Robert E. Wyllie.

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Extract from Order No. 12.785 "D," 9th of January, 1919

After approval of the General, Commander-in-Chief of the
American Expeditionary Forces in France, the Marshal of
France, Commander-in-Chief of the French Armies of the
East, cites in orders of the Army

American Sanitary Section 646


(©tber£{, ISecotationjf, anir Kn^^iBttia

Under the direction and exemplary leadership of its Com-
manding Officer, Lieutenant Ervin Drake, American Sanitary
Section 646 showed such remarkable skill and unlimited devo-
tion as to excite the admiration of the neighbouring divisions
during the operations of September 26th to October i, 1918.
In spite of very great material difficulties and with an absolute
contempt for danger, it succeeded, by reason of the indefati-
gable enthusiasm of all its drivers, not only in evacuating all
the wounded of the division with perfect regularity night and
day, but also in finding a way to relieve the neighbouring

(Signed) Buat
For the Marshal, Commander-in-Chief.

The divisional citation already quoted, published in
Army orders, was then repeated in Orders 14.969 "D"
of the Armies of the East, 25th of March, 19 19, as a cita-
tion in Orders of the Army, and this gave the unit the four
Army citations necessary for the f ourragere of the Medaille
MiHtaire which was awarded in Order No. 150 "F" from
General Headquarters of the French Armies of the East
signed by Marsjhal Petain.

The Belgian system is very siniilar to the French. In
that service two citations in Army orders carries the right
of a f ourragere in the colours of the ribbon of the Belgian
Croix de Guerre, red and green, and six citations a purple
f ourragere, the colour of the Order of Leopold. There is
no intermediate fourragere as in France. Belgian regi-
ments fighting in Africa wear a blue and yellow fourragere
for one citation, known as the colonial fourragere. On the
colour itself is embroidered in gold the names of the battles
for which the regiment was cited. This differs from both
the English and the French custom which merely requires


Betoratton of tfie ColoutiB;

participation in battle to carry the name. The Belgians
demand distinguished service.

In Italy the colours are decorated by attaching a valour
medal or a war cross to the cravate for distinguished ser-
vices of the unit, under the same general conditions which
apply to the award of those decorations to individuals, but
the system ends there; the Italians have nothing corre-
sponding to the f ourragere, neither are the names of battles
placed on the colours.

In Portugal the Order of the Tower and Sword or the
War Cross can be conferred on an organization for ex-
ceptional services in war, and this is shown by a knot of
silk ribbon placed on the colours, the ribbon being of the
same colour as the ribbon of the decoration conferred.
The personnel of the regiment then wear something very
similar to the French f ourragere, being two linked cords
with bows of the same colour as that of the ribbon fastened
to the right shoulder. This differs materially however
from the French fourragere in that it is worn only by the
men who took part in the operations for which the regi-
ment was decorated, so it partakes of the nature of a per-
sonal decoration in addition to being an honour for the

Comparing these six western European countries we
see that France, Belgium and Portugal decorate the colours
for distinguished services, and the men of the regiment
wear, as a part of their uniform, a distinctive device to
show the citations of the unit; they also place a limited
number of battles on their colours. Italy decorates the
colours as do the French and Belgians for distinguished


services, but does nothing else. The British have no
decorations for distinguished services, but show all the
important engagements in which the regiment participated.

Now for our American system, which has been entirely
changed since the close of the World War. Like the
British we have both the national and regimental colours.
On the regimental colour is placed the American eagle, and
on its breast in lieu of the shield of the United States is the
regimental badge or coat-of-arms. This use of the eagle
as the supporter for the arms of the regiment is an heraldic
representation of the Federal character of the organization.
In addition we have followed the Belgian custom by em-
broidering on the colour the names of battles in which the
regiment so distinguished itself as to merit citation in War
Department orders. Attached to the staff, just below
the spearhead, are streamers to show the wars in which
the regiment has participated. These streamers conform
to the colours of the ribbons for the different wars, and
the names of the principal battles in which the regiment
took part are embroidered on the proper streamers; this
parallels the service medals granted to individuals, while
the names placed on the colour itself, being for specially
distinguished service, correspond to personal decorations.

