2-ID – OOB – WW-2

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Stationed at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the 2nd Division was sent to maneuvers at Christine, Texas from January 3 to January 27 1940 then at Horton, Texas from April 26 to May 28 1940. In August 1940, (16 to 23), the 2-ID was sent to Cravens, Louisiana, and from June 1 to June 14 1941, the Division participated in the VIII Corps, Brownwood Maneuvers in Comanche, Texas.

It was then sent to Mansfield, Louisiana, for the Louisiana Maneuvers of August and September 1941. On June 27 1942, the 2-D was sent back to Fort Sam, Houston for the VIII Corps Louisiana Maneuvers and was re-designated 2nd Infantry Division on August 1 1942. On September 22 1942 the 2-ID moved to Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, then staged at Camp Shanks, New York, October 3 1943 until departed the New York POE, October 8 1943. The 2-ID arrived in England on October 18 1943, landed in Normandy, France on June 7 1944, crossed into Belgium on September 29 1944 and finally into Germany on October 3 1944. After the Battle of the Bulge and the Germany Campaign, the 2-ID entered Czechoslovakia May 4 1945. After VE Day the Division returned to the New York POE on July 20 1945, moved back to the US, Camp Swift, Texas, July 22 1945. A little while later, it moved to Camp Stoneman, California on March 28 1946 and arrived finally at Fort Lewis, Washington, on Apr 15 1946.


Casualties

Killed in Action : 2999
Wounded in Action : 10.924
Missing in Action : 109
Captured : 1034
Battle Casualties : 15.066
Non-Battle Casualties : 10.818
Total Casualties : 25.884

Campaigns
Normandy
Northern France
Ardennes
Rhineland
Central Europe

Awards
Medal of Honor : 6
Distinguished Service Cross : 34
Legion of Merit : 25
Silver Star : 637
Soldiers Medal : 14
Bronze Star : 5484
Air Medal : 82
Prisoners of War Taken : 51.055

Division Commander
Maj Gen John C. H. Lee : Nov 1941 – Oct 1943
Maj Gen Walter M. Robertson : Oct 1943 – Nov 1943
Brig Gen Thomas L. Martin : Nov 1943 – Dec 1943
Maj Gen Walter M. Robertson : Dec 1943 – Jun 1945
Brig Gen William K. Harrison : Jun 1945 – Sep 1945
Maj Gen Edward M. Almond : Sep 1945

Assistant Division Commander
Brig Gen Thomas L. Martin : Oct 1943 – Jul 1944
Col. James A. Van Fleet : Jul 1944 – Aug 1944
Brig Gen James A. Van Fleet : Aug 1944 – Sep 1944
Col John H. Stokes, Jr : Sep 1944 – Mar 1945
Brig Gen John H. Stokes, Jr : Mar 1945

Artillery Commander
Gen George P. Hays : Oct 1943 – Nov 1944
Col Richard Sears : Nov 1944 – Nov 1944
Gen John H. Hinds : Nov 1944

Chief of Staff
Col John H. Stokes, Jr : Oct 1943 – Oct 1944
Col Ralph W. Zwicker : Oct 1944

Assistant Chief of Staff G-1
Lt Col Reuben N. Hansen : Oct 1943 – Apr 1944
Maj Arthur M. Sherwood, III : Apr 1944 – Jul 1944
Lt Col Arthur M. Sherwood, III : Jul 1944

Assistant Chief of Staff G-2
Lt Col Donald P. Christensen : Oct 1943

Assistant Chief of Staff G-3
Lt Col Jay B. Loveless : Oct 1943 – Dec 1943
Lt Col John H. Chiles : Dec 1943 – Dec 1944
Maj Daniel Webster : Dec 1944 – Jan 1945
Lt Col Daniel Webster : Jan 1945

Assistant Chief of Staff G-4
Lt Col Homer S. Reese : Oct 1943

Assistant Chief of Staff G-5
Lt Col Ellis O. Keller : May 1944

Adjutant General
Lt Col Morris Braveman : Oct 1943

Commanding Officer, 9-IR
Col Chester J. Hirschfelder : Oct 1943 – Jan 1945
Col P. D. Ginder : Jan 1945

Commanding Officer, 23-IR
Col Hurley E. Fuller : Oct 1943 – Jul 1944
Lt Col Jay B. Loveless : Jul 1944 – Sep 1944
Col Jay B. Loveless : Sep 1944

Commanding Officer, 38-IR
Col Walter A. Elliot : Oct 1943 – Jul 1944
Col Ralph W. Zwicker : Jul 1944 – Now 1944
Lt Col Francis H. Boos : Nov 1944 – Nov 1944
Col Francis H. Boos : Nov 1944

