36th Infantry Division (United States)

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For the Texas Division of the American Civil War, see Walker's Greyhounds.
36th Infantry Division
36th Infantry Division SSI.svg
36th Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia
Active 1917–19
Country  United States
Branch Seal of the United States Army National Guard.svg Army National Guard
Type Infantry
Size Division
Nickname(s) "Arrowhead"

World War I

World War II

War on Terror

Lester Simpson
William Smith,
Fred Walker,
John Dahlquist

The 36th Infantry Division ("Arrowhead"[1]), also known as the "Texas Division", is a division of the United States Army and the Texas Army National Guard. It was activated for service in World War II on 25 November 1940, and was sent to the European Theater of Operations in April 1943, and returned to the Texas Army National Guard in December 1945.

A unit of the 36th Infantry, the 2nd Battalion, was detached and sent to the Pacific just before the outbreak of war in late 1941. Captured by the Japanese and forced into slave labor, its fate was unknown for most of the rest of World War II, resulting in the name The Lost Battalion.

The 36th Infantry was reconstituted in a May 2004 reorganization of the 49th Armored Division.


World War I[edit]

The 36th Infantry Division was activated as the 15th Division, an Army National Guard Division from Texas and Oklahoma. The new unit also received a new commander, Major General Edwin St. John Greble. The designation was changed to the 36th Division in July 1917.

The final composition of the 36th Division consisted of the 71st and 72nd Infantry Brigades, the 141st and 142nd Infantry Regiments belonging to the 71st. The 143rd and 144th Infantry Regiments were attached to the 72nd Brigade. Also belonging to the 71st was the 132nd Machine Gun Battalion. Similarly, the 72nd received the 133rd Machine Gun Battalion. The 61st Field Artillery Brigade, 131st, 132nd, and 133rd Field Artillery Regiments, 111th Regiment Engineers, 111th Signal Battalion and the 111th Supply Train comprised the rest of the 36th Division. The unit trained at Camp Bowie, Texas, then in Tarrant County, the site of the present-day city of Fort Worth.

The unit was sent to Europe in July 1918 and conducted major operations in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. On 9–10 October, the unit participated in heavy combat near the village of St. Etienne. Following this victory, which included the capture of several hundred German men and officers, as well as artillery, the unit launched an assault near an area known as "Forest Farm." During World War I, the division suffered 2,584 casualties, 466 killed in action and 2,118 wounded in action. The unit was inactivated in June 1919.

World War II[edit]

The 36th was called up again for active federal service on 25 November 1940, at San Antonio, Texas, departing for its mobilization station at Camp Bowie, Texas on 14 December 1940. It moved to Brownwood, Texas on 1 June 1941, where it participated in the VIII Corps Brownwood Maneuvers until 13 June 1941. The division then returned to Camp Bowie.

The division then moved to Mansfield, Louisiana, and took part in both the August and September 1941 Louisiana Maneuvers. The division then returned to Camp Bowie on 2 October 1941, where it was reorganized into a triangular infantry division on 1 February 1942.

The division then moved to Camp Blanding, Florida on 19 February 1942, and participated in the Carolina Maneuvers between 9 July 1942, and 15 August 1942. The division then was staged at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts on 17 August 1942, for its port call to the European Theater Of Operations (ETO). During its time at Camp Edwards, the division conducted mock assaults of Martha's Vineyard Island in preparation for future amphibious operations.

The division departed the New York Port of Embarkation on 2 April 1943, for North Africa.