In addition each officer and man in an organization
which is cited in War Department orders wears a silver
star on the cuff, a second star is added for a second citation.
For a third citation the two silver stars are replaced by a
gold star, etc., a gold star being used for every three cita-
tions, and a silver star for each intermediate one. This is
purely a regimental decoration, and not in any sense per-


^irf!!Mii4lM\!!ikffi^ ,v\w,i«!mIw„, ,u.aliliy.ik\\4\i^

Becoration of ti}t CoIottriBf

sonal, it is a part of the uniform of the organization and must
be removed when the individual is transferred elsewhere.

From this it can be seen that we have combined the fea-
tures of the British, French and Belgian systems to pro-
duce an American system, differing from all others, but
covering identically the same ground.

Plate 22 illustrates the new American regimental colour.
The war history of the Ninth Infantry is shown on its
coat-of-arms. The wigwam is for the Indian Wars. In
the Spanish War the regiment took part in the battle of
Santiago crossing the San Juan River at the "bloody
angle," which is represented by the wavy chevron. The
dragon is for service in the China Relief Expedition of 1900
and the sun was the emblem of the Filipino insurrectos.
The crest is the shoulder insignia used by the regiment in
the World War (see ** Second Division" in Chapter XII)
encircled by the fourragere awarded to this regiment by
the French Government.

There are five streamers, one for each of the above five
wars with the battles embroidered on them, and the four-
ragere with which the French decorated the colours can be
seen attached to the staff just below the spear head.

The War Department has not yet (July, 1920) published
any citations for organizations, so none of our colours have
as yet been decorated for American citations, but to show
the system the names of the two battles for which the
French cited the Ninth Infantry, Soissons and St. Etienne,
are shown in this picture in the proper places; this would
entitle each man in the regiment to wear two silver stars
on the cuff.

14 209



SPECIAL badges or insignia to denote divisions and
corps was not a new thing in the World War. All
Army Corps in the Civil War had their own dis-
tinctive badges, worn usually on the hat. These were
coloured red, white or blue, to indicate the ist, 2d
or 3d Divisions of the corps. The custom was re-
peated in the Spanish -American War, but none of these
were worn as shoulder insignia, and so far as known that
particular feature originated in the World War under the
following circumstances.

In the summer of 191 8 the War Department received a
communication from the commanding general, Port of
Embarkation, Hoboken, reporting that all members of the
8 1 St Division, at that time going through the port
on their way to France, were wearing a "wildcat" in cloth
on the arm, and requesting information regarding the
authority for this device.

At that time troops were moving rapidly, more than three
hundred thousand a month, which is an average of less than
three days for a division, and by the time the answer came
from the War Department to the effect that no authority
existed for the "wildcat" the entire division had departed.











I Ith division

12th division

13th division

14th division


I8th division

26th division

27Tn i-'ivioiON

28th division


On arrival of this division in France difficulties were at
once encountered. The existence of the device was re-
ported to General Headquarters and the Commanding
General was directed to remove the insignia. He pro-
tested, saying that by its silence the War Department had
tacitly authorized it; that it was most desirable, in order
that the officers might readily know the men of the divi-
sion; and, finally, that it was highly prized by the per-
sonnel and therefore was a great help toward maintaining
and improving the morale of the command.

It so happened that General Headquarters had been
studying the question of the identification of units in
battle. Experience had shown that some method was
necessary for quickly reassembling troops after an offen-
sive. Organizations became confused, and after an ad-
vance they are almost inextricably mixed. To reassemble
under their own officers rapidly is an important point.

The British had adopted the system of cloth insignia,
placed usually on the back just below the collar, the de-
signs being of different shapes and colours, so arranged
that the men would assemble under the nearest officer
having insignia like their own. In this way the desired
reorganization was rapidly effected.

The ''wildcat" of the Eighty-first Division seemed to
offer a solution of the problem, and as a result it was
authorized and the commanding generals of all combat
divisions in France were at once directed to select insignia
for their divisions. This was later extended to include
all the different organizations of the A. E. F., on account
of the effect it had on the morale of the troops.


