7-AD – OOB – 1944-1945

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7thadThe 7th Armored Division was activated on March 1 1942 at Camp Polk, Louisiana and moved on September 15 to the IV Corps Louisiana Maneuvers. It returned to Camp Polk on November 9, arrived on March 11 1943 at the Desert Training Center for the #2 California Maneuvers, was transferred on August 12 1943 to Fort Benning, Georgia and arrived at Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts on April 22 1944. The Division staged at Camp Shanks, New York, from May 2 1944 until departed New York Port of Embarkation on June 7 and arrived in England on Jun 14. The 7th Armored Division landed in France on August 11 1944, crossed into Belgium on September 26 and into Holland on October 8 1944. It returned to Belgium on December 28 1944 and entered Germany March 15 1945. The division arrived at Hampton Roads POE on October 9 1945 and was inactivated at Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia the same day.

Killed in Action : 887
Wounded in Action : 4174
Missing in Action : 1050
Captured : 39
Battle Casualties : 6150
Non-Battle Casualties : 4352
Total Casualties : 10502
Percent of T/O Strength 98.4

Lucky Seventh
The mixture of insignia and distinctive colors of several arms incorporated in the Armored Force symbolize integrity and esprit.It is an interlocked ornament, found in Nordic monuments, composed of three torques: red for Artillery; blue for Infantry; and yellow for Cavalry. The symbols represent the characteristics of Armored Divisions: the tank track, mobility and armor protection; the cannon, fire power; and the red bolt of lightening, shock action.

Chronology
Activated on March 1 1942
Arrived in the ETO on June 13 1944
Arrived on the Continent (D 65) on August 10 1944
Entered Combat : First Element on August 13 1944
Entered Combat : Entire Division on August 14 1944
Days in Combat 172

Campaigns
Northern France
Ardennes
Rhineland
Central Europe

Commanding General
Maj Gen Lindsay M. Silverster, June 13 1944
Brig Gen Robert W. Hasbrouck, November 1 1944
Maj Gen Robert W. Hasbrouck, January 4 1944

Division Artillery
Col Orville W. Martin, June 13 1944

Chief of Staff
Col George H. Molony, June 13 1944
Col Andrew J. Adams, June 15 1944
Col Church M. Matthews, November 13 1944
Col John L. Ryan Jr, December 17 1944

Assistant Cheif of Staff – G-1
Lt Col John V. Maxwell, June 13 1944
Maj Charles R. Grant, January 24 1945
Lt Col Charles R. Grant, March 1 1945

Assistant Cheif of Staff – G-2
Lt Col Everett W. Murray, June 13 1944

Assistant Cheif of Staff – G-3
Lt Col Alvin L. Mente Jr, June 13 1944
Lt Col Charles E. Leydecker, September 2 1944

Assistant Cheif of Staff – G-4
Maj Reginald H. Hodgson, June 13 1944
Lt Col Reginald H. Hodgson, July 15 1944

Assistant Cheif of Staff – G-5
Maj Rex Thompson, June 27 1944
Lt Col Rex Thompson, November 6 1944

Adjutant General
Maj Ralph R. Carlin, June 13 1944
Maj Francis E. Carr, July 2 1944
Lt Col Francis E. Carr, October 19 1944

Commanding CCA
Col Dwight A. Rosenbaum, June 13 1944
Col William S. Triplet, January 11 1945
Col Andrew J. Adams, March 27 1945
Col William S. Triplet, April 6 1945

Commanding CCB
Brig Gen John B. Thompson, June 13 1944
Brig Gen John M. Devine, September 11 1944
Brig Gen Robert W. Hasbrouck, September 22 1944
Col Bruce C. Clarke, November 1 1944
Brig Gen Bruce C. Clarke, November 10 1944
Col Joseph F. Haskell, February 9 1945

