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Regular, NG, and National Army Divisions
Topic Started: Dec 14 2007, 11:59 AM (2,900 Views)
bog rat 8555
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I'm pretty sure that the 1st-4th Divisions of the AEF were Regular Army. How many other divisions were Regular Army, how many National Guard, and how many National Army (draft/volunteer)?


John Adams
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Tuckahoe Doughboy
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This link to The Digital Bookshelf, is a nice little primer on American Divisions who were shipped to France.

Just as a general reference the 1st-25th divisions were slated to be Regular Army Divisions. The 26th to I think the 75th would were slated to be National Guard, and 76th to 100th or so were to be National Army. This was as far as I understand based on the belief that the AEF would be a 100 Division army. Keep in mind though that this is not exactly how it worked out.

Those divisions actually shipped were --

Regular Army -- 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th.

National Guard -- 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st, 32nd, 33rd, 34th, 35th, 36th, 37th, 38th, 39th, 40th, 41st, and 42nd.

National Army -- 76th, 77th, 78th, 79th, 80th, 81st, 82nd, 83rd, 84th, 85th, 86th, 87th, 88th, 89th, 90th and 91st.

And the there were the colored divisions which were made up of both National Guard and National Army troops -- the 92nd and the 93rd Divisions.

Keep in mind though that, the distinction between Regulars, Guardsmen and National Army, was not maintained, nor were the regional characteristics of the original organizations. A number of Divisions, became Depot Division, through which replacements were fed forward to combat divisions.

Here is a little other information on AEF divisions that I posted last year

I took some time to look over the Order of Battle for the AEF for a break down of the assignment of each of the Regular, Guard, and National Army Divisions. Maybe this will help explain things. It seemed rather clear to me what each function was.

1st Division – Combat
2nd Division – Combat
3rd Division – Combat
4th Division – Combat
5th Division – Combat
6th Division – Combat
7th Division – Combat

8th Division – arrives in France too late to participate in combat operations. Division Commander and staff take command of Base section No. 4, Service of Supply at Brest on November 10, 1918. HQ 16th Infantry Brigade and 8th Infantry move to Pons-Saintes training area for training and police duties. November 25th 8th Infantry Brigade ceases function and its troops become part of the garrison of Camp Pontanezen.

26th Division – Combat
27th Division – Combat
28th Division – Combat
29th Division – Combat
30th Division – Combat

31st Division – Skeletonized.
106th Engineers sent to Brest for Duty with the Service of Supply.
DHQ, 61st and 62nd Infantry Brigades, 116th Machine Gun Battalion, 106th Supply Train and 106th Train and MP ordered skeletonized and reduced to a cadre of 10 officers and 102 men and the surplus personnel sent to the 2nd Depot Division.

32nd Divisions – Skeletonized and then reconstituted as a combat division.

33rd Division – Combat

34th Division – Skeletonized. Division units reduced to cadres and surplus personnel is classified for other assignments. 109th Field Signal battalion to Signal Corps Replacement Depot. 59th Field Artillery Brigade to VIII Corps Artillery. November 26, 109th Supply Train to convoy duty.

35th Division – Combat
36th Division – Combat
37th Division – Combat

38th Division – Skeletonized. Cadre formed and personnel pass through classification camp of the 2nd Depot Division. 113th Supply Train to convoy Duty.

39th Division – August 14, 1918 becomes 5th Depot Division. October 29, Division to be Skeletonized, cadre formed and surplus personnel sent to 1st Depot Division. 64th Field Artillery Brigade in training and school. 141st Machine Gun Battalion trains for anti-aircraft duty. 114th Engineers carry out road construction with 1st Army and I & V Corps. 114th Sanitary Train on duty with VII Corps.

40th Division – Designated 6th Depot Division – to receive, train, equip and forward replacements, both officers and men for infantry, machine gun, ammunition train, and supply. Division reduced and cadre formed. Division designated as a replacement unit October 24, 1918. 6th Depot Division functions as a regional replacement unit. 115th Field Signals Battalion sent to II Corps Signal School.

