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First Army Corps

By the end of August 1917 the First Division was concentrated in an area around Gondrenonrt, and it was known that it would be the nucleus of the First Army Corps. The First American Army Corps was authorized January 9, 1918, organized January 20, and was commanded by Lieutenant General Hunter Liggett (then Major General), Major General J. T. Dickman, and Major General W. M. Wright. The insignia of the First Corps is a brown circle superimposed on a larger white circle.

On June 21, 1918, the First Corps established headquarters at La Ferte-sous-Jouare and was placed in administrative command of the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 26th, and 28th Divisions, constituting at that time the Paris group. For 10 days the First Corps operated in conjunction with the Third French Corps. The corps engineer handled the work of the corps sector in collaboration with the chief engineer of the French Corps. At various times 17 divisions had been attached to the corps for operations.

On July 4, 1918 the First American Army Corps formally took over from the Third French Corps the sector immediately northwest of Chateau Thierry, the front line running in a northwesterly direction from the vicinity of Vaux to the vicinity of Bussiares. At that time the sector, which was under the Sixth French Army, was held on the left by the 167th Division, Infantry (French), and on the right by the 2d Division (American). The 26th Division relieved the 2d Division in the First American Corps sector on the 10th of July. The First American Corps at the beginning of the offensive had the 26th Division in line on the right, the 167th French Division on the left, and the 42d American Division in reserve. It later had the 4th American Division.

During the St. Mihiel offensive the First Corps consisted of the Second, Fifth, Eighty-second. and Ninetieth Divisions and the Seventy-eighth in reserve and was the right of the attack, the Eighty-second being the pivot on which the right wing turned. At the beginning of the Meuse-Argonne operation, September 26th, 1918, the First Corps consisted of the Thirty-f1fth. Twenty-eighth, and Seventy-seventh Divisions in the line, with the Ninetysecond in reserve. On this occasion it was the left of the American army, the Seventy-seventh Division being on the extreme left, next to the French, until relieved by the Seventyeighth, which was later relieved by the Forty-second. After the armistice the First Corps consisted of the Thirty-sixth, Seventy-eighth, and Eightieth Divisions.

It was temporarily commanded by Major Gen. Hunter Liggett. Normally a corps was supposed to consist of four divisions, but this was by no means always followed. Neither was any corps constant in the divisions assigned to it. One would be withdrawn and another substituted, according to the exigencies of the occasion. So it is impossible to give the composition of the corps which will be correct for all dates.

  • 1st (Regular Army) Division, commanded by Major Gen. Robert L. Bullard.
  • 2d (Regular Army) Division, commanded by Major Gen. Omar Bundy, including marines.
  • 20th (National Guard) Division, commanded by Major Gen. Clarence R. Edwards, composed of New England troops, many of whom had seen service on the Mexican border. This was the first National Guard division, sent to France.
  • 42d (National Guard) Division, commanded by Major Gen. Charles T. Menoher, known as the Rainbow Division.
  • 41st (National Guard) Division, originally commanded by Major Gen. Hunter Liggett, composed of troops from the Pacific Coast States and known as the Sunset Division.
  • 32d (National Guard) Division, commanded by Major Gen. William G. Haan, composed of troops from Michigan and Wisconsin.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:36:00 ZULU