Commanding CCR
Lt Col James W. Newberry, June 13 1944
Col George H. Molony, September 4 1944
Col Andrew J. Adams, September 11 1944
Col Pete T. Heffner Jr, September 15 1944
Lt Col William Fuller (Actg), September 20 1944
Col John L. Ryan Jr, September 22 1944
Lt Col Fred M. Warren (Actg), December 17 1944
Col Francis P. Thompkins, December 28 1944

Awards
Distinguished Service Cross : 4
Legion of Merit : 16
Silver Star : 582
Soldiers Medal : 6
Bronze Star : 2907
Air Medal : 95
PW’s Taken : 113041

Order of Battle – 1944-1945
Hq & Hq Company 7th Armored Division
Combat Command R
Combat Command A
Combat Command B
17th Tank Battalion
31st Tank Battalion
40th Tank Battalion
23rd Armored Infantry Battalion
38th Armored Infantry Battalion
48th Armored Infantry Battalion
87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mecz)
33rd Armored Engineer Battalion
147th Armored Signal Company
7th Armored Division Artillery
434th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
440th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
489th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
7th Armored Division Trains
129th Ordnance Maintenance Battalion
77th Armored Medical Battalion
Military Police Platoon
Band

Attachments to the 7th Armored Division
Antiaircraft Artillery
203d AAA-AW Battalion (SP) – 12 Aug 1944 – 9 May 1945

Armored
4th Armored Brigade (UK) (7-AD UK) – 30 Oct 1944 – 31 Oct 1944
CCB (9-AD) – 22 Dec 1944 – 7 Jan 1945

Cavalry
14th Cavalry Group – 18 Dec 1944 – 1 Jan 1945

Engineer
300th Engineer Combat Battalion – 25 Mar 1945 – 17 April 1945
D/307th Airborne Engr Bn (82-A/B) – 21 Jan 1945 – 23 Jan 1945

Field Artillery
774th Field Artillery Battalion (4.5″ Gun) – 29 Sep 1944 – 9 Nov 1944
275th Armored FA Battalion – 18 Dec 1944 – 20 Feb 1945
591st Field Artillery Battalion (106-ID)(105 How) – 25 Dec 30 Dec 44
987th Field Artillery Battalion (155 Gun) – 18 Jan 29 Jan 45
26th Field Artillery Battalion (9-ID) (105 How) – 7 Mar 8 Mar 45
400th Armored FA Battalion – 25 Mar 1945 – 17 Apr 1945
809th Field Artillery Battalion – (155 How) – 7 Apr 17 Apr 45

Infantry
2nd Combat Team (5-ID) – 10 Sep 1944 – 15 Sep 1944
Belgian 1st Brigade – 8 Oct 1944 – 31 Oct 1944
158th Brigade (UK)(53-ID UK) – 30 Oct 1944 – 31 Oct 1944
424th Combat Team (106-ID) – 25 Dec 1944 – 30 Dec 1944
517th PIB CT (Non-Div) – 28 Dec 1944 – 29 Dec 1944
2/517th PIB (Non-Div) – 11 Jan 1945 – 27 Jan 1945
509th PIB – 11 Jan 1945 – 28 Jan 1945
508th PIR CT (Non-Div) – 21 Jan 1945 – 23 Jan 1945
319th Glider FA Battalion (82-A/B) – 21 Jan 1945 – 23 Jan 1945
B/80th Airborne AA Bn (82-A/B) – 21 Jan 1945 – 23 Jan 1945
424th RCT (106-ID) – 23 Jan 1945 – 28 Jan 1945
60th RCT (less 1st Bn) (9-ID) – 8 Mar 1945 – 9 Mar 1945
39th Infantry Regiment (9-ID) – 8 Mar 1945 – 19 Mar 1945
3/395th Infantry Regiment (99-ID) – 4 Apr 1945 – 14 Apr 1945
1/11th Infantry Regiment (5-ID) – 15 Apr 1945 – 17 Apr 1945

Tank Destroyer
814th TD Bn (SP) – 13 Aug 1944 – 9 May 45
820th TD Bn (SP) – 25 Dec 1944 – 30 Dec 1944

