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5th Division - Red Diamond Division

On June 1, the 5thDivision was attached to the 33rdFrench Army Corps and sent to a relatively quiet sector on the Allies’ extreme right flank in the Vosges Mountains. The division suffered its first casualties of the war in this sector on June 14, 1918.  Although its training program was not entirely completed, circumstances required the 5thDivision to take over a sector of its own.

On September 10, 1918 the 5th Division moved into line on the south face of the St. Mihiel. The reduction of the St. Mihiel salient (a salient being an area that projects into the enemy’s defensive line) cleared the flanks for the final American offensive of the war, Meuse-Argonne. The 5th Division played a key role in this climactic final push.  In the opening stages of the battle the 5th Division acted as a reserve for the 5th Army Corps.

Gen. John J. Pershing at the review of the 5th Infantry Division in Esch-sur-Alzette, November 1918.

On October 10, 1918 the division relieved elements of the 4th Division at Cunel. Two days later it was ordered to withdraw and prepare for yet another attack. This attack ended with the capture of the Bois des Rappes.  The division then rested and reorganized near Montfaucon. 

The 5thDivision re-entered the battle October 27, 1918 relieving the 3rdDivision. The village of Clery-le-Grand fell to the division on November 1, 1918 giving the Allies an advantageous location to cross the Meuse River. After crossing the river, elements of the 5thDivision pursued the retreating German army until the Armistice of November 11, 1918. The division advanced as far as Foret de Woevre.

Constituent Units of the 5thDivision

9thInfantry Brigade

  • 60thInfantry Regiment
  • 61stInfantry Regiment
  • 14thMachine Gun Battalion

10th Infantry Brigade

  • 6thInfantry Regiment
  • 11thInfantry Regiment
  • 15thMachine Gun Battalion

5thField Artillery Brigade

  • 19thField Artillery
  • 20thField Artillery
  • 21stField Artillery
  • 5thTrench Mortar Battery

Divisional Troops

  • 13thMachine Gun Battalion
  • 7thEngineer Regiment
  • 9thField Signal Battalion
  • Headquarters Troop
5th Division Insignia stained glass in the memorial chapel at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery.