Researching
World War II

Unit Histories, Documents
Monographs, Books and Reports on CD
PDF Remastered and Keyword Searchable



1st Infantry
Division
"Big Red One"
"The Fighting First"


16th Infantry
"Always Prepared"
Regiment

History

18th Infantry
"Vanguards"
Regiment

History

26th Infantry
"Blue Spaders"
Regiment

History

Order of Battle
HQs & HQs Co 1st Infantry Division
HQs & HQs Battery Division Artillery
Headquarters Special Troops
Military Police Platoon
16th Infantry Regiment
18th Infantry Regiment
26th Infantry Regiment
1st Cav Recon Squadron
1st CIC Detachment
1st Engineer Combat Battalion
1st Medical Battalion
1st Quartermaster Company
1st Signal Corps Company
5th Field Artillery Battalion - 155mm
7th Field Artillery Battalion - 105mm
32nd Field Artillery Battalion - 105mm
33rd Field Artillery Battalion - 105mm
701st OD Light Maint Company
745th Tank Battalion
634th Tank Destroyer Battalion
635th Tank Destroyer Battalion
703rd Tank Destroyer Battalion
103rd AAAA-W Battalion
103rd AAAA-W Battalion



Casualties

Killed in Action : 3616
Wounded in Action : 15208
Died of Wounds : 664

Days of Combat: 443




Commanders

Maj Gen Donald Cubbison
Jun 1942 – Jul 1942

Maj Gen Terry de la Mesa Allen

Jun 1942 – Jul 1943

Maj Gen Clarence R. Huebner
Jul 1943 – Dec 1944

Maj Gen Clift Andrus
Dec 1944 – VE Day



Campaigns

Algeria-French Morocco 8 - 11 Nov 1942
Tunisia 17 Nov 1942 - 13 May 1943
Sicily 9 Jul - 17 Aug 1943
Normandy 6 Jun - 24 Jul 1944
Northern France 25 Jul - 14 Sep 1944
Rhineland 15 Sep 1944 - 21 Mar 1945
Ardennes-Alsace 16 Dec 1944 - 25 Jan 1945
Central Europe 22 Mar - 11 May 1945



Overseas Wartime Assignments

North African - 8 Nov 42
II Corps - 1 Feb 43
First Army - 1 Nov 43
VII Corps - 6 Nov 43
V Corps - 2 Feb 44
First Army -14 Jul 44
VII Corps - 1 Aug 44
V Corps - 16 Dec 44
XVIII (A/B) Corps - 26 Jan 45
III Corps - 12 Feb 45
VII Corps - 8 Mar 45
VIII Corps - 27 Apr 45
V Corps - 30 Apr 45
Third Army - 6 May 45
XV Corps - 30 Jun 45



Medals

Medal of Honor - 16
Silver Star - 6,019
Bronze Star Medal - 15,021
Distinguished Service Cross - 130
Distinguished Service Medal - 5
Legions of Merit - 31
Soldier's Medal - 162
Air Medal - 76





1939

 
19 Nov -
The 1st Division started preparing for World War II by moving to Fort Benning, Georgia and ran its personnel through the Infantry School.
1940
 
11 May -
The 1st Division moved to the Sabine Parish, Louisiana area on to participate in the Louisiana Maneuvers.
5 Jun -
The 1st Division returned to Fort Hamilton.
1941
 
4 Feb -
The 1st Division returned to Fort Devens, Massachusetts.
Oct -
The Division was sent to both Carolina Maneuvres of October -and November 1941 then moved to Samarcand, North Carolina.
6 Dec -
The 1st Division returned to Fort Devens, Massachusetts.
1942
 
21 Feb -
The 1st Division transferred to Camp Blanding, Florida.
15 May -
The 1st Division was re-designated 1st Infantry Division.
22 May -
The 1st Division moved then to Fort Benning, Georgia.
21 Jun -
The 1st Division moved Indian Town Gap Mil Reservation.
1 Aug -
The Division departed New York Port of Embarkation.
7 Aug -
The Division arrived in England.
2 Nov -
The Division left for North Africa.
8 Nov -
The Division landed in Oran, Algeria on as part of Operation Torch.
1943
 