7th Armored Division Units Attached To
Armored
17th Tank Battalion to 90-ID – 9 Sep 1944 – 14 Sep 1944
CCB to 5-AD – 10 Sep 1944 – 15 Sep 1944
40th Tank Battalion to TF Biddle – 17 Nov 1944 – 21 Nov 1944
17th Tank Battalion to 84-ID – 22 Nov 1944 – 27 Nov 1944
40th Tank Battalion to 2-AD – 23 Nov 1944 – 27 Nov 1944
40th Tank Battalion to 102-ID – 27 Nov 1944 – 28 Nov 1944
40th Tank Battalion (- Cos B & D) to 84-ID – 28 Nov 1 Dec 44
17th Tank Battalion to 102-ID – 1 Dec 1944 – 3 Dec 1944
B/40th Tank Battalion to 84-ID – 3 Dec 1944 – 6 Dec 1944
17th Tank Battalion to 84-ID – 9 Dec 1944 – 16 Dec 1944
CCR to 78-ID – 3 Feb 1945 – 10 Feb 1945
CCA to 9-ID – 7 Mar 1945 – 8 Mar 1945
CCR to 9t-ID – 8 Mar 1945 – 8 Mar 1945
CCA to 104-ID – 2 Apr 1945 – 4 Apr 1945
CCA to 9-ID – 4 Apr 1945 – 6 Apr 1945
B/17th Tank Battalion to 9-ID – 6 Apr 1945 – 8 Apr 1945
B/17th Tank Battalion to 5-ID – 8 Apr 1945 – 10 Apr 1945
CCB to 82-A/B – 1 May 1945 – 4 May 1945

Infantry
C/38th AIB to 84-ID – 3 Dec 1944 – 6 Dec 1944
48th AIB to 102-ID – 5 Dec 1944 – 9 Dec 1944
23rd AIB to 78-ID – 3 Feb 1945 – 10 Feb 1945

Field Artillery
434th AFAB to TF Biddle – 17 Nov 1944 – 21 Nov 1944
440th AFAB to TF Biddle – 17 Nov 1944 – 21 Nov 1944
489th AFAB to TF Biddle – 17 Nov 1944 – 21 Nov 1944

7-AD Assignments and Attachments
July 30 1944 – at. 1-A
August 5 1944 – at. 3-A, as. 12-AG
August 10 1944 – as. XX Corps, at. 3-A, as. 12-AG
August 11 1944 – at. 1-A, as. 12-AG
September 25 1944 – as. XIX Corps, at. 1-A, as. 12-AG
October 8 1944 – as. VIII Corps, at. 9-A, as. 2-A (UK), at. 12-AG
November 9 1944 – as. XIII Corps, at. 9-A, as. 12-AG
December 16 1944 – as. VIII Corps, at. 1-A, as. 12-AG
December 20 1944 – as. XVIII Corps, at. 1-A, as. 12-AG
January 18 1945 – as. XVIII Corps, at. 1-A, as. 12-AG
January 29 1945 – as. V Corps, at. 1-A, as. 12-AG
March 7 1945 – as. III Corps, at. 1-A, as. 12-AG
April 19 1945 – as. V Corps, at. 1-A, as. 12-AG
April 30 1945 – as. XVIII Corps, at. 1-A, as 12-AG

