35th Infantry Division (United States)

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World War II

The 35th Infantry Division, formerly known as the 35th Division, is an infantry formation of the Army National Guard commanded by Major General William B. Blaylock II. It is currently headquartered at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

The 35th Division was organized August 25, 1917, at Camp Doniphan, Oklahoma, as a unit of the National Guard, with troops from Missouri and Kansas. It was deactivated in 1919 but was reconstituted in 1935 and served with a brief interruption until it was deactivated again in 1963.

The 35th Infantry Division was reactivated and the headquarters and headquarters company federally recognized on August 25, 1984, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

The division’s shoulder patch, a white Santa Fe cross on a blue disc with a green border, was originally approved for the 35th Division on 29 October 1918.

The Santa Fe cross was a symbol used to mark the Santa Fe Trail, an area where the unit trained, and was designated as an identifying device for the unit by Headquarters, 35th Division General Orders 25, dated March 27, 1918. The organization is referred to as the Santa Fe Division.

The 35th Division arrived at Le Havre, France, on 11 May 1918. The 35th served first, a brigade at a time, in the Vosges mountains between 30 June and 13 August. The whole division served in the Gerardmer sector, Alsace, 14 August to 1 September; Meuse-Argonne, 21 to 30 September; Sommedieu sector, 15 October, to 6 November. Men of the division spent ninety-two days in quiet sectors and five in active; advanced twelve and one half kilometres against resistance, captured 781 prisoners, and lost 1,067 killed and 6,216 wounded. The 35th Division had as an officer Captain Harry Truman, 33rd President of the United States, who commanded Battery D of the 129th Field Artillery Regiment.

Units of the 35th Division during World War I included:

Pursuant to Section 3a of the 1920 amendments to the National Defense Act of 1916, a systematic effort was made to return units of the National Guard and Organized Reserve (which assumed the unit designations of the wartime National Army) to the states from which they had originated. In 1921, the 35th Division was reconstituted in the National Guard, allotted to the states of Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska of the Seventh Corps Area, and assigned to the VII Corps. Due to a lack of funding and disputes between the states allotted for the division. the 35th Division headquarters was not organized and federally recognized until 13 September 1935. In the 1920s and 1930s, constituent units of the division performed various activities policing labor troubles and effecting disaster relief. 180 Organized Reserve officers of the 89th and 102nd Divisions were also provided with training by the division. Due to constricted funding, all the units of the 35th Division did not gather together in one place for training until the Fourth Army maneuvers at Fort Riley, Kansas in 1937. The division also concentrated at Camp Ripley, Minnesota, in 1940.

Italics indicates that the given 35th Division unit was unorganized or inactive at the time.

The 35th Division was ordered into federal service on 23 December 1940 at home stations. The division’s units were ordered to report to Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Arkansas, and had arrived by the end of January, 1941. The incomplete ranks of the 35th were swelled by thousands of draftees, a large portion of whom, through the allowance of local recruitment while National Guard divisions were increasing their strength, were ordered to join the division from the reception centers of the Seventh Corps Area (Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota). After completing the War Department-mandated divisional training program, the 35th Division maneuvered against other units in Arkansas and Louisiana in the fall of 1941. After the Pearl Harbor attack came its first assignment, the defense of the Southern California Sector of the Western Defense Command.

On 1 March 1942, the 35th Division was “triangularized,” most notably losing its infantry brigade headquarters. The 138th and 140th Infantry Regiments departed, replaced by the 320th Infantry Regiment. The 35th Division’s engineer, field artillery, quartermaster, and medical regiments were reorganized as battalions. The newly-christened 35th Infantry Division departed California for Camp Rucker, Alabama, arriving on 1 April 1943. After participating in the Second Army Tennessee Maneuvers from 22 November 1943 to 17 January 1944 and receiving mountain warfare training at the West Virginia Maneuver Area from 21 February to 28 March 1944, the 35th Infantry Division was declared ready for overseas service. Further movement to Camp Butner, North Carolina, and Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, saw the division through to England, where it arrived on 25 May 1944.

The 35th Infantry Division arrived in England on 25 May 1944 and received further training. It landed on Omaha Beach, Normandy 5-7 July 1944 and entered combat on 11 July, fighting in the Normandy hedgerows north of St. Lo. The division beat off twelve German counterattacks at Emelie before entering St. Lo on 18 July. After mopping up in the St. Lo area, it took part in the offensive action southwest of St. Lo, pushing the Germans across the Vire River on 2 August, and breaking out of the Cotentin Peninsula. While en route to an assembly area, the division was “flagged off the road,” to secure the Mortain-Avranches corridor and to rescue the 30th Division’s “Lost Battalion” August 7-13, 1944.

