Texas Military Forces Museum

 

 

36th INFANTRY DIVISION

Organized at Camp Bowie, Fort Worth, Texas, under authority of a War Department order dated July 18, 1917, the 36th Division was composed of National Guard troops from the states of Texas and Oklahoma and later brought to war strength by the addition of several thousand national army men from the two states.

Its composition was as follows: 71st Infantry Brigade 141st and 142nd Infantry, 132nd Machine Gun Battalion; 72nd Infantry Brigade 143rd and 144th Infantry, 133rd Machine Gun Battalion; 131st Machine Gun Battalion, 61st Field Artillery Brigade 131st, 132nd (Light) and 133rd (Heavy) Field Artillery, 111th Trench Mortar Battery; 111th Engineers, 111th Field Signal Battalion and Trains.

While overseas, the division spent 23 days in active sectors and none in quiet ones, capturing 549 prisoners and suffering 2,528 casualties. The wartime 36th created a glorious record for its successors to uphold. Its combat service in France was as follows:

1. St. Mihiel Offensive, 111th Engineers, September 1216, 1918; 2. Meuse-Argonne Offensive, 111th Engineers, September 26-November 11, 1918; 3. Meuse-Argonne Offensive (Champagne), October 7-26, 1918, 141st, 142nd, 143rd and 144th Infantry Regiments, 131st, 132nd and 133rd Machine Gun Battalions and 111th Field Signal Battalion, and, 4. Meuse-Argonne Offensive, November 2-11, 1918, 141st, 142nd, 143rd and 144th Infantry Regiments, 131st, 132nd and 133rd Machine Gun Battalions and 111th Field Signal Battalion.

Following the Armistice, the 36th Division was returned to the United States and demobilized at Camp Bowie, Fort Worth, Texas, in June, 1919.

The outstanding feature of the National Guard in Texas in the post-war period was its reorganization and its designation as the 36th Division. In December, 1920, this Infantry Division was authorized by the Chief, Militia Bureau. Major General John A. Hulen was assigned to command the 36th Division. In the days and months and years that followed, the 36th Division rapidly took form, was equipped, trained and instilled with the spirit that made the war-time 36th Division an outstanding organization.

The progress it has made since its reorganization in the early 1920's was shown by the remarkable performance of its various units in the Third Army Maneuvers in the vicinity of Camp Bullis, Texas, from August 6 to 20, 1938, when its component parts displayed a remarkable degree of efficiency in military maneuvers and knowledge. Federal inspection reports of the 36th Division units show a consistency of "Satisfactory" and "Very Satisfactory" ratings.

During its existence, the 36th Division has been commanded by the following officers: Major Ceneral E. St. John Grebble, Major General William R. Smith, Major General John A. Hulen, Major General George P. Rains and Major General Claude V. Birkhead.

Today, numbering among its ranks the proud descendants of the Alamo, Goliad and San Jacinto heroes and possessor of a glorious tradition, the 36th Division stands ready "to maintain its reputation."

 



CLAUDE V. BIRKHEAD
Major General
Commanding 36th Division

Major General E. St. John Grebble commanded the 36th Division in the early days of its existence, serving as Commander from August 23 to September 17, 1918. It was during the last days of his command that the majority of the 36th Division troops arrived in France. He was one of the three wartime commanders.
Major General William R. Smith commanded the famous 36th Division of Texas during the World War period from August 3, 1918, to the date of demobilization, which took place at Camp Bowie, Fort Worth, Texas in June, 1919.
Brevet Lieutenant General John A. Hulen was Adjutant General of Texas from June 1, 1903, to January 23, 1907. He organized, trained and commanded the 72nd Brigade during all the time it was in France and was mustered out with it after the World War. He also commanded the 36th Division from May 2, 1923, until his retirement for age on September 9, 1935. He wears a silver star citation for gallantry in action during the Philippine Campaign and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his World War service.
Brevet Lieutenant General George P. Rains succeeded Brevet Lieutenant General John A. Hulen, who retired in September, 1935, as commander of the 36th Division. General Rains was succeeded by the present Commander, Major General Claude V. Birkhead.

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