The 38th Infantry Division was first constituted in July 1917 as Headquarters, 38th Division in the National Guard and organized with Soldiers from Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. During training prior to deployment to Europe to fight in World War II, a tornado struck the camp in the spring of 1918, thus spawning the Division’s nickname of “Cyclone.” Although the unit did arrive in Europe before the German surrender, its various subordinate units were parceled out to provide reinforcements for other units, which is why the 38th’s World War I Campaign Streamer has no inscription of a specific campaign.

During World War II, the unit was reorganized and redesignated under its current name and in its first action came in the fighting on New Guinea, for which it earned Campaign credit. It next deployed to Leyte in December 1944 for clean-up operations, and subsequently took part in an amphibious landing on the west coast of Luzon, represented on 38th Infantry Division Distinctive Unit Insignia by an arrow on one of the three lightning bolts. But it was their work further south clearing Japanese defenders from the island’s peninsula that earned the division a nickname even more powerful that “Cyclone:” “Avengers of Bataan.”

Today, the division is headquartered in Indianapolis and contains Soldiers from several states including Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Delaware, Michigan, and Tennessee West Virginia.

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