Order of Battle – 2nd Infantry Division – 1944/1945
Hq & Hq Company, 2nd Infantry Division
9th Infantry Regiment
23rd Infantry Regiment
38th Infantry Regiment
Hq & Hq Battery, 2nd Division Artillery
12th Field Artillery Battalion (155-MM)
15th Field Artillery Battalion (105-MM)
37th Field Artillery Battalion (105-MM)
38th Field Artillery Battalion (105-MM)
2nd Reconnaissance Troop, Mecz
2nd Engineer Combat Battalion
2nd Medical Battalion
2nd Counter Intelligence Corps Det
Military Police Platoon
2nd Quartermaster Company
2nd Signal Company
702nd OD Light Maint Co
Band

2nd Infantry Division – Attachments
Antiaircraft Artillery
462nd AAA AW Bn (Mbl) : 17 Jun 1944 – 17 Aug 1944
Btry A, 116th AAA Gun Bn (Mbl) : 30 Jul 1944 – 4 Aug 1944
462d AAA AW Bn (Mbl) : 3 Oct 1944 – 8 May 1945
Hq, 18th AAA Gp : 20 Dec 1944 – 21 Dec 1944

Armored
Co B, 747th Tk Bn : 8 Jun 1944 – 15 Jun 1944
Co D, 747th Tk Bn : 11 Jun 1944 – 15 Jun 1944
741st Tk Bn : 15 Jun 1944 – 17 Aug 1944
759th Tk Bn : 18 Jun 1944 – 28 Jun 1944
Hq, 3rd Armd Gp : 17 Jun 1944 – 29 Jul 1944
744th Tk Bn : 18 Jul 1944 – 29 Jul 1944
759th Tk Bn : 27 Jul 1944 – 5 Aug 1944
Co D, 709th Tk Bn : 22 Aug 1944 – 21 Sep 1944
741st Tk Bn : 8 Oct 1944 – 8 May 1945

Cavalry
102nd Cav Rcn Sq (- Tr C) : 11 Jun 1944 – 29 Jul 1944
Tr C, 102nd Cav Rcn Sq : 14 Jun 1944 – 29 Jul 1944
102nd Cav Gp : 16 Jul 1944 – 29 Jul 1944
38th Cav Rcn Sq (- Tr B) : 16 Jul 1944 – 29 Jul 1944
102nd Cav Gp : 2 Aug 1944 – 5 Aug 1944
102nd Cav Rcn Sq : 2 Aug 1944 – 5 Aug 1944
38th Cav Rcn Sq : 2 Aug 1944 – 5 Aug 1944
102nd Cav Gp : 9 Aug 1944 – 14 Aug 1944
102nd Cav Rcn Sq (- Tr A) : 9 Aug 1944 – 14 Aug 1944
Tr A, 102nd Cav Rcn Sq : 9 Aug 1944 – 15 Aug 1944
38th Cav Rcn Sq : 9 Aug 1944 – 15 Aug 1944
18th Cav Rcn Sq : 22 Oct 1944 – 11 Dec 1944
Tr D, 89th Cav Rcn Sq (9-AD) : 28 Oct 1944 – 8 Nov 1944
99th Rcn Tr (99th Div) : 13 Dec 1944 – 22 Dec 1944
Tr A, 102d Cav Rcn Sq : 9 Mar 1945 – 13 Mar 1945
102nd Cav Rcn Sq (- Tr A) : 10 Mar 1945 – 13 Mar 1945

Chemical
Co C, 81st Cml Mort Bn : 11 Jun 1944 – 1 Aug 1944
Co A, 81st Cml Mort Bn : 11 Jun 1944 – 5 Aug 1944
Co B, 81st Cml Mort Bn : 5 Jul 1944 – 5 Aug 1944
Co D, 81st Cml Mort Bn : 1 Aug 1944 – 5 Aug 1944
Co B, 81st Cml Mort Bn : 9 Aug 1944 – 16 Aug 1944
Co C, 81st Cml Mort Bn : 9 Aug 1944 – 16 Aug 1944
Co C, 86th Cml Mort Bn : 22 Aug 1944 – 19 Sep 1944
Co C, 86th Cml Mort Bn : 12 Dec 1944 1944 – 13 Jan 1945
Co D, 86th Cml Mort Bn : 27 Jan 1945 – 16 Feb 1945
Co B, 86th Cml Mort Bn : 1 Mar 1945 – 14 Mar 1945
Co C, 86th Cml Mort Bn : 1 Mar 1945 – 28 Apr 1945

