86th Infantry Division

Nickname: Black Hawk Division. ……. Shoulder Patch: A red shield with a black hawk, wings outspread, superimposed. On the breast of the hawk is a smaller shield also in red with the black letters “B” and “H” superimposed and standing for the nickname of the division. ……. History: The 86th Infantry Division was originally activated at Camp Grant, Illinois, Aug. 25, 1917, for service in World War I. The original, personnel were drafted from Illinois and Wisconsin. Approximately one year after activation the division was transferred overseas to the East Bordeaux area France; for further training. On Oct. 3, 1918, the unit was ordered skeletonized and returned to the United States. Demobilization took place at the place of activation, Camp Grant, Illinois, and was completed in Jan., 1919. ……. Training: The Black Hawk Division was reactivated for use in World War II in Dec., 1942. It was first assigned to Camp Howie, Texas, where it was placed under the X Corps of the Third Army. Principal maneuvers of the division were held in Louisiana. Cadre strength only participated in the first Louisiana maneuvers in December, 1942. In 1944, the whole division participated. The division was under the Third Army during both of these exercises. Amphibious training, intensive in nature, was given to the unit in anticipation of possible use in the Pacific, but the ultimate assignment was to ETO. The division went overseas in February, 1945, to ETO. ……. Commanding Generals: Maj. Gen. Alexander E. Anderson, Sept.-Dec., 1942; Maj. Gen. Harris M. Melasky, Jan. 4, 1943, to the present. ……. Component Units: (As of February, 1945): 341st, 342d and 343d Infantry Regiments; 331st, 332d, 404th (M) and 911th (L) FA Battalions, Higher Commands: (Combat) Fifteenth Army during battle on the Rhine; First Army, in battle of the Ruhr pocket; and the Seventh and Third Armies successively in Bavaria. ……. Combat Highlights: The 86th saw 42 days of combat duty in the European Theatre. It first held defensive positions near Cologne on the Rhine river, taking over these positions on Mar. 28, 1945. Relieved Apr. 5, the division traveled to Lutzel for its first offensive action. A long series of towns fell to the 86th in record time. Moving 230 miles to Uflenheim, Apr, 18-21, the division again entered offensive action taking Echstatt, Eitensheim and Ingolstadt. Units of the division crossed the Danube, April 26, spearheading, the Third Army. The division readied Perwang, Austria, by the end of the war in Europe. First to return for redeployment, the 86th was assigned to occupation duties in the Pacific, one of three designated for redeployment to Japan.

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