7th infantry division

7th infantry division DEFAULT

7th Infantry Division (United States)

Active United States Army formation

Military unit

The 7th Infantry Division is an active duty infantrydivision of the United States Army based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord charged with sustaining the combat readiness of two Stryker brigade combat teams, a combat aviation brigade, a division artillery headquarters, and a National Guard Stryker brigade combat team, as well as participating in several yearly partnered exercises and operations in support of U.S. Army Pacific and the Indo-Pacific region. The 7th Infantry Division is the only active-duty multi-component division headquarters in the Army.[4] The 7th Infantry Division is also home to two of the Army's newest enabling battlefield capabilities, the Multi Domain Task Force and the Intelligence, Information, Cyber, Electronic Warfare and Space Capabilities, or I2CEWS battalion.[5][6]

The division was first activated in December in World War I, and has been based at Fort Ord, California for most of its history. Although elements of the division saw brief active service in World War I, it is best known for its participation in the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II where it took heavy casualties engaging the Imperial Japanese Army in the Aleutian Islands, Leyte, and Okinawa. Following the Japanese surrender in , the division was stationed in Japan and Korea, and with the outbreak of the Korean War in was one of the first units in action. It took part in the Inchon Landings and the advance north until Chinese forces counter-attacked and almost overwhelmed the scattered division. The 7th later went on to fight in the Battle of Pork Chop Hill and the Battle of Old Baldy.

After the Korean War ended, the division was headquartered at Camp Casey with artillery units supporting the 1st Cavalry Division just south of the Korean Demilitarized Zone until the mid s. In the late s, it briefly saw action overseas in Operation Golden Pheasant in Honduras and Operation Just Cause in Panama. In the early s, it provided domestic support to the civil authorities in Operation Green Sweep and during the Los Angeles Riots. In the division was inactivated with a few units transferring to Fort Lewis and Fort Ord closing. In June the 7th was reactivated at Fort Carson, Colorado and comprised three National Guard brigades. The Oregon National Guard 1/ Infantry battalion of the 7th Infantry Division was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom from to The division's final role was as a training and evaluation unit for Army National Guardbrigades, which it undertook until its inactivation in

On 26 April , the Department of Defense announced the reactivation of the 7th Infantry Division headquarters supporting the mission of America's First Corps.


World War I[edit]

Activation and Movement to France[edit]

The 7th Infantry Division was activated on 6 December , exactly eight months after the American entry into World War I, as the 7th Division of the Regular Army at Camp Wheeler, Georgia.[7] On 18 July, the Division moved to ports of embarkation as it prepared to deploy to Europe as a part of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF).[7] The unit arrived at Hoboken, New Jersey and in New York, via Camp Merritt, where additional replacements joined the unit. The majority of the unit sailed to Brest, France. The 7th Support Trains and the 7th Training Headquarters along with the military police sailed for Bordeaux, France. The units began to arrive in France on 26 July with the last units arriving on 3 September [8] Most of the division sailed to Europe aboard the SS Leviathan.[9]

Training in France[edit]

17 August to 9 October . From the period of 17 August to October 9thh, the division conducted final training and preparation to enter the line in the Ancy-le-Franc Training Area. Some soldiers from the unit were sent to the 4th and 26th Divisions as replacements for losses. From the period of 2 September through the 14th the unit was under the administrative control of the VI Corps.[8]

World War I organization

    • Headquarters, 7th Division
    • 13th Infantry Brigade
      • 55th Infantry Regiment
      • 56th Infantry Regiment
      • 20th Machine Gun Battalion
    • 14th Infantry Brigade
      • 34th Infantry Regiment
      • 64th Infantry Regiment
      • 21st Machine Gun Battalion
    • 7th Field Artillery Brigade
      • 8th Field Artillery Regiment ( mm)
      • 79th Field Artillery Regiment (75 mm)
      • 80th Field Artillery Regiment (75 mm)
      • 7th Trench Mortar Battery
    • 19th Machine Gun Battalion
    • 5th Engineer Regiment
    • 10th Field Signal Battalion
    • Headquarters Troop, 7th Division
    • 7th Train Headquarters and Military Police
      • 7th Ammunition Train
      • 7th Engineer Train
      • 7th Supply Train
      • 7th Sanitary Train
        • 22nd, 34th, 35th, and 36th Ambulance Companies and Field Hospitals[10]

World War I Combat[edit]

While on the Western Front, the 7th Division did not see action at full divisional strength, though its infantry and reconnaissance elements did engage German forces.[9] On 11 October , it first came under shell fire and later, at Saint-Mihiel, came under chemical attack.[9] Elements of the 7th probed up toward Prény near the Moselle River, capturing positions and driving German forces out of the region.[9] It was at this time that the division first received its shoulder sleeve insignia.[11]

From the period of 10 October until the end of the war on 11 November, the division, minus their artillery occupied and conducted local engagements in the Puvenelle Sector (Lorraine). On 10 October , the division relieved the 90th Division on the front with a front ling from Sablière, Vandières (incl), Côte , north edge of Bois des Rappes, la Souleuvre Fme, 1½ km south of Rembercourt-sur-Mad. The 92nd Division was on the right and the 37th Division was on the left. On 16 October, the 28th Division moved in on the left of the division. Several days later, on 23 October, the 92nd Division (VI Corps) occupied the sector on the. Three days later on 26 October the sector was reduced by moving the east boundary to a line between Villers-sous-Prény and Prény (both incl). Elements of the 92d Division relieved the 56th Infantry Regiment. On 29 October, the sector was extended west to a line from Xammes to Charey, with the 64th Infantry relieving elements of the 28th Division, on a front along the eastern edge of Bois de Blainchamp, northern edge of Bois de Hailbat, eastern edge of Bois du Rupt, northern edge of Bois de la Montagne.[8]

During this period in early November, the 7th Division began preparing for an assault on the Hindenburg Line as part of the Second Army.[9] The division launched a reconnaissance in force on the Voëvre plain, but the main assault was never conducted as hostilities ended on 11 November with the signing of the Armistice with Germany.[9]