21 Jan -
Elements then took part in combat at Maktar, Tebourba, Medjez el Bab, Kasserine Pass, Gafsa, El Guettar, Béja, and Mateur, helping secure Tunisia to 9 May.
Jul -
The Division took part in Operation Husky in Sicily under the command of Major General Terry de la Mesa Allen. It was assigned to the II Corps. It was in Sicily that the 1st saw heavy action when making amphibious landings on Gela, the most fortified German beach head positions. The 1st thenmoved up through the center of Sicily, slogging it out through the mountains along with the 45th Infantry Division. In these mountains, the division saw some of the heaviest fighting inthe entire Sicilian campaign at Troina; some units losing more than half their strength in assaulting the mountain town.
7 Aug -
The Division command was assumed by Major General Clarence R. Huebner. When that campaign was over, the division returned to England to prepare for the Normandy invasion. It was one of the two divisions that stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day, with some of the division's units suffering 30 percent casualties in the first hour of the assault, and secured Formigny and Caumont in the beachhead by the end of the day.
1944
 
27 Jul -
The Division followed up the St. Lo break-through with an attack on Marigny.
Sep -
The Division drove across France in a continuous offensive, reaching the German border at Aachen in September.
21 Oct -
The Division laid siege to Aachen, taking the city after a direct assault.
7 Dec -
The Division attacked east of Aachen through Hurtgen Forest, driving to the Roer, and moved to a rest area for its first real rest in 6 months' combat.
16 Dec -
The Wacht Am Rhein offensive (commonly called the Battle of the Bulge) suddenly broke loose.
17 Dec -
The Division raced to the Ardennes, fighting continuously to help blunt and turn back the German offensive to 28 Jan 45.
1945
 
23 Feb -
The Division attacked and again breached the Siegfried Line, fought across the Roer and drove on to the Rhine.
15 Mar -
The Division crossed at the Remagen bridgehead. The division broke out of the bridgehead, took part in the encirclement of the Ruhr Pocket, captured Paderborn, pushed through the Harz Mountaiins, and was in Czechoslovakia, fighting at Kinsperk, Sangerberg, and Mnichov when the war in Europe ended. Sixteen members of the division were awarded the Medal of Honor.



1st Infantry Division
in World War II

CD 1
Open all files from the folders on the CDs
Install Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader from CD 1

