The first units sailed from New York City and Hoboken, New Jersey, on June 14 1917. Throughout the remainder of the year, the rest of the division followed, landing at St. Nazaire, France, and Liverpool, England. After a brief stay in rest camps, the troops in England proceeded to France, landing at Le Havre. The last unit arrived in St. Nazaire 22 December. Upon arrival in France, the division, less its artillery, was assembled in the First (Gondrecourt) training area, and the artillery was at Le Valdahon.
Nickname(s) : "The Big Red One" "The Bloody First "
Motto(s) : No Mission Too Difficult. No Sacrifice Too Great.
Duty First !
Cammander: Major General Charles P Summerall ,(March 4, 1867 – May 14, 1955) was a senior United States Armyofficer. Summerall commanded the 1st Infantry Division in World War I, was Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1926 and 1930, and was President of The Citadel between 1931 and 1953.Summerall commanded the 67th Field Artillery Brigade and the 1st Field Artillery Brigade in operations in France in 1917, was promoted to major general in the National Army, and successively commanded his brigade, the 1st Division, and V Corps, in the Cantigny, Soissons, St. Mihiel, and Meuse-Argonne operations in 1918. "Late on November 9th, instructions from the Allied Commander-In-Chief were transmitted by G.H.Q., A.E.F., directing a general attack, which was executed by the First Army on November 10th–11th. Crossings of the Meuse were secured by General Summerall's (V) Corps during the night of November 10th–11th and the remainder of the army advanced on the whole front." Summerall's actions on November 10–11 resulted in over eleven hundred American casualties. Some have criticized the allied operations in the final days of the war, including those ordered by Summerall, as causing unnecessary loss of life, but they are more understandable in the context of previous failed peace attempts and rumors.
Summerall was admired by many as a gifted leader with great personal integrity. General John Pershing, in a hand-written dedication to the official Report of the First Army, wrote in 1924: "To Major General Charles P. Summerall, whose loyal and distinguished services as Brigade, Division, and Corps Commander during Allied operations of the American Expedition army forces in the World War will ever remain the pride of his associates and will ever mark him as one of the outstanding figures of that great struggle. Especially will his name be linked with the wonderful achievements of the First Division which exemplifies his character as a soldier and a leader."
He was recommended for promotion to major general by General Pershing, but the Armistice stopped all promotions of general officers. In 1920, he graduated from the École Supérieure de Guerre, France and remained there as a professor while a student at the Centre des Hautes Études, 1920–21. Then, he graduated and instructed at the Command and Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, 1922, graduate and instructor, Army War College, 1923–24. From 1925–27 he commanded a brigade of the 1st Division.
1st Infantry Division
Brigadier general Parker at his Headquarters in France early 1919
McGlachlin was promoted to brigadier general on August 5, 1917, and commanded the 165th Field Artillery Brigade, 90th Division at Camp Travis, Texas during its initial organization and training.
n December 1917 he assumed command of the 57th Field Artillery Brigade, 32nd Division at Camp MacArthur, Texas. Upon arriving in France in March 1918, he was assigned to command of the 66th Field Artillery Brigade, 31st Division.
MOH Recipient: 2nd LT Samuel Iredell Parker (1891, in Monroe, North Carolina – 1975, in Concord, North Carolina) was the most "highly decorated" United States Army soldier of World War I.For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. During the attack the 2d and 3d Battalions of the 28th Infantry were merged, and after several hours of severe fighting, successfully established a frontline position. In so doing, a gap was left between the right flank of the French 153d Division on their left and the left flank of the 28th Infantry, exposing the left flank to a terrific enfilade fire from several enemy machineguns located in a rock quarry on high ground. 2d Lt. Parker, observing this serious situation, ordered his depleted platoon to follow him in an attack upon the strong point. Meeting a disorganized group of French Colonials wandering leaderlessly about, he persuaded them to join his platoon. This consolidated group followed 2d Lt. Parker through direct enemy rifle and machinegun fire to the crest of the hill, and rushing forward, took the quarry by storm, capturing 6 machineguns and about 40 prisoners. The next day when the assault was continued, 2d Lt. Parker in command of the merged 2d and 3d Battalions was in support of the 1st Battalion. Although painfully wounded in the foot, he refused to be evacuated and continued to lead his command until the objective was reached. Seeing that the assault battalion was subjected to heavy enfilade fire due to a gap between it and the French on its left, 2d Lt. Parker led his battalion through this heavy fire up on the line to the left of the 1st Battalion and thereby closed the gap, remaining in command of his battalion until the newly established lines of the 28th Infantry were thoroughly consolidated. In supervising the consolidation of the new position, 2d Lt. Parker was compelled to crawl about on his hands and knees on account of his painful wound. His conspicuous gallantry and spirit of self-sacrifice were a source of great inspiration to the members of the entire command.
