The 30th Division was created on July 18, 1917, and was formally activated into Federal
service in August 1917 at Camp Sevier, South Carolina, and was composed of National
Guard units from North and South Carolina and Tennessee.
The Division was named after the famed and illustrious soldier and President, Andrew
"Old Hickory" Jackson, who was born near the North/South Carolina border, and rising
to fame in Tennessee, where he provided some regional flavor to the tightly knit
group of soldiers that he led there during the Indian Wars.
The Division's logo is an obvious link to this heritage, being represented by an
"O" and "H" with the Roman Numeral "XXX" in Royal Blue on a background of Scarlet
Red in the center. During World War I, the shoulder patch (logo) was worn horizontally,
which actually was the incorrect orientation, which was not discovered and corrected
until the mid 1920's.
The 30th Division served overseas with the American Expeditionary Forces during World
War I, and on 29 September 1918, distinguished itself in the Somme Offensive by smashing
its way through the famed and so called impregnable 'Hindenburg Line', a victory
that hastened the end of World War I. It also participated in the Battles of La Selle,
St. Mihiel and in the Meuse-Argonne, and during these battles, its men were awarded
twelve (12) Congressional Medals of Honor.
After World War I, the 30th Division was deactivated from Federal service and reverted
back to its National Guard role in its respective States.
World War II:
Again in September 1940, the 30th Infantry Division, composed of the National Guard
troops of North & South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia, was inducted into Federal
service at Ft. Jackson, S.C., also named after Andrew Jackson. Here it spent over
one year in organizing and preliminary training.
Later, the 30th Infantry Division received a major part of its advanced training
at Camp Blanding, near Starke, Florida, to where it had been transferred in October
of 1942, and remained there until the summer of 1943, after losing most of its trained
Officers and Men to cadre new divisions throughout the country. After receiving replacements
from nearly every State in the union, the Division continued its training during
1943 at Camp Blanding, Florida, Camp Forrest Tennessee and Camp Atterbury, Indiana,
where it made its final preparations prior to moving overseas up until February of
On 12 February 1944, the 30th Infantry Division sailed for Europe, and settled on
the south coast of England to participate in further training for the coming invasion
of the Continent "at some time in the future".
In June of 1944, after being fully trained and prepared for the greatest invasion
of all times, the 30th Infantry Division started crossing the English Channel to
France on 6 June, D-Day, to replace some of the units of the 29th Infantry Division
which had become almost immediately lost during the initial attack of the invasion,
and then the balance of the Division went into the beaches of Normandy, Omaha Beach
on D plus 4, the 10th of June and up through the 15th, and was almost immediately
committed into combat against the experienced German Army.
During combat, the 30th Infantry Division was known as the "Workhorse of the Western
Front". It was also familiarly known as "Roosevelt's SS Troops", so named by the
German High Command because of the consistent vigor and terrific pressure the 30th
Infantry Division brought to bear on Hitler's 'elite' 1st SS Division. The German
'elite' 1st SS Division was the main force of resistance just prior to the breakthrough
at St. LO, and again at Mortain, which the 30th Infantry Division literally tore
to shreds, thereby allowing Gen. George Patton's armored forces of the U.S. Third
Army to go forward and race across France, thereby shortening the war by many months.
The German 1st SS Division was then reorganized over the next few months, and was
again faced by the 30th Infantry Division in the "Battle of the Bulge", during the
great Ardennes-Alsace Offensive, near Malmedy, Belgium, during the winter of 1944-45.
Again the 30th Infantry Division tore to shreds this 'elite' enemy division, which
was never again to return to battle.
End of the war
The 30th Infantry Division was initially organized and engaged in its early training
under the command of Maj. Gen. Henry D. Russell, followed by Maj. Gen. William Simpson,
who later became the U.S. Ninth Army Commander, to which the 30th Infantry Division
was attached. Later, the division spent the rest of its training days under the command
of Maj. Gen. Leland S. Hobbs, and it remained under his command throughout the entire
war, including the days when the link-up was made with the Russian Army at Magdeburg,
Germany on the Elbe River in April of 1945.
Immediately following the end of the war, the 30th Infantry Division spent the next
two months in Occupation on the border of Czechoslovakia and Germany.
Shortly after the end of their Occupation duties, in early August 1945, the 30th
Infantry Division returned to the United States on the Queen Mary and the USS General
Black, and was soon deactivated at Ft. Jackson, S.C. on 25 November 1945.
This ended the illustrious service of the 30th Infantry Division in WWII.