80th Infantry Division

Nickname: Blue Ridge Division. . Shoulder Patch: White-bordered, gold shield with three azure mountains resting on a white bar. . Slogan: “The 80th Only Moves Forward.” . Song: “Blue Ridge Marching Song.” (Copy in SIS files.) . History: Activated: September, 1917, Camp Lee, Virginia, Actions: Somme (reserve). St. Mihiel. Meuse-Argonne. . Training: Reactivated: 15 July, 1942, Camp Forrest, Tennessee, Second Army. Maneuvers: Tennessee Second Army; California-Arizona Maneuvers Area. Other station: Camp Phillips, Kansas Overseas: June, 1944 (ETO). . Commanding Generals: Maj. Gen. Joseph D. Patch, July, 1942, to March, 1943: Maj. Gen. Horace L. McBride, March, 1943, to present. . Component Units: (As of June, 1944): 317th, 318th and 319th Infantry Regiments; 313th, 314th, 315th (M) and 905th (L) FA Battalions. Higher Command: Third Army . Awards: Distinguished Unit Citation to 2nd Battalion, 318th Infantry Regiment for action near Bastogne, 25-28 December, 1944; to 313th FA Battalion for action near Bezaumont (Fr). 12-21 September, 1944. . Combat Highlights: One of the crack divisions of the western offensive, the 80th earned its reputation in such actions as the closing of the Argentan-Falaise Gap, smashing of the von Rundstedt drive, crossing of the Rhine and smashing of resistance in Southeast Germany. Space permits very few details of these actions. Entering combat 8 August 1944, the 80th broke an armored counterattack at Avranches. In subsequent-actions the division took Evron, Ste. Suzanne and Argentan and in the Argentan-Falaise Gap finished off the German Seventh Army. Sweeping across France to take scores of French cities, the 80th reached the Moselle and established a bridgehead for the Third Army, then dug in on the Seille river. During November, the 80th made a deep penetration into German positions and outflanked Metz, paving the way to its capture. By the 25th, the Maginot Line was breached and the next day the 80th stabbed at the industrial heart of the Saar Basin. By the 28th shells of the 80th were falling in Germany. Von Rundstedt interrupted a brief rest period the 80th took following 102 consecutive days of combat. The division rushed to Luxembourg, lashing out at the Nazi flank 22 December, saving the city, then turned to Bastogne to rescue the 101st. The drive to the Rhine came next, the 80th crossing it 28 March. A long list of towns captured en route included Kaiserslautern, Kassel, Erfurt, Weimar, Jena Gera, Nurnbergtowns famous in infamous Nazi historywere taken by the 80th in their final sweep to Austria, where the 80th received surrender of the 6th German army.

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