Pre 2 October 1941 square organization[edit]
  • HHC, 36th Infantry Division, TXARNG
    • 36th Military Police Platoon
    • 36th Signal Company
    • 111th Ordnance Company
    • 111th Engineer Regiment (CBT), TXARNG
    • 111th Medical Regiment
    • 111th Quartermaster Regiment
  • HHC, 71st Infantry Brigade, TXARNG
  • HHC, 72nd Infantry Brigade, TXARNG
  • HHB, 61st Field Artillery Brigade, TXARNG
    • 131st Field Artillery Regiment (75mm), TXARNG
    • 132nd Field Artillery Regiment (75mm), TXARNG
    • 133rd Field Artillery Regiment (155mm), TXARNG
2 October 1941 triangular reorganization[edit]
  • HHC & Special Troops, 36th Infantry Division, TXARNG
    • 36th Military Police Platoon
    • 36th Signal Company
    • 36th Quartermaster Company
    • 36th Counter Intelligence Corps Detachment
    • 36th Mechanized Reconnaissance Troop
    • 736th Ordnance Company (LM)
    • 111th Engineer Battalion (CBT), TXARNG
    • 111th Medical Battalion
  • 141st Infantry Regiment, TXARNG [cited by Heinz Guderian in his order of battle, prepared after the war at Allied request, as rating #2 of all Allied forces in the ETO][citation needed]
  • 142nd Infantry Regiment, TXARNG
  • 143rd Infantry Regiment, TXARNG
  • HHB, 36th Division Artillery, TXARNG
    • 131st Field Artillery Battalion (105mm), TXARNG
    • 132nd Field Artillery Battalion (105mm), TXARNG
    • 133rd Field Artillery Battalion (105mm), TXARNG
    • 155th Field Artillery Battalion (155mm), TXARNG
1944–45 augmentations[edit]
  • 191st Tank Battalion (26 August 1944 – 31 August 1944)
  • 753rd Tank Battalion (15 August 1944 – 26 December 1944); (4 March 1945 – 29 March 1945); (29 April 1945 – 13 June 1945).
  • 636th Tank Destroyer Battalion (15 August 1944 – 29 March 1945; 29 April 1945 – 13 June 1945.
  • 822nd Tank Destroyer Battalion (29 April 1945 – 1 May 1945.
  • 443rd Anti Aircraft Artillery Battalion (AW)(7 December 1944 – 13 January 1945.

Combat chronicle[edit]

The 36th Infantry Division landed in North Africa, 13 April 1943, and trained at Arzew and Rabat. It was assigned to the VI Corps, Fifth Army, but attached to Services of Supply, North African Theater of Operations U.S. Army (NATOUSA), for supply.

The division first saw action on 9 September 1943, when it landed by sea at Paestum on the Gulf of Salerno against intense German opposition. The Germans launched counterattacks on 12–14 September, but the 36th repulsed them with the aid of air support and naval gunfire, and advanced slowly, securing the area from Agropoli to Altavilla.

After a brief rest the 36th returned to combat, 15 November. It captured Mount Maggiore, Mount Lungo, and the village of San Pietro despite strong enemy positions and severe winter weather. This grueling campaign against the Bernhardt Line was marked by futile attempts to establish a secure bridgehead across the Rapido River, 1 January 1944, to 8 February 1944. The division attacked across the Rapido River January 20, 1944 but was harshly repulsed by the 15th Panzer Grenadier Division, and two regiments were virtually destroyed and the attack was stopped January 22, 1944. Strong controversy flared among the officers of the division and general Mark Wayne Clark, criticized for having ordered a difficult frontal attack and accused of having caused the disaster. After the war the United States Congress, urged by veterans of the division, conducted an investigation into the causes and responsibility for the defeat on the Rapido River.[3]

After assisting the U.S. 34th Infantry Division in the attack on Cassino and fighting defensively along the Rapido River, the severely depleted 36th withdrew, 12 March 1944, for rest and recreation. The division arrived by sea at the Anzio Beachhead, 22 May 1944, to take part in Operation Diadem, with the breakout from the beachhead commencing the following day. It drove north to capture Velletri, 1 June, and entered Rome on the 5th. Pushing up from Rome, the 36th encountered sharp resistance at Magliano, but reached Piombino, 26 June 1944, before moving back to Paestum for rest and recreation.

On 15 August 1944, as part of the 6th Army Group, the division made another amphibious assault landing, against light opposition in the Saint-Raphaël-Fréjus area of southern France as part of Operation Dragoon. A rapid advance opened the Rhone River Valley. Montelimar fell, 28 August, and large German units were trapped. On 15 September 1944, the division was attached to the French First Army.The 36th advanced to the Moselle River at Remiremont and the foothills of the Vosges. In a grinding offensive, the division crossed the Meurthe River, breached the Ste. Marie Pass and burst into the Alsatian Plains. The enemy counterattacked, 13 December 1944, but the 36th held the perimeter of the Colmar Pocket. On 15 December 1944, the division was released from attachment to the First French Army, and returned to the control of VI Corps under the U.S. Seventh Army. The German Army counterattacks out of the Colmar Pocket were so fierce, that at times, the field artillery was forced to fire over open sights at point blank range to stop them. On 20 December 1944, the division resumed the attack, advancing northward along the Rhine River to Mannheim meeting heavy resistance at Haguenau, Oberhofen, and Wissembourg. In this action Company "G" 143rd Infantry Regiment received a Presidential Unit Citation. On 27 December 1944, the division was reassigned to XXI Corps of the Seventh Army, and was pinched out and returned to Seventh Army Reserve on 30 December 1944.

