79th INFANTRY DIVISION "CROSS OF LORRAINE"

 

 

The insignia of the 79th Division is a gray Lorraine cross on a blue shield with a gray border; it was adopted during World War I. Having distinguished itself at Montfaucon, in Lorraine, the division selected the Cross of Lorraine, a symbol of triumph since the 15th Century, as its insignia.

 
ACTIVATED
15 June 1942, Camp Pickett, Virginia.
 
 
ARRIVAL EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
17 April 1944
 
 
ARRIVAL CONTINENT (FRANCE)
14 June 1944 ( D + 8 )
 
 
ENTERED COMBAT (ETO)
19 June 1944
 
 
COMMANDING GENERAL (ETO)
 
  ( June 1942  -  May 1945 )  
   
  Maj. Gen. Ira T. Wyche  
     
   
 
 

ORGANIC UNITS

   
313th Infantry Regiment
314th Infantry Regiment
315th Infantry Regiment
79th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop ( Mechanized )
304th Engineer Combat Battalion
304th Medical Battalion
 
79th Division Artillery
310th Field Artillery Battalion (105 Howitzer)
311th Field Artillery Battalion (105 Howitzer)
904th Field Artillery Battalion (105 Howitzer)
312th Field Artillery Battalion (155 Howitzer)
   
Special Troops
779th Ordnance Light Maintenance Company
79th Quartermaster Company 
79th Signal Company
Military Police Platoon
Headquarters Company
Band
 
 

ASSIGNMENTS ( ETO )

 

  18 April 1944: VIII Corps, Third Army.

  29 May 1944: Third Army but attached to VII Corps, First Army.

  30 June 1944: Third Army, but attached to First Army.

  1 July 1944: VIII Corps.

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

   8 August 1944: XV Corps.

  24 August 1944: XV Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to First Army.

  26 August 1944: XV Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.

  29 August 1944: XIX Corps.

  7 September 1944: XV Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group

  29 September 1944: Third Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to the XV Corps, Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.

  25 November 1944: XV Corps, Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.

  5 December 1945: VI Corps.

  6 February 1945: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.

  17 February 1945: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group, but attached to the XVI Corps, Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.

  1 March 1945: XIII Corps.

  7 March 1945: XVI Corps.

  7 April 1945: XVI Corps, Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.
 

 CAMPAIGNS (ETO)

 
  NORMANDY ( 6 June 1944 - 24 July 1944 ) (active)
  NORTHERN FRANCE ( 25 July 1944 - 14 September 1944 ) (active)
  RHINELAND ( 15 September 1944 - 21 March 1945 ) (active)
  CENTRAL EUROPE  ( 22 March 1945 - 11 May 1945 ) (active)
 
 

COMBAT CHRONICLE

After training in the United Kingdom from 17 April 1944, the 79th Infantry Division landed on Utah Beach, Normandy, 12-14 June and entered combat 19 June 1944, with an attack on the high ground west and northwest of Valognes and high ground south of Cherbourg. The Division took Fort du Roule after a heavy engagement and entered Cherbourg, 25 June. It held a defensive line at the Ollonde River until 2 July 1944 and then returned to the offensive, taking La Haye du Puits in house-to-house fighting, 8 July. On 26 July, the 79th attacked across the Ay River, took Lessay, crossed the Sarthe River and entered Le Mans, 8 August, meeting only light resistance. The advance continued across the Seine, 19 August. Heavy German counterattacks were repulsed, 22-27 August, and the Division reached the Therain River, 31 August. Moving swiftly to the Franco-Belgian frontier near St. Amand, the Division encountered heavy resistance in taking Charmes in street fighting, 12 September. The 79th cut across the Moselle and Meurthe Rivers, 13-23 September, cleared the Foret de Parroy in a severe engagement, 28 September-9 October, and attacked to gain high ground east of Embermenil, 14-23 October, when it was relieved, 24 October. After rest and training at Luneville, the Division returned to combat with an attack from the MignevineMontiguy area, 13 November 1944, which carried it across the Vezouse and Moder Rivers, 18 November-10 December, through Haguenau in spite of determined enemy resistance, and into the Siegfried Line, 17-20 December. The Division held a defensive line along the Lauter River, at Wissembourg from 20 December 1944 until 2 January 1945, when it withdrew to Maginot Line defenses. The German attempt to establish a bridgehead west of the Rhine at Gambsheim resulted in furious fighting. The 79th beat off German attacks at Hatten and Rittershoffen in an 11-day battle before withdrawing to new defensive positions south of Haguenau on the Moder River, 19 January 1945. The Division remained on the defensive along the Moder until 6 February 1945. After resting in February and March 1945, the Division returned to combat, 24 March 1945, crossed the Rhine, drove across the Rhine-Herne Canal, 7 April, secured the north bank of the Ruhr and took part in clearing the Ruhr Pocket until 13 April. The Division then went on occupation duty, in the Dortmund, Sudetenland, and Bavarian areas successively, until its return to the United States and inactivation.

 

ARRIVAL BACK IN THE UNITED STATES

10 December 1945, New York Port of Embarkation. 

 
 

 

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