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3rd Division - Rock of the Marne

The 3rdDivision, Regular Army (formed under the U.S. Army), was organized in November 1917 and headquartered at Camp Greene, N.C. under the command of Major General Joseph Dickman.  Soldiers within the division were drawn from across the country, and some elements never co-located with the division before its departure to France.

3rd Division troops near Moulins, 1918.

The division entered the line-of-battle at Chateau Thierry—the 7th Machine Gun Battalion being the first deployed. Their objective was to stop German forces from crossing the Marne and proceeding into Paris.  As French forces on their flanks retreated, the 3rd Division held fast and stopped the Germans. It later became known as “The Rock of the Marne” for its superb defense.

Machine gunner of the 3rd Division in position at Chateau-Thierry, France. June 1, 1918.

The 3rdDivision fought for 27 continuous days in the Meuse-Argonne offensive and advanced a total of seven kilometers, seizing the hard fought Bois de Cunel and Hill 299 to do so. They were relieved from front-line duty on October 27, 1918. The 3rd Division fought with distinction in World War I. The 38thInfantry Regiment of the division was the only regiment specifically mentioned in General Pershing’s final report on the American Expeditionary Forces.

Members of Battery C. 10th Field Artillery, 3rd Infantry Division, in the Argonne, October 18, 1918.

Constituent Units of the 3rd Division

5thInfantry Brigade

  • 4thInfantry Regiment
  • 7thInfantry Regiment
  • 8thMachine Gun Battalion

6thInfantry Brigade

  • 30thInfantry Regiment
  • 38thInfantry Regiment
  • 9thMachine Gun Battalion

3rdField Artillery Brigade

  • 10thField Artillery Regiment
  • 18thField Artillery Regiment
  • 76thField Artillery Regiment
  • 3rdTrench Mortar Battery

Divisional Troops

  • 7thMachine Gun Battalion
  • 6thEngineer Regiment
  • 5thField Signal Battalion
  • Headquarters Troops
3rd Division Insignia stained glass in the memorial chapel at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery.