The GO DEVIL BRIGADE has a proud heritage dating back to July 18, 1918, when the 9th Infantry Division was organized at Camp Sheridan, Alabama. Following World War I, the unit was inactivated. It was reactivated on August 1, 1940, and participated in "Operation Torch," the landing on North Africa in 1942 contributing valiantly to the subsequent crushing Rommel's "Afrika Korps."
The "Old Reliables" came onto the beaches of Normandy on June 10, 1944. The high point of the division's World War II record came with the crossing of the Rhine River in March, 1945. All the bridges crossing the river had been destroyed by the retreating Nazis except the span at Remagen. The 2d Battalion of the 47th Regiment stormed across the damaged, but still standing bridge, and secured a bridgehead on the eastern bank of the Rhine. The unit
became the first infantry regiment to battle across the Rhine barrier since the Napoleonic Wars.
The 9th Infantry Division's Vietnam history began February 1, 1966, when the "Old Reliables" became the first division to be organized, equipped, and trained for deployment to an overseas combat theater since World War II.
The division's official entry into Vietnam took place on December 19, 1966, when Major General George S. Ekhardt led an advance force of 5,000 men onto the beaches at Vung Tau. A month later, the 9th Division established a permanent base camp at Dong Tam, 15 miles southwest of Tan An, and began their historic confrontation with main force Viet Cong and North Vietnamese regulars in the Mekong Delta.
The division took on the foe wherever it could find him. The battles were many and fierce. Their heroic fighting
during Tet, 1968, prompted MACV Commander General William Westmoreland to remark, "Your alertness, professionalism, aggressiveness, and courage - individually, by team, and by unit - add new luster to our outstanding reputation. You have destroyed more of the enemy in seven days than the United States has lost in the seven years of the war since January 1, 1961."
On June 8, 1969, Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Nguyen Van Thieu met at Midway Island and announced that 25,000 American troops would be redeployed from Vietnam. Five days later it was announced that a majority of this number would be troops of the 9th Infantry Division. The "Old Reliables," minus the 3rd Brigade, were going home! The 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry became the first American combat unit to be redeployed from Vietnam.
During their almost three years in
Vietnam, division soldiers killed 31,000 enemy. For their sacrifices and successes on the field of battle, the division was presented the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry on two separate occasions. The 9th is the only American unit to have received this honor twice. The unit also received the Vietnamese Civil Action Honor Medal for its pacification efforts.
On July 26, 1969, the 3rd Brigade was organized as a separate brigade. At a ceremony at Tan An base camp 9th Infantry Division commander Major General Harris W. Hollis made it clear that all "Old Reliables" would be watching the GO DEVILS in Long An Province. He was sure that this last representative of the 9th Infantry division would not falter in upholding a fine tradition that was begun in 1918.
The 3rd Brigade of the 9th Infantry Division has, indeed, upheld this fine tradition. Time and
again, the GO DEVILS have proven themselves against the enemy in Long An. It continues to write yet another glorious chapter in the history of the "Old Reliables."