Parker's other awards include the Distinguished Service Cross, two awards of the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, two Purple Hearts, and the Croix de Guerre.
Samuel Iredell Parker
MOH Recipient: PVT Sterling Morelock, U.S. Army, Company M, 28th Infantry, 1st Division.While his company was being held up by heavy enemy fire, Pvt. Morelock, with 3 other men who were acting as runners at company headquarters, voluntarily led them as a patrol in advance of his company's frontline through an intense rifle, artillery, and machinegun fire and penetrated a woods which formed the German frontline. Encountering a series of 5 hostile machinegun nests, containing from 1 to 5 machineguns each, with his patrol he cleaned them all out, gained and held complete mastery of the situation until the arrival of his company commander with reinforcements, even though his entire party had become casualties. He rendered first aid to the injured and evacuated them by using stretcher bearers 10 German prisoners whom he had captured. Soon thereafter his company commander was wounded and while dressing his wound Pvt. Morelock was very severely wounded in the hip, which forced his evacuation. His heroic action and devotion to duty were an inspiration to the entire regiment.
PVT Sterling Lewis Morelock.
MOH Recipient: PFC Daniel R. Edwards: (April 9, 1897 – October 21, 1967) was an Americansoldier serving in the United States Army. U.S. Army, Company C, 3d Machine Gun Battalion, 1st Division. Near Soissons, France, graduated from the Columbia University School of Journalism. He enlisted in the United States Army in April 1917, on the day the United States entered World War I. He was sent to France as a member of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division, where he performed the actions that earned him the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star. Reporting for duty from hospital where he had been for several weeks under treatment for numerous and serious wounds and although suffering intense pain from a shattered arm, he crawled alone into an enemy trench for the purpose of capturing or killing enemy soldiers known to be concealed therein. He killed 4 of the men and took the remaining 4 men prisoners; while conducting them to the rear one of the enemy was killed by a high explosive enemy shell which also completely shattered 1 of Pfc. Edwards' legs, causing him to be immediately evacuated to the hospital. The bravery of Pfc. Edwards, now a tradition in his battalion because of his previous gallant acts, again caused the morale of his comrades to be raised to high pitch.
Major Daniel R. Edwards.
MOH Recipient: SGT Michael B. Ellis (October 28, 1894 – December 9, 1937) was a United States Army sergeant He served with Company K, 7th Infantry, along the border with Mexico and at Veracruz. When his three-year term of service expired, Ellis received an honorable discharge, but after six months of civilian life he re-enlisted.Sent to France as a private in Company C, 28th Infantry, 1st Division, he saw front-line action for 200 days near Soissons and was awarded the Silver Star. He was promoted to corporal on April 16, 1917, and to sergeant a month later. The official record of the War Department states:
He showed unusual courage in carrying supplies and in attacking strong points at Brouil, Pleissy, and Berney-le-Sac. Our allies, recognizing Sergeant Ellis' bravery, awarded him the Chevalier Legion of Honor of France, and the Croix de Guerre with Palm, the Cross of War of Italy, Cross of War of Poland and Recognition by the Moroccan Government, two medals, Senior and Junior.
On October 5, 1918, Ellis' division was participating in the Hundred Days Offensive near Exermont in northeast France. Ellis advanced ahead of his company and single-handedly attacked several German machine gun nests. In total, he silenced eleven machine guns and captured dozens of enemy soldiers. After many campaigns throughout France, he was promoted to first sergeant. In August 1919, he returned to St. Louis, where General John J. Pershing presented him with the Medal of Honor for his actions near Exermont. He was the only soldier in Pershing's 1st Division to receive this honor.
Michael B. Ellis
World War 11
MOH Recipients: Technical Sergeant Francis J. Clark (1912–1981) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II. in Company K, 109th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. On that day, near Kalborn, Luxembourg, he crawled through open terrain to reach a platoon which had been pinned down by heavy fire, led them to safety, and then returned to rescue a wounded man. Five days later, near Sevenig (Our) Germany, he single-handedly attacked a German machine gun position and then assumed command of two leaderless platoons. Although wounded, he refused medical evacuation, attacked two more German machine gun positions alone, and carried supplies through hostile fire to an isolated platoon. For these actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor a year later, on September 10, 1945.
