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The 30th Armored Division was a Tennessee-based unit of the Army National Guard from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Activation and service[edit | edit source]

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of 30th Armored Division.

In 1954 the 30th Infantry Division was reorganized, with units in North Carolina and South Carolina constituting the 30th Infantry Division, and units in Tennessee forming the nucleus of the new 30th Armored Division.[1]

Though never federalized during wartime, the 30th Armored Division (called "Volunteers," for Tennessee's "Volunteer State" nickname) was activated for support to law enforcement, including responses to civil disturbances in Memphis and Nashville after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.[2]

In 1968 the Mississippi Army National Guard's 108th Armored Cavalry Regiment was reorganized as 1st Brigade, 30th Armored Division. (The brigade was subsequently designated the 155th Separate Armored Brigade.)[3] In addition, in 1968 units from the Florida Army National Guard and Alabama Army National Guard also became part of the 30th Armored Division.[4]

The 30th Armored Division was inactivated in December, 1973.[5]

Commanders[edit | edit source]

Hugh B. Mott as commander of 30th Armored Division.

The following officers served as commander of the 30th Armored Division:

  • MG Paul H. Jordan, 1954-1957[6][7]
  • MG Robert E. Frankland, 1957-1959[8]
  • MG Warren C. Giles, 1959-1962[9]
  • MG Clarence B. Johnson, 1962-1963[10]
  • MG William R. Douglas, 1963-1966[11]
  • MG Thomas G. Wells, Jr., 1966-1968[12][13][14]
  • MG Hugh B. Mott, 1968-1969[15]
  • MG Glynn C. Ellison, 1969-1971[16]
  • MG Carl M. Lay, 1971-1973[17]
  • MG John M. Calhoun, 1973[18]

Lineage[edit | edit source]

During its existence the 30th Armored Division was never deployed as an organization, and received no combat honors. (Several members volunteered individually to join regular Army units during the Vietnam War.[19]

The 30th Armored Division's lineage was carried by the Tennessee Army National Guard's 30th Armored Brigade until the brigade's inactivation in 1996.[20][21]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. John B. Wilson, Center of Military History, Armies, Corps, Divisions, and Separate Brigades, 1988, page 604
  2. Richard Lentz, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Dr. King Is Slain By Sniper: Looting, Arson Touched Off By Death, April 6, 1968
  3. Global Security, 155th Armored Brigade (Separate) (Heavy), 2011
  4. Jeffrey Lynn Pope, Leonid E. Kondratiuk, editors, Armor-Cavalry Regiments: Army National Guard Lineage, 1995, pages 41, 48
  5. Tennessee Secretary of State, Blue Book, 1980, page 312
  6. Waverly News-Democrat, Guardsmen to Enter Camp on Sunday, June 18th, June 10, 1955
  7. Kingsport Times, Gen Paul Jordan to Speak Here, February 10, 1956
  8. Kingsport News, Change of Command, December 11, 1959
  9. Tennessee Secretary of State, Tennessee Blue Book, 1961, page 130
  10. National Guard Association of the United States, The National Guardsman, Volume 16, 1962, page 67
  11. National Guard Association of the United States, The National Guardsman, Volume 18, 1964, page 30
  12. U.S. Army, General Orders Number 44, 22 August 1968, page 11
  13. National Guard Association of the United States, The National Guardsman, Volume 21, 1967, page 38
  14. NDC Blog, National Archives and Records Administration, Letter to Major General Thomas G. Wells, Jr. Commanding General, 30th Armored Division, 8 April 1968, page 1
  15. United Press International, Middleboro Daily News, Tennessee Adjutant General Will Resign, November 11, 1968
  16. Associated Press, Florence Times, Guard May Get New Boss, July 29, 1971
  17. Associated Press, Tuscaloosa News, Tennessean to Head Guard Unit, August 4, 1971
  18. Associated Press, Gadsden Times, Guard Gets New Division Commander, June 1, 1973
  19. Tennessee National Guard, History, Tennessee National Guard, 2012
  20. National Guard Educational Foundation, 30th Armored Division, 2011
  21. Timothy S Aumiller, United States Army Infantry, Artillery, Armor/Cavalry Battalions 1957-2011, 2007, page 25

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