2nd Infantry Division – WW-2

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The 2nd Division was first constituted on Sept 21, 1917, in the Regular Army. It was organized on Oct 26, 1917, at Bourmont, Department of the Haute-Marne, France. When the unit’s activation order was transmitted to the HQs of the American Expeditionary Force the assignments responded to the following battle order:

Headquarters, 2nd Division, 3rd Infantry Brigade, 9th Infantry Regiment, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 5th Machine Gun Battalion, 4th Marine Brigade, 5th Marine Regiment, 6th Marine Regiment, 6th Machine Gun Battalion, 2nd Field Artillery Brigade, 12th Field Artillery Regiment (75-MM), 15th Field Artillery Regiment (75-MM), 17th Field Artillery Regiment (155-MM), 2nd Trench Mortar Battery, 4th Machine Gun Battalion, 2nd Engineer Regiment, 1st Field Signal Battalion, Headquarters Troop, 2nd Division, 2nd Train Headquarters, and Military Police, 2nd Ammunition Train, 2nd Supply Train, 2nd Engineer Train, 2nd Sanitary Train, 1st Ambulance Company, 15th Ambulance Company, 16th Ambulance Company, 23rd Ambulance Company and, finally, the Field Hospitals. During World War One, the division was twice commanded US Marine generals, Gen Charles A. Doyen and Gen John A. Lejeune, the only time in US history when USMC officers commanded a Regular Army division.

The 2nd Division spent the winter of 1917–1918 training with both, French and Scottish trenches veterans. Though judged unprepared by French tacticians, the AEF was committed to combat in the spring of 1918 in a desperate attempt to halt a German advance toward Paris. Gen Edward Mann Lewis was in charge of the 3rd Brigade as they deployed to reinforce the battered French troops along the Paris-Metz road. The Division first fought the Battle of the Belleau Wood and contributed to shattering the four-year-old stalemate on the battlefield during the Château-Thierry campaign that followed.

On Jul 28 1918, Marine Corps Gen Lejeune assumed command of the 2nd Division and remained in that capacity until August 1919, when the unit returned to the United States. The division went on to win hard-fought victories at Soissons and Blanc Mont. Finally, the Indianhead Division participated in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive which ended any German hope for victory. On Nov 11, 1918, at 1111, the Armistice was declared, and the 2nd Division entered Germany, where it assumed occupation duties until April 1919 until being sent back home, in July 1919.

The 2nd Division was three times awarded the French Croix de Guerre for gallantry under fire in the Belleau Wood, Soissons, and Blanc Mont. This entitles current members of the division and of those regiments that were part of the division at that time, 5th Marine Regiment and 6th Marine Regiment included, to wear a fourragère in commemoration. The Navy authorized a special uniform change that allows hospital corpsmen assigned to 5th and 6th Marine Regiments to wear a shoulder strap on the left shoulder of their dress uniform so that the fourragère can be worn.
2nd Division, AEF, WW-1 Casualties were as follows: 1964 (Infantry) and 4478 (USMC) KIA. 9782 (Infantry) and 17.752 (USMC) WIA.
Major Operations: the Third Battle of the Aisne, Belleau Wood, Château-Thierry, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, Aisne-Marne.
Back Home, the division was stationed at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas and was one of the three divisions to remain intact and on active duty for the entire interwar period. The Indian Head Division remained there for the next 23 years, serving as an experimental unit, testing new concepts and innovations for the Army. The 2nd Division stationed part at Camp Bullis and part at Fort Sam Houston, Texas was the first command reorganized under the new triangular concept of organization theory of warfare, which provided for three separate regiments in each division.

The 2nd Division participated in maneuvers at Christine, Texas, between Jan 3/27 1940. It then moved to Horton, Texas, for maneuvers from Apr 26 to May 28, followed by maneuvers at Cravens, Louisiana from Aug 16 to Aug 23. It returned to Fort Sam Houston where it continued training and refitting until it moved to Brownwood, Texas, for the VIII Corps Jun 1/14 1941, maneuvers at Comanche, Texas. The division was then sent to Mansfield, Louisiana from Aug 11 through Oct 2 for the Aug-Sep 1941 Louisiana Maneuvers.

Transferred to the VIII Corps Louisiana maneuver Area on Jul 27, and being redesignated as the 2nd Infantry Division in August, the Indian Head soldiers remained there until Sep 22, 1942, whereupon the formation returned to Fort Sam Houston and moved to Camp McCoy, Sparta, Wisconsin, on Nov 27, 1942. Four months of intensive training for winter warfare followed. In Sep 1943 the 2-ID received their staging orders and moved to the Camp Shanks staging area at Orangeburg, New York on Oct 3, where they received Port Call orders and on Oct 8, the division officially sailed from the New York Port of Embarcation (NY-POE) and started arriving in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Oct 17. They then moved over to England, where they trained and staged for the forwarding movement to France.

