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6th Division - The Sightseeing Division

The 6thDivision, Regular Army (formed under the U.S. Army), was organized November 26, 1917 with headquarters at Camp McClellan, Alabama. Troops of the division came from across the country. Elements of the Sixth Division arrived in France between July 10 and July 26, 1918. Most of the division travelled through England and Scotland before arriving in Le Havre and Cherbourg, France. 

The final offensive of the war, the Meuse-Argonne, was launched by the Allies on September 26, 1918.  On October 27 the Sixth Division was called forward to the northern sector of the offensive. They detrained from their transport cars well south of their objective, Argonne, and made a long, arduous march north pulling machine guns and equipment by hand across roads retreating Germans had attempted to make impassable. After marching over fifty-kilometers under extreme conditions, the division was in position on November 6. It filled a vulnerable gap on the French army’s left flank near Stonne, France. Had this gap not been quickly filled the Allied line would have been dangerously exposed. The division did not actively enter the fight after deploying on line in the Meuse-Argonne because the German army was in full retreat closely pursued by other Allied divisions. The Sixth Division’s 11thField Artillery saw action in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive attached to the 89th Division. 

The Armistice was signed on November 11, just days after the Sixth’s deployment into the line.

The 6th Division humorously adopted the nickname “The Sightseeing Division” because it was rumored to have marched more than any other in the AEF, and had seen large portions of the Western Front. 

3rd Battalion, 54th Regiment, 6th Division in France before return to the United States.

Constituent Units of the 6th Division

11thInfantry Brigade

  • 51stInfantry Regiment
  • 52ndInfantry Regiment
  • 17thMachine Gun Battalion

12thInfantry Brigade

  • 53rdInfantry Regiment
  • 54thInfantry Regiment
  • 18thMachine Gun Battalion

6thField Artillery Brigade

  • 3rdField Artillery
  • 11thField Artillery
  • 78thField Artillery
  • 6th Trench Mortar Battery