A brief history of the 104th Training Division Timberwolves

06/07/2010  |  Compiled by Maj. Jefferson Davis

 

The 104th Division was formed in August of 1921, in the Organized Reserves, as the United States Army Reserves was known then.  Its headquarters was at Fort Douglas, Utah, drawing its soldiers from Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada, and was known as the Frontier Division.  104th Division soldiers wore a shoulder patch with a grey wolf’s head on a green background to denote this.  This patch and the soldiers who wore it would become famous in World War II.


After the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, the 104th Division, with thousands of new soldiers, was activated at Camp Adair, Oregon, on September 15th, 1942.  At Camp Adair, they trained for over one year in the wet, forested climate, in preparation to combat in Europe.  After training at Camp Adair, the Timberwolves, as they became known, moved first to the Arizona desert, and then to the Colorado Rockies, where they completed their training in other extreme environments. 

 

The Timberwolves arrived at Cherbourg, France on September 7th, 1944, the first They did not enter move to the front lines immediately.  Many Timberwolves helped in the Red Ball Express, ferrying gasoline from the coast, to the front lines.  Others guarded the French coast, against German raiding parties from the Atlantic.  In October 23rd, 1944, the Division moved to the front lines, finally facing German enemies in the Netherlands.  On the 26th, they attacked, embarking in a 195 days of continuous fight, which ended with the German surrender on the 7th of May 1945. 

 

Following the fight in the Netherlands, the Timberwolves headed eastward, into Germany.Although they made many daylight assaults, the Division’s Commander, Major General Terry Allen ordered his soldiers to conduct night attacks, a tactic he employed when he commanded the First Infantry Division in North Africa.  The Timberwolves made several night attacks, as they crossed the Siegfried Line.  Elements of the 2nd Battalion, 415th Infantry Regiment, gained notoriety when they conducted a night attack near Lucherberg, Germany, from  December second through the fourth.  Each Soldier was armed only with a handful of grenades, and an empty rifle with a fixed bayonet.  The Timberwolves were so successful that German propaganda radio broadcast called the tactic unfair.  Decades later, these tactics would be echoed in the Timberwolf motto, “Night Fighters!” 

On December 16th, 1944, they dug in on the West Bank of the Roer River, and were the keystone of the Allied northern defense, while the Battle of the Bulge raged to the south.  The Division occupied defensive positions three times larger than ‘the book’ said they could, holding back many German assaults.  Eventually the Battle of the Bulge ended, and the Timberwolves crossed the Roer River, and in less than two weeks, on March 8th, they captured and briefly garrisoned the city of Cologne.  The Timberwolves soon crossed the Rhine, and advanced eastward in a 350 mile sweep that took them to the Mulde River.  Along the way, they paused to liberate the concentration camp of Dora Mittlebau, where slave laborers produced the dreaded V-2 rocket.  The Division quickly continued on their eastward push, and soon linked up with the Red Army on April 26th, helping end the war in Europe.

Shortly after Germany’s surrender, on May 7th, the 104th Division returned to San Louis Obispo, California, where they trained for the Pacific Theater, until Japan surrendered in August, 1945.  Major General Allen inactivated the Division, which held its final formation on 20 December 1945. 

But that was not the end of the Timberwolves.  Less than a year later, on December 1st 1946, the unit was reactivated as a Reserve Infantry Division, with its headquarters at the Vancouver Barracks, Washington.  For several decades the 104th Division drew most of its soldiers from the States of Washington and Oregon.  Since the 104th Division was reactivated in 1946, it has seen many changes in its size, mission, organization, and the location of its many units. 

In those early years, the Timberwolves were volunteer soldiers, who ‘drilled’ one weekend a month and two weeks a year without pay.  The Organized Reserves was redesignated as the Organized Reserve Corps on 25 March 198; which was finally redesignated as the Army Reserve on 9 July 1952.  The training grounds at Camp Bonneville, near Vancouver, Washington, and the Yakima Firing Center in Eastern Washington became familiar ground to the Timberwolves.   In 1959, the 104th Division received a new mission, and was reorganized as an Army Reserve Training Division.  For several years, Timberwolf soldiers traveled to Fort Ord, California in phases, on their two-week annual training.  At Fort Ord, they ran a military school, taking recruits through their entire basic training, certifing them as infantry soldiers.  Eventually that duty ended, but the Timberwolves continued teaching many new recruits military tasks at major training posts such as Fort Benning, Georgia, Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and even Fort Lewis, WA. 

