|27th Infantry Division (1917-54)|
27th Armored Division (1954-67)
|Branch||United States Army|
"New York Division"
|Engagements||World War I Iraq War (as 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)|
|Major General John F. O'Ryan|
The 27th Infantry Division was a unit of the Army National Guard in World War I and World War II. The division traces its history from the New York Division, formed originally in 1908. The 6th Division designation was changed to the 27th Division in July 1917.
When the New York Division was organized in 1908, New York became the second state, after Pennsylvania, to structure its National Guard at such a high tactical level in peacetime. The New York Division was called to active duty during the Mexican border crisis of 1916. While on federal duty, it was redesignated as the 6th Division in June 1916. It was released from active duty in December 1916, only to be recalled for World War I service in July 1917. The 6th Division was reorganized and redesignated as the 27th Division on 1 October 1917.
The division was one of only three divisions formed from units entirely from a single state's National Guard; the other two being Illinois and Pennsylvania. However, not all New Yorkers served in the 27th. Its initial strength was 991 officers and 27,114 enlisted men. The division's initial organization of three brigades with three infantry regiments each was carried over from the 6th Division
Prior to its departing to training, the division participated in a large send-off parade in New York City along 5th Avenue on 30 August 1917. The 7th Infantry Regiment was the first to leave for training on 11 September 1917, by train. The training was conducted at a purpose-built temporary facility at Camp Wadsworth, Spartanburg, South Carolina. Nearby hotels such as the Cleveland Hotel became centers for social life. The camp also housed seven YMCA Huts and a Knights of Columbus Hall. While the 27th had African-American service-men they were not permitted to enter the service organization clubs on base, which were segregated, until a black soldier's club was built in early 1918.
In the spring of 1918, the division began its movement toward embarkation camps, and shipped out on 20 April 1918. The division's advance detachment left Hoboken on 2 May and arrived at Brest, France, 10 May 1918. Late in June the last units of the Twenty-Seventh Division had arrived safely overseas.
From the arrival of the first troops to the Western Front until 24 July, the division spent its time undertaking its final stages of training under British mentors in Picardy and Flanders. On 25 July, the 27th Division, excluding its artillery brigade and ammunition train, occupied the Dickebusch Lake and Scherpenberg sectors in Flanders.
In just over a month, this operation merged into the Ypres-Lys action, and then, from 19 August to 3 September, the 27th was on its own.
It was decided by Field Marshal Douglas Haig that the Fourth Army's Australian Corps would lead the Battle of St. Quentin Canal . However, due to the Corps depleted nature, which was a result of fighting almost continuously, it would be reinforced by the 27th and 30th divisions, which resulted in II Corps being temporarily reassigned under Australian command. This great Somme "push", which lasted from 24 September to 1 October, saw the 27th engaged in severe fighting along the Saint Quentin Canal Tunnel--one of the out-lying strong points of the Hindenburg Line. At the conclusion of the first phase of the battle, and following heavy losses, the 27th was placed into reserve for rest and recuperation. Six days later, the division was sent back into the line, moving steadily toward Busigny whilst chasing the retreating Germans. These operations were supported by Australian Artillery until 9 October, when British artillery units began supporting the division's operations. As a result of these offensives by the Australian, British and US forces, the Hindenburg's Main Line was penetrated.
The 52d Field Artillery Brigade and the 102nd Ammunition Train of the New York Division had not gone with the rest of the Twenty-seventh Division to the British front in Flanders. They had moved up on 28 October, to support the Seventy-Ninth Division in the Argonne.
Meanwhile, the Twenty-Seventh Division units which had seen heavy action in Flanders, had moved back to an area near the French seaport of Brest.
The 27th did break the Hindenburg line during the Battle of the Somme and forced a German retreat from their defensive line and forced the Germans to a final confrontation. After a final confrontation with the retreating Germans at the Selle River the Armistice ended the fighting and the division was sent home in February 1919, to be mustered out several months later. The division had sustained a total of 8,334 (KIA: 1,442; WIA: 6,892) casualties when it was inactivated on April 1919.
On 15 October 1940, the division was called into federal service, and sent to Fort McClellan, Alabama, for training. It was the first division to be deployed in the continental United States. Following the Battle of Pearl Harbour, on 14 December 1941, the division was sent to southern California.