The files below are found on CD 1


10 Oct 42

1st Infantry Division



Field Orders
Operation Torch


Algeria-French
Morocco Campaign

CD 1
54 Pages - PDF


8 - 11 Nov 42

1st Infantry Division
16th Infantry Regiment
2nd Battalion

Operations
Invasion of North
Africa, Oran, Algeria

Algeria-French
Morocco Campaign

CD 1
20 Pages - PDF


8 Nov 42

1st Infantry Division
18th Infantry Regiment
2nd Battalion
Antitank Platoon

St. Cloud, Algeria
North Africa

Algeria-French
Morocco Campaign

CD 1
22 Pages - PDF


8 - 11 Nov 42

1st Infantry Division
26th Infantry Regiment
2nd Battalion
Antitank Platoon

Operations
El Ancor,Algeria

Algeria-French
Morocco Campaign

CD 1
40 Pages - PDF


8 Nov 42

1st Infantry Division
HQ & HQ Battery
Division Artillery
Report

Torch Operation

CD 1
9 Pages - PDF


24 Nov 42

1st Infantry Division



Operation Torch
G3 Report

CD 1
10 Pages - PDF


17 Dec 42

1st Infantry Division
26th Infantry Regiment
Company L

Night Raid on
Maknassy

CD 1
28 Pages - PDF


17 - 25 Mar 43

1st Infantry Division
18th Infantry Regiment
1st Battalion

Operations
El Guettar,Tunisia

CD 1
30 Pages - PDF


20 - 30 Mar 43

1st Infantry Division



Operations
ElGuettar, Tunisia

Tunisia Campaign

CD 1
21 Pages - PDF


29 Mar 43

1st Infantry Division
16th Infantry Regiment
Company F

Operations
ElGuettar, Tunisia

Tunisian Campaign

CD 1
24 Pages - PDF


23 Apr - 3 May 43

1st Infantry Division



Operations
Mateur,Tunisia

Tunisian Campaign

CD 1
29 Pages - PDF


29 - 30 Apr 43

1st Infantry Division
16th Infantry Regiment
1st Battalion

Attack on Hill 523
Mateur,Tunisia

Tunisian Campaign

CD 1
27 Pages - PDF


Jul - Aug 43

1st Infantry Division
26th Infantry Regiment
Combat Team

S1 Journal

Sicily



CD 1
123 Pages - PDF


6 - 17 Jun 44

1st Infantry Division
16th Infantry Regiment

Journal






CD 1
5 Pages - PDF



6 - 10 Jun 44

1st Infantry Division
16th Infantry Regiment
3rd Battalion

Operations Assaut
Omaha Beach
Colleville, France

Normandy Campaign

CD 1
32 Pages - PDF



6 Jun 44

1st Infantry Division

Military Police Platoon

Operations Establishing
Omaha Beachhead

Normandy Campaign


CD 1
24 Pages - PDF


6 - 10 Jun 44

1st Infantry Division

Operations Landing
and Establishing
Omaha Beachhead

Normandy Campaign



CD 1
35 Pages - PDF


8 - 9 Jun 44

1st Infantry Division
26th Infantry Regiment
Company L

Operations
Ste. Anne, France

Normandy Campaign


CD 1
29 Pages - PDF


9 - 11 Jun 44

1st Infantry Division
26th Infantry Regiment
Company I

Operations
Attack on Agy, France

Normandy Campaign


CD 1
30 Pages - PDF


25 Jul - 1 Aug 44

1st Infantry Division
16th Infantry Regiment

Operations
St. Lo, France


Northern France
Campaign

CD 1
37 Pages - PDF


Sep 44

1st Infantry Division

Mons and Aachen

Chapter 9
The German Army
escape from the
US First Army.

Mons, Belgium
and Aachen, Germany

CD 1
13 Pages - PDF


Sep 44

The Pocket at Mons

Correspondents Report

Mons-Belgium







CD 1
9 Pages - PDF


4 - 5 Sep 44

1st Infantry Division
18th Infantry Regiment

Operations at
Sars le Bruyere
Belgium

Northern France
Campaign



CD 1
24 Pages - PDF


13 - 20 Sep 44

1st Infantry Division
26th Infantry Regiment
1st Battalion

Operations
Nutheim, Germany

Siegfried Line
Rhineland Campaign



CD 1
34 Pages - PDF


8 Oct 44

1st Infantry Division
18th Infantry Regiment
Company C

Operations
Attack on Crucifix Hill

Aachen Offensive
Rhineland Campaign

CD 1
20 Pages - PDF


8 Oct 44

1st Infantry Division
18th Infantry Regiment
Company F

Verlautenheide,
Germany




CD 1
22 Pages - PDF


15 - 19 Oct 44

1st Infantry Division
18th Infantry Regiment
Company K

Operations
Ravelsberg at Haaren
Aachen, Germany



CD 1
27 Pages - PDF


16 Nov - 5 Dec 44

1st Infantry Division
26th Infantry Regiment

Operations
Hurtgen Forest

Rhineland Campaign



CD 1
35 Pages - PDF


26 Nov 44

1st Infantry Division
18th Infantry Regiment
Company F

Langerwehe,
Germany

CD 1
22 Pages - PDF


2 Feb 45

1st Infantry Division
18th Infantry Regiment
Company F

Ramscheid,
Germany

CD 1
22 Pages - PDF


17 - 18 Apr 45

1st Infantry Division
26th Infantry Regiment

Operations
Harz Mountains,
Germany

CD 1
33 Pages - PDF

Medal of Honor

All 16
1st Infantry Division
Citations of WWII
1943 - 1945

CD 1
17 Citations - PDF


Order of Battle

US ARMY
European Theater
of Operations




CD 1
618 Pages - PDF


Headlines

World War II
Newspaper
Headlines




CD 1
507 Pages - PDF


Magazine
Covers







CD 1
74 Pages - PDF


War Against Germany
and Mediterranian
and Ajacent Areas

Pictorial Record




CD 1
459 Page s - PDF



World War II
Situation Maps
Europe














CD 1
83 Pages - PDF



Film

The
BIG PICTURE
Documentary Film

"Combat Infantryman"

An Official
Television Report
to the Nation
From the
United States Army



CD 1
Film Info - PDF
Film: 27m14s - MP4



Film

1st Infantry Division
History

"The Fighting First"


