2nd Infantry Division – Campaigns & Decorations

With ongoing developments in Korea with Kim Jong-un making threats and testing missiles, we need to ensure that the South Koreans along with other nearby neighbors are defended from this “crazy” character.

One of the primary means of defense is the 2nd Infantry Division. There are thousands of 2nd Infantry Division personnel stationed on the South Korean border. Many of the 2nd Infantry Division soldiers are actually South Korean soldiers using a combined method to defend and protect.

But, the 2nd Infantry Division has not always been defending Korea. They have a long history and have many campaigns and decorations to show for it.

Nicknamed Indianhead, the 2nd Infantry Division’s motto is: Second To None.

In this post, I am going to take you through the various campaigns this infantry division has participated in starting at World War I and moving forward.

World War I

The 2nd Infantry Division was first organized and activated in 1917 in France. Through late 1917 and part of 1918, the division trained with French and Scottish veterans.

When the division was sent into the war, a fact that is amazing is the fact that twice during that war, the 2nd was commanded by Marine Corps Generals.

Operations They Participated In

  • The Third Battle of the Aisne – An offensive by the Germans in 1918 that was a surprise to the allies.
  • The Battle of Belleau Wood – This was a great victory for the allies, especially the 2nd. It stopped the German advance.
  • The Battle of Château-Thierry – This was another allied victory with General Pershing in command of the AEF.
  • The Battle of Saint-Mihiel – In an effort to gain control of this town back from the Germans, many forces attacked and it was a victory.
  • The Meuse-Argonne Offensive – Lasting 47 days, it is the bloodiest battle in World War I and was closing out the War with an allied victory.

Other posts you may enjoy:

  1. 25th Infantry Division – Campaigns & Decorations
  2. 4th Infantry Division – Campaigns & Decorations
  3. Top 10 Famous Infantry Battalions
  4. Infantryman’s Creed: What You Should Know
  5. The 23rd Infantry Division: 25 Cool Facts

World War I Decorations

The 2nd was 3 times awarded the French Croix de guerre for gallantry for their service in this war.

World War II

The 2nd Infantry Division played a huge part in World War II. With over 3,000 soldiers killed in action, here are the campaigns the 2nd participated in:

Campaigns In WWII

  • Normandy
  • Northern France
  • Rhineland
  • Ardennes
  • and Central Europe

World War II Decorations

The 2nd was given the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for Ardennes and another for Elsenborn Crest.

Medal of Honor

These soldiers were given the distinguished Medal Of Honor:

  • Staff Sergeant Alvin Carey
  • PFC Richard Cowan
  • Tech 4 Truman Kimbro
  • Sergeant Jose Lopez
  • Sergeant John McVeigh
  • and PFC William Soderman

Korean War

This is the war that the 2nd Infantry Division was most active in. That is probably why they still are serving heavily on the Korean border.

Korean War Campaigns

The campaigns the 2nd were involved in with the Korean War consisted of:

  • The UN Defensive
  • The UN Offensive
  • CCF Intervention
  • The first UN Counteroffensive
  • CCF Spring Offensive
  • UN Summer Offensive
  • The 2nd Korean Winter
  • 1952 Korea Summer-Fall
  • The 3rd Korean Winter
  • and 1953 Summer Korea

Decorations

  • Presidential Unit Citation
  • 2 Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations

Medal of Honor

A total of 18 of these were awarded to soldiers from the 2nd during the Korean War.

  1. Sergeant 1st Class Loren Kaufman
  2. Master Sergeant Ernest Kouma
  3. Captain Edward Krzyzowski
  4. Sergeant 1st Class Charles Turner
  5. PFC Joseph Ouelette
  6. 1st Lieutenant Lee Hartell
  7. PFC David Smith
  8. Sergeant 1st Class Ronald Rosser
  9. PFC Luther Story
  10. Sergeant Charles Long
  11. Master Sergeant Travis Watkins
  12. 1st Lieutenant Frederick Henry
  13. Sergeant 1st Class Junior Edwards
  14. Sergeant 1st Class Tony Burris
  15. Master Sergeant Hubert Lee
  16. Sergeant 1st Class William Sitman
  17. PFC Herbert Pililaʻau
  18. Sergeant John Pittman

Iraq and Afghanistan

Indianhead has had some units involved in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but their top priority is Korea.

Conclusion

With the heat of potential problems with the North, you can be sure the 2nd Infantry Division is ready and able to defend and protect.

We would love to hear from current or former members of the 2nd. Tell us more about your division.

If you have questions or comments, you can post them below.

Thank you.

References

  1. https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/002_Infantry_Division_(United_States)_Unit_History
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2nd_Infantry_Division_(United_States)
  3. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/2id.htm

About The Author

Greg Boudonck is a full time freelance writer and the author of over 50 books. He served in the United States Army in the early 1980’s and enjoys writing about military subjects. You can see Greg’s books on Amazon by searching his name and you can also visit his website at Lancerlife.com.

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