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, the New York National Guard
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.
World War I
In World War I, New York's 27th Division was one of only three divisions formed from units entirely from a single state 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.
*Casualties: Total 8,334 (KIA
: 1,442; WIA
* Inactivated: April 1919.
*Maj. Gen. John F. O'Ryan
(16 July 1917);
*Brig. Gen. Charles L. Phillips
(19 September 1917);
*Maj. Gen. J. F. O'Ryan (6 December 1917);
*Brig. Gen. C. L. Phillips (23 December 1917);
*Maj. Gen. J. F. O'Ryan (29 December 1917);
*Brig. Gen. C. L. Phillips (22 February 1918);
*Maj. Gen. J. F. O'Ryan (1 March 1918);
*Brig. Gen. Palmer E. Pierce
(16 June 1918);
*Maj. Gen. J. F. O'Ryan (18 June 1918);
*Brig. Gen. Palmer E. Pierce (14 November 1918);
*Maj. Gen. J. F. O'Ryan (23 November 1918)
Chain of command deployed
* Fourth Army, British Expeditionary Force
** II Corps, American Expeditionary Force
The division's initial organization of three brigades with three infantry regiments each was carried over from the 6th Division
Organization Jul – Nov 1917
**Brigade Field Artillery
***1st Field Artillery
***2nd Field Artillery
***3rd Field Artillery
***Squadron A and Machine Gun Troop
***1st Battalion, Signal Corps
***Headquarters Ambulance Companies
****1st Ambulance Company
****2nd Ambulance Company
****3rd Ambulance Company
****4th Ambulance Company
***Headquarters Field Hospital
****1st Field Hospital
****2nd Field Hospital
****3rd Field Hospital
****4th Field Hospital
Organization from Nov 1917
Initially 3 brigades consisting of 3 infantry regiments each, for a total of nine regiments. Reorganized into 2 brigades of 2 infantry regiments each.
* Headquarters, 27th Division
* 53rd Infantry Brigade
** 105th Infantry Regiment
** 106th Infantry Regiment
** 105th Machine Gun Battalion
*54th Infantry Brigade
** 107th Infantry Regiment
** 108th Infantry Regiment
** 106th Machine Gun Battalion
* 52nd Field Artillery Brigade
** 104th Field Artillery Regiment (75 mm)
** 105th Field Artillery Regiment (75 mm)
** 106th Field Artillery Regiment (155 mm)
** 102nd Trench Mortar Battery
* 104th Machine Gun Battalion
* 102nd Engineer Regiment
* 102nd Field Signal Battalion
* Headquarters Troop, 27th Division
* 102nd Train Headquarters and Military Police
** 102nd Ammunition Train
** 102nd Supply Train
** 102nd Engineer Train
** 102nd Sanitary Train
*** 105th, 106th, 107th, and 108th Ambulance Companies and Field Hospitals
The artillery elements were reassigned upon arrival in France, and did not see service with the 27th Division during combat.
Prior to 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.
The division shipped out on 20 April 1918.
6:15 A.M.-Reveille and assembly.
6:35 – Mess.
6:55 – Sick call.
7:30-Assembly for Drill.
11:30-Recall from Drill.
11:35-First Sergeant's call.
12:55 P.M-First Call for Drill.
5:40-First Call for Retreat.
10:45-Call to Quarters.
Called into federal service on 15 July 1917, the Twenty-Seventh Division hastily recruited to increase its numbers and late in August, was concentrated at Camp Wadsworth, near Spartanburg, SC, for intensive training. In the spring of 1918, the division began its movement toward embarkation camps. 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.
Until 24 July the division was in the final stages of training under British mentors, in Picardy and Flanders. On 25 July, the 27th Division less its artillery brigade and 102nd Ammunition Trains, 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.
The great Somme "push," lasting from 24 September to 1 October, saw the 27th (under command of the Australian Corps with the 30th US Division) engaged in severe fighting along the Saint Quentin Canal
Tunnel—one of the out-lying strong points of the supposedly impregnable Hindenburg Line. Following heavy losses, the 27th was placed into reserve for rest and replacements at the conclusion of the first phase of the Somme Push. Six days later the Twenty-Seventh Division was back into action again, moving steadily toward Busigny on the heels of the retiring Germans. Operations until 9 October were supported by Australian Artillery then by British artillery units.
The 27th Division had, in conjunction with British and Australian forces and the 30th Division, American Expeditionary Force, cracking the Hindenburg line wide open.