Inasmuch as these insignia were considered purely for
use at the front, they were confined entirely to the A. E. F.
The War Department did not adopt any except for the
oversea couriers who plied between Washington and
General Headquarters. Consequently, only organiza-
tions which were in France were granted permission to
wear shoulder insignia until May, 1920, when the War
Department adopted the principle as a permanent in-
stitution and now these insignia are authorized for all
units. The divisions numbered from nine to twenty,
inclusive, never left the United States, although several
of them selected insignia which would undoubtedly have
been approved upon arrival overseas. Illustrations of
these are given, but it should be borne in mind that they
have never been officially authorized.

The First Army was organized for the St. Mihiel offen-
sive, under command of General Pershing himself. It
then consisted of the I, IV, and V Corps, with the 33d, 35th,
80th, and 91st Divisions in reserve. The object was
attained without putting any of the reserve divisions in
the line.

Later the First Army was commanded by Lieut. Gen.
Hunter Liggett, and at the commencement of the Meuse-
Argonne drive consisted of the I, III, and V Corps, with
the 1st, 29th, and 82d Divisions in reserve.

In the lower part of the insignia are devices to represent
different arms of the service: a red and white patch for
army artillery; red castle for the army engineers; red,
white, and blue cocarde for the air service of the army, etc.

In the reorganization after the Armistice the First


Army consisted of the I, V, VIII Corps and immediately
began preparations to leave France for the United

The Second Army was organized on October loth, dur-
ing the Meuse-Argonne operation, and operated between
the Moselle and the Meuse, under Lieut. Gen. R. L.
Bullard, during the remainder of the fighting.

The colours of the insignia come from the standard
colours of an army headquarters used by both French and
Americaii?, a flag of red and white (the red being the upper
half) to mark the headquarters of the army, and a small
piece of ribbon, similarly coloured, worn on the front of
the coat by staff officers of a French army.

In the reorganization after the Armistice the Second
Army consisted of the VI and IX Corps, and was stationed
around Metz, Toul, and St. Mihiel, engaged in salvage

The Third Army was formed after the Armistice, under
command of Maj. Gen. J. T. Dickman, to advance into
Germany and occupy the bridgehead at Coblenz. It
consisted of the III, IV, and VII Corps. The insignia, an
**A*' inside an *'0," stands for Army of Occupation.

The 1st Division was the first in France, its headquarters
arriving there June 26, 191 7, and it was the last complete
division to return, in September, 1919. It was the first
at the front, the first to fire at the enemy, the first to
attack, the first to make a raid, the first to suffer casualties
and the first to inflict casualties, and, finally, the first to
be cited in general orders.

It was in the Sommerville sector, southeast of Nancy,


October 21 to November 20, 191 7; Ansauville sector in
the Woevre January 18 to April 2, 1918; Cantigny sector
and the Battle of Cantigny April 25th to July 7th; the
Marne offensive July 18th to 22d; Saizerais sector August
7th to 23d; St. Mihiel operation September 8th to 13th
Meuse-Argonne offensive September 30th to October 12th
operation against Mouzon and Sedan November 6th
march on Coblenz November 17th to December 14th.

In all, this division passed ninety-four days in active
sectors and 127 in so-called quiet sectors; but the word
*' quiet" is merely relative, because, no matter how peace-
ful it may have been before, when occupied by American
troops the enemy had no rest, and for their own protection
the Germans were obliged to reciprocate the attentions
they received.

This division captured 6469 prisoners and advanced
51 kilometres against resistance, with a casualty list of
441 1 battle deaths and 17,201 wounded.

The insignia of the 2d Division was evolved by a truck
driver, according to report. He painted the device on the
side of his truck and it was selected as the insignia for
the division.

The colour of the background on which the star is
placed shows the battalion or independent company in
the regiment, according to the following schedule: Black,
Headquarters Company; green. Supply Company; purple,
Machine Gun Company; red, First Battalion; yellow,
Second Battalion; and blue. Third Battalion.

The shape of the background showed the regiment, as
follows: 9th Infantry, pentagon; 23d Infantry, circle;


5th Marines, square; 6th Marines, diamond; I2th
Field Artillery, horizontal oblong; 15th Field Artillery,
vertical oblong; 17th Field Artillery, projectile; and 2d
Engineers, castle.

