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Fifth Army Corps

The Fifth Corps was organized July 10th, 1918, and was under the command of Major General W. M. Wright, Major General George H. Cameron, Major General C. P. Summerall. At the time of the Argonne-Meuse offensive the corps was composed of the 29th, 32nd, 37th, 79th, and 91st Divisions. At various times 18 divisions operated with the corps.

The insignia is five triangles with a common focus forming a regular pentagon. General officers wear gold triangles and piping on white background. Corps staff officers have all triangles blue on white background, with gold piping. Officers of corps troops have lower base triangle in varied colors to denote arm of service, other triangles blue on white background, with piping in varied colors to show arm of service. Enlisted men wear same insignia as officers, but without piping.

The Fifth Corps at St. Mihiel consisted of the Fourth. Twenty-sixth, and one French colonial division. It was the left wing, attacking from the west side of the salient. The Fourth Division was no the extreme left, the pivot of that flank, and the Twenty-sixth m1 the right, making contact with the First Division from the other side of the salient on the second day. In the Meuse-Argonne the Fifth Corps commenced the attack with the Seventy-ninth, Thirty-seventh, and Ninety-first Divisions. In the reorganization after the armistice the Fifth Corps consisted of the Twenty-sixth. Twenty-ninth, and Eighty-second Divisions.

For the reduction of the Marne salient, after four hours of Artillery preparation the Infantry advanced at 5 o'clock on the morning of September 12, 1918. The greater part of the Fifth Army Corps' advance was made by the 26th Division. The French division on the left had a much shorter distance to cover, and the elements of the 4th Division on the left of the French division merely held the line, acting as pivot. The work of the 101st Engineers with the 26th Division was practically the same as that of the divisional Engineers in the First and Fourth Corps.

The Engineer units operating under the direction of the corps engineer were the 4th Engineers, detached from its division; the 1st Battalion of the 53d Pioneer Infantry; and the 310th and 602d Provisional Corps Engineer Regiment. The topography of the St. Mihiel sector was exceedingly irregular, and the corps sector was a series of high, heavily wooded hills, with winding roads and railroads. As detours were impossible, the slightest obstruction in the roads made them practically impassable to the artillery and supply trains. Portable bridges were constructed previous to the action for the use of the Artillery in crossing trenches and other obstructions of similar nature. The building of other bridges proved to be troublesome only in the immediate rear of the enemy's former front lines where existing bridges had been destroyed.

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. The organization of the fourth and fifth corps was announced on July 27 as follows:
  • Sixth (Regular Army) Division, commanded by Major Gen. James B. Irwin.
  • Thirty-sixth (National Guard) Division, commanded by Major Gen. W. R. Smith.
  • Seventy-sixth (National Army) Division, commanded by Major Gen. Harry F. Hodges.
  • Seventy-ninth (National Army) Division, commanded by Major Gen. Joseph E. Khn.
  • Eighty-fifth (National Army) Division, commanded by Major Gen. C. W. Kenned.
  • Ninety-first (National Army) Division, temporarily commanded by Brig. Gen. Fred B. Foltz.



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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:37:47 ZULU