7th Armored Division Command Posts
June 13 1944 – Greenock, Renfrew, Scotland
June 14 1944 – Tidworth, Wiltshire, England
August 7 1944 – Southampton, Hampshire, England
August 9 1944 – Omaha Beach, Calvados, France
August 10 1944 – Lessay, Manche, France
August 11 1944 – Louvienne, Manche, France
August 13 1944 – Sainte-Suzanne (vic E), Manche, France
August 14 1944 – La Ferté Bernard, Sarthe, France
August 15 1944 – Courville-sur-Eure, Eure-et-Loire, France
August 19 1944 – Dreux, Eure-et-Loire, France
August 21 1944 – Sainte-Mesme, Seine-et-Oise, France
August 22 1944 – Marchais-Parfond, Seine-et-Oise, France
August 22 1944 – Saint-Sauveur, Oise, France
August 23 1944 – Courances, Seine-et-Oise, France
Auhust 25 1944 – Saint-Leu, Seine-et Oise, France
August 26 1944 – Melun, Seine-et-Marne, France
August 26 1944 – Maincy, Seine-et-Marne, France
August 27 1944 – Leudon-en-Brie, Seine-et-Marne, France
August 28 1944 – Conde-en-Brie, Aisne, France
August 29 1944 – Fismes, Marne, France
August 29 1944 – Orainville, Aisne, France
August 30 1944 – Thuisy, Marne, France
August 31 1944 – Fort St-Regret (S of Verdun), Meuse, France
September 6 1944 – Pintheville, Meuse, France
September 7 1944 – Mars-la-Tour (vic E), Meurthe-et-Moselle, France
September 10 1944 – Doncourt, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France
September 14 1944 – Sponville, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France
September 16 1944 – Wayville, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France
September 25 1944 – Sponville, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France
September 26 1944 – Eysden, Belgium
September 29 1944 – Deurne, Belgium
September 30 1944 – Sint Anthonis, Belgium
October 8 1944 – Vaarsel, Limburg, Netherlands
October 25 1944 – Someron, Limburg, Netherlands
October 30 1944 – Maarheeze, Limburg, Netherlands
November 8 1944 – Sint Geertruid, Limburg, Netherlands
November 25 1944 – Robroek, Limburg, Netherlands
December 2 1944 – Rimburg, Rhineland, Germany
December 17 1944 – Vielsalm, Belgium
December 23 1944 – Oufny, Belgium
December 25 1944 – Saint Antoine, Belgium
December 27 1944 – Saint Roch, Belgium
January 12 1945 – Spa, Belgium
January 14 1945 – Xhoffraix, Belgium
January 19 1945 – Waimes, Belgium
January 24 1945 – Waimes (Kloster), Belgium
January 28 1945 – Eupen, Belgium
March 1 1945 – Simmerath, Rhineland, Germany
March 7 1945 – Embken, Rhineland, Germany
March 9 1945 – Villip, Rhineland, Germany
March 24 1945 – Linz, Rhineland, Germany
March 25 1945 – Kurtscheid, Rhineland, Germany
March 26 1945 – Kurtenachner, Rhineland, Germany
March 26 1945 – Seltrs, Rhineland, Germany
March 27 1945 – Holzhausen, Nassau, Germany
March 28 1945 – Hohensolms, Nassau, Germany
March 29 1945 – Hachborn, Kurhessen, Germany
March 30 1945 – Frankenau, Hessen-Nassau, Germany
April 4 1945 – Bromskirchen, Hessen-Nassau, Germany
April 5 1945 – Neuastenberg, Hessen-Nassau, Germany
April 7 1945 – Oberkirchen, Westphalia, Germany
April 10 1945 – Wormbach (Tac Hq), Westphalia, Germany
April 10 1945 – Nieder Berndorf, Westphalia, Germany
April 11 1945 – Eslohe, Westphalia, Germany
April 12 1945 – Westenfeld (Tac), Westphalia, Germany
April 13 1945 – Langenholthausen (Tac), Westphalia, Germany
April 14 1945 – Mellen (Tac), Westphalia, Germany
April 15 1945 – Menden (Tac), Westphalia, Germany
April 17 1945 – Junde, Westphalia, Germany
April 29 1945 – Schelploh, Hannover, Germany
May 2 1945 – Wellahn, Mecklenburg, Germany
May 3 1945 – Klutz (Schloss Buthmer), Mecklenburg, Germany
May 6 1945 – Grevesmuhlen, Mecklenburg, Germany

Narrative

The 7th Armored Division landed in Normandy, France, on August 11 1944, drove through Nogent-le-Rotrou and fought the Battle of Chartres on August 15/17. The division attacked toward the Seine River during the month of August and gained a bridgehead across it at Melun on August 24. It then drove rapidly to the Marne River which it crossed at Château-Thierry on August 27 as CCA established a bridgehead across the Meuse River at Verdun on August 31. The division was halted short of Sedan as fuel was exhausted on September 2 but it attacked again September 6 to force the Moselle River which it reached the following day at Mondelange after heavy combat.

