August 10, 1918: First United States Army Formed

 

The announcement of the formation of the First United States Army in France:

 

“The first American field army has been organized. It is under the direct command of General John J. Pershlng, Commander in Chief of the American forces. The corps commanders thus far announced are Major Gens. Liggett, Bullard, Bundy, Read, and Wright. The creation of the first field army la the first step toward the co-ordination of all the American forces in France. This does not mean the immediate withdrawal from the British and French commands of all American units, and it is probable that divisions will be used on the French and British fronts for weeks yet. It Is understood, however, that the policy of organizing other armies will be carried out steadily.”

Pershing had insisted throughout his presence in France that the United States would play an independent role on the Western Front.  The first of three field armies that would eventually be formed out of the American Expeditionary Forces, the First Army would see heavy combat in the reduction of the Saint Mihiel salient in September 18, 1918 and then would fight the largest battle in American history, the Meuse-Argonne offensive for 47 days from September 26, 1918 to the Armistice on November 11, 1918.