GWA American Troops


1st Division AEF

16th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Division, A.E.F.


Purpose

To accurately recreate an infantry company of the Unites States Army’s 16th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division in the First World War, circa 1918. Enhance our understanding of the history f the Great War in general and the United States role in that war specifically, as well as deepen our knowledge of the individual soldier’s, “ the Doughboy” experiences. Further goals are to use this knowledge and understanding to educate others regarding the First World War, from the perspective of the common soldier.

Re-created Unit

The specific re-created unit will be “C’ Company 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st brigade, 1st Infantry Division. Prior to WWI the US Army did not have standing infantry divisions. Regiments operated independently or where formed into brigades on an ad hoc basis. The 1st Infantry Division was formed upon the United States formal entry into WWI. It was comprised of the 16th and 18th Infantry Regiments (1st Brigade) and the 26th and 28th Infantry Regiments (2nd Brigade). These regiments where picked to form the division as they all had much combat experience both within the US and overseas, either in Cuba, the Philippines or the Mexican Expedition. The 16th took part in all three. During the Mexico Expedition the 16th impressed General Pershing with its performance and professionalism, that he personally picked the 16th for inclusion in the 1st Division. Throughout the war, General Pershing stated that he felt the 1st Division was the finest in the US Army, and made it clear that it was his personal favorite.

Historical Unit

The following is a brief summary of the 16th Infantry from its formation after the US Civil War through the end of WWI.

The 34th Infantry Regiment and 11th Infantry Regiment consolidated into the 16th Infantry Regiment on 3 March 1869. The 11th Infantry's history prior to the consolidation is normally included with the 16th's.

The regiment took part in some of the hardest-fought battles of the war, including Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Wilderness, and Petersburg. They took significant losses during Gettysburg from a position between the Wheatfield and Devil's Den. Two battalions took part in the Battle of Stones River.

Following the Civil War the 16th took part in the reconstruction of the south and then performed duty on the frontier in the Indian Wars.

The 16th participated in the capture of San Juan Hill with the V Corps. The 16th later fought in the Philippine–American War, fighting in 27 engagements with the greater part of its activities concentrated against the rebels in the Cagayan Valley.

The 16th was one of 4 original regiments to form the 1st Expeditionary Division, later known as the 1st Infantry Division. Throughout WWI the 16th participated in every major 1st Division campaign. It was the first regiment to take combat casualties and engage German forces during the war.

On 4 July 1917, the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, paraded through Paris. At Lafayette's tomb, one of General John J. Pershing's staff Lt. Col. Charles Stanton uttered the famous words, "Lafayette, we are here!"

On 4 October 1918, near Fleville, France, the 16th was the only Allied unit to take its objective during the opening drive of the Meuse-Argonne Campaign. 4 October is still celebrated as the 16th Infantry organizational day. The coat of arms pattern from Fleville was later included in the 16th's regimental crest.

The 16th twice earned the Croix de Guerre, France's highest military honor, for actions at Soissons and Fleville. Today 16th Infantry soldiers wear the fourragère on their uniform.

In September 1919, the regiment returned to the United States and posted at Fort Dix, New Jersey. In 1920 the regiment was posted at Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York and would remain the U.S. Army's "show" regiment for New York City. Mayor La Guardia named the 16th "New York's own" and the "Sidewalks of New York" became the regimental song. The regiment would remain at Fort Jay until February 1941 when reassigned to Fort Devens, Massachusetts and later Camp Blanding, Florida for combat training prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

Dreadnought & Castles of Steel – Robert Massie

Guns of August – Barbara Tuchman

The Great War and Modern Memory – Paul Fussell


Joining the Big Red One

Contact Glenn Lunde, unit commander at gplunde64@gmail.com for information on becoming a member. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, 16th Infantry - 1st Division - AEF, 1917-1918

Website: https://www.facebook.com/groups/179917202180969

Unit Commader/Contact:

Glenn Lunde
834 Middleline Rd
Ballston Spa, NY, 12020
PH: (518) 258-2861

Email: gplunde64@gmail.com






Back to GWA American Troops