Francis J. Clark.
MOH Recipient: PFC Francis Xavier McGraw (April 29, 1918 – November 19, 1944) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during the Battle of Hürtgen Forest in World War II. in Company H, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. At that time, the 26th Regiment was fighting in the Battle of Hurtgen Forest, a grueling dense-forest offensive near the German-Belgian border. During a German counterattack on that day, near Schevenhütte, Germany, he manned his machine gun despite intense enemy fire and left cover in order to retrieve more ammunition. Although wounded, he continued to fire his machine gun until again running out of ammunition. He then engaged the German troops with a carbine, but was subsequently killed. For these gallant actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on October 25, 1945.
MOH Recipient: PVT James William Reese (April 16, 1920 – August 5, 1943) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II during the Battle of Troina in the Sicily campaign. For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty in action involving actual conflict with the enemy. When the enemy launched a counterattack which threatened the position of his company, Pvt. Reese, as the acting squad leader of a 60-mm. mortarsquad, displaying superior leadership on his own initiative, maneuvered his squad forward to a favorable position, from which, by skillfully directing the fire of his weapon, he caused many casualties in the enemy ranks, and aided materially in repulsing the counterattack. When the enemy fire became so severe as to make his position untenable, he ordered the other members of his squad to withdraw to a safer position, but declined to seek safety for himself. So as to bring more effective fire upon the enemy, Pvt. Reese, without assistance, moved his mortar to a new position and attacked an enemy machinegun nest. He had only 3 rounds of ammunition but secured a direct hit with his last round, completely destroying the nest and killing the occupants. Ammunition being exhausted, he abandoned the mortar, seized a rifle and continued to advance, moving into an exposed position overlooking the enemy. Despite a heavy concentration of machinegun, mortar, and artillery fire, the heaviest experienced by his unit throughout the entire Sicilian campaign, he remained at this position and continued to inflict casualties upon the enemy until he was killed. His bravery, coupled with his gallant and unswerving determination to close with the enemy, regardless of consequences and obstacles which he faced, are a priceless inspiration to our armed forces.
James William Reese
MOH Recipient: LTC Charles Calvin Rogers (September 6, 1929 – September 21, 1990) was a United States Army officer and a recipient of America's highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the Vietnam War.For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Lt. Col. Rogers, Field Artillery, distinguished himself in action while serving as commanding officer, 1st Battalion, during the defense of a forward fire support base. In the early morning hours, the fire support base was subjected to a concentrated bombardment of heavy mortar, rocket and rocket propelled grenade fire. Simultaneously the position was struck by a human waveground assault, led by sappers who breached the defensive barriers with bangalore torpedoes and penetrated the defensive perimeter. Lt. Col. Rogers with complete disregard for his safety moved through the hail of fragments from bursting enemy rounds to the embattled area. He aggressively rallied the dazed artillery crewmen to man their howitzers and he directed their fire on the assaulting enemy. Although knocked to the ground and wounded by an exploding round, Lt. Col. Rogers sprang to his feet and led a small counterattack force against an enemy element that had penetrated the howitzer positions. Although painfully wounded a second time during the assault, Lt. Col. Rogers pressed the attack killing several of the enemy and driving the remainder from the positions. Refusing medical treatment, Lt. Col. Rogers reestablished and reinforced the defensive positions. As a second human wave attack was launched against another sector of the perimeter, Lt. Col. Rogers directed artillery fire on the assaulting enemy and led a second counterattack against the charging forces. His valorous example rallied the beleaguered defenders to repulse and defeat the enemy onslaught. Lt. Col. Rogers moved from position to position through the heavy enemy fire, giving encouragement and direction to his men. At dawn the determined enemy launched a third assault against the fire base in an attempt to overrun the position. Lt. Col. Rogers moved to the threatened area and directed lethal fire on the enemy forces. Seeing a howitzer inoperative due to casualties, Lt. Col. Rogers joined the surviving members of the crew to return the howitzer to action. While directing the position defense, Lt. Col. Rogers was seriously wounded by fragments from a heavy mortar round which exploded on the parapet of the gun position. Although too severely wounded to physically lead the defenders, Lt. Col. Rogers continued to give encouragement and direction to his men in the defeating and repelling of the enemy attack. Lt. Col. Rogers' dauntless courage and heroism inspired the defenders of the fire support base to the heights of valor to defeat a determined and numerically superior enemy force. His relentless spirit of aggressiveness in action are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.