Iron Division


Timeline History of the 28th Division (Pennsylvania National Guard)
(compiled by Joe Hartwell)


July 15, the National Guard of Pennsylvania, including the 7th Div commanded by Maj. Gen. Charles M. Clement, is called into the federal service.

July 18, the War Department re-designates the 7th Div, Pennsylvania National Guard, as the 28th Division, and selects Camp Hancock, Augusta, Ga. for the training.

Aug 5, the National Guard of Pennsylvania is drafted into federal service.

Aug 19, the concentration of the Division at Camp Hancock begins.

Sept 1, Maj. Gen. Charles M. Clement assumes command.

Sept 14, the concentration, totaling 27,000, is completed and systematic training is begun.

Sept 22, Division is reorganized in accordance with the Tables of Organization of Aug 8, 1917; the brigades are organized and ultimately include:
55th Inf. Brig. Made up of the 1st, 3d, 10th, 13th, and a detachment of the 4th Regts. of Pa Inf., and a detachment of the 1st Pa Cav.
56th Inf. Brig. Made up of the 6th, 8th, 16th, 18th, and a detachment of the 4th, Regts. of Pa Inf.
53d FA Brig. Made up of the 1st, 2d, and 3d Regts. of Pa FA and a detachment of 1st Pa Cav.

In March several thousand National Army men from Camps Lee, Meade, and Travis are assigned to replace losses and complete the Division.


Apr 21, the leading units leave Camp Hancock en route to Camp Upton.

Apr 29, Advanced Detachment sails, and arrives, May 7, at Liverpool.

May 3, 5, and 7, DHQ and the infantry sail, and arrive, May 13, 14, and 16, at Liverpool, except the Hq 56th Inf. Brig and the 111th Inf. which land, May 13, at Southampton.

May 18-19, and 27, 53d FA Brig and the remaining divisional troops and trains sail, arriving, May 31, at Liverpool, except the 103d Supply Train which lands June 8. The troops, after a brief stay in rest camps, proceed via Dover and Southampton to Calais and Le Havre, France.

June 11, the last unit arrives in France.


May 17 – June 11, training with the British in Picardy.

May 17, Division (less Arty, and divisional troops and trains) moves from Calais to the Lumbres Training Area, east of Boulogne, where, May 21 – June 8, it trains with the British 34th Div. [May 8 – June 13, Division is under the administrative control of the II Corps.]

June 9, Division (less Arty, 103d Sup Tn, 103d F Sig Bn, 103d Tn Hq & MP) moves to entraining stations between St-Pol and Montreuil-sur-Mer in the area of the British First Army. [June 7, 53d FA Brig and 103d Am Tn move from Le Havre to Camp de Meucon for training.]

June 12-28, training with the French northeast of Paris and south of Chateau-Thierry.

June 12-14, Division (less detached units) arrives near Gonesse, northeast of Paris, where it trains; 55th Inf. Brig is attached to the Fr 125th Div, 56th Inf. Brig to the Fr 39th Div; 103d Sup Tn, 103cl F Sig Bn, and 103cl Tn Hq & MP rejoin. [June 21-July 28, Div is under the administrative control of the I Corps.]

June 23-24, Division (less Arty) moves with the Fr 39th Div and Fr 125th Div to the south of Chateau-Thierry, where it occupies stations along the Montmirail-Rebais railroad.

June 29, Division (less Arty) moves to the Honclevdliers Area; 55th Inf. Brig, attached to

Fr 125th Div, takes station near Artonges, and the 56th Inf. Regt., attached to Fr 39th Div, near Bassevelle.

July 1-14, Div (less Arty and 103d Sn Tn), affiliated with the French, participates in the occupation of the Chateau-Thierry Sector (Champagne).

July 1, units of the Division are affiliated for training with the Fr 39th and Fr 125th Divs, which are in line along the Marne near Chateau-Thierry.

July 7, the 56th Inf. Brig occupies a second position in the so-called West Sector. Extending from les Trinity Fme, 6 km southwest of Chateau-Thierry, to the Bois de Gravelles, 2 km west of Nogent-i’Artaucl. The Fr 39th Div holds the front; the 3d Div is on the right, 2d Div is on the left until it is replaced on July 10 by the 26th Div.

July 9, the 55th Inf. Brig occupies a second position extending west for 6 km from the center of the Bois de Rougis to a point north of Coufremaux. The Fr 125th Div holds the front; the Fr 51st is on the right, the 3cl Div on the left. Units of the Division are attached to French regiments and serve in the front line.

July 15-18, Div (less Arty and 103d Sn Tn) participates in the Champagne-Marne Operation.