This division was organized in France from troops sent
over separately. Its headquarters was established Oc-
tober 23, 1917, and training as a division began at once.

It was in the Verdun sector March 18 to May*i5, 1918;
Chateau-Thierry sector June ist to July 9th, with almost
continuous heavy fighting, including the famous Belleau
Wood operation; Marne offensive July 18th and 19th;
Marbache sector August 9th to i8th; St. Mihiel sector,
including the offensive operation there, September loth
to 15th; Blanc Mont sector and offensive in Champagne,
October ist to 9th; Meuse-Argonne offensive October 31st
to November nth.

The division passed sixty-six days in active sectors and
seventy-one in quiet ; it advanced sixty kilometres against
resistance, lost 4478 killed and 17,752 wounded, and
captured 12,026 of the enemy.

The 2d led all our divisions in the number of Distin-
guished Service crosses awarded, 664 being the last official
report, but it is undoubtedly greater now.

The jd Division was organized in November, 191 7, at
Camp Greene, North Carolina, and went to France in
April, 1918; was in the Chateau-Thierry sector May 31st
to July 29th, stopping the German attack of July 15th to
1 8th, the last of the enemy offensives. Its conduct on
that occasion earned for it the title of the ' ' Marne Divi-


It was in the Meuse-Argonne offensive September
30th to October 25th, and marched on the Rhine
November 14th.

The 3d was never stationed in a quiet sector, but was
eighty-six days in active sectors — more than any other
division with the exception of the ist. It advanced forty-
one kilometres against resistance, captured 22,240 prison-
ers, and lost 3177 killed and 12,940 wounded, being ex-
ceeded in its casualty list by the ist and 2d Divisions only.

The three white stripes of its insignia are symbolical of
the three major operations in which the division partici-
pated. The blue field symbolizes the loyalty of those who
placed their lives on the altar of self-sacrifice in defence of
the American ideals of liberty and democracy.

The 4th Division, like the 3d, was organized in Decem-
ber, 191 7, at Camp Greene, North Carolina. It went to
France in May, 191 8; from July i8th to 20th it operated
with the Sixth French Army in the offensive near Norroy
and Hautevesnes on the Aisne; August 3d to nth it oper-
ated in the Vesle sector; Toul sector, September 6th to
14th; Meuse-Argonne, September 25th to October 18th.
March on Coblenz, November 20th.

It captured 2756 prisoners; advanced twenty -four and
one half kilometres against resistance ; spent seven days
in a quiet sector and thirty-eight in active, and lost 261 1
killed and 9893 wounded. Four ivy leaves, representing
the number of the division, constitute the insignia.

The sih Division was organized in November, 191 7,
at Camp Logan, Texas, and went to France at the begin-
ning of May, 1 91 8. It served in the Colmar sector, Alsace,


June 15th to July 14th; St. Die sector, Alsace, July 15th
to August 22d; St. Mihiel operation September loth to
i6th; Meuse-Argonne, October 12th to October 21st and
October 26th to November nth.

This division captured 2356 prisoners ; advanced twenty-
nine kilometres against resistance; spent seventy-two
days in quiet sectors and thirty- two in active; lost 1976
killed and 6864 wounded.

The insignia, the ace of diamonds, was placed on all the
divisional baggage as a distinctive mark before leaving the
United States for overseas service. No significant meaning
is recalled, other than that the red was a compliment to
the then commanding general, who came from the artillery.
The following explanations have been made, however :

"Diamond dye — it never runs."

"A diamond is made up of two adjacent isosceles
triangles, which make for the greatest strength." -

The division was nicknamed the ''Red Diamond

The 6th Division was organized in November, 191 7, at
Camp McClellan, Alabama, and arrived in France in
July, 191 8. It occupied a sector in the Vosges under
French command September 2d to October nth and was
in reserve in the Meuse-Argonne offensive November 2d to
nth, spending forty days in quiet sectors and none in
an active sector. It captured twelve prisoners and lost
ninety-three killed and 453 wounded.

The insignia is a six-pointed star in red, and is frequently
seen with the figure "6" superimposed on the star, but
that was never authorized.


This division is reported to have marched more than
any other in the A. E. F. and was known as the "Sight-
seeing Sixth."

