Words and music by William Jerome, J. F. Mahoney, and Percy
Wenrich, cover by Rosenbaum Studios (Rose Symbol), published
by Leo Feist of New York in 1918.
The 'Rainbow Division' was the nickname given to the U.S. 42nd
Division. It was so named because it was comprised from
National Guard Units from 26 states and the District of
Columbia. Colonel Douglas MacArthur, the new division's Chief
of Staff (and ultimately its commander), remarked that "the
42nd Division stretches like a Rainbow from one end of America
to the other."
In addition to the National Guard Units the 42nd Division
(created in August 1917) also included four infantry regiments
from New York, Ohio, Alabama and Iowa along with men from many
other U.S. states.
One of the first American divisions to reach the battlefields
of the Western Front in November 1917, the Rainbow Division
first saw action fighting alongside the French in February
1918. The division played a notable role in six major
campaigns, including the Battle of Champagne in July 1918, in
addition to fighting at Chateau-Thierry, St. Mihiel, Verdun
and the Argonne.