2nd DivisionOrganized February 1, 1955
(Decree 041-QP/ND of February 10, 1955)
(JGS Orders 1,065/TLM/DEQK/1/5 of January 21, 1955
and 0821/TTM/1/1/SC of February 14, 1955)
The 2nd division was a direct descendant of the 32nd Mobile Group which was formed in North Vietnam on November 3, 1953. Following the Geneva Agreement of July 1954, the group - three battalions, supporting artillery, and its headquarters unit - was transported from Hai Phong to Nha Trang and then to Da Nang. Although it has not been possible to locate the order, it is assumed that 32nd Mobile Group was formally disbanded in December 1954 (two other Mobile Groups the 21st and the 31st were disbanded on December 15, 1954).
LTC Ton That Dinh, the commander of the 32nd Mobile Group, became the first commander of the new 32nd Infantry Division which had as its nucleus the headquarters and other units of the old mobile group. A number of other units evacuated from the North were also incorporated in the division. Although the decree authorizing the division specified its founding date as to February 1, 1955, one of the implementing orders fixed January 1, 1955 as the official date LTC Dinh assumed command. The 32nd Infantry Division was renamed the 32nd Field Division effect August 1, 1955.
On November 1, 1955, the 32nd Field Division became the 2nd Field Division. A final change in title was made in January 1959 when the division became the 2nd Infantry Division. Although the division was initially headquartered at Da Nang, it was soon sent to participate in operation Giai Phong ("Liberation"). During operation Giai Phong the National Army took control of Southern Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh Provinces (Viet Minh Region 5) in nine territorial stages beginning April 22, 1955 and ending on May 17. (The operation was peaceful and was carried out under Franco-Viet Minh Protocol No. 27 to the Geneva agreement.) For its part, the 32nd Division landed at the Quang Ngai seaport of Sa Huynh and then took control of the area in Binh Dinh from Tam Quan to Phu Cat.
The 2nd Division normally operated in the Provinces of Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, and Quang Tin (detached from Quang Nam in 1962), although in 1963 the 4th Regiment was sent to the Mekong Delta for several months. The division's headquarters alternated between Da Nang and Quang Ngai. It last move from Da Nang to Quang Ngai in May 1965. However, in early 1972 the headquarters was moved from the Quang Ngai citadel to the former American base camp at Chu Lai in southern Quang Tin Province.
The 4th, 5th, and 6th Infantry Regiments (known as the 32nd, 155th and 31st Regiments prior to November 1955) have been a part of the 2nd Division since 1955. One of the division's battalions, the 1st of the 6th Regiment was, along with two battalions in the 21st infantry division, believed to be the oldest identifiable unit in the Vietnamese Armed Forces. Originally known as bataillion du Vietnam (BVN) 2, it was formed October 1, 1949 at Thai Binh in North Vietnam.
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