Engineer
1340th Engr C Bn : 13 Jun 1944 – 14 Jun 1944
112th Engr C Bn : 8 Jul 1944 – 13 Jul 1944
454th Engr C Bn : 17 Jul 1944 – 28 Jul 1944
2 Pl. Co B, 9th Armd Engr Bn (9-AD) : 29 Oct 1944 – 4 Nov 1944
1 Pl., Co B, 103d Engr C Bn (28-ID) : 8 Mar 1945 – 10 Mar 1945

Field Artillery
953d FA Bn (155 How) : 13 Jun 1944 – 5 Jul 1944
62nd Armd FA Bn : 8 Jul 1944 – 13 Jul 1944
65th Armd FA Bn : 8 Jul 1944 – 13 Jul 1944
953rd FA Bn (155 How) : 29 Jul 1944 – 5 Aug 1944
196th FA Bn (105 How) : 30 Jul 1944 – 5 Aug 1944
76th FA Bn (105 How) : 15 Aug 1944 – 17 Aug 1944
687th FA Bn (105 How) : 21 Aug 1944 – 11 Sep 1944
275th Armd FA Bn : 23 Oct 1944 – 11 Dec 1944
16th Armd FA Bn (9th Armd Div) : 12 Dec 1944 – 16 Dec 1944
18th FA Bn (105 How) : 12 Dec 1944 – 18 Dec 1944
196th FA Bn (105 How) : 12 Dec 1944 – 18 Dec 1944
Btry C, 987th FA Bn (155 Gun) : 12 Dec 1944 – 19 Dec 1944
Btry A, 987th FA Bn (155 Gun) : 16 Dec 1944 – 19 Dec 1944
1 btry, 987th FA Bn (155 Gun) : 27 Jan 1945 – 4 Feb 1945
76th FA Bn (25 pounders) : 27 Jan 1945 – 12 Feb 1945
187th FA Gp : 4 Feb 1945 – 23 Feb 1945
187th FA Bn (155 How) : 4 Feb 1945 – 23 Feb 1945
953d FA Bn (155 How) : 4 Feb 1945 – 23 Feb 1945
Btry A, 285th FA Obsn Bn : 4 Feb 1945 – 23 Feb 1945
196th FA Bn (105 How) : 8 Feb 1945 – 12 Feb 1945
34th FA Bn (9th Div) (155 How) : 8 Feb 1945 – 12 Feb 1945
26th FA Bn (9th Div) (105 How) : 8 Feb 1945 – 12 Feb 1945
26th FA Bn (9th Div) (105 How) : 17 Feb 1945 – 22 Feb 1945
76th FA Bn (105 How) : 23 Feb 1945 – 9 Mar 1945
955th FA Bn (155 How) : 23 Feb 1945 – 13 Mar 1945
62nd Armd FA Bn : 9 Mar 1945 – 14 Mar 1945
187th FA Bn (155 How) : 28 Mar 1945 – 28 Apr 1945
1 btry, 987th FA Bn (155 Gun) : 23 Apr 1945 – 28 Apr 1945
190th FA Bn (155 Gun) : 23 Apr 1945 – 28 Apr 1945
Btry A, 953d FA Bn (155 How) : 23 Apr 1945 – 28 Apr 1945
17th FA Obsn Bn : 23 Apr 1945 – 28 Apr 45
187th FA Gp : 23 Apr 1945 – 28 Apr 1945

Infantry
Cos A, C & E, 5th Ranger Inf Bn : 29 Aug 1944 – 4 Sep 1944
27th Armd Inf Bn (9th Armd Div) : 26 Oct 1944 – 8 Nov 1944
99th Inf Div : 18 Dec 1944 – 7 Jan 1945
39th CT (9th Div) : 8 Feb 1945 – 12 Feb 1945
26th FA Bn (9th Div) (105 How) : 8 Feb 1945 – 12 Feb 1945
1 plat, Co A, 15th Engr C Bn (9th Div) : 8 Feb 1945 – 12 Feb 1945
Co C, 746th Tk Bn : 8 Feb 1945 – 12 Feb 1945
2 plats, 746th Tk Bn : 8 Feb 1945 – 12 Feb 1945
Co A, 899th TD Bn (SP) : 8 Feb 1945 – 12 Feb 1945
39th CT (9th Div) : 18 Feb 1945 – 22 Feb 1945
26th FA Bn (9th Div) (105 How) : 18 Feb 1945 – 22 Feb 1945
1 plat, Co A, 15th Engr C Bn (9th Div) : 18 Feb 1945 – 22 Feb 1945
Co A, 899th TD Bn (SP) : 18 Feb 1945 – 22 Feb 1945
Btry A, 367th AAA AW Bn (Mbl) : 18 Feb 1945 – 22 Feb 1945
271st CT (69th Div) : 18 Apr 1945 – 19 Apr 1945
879th FA Bn (69th Div) (105 How) : 18 Apr 1945 – 19 Apr 1945
1 plat, Co A, 269th Engr C Bn (69th Div) : 18 Apr 1945 – 19 Apr 1945
Co A, 777th Tk Bn : 18 Apr 1945 – 19 Apr 1945
1 plat, Co A, 661st TD Bn (SP) : 18 Apr 1945 – 19 Apr 1945

