Minnesota National Guard
History of the 34th Infantry Division
Unit History

World War I
The 34th Infantry Division was created from National Guard troops from Minnesota, Iowa, the Dakotas and Nebraska in the late summer of 1917. It arrived in France in October of 1918 but was too late to see action in World War I as the war ended the following month. See photos of the 34th ID at Camp Cody, NM in 1918.

Animated Crest

World War II
The 34th Infantry Division was activated during World War II on February 10, 1941. The division made a good showing at the Louisiana Maneuvers. As the first U.S. division to be shipped overseas, Pvt. Henke of Hutchinson, Minnesota was credited as being the 1st American Soldier to step off the boat in support of the war effort.

The division participated in six major Army campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. The division is credited with amassing 517 days of continuous front line combat, more than any other division in the European theater. Portions of the 34th Division are credited with over 600 days of front line combat. The division suffered 21,362 casualties, of which 3,737 were killed. Members of the division were awarded 11 Medals of Honor and 98 Distinguished Service Crosses.
Formation of the Rangers
The U.S. Army Rangers trace their lineage through the 34th Infantry Division. During WW II, the 1st Ranger Battalion was formed under the command of one of the division's officers, Capt. William Darby. Eighty percent of the 1st Ranger Battalion's volunteers were drawn from the 34th, and they soon became famous as "Darby's Rangers."

Ranger Tab
CPT Darby Rangers in N. Africa
Capt. William Darby. Rangers in action
in North Africa.
Since September 11, 2001
Since September 11, 2001, the 34th Infantry Division has been involved in several missions supporting the Global War on Terrorism. The 34th ID has participated in: Operation Joint Forge - Bosnia, Operation Joint Guardian - Kosovo, Operation Vigilant Hammer - Europe, the Mediterranean Theater of Operations - Egypt, Joint Task Force Bravo - Honduras, Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom - Iraq, as well as multiple homeland defense missions for Operation Noble Eagle. Approximately 11,000 Soldiers from the 34th Infantry Division have been deployed in support of these missions since 9-11.

The 34th Infantry Division Today
The 34th Infantry Division was reorganized and redesigned as an active National Guard division on 10 February 1991, replacing the 47th Infantry (Viking) Division. Today the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division has transformed its Division Headquarters as well as the brigade structure. The 1st Brigade transformed into the 1/34 Brigade Combat Team just prior to mobilizing in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The entire division will be transformed by the year 2010. The division and its subordinate units continue to be actively involved in their respective states' missions to provide a ready response to to natural disasters and civil disturbance. They are also involved in Joint Exercises, Division and Brigade Warfighter Exercises, overseas deployments to Europe, Central America, and Southwest Asia, Combat Maneuver Training Center rotations, Norwegian Exchange and officer and NCO exchanges with United Kingdom and Germany.

See additional unit histories.

BG Augustus P. Blocksom (Aug. 25, 1917)
BG Frank G. Mauldin (Sep. 18, 1917 ad interim)
BG Augustus .P. Blocksom (Dec. 10, 1917)
BG Hubert A. Allen (Dec. 24, 1917 ad interim)
MG Augustus P. Blocksom (Dec. 27, 1917)
BG Augustus P. Blocksom(April 19, 1918)
BG Frank G. Mauldin (May 8, 1918 ad interim)
BG John A. Johnston (July 4, 1918 ad interim)
BG Hubert A. Allen(Aug. 26, 1918 ad interim)
BG John A. Johnston (Oct. 26, 1918 - Nov. 16, 1918 ad interim)

MG Mathew A. Tinley (1924 - 1940)
George Leach (1940 - Feb. 1941)
MG Ellard A. Walsh (Feb. 10, 1941 - Aug. 5, 1941)
MG Russel P. Hartle (Aug. 5, 1941 - May 6, 1942)
MG Charles W. Ryder (May 6, 1942 - July 21, 1944)
MG Charles L. Bolte (July 21, 1944 - Nov. 3, 1945)

MG Gerald A. Miller (Mar. 6 1995 - April 4, 1998)
MG Rodney R. Hannula (April 5, 1998 - Oct. 1, 2000)
MG Larry Shellito (Oct. 1, 2000 - Sep. 9, 2004)
MG Rick D. Erlandson (Sep. 10, 2004 - Oct. 12, 2007)
MG Richard C. Nash (Oct. 13, 2007 - Oct. 1, 2010)
MG David Elicerio (Oct. 2, 2010 - present)

34th ID Commander photos


100th BN/442nd Regimental Combat Team - The 442nd Regimental Combat Team was attached to the 34th ID in Italy and fought with distinction. The regiment was composed of Japanese-Americans who volunteered for service.

34th Infantry Division Association - World War II history.

34th Infantry Division - Wikipedia page.

Army Center for Military History

Minnesota Military Radio