In 1995, the 104th was redesignated as an Institutional Training Division (IT) where it also received the mission to support the Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) on many college campuses, and the cadet’s annual training event at Fort Lewis, WA.  Eventually, the 104th Division would have soldiers in units across the United States, and its territories. In 1995, the 104th Division began supporting the Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) detachments on college campuses, but still sent soldiers to fight.

In 1990, nearly 150 Timberwolves volunteered for, and served in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. In 2004, members of the Division’s Leadership Academy went to Iraq, helping train the Iraqi Army.  In 2007, over 300 Timberwolves, and soldiers from other units deployed to Iraq as part of the Multi-National Security transition Command-Iraq (MNSTC-I).  This was the largest number of soldiers the Division deployed since World War II.

Beginning in 2007, the 104th Division began a major transition from that of an Institutional Training (IT) unit to that of a Leader Training (LT) Division.  It became responsible for the training of future officers in the Army, for an Army and Nation at war.  The Division shrank by several thousand soldiers, and went from a Two-Star Command to a One-Star Command. 

Along with the new mission, and organization, the 104th Division (LT) must also move its headquarters.  In late 2010, the Headquarters of the 104th Division (LT) will move from the Vancouver Barracks, WA to Fort Lewis, Wa. 

continue the story with details, a photo gallery and issue cover >>

 
Page 2

1st Brigade (Professional
Development), 104th Division (Leader Training), Headquartered  in Aurora, C0

 

Campaign Streamers:

Northern France 1944

Rhineland 1945

Central Europe 1945

Subordinate Units:

3-414th (LDAC), Fort Lewis, Wash. 4-414th (SROTC), Fort Lewis, Wash.

4-413th (SROTC), Fort Knox, Ky.

The 1st Brigade was originally constituted 24 June 1921 in the Organized Reserves as Headquarters Company, 104th Division. It was organized in January 1922 at Salt Lake City, Utah and reorganized and redesignated 6 April 1942 as Headquarters and Military Police Company (less Military Police Platoon), 104th Division. It was ordered into active military service 15 September 1942 and reorganized at Camp Adair, Oregon, as Headquarters Company, 104th Infantry Division. It was inactivated 18 December 1945 at Camp San Luis Obispo, California. Following the activation of the 104th Division itself in 1946, it was activated 14 November 1947 at Portland, Oregon. The unit was inactivated 10 June 1959 at Portland, Oregon. It was disbanded 11 June 1959.

It was reconstituted 24 November 1967 in the Army Reserve as Headquarters, 1st Brigade, 104th Division (Training) and activated 10 January 1968 at Vancouver Barracks, Washington as a Basic Combat Training (BCT) Brigade.  Drill Sergeants from the 1st Brigade taught in a variety of missions from Army Training Centers to ROTC Advance Camp, to Advanced Individual Training on many different military posts. 

In 2007, as part of the Army Transformation process, the 1st Brigade reorganized several times, losing and gaining various units, and redesignating others.  Its mission also changed.  In late 2009, the Transformation was nearly complete, and the Headquarters of the Brigade had moved to Aurora, CO, and was designated 1st Brigade, (Professional Development), with three subordinate Battalions.  The first of these was the 3-444th (LDAC), at Fort Lewis, WA.  The second was the 4-404th (SROTC) at Fort Lewis, WA.  The third being the 4-413th (SROTC), at Fort Knox, Ky. 

The current missions of this Brigade are many-fold.  It includes supporting the ROTC mission of the Leader’ s Training Course at Fort Knox, KY, and Operation Warrior Forge at Fort Lewis, WA.  The Brigade also provides adjunct faculty ROTC detachments at universities across the Western United States and the Pacific Ocean.  At this time the Transformation is not completed.  Later in 2010, the 1st Brigade will gain several more battalions to complete its many missions.