On 1 November the division conducted local attacks and established outposts at Bois de Trou-de-la-Haie and Bois de Grand-Fontaine. From 9 November through 11th the division executes local attacks and makes gains along the front. On 9 November the division assumes temporary occupation of a hill west of Prény. On 10 November, Hill (1&#;km southeast of Rembercourt) is occupied. On 11 November, the line is established from to in the Bois de Grand-Fontaine, the quarry near , west of Rembercourt, and the small woods ¼ km south of Mon Plaisir Fme.[8]

During its 33 days on the front line, the 7th Division suffered 1, casualties,[12] including killed in action and 1, wounded in action[13] and was awarded a campaign streamer for Lorraine.[7] The division then served on occupation duties as it began preparations to return to the United States.[7]

World War I Order of Battle[edit]

7th Division commanders during World War I included Brigadier General Charles H. Barth and Major General Edmund Wittenmyer.[14] The following lists shows the order of battle, units that contributed personnel to form the nucleus of units, and the unit activation dates and locations.[8]

Headquarters, 7th Division

  • 13th Infantry Brigade (formed 18 December at Chickamauga, Park)
  • 14th Infantry Brigade (formed 20 December at Camp Bliss)
    • 34th Infantry Regiment (formed from personnel of the 7th, 20th, and 23rd Regiments of Infantry in at Camp Baker (near El Paso) Texas)
    • 64th Infantry Regiment (formed from personnel of the 34th Infantry in at Camp Baker (near El Paso), Texas)
    • 21st Machine Gun Battalion
  • 7th Field Artillery Brigade (formed at Camp Wheeler on 8 January )
  • 19th Machine Gun Battalion
  • 5th Engineer Regiment
  • 10th Field Signal Battalion
  • Headquarters Troop, 7th Division
  • 7th Train Headquarters and Military Police
    • 7th Ammunition Train
    • 7th Engineer Train
    • 7th Supply Train
    • 7th Sanitary Train
      • 22nd, 34th, 35th, 36th Ambulance Companies and Field Hospitals

Interwar period[edit]

The 7th Division arrived home in late , served at Camp Funston, Kansas, until July , and moved to Camp Meade, Maryland[9] until 22 September , when it was inactivated, less the 14th Infantry Brigade, due to funding cuts.[15] For mobilization purposes, the 7th Division was allotted to the 7th Corps Area and assigned to the VII Corps, with Fort Snelling, Minnesota as its designated mobilization location.

The 7th Division was represented in the active Regular Army from to by the 14th Infantry Brigade and select supporting elements. Other units of the division were placed on the Regular Army Inactive list and staffed by Organized Reserve personnel. These reserve units occasionally trained with the 14th Infantry Brigade at Fort Riley, Fort Crook, Fort Snelling, and Fort Leavenworth, and conducted the Citizens' Military Training Camps in the division's area. The division was formed on a provisional status during maneuvers in the s and s, and the division headquarters was activated for the August Fourth United States Army maneuvers at Camp Ripley, Minnesota, with the Minnesota Army National Guard's 92nd Infantry Brigade.[16]

World War II[edit]

On 1 July , the 7th Division was formally reactivated at Camp Ord, California,[15] under the command of Major General Joseph W. Stilwell.[7] Most of the early troops in the division were conscripted as a part of the US Army's first peacetime military draft.[9] The 7th Division was assigned to III Corps of the Fourth United States Army,[9] and transferred to Longview, Washington, in August to participate in tactical maneuvers. Following this training, the division moved back to Fort Ord, California, where it was located when the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor caused the United States to declare war. The formation proceeded almost immediately to San Jose, California, arriving 11 December to help protect the west coast and allay civilian fears of invasion.[7] The 53rd Infantry Regiment was relieved of assignment to the 7th Division and replaced with the th Infantry Regiment, newly deployed from the California Army National Guard.[7] For the early parts of the war, the division participated mainly in construction and training roles. Subordinate units also practiced boat loading at the Monterey Wharf and amphibious assault techniques at the Salinas River in California.[9]

On 9 April , the division was formally redesignated as the 7th Motorized Division and transferred to Camp San Luis Obispo on 24 April [15] Three months later, divisional training commenced in the Mojave Desert in preparation for its planned deployment to the African theater.[7] It was again designated the 7th Infantry Division on 1 January , when the motorized equipment was removed from the unit and it became a light infantry division once more,[15] as the Army eliminated the motorized division concept fearing it would be logistically difficult and that the troops were no longer needed in North Africa. The 7th Infantry Division began rigorous amphibious assault training under US Marines from the Fleet Marine Force, before being deployed to fight in the Pacific theater instead of Africa.[7] USMC General Holland Smith oversaw the unit's training.[18]

Aleutian Islands[edit]

Main article: Aleutian Islands Campaign

A line of soldiers hiking on the side of a snow-covered mountain, viewed from behind
7th Infantry Division troops negotiate snow and ice during the battle on Attu in May

Elements of the 7th Infantry Division first saw combat in the amphibious assault on Attu Island, the westernmost Japanese entrenchment in the Aleutian islands chain of Alaska.[19] Elements landed on 11 May ,[20] spearheaded by the 17th Infantry Regiment. The initial landings were unopposed,[21] but Japanese forces mounted a counteroffensive the next day, and the 7th Infantry Division fought an intense battle over the tundra against strong Japanese resistance.[13] The division was hampered by its inexperience and poor weather and terrain conditions, but was eventually able to coordinate an effective attack.[22] The fight for the island culminated in a battle at Chichagof Harbor,[23] when the division destroyed all Japanese resistance on the island[13] on 29 May, after a suicidal Japanese bayonet charge.[24][25] During its first fight of the war, soldiers of the division were killed, while killing 2, Japanese and taking 28 prisoners.[24] After American forces secured the island chain, the th Infantry Regiment was ordered to stay, and the th Infantry Regiment took its place as the 7th Division's third infantry regiment. The th Infantry remained with the division until the end of the war. The th Infantry Regiment stayed on the island for some time longer until returning to the Lower The th Infantry Regiment was then subsequently sent to Europe, in early and assigned to the th Infantry Division.