July 15, the enemy attacks, crosses the Marne at Redly and points east thereof, advances through the Bois de Conde, and reaches the second position near St-Agnan. The Fr 73d Div is now assisting the Fr 125th Div. [July 16, units of the 109th Inf. join the Fr 20th Div, which has replaced the Fr 51st Div in line, in a counterattack east of St-Agnan.

July 16-19, 111th Inf. (56th Inf. Brig) is attached to the 3d Div which holds the line between the Fr 39th Div and Fr 73d Div.

July 17, 56th Inf. Brig moves to the right and occupies the second position on the left of the 55th Inf. Brig near Coufremaux; Fr 73cl Div relieves Fr 125th Div of command of the sector.]

July 18-Aug 6, Div (less Arty) participates in the

Aisne-Marne Operation .
July 19, 56th Inf. Brig is placed under the tactical control of the Fr 73d Div.

Night of July 19/20, the enemy withdraws to the north bank of the Marne.

July 20, Fr 73d Div attacks and advances to the south bank of the river; 111th Inf. reverts to the 56th Inf. Brig.

July 21, 56th Inf. Brig is placed at the disposal of the Fr 39th Div and moved north of the Marne to the vicinity of Saulchery and Charly.

July 24, 55th Inf. Brig is moving to the vicinity of Saulchery and Charly; 56th Inf. Brig, attached to 26th Div, relieves the 52d Inf. Brig (26th Div) in the line near Trugny and pursues the enemy.

July 25, 56th Inf. Brig is relieved by the 84th Inf. Brig (42d Div) and passes from the 26th Div to the reserve of the I Corps.

July 26, 55th Inf. Brig guards the Marne bridges between Mezy and Chateau-Thierry (both incl.).

Night of July 26-27, the enemy withdraws to the Ourcq River; Fr 39th Div pursues and the 28th Div units follow.

July 28, 55th Inf. Brig relieves the Fr 39th Div from Courmont (incl.) to 1 1/4 km north of Fresnes, advances northeast, crosses the Ourcq and holds the river line south of Bois des Lutes; 3d Div on right, 42d Div (I Corps) on left. The 56th Inf. Brig is in the reserve of the Fr XXXVIII Corps.

July 29, 55th Inf. Brig makes a series of attacks, in conjunction with the attack of the 3d Div, and gains some ground.

Night of July 29-30, 32d Div relieves the 3d Div.

July 30, 55th Inf. Brig, again attacks, cooperating with one brigade of the 32d Div on the right, captures the Bois des Grimpettes and Hill 188 on the right, and holds the line from that hill to 1/4 km southeast of Moulin Caranda.

July 31, 63d Inf. Brig (32d Div) relieves the 55th Inf. Brig; 28th Div passes to the reserve of the Fr XXXVIII Corps in a second line position north of the Marne near Le Charmel.

[July 31-Aug 3, Div is under the administrative control of the III Corps.]

Aug 3, Division, in corps reserve, follows the advance of the 32d Div toward the Vesle River.

Aug 4, Division continues to support the 32d Div and reaches the vicinity of Dravegny. [Aug 6, 53d FA Brig and 103d Am Tn revert to the Div and leave Camp de Meucon.]

Night of Aug 6-7, Division relieves 32d Div along the Vesle River from Fismes (incl.), through Tannerie, to les Grands-Marais; 56th Inf. Brig is in the front line, 55th Inf. Brig is in support; 6th Inf. Brig (3d Div) on right, 4th Div (I Corps) on left.

Aug 7-17, Division occupies the Fismes Sector (Champagne).

Aug 7-8, Division (less Arty) attacks Fismettes and occupies the southern and eastern parts of the town.

Aug 8-13, 53d PA Brig and 103d Am Tn rejoin.

Aug 10, Fismettes is occupied.

Aug 11, Fr 164th Div is on the right.

Aug 13, Division relieves the Fr 164th Div on the right. 77th Div on the left relieves elements of 28th Div west of Fismes. The new sector extends from west of Ormont Fme to Fismes (incl.), Fr 20th Div (Fr V Corps, Fr Fifth Army) is on the right local actions follow.

Aug 18-Sept 8, Division participates in the Oise-Aisne Operation.

Aug 22, Fismettes is cleared of the enemy.

Aug 26, Fr 9th Div is on the right.

Aug 27, the enemy recaptures Fismettes.

Night of Sept 3-4, the enemy withdraws toward the Aisne.

Sept 4, Division pursues across the Vesle River and advances to an east and west line 1/2 km north of Baslieux.

Sept 6, Division attacks several strong points and reaches a line extending from the northern edge of the Bois Vigneux toward the northwest, along the high ground, to the vicinity of la Croisette.

