42nd Infantry Division (United States)

42nd Infantry Division (United States)

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=42nd Infantry Division (Mechanized)

caption=42nd Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia
dates=1917 - 1919; 1943 -
branch=Army National Guard
current_commander=Paul C. Genereux, Jr.
garrison=Troy, New York
motto="Never Forget!"
battles=World War I
*St. Mihiel
World War II
*Central Europe
*Operation Nordwind
Global War on Terrorism
*Iraq Campaign
notable_commanders=Douglas MacArthur
Harry J. Collins
identification_symbol_label=Distinctive Unit Insignia
US Infantry
previous=41st Infantry Division
next=43rd Infantry Division
The 42nd Infantry Division is an division of the National Guard and United States Army. The 42nd Infantry Division has served in World War I, World War II and the Global War on Terrorism [GWOT] . The division is currently headquartered at the Glenmore Armory in Troy, New York with the New York National Guard.

The division presently includes Army National Guard units from fourteen different states, including Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Wisconsin. As of 2007, 67 percent of 42ID soldiers are located in New York and New Jersey. [ [http://www.42id.army.mil/history/index.html] ]

The Rainbow Division

Over the history of the 42ID, it came to be known as the "Rainbow Division". Multiple explanations for this nickname have been provided. One claims that General Douglas MacArthur, once Chief of Staff of the 42ID, came up with the name. Because the division was comprised of units from 26 states, MacArthur made the statement, "This division stretches across the land like a rainbow," and the 42ID became known as the Rainbow Division.

The Rainbow Unit Insignia

The 42ID adopted a shoulder patch and unit crests acknowledging the nickname. The 42ID patch also symbolizes half of a rainbow, memorializing the half of the 42ID soldiers which became casualties during combat in World War I.

World War I

*Activated: August 1917 (National Guard Division, the components of which were drawn from 26 States and the District of Columbia).
*Overseas: November 1917.
*Major Operations: Champagne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne.
*Days of Combat: 264.
*Casualties: Total 14,683 (KIA-2,058; WIA-12,625).
*Commanders: Maj. Gen. W. A. Mann (5 September 1917), Maj. Gen. Charles T. Menoher (19 December 1917), Brig. Gen. Douglas MacArthur (10 November 1918), Maj. Gen. C. A. F. Flagler (22 November 1918).

The 42ID was not organized as a National Guard division after World War I.

World War II (WWII)

*Activated: 14 July 1943
*Overseas: November 1944.
*Campaigns: Rhineland, Central Europe.
*Days of combat: 106.
*Total Casualties: 5,949.
*Prisoners of war taken: 59,128.
*Distinguished Unit Citations: 1.
*Awards: MH-1 ; DSC-4 ; DSM-1 ; SS-622; LM-9; SM-32; ; BSM-5,325 ; AM-104.
*Commanders: Maj. Gen. Harry J. Collins commanded the 42ID during its entire period of Federal service in World War II.
*Inactivated: 29 June 1946 in Europe.

Combat Chronicle

When formed and activated for WWII, the 42ID was a unique unit, as it was a reconstitution of the Rainbow Division from WWI. Except for the division headquarters, none of its earlier elements had reformed in the interwar period, so the Army Ground Forces filled its new units with personnel from every state. To emphasize the 42ID lineage from the 42ID of WWI, Maj. Gen. Harry J. Collins activated the unit on 14 July, the eve of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Champagne-Marne campaign in France. [ [http://www.army.mil/cmh/books/Lineage/M-F/chapter7.htm Chapter VII: The Crucible - Combat ] ]

