031 42nd Infantry Division

Nickname: Rainbow Division. . Shoulder Patch: A rainbow, chosen because the World War I Division was composed of men from so many states. . Song: “Mountain Dew” (semiofficial). Sprague-Coleman Co. History: The Division was organized in Aug., 1917, from National Guard Units of 26 states and the District of Columbia. It reached France by Nov., 1917, and went into the line in the Luneville sector in March, 1918 Action: Champagne-Marne and Aisne-Marne offensives. . Training; The Division was activated July, 1943. at Camp Gruber, Oklahoma, under the X and XVI Corps. Overseas: Nov., 1944 (ETO). . Commanding General: Maj. Gen. Harry J Collins, July, 1943, to present time. Component Units (As of Nov., 1944) 222nd, 232nd and 242nd Infantry Regiments; 232nd, 392nd, 402nd (L) and 542nd (M) FA Battalions. Higher Command (Combat): Seventh Army. . Awards: Distinguished Unit Citation to 1st Battalion, 242nd Infantry for action Jan. 9-10, 1945 . Combat Highlights: The Rainbow Division, famous In World War I history, was hailed by newspapers upon its going overseas In Nov. 1944, as a noted unit which would add lustre to old laurels and acquire new ones in the present war. Reactivated and trained too late for the initial landing on the Normandy beaches, it went into action first in Dec., 1944, under the Seventh Army on the right flank of Saarbrucken, serving as an emergency task force plugging gaps and weak points in the line. In January the Seventh Army was holding along a two-army front while the Third Army helped to fight back the Nazi bulge on the First Army front. The following month the Seventh Army was readied for renewal of attacks and it was this month the Rainbow Division was announced as part of the Seventh Army. In Jan., 1945, Sgt. Veto R. Bertoldo, Decator, Illinois, won a Medal of Honor at Hatten, France. Its first penetration of Germany was made by the 42nd in March when the Division drove through the Hardt Mts. Heroes of that difficult action included Pfc. Russell O. Kubiak, of Milwaukee: Cpl. Richard B. Jones, of Washington, D. C., and Sgt. Daniel J. Wofford. of Rudy, Ark., winners of silver stars. April saw the fall of Dahn and Busenburg. Rolling some 25 miles east of the Rhine, the 42nd took Furth and Schweinan, added Schweinfurt in May and struck southeast toward Nurnberg. The Rainbow men were first to enter Munich and were co-liberators of 32,000 victims of the torture camp, Dachau. The outfit then drove into Austria, crossing the Inn river, capturing important Nazi general officers and shortly after V-E Day, occupying Ritzbahl, German film capital.