11 11th Armored Division

Nickname: Thunderbolt (popular name, also claimed by 83d Inf. Div.) ….. Shoulder Patch: Regular Armored triangular patch with red (FA), yellow (Cav.) and blue (Inf.) areas; red bolt of lightning over tank track and cannon, numeral in yellow area. ….. Activated: 15 Aug., 1942, Camp Polk. Maneuvers: La., 1943; Calif.-Ariz., 1943. Stations: Camp Barkeley and Camp Cooke. Overseas: Sept., 1S44 (ETO). ….. Commanding Generals: Maj. Gen. Edward H. Brooks, August, 1942, to March, 1944; Brig. Gen. Charles S. Kilburn, March, 1944, to March, 1945; Maj. Gen. Holmes E. Dager March, 1945, to present. ….. Component Units: (As of Sept., 1944): 22nd, 41st and 42d Tank Battalions; 21st, 55th and 63d Armored Infantry Battalions; 490th, 491st and 492d Armored FA Battalions. Higher Command: Third Army. ….. Combat Highlights: Having gone to Britain on leaving the U. S. in September, 1944, the 11th Armored Division was crossing the English Channel to France in December, when the Nazis’ desperate winter offensive began. Debarking on the Normandy beaches, the 11th immediately “lunged forward in a forced march that speeded them to Neufchateau, Belgium, by midnight of the day they landed. They arrived in the nick of time, for the following day they launched an attack which saved the vital highway linking Bastogne with Neufchateau. It will be recalled that Bastogne was one of the hottest spots in the “Battle of the Bulge.” The division battled into Belgium in January, helping to clear the country of Nazis. The 11th teamed with the 6th Arm. Div. the following month in the drive on Trois Vierges and captured Goedange just east of that point. It then spearheaded the drive across Luxembourg. Crossing the Kyll river, the division headed for the Rhine in a column parallel to that of the 4th Arm. Division. Its thundering armor overran Kirschweiler. Dochweiler, Winnweiler and joined with other armored elements to trap hundreds of Germans. Wheeling south, the unit helped pocket the Nazi First and Seventh armies west of Kaiserslautern. By March it had crossed the Rhine close on the rear treads of the Fourth only a few hours behind. There, the division swung immediately toward the vital transportation and communications center of Leipzig. The Thunderbolts drove on into Austria. Twin columns of the 11th raced into Bavaria, Joining again at Cham, northeast of Regensburg and 1200 feet up into the Alps. The Austria entrance was made near the Juncture of the German, Austrian and Czechoslovakian border. The major city of Linz, located on the Danube river, fell to the outfit soon afterward