Following training at Camp Gruber OK and the journey to Europe, the three infantry regiments (222nd, 232nd, & 242nd) and a detachment of the 42ID Headquarters arrived in France at Marseilles, 8-9 December 1944, and were formed into Task Force (TF) Linden, under the Assistant Division Commander (ADC). TF Linden was task organized to VI Corps under 7th Army. TF Linden entered combat in the vicinity of Strasbourg, relieving elements of the 36ID on 24 December 1944. Defending a 31-mile sector along the Rhine, north and south of Strasbourg, TF Linden repulsed a number of enemy counterattacks, at Hatten and other locations. On 24 and 25 January 1945, in Bois D’Ohlungen, and the vicinity of Schweighausen and Neuborg, the 222nd Infantry Regiment repulsed repeated attacks by the German 7th Parachute, 25th Panzer and 47th VG Divisions. For this action the 222nd Infantry Regiment was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (2001). After these enemy attacks, TF Linden returned to reserve of the 7th Army and trained with the remainder of the 42ID which had arrived in the meantime.

On 14 February 1945, the 42ID as a whole entered combat, taking up defensive positions near Haguenau in the Hardt Mountains. After a month of extensive patrolling and active defense, the 42ID went on the offensive. The 42ID attacked through the Hardt Mountains, broke through the Siegfried Line, 15-21 March 1945, cleared Dahn and Busenberg, and mopped up in that general area, while the 3rd Army created and expanded bridgeheads across the Rhine. Moving across the Rhine, 31 March 1945, the 42ID captured Wertheim am Main, 1 April 1945, and Würzburg, 2-6 April 1945, after a fierce battle. Schweinfurt fell next after hand-to-hand engagements, 9-12 April 1945. Fürth, near Nürnberg, put up fanatical resistance, but was taken, 18-19 April 1945, by the 42ID.

On 25 April, the 42ID captured Donauwörth on the Danube, and on 29 April 1945, liberated some 30,000 inmates at Dachau, a Nazi concentration camp along with the 45th Infantry Division. The 42ID campaign ended passing through Munich, 30 April 1945, as it cut across the Austrian border located north of Salzburg.

During WWII, the 42ID was involved in various war crimesdubious. Well known war crimes included the massacre of about 200 men from the I Battalion, 38th SS Regiment from the 17-SS Panzergrenadier Division Götz von Berlichingen in April 1945. The German POWs were shot at close range by the troops from the 42ID and buried in a mass grave by Nuremberg ["Iron Fist: A Combat History of the 17. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Götz von Berlichingen"] .

Assignments in the ETO

*10 December 1944: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.
*15 December 1944: Third Army, 12th Army Group.
*24 December 1944: VI Corps, Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.
*25 March 1945: XXI Corps.
*19 April 1945: XV Corps.

Cold War

The 42ID absorbed the units of the 26ID and the 50AD, of the Massachusetts and New Jersey Army National Guard respectively, in Cold War restructuring. The 50th Brigade transferred to the 42ID from the disbanding 50AD in 1988-1989 as an armored brigade, but was transformed to an infantry Brigade Combat Team (BCT) in the very first years of the 21st Century as part of Army Modularity.

In the 1970s, the 42ID Headquarters was located at the armory at 125 West 14th Street in Manhattan. The 42ID Headquarters later relocated to the Glenmore Armory in Troy, New York and remains there to this day. As part of Total Army restructuring, the 42ID was organized under the XVIII Airborne Corps, and was previously teamed with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) for training and readiness purposes.

Global War on Terror (GWOT)

Since then the onset of the September 11th attacks, the 42ID has been extensively involved in the Global War on Terror (GWOT), in both Homeland Security (HLS) and Expeditionary Operations.

The first major deployed effort of the 42ID was the deployment of elements of the 50th BCT/42ID to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba to provide security to the base. Elements have also deployed to the Horn of Africa and Djibouti. New Jersey's 3/112 FA and 5/117 Cavalry deployed as an ILO Military Police Company with 89th MP Brigade/759 MP Battalion; served in Sadr City, and eventually attached to the First Cavalry Division. Stationed out of Camp Cuervo (Al Rustimayah) in Baghdad; platoons also conducted operations with USMC in Fallujah as well. Suffered 4 KIA's - on 4 June 2004 - SSgt Carvill, and Spc Duffy, the following day, lost Sgt Dotz and Sgt Timoteo.

