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1st Infantry Division

The First Expeditionary Division was constituted in May 1917 from Army units serving on the Mexican border and at various Army posts throughout the United States. On June 8, 1917 it was officially re-organized in New York as the 1st Division.

World War II

On August 1, 1942, the First Division, also known as "Big Red One" was reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Infantry Division. The Division departed New York Port of Embarkation on August 1, 1942, arriving in England on August 7, 1942.

The 1st Infantry Division entered combat in World War II, November 8, 1942, as part of "Operation Torch", the invasion of North Africa. The First Division landed on the coast of Algeria near Oran. On May 9, 1943, the commander of the German "Afrika Korps" surrendered his force of 40,000 and North African operations for the Big Red One ended. The Division then moved on to take Sicily in "Operation Husky." Landing at Gela, July 10, 1943, they quickly overpowered the Italian defenses. They then faced 100 tanks of the Herman Goering Tank Division. They advanced on as the Allies advanced to the Straits of Messina.

By the spring of 1944, the 1st Infantry Division transferred to England to begin preparations for the Invasion of Normandy. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, Big Red One stormed ashore at Omaha Beach. After the beachhead was secured, the Division moved through the Normandy Hedgerows. The Division liberated Liege, Belgium, and pushed to the German border, crossing through the fortified Siegfried line. The 1st Inf. Div. attacked the first major German city, Aachen, and after many days of bitter house-to house fighting, the German commander surrendered the city on Oct. 21, 1944.

The Division pushed into Germany, crossing the Rhine River. On Dec. 16, 24 enemy divisions, 10 of which were armored, launched a massive counterattack in the Ardennes sector, resulting in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge. The Big Red One held the critical shoulder of the "Bulge" at Bullingen, destroying hundreds of German tanks in the process. On Jan. 15, 1945, the First Infantry attacked and penetrated the Siegfried line for the second time and occupied the Remagen bridgehead. On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, the Division marched 150 miles to the east of Siegen and on April 8, the Division crossed the Weser River. The Big Red One was fighting in Czechoslovakia when WW2 in Europe ended in May.

1st Infantry Division Patch

Nickname: "Big Red One", "The Fighting First"

Motto: No Mission Too Difficult, No Sacrifice Too Great, Duty First


Arrow  1st US Infantry Division in Normandy


1st Infantry Division Films  

1st US Infantry Division in Normandy DVD $19.99

1st Infantry Division
Invasion of Normandy Series
February 1944 - August 1944

DVD Details


1st Inf. Division's Major engagements of WWII:

  • Operation Torch
  • Operation Husky
  • D-Day
  • Battle of Hurtgen Forest
  • Battle of the Bulge

    Campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, Central Europe.

    1st Infantry Division, Order of Battle WWII 1944-1945

  • HQs & HQs Co 1st Infantry Division
  • HQs & HQs Battery Division Artillery
  • Headquarters Special Troops
  • Military Police Platoon
  • 1st Cav Recon Squadron
  • 1st CIC Detachment
  • 1st Engineer Combat Battalion
  • 1st Medical Battalion
  • 1st Quartermaster Company
  • 1st Signal Corps Company
  • 5th Field Artillery Battalion (155-MM)
  • 7th Field Artillery Battalion (105-MM)
  • 16th Infantry Regiment
  • 18th Infantry Regiment
  • 26th Infantry Regiment
  • 32nd Field Artillery Battalion (105-MM)
  • 33rd Field Artillery Battalion (105-MM)
  • 701st OD Light Maint Company
  • 745th Tank Battalion
  • 634th Tank Destroyer Battalion
  • 635th Tank Destroyer Battalion
  • 703rd Tank Destroyer Battalion
  • 103rd AAAA-W Battalion
  • 103rd AAAA-W Battalion
  • 1st Infantry Commanders

  • Maj. Gen. Clarence R. Huebner
  • 7 Dec 43 Brig. Gen. Willard G. Wyman (Acting)
  • 14 Dec 43 Maj. Gen. Clarence R. Huebner
  • 11 Dec 44 Brig Gen Clift Andrus (Acting)
  • 13 Dec 44 Brig. Gen. Clift Andrus
  • 17 Mar 45 Maj. Gen. Clift Andrus
  • Combat Reels salutes the veterans of the Big Red One of World War II and their valuable contribution to U.S. military history.

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