The division was taken out of the line for the first time since it had landed in the south of France. On 3 January 1945, the division was reassigned to XV Corps. On 18 January 1945, the division was reassigned to VI Corps. It returned to the line early March 1945. The 36th was reassigned to the Seventh Army on 29 March 1945, and moved to the Danube River on 22 April 1945. The 36th has been recognized as a liberating unit for its work securing the subcamps of the Dachau concentration camp system.[4]

The 36th Division was reassigned to the XXI Corps on 27 April 1945, and attacked the "National Redoubt" at Künzelsau on the 30th. Members of the Division's 142nd Infantry Regiment arriving as reinforcements on May 5 tipped the Battle for Castle Itter in favor of a combined U.S. Army/Wehrmacht defense against a Waffen SS attack, the only time German and American forces fought side-by-side in World War II.[5]

By 8 May 1945, the Division was based in Kitzbühel, Austria where it captured Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, the commander of all German army forces on the Western front, and its final station was at Kufstein, Austria on 14 August 1945.

After 400 days of combat, the 36th Infantry Division returned to the United States in December 1945. It was returned to the Texas Army National Guard on 15 December 1945.

The Lost Battalion[edit]

The 2nd Battalion, 131st Field Artillery, long with the rest of the 36th Infantry Division, was mobilized for federal service on 20 November 1940. Earmarked as part of the reinforcements to U.S. Army troops in the Philippines, the Battalion was detached from the 36th Infantry and sailed on the USS Republic on 21 November 1941 for Pearl Harbor. From there it was diverted to Australia, learning of the surprise attack and U.S. entry into World War II en route.[6] Before the end of the month the Battalion was bound for the island of Java in the Dutch East Indies.[7]

After fighting with several Allied units it was captured by the Japanese. Information on the unit's fate after the Dutch surrender in Java failed to reach the U.S. government, resulting in its subsequent nickname, "The Lost Battalion." As prisoners, the men were forced to work in Burma and Thailand as slave laborers on the Burma-Siam "Death Railway" of The Bridge on the River Kwai fame, as well as coal mines, docks and shipyards in Japan and other southeast Asian countries. Conditions were poor, treatment harsh, and mortality exceptionally high. Others died in U.S. submarine attacks en route to Singapore and Japan, and more yet were killed by American bombers. It was through debriefing of some survivors of the POW convoys who had been rescued by U.S. submarines that the Government first learned of the unit's fate.

When liberated, the men were scattered throughout Southeast Asia in Java, Singapore, Burma, Thailand, French Indo China, Japan, China and Manchuria.

Unit awards[edit]

Personal awards[edit]

Total casualties[edit]

  • KIA: 3,131
  • MIA: 13,191
  • Died of wounds: 506

Global War on Terror[edit]

On 1 May 2004, the 49th Armored Division of the Texas Army National Guard was officially deactivated and the 49th Armored Division was redesignated the 36th Infantry Division. After half a century, the "Fighting 36th" was reactivated and carried on the legacy of the 36th Division.

36th Infantry Division soldiers instruct Honduran soldiers.

In January 2004, 74 soldiers from Alpha Battery (TAB), 2nd Battalion, 131st Field Artillery were activated for federal service in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Alpha Battery commanded by CPT Alvaro Gomez entered federal service in Fort Sill, OK. Under the supervision of 1SG Alfredo Barrera, the soldiers trained and deployed to Iraq. While readying their equipment in Kuwait, Alpha Battery was given her mission and the five radar sections were split up. One AN-TPQ37 radar section (SSG Gonzales) was attached to the 1st Marine Division in Al Taqadum another (CW3 Earnest Metcalf) was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division at LSA Anaconda and the three AN-TPQ36 radar sections (CW2 Davidson, CW2 Bien, and SSG Johnson) were assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division in Mosul. The headquarters and support platoon (1LT Christopher Galvan) operated out of Forward Operating Base Freedom in northern Mosul. In addition to the target acquisition mission, the support platoon supplemented patrols conducted by the 25th Infantry Division Fires Brigade FIST Team and provided security for the FOB's perimeter by manning the entrance gates and watch towers. At the conclusion of the battery's deployment, its members were awarded 3 Bronze Star Medals, 1 Purple Heart Medal, 47 Army Commendation Medals, 74 Combat Action Badges, several memorandums of appreciation from command staff, and authorized to wear the unit shoulder sleeve insignia for wartime service from the 2nd Infantry Division, the 25th Infantry Division, the 36th Infantry Division, or the 1st Infantry Division.