War Department
Official Film





CD 1
Film Info - PDF
Part 1: 4m34s - MP4
Part 2: 8m08s - MP4



Newsreels

"Allied Vise Tightens
On Rhineland"
Universal Newsreel
7 Dec 44
Film: 7m17s

"Nazis Surrender"
Universal Newsreel
14 May 45
Film: 7m24s

"The Year 1945"
United Newsreel
Film: 8m34s

CD 1
Newsreels - Folder

The files below are found on CD 2


8 Nov - 11 Nov 42

Algeria–French
Morocco

CD 2
32 Pages - PDF


Jul 43

Sicily and the
Surrender of Italy

CD 2
630 Pages - PDF


9 Jul - 17 Aug 43

Sicily Campaign


CD 2
28 Pages - PDF


6 Jun - 1 Jul 44

Cross-Channel Attack


CD 2
538 Pages - PDF


1 Jul - 11 Sep 44

Breakout
and Pursuit

CD 2
771 Pages - PDF


25 Jul - 14 Sep 44

Northern France


CD 2
32 Pages - PDF


15 Sep 44 - 21 Mar 45

Rhineland


CD 2
36 Pages - PDF


22 Mar - 11 May 45

Central Europe


CD 2
36 Pages - PDF


Long Road
To Victory



CD 2
20 Pages - PDF


US Air Force
Combat Chronology
1941 - 1945


CD 2
743 Pages - PDF


"Fighting Divisions"

Army
Divisions History

CD 2
241 Pages - PDF


Supreme Command

European
Theater Operations

CD 2
631 Pages - PDF


Brief History
of World War II





CD 2
55 Pages - PDF


APOs

Army Postal Service
Addresses

Alphabetical Listings

CD 2
149 Pages - PDF


Form SF-180
Records Request

Request for
Personnel Records


CD 2
3 Pages - PDF


Research Guide

National Archives
Finding Information of
Personal Participation
in World War II Guide

CD 2
5 Pages - PDF


Mines - Booby Traps
Identification Guide

CD 2
42 Pages - PDF


Aircraft
Nose Art

CD 2
34 Pages - PDF


Aircraft
Recognition Guide

CD 2
17 Pages - PDF



Aircraft
Insignia Poster

CD 2
1 Page - PDF



US
World War II
Posters

CD 2
250 Pages - PDF



German
World War II
Posters

CD 2
75 Pages - PDF



Rank
Insignia of Grade


CD 2
1 Page - PDF


Patch
Identification
Guide

CD 2
19 Pages - PDF


Chart

Enlisted Men's
Uniform Insignias


CD 2
1 Page - PDF


Song Lyrics

Army
HIT KIT
of Popular Songs

CD 2
6 Pages - PDF


VE Day
Eisenhower Flyer




CD 2
1 Page - PDF


Comic Book
Covers




CD 2
8 Pages - PDF
The files below are found on CD 3


Music

"Singing Soldiers"

Winners Second
All Army Soldier
Singing Contest

1954-55
19 Song LP Record
2 Album Set


CD 3
Info - PDF
Files - Folder


Music

What Do You
Do In The Infantry ?

American Military March
Semper Fidelis (Marines)





CD 3
Files - Folder


Radio

DDay
Radio Broadcasts
~
13 - BBC/CBS/NBC
Normandy Invasion
Broadcasts
~
24 - CBS Invasion
1 Hour Broadcasts



CD 3
Files - Folder



Cartoons

11
BANNED
World War II
Cartoons

Bugs Bunny
Donald Duck
Popeye
Superman
more ...

CD 3
Info - PDF
Files - Folder



1st Infantry
Division
"Big Red One"
"The Fighting First"

1st Infantry Division History

The 1st Infantry Division of the United States Army is the oldest division in the United States Army. It has seen continuous service since its organization in 1917. It was officially nicknamed the The Big Red One after its shoulder patch and is also nicknamed The Fighting First.

The 1st Division started preparing for World War II by moving to
Fort Benning, Georgia on November 19, 1939, and ran its personnel through the Infantry School. It then moved to the Sabine Parish, Louisiana area on May 11, 1940 to participate in the Louisiana Maneuvers. They then returned to Fort Hamilton on June 5, 1940 then to Fort Devens, Massachusetts on February 4, 1941.

The Division was sent to both Carolina Maneuvres of October and November 1941 then moved to Samarcand, North Carolina. On December 6, 1941, the 1st Division returned to Fort Devens, Massachusetts and was later transferred to Camp Blanding, Florida on February 21, 1942 where it was re-designated 1st Infantry Division on May 15, 1942.

The division moved then to Fort Benning, Georgia on May 22, 1942, and to Indian Town Gap Military Reservation on Jun 21, 1942. The Division departed New York Port of Embarkation on August 1, 1942, arrived in England on August 7, 1942.

The division landed in Oran, Algeria on November 8, 1942, as part of Operation Torch, the first time that America was to campaign against the Axis powers. The initial lessons of combat were harsh and many men were casualties in the campaign that followed and which stretched from Algiers into Tunisia, including the Kasserine Pass.

