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28th Infantry Division, United States Army, World War I

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The 28th Infantry Division ( nicknamed the Keystone Division) is the oldest continuously serving division in the United States Army Formed initially from Pennsylvania National Guard units, the 28th Division was engaged with the enemy beginning in late June, 1918 south of the Marne River, and continuing through the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, September 26 - November 11, 1918. In response to World War I, the division was drafted into federal service on Aug. 5, 1917 After arriving in France, the 28th gained fame as a result of its gallant stand on July 15, 1918. As the division took up defensive positions along the Marne River east of Chateau-Thierry, the Germans commenced their attack with a fierce artillery bombardment. When the German assault collided with the main force of the 28ID, the fighting became bitter hand-to-hand combat. The 28ID repelled the German forces and decisively defeated their enemy. After the battle, Gen. John Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force, visited the battlefield and declared that the 28ths soldiers are "Men of Iron" and named the 28th his "Iron Division." The 28ID developed a red keystone-shaped shoulder patch, officially adopted Oct. 27, 1918. During the war, it took a total of 14,139 casualties (2,165 killed and 11,974 wounded). 2 individuals received the Medal of Honor: Sergeant James I. Mestrovitch, Company C, 111th Infantry; and Major Joseph H. Thompson, Headquarters, 110th Infantry. World War II The division, was reactivated on February 17, 1941 during World War II On July 22, 1944, the division landed in Normandy and pushed east towards the French capital of Paris .During the Liberation of Paris on August 29, 1944 the men of the 28th entered Paris and were given the honor of marching down the Champs-Elysées on August 29, 1944. After a protracted struggle on the Siegfried Line on the Dragon's teeth (fortification) infested Westwall the Division crossed the Our River by bridge from Weiswampach, Luxembourg into Sevenig (Our), Germany, making it the first of the Allied armies to reach German soil. The 28th suffered excessive casualties that autumn in the costly and ill-conceived Battle of Hürtgen Forest. The 28th, which had sustained heavy casualties during the The Ardennes Offensive ( Battle of The Bulge), where they fought doggedly in place using all available personnel and threw off the enemy timetable before withdrawing. At the end of November1944 the 28th Division assisted French Forces in eliminating aGerman "pocket" of resistance formed Alsace region centered in the city of Colmar. By February 2, the 28th had cleared Colmar's surrounding areas and the French 5th Armored Division led the way into the town. On 9 February, the final organized German troops in Alsace were pushed back across the Rhine. Casualties: Total battle casualties: 16,762, Killed in action: 2,316, wounded in action: 9,609, Missing in action: [1][2]

Known as the "Keystone Division." Insignia, a red keystone. Organized from units of the Pennsylvania National Guard at Camp Hancock, Ga., August 5, 1917. The majority of the officers and enlisted men were from the State of Pennsylvania. On November 15th the division was reorganized to conform to the new Tables of Organization.

The division commenced leaving the States April 21, 1918, moving through Camp Upton. It landed at Calais May 18th and trained with the British in the vicinity of Nielles les Blequin for about two weeks. It then moved to Gonesse where it trained with the French for another two weeks' period, and then moved to a sector near the Marne.

On July 1, 1918, two platoons of the 11th Infantry took part in an attack on hill 204. On July 16th part of the infantry entered the line on the Marne River and the entire division was in sector on the Ourcq river by July 27, 1918.

The division was relieved on the night of July 30th-31st, and from then to August 6th was in rest in the vicinity of Jaulgonne on the Marne. On the night of August 6th-7th, it again entered the line on the Vesle river, the sector extending from about Courlandon on the east to Fismes on the west. Here it remained actively engaged until Sept. 8th, when it was relieved by a French division. Upon relief of the division, it moved to a position south of the Argonne forest, and on Sept. 20th took part of the sector extending from Boureuilles on the east to Cote 285 on the west. It was one of the attacking divisions in the offensive of Sept. 26th, pushing as far as Chatel Chehery, where it was relieved on Oct. 9th. It then moved by bus to an area northeast of Commercy.

On Oct. 16th it took over a sector near Thiaucourt extending from northeast to Jaulny on the east to the southern end of Etany de Lachaussee on the west. It held this sector until the signing of the armistice and then went to the divisional training area.

To include May 15, 1919, the division's casualties were 2,531 battle deaths, and 13,746 wounded. Seven hundred and twenty-six individuals of this division were taken prisoners by the enemy. Distinguished Service Crosses awarded, 58. [3]


  • Maj. Gen. C. M. Clement to Dec. 11, 1917
  • Maj. Gen. Chas. H. Muir, Dec. 15, 1917, to Oct. 24, 1918
  • Maj. Gen. Wm. H. Hay, Oct. 24 to Nov. 11, 1918.

For more information on the 28th Infantry Division during World War I See:


  1. http://www.png.pa.gov/army_national_guard/28th_infantry_division/Pages/default.aspx
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/28th_Infantry_Division_(United_States)
  3. http://www.newrivernotes.com/topical_history_ww1_oob_american_forces.htm

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