In 2005 approximately 100 soldiers of the 36th Infantry Division deployed to Bosnia for Enduring Mission 3 which was a continuation from previous IFOR and SFOR missions. When Task Force Strike left Eagle Base in Tuzla late 2006, it marked the end of an American military maneuver presence in Bosnia which had existed for almost a decade after the Dayton Accords.

In 2005, over three thousand troops from the 56th BCT, 36th ID deployed to Iraq as part of the largest deployment of Texas troops since World War II.[citation needed] 3/133 FA, 2/142 INF were both awarded Meritorious Unit Citations for their service in Iraq.

In 2005–06, 800 soldiers of 3d Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment, 72d Brigade, 36th Infantry Division deployed to Afghanistan. The battalion was attached to the 504th Infantry Regiment of the 82d Airborne Division and earned a Joint Meritorious Unit Citation.

In 2006, the 1st Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division became the first cavalry unit to serve as peacekeepers in the Sinai Desert for the Multinational Force and Observers.[citation needed] The force was made up of soldiers from several units of the 36th Infantry Division including 1–112th AR, 2–112th AR, 3–112th AR, 3rd Mech, and C Btry 2-131 FA (MLRS).

In late 2006, Company B of the 3d Battalion, 144th Infantry Regiment deployed to Iraq after pre-deployment training at Ft. Dix, NJ and were actively engaged in combat operations. They returned in late 2007. 5 Army Commendation Medals with Valor Devices were awarded to soldiers of 1st Platoon, Second Squad in recognition of the defeat of an ambush on a State Department convoy in central Baghdad.

In late 2005 to late 2006, the 36th Infantry Division was the major leading force for KFOR7, the peacekeeping mission on Kosovo.

The Combat Aviation Brigade, 36th Infantry Division shipped to Iraq in September 2006 for a planned one-year deployment.

On 7 May 2007 3d Battalion, 144th Infantry Regiment mobilized as "Task Force Panther" in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. "Task Force Panther" trained at Camp Shelby, MS, and, after validation, deployed to Kuwait, and then into Iraq.

On 28 August 2008, more than 3000 soldiers of the 56th IBCT again deployed to Iraq. On 15 August 2009, the 3000 soldiers of the 56th IBCT returned to Texas after 10 months in Iraq. Two soldiers from Bravo Troop 3-124 Cav, and one from C Btry 4-133 were wounded during the tour.

On 10 April 2009, 136th Military Police Battalion deployed more than 150 soldiers to Afghanistan to command and run the Bagram Theatre Internment Facility. Task Force Lonestar transferred the detainees from the BTIF to the new detention facility in Parwan. 136th Military Police Battalion returned in May 2010.

On 1 October 2009, the 72nd IBCT mobilized for deployment to Iraq. Upon arrival in theater, the brigade headquarters assumed authority as the Joint Area Support Group-Conditional for the International Zone, with the brigade's subordinate elements distributed throughout the country conducting detainee operations. The brigade returned from Iraq in July and August 2010, with A Battery, 1-133 FA being the last element to return home.

In November and December 2010, the 36th Infantry Division Headquarters deployed to Basrah, Iraq, replacing the US 1st Infantry Division, where they provided command and control of US active Army, Reserve, and National Guard units. The 36th ID command covered 15,000 deployed military and contractor forces at 17 bases in the 9 provinces in southern Iraq. As part of the drawdown of US forces in Iraq, the division headquarters redeployed to the US starting in late August 2011, the main body following in September 2011 to Fort Hood, TX. No 36th ID soldiers were lost to combat operations during the deployment.

On 26 November 2011, the newly formed 1st Battalion (Airborne), 143rd Infantry Regiment mobilized as Task Force Walker for deployment to Afghanistan. The battalion, comprising companies from Texas, Rhode Island, and Alaska, was deployed across the country in support of provincial reconstruction teams. The headquarters element was located in Kabul serving under the 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (Task Force Hydra) in the Kabul base cluster.

In the summer of 2012, both the 136th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB) and Task Force Arrowhead mobilized for service in Afghanistan. The 136th MEB took control of several bases in the Kabul area, while TF Arrowhead, composed of 31 security force assistance teams (SFATs), performed advisory duties with various Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) elements in Regional Command-South.