Elements took part in combat at Maktar, Tebourba, Medjez el Bab, Kasserine Pass, Gafsa, El Guettar, Béja, and Mateur, from January 21, 1943 to May 9, 1943, helping secure Tunisia. On May 9, 1943, the commander of the German "Afrika Korps" surrendered his force of 40,000 and North African operations for the Big Red One ended.

The Division moved on to help take Sicily in "Operation Husky." under the command of Major General Terry de la Mesa Allen. It was assigned to the II Corps. It was in Sicily that the 1st saw heavy action when making amphibious landings on Gela, the most fortified German beach head positions.

It stormed ashore at Gela, July 10, 1943, and quickly overpowered the Italian defenses. Soon after, the Division came face-to-face with 100 tanks of the Herman Goering Tank Division. With the help of naval gunfire, its own artillery and Canadian allies, the First Infantry Division fought its way over the island's hills, driving the enemy back.

The division then moved up through the center of Sicily, slogging it out through the mountains along with the 45th Infantry Division. In these mountains, the division saw some of the heaviest fighting in the entire Sicilian campaign at Troina; some units losing more than half their strength in assaulting the mountain town.

The division advanced on to capture Troina and opened the Allied road to the straits of Messina. On August 7, 1943, command was assumed by Major General Clarence R. Huebner.

When that campaign was over, the division returned to England to prepare for the Normandy invasion. It was one of the two divisions that stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day, with some of the division's units suffering 30 percent casualties in the first hour of the assault, and secured Formigny and Caumont in the beachhead by the end of the day.

On D-Day the division stormed ashore at Omaha Beach. Soon after H-Hour, the Division's 16th Infantry Regiment was fighting for its life on a strip of beach near Coleville-sur-Mer that had been marked the "Easy Red" on battle maps. As the assault progressed, the beach became so congested with destroyed equipment, the dead and the wounded, that there was little room to land reinforcements. Col. George Taylor, commander of the 16th Infantry Regt., told his men, "Two kinds of people are staying on this beach! The dead and those who are going to die! Now, let's get the hell out of here!" Slowly, spurred by the individual heroism of many individuals, the move inland got underway. After the beachhead was secured, the Division moved through the Normandy Hedgerows.

The division followed up the St. Lo break-through with an attack on Marigny, July 27, 1944, and then drove across France in a continuous offensive, reaching the German border at Aachen in September.

The division liberated Liege, Belgium, and pushed to the German border, crossing through the fortified Siegfried line.

The division attacked the first major German city, Aachen, and after many days of bitter house-to house fighting, the German commander surrendered the city on Oct. 21, 1944.

The First then attacked east of Aachen through Hurtgen Forest, driving to the Roer, and moved to a rest area December 7, 1944 for its first real rest in 6 months' combat, when the Wacht Am Rhein offensive (commonly called the Battle of the Bulge) suddenly broke loose on December 16, 1944 when 24 enemy divisions, 10 of which were armored, launched a massive counterattack in the Ardennes sector. The division held the critical shoulder of the "Bulge" at Bullingen, destroying hundreds of German tanks in the process.

On Jan. 15, 1945, the First Infantry attacked and penetrated the Siegfried line for the second time.

Continuously fighting from December 17, 1944 to January 28, 1945, the division helped blunt and turn back the German offensive.

The division fought across the Roer, February 23 and drove on to the Rhine, crossing at the Remagen bridgehead, March 15–16.

The division broke out of the bridgehead, took part in the encirclement of the Ruhr Pocket, captured Paderborn, pushed through the Harz Mountaiins.

On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, the Division marched 150 miles to the east of Siegen. On April 8, the Division crossed the Weser River and was in Czechoslovakia, fighting at Kinsperk, Sangerberg, and Mnichov when the war in Europe ended May 8, 1945.

At the end of World War II, over 100,000 prisoners had been taken, the Division had suffered 21,023 casualties and 43,743 men had served in its ranks. Its soldiers had taken part in 3 amphibious assaults, won a total of 20,752 medals and awards, earned 7 battle streamers, a Presidential Unit Citation, 5 foreign awards and 16 members of the division were awarded the Medal of Honor.

Beginning another occupation of Germany, the 26th Infantry Regiment "Blue Spaders" were given the honor of bearing the United States National Colors at the Allied Victory in Europe parade, and were selected to serve as America’s guard of honor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. Thus began a lengthy stay in Germany, first as conquerors and later as friends and Allies.



