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5th Infantry Division, United States Army, World War I

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The 5th Division

The 5th Division was activated on 11 December 1917, just over eight months after the American entry into World War I, at Camp Logan, near Houston, Texas and began training for deployment to the Western Front. The entire division had arrived in France by 1 May 1918 and components of the units were deployed into the front line. The 5th Division was the eighth of forty-two American divisions to arrive on the Western Front.

The 5th Division trained with French Army units from 1 to 14 June 1918. The first soldiers of the unit to be killed in action died on 14 June of that year. Among the division's first casualties was Captain Mark W. Clark, then commanding the 3rd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment, who would later become a four-star general. On 12 September, the unit was part of a major attack that reduced the salient at St. Mihiel. The division later fought in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the largest battle fought by the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) (and the largest in the history of the U.S. Army) in World War I. The war ended soon after, on November 11, 1918.[1]

Shoulder insignia, a red diamond. The division was organized at Camp Logan, Texas in latter part of May, 1917. The first organization to leave for overseas, entrained for Camp Merritt about the first of March. Division headquarters arrived at Havre, France, May 1, 1918. Sent to the Bar-sur-Aube area for training; June 1st moved by rail to the Vosges. Entered the Colmar sector in conjunction with the 21st Division (French) and remained there until July 16th. The division then moved by bus to the St. Die sector, and on the 23d of August, moved by bus and road to the St. Mihiel sector. In the St. Mihiel operation this division was a part of the 1st Army Corps and was placed in the line northeast of Regnieville-en-Haye with the 2nd Division on their left and the 90th Division on their right. The division continued in the St. Mihiel offensive until September 16th when it moved by road and bus to the Argonne front and went into the attack on October 12th east of Montfaucon. The division continued in the attack until October 22d when it was relieved by the 90th Division, and was withdrawn to the vicinity of Malancourt. On October 27th the division was again brought into the attack southwest of Brieulles, crossed the Meuse river and took Dun-sur-Meuse and continued the attack until November 11th, when it had reached a position just south of Marville. On November 13th the division was moved back to the vicinity of Murvaux and on November 20th to Lion-Devant-Dun. When the 3d Army was formed this division constituted a part of the command and was marched to the vicinity of Longwy where it was placed in charge of the lines of communication, taking over the control of the territory in its area. On December 8th the division marched to vicinity of Remich, Luxembourg and upon arrival there was placed under command of the 2d Army.[2]

The division captured from the enemy the following: 2,405 prisoners, ninety-eight pieces of artillery, 802 machine guns and made a total advance of twenty-nine kilometers against resistance. Battle losses: killed, 1908, wounded, 7,975, prisoners of war, ninety-eight men. Distinguished Service Crosses awarded, 163.

  • Major General James E. McMahon, U.S.A. from December 13, 1917 until October 24, 1918;
  • Major-General Hanson E. Ely from October 24 to November 11th.

The 5th Infantry Division was assigned to:

Primary subordinate units were:

For the primary, peacetime category, see:

For more information on the 5th Infantry Division during World War I See:

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