039 70th Infantry Division

Nickname: Trailblazer Division. . Shoulder Patch: Patch is red, shaped like a single-bitted axe with blade up. White axe head superimposed, aimed at white Mt. Hood and green fir tree Red refers to blood of pioneers; Mt. Hood, to State of Oregon, and green tree, to 91st Division, parent unit. Song: “Oh, Suzanna.” . Training: Activated: June 15, 1943, Camp Adair, Oregon, IV Corps. Moved to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, July, 1944, and overseas Dec., 1944 (ETO). . Commanding Generals: Maj. Gen. John E. Dahlquist, June, 1943, to July, 1944; Maj. Gen Allison J Barnett, July, 1944 to July, 1945; Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Herren, July, 1945, to present. .. Component Units: (As of Dec., 1944): 274th, 275th and 276th Infantry Regiments; 882nd, 883rd, 884th (L) and 725th (M) FA Battalions. Higher Command: Seventh Army. . Awards: Division was commended by Maj. Gen. Prank W. Milburn, XXI Corps CG, for action in Saar Region, Distinguished Unit Citation to 2nd Battalion, 274th Infantry Regiments, for action at Wingen, France, Jan. 5-7, 1945. Combat Highlights Reduction of the Bitche Salient; crossing of the Saar river; capture of Saarbrucken, and reduction of the Saar basin are highlights of the war waged by the 70th. Elements of three regiments of the division took position Dec. 28, 1944, on the west bank of the Rhine to get their combat training the hard way, on-the-job in some of the worst fighting of the war. The van Rundstedt winter offensive heat was on and the Nazis were attempting to drive south from Bitche and north from Colmar, hoping to cut off our Seventh Army west of the Savergne Pass. At Wingen, elements of the 274th and 275th sealed off 1000 SS troops and cleaned them up in a three-day battle, breaking the northern prong of the German drive. Moving to a point just south of the German border bastion of Saarbrucken. mid-January, the 70th deployed on a line from Saarguemines to Morsbach and in February launched a drive in the area south of the Saar river. The high ground overlooking Saarbrucken was occupied; the Trailblazers smashed into Forbach, France, and took the town of Styring-Wendel beyond. In the latter, the 70th liberated 1000 Allied prisoners, one of the first western front liberations of the war. The Division made a night crossing of the Saar, Mar. 18, and two days later captured Saarbrucken. Swarming through Siegfried Line defenses, the 70th gathered in Saarland cities, making a juncture with the Third Army Mar. 21. Reduction of the Saar basin followed.