Tank Destroyer
Co A, 635th TD Bn (T) : 8 Jun 1944 – 17 Jun 1944
803d TD Bn (SP) : 13 Jun 1944 – 14 Jun 1944
612th TD Bn (SP) : 14 Jun 1944 – 9 May 1945
893rd TD Bn (SP) : 17 Jul 1944 – 5 Aug 1944
893rd TD Bn (SP) (- Co B) : 13 Aug 1944 – 17 Aug 1944
Co B, 705th TD Bn (SP) : 23 Aug 1944 – 19 Sep 1944
629th TD Bn (SP) : 30 Oct 1944 – 2 Dec 1944
644th TD Bn (SP) : 12 Dec 1944 – 27 Jan 1945
Co B, 801st TD Bn (SP) : 5 Jan 1945 – 3 Feb 1945

2nd Infantry Division – Detachments
Cavalry
2nd Rcn Tr – 99th Div : 11 Dec 1944 – 13 Dec 1944

Engineer
Co B, 2nd Engr C Bn – 1st Div : 14 Jan 1945 – 24 Jan 1945

Field Artillery
38th FA Bn – 9th Armd Div : 2 Apr 1945 – 5 Apr 1945

Infantry
38th CT – VIII Corps : 21 Aug 1944 – 30 Aug 1944
38th FA Bn – VIII Corps : 21 Aug 1944 – 30 Aug 1944
Co C, 2nd Engr C Bn – VIII Corps : 21 Aug 1944 – 30 Aug 1944
2nd Bn, 38th Inf – Com Z : 27 Sep 1944 – 13 Nov 1944
1st & 3rd Bns, 23d Inf – 99th Div : 16 Dec 1944 – 18 Dec 1944
23rd CT – 1st Div : 13 Jan 1945 – 24 Jan 1945
37th FA Bn – 1st Div : 13 Jan 1945 – 24 Jan 1945
2nd Bn, 23d Inf – 9th Div : 12 Feb 1945
38th CT – 78th Div : 8 Mar 1945
38th FA Bn – 78th Div : 8 Mar 45
Co C, 2nd Engr C Bn – 78th Div : 8 Mar 1945
38th CT – 9th Armd Div : 25 Mar 1945 – 5 Apr 1945
Co C, 2d Engr C Bn – 9th Armd Div : 25 Mar 1945 – 5 Apr 1945
1st Bn, 23d Inf – 9th Armd Div : 2 Apr 1945 – 5 Apr 1945
3d Bn, 38th Inf – 9th Armd Div : 9 Apr 1945 – 21 Apr 1945

Assignments (A) & Attachements (T)
25 Sep 1943 : V Corps
22 Oct 1943 : (A) First Army, (T) ETOUSA
24 Dec 1943 : XV Corps, (T) First Army
2 Jan 1944 : XV Corps, (T) First Army
14 Apr 1944 : V Corps, (A) First Army
1 Aug 1944 : V Corps, (A) First Army, (A) 12th AG
17 Aug 1944 : XIX Corps, (A) First Army, (A) 12th AG
18 Aug 1944 : VIII Corps, (A) First, (T) Third Army, (A) 12th AG
5 Sep 1944 : VIII Corps, (A) Ninth Army, (A) 12th AG
22 Oct 1944 : VIII Corps, (A) First Army, (A) 12th AG
11 Dec 1944 : V Corps, (A) First Army, (A) 12th AG
20 Dec 1944 : V Corps, (A) First Army, (A) 12th AG, (T) 21st Br
18 Jan 1945 : V Corps, (A) First Army, (A) 12th AG
28 Apr 1945 : VII Corps, (A) First Army, (A) 12th AG
1 May 1945 : V Corps, (A) First Army, (A) 12th AB
6 May 1945 : (A) Third Army, 12th AG

Narrative

The division landed on the evening of June 7 1944 across Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, was committed in the Forêt de Cerisy and next attacked across the Elle River and the Aure River. It assaulted the German strong point position on top of Hill 192 which commanded the approaches to St Lô on June 12 1944. Fierce fighting for Hill 192 continued through June and into July, when the division finally took it on July 11 1944.

