13th Armored Division


Nickname: Black Cat Division. (The tanks were offsprings of caterpillar tractors called cats by the catskinners who operated them in road building operations.) ….. Shoulder Patch: The usual triangular armored force patch consisting of equal areas. The red area represented field artillery; the yellow area, the cavalry and the blue area, the Infantry. Superimposed is a black cannon and a black tank tread. Crossing them is a red bolt of lightning. The black numeral 13 is on the yellow area. ….. History: History of 13th Armored Division does not go back to World War I. Although tanks were used in that war, tank divisions are a product of present conflict. ….. Training: The Black Cat Division was activated Oct. 15, 1942. It went into training at Camp Beale, California, coming under the Army Ground Forces and the II Armored Corps. The division was placed under the Fourth Army, XVIII Corps. In December, 1943, the division was transferred to Camp Bowie, Texas, where it remained until transferred to the European Theater of Operations, January, 1945. ….. Commanding Generals: Maj. Gen. John M. Wogan, October, 1942, to April, 1945; Maj. Gen. John Millikin, April, 1945, to present. ….. Component Units (As of January, 1944): 496th, 497th and 498th Armored FA Battalions; 24th, 45th and 46th Tank Battalions and 16th, 59th and 67th Armored Infantry Battalions. Higher Commands: First and Third Armies. ….. Combat Highlights: Due to its late arrival in the overseas theater, the 13th Armored Division did not join General Patton’s slashing Third Army until that hard-hitting outfit was in the closing stages of its drive in Southern Germany. The division was able to participate in the surging attack which by-passed Adolf Hitler’s eyrie, Berchtesgaden, and pushed on to link up with the Russian forces. The 13th was at Aiterhofen on April 28, 1945. Shortly afterward, the division rolled on to cross the blue Danube river. The crossing was effected at a point east of Regensburg and two miles southeast of Strausberg. Stiff fighting followed, but by May 2, less than a week before the Nazis made their final capitulation, the Black Cats had rolled and hammered their to Branau, across the Inn river. Baranau and Neuotting surrendered to the Wild Cats and on the same day 11,000 Allied POWs (4100 of them Americans) in a concentration camp near Branau were liberated by the 13th. The 13th had just enough combat to show high promise as a combat division, not enough to pile up as impressive a record as some of the earlier arrivals in the theater.


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