Organization | History of 318th Infantry | Photos

Organization of the 80th Division AEF

The 80th Division, a National Army Division, was organized at Camp Lee, near Petersburg, Virginia in September 1917, with Major-General Adelbert Cronkhite, commanding. The Division was organized as follows:

159th Infantry Brigade: 317th Infantry Regiment, 318th Infantry Regiment, 313th Machine Gun Battalion.


160th Infantry Brigade: 319th Infantry Regiment, 320th Infantry Regiment, 315th Machine Gun Battalion.

155th Field Artillery Brigade: 313th Field Artillery Regiment (75mm), 314th Field Artillery Regiment (75mm), 315th Field Artillery Regiment (155mm), 305th Trench Mortar Battery.

Divisional Troops: 314th Machine Gun Battalion, 305th Engineer Regiment, 305th Field Signal Battalion, 305th Train Headquarters and MP, 305th Ammunition Train, 305th Supply Train, 305th Engineer Train, 305th Sanitary Train (Ambulance Companies & Field Hospitals 317, 318, 319, 320).

The enlisted personnel of the 80th Division were draftees drawn from Virginia, West Virginia and the western counties of Pennsylvania, giving the division the name of "The Blue Ridge Division."

The Division suffered 1,241 men killed in action; 4,788 men wounded in action; 100 men as prisoners of war or missing in action. There were 4,495 men received as replacements. The Division advanced a total of 24 miles and captured a total of 1,813 German prisoners of war.

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Summary History of the 318th Infantry Regiment

Co. A., 318th Infantry, April 1918
From the collection of Vincent Petty

From the start the 159th Infantry Brigade was known as a Virginia organization as all of its original enlisted personnel were drawn from the Commonwealth. The men of the 317th Infantry were drawn from the western counties of Virginia while the men of the 318th were drawn from the eastern counties of Virginia.

The 318th Infantry Regiment was organized September 5, 1917 at Camp Lee near Petersburg, Virginia. The men arrived in allotments until full strength was achieved. Five percent the first week, 15% the second, 25% the third week and the remainder the forth week. By October 1917 the 318th Infantry was at full strength. Company A was the first to be mustered into service followed by Company E. In November 1917 to bring divisions, about to leave for France, up to strength, 1,000 men were taken from the 318th. About April 1, 1918 to bring the regiment back up to strength a new draft of men was received. Nearly all of these men were from Pennsylvania.

On May 20, 1918 the 318th Infantry entrained for Hoboken, New Jersey and on May 22, 1918 sailed for France on the Leviathan. The Regiment arrived at Brest on May 30 and disembarked from its transport on May 31, 1918. It camped at Pontanazen Barracks before moving to Calais and a British camp known as West Camp No. 6. Here the Regiment turned in their American rifles and bayonets and drew British rifles and bayonets, British gas masks and drew steel helmets. Auto rifle sections drew the Lewis gun. On June 7-10, 1918 the 318th moved to the Samer Area for training with the British Army, training with the 16th (Irish) and 34th Divisions BEF. July 5, 1918 the regiment moved to Candas and continued training with the 19th Battalion of the Kings Regiment, 66th Division BEF until July 22, 1918. One July 22 the regiment passed from training in the rear to finally going into the trenched with the British Army. The Regiment moved to the forward zone of Rubempre, training with the 17th Division and the 38th (Welsh) Division BEF. During this period the platoons of each battalion were fed into the lines; 2nd Battalion platoons from July 27-31; 3rd Battalion platoons from July 31-August 4; 1st Battalion platoons from August 8-12. In this advanced training the 2nd Battalion suffered the first casualties of the Regiment with 4 killed and 5 wounded. The 3rd Battalion suffered one officer killed, one man killed and 7 men wounded. 1st Battalion suffered one officer and two men wounded. On August 12th the full 2nd Battalion when into the lines relieving the 14th Royal Welsh Fusiliers. On August 13, 1918 heavy hostile artillery fell on the 2nd Battalion resulting in casualties. The 2nd Battalion was relived on the night of August 18, 1918. Before the 3rd and 1st Battalions could enter the lines as full battalions the 318th (and 80th Division) was recalled by the American Army on August 19.

On August 19 and 20, 1918 the 318th Infantry moved to Domleger and on arrival in this area turned in their British rifles and bayonets and again drew their American ordnance. On August 21 and 22 the regiment moved to the American Sector. On August 23 and 24 the Regiment arrived with regimental and battalion headquarters at Recey-sur-Ource, Gurgy-le-Chateau and Colmiers-le-Haut, respectively. It was here that the 318th Infantry received the Chauchat auto rifle for the first time. On August 31 the Regiment marched to Dancevoir then to Latrecey. By September 7 the regiment was in the Resson area.

