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The 37th Infantry Division was a unit of the United States Army in World War I and World War II. It was a National Guard division from Ohiomarker, nicknamed the "Buckeye Division". Today it is the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, with battalions from both Ohio and Michigan.

World War I

It was initially activated as the 16th Division, a National Guard formation from Ohio and West Virginia in 1913. It was federally activated in August 1917 as a National Guard Division from Ohio. It was sent overseas in June 1918 and fought at the Meuse-Argonne and at Ypres-Lys.
  • Casualties: Total - 5,387 (KIA-794; WIA-4,593)
  • Commanders:
    • Brig. Gen. William R. Smith (26 August 1917)
    • Maj. Gen. C. G. Trent (3 September 1917)
    • Brig. Gen. William R. Smith (18 September 1917)
    • Maj. Gen. C. G. Trent (5 December 1917)
    • Brig. Gen. Joseph A. Gaston (25 April 1918)
    • Maj. Gen. Charles S. Farnsworth (8 May 1918)
    • Brig Gen. William M. Fassett (5 December 1918)
    • Maj. Gen. Charles S. Farnsworth (10 Dec. 1918)
    • Brig Gen. Steven W. Stepien (14 Dec 1918)

World War II

Combat Chronicle

The 37th Infantry Division arrived in the Fiji Islandsmarker in June 1942 to fortify the islands against possible invasion. The division continued its training on the islands. With the end of ground fighting on Guadalcanalmarker, the division moved to that island in April 1943, continued training, and staged for the Munda campaign. Two battalions joined the Marine Raiders on New Georgiamarker, 5 July 1943, while the remainder of the division landed, 22 July, and assisted the 43d Infantry Division in taking Munda airfield in heavy fighting. After mopping up on New Georgia, the division returned to Guadalcanal, 9 September 1943, for rest and rehabilitation.

The division's next assignment was Bougainvillemarker as part of the I Marine Amphibious Corps. Landing between November 8 and 19, 1943, the 37th Division expanded the western beachhead sector, constructed roads and bridges, and engaged in extensive patrol activity. On December 15, 1943, IMAC was relieved by the XIV Corps, to which the 37th Division was then assigned. In March 1944, two Japanese divisions made eight major attacks, but division lines held. In April patrols cleared the Laruma Valley area of major enemy units. The division remained on Bougainville and trained for the Luzonmarker campaign. Landing with the Sixth Army on the beaches of Lingayen Gulfmarker, 9 January 1945, the 37th raced inland against slight resistance to Clark Fieldmarker and Fort Stotsenburg where fierce resistance delayed capture of those objectives until 31 January. The division continued to drive to Manilamarker against small delaying forces, and entered the city's outskirts, 4 February. Upon crossing the Pasig River, it ran into bitter Japanese opposition. By heavy street fighting, American and Filipino troops cleared the city by 3 March 1945.

After garrison duty in Manila, 5-26 March, the division shifted to the hills of Northwest Luzon, where heavy fighting culminated in the capture of Baguiomarker, 26 April. Rest and rehabilitation during May were followed by action in June in the Cagayan Valley against deteriorating Japanese resistance. With the end of hostilities, 15 August, the division was concerned with the collection and processing of prisoners of war, leaving November 1945 for the States and demobilization.

Major General Robert Beightler was the only National Guard general to command the same division during all of World War II, from beginning to end.

Cold War to present

The division was reorganized in the Ohio Army National Guard in 1946. It served on Federal service from 1952 to 1954 at Camp Polk, Louisiana. Although the division was not sent to Korea, nearly every soldier was as an individual replacement. The 37th went through a number of reorganizations from 1959 until it was disbanded on February 15, 1968. The bulk of the division's combat units became the 73d Brigade, 38th Infantry Division with the remaining becoming the 16th Engineer Brigade and other combat support units.

In 1977, the 73d Brigade was released from assignment to the 38th ID and was redesignated the 73d Infantry Brigade, a separate brigade. During the draw down of forces after the Cold War, units of the 73rd and the 107th Armored Cavalry Regiment consolidated to form the 37th Brigade, 28th Infantry Division. A year later, the brigade was reunited with the 38th Infantry Division. On 1 September 2007, the brigade was redesignated as the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team under the Army's modular plan. With the reorganization came the return of the shoulder sleeve insignia of the 37th Infantry Division.

The headquarters of the Brigade is stationed in Columbus and includes the 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment (Walbridge), 1st Battalion, 134th Field Artillery Regiment (Columbus), 237th Support Battalion (Cleveland) and Special Troops Battalion, 37th IBCT (Springfield) of the Ohio Army National Guard. The 1st Battalion, 125th Infantry Regiment and 1st Squadron, 126th Cavalry Regiment, Michigan Army National Guard round out the brigade.

Mobilized and deployed in 2008 to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom the 37 IBCT was Commanded by COL Richard T. Curry (4 Feb 2006 through 1 Sep 2009). The Brigade conducted Convoy Security Operations throughout Iraq, Forward Operating Base Security and Life Support, SECFOR Operations at the two major shipping ports in Kuwait, and Combat Patrols, SECFOR Operations in Ramadi, Iraq (Anbar Province). This was the largest deployment of any singular Ohio National Guard Unit since WW II (2,528 Soldiers). 37 IBCT Battalions/Units mobilized and deployed in support of OIF: 1-125 IN, 1-148 IN, 1-126 CAV, 1-134 FA, 237 BSB, 37 STB and the HHC 37 IBCT.

See also

  • Rodger Wilton Young
  • John N. Reese, Jr.
  • George Sweigert, inventor of the cordless phone, veteran of the 37th Division, participated in action at Guadacanal and the Solomon Islands. Sweigert was assigned to the 145th Headquarters Company as a radioman and intelligence scout.


  • The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950 reproduced at CMH.

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