The 7th Armored contained the German Metz bridgehead, crossing elements over the Moselle under heavy fire on September 8 which had to be withdrawn September 10/11. CCA battled the German lines west of Metz in fierce fighting while CCB crossed into the Arnaville Bridgehead September 12 despite deep mud.

It attacked the following day toward Mardigny but was quickly halted by heavy fire from Arry. CCR next attempted a breakout of the combined 5-ID – 90-ID plus the 7-AD bridgehead but failed. CCB and CCR advanced slowly toward the Seille River and the latter managed to gel into Sillegny on Sep 19 but was forced out with very heavy losses.

CCA joined with CCB to reach the Seille and bypass Sillegny, but CCB was forced back from the river on September 20. An attack across the river the next day was repulsed by intense fire. The division withdrew from Corny and Pournoy-la-Chétive September 24 and was relieved the next day by the 5-ID. The division then went to Holland and attacked from Oploo, September 30 against heavy opposition to clear a corridor west of the Maas. CCB took Vortum on October 2 and the division fought the Battle of Peel Marshes and Overloon October 2/6 before breaking off the attack. The 7-AD established a bridgehead across the Canal de Deurne on October 16 as it defended along both this canal and Canal du Nord.

German attacks penetrated the division lines west of Venlo on October 27 and the division lost Liesel and gave ground south of Austen on October 29. It was then relieved in the sector and concentrated in the vicinity of Nederweert and Weert. CCA made a limited attack to clear German forces around the Meijel area in the Canal du Nord area November 2/5 but this action was soon broken off.

The division was preparing to drive from Linnich Germany on the Roer River when elements were committed to the defense of St-Vith on December 16. German attacks forced a withdrawal there on December 21 1944 and Manhay was lost on December 24, the latter being retaken on December 27. The division’s zone was taken over by the 75-ID on December 29 and attacked through mines and deep snow toward St-Vith on January 20 1945. It captured Born in house-to-house fighting the next day. CCA cleared Hunningen on January 22, and then CCB attacked through CCA to clear St-Vith itself January 23.

As CCB consolidated near St-Vith, CCA seized Wallerode on January 25. The offensive was concluded as CCB reduced the Bois de St Vith January 27/28. CCR look Strauch and Steckenborn on February 5 and the division took over the defense of the Hechelscheid sector on February 6 as CCR mopped up toward Schmidt. The division then spent the remainder of Feb in rehabilitation.

On March 7, the division assembled near Zülpich and then started clearing the zone west of the Rhine River between Bonn and Remagen. It placed cable across the Rhine on March 14. It assembled then across the Rhine’s eastern side March 25 and attacked the next day, advancing to reach the Dill River between Herborn and Wetzlar on March 27.

The following day the division secured crossings between Marburg and Giessen over the Lahn River. It captured the Edersee Dam intact and secured crossings over the Eder River on March 30. CCA attacked and took Niedersfeld April 4 and began the reduction of the Ruhr Pocket against heavy opposition, CCB being heavily counterattacked at Gleidorf on April 7. Frederburg fell after heavy combat on April 8 and by the 16, resistance in the Ruhr Pocket collapsed.

The division assembled at Gottingen on April 18 and on April 30 began the drive from the Elbe to the Baltic which was unopposed and the latter reached west of Kluetz on May 3. There the division made contact with advancing Soviet Army forces and was in that region when hostilities ended on May 7 1945.

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(NB : Published for Good – October 2019)

 

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