|92nd Infantry (Buffalo Division)
Black soldiers were first used during the American Civil War where
they were organized as State Militia units. It wasn't until after the
Civil War, that black units were included in the Regular Army of the
United States. Four black units were formed to help fight during the
wars with the plains Indians: 24th & 25th Infantry Regiments and the
9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments. It was from the Indians that they
began to be called "Buffalo Soldiers". This was due to their tightly
curled hair and the buffalo hides they wore. This name became a
badge of honor as the buffalo was a respected animal among the
The Buffalo Soliders also saw service during the Spanish American
War, where they assisted the Rough Rider charge, and also with
General Pershing's campaign on the Mexican border.
During WW1, the Army had planned to raise 2 all-black divisions. Only
the 92nd Infantry Division was formed at Camp Upton, NY. The 92nd
Division consisted of approximately 25,000 black enlisted men and
1,000 white and black officers. The division departed for France in
June 1918 and was assigned to a quite sector of the front lines. They
did see some combat service in the Meuse-Argounne offensive on 24
September 1918. The 92nd Division returned to the US and was
demobilized in March 1919.
At the beginning of World War II, the War Department envisioned 4
all-black divisions. However only 3 divisions were formed: 2nd
Cavalry, 92nd & 93rd Infantry. The 2nd Cavalry Division was sent to
North Africa and was broken up and used for port operations. The
93rd Infantry Division was sent to the Pacific Theater at Bougainville.
The 92nd Infantry DIvision was the only black division to be deployed
in front-line combat service. Other smaller black units, such as
signal, quartermaster and tank destroyer units also saw service in
The 92nd Infantry Divsion was one of two all-black infantry divisions
formed in WW2. They adopted the name that was given to the black
cavalry troops by the plain Indians in the 1880s. This division arrived
in Italy in the summer of 1944 with the 370th Regiment placed in
combat on 24 August. The division suffered a set-back in December
when the Germans launched an attack through their position. The
division was strengthened with the addition of the 442nd and 473rd
Regimental Combat Teams. In the Spring offense, they entered La
Spezia and Genoa on the 27 April, 1945 and liberated several towns
along the Ligurian coast.
World War II
Activated: 15 October 1942.
Overseas: 22 September 1944
Returned to US: 26 November 1945
Inactivated: 28 November 1945.
Campaigns: North Apennines, Po Valley
Medal of Honor - 2
Distinguished Service Cross - 2
Distinguished Service Medal - 1
Silver Star - 208
Legion of Merit - 16
Soldiers Medal - 6
Bronze Star Medal - 1,166
Purple Hearts - 1891
Orders of the Crown of Italy - 8
Military Crosses for Military Valor (Italian) - 17
Military Crosses for Merit in War (Italian) - 22
Medal of Honor Recepients
1st Lt. John R. Fox, Cannon Company, 366th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Infantry Division,
near Sommocolonia, Serchio Valley, Italy, December 26, 1944.
1st Lt. Vernon J. Baker, 92nd Infantry Division, near Viareggio, Italy, April 5-6, 1945.
Feb 9 – 10 370 Regiment : 13 Officers, 170 enlisted & 33 Non-Battle