80th Division Insignia

80th Division History












Major General A. Cronkhite General Order 19:
"The 80th Division
Only Moves Forward"

France, 11 November 1918


  • Because of significant common heritage in the past (Indian War, Revolutionary War and Civil War), residents of Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia became the structure of the 80th Division.

  • The 80th Division was organized in August 1917 at Camp Lee, Virginia. The units were made up mostly of men from the above three states.

  • The 317th Infantry included men from the Piedmont and Western Virginia areas; the 318th Infantry was made up mostly of men from the Shenandoah Valley and Tidewater areas; the 313th Machine Gun Battalion were mostly men from the Erie area. These units comprised the 159th Brigade.

  • The 318th Infantry were nicknamed * squirrels* , while training with the British in the Artois/Picardy section of France: 1st Battalion were RED squirrels; 2nd Battalion were GRAY squirrels; 3rd Battalion were called FLYING squirrels. The insignia of the 318th was a square; the machine gun unit colored their square red and blue.

  • The 319th Infantry included men from Allegheny County and from that area north to Erie, and some from Eastern Ohio. The 320th Infantry were mostly men from Pittsburgh; the 315th Machine Gun Battalion were men from Pittsburgh and Erie. These units combined to create th e 160th Brigade.

  • The 313th , 314th and 315th Field Artillery units were comprised of men almost exclusively from the State of West Virginia, and were the 155th Field Artillery Brigade.

  • Serving with the Division were the 314th Machine Gun Battalion, men from the Tidewater area, as well as the 305th Engineers, men from an area east and north of Pittsburgh; the 305th Trains (Ammunition, Motor Supply and Sanitary) were men from Western PA, WV and VA. The engineers were more often than not sent out ahead. During the rest period from October 14th through the Armistice, they finally were outfitted with U.S. Springfield and Browning automatic rifles. They had two weeks to train before the third and final push began in the Meuse Argonne. It was also during this period that an attack formation was reorganized to allow for more maneuverability.

  • Prior to the reorganization, a platoon consisted of four sections; two auto rifle and rifle, rifle grenadiers and bombers or hand grenadiers. The change identified 49 men in a platoon, divided in two identical half-platoons consisting of three squads each (rifle, auto rifle and grenadier), with eight men to a squad. A combat unit was a half-platoon, self contained of infantrymen and clearly more maneuverable, easier to control and with a greater ability to adapt to changing conditions a battlefield presented. The change was believed to be Army-wide.

  • The 155th Field Artillery Regiment was in combat from the start of the Meuse Argonne, continuously with the 80th Division, but served also with the 90th Division into Germany, until after the Armistice. Altogether, the 155th served with five different divisions.

  • During the Meuse Argonne campaign, the 80th Division was the only one that saw action during each phase of the offensive (three times).

  • The 80th Division * Always Moved Forward* , which became the motto, and always achieved the Division, Corps, and Army objectives.

  • The 80th Division was the third most active Division in the A.E.F. They ranked #1 of all National Army Divisions; and were third overall behind the First Regular Army Division and Second Regular Army Division. Initial rumors in 1919 had the 80th Division ranked second overall in the U. S. Army, but the final analysis ranked them third, behind the regular Army* s 1st and 2nd Divisions. They were ranked first in the National Army Division. (This researcher believes that a deceptive item in General Pershing* s report of January 1919, in which he gave the 2nd Division credit for an objective which the 80th Division had clearly met, resulted in a denigration of the 80th status). The ranking was challenged by Captain Charles Rossire of the 319th Infantry in September 1920 when he read Pershing* s report. Major James Montague, 2nd Battalion Commander of the 319th, and Captain R. P. Keegell, H Company of the 319th, supported Captain Rossire with documentation. The final report was not changed, but a copy of the challenge was placed in the Historical Plans Division, General Staff, for future reference.

  • Men of the 80th Division received 619 Awards and Decorations.

  • Initially, service personnel were only authorized to wear one bronze star (and Battle Clasp on the Victory Medal) for the Meuse Argonne campaigns, but while enroute to the states after the War in May 1919, they were also authorized to wear the clasp and bronze star for St. Mihiel. Their campaign streamers were authorized for Picardy 1918, Somme Offensive, 1918, Lorraine and Meuse Argonne.

