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28th Division - Keystone or Iron Division

The reorganization of the U.S. Army after entry into the First World War led to major changes in the structure of National Guard Units. The 7thNational Guard Division from Pennsylvania received a new designation as the “28th” Division. It also took the nickname the “Keystone” Division to demonstrate state pride. After intensive training, the division travelled to Camp Upton, N.Y. to prepare for departure to Europe from Hoboken, N.J. and shipped out beginning May 3, 1918.

Members of Company B, 108th Machine Gun Battalion, 28th Division, halt near Boureauilles on September 26, 1918.

From August 18 to September 8, 1918 the division participated in the Oise-Aisne Offensive, and forced the enemy back across the Vesle River and extended Allied lines towards Clermont-en-Argonne. The division occupied the Clermont Sector in Lorraine from September 20 to 25, 1918 and prepared for the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, which began on September 26, 1918. During this great final offensive it staged numerous attacks and achieved significant advances, most notably the captures of Montblainville, Apremont, le Chêne Tondu, and Châtel-Chéhréy.

The 111th Infantry Regiment, 28th Division, after being relieved from the front lines. Food is distributed by the Red Cross and Salvation Army.

Relieved by the 82ndDivision on October 9, 1918, the division moved to the Thiaucourt Sector and patrolled until November 10, 1918. It again attacked on November 10, 1918 and advanced until the Armistice of November 11, 1918 halted operations and ended the war.

Men of the 28th Division nap near Boureuilles on September 26, 1918.

The 28th Division won ample recognition from General John J. Pershing himself, who nicknamed them the “Iron” Division because of their strong combat capabilities.

Battery C, 108th Field Artillery, 28th Division, firing on the retreating Germans from the ruins of Varennes, c. 1918.

Constituent Units of the 28th Division

55thInfantry Brigade

  • 109thInfantry Regiment
  • 110thInfantry Regiment
  • 108thMachine Gun Battalion

56thInfantry Brigade

  • 111thInfantry Regiment
  • 112thInfantry Regiment
  • 109thMachine Gun Battalion

53rdField Artillery Brigade

  • 107thField Artillery Regiment
  • 108thField Artillery Regiment
  • 109thField Artillery Regiment
  • 103rdTrench Mortar Battery

Divisional Troops

  • 107thMachine Gun Battalion
  • 103rdEngineer Regiment
  • 103rdField Signal Battalion
28th Division Insignia stained glass in the memorial chapel at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery.
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