106th Infantry Division

Nickname: Golden Lion Division. Shoulder Patch: A lion’s head in gold on a field of blue, the circular patch being surrounded by a border of red inner circle, white. History: The 106th Division is a unit activated in the present war. It does not have any history prior to 1943. Training: The Golden Lion Division was activated March 15, 1943, Port Jackson, South Carolina, III Corps, Second Army. It was in Second Army maneuvers to Tennessee, January to March, 1944. After the maneuvers, the division was transferred to Camp Atterbury, Indiana. It was transferred overseas (ETO) October, 1944, going first to England for a brief period of training prior to being sent to France. Commanding Generals: Maj. Gen. Alan W. Jones, March 15, 1943 to February, 1945; Maj. Gen. Donald A. Stroh, February, 1945, to present. Component Units: (As of October, 1944) 422d, 423d and 424th Infantry Regiments; 589th, 590th, 591st (L) and 592nd (M) FA Battalions. Higher Commands: (combat) First Army and Fifteenth Army. Combat Highlight: The 106th Division took up its position first in a “quiet” sector, December 11, 1944. A few day’s later all hell broke loose along its Belgium front, for von Rundstedt was on the loose with his and the Nazis’ last desperate bid for victory. His main spearhead struck the 106th with pulverizing force. Two regiments were at the point of contact, the 422d and 423d, when on December 17, the Nazis inundated them with shells following up with swarms of tanks and infantry. Remnants of the regiments (there were less than 300 survivors) were withdrawn on December 23 and the division was reorganized and thrust back into the line the following day. The Germans were finally halted on the north side of the salient between Stavelot and Manhay, the 106th being part of the troops who stopped them. The division suffered 8663 casualties in beating off that offensive. The Golden Lions, now tempered in the hottest crucible of the western front, guarded the southern flank of the First Army during: February – March, 1945. Then they joined the final great Allied offensive to pierce the Siegfried line. Before the offensive gained momentum, the 106th was pulled out and sent to Rennes, France, for rehabilitation. There it constituted a reserve for U. S. troops investing St. Nazaire and Lorient. By April the Germans were surrendering wholesale and early in May the 106th took over the prisoner of war cages and the care of the enemy thousands milling around behind the Allied lines. Strength of the division was raised to 40,000 (three times ordinary strength) to match the giant task. Bad Ems was headquarters of the division late in June and the division front was 340 miles long.

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