NEWS | April 3, 2017

Oregon National Guard honors 41st Division and World War I centennial

By Oregon National Guard

CLACKAMAS, Ore. — The Oregon Army National Guard's 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team honored the 100th anniversary of the 41st Division during an April 1 ceremony at the 41st Infantry Division Armed Forces Reserve Center at Camp Withycombe.

The event recognized the division's formation and participation in World War I. The 41st Division event is one of many taking place across the nation to mark the official centennial of U.S. participation in World War I on April 6.

The 41st Division was activated on April 1, 1917, with Soldiers from Oregon and other northwest states who trained together before heading to Europe for World War I. The 41st Division was named the "Sunset Division" due to its close association with Pacific Northwest states where the sun sets on the Pacific Ocean.

While the 41st never fought as a consolidated division in World War I, the Soldiers of the 41st served as replacements for units in other divisions and operated a reception and training depot in France. Although the 41st Division did not enter battle under their own colors, the Soldiers of the 41st were involved in some of the most significant battles of World War I.

The 41st Division and its successor, the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), have subsequently deployed overseas in support of World War II, the Gulf War, peace—keeping missions, multinational training exercises, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Freedom's Sentinel. In addition, the 41st IBCT continues to respond to emergencies here in Oregon whenever needed.

Some of the last remaining 41st Division veterans from World War II attended the ceremony.