The 90th Infantry Division began it's nearly 100-year history on August 25, 1917 when it was officially organized at Camp Travis, Texas. Camp Travis was a training cantonment in San Antonio, Texas, adjacent to Fort Sam Houston. The first troops of the 90th were Texas and Oklahoma natives called to training following the first draft call for World War I. The Division Command tried as best as possible to follow geographical lines in assigning Soldiers to the regiments and brigades. The 179th Brigade was designated the Oklahoma brigade, with the 357th Infantry regiment filled with Soldiers from western Oklahoma and the 358th Infantry Regiment with eastern Oklahomans. The 180th Infantry Brigade became the Texas brigade with northern and western Texans assigned to the 359th Regiment and Southern and Eastern Texans the 360th. Soldiers with previous relevant experience filled specialized units such as field artillery, engineers and field signal battalions.
|A 90th Division patch as shown on a WWI uniform.|
While at Camp Travis the Soldiers participated in a myriad of training designed to prepare them for what they would find in France. This included intensive trench warfare training among a system of trenches built by engineers just east of Salado Creek, weapons familiarization, gas defense, sanitation and a study of the French language.
|"View of Camp Travis looking toward Division Headquarters. Tents in foreground are part of the old Camp Wilson, a National Guard mobilization camp." Photo taken from A History of the 90th Division by Major George Wythe.|
The depleted slots began to be filled again in April and by May 1918 the Division was once again to near full strength. This quick fulfillment of brand new Soldiers meant more training and at a faster pace. On June 5, 1918, the 90th Division sent it's first units to Europe.
For more information on the Tough 'Ombres and the 90th Infantry Division visit the 90th Division Association website.