The 33rdDivision of the U.S. National Guard formed on July 18, 1917. The War Department reorganized the U.S. Army upon entering World War I, and redesignated the 12thNational Guard Division with this new name. The 33rdDivision consolidated on August 3, 1917 at Camp Logan, Texas for training. They took the nickname the “Illinois” Division to honor their roots.
On September 5, 1917 the “Illinois” Division, now assigned to the French XVII Corps, began to move to the Verdun-Fromeréville Sector. On September 14, 1917 the 33rd Division joined the U.S. III Corps and occupied the right of their line in anticipation of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
The division attacked on September 26, 1917 and advanced to the Meuse and Côte de l’Oie-Danneovoux. It captured Forges and the Bois de Forge. It remained in this critical position until October 7, 1917, when it transferred to the French XVII Corps. It joined their attack on October 8, 1917. Since they were now positioned on both sides of the Meuse River, the division crossed the river directly in view of the enemy, who fired at them from the heights as they progressed. The “boys from Illinois” reached their objective south of the Bois de Chaume and continued their advance.
The 33rd Division was relieved by the French 115th Colonial Infantry Division beginning 21 October.
Constituent Units of the 33rdDivision
58thField Artillery Brigade