The 2-ID gained control of the St Lô highway also. After regrouping the division went back on the offensive again July 27 and took Notre Dame d’Elle as it exploited the St Lô breakthrough. It advanced to the Vire River by Aug 4 and halted to allow XIX Corps to cross its front and take Vire itself. The division advanced across the Vire and took Tinchebray on August 15 and on August 17, it moved west into Brittany. On August 25 began the assault on the strong outer defenses of the German fortified city of Brest.

By September 2 it had seized Hill 105 which dominated the eastern approaches. The all-out attack on Brest commenced September 8 and the division gained the old city wall by September 17. The city surrendered after a 39-day battle. On September 26, the division moved by rail and motor and took up defensive positions at St Vith. The 106th Infantry Division took over its positions in the Schnee Eifel on December 11, and the division shifted to begin its offensive for the Roer River and the Urft Dams on December 13. However, the German Ardennes counter offensive forced the division to shift positions again to the Monschau Forest on December 16. Under heavy attack, the division withdrew to defensive positions along the Ridge in Elsenborn, this until the German drive was halted.

The 23-IR was attached to help the 1st Infantry Division clear Iveldingen and Rohrbusch on January 15 1945. The 2-ID itself began its attack to breach the West Wall on January 30 and captured the twin villages of Krinkelt and Rocherath along the German border, the following day. On February 1 the Indian Head Division resumed the offensive for the Roer and Urft River dams and after gaining Scheuren on February 5, consolidated and switched sectors with the 9th Infantry Division.

On March 3, the division crossed the Roer River with its 38-IR in the lead at Heimbach, while the 23-IR occupied Malsbenden. The 38-IR took Gemund on March 4 after it overran stubborn pillbox nests along the Urft River’s northern banks. Mounted on tanks and tank destroyers, soldiers of the 9-IR and the 23-IR gained seven miles toward Ahr and cleared 25 towns, enabling the 23-IR to take the Kreuzbach Bridge intact on March 7. The division moved then south to take Breisig on March 11. It improved positions along the Rhine and guarded the Remagen Bridge from March 12 to 20.

At 0400, March 21, the division crossed the Rhine River and the 38-IR cleared the region between the Rhine and Wied Rivers, Datzeroth, and Segendorf.

The 23-IR crossed the Rhine on March 23 and the 38-IR fought to expand its Wied Bridgehead while attached to the 9th Armored Division. With the 9-IR and the 23-IR in the lead, the division took Ransbach and other towns on March 26 on the north flank of V Corps.

By March 27, it finished mopping up stragglers and clearing its zone. It next moved to Hadamar and Limburg to join the 9th Armored Division and moved rapidly forward on their tanks and vehicles, reaching positions just north of Ederstau See by the end of the month. The division concentrated in the Sachsenhausen area, mopped up, and took responsibility for the Eder Bridges near Affoldern on April 1. It went into the attack April 5 to take the Weser River heights north of Hann and Muenden. The 23-IR made the Weser River crossing at Veckerhagen, the division following on the tanks of the 9th Armored Division and making fast progress.

On April 14, the 9-IR and the 23-IR established a bridgehead across the Saale using a damaged railroad bridge, cleared Merseburg on April 15, and captured Leipzig on April 19. It was then ordered to withdraw to the east bank of the Mulde River on April 24. The division next moved 200 miles May 1/3 to the German-Czech border near Schonsee and Waldmungen where it relieved the 97-ID and the 99th Infantry Divisions. It was attacking Pilsen when hostilities ceased by order on May 7 1945.

CMH Recipients, 2nd Infantry Division, World War Two

S/Sgt Alvin P. Carey
S/Sgt, US Army, 38th Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division
Near Plougastel, Brittany, France, 23 Aug 1944
Alvin Carey entered service at Laughlinstown, Pa
Birth : 16 Aug 1916, Lycippus, Pa
GO # 37, 11 May 1945

Citation : For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, on 23 Aug 1944. S/Sgt Carey, leader of a machine gun section, was advancing with his company in the attack on the strongly held enemy hill 154, near Plougastel, Brittany, France. The advance was held up when the attacking units were pinned down by intense enemy machine gun fire from a pillbox 200 yards up the hill. From his position covering the right flank, S/Sgt Carey displaced his guns to an advanced position and then, upon his own initiative, armed himself with as many hand grenades as he could carry and without regard for his personal safety started alone up the hill toward the pillbox. Crawling forward under its withering fire, he proceeded 150 yards when he met a German rifleman whom he killed with his carbine. Continuing his steady forward movement until he reached grenade throwing distance, he hurled his grenades at the pillbox opening in the face of intense enemy fire which wounded him mortally. Undaunted, he gathered his strength and continued his grenade attack until one entered and exploded within the pillbox, killing the occupants and putting their guns out of action. Inspired by S/Sgt Carey’s heroic act, the riflemen quickly occupied the position and overpowered the remaining enemy resistance in the vicinity.