The 2/108th Inf deployed to the Iraq Theater of Operation (ITO) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) in 2004. In 2004/2005 the 1/69 Inf served in the ITO (Iraq); eventually assuming responsibility for security on the Baghdad International Airport (BIAP) Road. The 42nd CAB also deployed to the ITO (Iraq) during this period.

In 2004 the Division Headquarters and division troops of the 42nd Infantry Division, the "Rainbow" Division, were mobilized for service in the ITO (Iraq). The 42ID was deployed to the Iraq Theater of Operations (ITO) as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) III, relieving the 1st Infantry Division (1ID). The 42ID Headquarters and Division Troops (DISCOM, 250th Sig Bn), under the command of Major General Joseph Taluto, were the first National Guard division to be sent to a active combat area of operations under its own command since the Korean War. The "Rainbow Division" controlled the north-central Iraq area of operations, and was the first National Guard contingent to be in charge of an entire area of operation in the Middle East. Serving as the command and control (C2) of Task Force Liberty, the 42ID took over responsibility for the area known as Multi-National Division North Central (MND-NC) including the provinces of Salah Ah Din, Diyala, At Tamamim (Kirkuk) and As Sulymaniah from the 1st Infantry Division (1ID) on February 14, 2005. The 42ID directed the operations of 1st BCT, 3ID, 3rd BCT, 3ID, the 278th RCT, and the 116th BCT. Elements of the 42ID manned the checkpoint where Italian SISMI officer Nicola Calipari was shot and killed. Maj. Gen. Joseph J. Taluto, commanding general of the division during its deployment, commented the many contributions of the 42ID led “Task Force Liberty.” Soldiers conducted combat actions and raids, seized weapons caches, destroyed Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), trained Iraqi army forces, and worked on reconstruction to ensure free elections so that the people of Iraq would understand the meaning of freedom. Vice Chief of Staff of the Army (VCSA), Gen. Richard Cody, saluted members of the 42ID "on behalf of a grateful nation" at the unit's homecoming ceremony.

In 2008, two BCTs of the 42ID will deploy in support of Global War on Terror (GWOT). The 50th IBCT, headquartered at Ft. Dix, NJ, will deploy to the ITO (Iraq) as part of the 2008-2010 rotation of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). The 50th IBCT deployment will bring the total number of NJ National Guard Soldiers now being sent to Iraq and Afghanistan to over 3,200. The 50th IBCT units will be mobilized for one year, including stateside training and “boots on the ground” in theater. The 50th IBCT will conduct a variety of important missions in Iraq. The 50th IBCT premobilization training began in 2007 and will take place in New Jersey, with further OIF specific preparation being conducted at other Army installations out-of-state. Originally slated to deploy to Iraq in 2010, the 50th IBCT will be deployed earlier to compensate for the changes needed to comply with new Department of Defense (DoD) policies. Earlier in 2007, the DoD had reduced the amount of time units spend overseas in a combat theater, which in turn shifted mobilization schedules and required earlier deployments than anticipated. Elements of the 50th IBCT had deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) previously in 2004.

In 2008 the 27th IBCT, headquartered in Syracuse, NY, was mobilized with the role of training Afghan National Army (ANA) and Police forces in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Initial personnel from the 27th IBCT deployed in late 2007, with the majority of the approximately 1,700 service members deployed by mid 2008. The 27th IBCT rotation is based on US policy and commitments to Afghanistan and for the development of the Afghan National Security Forces. The need for the 27th IBCT rotation and US force levels in Afghanistan were based on security conditions, and determined based on the recommendations of military commanders in Afghanistan and in consultation with the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Homeland Security

During the Cold War and through the present, the 42ID and its soldiers have been regularly called upon for Homeland Security missions including disaster relief (such as Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Floyd) and emergency preparedness (such as Y2K missions).

