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47th Infantry Division
Viking Division

In 1954 the 47th Infantry Division (National Guard) was reflagged as the 3d Infantry Division (Regular Army) at Fort Benning, Georgia, and the 47th Infantry Division was returned to state control. On 1 February 1968, the 33rd Infantry Division retired their colors and the Illinois National Guard became part of the 47th Infantry Division. In February 1991 the 47th Infantry Division (National Guard) was reflagged as the 34th Infantry Division (National Guard), and Federal recognition was withdrawn from the 47th Infantry Division.

On 15 December 1950 the Army ordered the National Guard's 31st Infantry Division from Alabama and Mississippi and the 47th Infantry Division from Minnesota and North Dakota to active duty by 16 January 1951. The 31st ID was the best manned of the nation's 27 Guard divisions with 12,000 soldiers. The 47th had 9,000 soldiers. It was a move to bring the number of active divisions from the existing 15, four of which were Guard units, to 18 in early 1951. The 31st Infantry Division (AL, MI), 37th Infantry Division (OH), 44th Infantry Division (IL), and 47th Infantry Division (MN, ND) became training divisions for individual replacements. Camp Rucker was inactive from March 1946 until August 1950, following the outbreak of hostilities in Korea. The principal Army unit operating at Rucker during the Korean conflict was the 47th Infantry Division, which trained replacement troops for combat in Korea. The post again became inactive in June 1954, after the Korean conflict ended.

On April 29, 1945, a regiment of the 47th Infantry Division, received orders to liberate Munich. The next morning, they set out by jeep from where the Stuttgart Autobahn passes Munich today and kept going until they hit the center of town. That day the regiment freed 14,000 Allied prisoners. Another regiment of the 47th Infantry liberated the Dachau Concentration camp.

On the morning of July 2, 1863, when 262 young men from Minnesota, members of the First Minnesota Volunteer Regiment, were ordered to hold Cemetery Ridge, against an attacking force of 1500 Rebel troops. By holding the ridge line against those impossible odds, the 262 brave Minnesotans not only turned the tide of the Battle of Gettysburg, but the victory at Gettysburg changed the course of the whole Civil War. At sunset that evening, only 47 men were left to stand roll call, out of the 262 who had entered into battle that morning. The government of the United States honored the courage of those 47 young men, by naming Minnesota's Viking Division the 47th Infantry Division.



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