41st Division – December 1917 through mid 1918 serves as Base and Training Division, I Corps or Depot Division, I Corps. July 1918 designated as 1st Depot Division.

76th Division – 3rd Depot Division. 7,000 men leave the division as replacements. Receives, trains, equips and forwards 20,000 replacements.

77th Division – Combat
78th Division – Combat
79th Division – Combat
80th Division – Combat
81st Division – Combat
82nd Division – Combat

83rd Division – Designated 2nd Depot Division. 332nd Infantry and 331st Field Hospital to Italy. 158th Field Artillery Brigade and 308th Ammunition Train to V Corps. 308th Field Signal Battalion to III Corps.

84th Division – Skeletonized and personnel sent to 1st Depot Division. 309th Engineers sent to SoS. Division reduced to cadre and remaining personnel sent to 2nd Depot Division. 309th Field Signals Battalion sent to Signal Corps replacement depot.

85th Division – July 28, 1918 designated as 4th Depot Division. August 14-october 29 Functions as the Depot Division, Intermediate Section, SoS. October 30 to January 12, 1919 functions as Regional Replacement Depot, 2nd Army. 339th Infantry, 1/310th Engineers, 337th Ambulance Company 337th Field Hospital form AEF North Russia.

86th Division – Skeletonized and reduced to cadre.

87th Division – September Entire Division passes to SoS and divisional units are assigned to Base Sections 1, 2, 7, and the Intermediate Sections, SoS. Units engage in construction, guard, police, convoy, labor, and other SoS duties.

88th Division – Combat
89th Division – Combat
90th Division – Combat
91st Division – Combat
92nd Division – Combat
93rd Division – Combat.

In the end there were 6 divisions designated as a depot division –

1st Depot Division (41st Division)
2nd Depot Division (83rd Division)
3rd Depot Division (76th Division)
4th Depot Division (85th Division)
5th Depot Division (39th Division)
6th Depot Division (40th Division)

Six other divisions were skeletonized, with only the 32nd Division reconstituted as a combat division –

31st Division
32nd Division
34th Division
38th Division
84th Division
86th Division

It is these skeletonized divisions that provided personal as replacements, or whole units to service as Corps or Army troops, or to send units to Russia or Italy.
Vincent Petty

"I pressed forward with the others to watch the United States physically entering the War, so god-like, so magnificent, so splendidly unimpaired in comparison with the tired nerve-racked men of the British Army. So these were our deliverers at last." British Nurse Vera Brittain

318th Infantry, 80th Division AEF
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Sorry for my ignorance, but I had not heard the term "National Army" before. Were the National Army Divisions the volunteer/draftee divisions?
WW1 Lurker
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The National Army divisions were those divisions formed from men taken in the selective service draft. Generally these divisions were formed on a regional basis.

For example the 80th Division was formed from men drafted from Virginia, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania, while the 78th Division was formed from men drafted from New York, New Jersey and Delaware.

Draftees were also used to fill out Regular and Guard divisions and once in France, replacements went forward to combat divisions without regard to whether they were Guard, volunteer, or draftee, and without regard to whether the division they were going to was Regular, Guard or NA.

In reality I would put out of my mind the thought of volunteers. The AEF was an army created by the draft and conscription.
Vincent Petty

"I pressed forward with the others to watch the United States physically entering the War, so god-like, so magnificent, so splendidly unimpaired in comparison with the tired nerve-racked men of the British Army. So these were our deliverers at last." British Nurse Vera Brittain

318th Infantry, 80th Division AEF
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Thanks for the clarification!
WW1 Lurker
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42nd - Combat

- Pvt. Jonathan Murray
3rd Battalion, 167th Infantry, AEF

"In time of war, send me all the Alabamians you can get, but in time of peace, for Lord's sake, send them to somebody else!" - General Edward Plummer in regards to the 4th Alabama Infantry (later the 167th) after some "issues" during deployment to the Mexican Border in 1916.
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