49th Armored Division

The 49th Armored Division —nicknamed the "Lone Star"— was one of two armored divisions in the United States Army National Guard, redesignated from the 36th Infantry Division (the "T-Patchers") after World War II, and organized and federally recognized on 24 February 1947.

49th Armored Division
49th Armored Division shoulder sleeve insignia
Country United States
Branch United States Army
RoleArmored warfare
Garrison/HQCamp Mabry
Nickname(s)"Lone Star"
Clayton P. Kerr
Distinctive unit insignia
U.S. Armored Divisions
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48th Armored Division (Inactive) 50th Armored Division (Inactive)


A number of the original divisional units received federal recognition from the National Guard Bureau on February 27, 1947, a date used thereafter as the formation's "birthday". In 1947, all four battalions of the 144th Infantry Regiment were placed into the Division as Mechanized infantry units. Beginning in the northern and northeastern areas of the State, there were 111 units in 56 Texas cities by 1952.[1]

In September 1961, an executive order alerted the division for mobilization at Dallas due to the 1961 Berlin Crisis.[1] On October 15, 1961, the division entered federal service, and it subsequently deployed to Fort Polk, LA. The division was to stay there ten months. In May 1962, the division staged the large-scale Exercise Iron Dragoon, still remembered among National Guard armor exercises. Also while at Fort Polk the division's missile unit became the first Army National Guard unit to fire the Honest John nuclear-tipped surface-to-surface missile. The 49th Armored Division reverted to Texas State control in August 1962.

The 49th was deactivated in 1968 and re-organized into three separate brigades, the 36th, 71st and 72nd. The division was reactivated on 1 November 1973, with its headquarters at Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas.

On 18 July 2004 the division was re-flagged and again designated as the 36th Infantry Division. Prior to its redesignation, the 49th was capstoned to the U.S. Army III Corps and stood as the only fully functional, reserve component, armored division in the United States Army. (The 50th Armored Division in the north eastern states had been eliminated by consolidation with the 42nd Infantry Division in the early 1990s.)


Start DateEnd DateCommander
1946-07-021947-06-05MG Richard B. Dunbar
1947-06-061958-10-31MG Albert S. Johnson
1958-11-011959-10-13MG Clayton P. Kerr
1959-10-141961-06-30MG John L. Thompson Jr.
1961-07-011964-03-31MG Harley B. West
1964-04-011967-05-31MG Luther E. Orrick
1967-06-011968-01-14MG James D. Scott
1973-11-011976-10-31MG James L. Moreland
1976-11-011979-11-02MG Delmer L. Nichols
1979-11-031982-10-31MG John B. Garrett
1982-11-011984-11-01MG Elmer L. Stephens
1984-11-021985-02-20MG James T. Dennis
1985-02-211987-11-12MG James B. McGoodwin
1987-11-131989-05-22MG Charles H. Kone
1989-05-231992-08-23MG Don O. Daniel
1992-08-241995-09-25MG Wm. Edgar Murphy
1995-09-261998-09-30MG Federico Lopez III
1998-09-302002-03-23MG Robert L. Halverson
2002-03-232004-05-01MG Michael Taylor
  • division deactivated and replaced by the 36th Inf. Div.

Command Sergeants Major

  • CSM David L Moore
  • CSM Wilfred Martin
  • CSM Jim Merritt
  • CSM Mikeal Graham
  • CSM Don Steelhammer
  • CSM Donnie Strickland
  • CSM Bobby Adams
  • CSM Roger Brownlee
  • CSM Thomas Wiley [2]
  • CSM Nils "Jack" Erickson


  1. Brian Schenk, An Introduction to the 49th (Lone Star) Armored Division (1947-), Texas Military Forces Museum, Camp Mabry, Texas. Note that Globalsecurity.org appears to have infringed the Texas Military Forces' Museum's copyright in not acknowledging the sources of their data.
  2. http://www.milamcountyhistoricalcommission.org/newspaper_179.php
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