In the spring of 2013 B co 3-144th IN deployed in support of TF 3-10 to Afghanistan and searved in Konduz, Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif Camp Bashton, and BAF


The 36th Division insignia consisting of an olive drab "T" on a blue flint arrowhead was adopted in 1918. The flint arrowhead represents the State of Oklahoma (once the Indian Territory), and the "T" is for Texas.

Current Structure[edit]

Structure 36th Infantry Division

36th Infantry Division SSI.svg 36th Infantry Division exercises training and readiness oversight of the following elements, they are not organic:[8]

Attached units[edit]

Division commanders[edit]

36th Infantry Division[edit]

Start Date End Date Commander
25 August 1917 18 September 1917 MG. E. St. John Grebble
18 September 1917 6 December 1917 BG George Blakely
6 December 1917 8 July 1918 MG E. St. John Grebble
8 July 1918 13 July 1918 BG John A. Hulen
13 July 1918 MG William R. Smith
18 June 1919 Division returned activated to state control
2 May 1923 MG William R. Smith
2 May 1923 9 September 1935 MG John A. Hulen
9 September 1935 12 October 1936 MG George R.Rains
12 October 1936 MG Claude V. Birkhead
25 November 1940 Division called up to federal service
12 September 1941 MG Claude V. Birkhead
12 September 1941 7 July 1944 MG Fred L. Walker
7 July 1944 1 November 1945 MG John E. Dahlquist
1 November 1944 15 December 1945 BG Robert I. Stack
15 December 1945 Division returned inactive to state control
29 April 1946 Unit reactivated in state control
29 April 1946 7 July 1948 MG Preston A. Weatherred
7 July 1948 1 March 1953 MG H. Miller Ainsworth
1 March 1953 21 September 1961 MG Carl L. Phinney
21 September 1961 15 January 1968 MG Everett S. Simpson
18 June 1969 Division inactivated in state control
1 May 2004 Division reactivated in state control
1 May 2004 1 April 2006 MG Michael Taylor
1 April 2006 1 October 2007 MG John T. Furlow
1 October 2007 17 April 2009 MG Jose S. Mayorga
18 April 2009 20 January 2012 MG Eddy M. Spurgin
21 January 2012 31 May 2014 MG James K. "Red" Brown
1 June 2014 Present MG Lester Simpson

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Special Designation Listing". United States Army Center of Military History. 21 April 2010. Archived from the original on 9 June 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  2. ^ Relieved from assignment to division on 1 February 1942.
  3. ^ The Tuscaloosa News, January 20, 1946, Texas Troops Ask Inquiry
  4. ^ United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  5. ^ Harding, Stephen (2013). The Last Battle: When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe. Da Capo Press. pp. 157–161. ISBN 978-0-306-82209-4. 
  6. ^ http://www.conigliofamily.com/history.htm
  7. ^ Gill, G. Hermon (1957). Royal Australian Navy 1939-1942. Australia in the War of 1939–1945. Series 2 – Navy 1. Canberra: Australian War Memorial. p. 531. 
  8. ^ AUSA, Torchbearer Special Report, 7 November 2005; http://www.ausa.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/ILW%20Web-ExclusivePubs/Torchbearer/TBearComp1v12.pdf
  9. ^ "TIOH - Heraldry - Special Troops Battalion, 36 Infantry Division". Tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  10. ^ Shaw, Melissa (13 September 2010). "Guard reactivates only airborne battalion". National Guard. 
  11. ^ "TIOH - Heraldry - Special Troops Battalion, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team". Tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil. 21 April 2010. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  12. ^ "TIOH - Heraldry - Special Troops Battalion, 72d Brigade Combat Team, 36th Infantry Division". Tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil. 21 April 2010. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  13. ^ "TIOH - Heraldry - Special Troops Battalion, 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team". Tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil. 18 April 2008. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  14. ^ "TIOH - Heraldry - Special Troops Battalion, 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team". Tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  15. ^ http://www.minnesotanationalguard.org/tf34/units/2-149/index.php
  16. ^ "TIOH - Heraldry - 136th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade". Tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  17. ^ "TIOH - Heraldry - 36th Sustainment Brigade". Tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil. 28 July 2009. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  18. ^ "TIOH - Heraldry - 71st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade". Tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  19. ^ "TIOH - Beret Flashes and Background Trimmings - C Troop, 3 Squadron, 124 Cavalry Regiment". Tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil. 18 August 2009. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 

External links[edit]