September 12-14 the American Army fought its offensive on St. Mihiel. During this drive the 318th Infantry and the bulk of the 80th Division were in reserve (though records indicate the 320th Infantry and 315th Machine Gun Battalion were engaged). On September 15 the Regiment embussed at Culey for Relamee Woods near Souilly. By September 25 the Regiment was in position south of Bois Bourrus on the Germonville-Vigneville Road.

September 26, 1918 the 80th Division went into action in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The 318th Infantry was held in reserve early in the offensive but on September 29 was sent to support the 8th Infantry Brigade of the 4th Division, fighting with the 4th until the 3rd of October. On the October 3 the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 318th were withdrawn and returned to the 80th Division for an attack to be made on October 4, while the 1st Battalion remained in support of the 59th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division returning to the regiment on October 5. The 318th was in action as part of the 4th Division and 80th Division from September 29 until the night of October 6/7 when it was relieved. During this period the Regiment suffered 7 officers and 101 men killed, 25 officers and 807 men wounded and 2 men missing. The 2nd Battalion had lost all of its company commanders and about 60% casualties and the 3rd Battalion had suffered as heavily.

On October 7 the regiment was relieved and the day was devoted to resting and relaxing and hot meals. On October 8 the regiment moved to Bois de Montfaucon. Here several officers rejoined the regiment from various army schools and new officers joined the regiment. The regiments strength was so greatly reduced that companies were at once reorganized on the basis of three small platoons per company and a certain amount of drilling was carried out on these reduced conditions. On October 11 the Regiment moved to Bois de Hesse arriving there on the night of the 11th and remaining until the morning of October 14 when it marched to Dombasle and there embussed for the Vaubecourt area. Here the regiment received a new issue of clothing with overcoats. It was also at Vaubecourt that the regiment received the Browning Automatic Rifle. The 318th remained in this area until October 24 when it was moved to Islettes les Petites.

By the night of October 31 the regiment was in line again and on November 3 was ordered to advance, continuing the advance by battalions a total of 16 kilometers until November 6. During these three days in line the Regiment suffered 5 officers and 20 men killed, 9 officers and 84 men wounded and 1 man missing.

One the morning of November 6 the 80th Division was relieved by the 1st Division. The men of the 80th Division were shocked that they were taken out of line at this time. They never knew why they were pulled, but since that time believed that they were pulled out so that the 1st Division could be on the line when the Armistice came through.

With the Armistice the Regiment was ordered to the 15th Training Area with Division HQ in Ancy-le-Franc, reaching there on the night of November 29. During this march the Regiment received 583 replacements. The Regiment remained in this area for about four months. Throughout the winter the Regiment continued training and also competed in various horse shows. On March 26, 1919 the Division was reviewed by General Pershing. On April 3 and 4 left the 15th Training Area for Mayet; an area known as the American Embarkation Center. It was at Mayet that the 318th Infantry was actually able to finish its regular rifle courses with the M1917 Rifle. On April 21 the inspectors of the Embarkation Center made their last inspections and on May 8 the entire Regiment was inspected and reviewed by Major-General Cronkhite. From May 13-15 the Regiment left Mayet for Brest and all units were in camp at Pontanezen by May 16 - Almost a year since they first arrived at Pontanezen. On May 17, 1919 the 318th Infantry embarked on USS Maui and at 4:55pm anchor was weighed. Eleven months and two weeks had been spent on French soil.

On May 27, 1919 land was sighted and by 3:00pm the ship lay anchor in Hampton Roads at Newport News, Virginia. And here we leave the Regiment, home again after a year of foreign service. When the regiment was disbanded the State of Virginia, which had given the regiment its birth, received its colors.

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This picture is of the baseball team of the 2nd Battalion, 318th Infantry Regiment which was the regimental champions with a record of 6-3.

The officer standing third from the right wearing glasses Vincent has ID'ed as Major Edward Little, who at the time was the commander of the 2nd Battalion. Because the picture is made aboard ship and there is a division patch visible Vincent strongly believes that this picture was made sometime between May 17 and 27, 1919 aboard the USS Maui as the regiment returned home.

The picture is from the collection of Vincent Petty and is a real picture post card. The picture also appears in the history of the regiment. View Photo

Photograph of Arthor J. Schaub of Pennsylvania. This picture of Schaub was according to the note on the back of the picture on April 14, 1919 in Laille, Sarthe France. The insignia of the 80th Division is visable as well as medical service collar disks on the left collar and overseas cap.