  • Citing G.O. #75, G.H.Q., A.E.F., dated 2 May 1919, men of the 80th were credited with the Somme Offensive, 03 July - 18 August; St. Mihiel Offensive (in Corps reserve) 10-16 September; and Meuse Argonne Offensive 26 September -06 November. It is not known how many of these men who served in all three areas actually were advised of the G.O. The History and Heraldry, published in 1960, does not give credit to all of the units that served in these three areas.

  • On their return trip to the U.S. in May 1919, men who had sailed for France on May 26, 1918, were advised that, having completed twelve months overseas, they were entitled to two 6-month overseas chevrons.

  • Prior to the issuance of the order of 21 May 1919, General Pershing made the determination as to whom and how a particular battle clasp could be worn; in some cases going against the rules of the battle clasps and Victory Medal. We have located a document that indicates that all men who served from June 1918 -June 1919 were entitled to wear four battle clasps and four bronze stars, representing Defensive Sector (Artois), Somme Offensive, St. Mihiel and Meuse Argonne.

  • The 80th Division was demobilized in June 1919.

  • The 80th was reconstituted 24 June 1921, allotted to the organized reserves, organized 1 September 1922 at Richmond, VA The 80th was ordered to active service 15 July 1942 at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, and sent to Europe in June 1944, landing at Utah Beach in July 1944.

  • In April 1943, the 320th Infantry was removed from the 80th Division and assigned to the 35th Infantry Division. (The U.S. Army was undergoing a triangulation - reduction to three infantries per division). In November 1945, the 320th was relieved from assignment to the 35th Division. During WW II, the 320th Infantry, even though assigned to the 35th, fought alongside units of the 80th in many areas.

  • In Europe, the 80th troops joined Patton* s Third Army and drove across France (through much of the same area as the 80th Division had seen service during WW I.)

  • The Division was again demobilized in 1945 and was deactivated January 1946 at Camp Kilmer, NJ.

  • The 80th was re-designated the 80th Airborne Division in July 1946, and activated December 1946 at Richmond, VA

  • The 80th was re-designated Organized Reserve Corp in 1948 and Army Reserve in 1952, then reorganized and re-designated 80th Infantry Division in May 1952

  • The 320th Infantry Regiment was allotted to the Regular Army in 1954; withdrawn from the Regular Army and re-designated 320th Regiment (Advanced Individual Training) February 1959 and assigned to the 80th Division.

  • The 80th Division was re-designated and reorganized March 1959 as the 80th Division (Training).

  • Today* s 80th Division IT (Institutional Training) is essentially a non-combat unit, providing training and support to other divisions. As an Institutional Training Division, the 80th took command and control of 10 Army Reserve Forces Schools in October 1995. In September 1996 the Division reorganized into seven brigades. Four are chartered to give formal classroom and "hands on" training in Combat Support, Combat Services Support, Professional Development and Medical Services and one each will train Initial Entry soldiers and Initial Entry Military Police soldiers. One brigade will furnish Training Support to all the

  • The 424th Transportation Company (80th Division IT) was activated 17 November 1990, during Desert Storm, and deployed to Saudi Arabia 5 January 1991. They returned to the States 29-30 June, 1991. This unit was awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation, for operating under adverse conditions in a combat zone, logging 850,000 accident-free road miles, with some units advancing to the Euphrates River. The unit served in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq.

  • The 3rd Battalion, 318th Regiment, 4th Brigade was activated 23 January 1991 and reported to Ft. Eustis to train recalled reserve units. Due to the short duration of the war, reserve units were not called and the 3rd Battalion was released from active duty.

  • The lineage of the 159th Brigade (317th and 318th Infantries and 313th M.G. Battalion) and the 160th Brigade (319th and 320th Infantries and 315th M.G. Battalion), as known during WW I as part of the 80th Division, lives on as the Second Brigade and Third Brigade, respectively, of the 101st Airborne (Screaming Eagles), since 1964.

  • Honors from former units that served with the 80th Division have remained with the Division.