Assignments in the European Theater of Operations

 

1.        22 October 1943: Attached to First Army

2.        24 December 1943: XV Corps, but attached to First Army

3.        14 April 1944: V Corps, First Army

4.        1 August 1944: V Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group

5.        17 August 1944: XIX Corps

6.        18 August 1944: VIII Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group

7.        5 September 1944: VIII Corps, Ninth Army, 12th Army Group

8.        22 October 1944: VIII Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group

9.        11 December 1944: V Corps

10.      20 December 1944: Attached, with the entire First Army, to the British 21st Army Group

11.      18 January 1945: V Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group

12.      28 April 1945: VII Corps

13.      1 May 1945: V Corps

14.      6 May 1945: Third Army, 12th Army Group

 

After training in Northern Ireland and Wales from October 1943 to June 1944, the bulk of the 2nd Infantry Division crossed the English Channel to land on Omaha Beach on D+1, 7 June 1944, near St. Laurent--‐sur--‐Mer. LCT 549 was one of the many ships that landed the 2nd Infantry Division; however one officer and 69 enlisted men of the 2nd Infantry Division's Engineer Battalion came ashore on Omaha Beach at H-Hour on D-Day to blow obstacles in the path of assault boats and landing craft carrying the Infantry of the 1st and 29th Divisions. For this action, those 70 were awarded the Bronze Arrowhead and the Distinguished Unit Citation.  Making its way, attacking across the Aure River, the Division liberated Trévières, 10 June, and proceeded to assault and secure Hill 192 which was repelled the key enemy strongpoint on the road to Saint--‐Lô. 

 

After three weeks of fortifying the position and by order of Commanding General Walter M. Robertson the order was given to take HILL 192.  On 11 July under Command of Col. Ralph W. Zwicker 38th Infantry Regiment with the 9th and the 23rd Infantry Regiments by his side the battle started at 5:45 am.

 

Using an artillery concept used in World War I (Rolling Thunder), which was the only time during World War II it was used and after 25,000 rounds of HE/WP shells, the hill was taken.  The Division went on the defensive until the 26th of July. After exploiting the Saint--Lo breakout, the 2nd Division then advanced across the (Vire) to take (Tinhebray) on 15 August 1944.  The Division then raced toward (Brest/France), the heavily defended port fortress, which happened to be a major port for German U--Boats.  After 39 days of fighting the Battle was won, and was the first place the U.S. Army Air Force used Bunker--‐busting bombs.

 

The Division took a brief rest 19–26 September before moving to defensive positions at St. Vith, Belgium on 29 September 1944.  The Division entered Germany on 3 October 1944, and the Second was ordered, on 11 December 1944, to attack and seize the Roer River dams.

 

The German Ardennes offensive in mid--December forced the Division to withdraw to defensive positions near Elsenborn Ridge, where the German drive was halted.  In February 1945 the Division attacked, recapturing lost ground, and seized Gemund, 4 March.  Reaching the Rhine 9 March 1945, the 2nd Infantry Division advanced south to take Breisig, 10– 11 March 1945, and to Guard the Remagen bridge, 12 March–20 March 1945.

 

The Division crossed the Rhine 21 March 1945 and advanced to Hadamar and Limburg an der Lahn, relieving elements of the 9th Armored Division, 28 March 1945.  Advancing rapidly in the wake of the 9th Armored, the 2nd Infantry Division crossed the Weser at Veckerhagen, 6–7 April 1945, captured Göttingen 8 April 1945, established a bridgehead across the Saale, 14 April 1945, seizing Merseburg on 15 April.

 

On 18 April the Division took Leipzig, mopped up in the area, and outposted the Mulde River; elements that had crossed the river were withdrawn 24 April 1945.  Relieved on the Mulde, the 2nd moved 200 miles, 1–3 May 1945, to positions along the German--‐Czech border near Schonsee and Waldmünchen, where 2nd Infantry Division relieved the 97th and 99th Infantry Division's.  The Division crossed over to Czechoslovakia on 4 May 1945, and attacked in the general direction of Pilsen, attacking that city on VE Day.

 

The 2nd Infantry Division returned to the New York Port Of Embarkation on 20 July 1945, and arrived at Camp Swift at Bastrop, Texas on 22 July 1945.  They started a training schedule to prepare them to participate in the scheduled invasion of Japan, but they were still at Camp Swift on VJ Day.  

The 2nd Infantry Division in World War II

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