Then racing across France through Orleans and Sens, the division attacked across the Moselle on 13 September, captured Nancy on 15 September, secured Chambrey on 1 October, and drove on to the German border, taking Sarreguemines and crossing the Saar on 8 December. After crossing the Blies River on 12 December, the division moved to Metz for rest and rehabilitation on 19 December. The 35th moved to Arlon, Belgium December 25-26, and took part in the fighting to relieve Bastogne, throwing off the attacks of four German divisions, taking Villers-laBonne-Eau on 10 January, after a 13-day fight and Lutrebois in a 5-day engagement. On 18 January 1945, the division returned to Metz to resume its interrupted rest.

In late January, the division was defending the Foret de Domaniale area. Moving to the Netherlands to hold a defensive line along the Roer on 22 February, the division attacked across the Roer on 23 February, pierced the Siegfried Line, reached the Rhine at Wesel on 10 March, and crossed 25-26 March. It smashed across the Herne Canal and reached the Ruhr River early in April, when it was ordered to move to the Elbe April 12. Making the 295-mile dash in two days, the 35th mopped up in the vicinity of Colbitz and Angern, until 26 April 1945 when it moved to Hanover for occupational and mopping-up duty, continuing occupation beyond VE-day. The division left Southampton, England, on 5 September, and arrived in New York City on 10 September 1945.

Units of the 35th Infantry Division from March 1942 included:

On 7 December 1945, the division was inactivated at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky. During the next year and into 1947, the division was reestablished as a Kansas and Missouri National Guard division. In 1954 the division consisted of the 137th, 138th (Missouri), and 140th Infantry Regiments (Missouri); 185th, 194th, 554th, and 556th Field Artillery Battalions; the 113th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion; the 195th Tank Battalion; and signals, engineer, reconnaissance, military police, other combat support units, plus combat service support units. After the Pentomic reorganization, the division’s five battle groups were the 1-137 Infantry; 2-137 Infantry; 1-138 Infantry; 2-138 Infantry; and 1-140 Infantry. In 1963 the division was inactivated along with three other National Guard divisions.

In early 1983, the Army began the process of reestablishing the division as a mechanized infantry formation to be made up of Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, and Kentucky National Guard units. The division headquarters was established 30 September 1983, at Fort Leavenworth. The division was formally reactivated as the 35th Infantry Division (Mechanized) on August 25, 1984 from the 67th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) of Nebraska, the 69th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) of Kansas, and the 149th Armored Brigade from Kentucky. It continues in service today.

In 1984-85, the 69th Infantry Brigade was reported to comprise the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 137th Infantry Regiment, the 1st Battalion, 635th Armored Regiment, 1st Battalion, 127th Field Artillery Regiment, E Troop, 114th Cavalry, and the 169th Engineer Company.

On 1 October 1987 the division’s aviation units were reorganized, and the 135th Aviation was established. Two battalions of the regiment joined the division’s aviation component.

The 35th Infantry Division Headquarters commanded Task Force Eagle’s Multi-National Division North in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of SFOR-13 (Stabilization Force 13) with the NATO peacekeeping mandate under the Dayton Peace Accords. The headquarters were located at Eagle Base in the town of Tuzla. Brigadier General James Mason was the commander. He later went on to command the division. The division headquarters received the Army Superior Unit Award for its service in Bosnia. Division liaison officers served in the towns of Mostar, Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Zenica and Doboj. Several officers went on to other roles, including: Timothy J. Kadavy who served as Commander of 1st Squadron, 167th Cavalry, 35th Infantry Division in Bosnia. Lieutenant General Kadavy is now the Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau. Victor J. Braden served as the Commander, 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation Regiment, 35th Infantry Division in Tuzla, Bosnia. Major General Braden was a recent Commander of the 35th Infantry Division. . Elliott Levenson was the Liaison Officer to the Italian Command at Multinational Brigade, South-East in Mostar, Bosnia. He earned the Bronze Star in Iraq with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, U.S. 1st Cavalry Division in 2008. .

The division provided headquarters control for National Guard units deployed to Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. while the 38th Infantry Division did the same for Mississippi.

A detachment of the 35th Infantry Division was the headquarters element for Task Force Falcon of Multi-National Task Force East (MNTF-E) for the NATO Kosovo Force 9 (KFOR 9) mission. The 35th provided command and control from 7 November 2007 until 7 July 2008, when they were succeeded by the 110th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Missouri Army National Guard.[citation needed]

The 35th Infantry Division currently exercises training and readiness oversight of the following elements, but they are not organic:

Readiness and Oversight units:

The Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), 287th Sustainment Brigade was also assigned to the division up until 2014. It was deactivated in 2016.

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