2-ID – Casualties Killed in Action 2999, Wounded in Action 10.924, Missing in Action 109, Captured 1034, Battle Casualties 15.066, Non-Battle Casualties 10.818 for a total Casualties of 25.884.

2-ID – Campaigns Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes France, Rhineland Belgium and Germany, Central Europe.

2-ID – Awards Medal of Honor 6, Distinguished Service Cross 34, Legion of Merit 25, Silver Star 637, Soldiers Medal 14, Bronze Star 5484, Air Medal 82. POWs 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
Gen George P. Hays Oct 1943 – Nov 1944
Col Richard Sears Nov 1944 – Nov 1944
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, 9-IR
Col Chester J. Hirschfelder Oct 1943 – Jan 1945
Col P. D. Ginder Jan 1945

Commanding Officer, 23-IR
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, 38-IR
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

2-ID – OOB 1944/1945
Hq & Hq Company, 2nd Infantry Division
9th Infantry Regiment
23rd Infantry Regiment
38th Infantry Regiment
Hq & Hq Battery, 2nd Division Artillery
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

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 (9-AD) 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 (9-AD) 29 Oct 1944 – 4 Nov 1944
1 Pl., Co B, 103d Engr C Bn (28-ID) 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
Btry A, 367th AAA AW Bn (Mbl) 18 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
879th FA Bn (69th Div) (105 How) 18 Apr 1945 – 19 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
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
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
271st CT (69th Div) 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

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

Narrative

The division landed on the evening of June 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. The 2-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 on Sep 8 and the division gained the old city wall by Sep 17. The city surrendered after a 39-day battle. On Sep 26, the division moved by rail and motor and took up defensive positions between St Vith and Manderfeld in Belgium. The 106th Infantry Division took over its positions in the Schnee Eifel on Dec 11, and the 2-ID shifted to begin its offensive for the Roer River and the Urft Dams on Dec 13. However, the German Ardennes counter-offensive forced the division to shift positions again to the Monschau Forest on Dec 16.
Under heavy attack, the division withdrew to defensive positions along the Ridge in Elsenborn, this until the German drive was halted.

The 23-IR was attached to help the 1st Infantry Division clear Iveldingen and Rohrbusch on Jan 15 1945. The 2-ID 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 9-ID. On Mar 3, the division crossed the Roer River with its 38-IR in the lead at Heimbach, while the 23-IR occupied Malsbenden. The 38-IR took Gemund on Mar 4 after it overran stubborn pillbox nests along the Urft River’s northern banks. Mounted on tanks and tank destroyers, soldiers of the 9-IR and the 23-IR gained seven miles toward Ahr and cleared 25 towns, enabling the 23-IR 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 Mar 20.
At 0400, Mar 21, the division crossed the Rhine River and the 38-IR cleared the region between the Rhine and Wied Rivers, Datzeroth, and Segendorf. The 23-IR crossed the Rhine on Mar 23 and the 38-IR fought to expand its Wied Bridgehead while attached to the 9th Armored Division. With the 9-IR and the 23-IR in the lead, the division took Ransbach and other towns on 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 9-AD 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 23-IR made the Weser River crossing at Veckerhagen, the division following on the tanks of the 9th Armored Division and making fast progress.
On Apr 14, the 9-IR and the 23-IR established a bridgehead across the Saale using a damaged railroad bridge, cleared Merseburg on Apr 15, and captured Leipzig on Apr 19. It was then ordered to withdraw to the east bank of the Mulde River on Apr 24.
The division next moved 200 miles May 1/3 to the German-Czech border near Schonsee and Waldmungen where it relieved the 97-ID and the 99-ID. It was attacking Pilsen when hostilities ceased on May 7 1945.

S/Sgt Alvin P. Carey
S/Sgt, US Army, 38-IR, 2-ID
Vic. Plougastel, France, 23 Aug 1944
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, Mike Co, 23-IR, 2-ID
Krinkelter Wald, Belgium, 17 Dec 1944
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 the 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 a 75 MM shell when the tank opened fire, but he continued to man his gun, pouring a 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, Charlie Co, 2-ECB, 2-ID
Rocherath, Belgium, 19 Dec 1944
Entered service at Houston, Tex
Birth Madisonville, Tex
GO # 42, 24 May 1945

Citation On 19 Dec 1944, as a 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 the 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 the 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, 23-IR, 2-ID
Krinkelt, Belgium, 17 Dec 1944
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 group 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, How Co, 23-IR, 2-ID
Vic. Brest, France, 29 Aug 1944
Entered service at Philadelphia, Pa
Birth Philadelphia, Pa
GO # 24, 6 April 1945

Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the 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 enemies. 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 point-blank 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, King Co, 9-IR, 2-ID
Rocherath, Belgium, 17 Dec 1944
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 point-blank 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 bazooka man 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.

2-ID – 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 miles 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 miles 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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