Pfc Richard E. Cowan
Pfc, US Army, M Co, 23rd Inf Regt, 2nd Infantry Division
Near Krinkelter Wald, Belgium, 17 Dec 1944
Richard E. Cowan entered service at Wichita, Kans
Birth : Lincoln, Nebr
GO # 48, 23 Jun 1945

Citation : He was a heavy machine gunner in a section attached to I Co in the vicinity of the Krinkelter Wald, Belgium, 17 Dec 1944, when that company was attacked by a numerically superior force of German infantry and tanks. The first 6 waves of hostile infantrymen were repulsed with heavy casualties, but a seventh drive with tanks killed or wounded all but 3 of his section, leaving Pvt Cowan to man his gun, supported by only 15 to 20 riflemen of I Co. He maintained his position, holding off the Germans until the rest of the shattered force had set up a new line along a firebreak. Then, unaided, he moved his machine gun and ammunition to the second position. At the approach of a German Panther tank, he held his fire until about 80 enemy infantrymen supporting the tank appeared at a distance of about 150 yards. His first burst killed or wounded about half of these infantrymen. His position was rocked by an 75 MM shell when the tank opened fire, but he continued to man his gun, pouring deadly fire into the Germans when they again advanced. He was barely missed by another shell. Fire from three machine guns and innumerable small arms struck all about him; an enemy rocket shook him badly, but did not drive him from his gun. Infiltration by the enemy had by this time made the position untenable, and the order was given to withdraw. Pvt Cowan was the last man to leave, voluntarily covering the withdrawal of his remaining comrades. His heroic actions were entirely responsible for allowing the remaining men to retire successfully from the scene of their last-ditch stand.

T4 Truman Kimbro
T4, US Army, C Co, 2nd Eng Cmbt Bn, 2nd Inf Div
Near Rocherath, Belgium, 19 Dec 1944
Truman Kimbro entered service at Houston, Tex
Birth : Madisonville, Tex
GO # 42, 24 May 1945

Citation : On 19 Dec 1944, as scout, he led a squad assigned to the mission of mining a vital crossroads near Rocherath, Belgium. At the first attempt to reach the objective, he discovered it was occupied by an enemy tank and at least 20 infantrymen. Driven back by withering fire, T4 Kimbro made 2 more attempts to lead his squad to the crossroads but all approaches were covered by intense enemy fire. Although warned by our own infantrymen of the great danger involved, he left his squad in a protected place and, laden with mines, crawled alone toward the crossroads. When nearing his objective he was severely wounded, but he continued to drag himself forward and laid his mines across the road. As he tried to crawl from the objective his body was riddled with rifle and machine gun fire. The mines laid by his act of indomitable courage delayed the advance of enemy armor and prevented the rear of our withdrawing columns from being attacked by the enemy.

Sgt Jose M. Lopez
Sgt, US Army, 23d Inf Regt, 2nd Infantry Division
Near Krinkelt, Belgium, 17 Dec 1944
Jose Lopez entered service at Brownsville, Tex
Birth : Mission, Tex
GO # 47, 18 Jun 1945

Citation : On his own initiative, he carried his heavy machine gun from K Co’s right flank to its left, in order to protect that flank which was in danger of being overrun by advancing enemy infantry supported by tanks. Occupying a shallow hole offering no protection above his waist, he cut down a group of 10 Germans. Ignoring enemy fire from an advancing tank, he held his position and cut down 25 more enemy infantry attempting to turn his flank. Glancing to his right, he saw a large number of infantry swarming in from the front. Although dazed and shaken from enemy artillery fire which had crashed into the ground only a few yards away, he realized that his position soon would be outflanked. Again, alone, he carried his machine gun to a position to the right rear of the sector; enemy tanks and infantry were forcing a withdrawal. Blown over backward by the concussion of enemy fire, he immediately reset his gun and continued his fire. Single-handed he held off the German horde until he was satisfied his company had effected its retirement. Again he loaded his gun on his back and in a hail of small arms fire he ran to a point where a few of his comrades were attempting to set up another defense against the onrushing enemy. He fired from this position until his ammunition was exhausted. Still carrying his gun, he fell back with his small group to Krinkelt. Sgt Lopez’s gallantry and intrepidity, on seemingly suicidal missions in which he killed at least 100 of the enemy, were almost solely responsible for allowing K Co to avoid being enveloped, to withdraw successfully and to give other forces coming up in support time to build a line which repelled the enemy drive.

