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47th Infantry Division (United States): Wikis

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47th Infantry Division
47th Division Shoulder Patch
Shoulder Sleeve Insignia
Active 1946 - 1991
Country USA
Branch Army National Guard
Type Division
Role Infantry
Nickname Viking Division
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Norman Hendrickson
U.S. Infantry Divisions (1939–present)
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46th Infantry Division 49th Infantry Division

The 47th Infantry Division was a formation of the Army National Guard active from 1946 to 1991. The Division was created on 10 June 1946 as a National Guard infantry division from the efforts of Minnesota's Adjutant General Ellard Walsh. The division was built from scratch with veteran transfers and new recruits, mostly from Minnesota and North Dakota, under the command of Brigadier General Norman Hendrickson. General Hendrickson was the Chief-of-Staff for the 34th Division in the North African and Italian campaigns in 1943.

Units of the division were allotted to the Minnesota National Guard, and North Dakota National Guard. The division never saw combat throughout its history, although it was federalized and sent to Camp Rucker, Alabama from 1951 to 1954 during the Korean War. During the Korean War the division was used as a replacement division, and its men and units transferred to Regular Army units. It returned to state control, and its home state, in 1953. The unit returned to Minnesota, with active army personnel forced marched to Fort Benning Georgia in 1954.

The division's North Dakota elements were transferred out in 1959 during a service-wide reconfiguration to the Pentomic structure, and so became an entirely Minnesotan division. The division became mixed again in further Pentagon restructuring in 1968 when Iowa's 34th and Illinois' 66th Infantry Brigades joined.

The division was deactivated in 1991. Immediately afterward, the division's former units were reactivated as the 34th Infantry Division. Effectively, the division was renamed, but for official lineage purposes, the Department of the Army does not recognize any continuity.

The 47th Infantry Division has the notoriety of remaining on the rolls longer than any other National Guard division that did not see combat (45 years of service). The only Army division that did not see combat to have remained on the rolls longer is the Army Reserve's 108th Division, elements of which have seen action now in Iraq and Afghanistan.

References

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