101st Airborne Division

Nickname: Screaming Eagle. .. Shoulder Patch: Black shield with a black arc streaming above. On the shield in white is a screaming eagle with gold beak and red tongue. .. Training: The Screaming Eagle Division was activated Aug., 1942. Camp Claiborne, La., Third Army. In Oct., 1942, the unit went to Ft. Bragg, N. C., for further training under the Second Army. The Division participated in two phases of Tennessee maneuvers, first June 6-9, 1943, and the second, July 5 to Aug. 28th, 1943. Overseas: Sept., 1943. .. Commanding Generals: Maj. Gen. William C. Lee, Aug. 5, 1942, to March 30, 1944; Maj. Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, March 31, 1944, to Aug., 1945. General Lee was a pioneer in the development of parachute troops and airborne units. He fathered many of the new developments. General Taylor commanded the division until he was transferred late in August to become superintendent of the U. S. Military Academy, West Point. .. Component Units: (As of Sept., 1943) 321st, 907th Glider FA Battalions; 502nd, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiments; 377th Parachute FA Battalions; 401st, 327th Glider Infantry Regiments, (463rd Parachute FA Battalion. added overseas). Higher Commands: First and Seventh Armies. . Awards: Distinguished Unit Citation to the Division for defense of Bastogne, Dec., 1944, first unit as large as a division to receive the citation. . Combat Highlights: On D-Day the division made its airborne landing in France without major loss and began its march across Normandy. Strong resistance was met near Ste. Marie du Mont, but the 101st fought its way through to Carentan, a vital German stronghold. On D-Day plus six the division liberated that French city. The 101st went into action in December. This time it was to write a memorable chapter in American military historyat Bastogne. Upon its arrival at Bastogne, the 101st was surrounded, all communication with other troops being cut. Ammunition and blood plasma had to be dropped from the air. But the division held firm against the fiercest Nazi attacks. The Fourth Armored ultimately broke through to the rescue. The stand of the 101st was credited as a major factor in blunting the enemy drive. The division was placed under the Seventh Army in Feb., 1945, for use in an airborne thrust over the Rhine. But the rapidity of the ground forces made this maneuver unnecessary. In early February, the 101st was fighting in Strasbourg; by March it was cutting through vital areas of the Reich; by April, it was speeding towards Hitler’s retreat, Berchtesgaden reaching that center of Nazi culture by V-E Day.

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