 

413th

Fortior Ex Asperis, “Stronger After Adversity”

Units: 4-413th (SROTC), Fort Lewis, Wash.

Constituted June 24, 1921 in the Organized Reserves as the 413th Infantry.  Ordered into active military service Sept. 15, 1942 and reorganized at Camp Adair, OR. After World War II, the 413th was reactivated Mar. 25, 1947 in the Organized Reserves with headquarters in Oakland, CA. Reorganized and redesignated June 10, 1959 as the 413th Regt., an element of the 104th Division with headquarters in Portland, OR. In 1961, headquarters moved to Vancouver Barracks, WA.

Campaign Streamers:

World War II: Northern Europe; Rhineland; Central Europe

Decorations:

 2nd and 3rd Battalions: Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for Duren

 

414th

Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum, “If You Wish Peace, Prepare for War”

Units: 3-414th (LDAC), Ft Lewis, Wash.

3-414th (SROTC), Ft Lewis, Wash.

Constituted June 24, 1921 in the Organized Reserves as the 414th Infantry.  Ordered into active military service Sept. 15, 1942 and reorganized at Camp Adair, OR. After World War II, the 414th was reactivated Mar. 25, 1947 in the Organized Reserves with headquarters in Los Angeles, CA. Headquarters moved to Everett, WA in June 1948. Reorganized and redesignated June 10, 1959 as the 414th Regt., an element of the 104th Division with headquarters in Salem, Ore.

Campaign Streamers:

World War II: Northern France; Rhineland; Central Europe

 

3rd Brigade (Professional
Development), 104th Division (Leader
Training), Headquartered in Fort Belvoir, Virg.

 

Campaign Streamers:

Northern France 1944

Rhineland 1945

Central Europe 1945

Subordinate Units:

4-399th (LTC), Fort Knox, Ky.

4-415th (SROTC), West Hartford, Ky.

3-304th (USMA), Lewiston, Maine

 

The origins and lineage of the 3rd Brigade, 104th Division date to the founding of the Division.  When the 104th was constituted on 24 June 1921 in the Organized Reserves, one of the units assigned to it was the 329th Engineers.  The 329th was organized 1 December 1921 with Headquarters at Salt Lake City, Utah.  In 6 April 1942, the 2nd Battalion of the 329th was detached from the overall organization, and the remaining units were redesignated as the 329th Engineer Battalion.  This unit was ordered into active military service on 15 September 1942, at Camp Adair, Oregon.  It was reorganized as the 329th Engineer Combat Battalion. Following the end of World War II, it was inactivated 10 December 1945 at Camp San Luis Obispo, California, with the rest of the 104th Division.  On 15 June 1947, the 329th was activated again, with Headquarters at Tacoma, Washington. On 1 March 1950 the Headquarters of the 329th was moved to Seattle, Washington.  On 15 November 1952, the 329th Engineer Combat Battalion was reorganized and redesignated as the 329th Engineer Battalion. On 18 September 1959, the Battalion, minus Companies A and B was inactivated.

On 24 November 1967, the Headquarters, 329th Engineer Battalion, was converted and redesignated as the Headquarters, 3rd Brigade, 104th Division (Training).  It was Activated at Fort Lawton, Washington on 10 January 1968. On 1 August 1989, the Headquarters moved to Bothell, Washington.  On 15 September 1993, the Headquarters moved again to Fort Lewis, Washington.  It was inactivated on 15 September 1995.  On 16 November 1996, it was  Activated at Vancouver Barracks, Washington.

While headquartered at the Vancouver Barracks, the 3rd Brigade was designated as a Combat Support (CS) training element.  Working under the Total Army School System, the 3rd Brigade and its subordinate units taught a classes on a variety of specialties, including Military Intelligence, Civil Affairs/Psychological Operations, Signal, Chemical, Military Police, and many others. 

In 2007, as part of the Army Transformation process, the 3rd Brigade reorganized several times, losing and gaining various units, and redesignating others.  Its mission also changed.  In late 2009, the Transformation was nearly complete, and the Headquarters of the Brigade had moved to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and was designated 3rd Brigade, (Professional Development), with three subordinate Battalions.  The first of these was the 4-399th (LTC), at Fort Knox, Ky.  The second was the 4-415th (SROTC) in West Hartford, CT. The third being the 3-304th (USMA) at Lewiston, Maine. 

