45th Infantry Division

Nickname: Thunderbird Division. . Shoulder Patch; Golden bird (Indian symbol for sacred bearer of unlimited happiness) against red, diamond (ancient Spanish color). . Slogan: Semper Anticus (Always Forward). . Activated: 1924. . Training: Inducted: Sept. 16, 1940, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Other stations: Camp Barkeley, Fort Devens, V and VI Corps; Camp Edwards (Amphibious Training); Pine Camp, XIII Corps; Camp Pickett, 2nd Army (Mountain and Amphibious Training) Maneuvers: Louisiana, March, 1942. Overseas June, 1943 (North Africa). . Commanding Generals: Maj. Gen. William S. Key, September, 1940, to October, 1942; Maj. Gen. Troy H. Middleton, October, 3.942, to December, 1943; Maj. Gen. William W. Eagles, December, 1943, to December, 1944; Maj. Gen. Robert T. Frederick, December, 1944, to present. . Component Units: (As of June, 1943) 157th, 179th and 180th Infantry Regiments; 158th, 160th, 171st (L) and 189th (M) FA Battalions Higher Command (combat) Seventh Army. . Awards: Distinguished Unit Citation to Co. I, 157th Infantry Regiment, for action near Carroceto, Italy, Feb. 17-21, 1944; DUC to 2nd Battalion, 157th, for action in Italy, February, 1944; DUC to Co. G. 180th, for action near Padiglione, Italy, Feb. 18, 1944. Croix de Guerre with palm, to entire division on July 2, 1945. Combat Highlights: The Thunderbird Division has had four D-Days, Sicily, Salerno, Anzio and Southern France. Landing in Sicily, July 10, 1943, the 45th fought its way across the island. It captured Motta Hill (“Bloody Ridge”) in four days. Salerno (Sept. 10) came next. After 46 days of bitter fighting, the division crossed the Volturno, then fought 73 days longer. They went ashore at Anzio, Jan. 22, 1944, and entered upon four months of desperate fighting to keep the Nazis from carrying out their orders to drive the Americans into the sea. May 23, the Thunderbirds joined in breaking through the Anzio ring, helped clear the approaches to Cassino and swept north of captured Rome. The landing in Southern France came Aug. 15, 1944, the 45th spearheading a drive for Belfort Gap. Epinal fell in September, and shortly afterward, the 45th crossed the Moselle, fought through the heavily-wooded Vosges foothills and crossed the Meurthe. The Zintzel river crossed, the division found itself Dec. 13, 1944, well through the Maginot defensive belt and in the Lembach-Wingen Valley. A brief rest taken, the 45th (March, 1945) moved to Saarguemines. Actions to the end of the war included: the Saar district, Rhine crossing (near Wurms ), Aschaffenberg drive, Nurnberg, the Danube crossing, liberation of the Dachau victims and the march on Munich. It had 511 combat days.

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