Sept 8, Fr 62d Div relieves the Division which on Sept 10, moves by stages through the Epernay, Revigny and Triaucourt Areas to the vicinity of Clermont-en-Argonne.

Sept 20-25, Division occupies the Clermont Sector (Lorraine).

Nights of Sept 18-19 and 19-20, Division relieves units of the Fr 73d and Fr 120th Divs., except in the outpost area, from 1/2 km southeast of Boureuilles, through les Merliers, to Pierre – Croisee; preparations for the Meuse-Argonne Operation follow; 35th Div on right 77th, Div on left.

Sept 20, Division is assigned to I Corps.

Sept 26-Oct 9, Division participates in the

Meuse-Argonne Operation.
Sept 26, Division attacks northwest. The 55th Inf. Brig captures part of Varennes west of Aire River and occupies the high ground 1/2 km south of La Forge and the Tranchee des fils de fer 11/2 km northwest of Boureuilles. The 56th Inf. Brig advances to the south slope of Cote des Perrieres, and Bas-Jardinet.

Sept 27, Division captures Montblainville but on the left progress is slow due to the German resistance at Champ-Mahaut.

Sept 28, Division attacks the right progresses along the Montblainville-Apremont road and captures Apremont; the high ground of le Chene Tondu is occupied; the left reaches the northern edge of the Bois de Bouzon.

Sept 29 &endash; Oct. 26, Division advances its right along the Aire River to g km south of Fleville and its left organizes the high ground of le Chene Tondu.

Oct 1, 1st Div replaces 35th Div on the right.

Oct 6, 82d Div relieves elements of the 28th Div north of La Forge.

Oct 7, 55th Inf. Brig attacks west and captures Chatel-Chehery and eastern slopes of Cote 244; 56th Inf. Brig attacks Cote 244 from the direction of Apremont, and prolongs the front to the southwest, 3/4 km south of Drachen.

Oct 8, Division advances its right, west of Chatel-Chehery, to the Pylone-Drachen road in the Bois de Cornay, and its left, west of Cote 244, to 1/4 km south of Drachen and thence southwesterly to a point 2 km west of le Menil Fme.

Oct 9, 326th Inf. (82d Div) relieves the Division, except the artillery and engineers which are attached to the 82d Div, which then assembles near Varennes and Montblainville as corps reserve.

Oct 10, Division moves to army reserve in the vicinity of Thiaucourt.

Oct 16-Nov 11, Division (less Arty) occupies the Thiaucourt

(Pannes) Sector (Lorraine).
Oct 16, Division relieves the 37th Div in this sector from 1 1/2 km south of Rembercourt, in Bois de Blainchamp. Along northern edges of Bois de Hailbat, along the Bois de la Montagne, Bois de Charey, and Bois de la Grande-Souche to the southern edge of Etang de Lachaussee. 7th Div on right, Fr 39th Div (Fr II Cl Corps) on left. [Oct 18, the 53d PA Brig is detached and moves from the Argonne Forest to Belgium.]

Oct 24-29, Division occupies Haumont-les-Lachaussee.

Night of Oct 28-29, the sector is reduced on the east when the boundary is moved to a point midway between Xammes and Charey. The 7th Div executing the relief, but is enlarged on the west to include the western edge of the Bois des Haravillers when the 28th Div relieves units of the Fr 39th Div; local actions follow. 33d Div (Fr II Cl Corps) on left.

Nov 4, the front is advanced to the northern edge of Bois des Haudronvilles Bas.

Nov 6, the Fr XVII Corps is on the left.

Nov 10-l 1, Division advances to the Bois Dommartin, Marimbois Fme, the northern edge of the Bois des Haravillers, and the Fme des Hauts-Journaux. [Oct 30-Nov 11,

53d FA Brig participates in the Ypres-Lys Operation, supporting the 91st Div, Oct 30-Nov 4 and Nov 10-11.


Nov 12, the training is resumed.

Jan 6, Division (less Arty) moves to the 6th (Colombey-les-Belles) Training Area.

Feb 1, 53d FA Brig is relieved from 91st Div and placed under the administrative control of the II Corps pending the arrival of the 28th Div in Le Mans Area.

Mar 12, 103d TM Btry. sails from Brest for the United States.


Mar 16, the Division moves to the American Embarkation Center, Le Mans.

Apr 12-20, Division entrains for St-Nazaire.

Apr 16, the leading elements sail.

Apr 19, DHQ sails from St-Nazaire, and arrives, Apr 30, at Philadelphia.

Apr 27, 53d FA Brig sails from St-Nazaire.

May 22, the last elements arrive at New York. The demobilization at Camp Dix includes: May 3, Hq 56th Inf. Brig, May 17, DHQ, May 18, Hq 55th Inf. Brig, May 22, Hq 53d FA Brig.