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.
*Major Operations: Meuse-Argonne
(only the artillery), Ypres-Lys
, Somme Offensive
*Saw service with several British and the 30th Infantry Division, U.S. Army.
*Initially stationed in the East Poperinghe Line.
**Battle of Dickebusche Lake, Summer 1918
**Battle of Vierstratt Ridge, Summer 1918
**Struggled to break the German defensive Hindenburg Line, September 1918.
**Somme Offensive, 25 September 1918
**Selle River, November 1918
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.
World War II
* Called into federal service: 15 October 1940; sent to Fort McClellan
, Alabama, for training.
* First division to be deployed in the continental United States, 14 December 1941 sent to southern California.
* Overseas: 10 March 1942.
* Campaigns: Divisional elements participated in various campaigns in the Pacific Theater:
* Distinguished Unit Citation
* Awards: MH
: 3; DSC
: 21; DSM
: 2 ; Silver Star
: 412; LM
: 15; SM: 13; BSM
: 986; AM: 9.
** Maj. Gen. William N. Haskell
(October 1940 – October 1941)
** Brig. Gen. Ralph McT. Pennell
(November 1941 – October 1942)
** Maj. Gen. Ralph C. Smith
(November 1942 – May 1944)
** Maj. Gen. George W. Griner Jr.
(June 1944 – December 1945)
* Returned to U.S.: 15 December 1945
* Inactivated: 31 December 1945
Order of battle
* Headquarters, 27th Infantry Division
* 105th Infantry Regiment
* 106th Infantry Regiment
* 165th Infantry Regiment
* Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 27th Infantry Division Artillery
** 104th Field Artillery Battalion
** 105th Field Artillery Battalion
** 106th Field Artillery Battalion
** 249th Field Artillery Battalion
* 102nd Engineer Combat Battalion
* 102nd Medical Battalion
* 27th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop (Mechanized)
* Headquarters, Special Troops, 27th Infantry Division
** Headquarters Company, 27th Infantry Division
** 727th Ordnance Light Maintenance Company
** 27th Quartermaster Company
** 27th Signal Company
** Military Police Platoon
* 27th Counterintelligence Corps Detachment
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 Battalion
s 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 Division
s. 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
. 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 Prefecture
*Total battle casualties: 6,533
[Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths, Final Report (Statistical and Accounting Branch
Office of the Adjutant General, 1 June 1953)]
*Killed in action: 1,512
*Wounded in action: 4,980
*Missing in action: 40
*Prisoner of war: 1
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.
Composition of the Twenty-Seventh Division 1948 to 1954:
*Division Headquarters & Headquarters Co.
*Infantry: 105th Infantry Regiment
, 108th Infantry Regiment
, 174th Infantry Regiment
*Artillery: DIVARTY, 156th Field Artillery Battalion, 170th Field Artillery Battalion, 249th Field Artillery Battalion, 127th AAA Battalion (from 106th AAA, from 7th AAA, from 106th of WW2).
*Combat support: 127th Tank Battalion, 152nd Engineer Battalion, 27th Recon Troop, 27th Signal Company
*Combat service support: 27th Military Police Company, 727th Ordnance Company, 27th Quartermaster Company, 134th Medical Battalion, 27th Replacement Company.
In February 1955 the 27th Division became the 27th Armored Division
, retaining many of its former units.
The division was reorganized in 1968 as the 27th Armored Brigade, a unit of the 50th Armored Division
The 27th Armored Brigade was reorganized as an infantry brigade in 1975 and aligned with the 42nd Infantry Division.
In 1985 the 27th Infantry Brigade was activated as part of the New York Army National Guard
, and assigned as the "roundout" brigade of the Army's 10th Mountain Division
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.
[Uniformed Services Almanacs]
2008 National Guard Almanac
2008, page 143
The 27th Infantry Brigade
carries on the lineage and history of the 27th Infantry Division.
*Swetland, Maurice J., and Lilli Swetland. ''"These Men": "For Conspicuous Bravery Above and Beyond the Call of Duty ..."''. arrisburg, Pa.
Military Service Pub. Co, 1940.
Pictorial History of the 27th Division, United States Army, 1940–1941
– New York State Military Museum on New York Heritage Digital Collections
027th Infantry Division, U.S.
Infantry Division, U.S. 027th
Category:Divisions of the United States Army National Guard
Category:United States Army divisions of World War I
Category:Military units and formations established in 1917
Category:Military units and formations disestablished in 1967