American forces then began preparing to move against nearby Kiska island, termed Operation Cottage, the final fight in the Aleutian Islands Campaign.[24] In August , elements of the 7th Infantry Division took part in an amphibious assault on Kiska with a brigade from the 6th Canadian Infantry Division, only to find the island deserted by the Japanese.[13] It was later discovered that the Japanese had withdrawn their 5,soldier garrison during the night of 28 July, under cover of fog.[24]

Marshall Islands[edit]

Main article: Operation Flintlock (World War II)

After the campaign, the division moved to Hawaii where it trained in new amphibious assault techniques on the island of Maui, before returning to Schofield Barracks on Oahu for brief leave. It was reassigned to V Amphibious Corps, a US Marine Corps command.[26] The division left Pearl Harbor on 22 January , for an offensive on Japanese territory.[9] On 30 January , the division landed on islands in the Kwajalein Atoll in conjunction with the 4th Marine Division, code named Operation Flintlock.[27] The 7th Division landed on the namesake island while the 4th Marine Division forces struck the outlying islands of Roi and Namur.[28] The division made landfall on the western beaches of the island at on 1 February.[29] It advanced halfway through the island by nightfall the next day, and reached the eastern shore at hours on 4 February, having wrested the island from the Japanese.[29] The victory put V Amphibious Corps in control of all 47 islands in the atoll. The 7th Infantry Division suffered killed and wounded. On 7 February, the division departed the atoll and returned to Schofield Barracks.[30]

Elements took part in the capture of Engebi in the Eniwetok Atoll on 18 February , code named Operation Catchpole. Because of the speed and success of the attack on Kwajalein, the attack was undertaken several months ahead of schedule.[27] After a week of fighting, the division secured the islands of the atoll.[31] The division then returned to Hawaii to continue training. There, in June , General Douglas MacArthur and President Franklin Roosevelt personally reviewed the division.[30]


A map showing the island of Leyte, with an army planned to land on the northeastern part of the island and advance west
Invasion of Leyte Map, October

The 7th Infantry Division left Hawaii on 11 October, heading for Leyte[32] and include the Filipino troops of the Philippine Commonwealth Army and Philippine Constabulary were aided against the Japanese.[clarification needed] At this time it was under the command of XXIV Corps of the Sixth United States Army.[33][34] On 20 October , the division made an assault landing at Dulag, Leyte,[35] initially only encountering light resistance.[36] Following a defeat at sea on 26 October, the Japanese launched a large, uncoordinated counteroffensive on the Sixth Army.[37] After heavy fighting, the th Infantry secured airstrips at Dulag, while the 17th Infantry secured San Pablo, and the 32nd Infantry took Buri.[31] The 17th Infantry troops moved north to take Dagami on 29 October, in intense jungle warfare that produced high casualties.[31] The division then shifted to the west coast of Leyte on 25 November and attacked north toward Ormoc, securing Valencia on 25 December.[31] An amphibious landing by the 77th Infantry Division effected the capture of Ormoc on 31 December [31] The 7th Infantry Division joined in the occupation of the city, and engaged the 26th Japanese Infantry Division, which had been holding up the advance of the 11th Airborne Division. The 7th Division's attack was successful in allowing the 11th Airborne Division to move through,[30] however, Japanese forces proved difficult to drive out of the area.[38] As such, operations to secure Leyte continued until early February [31] Afterward, the division began training for an invasion of the Ryukyu island chain throughout March [38] It was relieved from the Sixth Army and the Philippine Commonwealth military, which went on to attack Luzon.[39]


Two soldiers hiding behind trees while moving through a thick groove of jungle
Soldiers from the th Infantry advance on a machine gun nest during the Battle of Leyte.

The division was reassigned to XXIV Corps, Tenth United States Army, a newly formed command, and began preparations for the assault on Okinawa.[38][40] The Battle of Okinawa began on 1 April , L-Day, when the 7th Infantry Division participated in an assault landing south of Hagushi, Okinawa alongside the 96th Infantry Division, and the 1st, and 6th Marine Divisions.[41][42] of III Amphibious Corps.[43] These divisions spearheaded an assault that would eventually land , men ashore.[44] The 7th Division quickly moved to Kadena, taking its airfield, and drove from the west to the east coast of the island on the first day.[45] The division then moved south, encountering stiff resistance from fortifications at Shuri a few days later.[43] The Japanese had moved 90 tanks, much of their artillery, and heavy weapons away from the beaches and into this region.[46] Eventually, XXIV Corps destroyed the defenses after a day battle in the hills of southern Okinawa,[31] which was complicated by harsh weather and terrain.[43] During the operation, the division was bombarded with tens of thousands of rounds of field artillery fire, encountering Japanese armed with spears as it continued its fight across the island.[47] Japanese also fought using irregular warfare techniques, relying on hidden cave systems, snipers, and small-unit ambushes to delay the advancing 7th Infantry Division.[48] After the fight, the division began capturing large numbers of Japanese prisoners for the first time in the war, due to low morale, high casualties, and poor equipment.[49] It fought for five continuous days to secure areas around the Nakagusuku Wan and Skyline Ridge. The division also secured Hill in the fighting.[50] It then moved to Kochi Ridge, securing it after a two-week battle. After 39 days of continuous fighting, the 7th Infantry Division was sent into reserve, having suffered heavy casualties.[51]

Men of Co. B, th Inf. Regt., inspect a Japanese mm gun they captured on Okinawa. 29 May
Map of a crescent-shaped island, with plans for four American divisions to land on its western shore
Map of the Okinawa invasion.

