Today in AFJ History

September 28, 2013  

1957: Curtains for the 1st Armored?

The Defense Department considered axing the 1st Armored Division in 1957.

From the archive: September 28, 1957

Manpower Reductions

Secretary Charles E. Wilson’s order for a military manpower cutback to 2,600,000 will cost the Army a Zone of the Interior division, probably the 1st Armored at Fort Hood, Tex.

The Army also will eliminate between 15 and 20 anti-aircraft gun battalions in the United States and overseas, and sharply reduce activities at a number of installations. The Air Force, which had been building towards 137 wings, then looped to a revised goal of 128, now is in a dive towards a new strength of about 123 wings. The Navy, which previously had disclosed plans to mothball 60 ships, including the last of the battleships, will put about 35 more ships out of action to get within new budget limitations. This will leave the Navy with less than 900 ships. The foregoing were some of the force level cutback prospects as The Journal went to press.

They result from Secretary Wilson’s directive for a second fiscal year ‘58 100,000 manpower reduction.

A third personnel cut, anticipated next year, has forced all the Services to take a new look at personnel policies.

Editor’s note: The 1st Armored Division was reduced to a training unit for several years, then restored to its full fighting strength in 1962. A reorganization replaced Combat Commands with brigades, and doubled the division’s aviation assets.