16th Infantry
Regiment
"Always Prepared"
16th Infantry Regiment History

The 16th returned to the U.S. after World War I August 1919 serving at Fort Jay, Governor’s Island, New York. In the 20 years that followed, the regiment remained at Fort Jay where it became known as “New York’s Own” and adopted the popular “Sidewalks of New York” as its regimental song. The 16th moved to Fort Benning, Georgia, from New York on 19 November 1939 joining the rest of the 1st Inf. Div. at Fort Devens, Massachusetts.

In August 1942, the 16th Inf. Reg. sailed from New York City abroad the Queen Mary for Gourok, Scotland. By 9 August 1942 the regiment had moved into Tidworth Barracks in southern England.

The16th Infantry Regiment's 1,700 soldiers took part in the landings in North Africa and were the first American infantry to land on the beaches during Operation Torch defeating Rommel's Afrika Corps, and Sicily Sicily defeating Hermann Goering's Panzer Division, and at Normandy and they participated in Operation Cobra.

Fox Company, 2nd Battalion of the 16th Infantry was the first unit in the 1st Division to take part in an offensive operation when Fox Company supported by Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, and George Company, 3rd Battalion supported by tanks from 1st Armored assaulted the Le Senia Airfield just south of Oran, Algeria.

The 400 Americans killed 270 French soldiers and captured 700 of them without loss. During the Battle of Kasserine Pass the 16th Infantry counterattacked a line that had been left open by retreating units of the 26th Infantry Regiment.

The 16th Infantry's combat record in World War II is exceeded by no other U.S. unit. It was among the first American units to engage Hitler’s “Africa Corps” in Northern Africa, during Operation Torch, the first combat operation of the 16th Infantry in World War II.

During the bitter fighting in the Kasserine Pass the 16th earned its third French ‘Croix de Guerre’ for its role in stopping the German counterattack which nearly destroyed the U.S. II Corps. At Matuer, Tunisia, the 16th again distinguished itself, earning its first Presidential Unit Citation.

In the Invasion of Sicily, the 16th was the first American unit to land on the beaches of Sicily near Gela and capture the city with heavy losses on the beach.

On 10 July 1943, during Operation Husky at Gela, the regiment earned its second Presidential Unit Citation by stopping a German Panzer Division and spearheading a subsequent assault deep into the Sicilian heartland.

Following Sicily, the 16th Infantry took part in the invasion of Europe when they landed at Omaha beach.

Prior to departing for Europe again, the 16th Infantry Regiment became known as "New York's Own" as it spent over 20 years at Fort Jay, Governor's Island, New York training, conducting ceremonies and other various garrison activities.

It was on Omaha Beach that the 2-16th Infantry earned its nickname "Rangers" as it secured the 2nd Ranger Battalion's eastern flank, while the Rangers assaulted the cliffs of Point du Hoc. The Germans could not tell the difference between the 2 units as both were disciplined in the face of murderous fire and fought with absolute tenacity.

On Omaha Beach, Normandy, 6 June 1944, the 16th earned its third Presidential Unit Citation during Operation Overlord. That same day, Technician Fifth Grade John Pinder and 1stLt. Jimmie Montieth each earned and received the Medal of Honor at Colleville-sur-Mer for their roles in getting American troops across the fire swept beaches.

For its exceptional valor in the Normandy Campaign, the 16th was awarded its forth French Croix de Guerre Fourragere, thus being awarded the French Medaille Militaire Fourragere, the highest honor ever bestowed on a foreign unit by the government of France.

On July 15, elements of the 16th Infantry raced north to rescue units of the 82nd Airborne Division near Piano Lupo and engaged the Herman Goring Panzer Division resulting in heavy German losses. The regiment then moved north taking several key cities and towns before taking part in the battle of Troina.

Over the course of the next year, the 16th Infantry Regiment distinguished itself in battles throughout France, Belgium, Germany with the rest of the 1st Infantry Division and fought its way across Europe, ending the war in Czechoslovakia.



18th Infantry
Regiment
"Vanguards"
18th Infantry Regiment History

On 7 August 1943, during the invasion of Sicily, the 18th Infantry Regiment captured Mount Pellegrino which overlooked the Troina defenses allowing accurate direction of Allied artillery.

The 18th Infantry Regiment was part of the landing forces that participated in the initial onset of Operation Overlord that stormed Omaha Beach.

The regiment was scheduled to land at 09:30 on Easy Red. The first battalion to land, 2/18, arrived at the E-1 draw 30 minutes late after a difficult passage through the congestion off shore.

