California State Guard looks back at its founding document

The California State Guard (State Defense Force) has a long and rich history of supporting the California National Guard, helping to ensure the safety and security of the State of California.  One of the most treasured items within the California State Guard is General Order No. 1, which authorized the formation of California State Guard.  The State Guard recently published this crucial document online to view.


The most crucial document in the history of the California State Guard. Headquarters, California State Guard (CSG) General Order No. 1 that authorized the formation of CSG on 2 January 1941.
A year later, the CSG would be organized into:
– 13 “infantry” regiments. One regiment, the 7th, was a regiment formed from the African-American community of Los Angeles. Many regiments had reserve companies that served as holding units of state guardsmen waiting to be assigned to fully manned companies. All units were mobilized to provide an active defense of the state and critical infrastructure in case of a Japanese attack. Two regiments, the 1st (San Francisco) and 2nd (Los Angeles), each had a cavalry troop.
– A quartermaster regiment with depot supply companies and two transportation companies.
– An engineer regiment.
– A medical regiment with two medical depot companies and three station hospitals (Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Sacramento). The Los Angeles elements were fortunate enough to have support from the Hollywood elite. In particular, CPT(CA) Marion Davies, actress, philanthropist, and girlfriend of media mogul William Randolph Hearst, held a fundraising gala for Hollywood’s A-List, including a recently mobilized Army Reserve cavalry captain, Ronald Reagan. She also donated a hospital the was the above mentioned Los Angeles Station Hospital. The wives of many studio executives serve as volunteers at the hospital.
– An evacuation regiment that would have assisted Los Angelinos to evacuate from vulnerable areas in the event of an attack. The regiment had over 150 donated station wagons, mostly Ford “Woodies,” to accomplish this mission. It was also a unit with strong ties to Hollywood. The regiment was commanded by actor, LTC(CA) Lewis Stone. Actors like Cesar Romero, Robert Young, Buster Keaton (who served with the California National Guard’s 159th Infantry Regiment in World War I), Cliff Arquette, Rudy Vallee, and other actors and movie technicians served with the regiment.
– A single tank company with the M1917 tanks.
– Ten observation squadrons formed with private aircraft owners and pilots several months before the formation of the Civil Air Patrol.
– A State Naval Guard of five ship companies and two Marine companies. One Marine company, along with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, engaged the Japanese fishing fleet docked in Long Beach for three days (7-9 December 1941) until relieved by the Army or Marine Corps.
California Military Department Historical Collection.
California National Guard

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