Military


9th Infantry Division
"Old Reliables"

The 9th Infantry Division was first constituted on July 8th, 1918 in the Regular Army as Headquarters, 9th Division. Ten days later it was organized at Camp Sheridan, Alabama to be part of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, but the Armistice was signed before it saw action and the division was demobilized after less than a year on February 15th, 1919. It was redesignated a Regular Army unit on March 24th, 1923 and placed on the inactive list.

The 9th Infantry Division was constituted 1 August 1940 at Fort Bragg, NC. The 9th Infantry Division saw its first combat in the North African invasion, 8 November 1942, when its elements landed at Algiers, Safi, and Port Lyautey. With the collapse of French resistance, 11 November 1942, the Division patrolled the Spanish Moroccan border. The 9th returned to Tunisia in February and engaged in small defensive actions and patrol activity. On 28 March 1943 it launched an attack in southern Tunisia and fought its way north into Bizerte, 7 May. In August the 9th landed at Palermo, Sicily, and took part in the capture of Randazzo and Messina. After returning to England for further training, the Division hit Utah Beach on 10 June 1944 (D plus 4) , cut off the Cotentin Peninsula, drove on to Cherbourg and penetrated the port's heavy defenses. After a brief rest in July, the Division took part in the St. Lo break-through and in August helped close the Falaise Gap. Turning east, the 9th crossed the Marne, 28 August, swept through Saarlautern, and in November and December held defensive positions from Monschau to Losheim. Moving north to Bergrath, Germany, it launched an attack toward the Roer, 10 December, taking Echtz and Schlich. From mid-December through January 1945, the Division held defensive positions from Kalterherberg to Elsenborn. On 30 Jannary the Division jumped off from Monschau in a drive across the Roer and to Rhine, crossing at Remagen, 7 March. After breaking out of the Remagen bridgehead, the 9th assisted in the sealing and clearing of the Ruhr Pocket, then moved 150 miles east to Nordhausen and attacked in the Harz Mountains, 14-20 April. On 21 April the Division relieved the 3d Armored along the Mulde River, near Dessau, and held that line until VE-day.

The division was inactivated 15 January 1947, but reactivated 15 July 1947 at Fort Dix, NJ, serving as a training division. On May 25th, 1954, the division colors were transferred to Goepengin, Germany, to replace the 28th Infantry Division which had resumed its traditional role with the Pennsylvania National Guard. In the fall of 1956 the 9th was rotated to Ft. Carson, Colorado. By December of 1957 the division had been reorganized from the Triangular type division to the new Pentomic. The three original infantry regiments were converted to Battle Groups and the 1st Battle Groups of the 5th Infantry and the 13th Infantry were added to the division. The division was again deactivated on January 31st, 1962.

Redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 9th Infantry Division it was activated at Ft. Riley, Kansas on February 1st, 1966 and reorganized under the Reorganization Objective Army Division (ROAD) system. Under this system each division was formed to meet particular combat demands, using improved mobility and increased firepower.

On December 19, 1966 the 15th Engineers entered the Mekong Delta to build the first division sized base camp just 20 miles northeast of Saigon. The remainder of the division officially entered Vietnam at Vung Tau on December 19, 1966. After again distinguishing itself in battle the division was inactivated on September 25th, 1969 at Scofield Barracks, Hawaii. However, the 3d Brigade comprised of the 2d/47th Inf.; 2d/60th Inf.; 5th/60th (M) Inf. remained and was reorganized as a separate brigade on July 26, 1969. This organization also had operations in Cambodia and was eventually deactivated at Ft Lewis, Washington on October 13, 1970.

The divisions most recent service was at Ft Lewis, Washington where it was reorganized and activated on April 21st, 1972.

As planners developed various ideas for a light division, the Army Staff selected the 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington, to serve as a "test bed," or a field laboratory, for equipment, organization, and operations. One objective was to shorten the equipment developmental cycle typically from five to seven years. Although the Army obviously wanted the division to experiment with new equipment, difficulties in funding hobbled the effort from the start. Some of these problems were overcome through the direct intervention of the Army Staff, but others were never surmounted. In 1982 the Army changed the emphasis of the 9th Division's mission from testing highly technical equipment to developing innovative organizational and operational concepts. The result was the design of a motorized division of 13,000 men and capable of being airlifted anywhere in the world. Before the 9th Infantry Division completed its new assignment, however, the Army set off in a new direction for the light division.

The Ninth Infantry Division (Old Reliables) was finally inactivated at Ft Lewis, Washington by Order #201-29 on June 16th, 1991.

On 1 February 1966, however, the division was re-activated at Fort Riley, KS. And sent to III Corps Tactical Zone of Vietnam. The 9th Infantry Division arrived in Vietnam on 16 December 1966 from Ft Riley, KS and departed Vietnam for Ft Lewis, WA on 27 August 1969. On 26 July 1969, the 3rd Bde, 9ID was OPCON to the 25th ID and remained in Vietnam until 11 October 1970 when it went to Ft Lewis, WA. The Bde was located at Tan An. Elements of the 9th Infantry Division served 1,440 days in Vietnam.



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list