Casualties were light, though despite the existence of a narrow channel through the beach obstacles the ramps and mines there accounted for the loss 22 LCVP s, 2 LCI(L) s and 4 LCT s. Supported by tank and subsequent naval fire, the newly arrived troops took the surrender of the last strong point defending the entrance to the E-1 draw at 11:30 .

Although a usable exit was finally opened, congestion prevented an early exploitation inland. The three battalions of the 115th RCT, scheduled to land from 10:30 on Dog Red and Easy Green came in together and on top of the 18th RCT landings at Easy Red. The confusion prevented the remaining two battalions of the 18th RCT from landing until 13:00 and delayed the move off the beach of all but 2/18, which had exited the beach further east before noon, until 14:00. Even then, this movement was hampered by mines and enemy positions still in action further up the draw.


26th Infantry
Regiment
"Blue Spaders"
26th Infantry Regiment History

The Blue Spaders deployed to England and then North Africa when the United States entered World War II. Through four years of war, campaigns were fought from French Morocco, Tunisia, and Sicily to Normandy and Central Europe.

The 26th Infantry led America's first-ever amphibious assault in North Africa, fought at the Kasserine Pass, assaulted Sicily, invaded Normandy, conquered the first German city of the war at Aachen, vaulted the Rhine and attacked all the way to Czechoslovakia by war's end. The regiment conducted three amphibious assaults, and earned seven battle streamers, a Presidential Unit Citation, and five foreign awards.

Beginning another occupation of Germany, the Blue Spaders were given the honor of bearing the United States National Colors at the Allied Victory in Europe parade, and were selected to serve as America's guard of honor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. Thus began a lengthy stay in Germany, first as conquerors and later as friends and allies.



1st Infantry
Division

Campaigns

1st Infantry Division Campaigns of World War II

Algeria-French Morocco 8 - 11 Nov 42
Tunisia 17 Nov 42 - 13 May 43
Sicily 9 Jul - 17 Aug 43
Normandy 6 Jun - 24 Jul 44
Northern France 25 Jul - 14 Sep 44
Rhineland 15 Sep 44 - 21 Mar 45
Ardennes-Alsace 16 Dec 44 - 25 Jan 45
Central Europe 22 Mar - 11 May 45


Algeria – French Morocco Campaign
8 November – 11 November 1942

Events bringing the United States Army to North Africa had begun more than a year before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. For both the Axis and the Allies, the Mediterranean Sea area was one of uncertain priority. On the Axis side, the location of Italy made obvious Rome’s interest in the region. But the stronger German partner pursued interests hundreds of miles north. A similar division of emphasis characterized the Allies. To the British the Mediterranean Sea was the vital link between the home islands and long-held Asian possessions as well as Middle Eastern oil fields. To the Americans, however, the area had never been one of vital national interest and was not seen as the best route to Berlin. But the fall of France in June 1940 had also brought a new dimension to the region. The surrender of Paris left 120,000 French troops in West and North Africa and much of the French fleet in Atlantic and Mediterranean ports. Both the Axis and Allies saw overseas French forces as the decisive advantage that would allow them to achieve their contradictory objectives in the Mediterranean.


Tunisia Campaign
17 November 1942 – 13 May 1943

Victory at Casablanca, Oran, and Algiers gave the United States Army and its British ally solid toeholds in the western Mediterranean Theater of Operations. But it offered no guarantee of easy access to Italy or southern Europe, or even to the eastern end of the Mediterranean, where the British desperately needed assistance to secure Egypt and strategic resources in the Near East. The sudden entrance of American forces during 8–11 November 1942 created an awkward deployment in which two pairs of opposing armies fought in North Africa, one in Tunisia, the other in Libya. Neither Axis nor Allies found any satisfaction in the situation; much fighting remained before either adversary could consider North Africa secure.

If American commanders and troops thought their brief combat experience in French Morocco and Algeria in November 1942 was adequate preparation to face hardened Axis units in a lengthy campaign, the fighting in Tunisia brought about a harsh reappraisal. With few exceptions, French units in North Africa had been more intent on upholding national honor than inflicting casualties and damage; those that offered determined resistance were at a marked disadvantage in terms of weapons, equipment, supplies, and numbers. In Tunisia, however, American soldiers found themselves faced with well-trained, battle-tested units skillfully using the most advanced weapons and innovative combined arms tactics repeatedly to frustrate Allied plans. The result was painful to Army units involved and a shock to the American public: five months of almost continuous setbacks with commensurably high casualties.


