Back to
Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery Welcome Screen

36th Division - The Texas Division

The 36thDivision of the U.S. National Guard formed on July 18, 1917 drawing troops from Oklahoma and Texas. By the spring of 1918 it had reached full strength with the addition of selective service men acquired through “the draft.”

Choctaw soldiers of the 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Division, Camp Bowie, Texas, 1917.

For its insignia, the division chose a light blue arrowhead containing a letter “T.” The arrowhead symbolized the Indian Territory in Oklahoma while the “T” symbolized Texas, thus representing the origins of the division’s troops. The 36th acquired the nickname the “Texas” Division. Approximately 600 American Indians served with the 36th Division; most were Cherokee and Choctaw.

On September 23, 1918 the 36th Division became a reserve division of the French Group of Armies of the Center. It remained at Bar-sur-Aube until September 26, 1918 when it moved between Epernay and Châlons-sur-Marne to prepare for its role in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

The 36th Division began relieving the 2nd Division on October 6, 1918 and assumed command of its entire sector on October 10, 1918. After fierce fighting around St. Etiene and Machault, the 36th Division established a line along the south bank of the Aisne on October 13, 1918. This front line remained intact from October 15 to 21, 1918. 

The French 22nd and 61st Divisions relieved the 36th Division from October 26 to 28, 1918, after which the division became part of the reserve of the First American Army and moved to the Triacourt area. After the Armistice ended hostilities on November 11, 1918 the 36th Division moved to the 16th Training area near Tonnerre on November 18, 1918. It remained there until April 26, 1919, when the division began its return voyage to the United States.

Choctaw Code Talkers returning to the U.S. from fighting in WWI on June 7, 1919.

Constituent Units of the 36thDivision

71stInfantry Brigade

  • 141stInfantry Regiment
  • 142ndInfantry Regiment
  • 132ndMachine Gun Battalion

72ndInfantry Brigade

  • 143rdInfantry Regiment
  • 144thInfantry Regiment
  • 133rdMachine Gun Battalion

61stField Artillery Brigade

  • 131stField Artillery Regiment
  • 132ndField Artillery Regiment
  • 133rdField Artillery Regiment
  • 111thTrench-Mortar Battery

Divisional Troops

  • 131stMachine Gun Battalion
  • 111thEngineer Regiment
  • 111thField Signal Battalion
  • Headquarters Troops
36th Division Insignia stained glass in the memorial chapel at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery.