North Carolina Army National Guard.[20]

Notable members[edit]

Popular culture[edit]

The 2014 World War II film Fury depicted the main characters' tank, of the 66th Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Division, operating in support of soldiers of the 30th Infantry Division.



  1. ^ a b "Fact Sheet – The 30th Infantry Division Veterans of WWII". Archived from the original on 26 February 2021. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
  2. ^ Haas, Darrin. "Still Shocking". National Guard Magazine. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  3. ^ "Chapter II: Genesis of Permanent Divisions". Archived from the original on 4 June 2008.
  4. ^ "Camp Sevier". South Carolina Encyclopedia. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  5. ^ "Camp Sevier Historical Marker". www.hmdb.org. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  6. ^ Brune 2019.
  7. ^ Clay, Steven (2010). U.S. Army Order of Battle 1919-1941, Volume 1. The Arms: Major Commands and Infantry Organizations. Fort Leavenworth: Combat Studies Institute Press. p. 224.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  8. ^ "Home Page – Indiana Military Org".
  9. ^ Featherston 1998, p. 16.
  10. ^ Featherston 1998, pp. 16–17.
  11. ^ Beevor, Antony (2010). Battle for Normandy. Penguin. p. 402. ISBN 978-0-241-96897-0.
  12. ^ encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-30th-infantry-division
  13. ^ a b c d e Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths (Statistical and Accounting Branch, Office of the Adjutant General, 1 June 1953)
  14. ^ Old Hickory Association, [1], accessed September 2009 Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Aumilier, United States Army Infantry, Artillery, and Cavalry/Armor Battalions
  16. ^ Adjutant General of North Carolina 1961, pp. 19–21.
  17. ^ Adjutant General of North Carolina 1964, pp. 18–21, 100–101.
  18. ^ McGrath, The Brigade, 240.
  19. ^ Clay, Vol. 1, p.224
  20. ^ a b c "30th Infantry Brigade". The U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry. Archived from the original on 29 September 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2019. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.


External links[edit]