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At a glance: 45th Infantry Division in the Korean War

At a glance: Oklahoma-based 45th Infantry Division in the Korean War
Oklahoman Modified: July 27, 2013 at 10:00 am •  Published: July 27, 2013


45th Infantry Division in the Korean War

• The 45th was one of two National Guard divisions activated during the Korean War. The other was from California and was a replacement force to fill holes in other units.

• By the time the fighting ended, the 45th had lost 834 soldiers killed in action. Another 3,170 were wounded.

• One soldier from the 45th, Charles George, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service in the Korean War. George was a Cherokee Indian from North Carolina who died after he threw himself onto a grenade Nov. 20, 1952, to protect several fellow soldiers.

• The 45th served on the front lines, engaging mostly in trench warfare, from 1951 to the end of the war in 1953.

• Although the unit was entirely made up of Oklahoma National Guardsmen when it was activated for the war, it was filled out with soldiers from other states, many of them

active-duty soldiers. Soldiers attached to the unit to replace casualties also often were active duty troops not from Oklahoma.

• The 45th was an all-white segregated unit in 1950 but was integrated during the war.