After the 96th Infantry Division secured Conical Hill, the 7th Infantry Division returned to the line. It pushed into positions on the southern Ozato Mura hills, where Japanese resistance was heaviest.[52] It was placed on the extreme left flank of the Tenth Army, taking the Ghinen peninsula, Sashiki, and Hanagusuku, fending off a series of Japanese counterattacks.[53] Despite heavy Japanese resistance and prolonged bad weather, the division continued its advance until 21 June , when the battle ended, having seen 82 days of combat.[54] The island and surrendering troops were secured by the next day.[44] During the Battle of Okinawa, the soldiers of the 7th Infantry Division killed between 25, and 28, Japanese soldiers and took 4, prisoners.[9] Balanced against this, the 7th Division suffered 2, killed and 6, wounded for a total of 9, battle casualties[12][n 1] during days of combat.[13] The division was slated to participate in Operation Downfall as a part of XXIV Corps under the First United States Army, but these plans were scrapped after the Japanese surrendered following the use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.[55]

During World War II, soldiers of the 7th Infantry Division were awarded three Medals of Honor, 26 Distinguished Service Crosses, one Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star Medals, 33 Legion of Merit Medals, 50 Soldier's Medals, 3, Bronze Star Medals, and Air Medals.[13] The division received four campaign streamers and a Philippine Presidential Unit Citation during the war.[13] The three Medals of Honor were awarded to Leonard C. Brostrom, John F. Thorson,[57] and Joe P. Martinez.[12]

Occupation of Japan[edit]

A few days after V-J Day, the division moved to Korea to accept the surrender of the Japanese Army in South Korea.[31] After the war, the division served as an occupation force in Korea and Japan. Seven thousand, five hundred members of the unit returned to the United States, and the th Infantry Regiment was reassigned to the California Army National Guard, cutting the division to half its combat strength. To replace it, the 31st Infantry Regiment was assigned to the division.[58] The 7th Infantry Division remained on occupation duty in Korea patrolling the 38th parallel until , when it was reassigned to occupation duty in Japan, in charge of northern Honshū and all of Hokkaido.[59] During this time, the US Army underwent a drastic reduction in size. At the end of World War II, it contained 89 divisions, but by , the 7th Infantry Division was one of only 10 active divisions in the force.[60] It was one of four understrength divisions on occupation duty in Japan alongside the 1st Cavalry Division, 24th Infantry Division, and 25th Infantry Division, all under control of the Eighth United States Army.[61][62]

Korean War[edit]

At the outbreak of the Korean War in June , the 7th Infantry Division commander, Major General David G. Barr, assembled the division at Camp Fuji near Mount Fuji.[63] The division was already depleted due to post-war shortages of men and equipment[61] and further depleted as it sent large numbers of reinforcements to strengthen the 25th Infantry Division and 1st Cavalry Division, which were sent into combat in South Korea in July.[64] The division was reduced to 9, men, half of its wartime strength.[65] To replenish the ranks of the understrength division, the Republic of Korea Army (ROK) assigned over 8, Korean soldiers to the division.[66] The Colombian Battalion was at times attached to the division. With the addition of priority reinforcements from the US, the division strength was eventually increased to 25, when it entered combat.[67] Also fighting with the 7th Infantry Division for much of the war were members of the three successive Kagnew Battalions sent by Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia as part of the UN forces.[68]

A village by a beach filled with landing craft, vehicles, and troops from a recently landed force

The division paired with the 1st Marine Division under US X Corps to participate in the Inchon Landing,[66] code named Operation Chromite.[69] The two divisions would be supported by the US 3rd Infantry Division in reserve.[69] Supported by ships of the US Navy,[70] X Corps began landing at Inchon on 15 September , catching the Korean People's Army (KPA) by surprise.[71] The 7th Infantry Division began landing on 18 September,[72] after the 1st Marine Division, securing its right flank.[73] X Corps quickly advanced to Seoul and the 1st Marine Division attacked the 20, defenders of the city from the north and southwest,[74] while the 7th Infantry Division's 32nd Infantry Regiment attacked from the southeast.[75] The 31st Infantry followed behind.[76][77] Seoul fell to X Corps after suffering moderate casualties, particularly for the Marines.[78] The division then began advancing south to cut off KPA supply routes.[79][80] The 32nd Infantry crossed the Han River on 25 September to create a bridgehead,[81][82] and the next day, the division advanced to Osan 30 miles (48&#;km) south of Seoul[83] and linked up with the 1st Cavalry Division of Eighth United States Army which had broken out from the Pusan perimeter starting on 16 September and then began a general offensive northward against crumbling KPA opposition.[75] Radio miscommunication and attack from nearby KPA forces caused a miscommunication, the soldiers of the 1st Cavalry and 7th Infantry briefly engaged in a small-arms firefight with one another, unable to communicate.[84] Seoul was liberated one day later with the help of air assets from the 1st Cavalry Division.[85] The combined forces of the Eighth Army cut off and captured retreating KPA forces.[86] X Corps was kept separate from the rest of the Eighth Army to avoid placing a burden on the logistical system.[87] As part of the UN offensive into North Korea 7th Division withdrew to Pusan to conduct another amphibious assault on the east coast of North Korea.[88] The entire battle for Inchon and Seoul cost the division killed, wounded and 57 missing American soldiers, and 43 killed, wounded South Korean soldiers.[89] The Chinese People's Volunteer Army (PVA) entered the war on the side of North Korea, making their first attacks in late October.

The 7th Infantry Division began landing at Wonsan on 26 October,[90][91] and Iwon on 29 October.[88] The landing was delayed due to the presence of mines, and by the time X Corps came ashore, ROK forces moving overland had already occupied the ports.[92] The division advanced to Hyesanjin, on the China–North Korea border by the Yalu River, one of the northernmost advances for UN soldiers of the war. Much of X Corps followed behind.[88] On 21 November, the 17th Infantry reached the banks of the Yalu River.[93][94] The advance went quickly for the 7th Infantry Division and ROK troops while the Marines were not able to advance as quickly.[95] The division halted its advance until 24 November while other units of the Eighth Army's IX Corps and ROK II Corps caught up and supply lines were established.[96] During this time, the 7th Division's regiments were spread out on the front line. The 31st Infantry Regiment remained at the Chosin Reservoir with the 1st Marine Division while the 32nd and 17th Infantry Regiments were much further to the northeast, closer to ROK I Corps.[97] It was during this time that the division was served by a new type of unit, the 1st Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (M.A.S.H.).[98]