First responders to the September 11, 2001 attacks attacks were members of the 42ID, and led much of the military support to the relief and recovery efforts. The 42ID was part of the relief team for the duration of the effort at Ground Zero in New York City. The 42ID has also been actively engaged in missions supporting Operation Noble Eagle (ONE). Soldiers of the 42ID have been regularly deployed within the United States to conduct Homeland Security (HLS) missions, both in the home states of the 42ID, as well as across the country. These missions have included airport security, critical infrastructure protection, border security, bridge and tunnel security, as well as rail/train station security.

Current Structure

42nd Infantry Division consists of the following elements:
* Division Special Troops Battalion
* 27th (Infantry) Brigade Combat Team (NY NG)
** 27th Brigade Special Troops Battalion
** 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry Regiment (RSTA)
** 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment
** 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment
** 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery Regiment
** 342nd Brigade Support Battalion
* 50th (Infantry) Brigade Combat Team (NJ NG)
** 50th Brigade Special Troops Battalion
** 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment (RSTA)
** 1st Battalion, 113th Infantry Regiment
** 1st Battalion, 114th Infantry Regiment
** 3rd Battalion, 112th Field Artillery Regiment
** 250th Brigade Support Battalion
* 86th (Infantry) Brigade Combat Team (Mountain) (VT NG)
** 86th Brigade Special Troops Battalion
** 2nd Squadron, 172nd Cavalry Regiment (RSTA)
** 1st Battalion, 102nd Infantry Regiment (Mountain) (CT NG)
** 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Regiment (Mountain)
** 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment (MA NG)
** 186th Brigade Support Battalion
* Combat Aviation Brigade, 42nd Infantry Division (NY NG)
** Headquarters and Headquarters Company
** 3rd Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment (GSAB) (MA NG)
** 1st Battalion, 151st Aviation Regiment (Attack/Recon)
** 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation Regiment (Assault)
** 1st Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment (S&S) (MD NG)
** Aviation Support Battalion

Attached Units

* 26th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MA NG)
* 197th Fires Brigade (NHARNG)
**3rd Battalion, 197th Field Artillery Regiment (NH NG)
* 369th Sustainment Brigade

Note: Security and Support (S&S) Battalions are used in a Homeland Security (HLS) and Drug Interdiction roles. These units are currently not to be deployed outside the United States. S&S Battalions are placed under a Combat Aviation Brigade for organizational purposes.

ee also

*Army National Guard
*Battle of the Bulge
*United States National Guard


*"The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States" U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950 reproduced at [http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/lineage/cc/cc.htm CMH] .
*Munoz, Antonio J. - Iron Fist: A Combat History of the 17. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division "Götz von Berlichingen"

External links

* [http://www.42idonline.com/ 42nd Infantry homepage]
* [http://www.unl.edu/libr/libs/spec/findaids/rainbow.html Rainbow Division Veterans Association, Records. Archives and Special Collections, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries] , a Finding Aid
* [http://www.rainbowvets.org/millennium.htm Rainbow Division Veterans Memorial Foundation]
* [http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10006164] Holocaust Museum
* [http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/arng/42div/42div.html] 42ID / New York Division of Military & Naval Affairs (DMNA)
* [http://www.42idonline.com/] Official 42ID Website


ID - Infantry DivisionUEx - Unit of Employment, XNG - National GuardSTB- Special Troops BattalionMI - Military IntelligenceBn - BattalionBCT - Brigade Combat TeamIBCT - Infantry BCTInf - InfantryRgt - RegimentRSTA - Reconnaissance, Surveillance & Target AcquisitionFA - Field ArtilleryFSB - Forward Support BattalionMtn - MountainCAB - Combat Aviation BrigadeGSAB - General Service Aviation BattalionAtk - AttackAslt - AssaultS&S - Security & SupportBDE - Brigade

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