The 1st Armored Division was created in 1940 from elements of The 1st Cavalry Division. One of America’s first all-Armor Divisions, it would be the first to be deployed to Europe when America became involved in World War II. The iconic Patch of The Division featured the colors Red, Yellow and Blue. This represented all the facets drawn upon to create it (Red for Artillery, Yellow for Cavalry and Blue for The Infantry). It’s Divisional nickname “Old Ironsides” was drawn from it’s first Divisional Commander – who was so impressed by a picture of America’s first (and still surviving Warship, The USS “Constitution”, also so named).
The Division saw extensive combat in North Africa against Germany’s vaunted Erwin Rommel and later, some elements were relocated in the fight for Italy. It’s main components crossed The Po River into Germany in 1945. The 1st Armored would be deployed as the primary Occupation Force in Germany until 1946. The Division suffered close to 8,000 battle related casualties during The War.
Deployed to The Korean War in the 1950s, The 1st Armored was also chosen to be one of America’s first “Atomic” equipped Armored Divisions. They were chosen to invade Cuba in 1962 during The Cuban Missile Crisis, but were not deployed due to the cessation of hostilities. Later, during The Vietnam War – The 1at Armored was not deployed as an Armored Unit (due to the terrain), but did have several Scout and Air Components (Helicopter) sent Overseas. During that time, when America was undergoing severe racial strains that resulted in many Urban Riots in it’s major Cities, The 1st Armored was deployed to Chicago to assist in urban pacification duties.
A Major component of The 1st Armored remained in Germany after 1946 as a Cold War deterrent and would remain as such until the 1990s. Much of The 1st Armored saw service in Iraq and Afghanistan, with elements still deployed today.
The official Divisional Flag is twin horizontal stripes of Red and Yellow (again represented both Artillery and Cavalry). The Divisional Patch (worn by all Soldiers assigned) – is centered on The Flag. As a Divisional Flag, it remains with Divisional Headquarters and it’s Commanding General – flown for Parade and Ceremonial Functions only.