The current missions of this Brigade are many-fold.  It includes supporting the ROTC mission of the Leader’ s Training Course at Fort Knox, KY, and Cadet training at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY.  The Brigade also provides adjunct faculty ROTC detachments at universities across the Northeastern and Southeastern United States.  At this time the Transformation is not completed.  Later in 2010, the 3rd Brigade will gain several more battalions to complete its many missions.

 

399th

“I Am Ready”


Units: 4-399th (LTC), Ft. Knox, Ky.

Constituted July 23, 1918 in the National Army as the 399th Infantry assigned to the 100th Division. Demobilized Nov. 30, 1918. Reconstituted June 24, 1921 in the Organized Reserves, headquartered in Lexington, Ky. Ordered into active military service Nov. 15, 1942 and reorganized at Ft. Jackson, SC.  Inactivated Jan. 29, 1946 at Camp Kilmer, NJ. Redesignated Oct. 15, 1946 as the 399th Glider Infantry, an element of the 100th Airborne division. Reorganized and redesignated Apr. 17, 1959 as the 399th Regt., headquartered in Louisville, KY.  Ordered into active military service Sept. 25, 1961 and released in August 1962. Reorganized Jan. 26, 1968 to the 2nd and 3rd Bns, element of the 100th Division (Training). Reorganized Nov. 16, 1996 to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Bns, 100th Division (IT).  Assigned to 104th Division (IT) 2008

Campaign Streamers:

World War II: Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe

Decorations:

1st Bn: Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for Raon L’etape

3rd Bn: Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for Fohlenberg

 

304th

“Forward”

Unit: 3-304th (USMA), Lewiston, Maine

Constituted Aug. 5, 1917 in the national Army as the 304th Infantry. Reconstituted June 24, 1921 in the Organized Reserves and assigned to the 76th Division.  Ordered into active military service June 15, 1942 and reorganized at Ft. Meade, Md. After World War II, the 304th was reactivated Dec. 17, 1946 with headquarters in Portland, ME. Reorganized and redesignated May 1, 1959 as the 304th Regt., an element of the 76th Division with headquarters in Portsmouth, NH. Reorganized in October 1996 to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions, elements of the 98th Division.  Assigned to 104th Division (LT) 2008

Campaign Streamers:

World War I: Streamer without inscription

World War II: Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe

 

415th

“Old Faithful”

Units: 4-415th (IET), Phoenix, Ariz.

Constituted June 24, 1921 in the Organized Reserves as the 415th Infantry.  Ordered into active military service Sept. 15, 1942 and reorganized at Camp Adair, OR. After World War II, the 415th was reactivated June 12, 1947 in the Organized Reserves with headquarters in Tacoma, WA. Reorganized and redesignated June 10, 1959 as the 415th Regt., an element of the 104th Division with headquarters in Seattle, WA. 

Campaign Streamers:

World War II: Northern France, Rhineland, Central Europe

Decorations:

1st Bn: Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for Roer River Bridgehead

2nd and 3rd Bns: Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for Lucherberg

Campaign Streamers:

Northern France 1944

Rhineland 1945

Central Europe 1945

 

Distinguished Unit (Presidential) Citations:

* 2nd Bn, 413th Infantry and attached units for the period 24-26 Feb 1944, for Duren

* 3rd Bn, 413th Infantry and attached units for the period 23-26 Feb 1944, for Duren

* 1st Battalion, 415th Infantry and attached units for the period 23-25 Feb 1945, for Roer River Bridgehead

* 2nd Battalion, 415th Infantry for the period 2-4 December 1944, for Lucherberg

* 3rd Battalion, 415th Infantry for the period 2-6 December 1944, for Lucherberg

 

Page 3



Download a copy of this cover art from The Griffon 108 Summer 2010 Issue.
Various photos, posters and pictures were compiled from the 104th Training Div., command historian to create the montage.
 

 

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