Chinese intervention[edit]

The UN forces renewed their offensive on 24 November before being stopped by the PVA Second Phase Offensive starting on 25 November with attacks on Eighth Army's IX Corps and ROK II Corps in the west and X Corps in the east.[96] X Corps found itself under attack from the PVA 20th, 26th and 27th Field Armies, commanding a total of 12 divisions.[99] During the furious action that followed, the 7th Infantry Division's spread out regiments were unable to resist the overwhelming PVA forces.[] Three of the division's infantry battalions were attacked from all sides the next day.[] 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry (nicknamed Task Force Faith) was trapped with two other battalions[] by the PVA 80th and 81st Divisions from the 27th Field Army. In the subsequent Battle of Chosin Reservoir, the three battalions were destroyed by overwhelming PVA forces[99] suffering over 2, casualties.[] The 31st Infantry suffered heavy casualties trying to fight back the PVA forces further north, but the 17th Infantry was spared of heavy attack,[] retreating along the Korean coastline, out of range of the offensive.[] By the time X Corps ordered a retreat, most of the 7th Infantry Division, save the 17th Infantry Regiment, had suffered 40 percent casualties.[] The scattered elements of the division saw repeated attacks as they attempted to withdrawal to the port of Hungnam in December [] These attacks cost the division another killed before it was evacuated on 21 December.[] The division suffered 2, killed and wounded during the retreat. Most of the dead were members of Task Force Faith.[93]

The division returned to the front lines in early , spearheaded by the 17th Infantry, which had suffered the fewest casualties from the PVA offensive. Division elements advanced through Tangyang in South Korea, and blocking PVA offensives from the northwest.[] The division reached full strength and saw action around Cheehon, Chungju, and Pyeongchang as part of an effort to push the KPA and PVA forces back above the 38th Parallel and away from Seoul.[] The 7th Infantry Division engaged in a series of successful "limited objective" attacks in the early weeks of February, a series of small unit attacks and ambushes between the two sides.[] It would continue slowly advancing and clearing enemy hilltop positions through April.[] By April the entire Eighth Army was advancing north as one line stretching across the peninsula, reaching the 38th Parallel by May.[] The division, now assigned to IX Corps, then assaulted and fought a fierce three-day battle culminating with the recapture of the terrain that had been lost near the Hwachon Reservoir just over the 38th Parallel in North Korea. In capturing the town bordering on the reservoir it cut off thousands of PVA/KPA troops.[] The division fought on the front lines until June when it was assigned to the reserve for a brief rest and refitting.[9]


When the division returned to the lines in October, after another assignment in reserve, it moved to the Heartbreak Ridge sector recently vacated by the 2nd Infantry Division, where it was supported by the 3rd Infantry Division and 1st Cavalry Division. During this new deployment the division fought in the Battle for Heartbreak Ridge, to take an area of staging grounds for the PVA/KPA armies.[] It remained static in the region until 23 February when it was sent into reserve and relieved by the 25th Infantry Division.[] The next year saw the 7th Division engaged in an extended campaign for nearby land, the Battle of Old Baldy.[] The 7th Division continued to defend "Line Missouri" through September , though it became known as the "Static Line" as UN forces made few meaningful gains in the time.[]

The 7th Infantry Division's Operation Showdown launched in the early morning hours of 14 October , with the 31st Infantry and 32nd Infantry at the head of the attack. The target of the assault was the Triangle Hill complex northeast of Kumhwa.[] The 7th Infantry Division remained in the Triangle Hill area until the end of October, when it was relieved by the 25th Infantry Division. The 7th Infantry Division was highly praised by commanders for its tenacity through the fight.[]

The division continued patrol activity around Old Baldy and Pork Chop Hill into , digging tunnels and building a network of outposts and bunkers on and around the hill.[] In April, the KPA began stepping up offensive operations against UN forces. During the Battle of Porkchop Hill, the PVA 67th and st Divisions overran Pork Chop Hill using massed infantry and artillery fire.[] The hill had been under the control of the 31st Infantry.[] The 31st counterattacked with reinforcements from the 17th Infantry and recaptured the area the next day. On 6 July the PVA/KPA launched a determined attack against Pork Chop resulting in five days of fierce fighting with few meaningful results.[] By the end of July, five infantry battalions from the 31st and 17th were defending the hill, while a PVA division was in position to attack it.[] During this standoff, the UN ordered the 7th Infantry Division to retreat from the hill in preparation for an armistice, which would end major hostilities.[]

During the Korean War, the division saw a total of days of combat, suffering 15, casualties, including 3, killed in action and 10, wounded.[][n 2] For the next few years, the division remained on defensive duty along the 38th parallel, under the command of the Eighth Army.[] Thirteen members of the division received the Medal of Honor for their actions during the Korean War: Charles H. Barker,[]Raymond Harvey,[]Einar H. Ingman Jr.,[]William F. Lyell,[]Joseph C. Rodriguez,[]Richard Thomas Shea, Daniel D. Schoonover,[]Jack G. Hanson,[]Ralph E. Pomeroy,[]Edward R. Schowalter Jr.,[]Benjamin F. Wilson,[]Don C. Faith Jr.,[] and Anthony T. Kahoʻohanohano.[]

Cold War[edit]

From to , the 7th Infantry Division defended the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Its main garrison was Camp Casey, South Korea.[] On 1 July , the division was reorganized as a Reorganization Objective Army Division (ROAD). Three Brigade Headquarters were activated and Infantry units were reorganized into battalions. The division's former headquarters company grew into the 1st Brigade, 7th Infantry Division while the 13th Infantry Brigade was reactivated as the 2nd Brigade, 7th Infantry Division.[10] The 14th Infantry Brigade was reactivated as the 3rd Brigade, 7th Infantry Division[] In the division received its distinctive unit insignia, which alluded to its history during the Korean War.[11]

