US Army 81st Infantry Division

  • General History
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Credited with being the first "created" Divisional Patch for The US Army, The 81st traced it's lineage to The American Civil War (1861-1865), as a Confederate Unit under General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. Named "The Stonewall Brigade", when The Division was first mustered into Service in 1917 as a result of America's involvement in World War I - they still retained the nickname. However, it was changed to The "Wildcat Division", with the creation of their Patch. The Cloth Patch was circular in design, with a Green Field. A Black Cat (with raised hackles), was placed in the Center. The Divisions Motto was "Wildcats Never Quit".


Formed in Camp (later Fort) Jackson, South Carolina, The 81st was sent over to Europe and participated in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign. In fact, The 81st was the last US Army Unit to fire upon Imperial German Forces (ending at 11:00 AM, on November 11th, 1918). Upon returning to America, The Division was deactivated. Reactivated for World War II, The 81st was deployed to The Western Pacific, and was one of the only US Army Divisions under command of another Military Service, The US Marine Corps. The 81st participated in Guadalcanal, The Palau Islands and Peleliu. The Division was later assigned to The Army of Occupation, in Japan. They were sent home in 1947 and deactivated. Briefly reactivated again in 1962 during the tensions with The Soviet Union  and The Cold War, as a Reserve Component of The Army. It was finally deactivated in 1965, with their Battle Honors retired to The US Army Heraldry Museum.