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 - April

April 2008 – All throughout the month of April 2008, elements of the 4ID/MND-B, in response to massive rocket and mortar attacks coming out of Sadr City, Iraq into the International Zone, fought the Battle of Sadr City. COL John Hort3BCT4ID commander said, “A major turning point in the Iraq war was taking Sadr City.” A tactic used was to build, under enemy fire, the Gold Wall, separating the southern third of Sadr City from the northern part and then cleaning out resistance in southern Sadr City. When completed, the Gold Wall consisted of more than 4,000 concrete barriers, ten to twelve feet high. 3BCT of 4ID, with attached units, engaged in more than 600 direct-fire engagements and expended more than 12,000 25mm rounds and more than 800 120mm tank rounds, to kill or capture more than1,000 Special Group (SG) criminals. By mid May, hostilities had been virtually eliminated.

1 April 1945 – The 4th Infantry Division continued the advance to the northeast in the direction of Wurzburg, Germany with the 8th and 22nd Infantry Regiments abreast and the 12th Infantry in division reserve.

14 April 2003 – At 0200 hours, the lead elements of the 1st “Raider” Brigade of 4ID/TF Ironhorse started rolling from Kuwait, toward the Iraqi border, on through Baghdad, and to the Sunni Triangle in northern Iraq – a 500 mile trip. Lead elements were 1-10 CAV and 1-8 IN, both attached to 1BCT for this operation. Fuel tanker trucks from 704 Division Support Battalion were in the lead convoy.

15 April 1970 – Camp Enari, home base for the 4ID since August 1966, was turned over to the South Vietnamese and the 4ID moved east to Camp Radcliff at An Khe, former home of the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).

16 April 2003 – Taji Airfield was attacked and secured by 1-8 IN and 1-10 CAV (this has been a major US base in Iraq since then).

17 April 2003 – Balad was taken by elements of 1BCT. Larger, more complex, and a more strategic objective than TajiBalad was to become a major strategic supply base for coalition forces, known as LSA Anaconda, now called Joint Base Balad.

20 April 2003 – The 4ID Tactical Operations Center arrived in Saddam Hussein’s palace complex in Tikrit. This would become the headquarters for 4ID/TF Ironhorse for the next year.

22 April 2004 – 4ID celebrated their homecoming from Iraq and OIF I with a day long celebration on and around Cameron parade field at Fort Hood, TX. This was the first public display of the new 4ID Memorial, honoring the 83 4ID/TF Ironhorse Soldiers who had fallen in Iraq.

25 April 1945 – As the period closed, leading elements of the 4th Infantry Division had advanced without contacting the enemy to just north or LandenburgWaldkirch and Weisingen, Germany. Reports were received of scattered small arms, presumably sniper fire, encountered by motorized elements of the 4th Infantry Division as they advanced through towns. Many prisoners of war, both in and out of uniform, were taken as mopping up activities in rear areas were carried out. The 4ID continued its advance and established contact with the 12thArmored Division in the vicinity of Gundel Fingen. At the close of the period, the bulk of the 8th and 12thInfantry Regiments were on the south side of the Danube River.

26 April 2003 – A major firefight occurred between 1-22 IN and arms dealers around two farmhouses near the Tigris River. During this fight, 1LT Osbaldo Orosco, platoon leader of the QRF of C/1-22 IN, became the first KIA of the 4ID in Iraq. (Thirty-eight years earlier, on September 5, 1966, PFC Albert Collins, also of C/1-22 IN, became the first KIA of the 4ID in the Vietnam War).

28 April 1944 – At Slapton Sands, England, in the early morning hours, five LST’s participating in Operation TIGER, a training exercise simulating the upcoming D-Day landing, were sunk by German U-boats, causing the loss of lives of 946 American soldiers and sailors. 4ID troops had already landed, the lost troops were support troops who would have been in support of 4ID on D-Day.

29 April 1918 – The lead elements of the 4th Division, the 4th Engineers, embarked New York harbor and landed at Bordeaux, France on 12 May. The remainder of the division followed soon after and by 5 June, after landing in England or directly into France, the entire 4th Division was in France. They trained from the time of their arrival until 11 June with the British Army.

30 April 1945 – During the month of April, the 4ID had covered a distance of approximately 250 miles. This rapid advance created a serious transportation-supply problem. Vehicles were required to motorize elements of the Division and at the same time the lines of supply were lengthening, necessitating longer trips back to the supply dumps. A total of 113 trucks were used during the month of April for transportation other than normal supply. 190 4ID officers and enlisted men were killed in April with 367 wounded. 26,091 prisoners were captured.