Sgt John McVeigh
Sgt, US Army, H Co, 23d Inf Regt, 2nd Infantry Division
Near Brest, France, 29 Aug 1944
John McVeigh entered service at Philadelphia, Pa
Birth : Philadelphia, Pa
GO # 24, 6 April 1945

Citation : For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty near Brest, France, on 29 Aug 1944. Shortly after dusk an enemy counterattack of platoon strength was launched against 1st Plat, G Co, 23rd Inf Regt. Since the G Co platoon was not dug in and had just begun to assume defensive positions along a hedge, part of the line sagged momentarily under heavy fire from small arms and 2 flak guns, leaving a section of heavy machine guns holding a wide frontage without rifle protection. The enemy drive moved so swiftly that German riflemen were soon almost on top of 1 machine gun position. Sgt McVeigh, heedless of a tremendous amount of small arms and flak fire directed toward him, stood up in full view of the enemy and directed the fire of his squad on the attacking Germans until his position was almost overrun. He then drew his trench knife. and single-handed charged several of the enemy. In a savage hand-to-hand struggle, Sgt McVeigh killed 1 German with the knife, his only weapon, and was advancing on 3 more of the enemy when he was shot down and killed with small arms fire at pointblank range. Sgt McVeigh’s heroic act allowed the 2 remaining men in his squad to concentrate their machine gun fire on the attacking enemy and then turn their weapons on the 3 Germans in the road, killing all 3. Fire from this machine gun and the other gun of the section was almost entirely responsible for stopping this enemy assault, and allowed the rifle platoon to which it was attached time to reorganize, assume positions on and hold the high ground gained during the day.

Pfc William A. Soderman
Pfc, US Army, K Co, 9th Inf Regt, 2nd Inf Div
Near Rocherath, Belgium, 17 Dec 1944
William Soderman entered service at West Haven, Conn
Birth : West Haven, Conn
GO # 97, 1 Nov 1945

Citation : Armed with a 2’36 bazooka, he defended a key road junction near Rocherath, Belgium, on 17 Dec 1944, during the German Ardennes counteroffensive. After a heavy artillery barrage that wounded and forced the withdrawal of his assistant, he heard enemy tanks approaching the position where he calmly waited in the gathering darkness of early evening until the 5 Mark V tanks which made up the hostile force were within pointblank range. He then stood up, completely disregarding the firepower that could be brought to bear upon him, and launched a rocket into the lead tank, setting it afire and forcing its crew to abandon it as the other tanks pressed on before Pfc Soderman could reload. The daring bazookaman remained at his post all night under severe artillery, mortar, and machine gun fire, awaiting the next onslaught, which was made shortly after dawn by 5 more tanks. Running along a ditch to meet them, he reached an advantageous point and there leaped to the road in full view of the tank gunners, deliberately aimed his weapon and disabled the lead tank. The other vehicles, thwarted by a deep ditch in their attempt to go around the crippled machine, withdrew. While returning to his post Pfc Soderman, braving heavy fire to attack an enemy infantry platoon from close range, killed at least 3 Germans and wounded several others with a round from his bazooka. By this time, enemy pressure had made K Co’s position untenable. Orders were issued for withdrawal to an assembly area, where Pfc Soderman was located when he once more heard enemy tanks approaching. Knowing that elements of the company had not completed their disengaging maneuver and were consequently extremely vulnerable to an armored attack, he hurried from his comparatively safe position to meet the tanks. Once more he disabled the lead tank with a single rocket, his last; but before he could reach cover, machine gun bullets from the tank ripped into his right shoulder. Unarmed and seriously wounded he dragged himself along a ditch to the American lines and was evacuated. Through his unfaltering courage against overwhelming odds, Pfc Soderman contributed in great measure to the defense of Rocherath, exhibiting to a superlative degree the intrepidity and heroism with which American soldiers met and smashed the savage power of the last great German offensive.

Command Posts
1943
– 20 Oct : Armagh, Armagh, Northern Ireland

1944
– 19 Apr : Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales
– 15 May : St Donats Castle, Glamorganshire, Wales
– 7 Jun : St Laurent-sur-Mer (vic west), Calvados, France
– 9 Jun : Formigny, Calvados, France
– 10 Jun : Le Molay, Calvados, France
– 15 Jun : Cerisy-la-Foret (2 mile south), Manche, France
– 29 Jun : St Jean-des-Baisants, (1 mile NW), Manche, France
– 2 Aug : Laveniere, Calvados, France
– 5 Aug : Les Rairies, Calvados, France
– 10 Aug : Coutances, Calvados, France
– 13 Aug : Maisoncelles-la-Jourdan, Calvados, France
– 19 Aug : Ploudaniel, (3 mile east), Finistere, France
– 22 Aug : Kersaint Plebennec (1 mile west), Finistere, France
– 30 Sep : St Vith, Liege, Belgium
– 12 Dec : Wirzfeld, Liege, Belgium
– 18 Dec : Camp Elsenborn, Liege, Belgium