The first stateside division to be deployed in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor, the 27th Division departed Fort McClellan 14 December 1941 for California to establish blocking positions against an anticipated seaborne invasion of the United States southwestern coast. They were further transferred into the Pacific Theater of Operations and arrived in Hawaii, 21 May 1942, to defend the outer islands from amphibious attack. The 165th Infantry and 3rd Battalion, 105th Infantry first saw action against the enemy during the attack and capture of Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands, 21-24 November 1943. The 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 106th Regiment participated in the attack on Eniwetok Atoll, 19-26 February 1944, returning to Oahu in March. During this mission, the 2nd Battalion, 106th Infantry landed unopposed on Majuro Island, 1 February, and completed its seizure, 3 February. The division began preparations for the Marianas operations, 15 March. On D-day plus 1, 16 June 1944, elements landed at night on Saipan to support the Second and Fourth Marine Divisions. A beachhead was established and Aslito Airfield captured, 18 June. Fighting continued throughout June. Marine General Holland Smith, unsatisfied with the performance of the 27th Division, relieved its commander, Army General Ralph C. Smith., which led to angry recrimination from senior Army commanders, including Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall. During a pitched battle, 7 July, Japanese overran elements of the division in a banzai attack, but organized resistance was crushed the next day. During the months of July and August, the 27th cleaned out isolated pockets in the mountains and cliffs of Saipan.
Beginning in the middle of August, the division moved to the New Hebrides for rest and rehabilitation. On 25 March 1945, the 27th sailed from Espiritu Santo, arriving at Okinawa, 9 April 1945. The Division participated in the XXIV Corps general attack, 19 April 1945, securing a dominating ridge line south of Machinato and Kakazu. Machinato Airfield was captured, 28 April, after a severe struggle. On 1 May, the division was relieved by the 1st Marine Division and attached to the Island Command for garrison duty. Tori Shima was seized, 12 May, without opposition. The 27th attacked from the south end of Ishikawa Isthmus to sweep the northern sector of Okinawa. The enemy fought bitterly on Onnatake Hill from 23 May until 2 June, before losing the strong point. After a mopping-up period, the division left Okinawa, 7 September 1945, moved to Japan and occupied Niigata and Fukushima Prefectures. As a result of the Second World War, the division sustained a total of 6,533 casualties, of those were 1,512 killed in action, 4,980 wounded in action, 40 missing in action, and one prisoner of war.
|Unit||Campaign participation credit|
|Headquarters, 27th Infantry Division||Central Pacific, Ryukyus, Western Pacific (Ground)|
|105th Infantry Regiment||Central Pacific, Ryukyus, Western Pacific (Ground)|
|106th Infantry Regiment||Eastern Mandates (Ground), Ryukyus, Western Pacific (Ground)|
|165th Infantry Regiment||Central Pacific, Ryukyus, Western Pacific (Ground)|
|Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 27th Infantry Division Artillery||Ryukyus, Western Pacific (Ground)|
|104th Field Artillery Battalion||Eastern Mandates (Ground), Ryukyus, Western Pacific (Ground)|
|105th Field Artillery Battalion||Ryukyus, Western Pacific (Ground)|
|106th Field Artillery Battalion||Ryukyus, Western Pacific (Ground)|
|249th Field Artillery Battalion||Ryukyus, Western Pacific (Ground)|
|102nd Engineer Combat Battalion||Central Pacific, Eastern Mandates (Ground), Ryukyus, Western Pacific (Ground)|
|102nd Medical Battalion||Central Pacific, Eastern Mandates (Ground), Ryukyus, Western Pacific (Ground)|
|27th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop (Mechanized)||Ryukyus, Western Pacific (Ground)|
|Headquarters, Special Troops, 27th Infantry Division||Ryukyus|
|Headquarters Company, 27th Infantry Division||Central Pacific, Ryukyus, Western Pacific (Ground)|
|727th Ordnance Light Maintenance Company||Ryukyus, Western Pacific (Ground)|
|27th Quartermaster Company||Central Pacific, Ryukyus, Western Pacific (Ground)|
|27th Signal Company||Central Pacific, Eastern Mandates (Ground), Ryukyus, Western Pacific (Ground)|
|Military Police Platoon||Ryukyus, Western Pacific (Ground)|
|Band||Ryukyus, Western Pacific (Ground)|
|27th Counterintelligence Corps Detachment||Ryukyus|
The division was reformed as a National Guard formation on 21 April 1947. The division was reconstituted along the lines of its wartime structure with limited reorganizations.
In February 1955 the 27th Division became the 27th Armored Division, retaining many of its former units.
The 27th Brigade was later reorganized as the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and reestablished use of the 27th Infantry Division's NYD shoulder sleeve insignia. The 27th Infantry Brigade carries on the lineage and history of the 27th Infantry Division.
Initially 3 brigades consisting of 3 infantry regiments each, for a total of nine regiments. Reorganized into 2 brigades of 2 infantry regiments each.
The artillery elements were reassigned upon arrival in France, and did not see service with the 27th Division during combat.
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