13th Airborne Division

Nickname: None recorded. ……. Shoulder Patch: A winged gold unicorn on a blue shield. Just over the patch is a black tab with “Airborne” in gold. Tradition associates the unicorn with qualities of virtue, courage and strength. It is winged for air travel. The blue represents Infantry and the sky. …….. History: In World War I, the Division was an Infantry division, organized July, 1918, at Camp (now Port) Lewis. It completed training and was ready for overseas movement in Nov., 1918. The signing of the Armistice stopped all further troop movement, however, and the Division was demobilized Mar., 1919, except for units of the Regular Army. ……. Training: In this war, the Division was activated at Port Bragg, N. C., Aug., 1943, and assigned to the Second Army. The 13th was transferred to Camp Mackall, N. C., the Airborne Center, Jan. 17, 1944. While there it came under the XIII, XVIII and KXIII Corps successfully, reverting ultimately to the Second Army. Overseas: Jan., 1945 (ETO). ……. Commanding: Generals Maj. Gen. George W. Griner, Aug.-Nov., 1943; Maj. Gen. Elbridge Q. Chapman, Jr., Nov., 1943, to present. ……. Component Units (As of Jan., 1945): 88th and 326th Glider Inf. Regts. (the 88th was the Oldest glider unit in the airborne forces). 515th Parachute Inf. Regt.; 458th Parachute FA Bn.; 676th and 077th Glider FA Bns. (The 517th Parachute Inf. Regt. was added overseas and the 88th Glider Regt. removed; the 160th Parachute FA Bn. was added overseas.) ……. Awards: Maj. Gen. Maurice Rose, Commanding General of the 3rd Armored Division, commended elements of the 13th Airborne for their valor in the Ardennes campaign. ……. Combat Highlights: Although the 13th Airborne Division was assigned to the 1st Allied Airborne Army, it was not committed to action as a division in the European conflict. Instead, some of its elements were attached to other units for action in Italy and France. The 517th Parachute Inf. Regt. which was joined to the 13th after its arrival overseas had, prior to its new assignment, acquired some combat experience. Operating as a combat team, it fought in Italy in Sept., 1944, and later in southern France. In the Ardennes campaign, the 517th fought again and with great valor. The 1st Bn. was attached to the 3rd Armored Division and went into combat in the hard-fought action in the vicinity of Soy and Hotten. The 2nd Battalion and that part of the 3rd Battalion not engaged in guarding the XVIII Airborne Corps Headquarters, was attached to the 30th (Old Hickory) Division. Then the entire team reverted to XVIII Corps control.

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