In October the 7th reactivated at its former garrison, Fort Ord.[] The unit did not see any action in Vietnam or during the post-war era, but was tasked to keep a close watch on South American developments. It trained at Fort Ord, Camp Roberts, Fort Hunter Liggett and Fort Irwin. On 1 October the division was redesignated as the 7th Infantry Division (Light), organized again as a light infantry division.[] It was the first US division specially designed as such. The various battalions of the 31st, and 32nd regiments moved from the division, replaced by battalions from other regiments, including battalions from the 21st Infantry Regiment, the 27th Infantry Regiment, and the 9th Infantry Regiment. The 27th and 9th infantry regiments participated in Operation Golden Pheasant in Honduras.[]

In the 7th Infantry Division participated in Operation Just Cause in Panama, briefly occupying the country in conjunction with the 82nd Airborne Division. Elements of the 7th Infantry Division landed in the northern areas of Colón Province, Panama, securing the Coco Solo Naval Station, Fort Espinar, France Field, and Colón while the 82nd Airborne and US Marines fought in the more heavily populated southern region. Once Panama City was under US control, the 82nd quickly re-deployed and left the city under the control of the 7th Division's 9th Infantry Regiment until after the capture of Manuel Noriega.[] It suffered four killed and three wounded in the operation.[12]

Soldiers of the 7th Infantry Division resting on board a Cwhile on their way to El Toro Air Stationin preparation to combat the Los Angeles riots.

In the Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended the closing of Fort Ord due to the escalating cost of living on the central California coastline. By , Fort Ord closed and the 7th Infantry Division subsequently relocated to Fort Lewis, Washington.[] Elements of the division including the 2nd Brigade participated in one final mission in the United States before inactivation; quelling the Los Angeles riots, as part of Operation Garden Plot.[] The division's soldiers patrolled the streets of Los Angeles to act as crowd control and supported the Los Angeles Police Department and California Army National Guard in preventing the violence from rampaging throughout Los Angeles County.[] It was part of a force of 3, federal troops called into the city.[]

In the division was slated to be inactivated as part of the post-Cold War drawdown of the US Army. The 1st Brigade relocated to Fort Lewis in and was reflagged on 15 August as the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division; while the 2nd Brigade and the 3rd Brigade of the 7th was inactivated at Fort Ord. The division headquarters was formally inactivated on 16 June at Fort Lewis.[]

Organization –

During the Korean DMZ Conflict the Division was organized as follows:


Before the conversion to a Light Division the Division was organized as follows:

Organization [edit]

7th Infantry Division (Light) (click to enlarge)

At the end of the Cold War the division was organized as follows:

  • 7th Infantry Division (Light), Fort Ord, California
    • Headquarters & Headquarters Company
    • 1st Brigade
    • 2nd Brigade
    • 3rd Brigade
    • Aviation Brigade
    • Division Artillery[][][][]
    • Division Support Command
      • Headquarters & Headquarters Company
      • 7th Medical Battalion[]
      • 7th Supply & Transportation Battalion[]
      • th Maintenance Battalion[][]
      • Company D, rd Aviation (Maintenance, redesignated Company E, rd Aviation on 16 October )
    • 2nd Battalion, 62nd Air Defense Artillery
    • 13th Engineer Battalion
    • th Signal Battalion[]
    • th Military Intelligence Battalion[]
    • 7th Military Police Company
    • st Chemical Company
    • 7th Division Band

National Guard training command and Fort Carson[edit]

At the end of the Cold War, the US Army considered new options for the integration and organization of active duty, Army Reserve and Army National Guard units in training and deployment. Two division headquarters activated in the active duty component for training National Guard units. The 7th Infantry Division and the 24th Infantry Division headquarters were selected.[] The subordinate brigades of the divisions did not activate so they could not be deployed as divisions, however their active duty status would allow the headquarters to focus on the national guard units under them full-time.[]

The headquarters company of the 7th Infantry Division (Light) formally reactivated on 4 June , at Fort Carson, Colorado, as the first Active Component/Reserve Component division.[] The reserve formations that made up the 7th Infantry Division included the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Arkansas National Guard, the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Oregon National Guard and the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Oklahoma National Guard. Fort Carson became the new headquarters for the division.[]

The division headquarters also provided training assistance in preparation for small-scale National Guard operations, Joint Readiness Training Center rotations, leadership training for National Guard commanders, and annual summer training for the three brigades.[] As a part of this commitment, the 7th Infantry Division headquarters would deploy a command element to serve as higher headquarters for large-scale training and field exercises, evaluating and coordinating the units as they trained. It would also conduct quarterly status checks with the three brigades to discuss readiness and resource issues affecting those units, ensuring that they were at peak performance should they be needed.[]

To expand upon the concept of Reserve component and National Guard components, the First Army activated Division East and Division West, two commands responsible for training reserve units' readiness and mobilization exercises. Division West, activated at Fort Carson.[] This transformation was part of an overall restructuring of the US Army to streamline the organizations overseeing training. The Division West took control of reserve units in 21 states west of the Mississippi River, eliminating the need for the 7th Infantry Division headquarters.[] As such it was subsequently inactivated for the last time on 22 August at Fort Carson.[]

Though it was inactivated, the division was identified as the highest priority inactive division in the United States Army Center of Military History's scheme based on age, campaign participation credit, and unit decorations.[] All of the division's flags and heraldic items were moved to the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, Georgia following its inactivation.[] At the time it was determined that, should the US Army decide to activate more divisions in the future, the center would most likely suggest the first new division be the 7th Infantry Division, the second be the 9th Infantry Division, the third be the 24th Infantry Division, the fourth be the 5th Infantry Division, and the fifth be the 2nd Armored Division.[]

Headquarters reactivation[edit]

On 26 April , Secretary of the ArmyJohn M. McHugh announced the 7th Infantry Division headquarters would be reactivated at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in October The headquarters element of about would not activate any subordinate brigades. Instead, it filled an administrative role as a non-deployable unit. In the announcement, McHugh noted the base is home to I Corps, which until then had directly overseen 10 subordinate brigades on the base, while other bases with similar corps headquarters had active division commands for intermediate oversight. The unit oversees the 2nd and 3rd Brigade Combat Teams of the 2nd Infantry Division, as well as the 17th Field Artillery Brigade, st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, and th Engineer Brigade, about 21, personnel. The mission of the headquarters primarily focuses on making sure soldiers are properly trained and equipped, and that order and discipline is maintained in its subordinate brigades.[]

