Historian’s Corner


Historian’s Corner

By Bob Babcock, Past President/Historian

After serving as your president, I am honored to continue to serve as the 4IDA historian. My role now will be to focus on history of the entire 100 years of service by the 4ID.

First, I have reprinted the 1920 book, History of the 4th Division in the World War, written by COL Christian Bach, the Chief of Staff during WWI. That book, in hard cover, can be purchased from the https://www.deedspublishing.com/ website. All profits from book sales will be reinvested into research and making more out of print books and other historic information and stories from all eras available to our members.

            My next project is to re-energize my focus on publishing a book – War Stories 2 – which will include your stories that you will send me from your service in World War II, Cold War, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and today’s mission in Eastern Europe. Please send your stories to me at babcock224@aol.com in a Microsoft Word document.

This Day in 4ID History - October / November

3 October 2009– Soldiers of 3-61 CAV4BCT4ID fought a major battle in Kamdesh, Afghanistan when their outpost was attacked with small arms, rocket-propelled grenade and indirect fires. The battle was won, eight 4ID Soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice. Two Soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor - SSG Clinton L. Romesha and SPC Ty M. Carter both serving with Bravo Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during combat operations in Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan.

4 October 1918 – Phase II of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive began, with units of the 4th Division wearing gas masks as they attacked through heavy German machine gun, artillery, and gas projectiles.

October 2006 – During the month of Ramadan, the 4ID had their single largest casualty month in all their tours in Iraq. Forty-eight 4ID/MND-B Soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice in October 2006.

28 October 2005 – MG James D. Thurman and CSM Ron Riling cased the 4ID colors in a ceremony at Cameron Field at Fort Hood, TX as the 4ID prepared to start their second deployment to Iraq.

1 November 1967 – The Battle of Dak To began, which included units from 4ID and 173rd ABN BDE. The battle would last until 1 December, 1967 – along with Tet 1968, one of the bloodiest battles for the 4ID in the Vietnam War. 

6 November 1944 – The 12th Infantry Regiment moved into the Hurtgen Forest to take over positions being vacated by the 109th Infantry Regiment of the 28th Infantry Regiment.

6 November to 7 December 1944 – The 12th Infantry was the first 4ID unit to fight in a month long battle which still stands as the bloodiest battle in 4ID history – the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest. On 16 November 1944, the remainder of the 4ID moved into the forest and fighting raged until the 4ID was withdrawn on 7 December 1944 and sent south to Luxembourg to recover from the rigors of combat and receive replacements from those Ivymen lost in the Hurtgen. Combat and non-combat casualties for the Division amounted to over 7,500 personnel – but the 4ID did fight their way through the forest, a feat which previous units had been unable to do. 

11 November 1918– The armistice ending WWI was signed, ending the fighting for the 4th Division. This day is still commemorated each year as Veterans Day.

16 November 1944– The 8th and 22nd Infantry Regiments of the 4ID joined the 12th Infantry Regiment in the Battleof the HurtgenForest.

17 November 1944– 1LT Bernard Ray, F/2-8 IN, earned the Medal of Honor (posthumously) while fighting in the Hurtgen Forest of Germany.

20 November 1944– LTC George L. Mabry, Jr., CO of 2-8 IN, earned the Medal of Honor while fighting in the Hurtgen Forest of Germany.

27 November 1944– SSG (then PFC) Marcario Garcia, B/1-22 IN, earned the Medal of Honor while fighting in the Hurtgen Forest of Germany.

Notes about logistics – November 1944:

Extreme difficulties were encountered in the delivery of rations, water and ammunition and in the recovery of vehicles, weapons and other equipment (considerable combat losses) because of the mass of trees and branches brought down by mortar and artillery fire, plus all the mines and traps.

With the troops continuously exposed to rain and mud, trench foot broke out and evacuation of these cases was heavy.  Issue of overshoes and additional socks was expedited and reduced appreciably the trench foot cases.

November 1944 Casualties:

KIA       Officers = 42, Enlisted Men = 390
MIA      Officers = 10, Enlisted Men = 245  (Many of these were later listed as KIA)
SWA    Officers = 20, Enlisted Men = 318 (Seriously Wounded in Action)
LWA     Officers = 133, Enlisted Men = 2,895 (Lightly Wounded in Action)

Total     Officers =205, Enlisted Men = 3,848

Prisoners Captured:  1,757