Sicilian Campaign
9 July – 17 August 1943

On the night of 9–10 July 1943, an Allied armada of 2,590 vessels launched one of the largest combined operations of World War II—the invasion of Sicily. Over the next thirty-eight days, half a million Allied soldiers, sailors, and airmen grappled with their German and Italian counterparts for control of this rocky outwork of Hitler’s “Fortress Europe.” When the struggle was over, Sicily became the first piece of the Axis homeland to fall to Allied forces during World War II. More important, it served as both a base for the invasion of Italy and as a training ground for many of the officers and enlisted men who eleven months later landed on the beaches of Normandy.


Normandy Campaign
6 – 24 July 1944

A great invasion force stood off the Normandy coast of France as dawn broke on 6 June 1944: 9 battleships, 23 cruisers, 104 destroyers, and 71 large landing craft of various descriptions as well as troop transports, mine sweepers, and merchantmen—in all, nearly 5,000 ships of every type, the largest armada ever assembled. The naval bombardment that began at 0550 that morning detonated large minefields along the shoreline and destroyed a number of the enemy’s defensive positions. To one correspondent, reporting from the deck of the cruiser HMS Hillary, it sounded like “the rhythmic beating of a gigantic drum” all along the coast. In the hours following the bombardment, more than 100,000 fighting men swept ashore to begin one of the epic assaults of history, a “mighty endeavor,” as President Franklin D. Roosevelt described it to the American people, “to preserve. . . our civilization and to set free a suffering humanity.


Northern France Campaign
25 July – 14 September 1944

As July 1944 entered its final week, Allied forces in Normandy faced, at least on the surface, a most discouraging situation. In the east, near Caen, the British and Canadians were making little progress against fierce German resistance. In the west, American troops were bogged down in the Norman hedgerows. These massive, square walls of earth, five feet high and topped by hedges, had been used by local farmers over the centuries to divide their fields and protect their crops and cattle from strong ocean winds. The Germans had turned these embankments into fortresses, canalizing the American advance into narrow channels, which were easily covered by antitank weapons and machine guns. The stubborn defenders were also aided by some of the worst weather seen in Normandy since the turn of the century, as incessant downpours turned country lanes into rivers of mud. By 25 July, the size of the Allied beachhead had not even come close to the dimensions that pre–D-day planners had anticipated, and the slow progress revived fears in the Allied camp of a return to the static warfare of World War I. Few would have believed that, in the space of a month and a half, Allied armies would stand triumphant at the German border.


Rhineland Campaign
15 September 1944 – 21 March 1945

The Rhineland Campaign, although costly for the Allies, had clearly been ruinous for the Germans. The Germans suffered some 300,000 casualties and lost vast amounts of irreplaceable equipment. Hitler, having demanded the defense of all of the German homeland, enabled the Allies to destroy the Wehrmacht in the West between the Siegfried Line and the Rhine River. Now, the Third Reich lay virtually prostrate before Eisenhower’s massed armies.


Ardennes - Alsace Campaign
16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945

In August 1944, while his armies were being destroyed in Normandy, Hitler secretly put in motion actions to build a large reserve force, forbidding its use to bolster Germany’s beleaguered defenses. To provide the needed manpower, he trimmed existing military forces and conscripted youths, the unfit, and old men previously untouched for military service during World War II.

In September Hitler named the port of Antwerp, Belgium, as the objective. Selecting the Eifel region as a staging area, Hitler intended to mass twenty-five divisions for an attack through the thinly held Ardennes Forest area of southern Belgium and Luxembourg. Once the Meuse River was reached and crossed, these forces would swing northwest some 60 miles to envelop the port of Antwerp. The maneuver was designed to sever the already stretched Allied supply lines in the north and to encircle and destroy a third of the Allies’ ground forces. If successful, Hitler believed that the offensive could smash the Allied coalition, or at least greatly cripple its ground combat capabilities, leaving him free to focus on the Russians at his back door.


Central Europe Campaign
22 March – 11 May 1945

By the beginning of the Central Europe Campaign of World War II, Allied victory in Europe was inevitable. Having gambled his future ability to defend Germany on the Ardennes offensive and lost, Hitler had no real strength left to stop the powerful Allied armies. Yet Hitler forced the Allies to fight, often bitterly, for final victory. Even when the hopelessness of the German situation became obvious to his most loyal subordinates, Hitler refused to admit defeat. Only when Soviet artillery was falling around his Berlin headquarters bunker did the German Fuehrer begin to perceive the final outcome of his megalomaniacal crusade.


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