| World War Two
26th Infantry Division History
|World War II
Activated: 16 January 1941.
Overseas: 26 August 1944.
Campaigns: Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe.
Days of combat: 210.
Distinguished Unit Citations: 1.
Awards: MH-1; DSC-43; DSM-1; SS-955; LM-11; SM-47; BSM-5,558; AM-81.
Commanders: Maj. Gen. Roger W. Eckfeldt (January 1940-August 1943), Maj. Gen. Willard S. Paul (August 1943-1 June 1945), Brig. Gen. Harlan N. Hartness (June-July 1945), Maj. Gen. Stanley E. Reinhart (July-November 1945), Maj. Gen. Robert W. Grow (November-December 1945).
Returned to U.S.: December 1945.
Inactivated: 29 December 1945.
The 26th Infantry Division landed in France at Cherbourg and Utah Beach, 7 September 1944, but did not enter combat as a Division until a month later, 7 October. Elements were on patrol duty along the coast from Carteret to Siouville, 13-30 September, and the 328th Infantry saw action with the 80th Division to which it was attached, 5-15 October. On 7 October the 26th relieved the 4th Armored Division in the Salonnes-Moncourt-Canal du Rhine au Marne sector, and maintained defensive positions; a limited objective attack was launched, 22 October, in the Moncourt woods. On 8 November the Division went on the offensive, took Dieuze, 20 November, advanced across the Saar River to Saar Union, and captured it, 2 December, after house-to-house fighting. Reaching Maginot fortifications, 5 December, it regrouped, entering Saareguemines 8 December. Rest at Metz was interrupted by the Von Rundstedt offensive. The Division moved north to Luxembourg, 19-21 December, to take part in the battle of the Ardennes breakthrough. It attacked at Rambrouch and Grosbous, 22 December, beat off strong German counterattacks, captured Arsdorf on Christmas Day after heavy fighting, attacked toward the Wiltz River, but was forced to withdraw in the face of determined enemy resistance; after regrouping, 5-8 January 1945, it attacked again, reached the Wiltz River, and finally crossed it, 20 January. The Division continued its advance, took Grumelscheid, 21 January, and crossed the Clerf River, 24 January. The 26th Division then shifted to the east bank of the Saar, and maintained defensive positions in the Saarlautern area, 29 January-6 March 1945. The Division's drive to the Rhine jumped off on 13 March 1945, and carried the Division through Merzig, 17 March, to the Rhine, 21 March, and across the Rhine at Oppenheim, 25-26 March. It took part in the house-to-house reduction of Hanau, 28 March, broke out of the Main River bridgehead, drove through Fulda, 1 April, and helped reduce Meiningen, 5 April. Moving southeast into Austria, the Division assisted in the capture of Linz, 4 May. It had changed the direction of its advance, and was moving northeast into Czechoslovakia, across the Vlatava River, when the cease-fire order, was received.
Assignments in the ETO
28 August 1944: Ninth Army, 12th Army Group. // 5 September 1944: III Corps. // 28 September 1944: Third Army, 12th Army Group. // 1 October 1944: XII Corps. // 12 December 1944: III Corps. // 28 January 1945: XX Corps. // 23 March 1945: XII Corps.
Nickname: Yankee Division.
Shoulder patch: Khaki-colored, in the shape of a diamond. In the center, in blue are the letters "Y" and "D" in the form of a monogram.
Publication: History of the 26th Infantry Division; by unit members; The Infantry Journal, Washington, D.C.; 1947.
|26th Infantry Division Components :
101st Infantry Regiment
104th Infantry Regiment
328th Infantry Regiment
DIVISION ARTILLERY UNITS:
101st Field Artillery Battalion (105mm Howitzer)
102nd Field Artillery Battalion (105mm Howitzer)
263rd Field Artillery Battalion (105mm Howitzer)
180th Field Artillery Battalion (155mm Howitzer)
DIVISION COMBAT SUPPORT UNITS:
26th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop (Mechanized)
26th Div.Headquarters & Headquarters Company
26th Division Military Police Platoon
101st Combat Engineer Battalion
Division Support Units
114th Medical Battalion
726th Ordnance Light Maintenance Company
26th Quartermaster Company
39th Signal Company
26th Infantry Division Band
1. The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950.
2. Order of Battle of the United States Army, World War II, European Theater of Operations, Office of the Theater Historian, Paris, France, December 1945
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