2nd Infantry Division – Order of Battle – 1944-1945

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Stationed at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the 2nd Infantry Division was sent to maneuvers at Christine, Texas from Jan 3 to Jan 27 1940 then at Horton, Texas from Apr 26 to May 28 1940. In August 1940, (16 to 23), the 2nd Division was sent to Cravens, Louisiana, and from Jun 1 to Jun 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 Jun 27 1942, the 2nd Division was sent back to Fort Sam, Houston for the VIII Corps Louisiana Maneuvers and was re-designated 2nd Infantry Division on Aug 1 1942. On Sep 22 1942 the 2nd moved to Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, then staged at Camp Shanks, New York, Oct 3 1943 until departed the New York POE, Oct 8 1943. The 2nd Infantry Division arrived in England on Oct 18 1943, landed in Normandy, France on Jun 7 1944, crossed into Belgium on Sept 29 1944 and finally into Germany on Oct 3 1944. After the Battle of the Bulge and the Germany Campaign, the 2nd entered Czechoslovakia May 4 1945 and after VE Day the Division returned to the New York POE on Jul 20 1945. It moved back to the US, Camp Swift, Texas, Jul 22 1945. A little while later, it moved to Camp Stoneman, California, Mar 28 1946 and arrived finally at Fort Lewis, Washington, on Apr 15 1946.

Division Casualties
– Killed in Action : 2.999
– Wounded in Action : 10.924
– Missing in Action : 109
– Captured : 1.034
– 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 : 5.484
– 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
– Brig Gen George P. Hays : Oct 1943 – Nov 1944
– Col Richard Sears : Nov 1944 – Nov 1944
– Brig 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, 9th Infantry
– Col Chester J. Hirschfelder : Oct 1943 – Jan 1945
– Col P. D. Ginder : Jan 1945

Commanding Officer, 23rd Infantry
– 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, 38th Infantry
– 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
– 9th Infantry Regiment
– 23rd Infantry Regiment
– 38th Infantry Regiment
– 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
– Headquarters Company

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 (9th Armd Div) : 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 (9th Armd Div) : 29 Oct 1944 – 4 Nov 1944
– 1 Pl., Co B, 103d Engr C Bn (28th Div) : 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

2nd Infantry Division Narratives

The division landed on the evening of Jun 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 Jun 12 1944. Fierce fighting for Hill 192 continued through June and into July, when the division finally took it on Jul 11 1944. The 2nd ID gained control of the St Lô highway also. After regrouping the division went back on the offensive again Jul 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 Aug 15 and on Aug 17, it moved west into Brittany. On Aug 25 began the assault on the strong outer defenses of the German fortified city of Brest.

By Sep 2 it had seized Hill 105 which dominated the eastern approaches. The all-out attack on Brest commenced Sep 8 and the division gained the old city wall by Sep 17. The city surrendered after a 39-day battle. On the 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 Dec 11, and the division shifted to begin its offensive for the Roer and Urft Dams on Dec 13. However, the German Ardennes counter offensive forced the division to shift positions again to the Monschau Forest Dec 16. Under heavy attack, the division withdrew to defensive positions along the Ridge in Elsenborn, this until the German drive was halted.

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

On Mar 3, the division crossed the Roer River with its 38th Inf Regt in the lead at Heimbach, while the 23rd Inf Regt occupied Malsbenden. The 38th Inf Regt took Gemund Mar 4 after it overran stubborn pillbox nests along the Urft River’s northern banks. Mounted on tanks and tank destroyers, soldiers of the 9th and 23rd Inf Regts gained seven miles toward Ahr and cleared 25 towns, enabling the 23rd Inf Regt to take the Kreuzbach Bridge intact on Mar 7. The division moved then south to take Breisig on Mar 11. It improved positions along the Rhine and guarded the Remagen Bridge from Mar 12 to 20.
At 0400, Mar 21, the division crossed the Rhine River and the 38th Inf Regt cleared the region between the Rhine and Wied Rivers, Datzeroth, and Segendorf. The 23rd Inf Regt crossed the Rhine on Mar 23 and the 38th Inf Regt fought to expand its Wied Bridgehead while attached to the 9th Armored Division. With the 9th and 23rd Inf Regts in the lead, the division took Ransbach and other towns Mar 26 on the north flank of V Corps.

By Mar 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 Apr 1. It went into the attack Apr 5 to take the Weser River heights north of Hann and Muenden. The 23rd Inf 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 9th and 23rd Inf Regts 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 97th and 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



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