The yth Division was organized at the beginning of
January, 191 8, at Camp Wheeler, Georgia, and went to
France in August. It occupied a sector in Lorraine,
October loth to November nth. It captured sixty-nine
prisoners, spent thirty-one days in quiet sectors and two
in active, and lost 296 killed and 1397 wounded.

The insignia originated as the result of using two figures
seven, one inverted and superimposed, which was later
transformed into two triangles. It was used for marking
the baggage of the division before going overseas.

The 8th Division was organized at Camp Fremont,
California, in December, 191 7. When the Armistice was
signed the artillery, engineers, and one regiment of infan-
try (the 8th, now on duty at Coblenz) had left for France.
The remainder of the division was at the port ready to
leave, but as all troop movements were at once suspended,
the division complete never reached France. Neverthe-
less, it lost six men killed and twenty-nine wounded. It
received the name of the Pathfinder Division, which is
represented in the insignia by the gold arrow, pointing

The loth Division was organized at Camp Funston in
August, 1918. It never reached France.

The iiih Division was organized at Camp Meade,
Maryland, in August, 19 18, and, like all the divisions
numbered from 9 to 20, inclusive (several of which chose
no insignia), it never left the United States. It became


^fiouftiet 3ns;ignia

known as the Lafayette Division, the profile of the Revolu-
tionary hero being represented in the insignia.

The I2th Division was organized at Camp Devens in
July, 19 1 8, and took the name of the Plymouth Division
because it was recruited mainly from the New England

The 13th Division was organized at Camp Lewis,
Washington, in September, 19 18. The device includes
the two proverbial *'bad luck" symbols, the figure thirteen
and a black cat, surrounded by the "good luck" horseshoe,
indicative of the doughboy's confidence in his ability to
overcome all hoodoos.

The 14th Division was organized at Camp Custer,
Michigan, in July, 19 18, and took the name of the Wolver-
ine Division, those animals having been very common in
Michigan in the early days. The head of a wolverine
appears on the insignia.

The i8th Division was organized at Camp Travis,
Texas, in August, 1918, and acquired the name of the
Cactus Division, which appears on the insignia, together
with the Latin motto meaning "Touch me not."

The 26th Division is the first of the National Guard
divisions, and was formed from the National Guard of the
New England States.

The National Guard was called into the Federal service
in July, 191 7, and drafted under the provisions of the
National Defence Act of 1916, on August 5, 1917; this
made them eligible for foreign service. The New England
Guard went into camp in their respective States, re-
maining there until departure for France, which was in


the fall of that year, headquarters reaching Le Havre,
October 23d.

The 26th was the first National Guard division to enter
the line and was preceded in this by the ist Division only.
It was in the Chemin des Dames sector February loth to
March i8th; La Reine and Boucq sector in the Woevre
April 3d to June 27th; northwest of Chateau-Thierry
July loth to 24th (which included the Marne offensive) ;
Rupt and Tryon sector Verdun September 8th to October
7th (which included the St, Mihiel operation); north of
Verdun, October 18th to November nth.

This division spent 149 days in quiet sectors and forty-
five in active, being exceeded in total time under fire by
the 1st Division only. It captured 3148 prisoners, ad-
vanced thirty-seven kilometres against resistance, and
lost 2135 killed and 1 1 ,325 wounded, standing sixth among
the divisions in the casualty list. It was named the Yan-
kee Division and used the initials thereof for its insignia.

The 2^th Division was the New York Division of the
National Guard. After being drafted into the Federal
service it went to Camp Wadsworth, South Carolina, re-
maining there until departure for France, in May, 191 8.
Its entire active service in Europe was with the British,
as a part of the Second Corps. It was in the line in
Flanders, four battalions at a time, from July 25 to
September 2, 191 8; the breaking of the Hindenburg line,
September 24th to October ist; St. Souplet sector. North-
ern Picardy, October 12th to 20th.

The 27th spent fifty-seven days in active sectors —
there were no quiet sectors on the British front. It cap-







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Online LibraryRobert E. WyllieOrders, decorations and insignia, military and civil; with the history and romance of their origin and a full description of each → online text (page 15 of 19)