Schaub served as a Private First Class in the Field Hospital, 319th Ambulance, 305th Sanitary Train, 80th Division. According to the 80th Division Association Directory Schaub lived at 501 S. Center St., Corry, PA in 1920.

Thank you to Mr Bruce Smith for providing more information on Pfc Schaub. The picture is from the collection of Vincent Petty.

View Photo

Picture of Captain John Crum, Co. F, 318th Infantry. Captian Crum commanded Company F from its inception in September 1917 until he was killed in action, September 30, 1918. Crum had been a former member of Poncho Villa's army in Mexico and came to the regiment after serving two years with the British Expeditionary Forces on the Western Front.

The picture is From the regimental history of the 318th Infantry. View Photo

The truck in the photo is labeled "This reconnaissance car of the Motor Transport Corps U.S. Army was in service of the 80th Div."

The photo is captioned: "The vehicle featured in both photos is a 1917-19 White 4x2, 1-ton, 12 passenger reconnaissance car, Model TEBO. View Photo

This photo was reprinted in Army Motors, a publication of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association.

The following six photographs were made during the First World War by James Spencer. James Spencer was the official photgrapher for the 305th Engineers, 80th Division and these six pictures are from among the several hundred made by Spencer. After the war Spencer owned a photgraphy shop and sold copies of pictures made from the negitives he made during the war. These pictures were probably bought from Spencer by another veteran of the 80th Division of the 80th Division. These pictures were bought from a Richmond, Virginia antique shop by Vincent Petty. Further research has revealed that Spencer's negitives now reside at the Army War College at Carlisle, PA. Thank you to Mr. Bruce Smith for his help in identifying these pictures.

The first two photographs are of troops soon after their arrival in France, they show troops on trains in the area of Calais on June 14, 1918. This is the period that troops of the 80th Division arrived in France and moved to their training areas with the British Army.

View Photos: Photo 1, Photo 2

The third photograph is of troops about a bridgehead on the morning of the start of the Muse-Argonne Offensve. The photo is captioned "H Hour, toops at the Forges River at Daybreak, Jumping off place of the Argonne Drive, Company B Bridge Bethincourt. 9-26-18." As the 80th Division took up its positions at the start of the Muse-Argonne it took up positions on the Forges River before Bethincourt. The bridge on the Forges had been built 305th Engineers of the 80th Division. View Photo
The forth snapshot is of a traffic jam near Hill 304 near Bethincourt on the second day of the Muse-Argonne, September 27, 1918. Describing Hill 304, Private Rush S. Young of Company B, 318th Infantry wrote, "Hill 304, over which we had passed, was covered with human skeletons, the meat having long fallen from the bones. Who could they be? Yes both German and French, who had been killed in the early part of the war during the great driveand who could never be buried, because this had been 'No Man's Land' for four years. Those who were not buried were attacked and eaten by beasts of the field and the vultures of the air. In walking over this hill plenty of human skeletons, guns, bayonets, helmets, and scraps of uniforms scattered here and there could be found." View Photo

The fifth picture is of an uncompleted dugout bunker near Bethincourt. This photo was made on September 28, 1918. This may have been an unfinished German taken over by the AEF advance. View Photo

The sixth snapshot is of a road through the Argonne that has been camouflaged because it is under German observation. View Photo

While the 2nd Battalion, 318th Infantry was billeted in Curgy le Chateau (late August 1918) the battalion received an old salvaged French wagon that used as a mess wagon by the battalion. On the side of the wagon was painted "Ole Virginia Never Tires" along with reference to important periods of Virginia history -- "61-65 The Peninsular" in reference to the Civil War; "1607-1918" referring to the establishment of the Virginia Colony to the current date; "1812 Tidewater" referring to the war of 1812; "1676" referring to Bacon's Rebellion; "Southside Virginia 1898" a possible reference to the Spanish-American War. This photo of the wagon was made in October 1918 and all of the men pictured are Virginians. US Army Signal Corps picture. View Photo

Another view of the "Ole Virginia Wagon." From the regimental history of the 318th Infantry.

This picture is of the 318th Infantry Regiments homecoming parade on Capitol Square in Richmond, Virginia about June 1919. From the regimental history of the 318th Infantry. View Photo

317th Infantry Photos

317th Infantry, Co. B. MG Platoon.
Photos taken at Ft. Lee, Virginia & Newport News

317th Infantry in La Chalade Meuse, France



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