Historic black and white photo of female family members welcoming solder.

Photo from the National Archives

A happy family embraces their Soldier from the 112th Engineer Regiment, 37th Division after he had just returned to Cleveland from France at the end of World War I. Ohio National Guard units returned to Ohio in March and April 1919, making stops in various cities around the state for homecoming parades prior to demobilization at Camp Sherman in Chillicothe, Ohio.

100 years ago:
Ohio Soldiers return from World War I

Story by Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Mann, Ohio Army National Guard Historian


With the war over and occupation duty complete, Ohio National Guard units that had been in federal service since the summer of 1917 began returning home to family and friends across the Buckeye State. The first unit to arrive was the 2nd Battalion, 372nd Infantry, which landed in New York on Feb. 9, 1919. Units of the 37th “Buckeye” Division left France at various intervals during March 11-20, 1919, and arrived at Hoboken, New Jersey; Newport News, Virginia; and New York. The last Ohio unit to return was the 166th Infantry which left France on April 17 and arrived in New York eight days later with Ohio Gov. James M. Cox waiting on the dock to greet the Soldiers.

The units spent a number of days in camp taking care of administrative and logistics tasks necessary for mustering out. Across Ohio, cities then held welcome home parades in Toledo, Cleveland, Zanesville, Youngstown, Cincinnati, Marietta and Columbus, as the Buckeyes snaked their way to Camp Sherman in Chillicothe for final mustering out. There, the men turned in their equipment, completed final physical examinations, received their final pay with a $60 bonus, said goodbye to their fellow Soldiers and returned home civilians once more.

As the final men of the 166th Infantry marched past their commander, Col. Benson Hough, one last time, he was recorded as whispering, “The greatest fighting unit in the world is now but a memory.”


Photos from National Archives and Ohio Army National Guard Historical Collections

 Soldiers on field of snow during WW1.

General Pershing visits 37th Division

On Jan. 28, 1919, the 37th Division was inspected by Gen. John J. Pershing, commander in chief of the American Expeditionary Forces, in France during World War I. He presented several awards including the Distinguished Service Cross.


Screen shot of Historical Highlight page from 2017 July/August edition of the Buckey Guard

37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team:
A Century of Service

The 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Buckeye) was constituted on July 18, 1917, as Headquarters, 37th Division. The unit celebrates more than a century of service to the state and nation by Buckeye Soldiers.


Screen shot of Historical Highlight page from 2017 July/August ediction of the Buckey Guard

Commemorating the centennial of the U.S. entering World War I; many connections to state of Ohio, Ohio National Guard

On April 6, 1917, Congress declared war on Germany, ending the 2 1/2-year effort by President Woodrow Wilson to keep the U.S. neutral. By July of that year all units of the Ohio National Guard were called into federal service, organizing the necessary units to complete the formation of an all-Ohio division, which eventually became the 37th Division.