In the announcement, McHugh denied that the move was made in response to several high-profile misconduct allegations leveled against soldiers from the base in the Afghanistan War such as the Maywand District murders and the Kandahar massacre.[] Major General Stephen R. Lanza, the Army's chief of public affairs, was tapped to lead the division.[] It activated on the base on 10 October []

Current structure[edit]

7th Infantry Division organization
  • 7th Infantry division Shoulder Sleve insignia.png 7th Infantry Division is based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. This division consists of the 1st and 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Teams from the 2nd Infantry Division, The 81st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division Artillery and 16th Combat Aviation Brigade.
    • 2nd Infantry Division SSI (full color).svg1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team (1st SBCT), 2nd Infantry Division based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
    • 2nd Infantry Division SSI (full color).svg2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team (2nd SBCT), 2nd Infantry Division based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
    • 7th Infantry division Shoulder Sleve insignia.png81st Stryker Brigade Combat Team (81st SBCT)[][]
    • 2nd Infantry Division SSI (full color).svgDivision Artillery, 2nd Infantry Division based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
      • 2nd Infantry Division DUI.png Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC)
    • 16 Avn Bde SSI.jpg16th Combat Aviation Brigade (16th CAB)
      • 16 Avn Bde DUI.jpgHeadquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC)
      • 6CavRegtDUI.PNG 4th Squadron (Heavy-Attack Reconnaissance), 6th Cavalry Regiment, (4th Heavy-Attack Reconnaissance Squadron 6th Cavalry Regiment) AHE Apache and RQ-7 Shadow
      •  Avn Rgt DUI.png 1st Battalion (Attack), th Aviation Regiment, (1st Attack Battalion th Aviation Regiment) AHE Apache
      •  Avn Rgt DUI.jpg2nd Battalion (Assault), th Aviation Regiment, (2nd Assault Battalion th Aviation Regiment) UH Black Hawk
      • 52 Avn Rgt DUI.png 1st Battalion (General Support), 52nd Aviation Regiment, (1st General Support Battalion 52nd Aviation Regiment) UH, CH Chinook and UHA+ (MEDEVAC) (supporting US Army Alaska)
      • 46 Spt Bn DUI.png 46th Aviation Support Battalion (46th ASB)


The 7th Infantry Division was awarded one campaign streamer in World War I, four campaign streamers and two unit decorations in World War II, and ten campaign streamers and two unit decorations in the Korean War, for a total of fifteen campaign streamers and four unit decorations in its operational history.[]

Unit decorations[edit]

Campaign streamers[edit]


Commanders of the 7th Infantry Division have included:[][]

  • COL Guy H. Preston, January
  • BGCharles H. Barth, January - February
  • BG Tiemann N. Horn, February
  • BG Charles H. Barth, February - June
  • BG Tiemann N. Horn, June
  • BG Charles H. Barth, June - October
  • BG Lutz Wahl, October
  • MGEdmund Wittenmyer, October - January
  • BG Guy H. Preston, January
  • MG Edmund Wittenmyer, January - May
  • BG Lutz Wahl, May
  • MG Edmund Wittenmyer, May - June
  • BG Lutz Wahl, July - October
  • MG Edward F. McGlachlin Jr., October - July
  • MG Charles J. Bailey, July - August
  • MG Harry H. Bandholtz, August - September
  • Division inactive, 22 September - 1 July
  • MG Joseph W. Stilwell, July - August
  • MG Charles H. White, August - April
  • MG Albert E. Brown, April - May
  • MG Eugene M. Landrum. May - July
  • BG Archibald V. Arnold, July - September
  • MG Charles H. Corlett, September - February
  • MG Archibald V. Arnold, February - September
  • BG Joseph L. Ready, September - March
  • MG Andrew D. Bruce, March - June
  • BG Leroy J. Stewart, June - October
  • BG Harlan N. Hartness, October - January
  • MG John B. Coulter, January - June
  • BG Edwin W. Piburn, June - September
  • MG William F. Dean, September - May
  • MG David G. Barr, May - January
  • MG Claude B. Ferenbaugh, January - December
  • MG Lyman L. Lemnitzer, December - July
  • MG Wayne C. Smith, July - March
  • MG Arthur G. Trudeau, March - October
  • MG Lionel C. McGarr, October - May
  • MG Edmund B. Sehree, May - August
  • MG Paul W. Caraway, August - April
  • BG Ralph J. Butchers, April - June
  • MG Carl H. Jark, June - September
  • MG Thomas J. Sands, September - April
  • MG Normando Antonio Costello, April - June
  • MG Teddy H. Sanford, June - August
  • MG Tom R. Stoughton, August - September
  • BG Frank S. Henry, September - January
  • MG Chester A. Dahlen, January - August
  • MG David W. Gray, August - June
  • MG Ferdinand T. Unger, June - August
  • MG Chester L. Johnson, August - July
  • MG Frederick W. Boye Jr., July - September
  • MG William A. Enemark, September - August
  • MG Osmund A. Leahy, August - November
  • BG James K. Terry, November - January
  • MG Edward P. Smith, January to May
  • MG Harold G. Moore, May to April
  • Division inactive, 2 April - 21 October
  • MG William Hardin Harrison, January to July
  • MG Edward J. Burba, July - June
  • MG Carmen J. Cavezza, June to May
  • MG Jerry A. White, May to September
  • MG Marvin L. Covault, September to April
  • MG Richard F. Timmons, March - September
  • Division inactive, 1 October - 4 June
  • MG John M. Riggs, June
  • MG Edward Soriano, June to October
  • MG Charles C. Campbell, October to October
  • MG Robert (Bob) Wilson, October to January
  • MG Robert W. Mixon Jr., January to August
  • Division inactive, August - 11 October
  • MG Stephen R. Lanza, October to February
  • MG Terry Ferrell, February to August
  • MG Thomas S. James Jr., August to July
  • MG Willard M. Burleson, July to August
  • MG Xavier T. Brunson, August to May
  • MG Stephen G. Smith, May to present[2]



