Texas Day by Day

On this day in Texas history…


War Department mobilizes "T-Patchers"

July 18th, 1917

https://www.tshaonline.org/images/handbook/entries/The insignia of the Thirty-Sixth Infantry Division
Image taken at random from the related Handbook of Texas entry, Thirty-Sixth Infantry Division

On this day in 1917, the United States War Department issued orders mobilizing the Thirty-sixth Infantry Division (known as the "Texas Division" or the "T-Patchers") at Camp Bowie in Tarrant County. The division, initially composed mostly of Texas National Guard troops, fought in World War I and again in World War II. During the latter conflict, one unit of the division, which became known as the "lost battalion," was captured at the fall of Java. The men of the battalion spent the war in Japanese prison camps, and many died building the Burma Railroad. When the War Department made national guard units available to the governors of the states in 1946, the Thirty-sixth Division was reactivated. The Thirty-sixth was called to active duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but was eliminated by January 1968. In 1946 veterans of the unit founded the Thirty-sixth Division Association.

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