1945
– 5 Feb : Wahlerscheid, Rhineland, Germany
– 21 Feb : Erkensruhr, Rhineland, Germany
– 5 Mar : Kloster Mariawald, Rhineland, Germany
– 6 Mar : Vlatten, Rhineland, Germany
– 7 Mar : Mechernich, Rhineland, Germany
– 8 Mar : Munstereifel, Rhineland, Germany
– 9 Mar : Bruck, Rhineland, Germany
– 10 Mar : Bad Neuenahr, Rhineland, Germany
– 21 Mar : Honningen, Hessen-Nassau, Germany
– 25 Mar : Nieder Bieber, Hessen-Nassau, Germany
– 27 Mar : Hohr-Grenzhausen, Hessen-Nassau, Germany
– 29 Mar : Hademar, Hessen-Nassau, Germany
– 30 Mar : Homberg, Hessen-Nassau, Germany
– 1 Apr : Sachsenhausen, Hessen-Nassau, Germany
– 5 Apr : Oberlistingen, Hessen-Nassau, Germany
– 6 Apr : Grebenstein, Hessen-Nassau, Germany
– 7 Apr : Veckerhagen, Hessen-Nassau, Germany
– 8 Apr : Dransfeld, Westphalia, Germany
– 9 Apr : Wollmarshausen (3 mile SE), Westphalia, Germany
– 11 Apr : Ober Gebra (1 mile east), Saxony, Germany
– 12 Apr : Bad Frankenhausen, Saxony, Germany
– 13 Apr : Barnstadt, Saxony, Germany
– 17 Apr : Schladebach, Saxony, Germany
– 19 Apr : Markranstadt, Saxony, Germany
– 21 Apr : Bad Lausick, Saxony, Germany
– 2 May : Ober Viechtach, Bavaria, Germany
– 4 May : Rotz, Bavaria, Germany
– 5 May : Klenec, Bohemia, Czech
– 6 May : Horsovsky, Tyn, Bohemia, Czech
– 7 May : Pilsen, Bohemia, Czech

Yes ! This post, better said this published archive has been double checked and is released to the the registered members of the European Center of Military History. Of course, I hope that you found some interesting information while reading it. At least I’ve tried to add the maximum I was able to find out.

So, what now? Well you can post a comment if you are a registered member. There is always what to say. Should you have some more information about this archive, you can also use the comment area to add them bellow the text and I will check your entry and add it to the original archive. Sometime, a small info added can change the whole history and make it more interesting for the following reader.

Bellow, you will find a listing of great Military History Books I have selected in the case you would more information. Of course, the listing is not exhaustive but it will send you to my Affiliate Amazon Account and you will be able to make EUCMH win a couple cents if you buy a book. Amazon and my EUCMH Registered Member’s Donations are both the only support for this website. This, is also up to you.

as part of the Army’s 233rd birthday tribute at Arlington National Cemetery, VA, June 14, 2008. The U.S. Congress adopted “the American continental army” on June 14, 1775 The U.S. Army is celebrating their 233rd birthday since Army photo by D. Myles Cullen (released)
Do you see this black button on the left? I know you can not miss it. Clicking on it will send you the our Seamless Donation System where you will be able to not only make a donation but you can also make a donation for something, for someone and even to honor one of your loved ones like your Dad, Brother, etc.
There is always someone to honor in every single family and it is a wonderful feeling to be able to read her or his name somewhere on the Internet. I will let you think about this but I want to remember you that EUCMH Member’s are the only financial support which keeps this website online and running. The European Center of Military History is a non profit organization – and you can believe that I know what I am talking about – and when someone put five USD or more in the system this makes my day and push again ahead to work better for the readers.

One last word, if you find my English a little strange, this is entirely normal. I speak French, German, and Dutch but I learned English with World War Two Veterans during the last 35 years while touring our Belgian Battlefields (Bulge). The way these old men used to talk is not always the same as the one they use in a Bank or some Official Office. It’s even some kind of SNAFU.

Anyway, thanks for your visit. I hope you enjoyed the trip and you will come again to read another archive.

Doc Snafu

PS : Don’t forget to rate this archive with a 5 stars !

For all purposes :
European Center of Military History
Gunter ‘Doc Snafu’ Gillot
rue des Thiers 8
Francorchamps 4970
Belgium
Email : gunter [at] eucmh.be




(NB : Published for Good – October 2019)

 

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