  1. ^A US Army publication gave these numbers as 1, killed, and around 6, wounded, to make total casualties for World War II 8, (Young , p.&#;)
  2. ^A division history from Turner Publishing Company gave this figure as 3, killed, 10, wounded for a total of 14, casualties in the Korean War. (Gardener & Stahura , p.&#;77)


  1. ^Gardener & Stahura , p.&#;6
  2. ^ ab"Major General Stephen G. Smith (USA)". Retrieved 14 May
  3. ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 August Retrieved 22 August CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^Division, 7th Infantry. "STAND-TO!". www.army.mil.
  5. ^"New space, cyber battalion activates at JBLM". www.army.mil.
  6. ^"The U.S. Army's Experimental "Multi-Domain" Units Are Practicing How to Battle Chinese Warships". news.yahoo.com.
  7. ^ abcdefghiGardener & Stahura , p.&#;10
  8. ^ abcde"History of the 7th Division"(PDF). 16 March
  9. ^ abcdefghijklmn"7th Infantry Division Homepage: History". 7th Infantry Division. Archived from the original on 19 April Retrieved 27 April
  10. ^ abMcGrath , p.&#;
  11. ^ ab"The Institute of Heraldry: 7th Infantry Division". The Institute of Heraldry. Archived from the original on 2 October Retrieved 9 June
  12. ^ abcdGardener & Stahura , p.&#;77
  13. ^ abcdefgYoung , p.&#;
  14. ^"Order of Battle - American Forces - World War I". New River Notes. Independence, VA: Grayson County Virginia, Heritage Foundation Inc. Retrieved 11 June
  15. ^ abcdWilson , p.&#;
  16. ^Clay, Steven E. (). U.S. Army Order of Battle . Combat Studies Institute Press. ISBN&#;.
  17. ^Young , p.&#;
  18. ^Gardener & Stahura , p.&#;
  19. ^Gardener & Stahura , p.&#;11
  20. ^Horner , p.&#;41
  21. ^Gardener & Stahura , p.&#;12
  22. ^Gardener & Stahura , pp.&#;13–16
  23. ^Gardener & Stahura , p.&#;14
  24. ^
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7th_Infantry_Division_(United_States)

United States Army 7th Infantry Division (Bayonet Division)

U. S. ARMY 7TH INFANTRY DIVISION (BAYONET DIVISION) -  "Bayonet Division" – this nickname "became synonymous with the division through its participation in the Korean War and symbolizes the fighting spirit of the men of the 7th Infantry division." Also called "H-Hour" from their Shoulder patch: Red circular patch bearing black hour glass which is formed by an inverted "7" and a superimposed "7".  The 7th Infantry Division is an infantry division of the United States Army.  Today, it exists as a unique man deployable headquarters based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord overseeing several units, though none of the 7th Infantry Division's own historic forces are active.

The division was first activated in December in World War I, and based at Fort Ord, California for most of its history.  Although elements of the division saw brief active service in World War I, it is best known for its participation in the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II where it took heavy casualties engaging the Imperial Japanese Army in the Aleutian Islands, Leyte, and Okinawa.   Following the Japanese surrender in , the division was stationed in Japan and South Korea, and with the outbreak of the Korean War in was one of the first units in action.

WWII Casualties

  • Total battle casualties: 9,
  • Killed in action: 1,
  • Wounded in action: 7,
  • Missing in action: 4
  • Prisoner of war: 2

From to , the 7th Infantry Division defended the Korean Demilitarized Zone.  Its main garrison was Camp Casey, South Korea.  At the end of the Cold War, the US Army considered new options for the integration and organization of active duty, Army Reserve and Army National Guard units in training and deployment.  Two division headquarters activated in the active duty component for training National Guard units.  The 7th Infantry Division and the 24th Infantry Division headquarters were selected.  Though it was inactivated, the division was identified as the highest priority inactive division in the United States Army Center of Military History's scheme based on age, campaign participation credit, and unit decorations.  The 7th Infantry Division was awarded one campaign streamer in World War I, four campaign streamers and two unit decorations in World War II, and ten campaign streamers and two unit decorations in the Korean War, for a total of fifteen campaign streamers and four unit decorations in its operational history.

Sours: https://www.cityofgroveok.gov/building/page/united-states-army-7th-infantry-division-bayonet-division
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Elements of the 7th Infantry Division first saw combat in the amphibious assault on Attu, western-most Japanese entrenchment in the Aleutian chain. Elements landed, 11 May , and fought a bitter battle over freezing tundra against fanatically resisting Japanese, finally defeating the Japanese at Chichagof Harbor. In August elements of the Division took part in the assault on Kiska, only to find the island deserted by the Japanese.

With the Aleutians secured, the Division moved to Hawaii, where it trained in amphibious landing technique and in jungle warfare. On 31 January the Division landed on islands in the Kwajalein Atoll in conjunction with the 4th Marine Division, and in a week of heavy fighting, wrested them from the Japanese. Elements took part in the capture of Engebi in the Eniwetok Atoll, 18 February The Division then moved to Oahu, remaining there until mid-September when it sailed to join the assault on the Philippines.

On 20 October , the Division made an assault landing at Dulag, Leyte, and after heavy fighting secured airstrips at Dulag, San Pablo, and Buri. The troops moved north to take Dagami, 29 October, and then shifted to the west coast of Leyte, 26 November, and attacked north toward Ormoc, securing Valencia, 25 December. An amphibious landing by the 77th Infantry Division effected the capture of Ormoc, 11 December , and the 7th joined in its occupation. Mopping up operations continued until early February Next D-day for the Division was 1 April , when it made an assault landing on Okinawa. It drove from the west to the east coast on the first day and engaged in a savage day battle in the hills of southern Okinawa.

Sours: https://www.armydivs.com/7th-infantry-division

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Infantry division 7th

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7th Infantry Division

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