045 79th Infantry Division

Nickname: Cross of Lorraine Division . Shoulder Patch: A Blue shield with a white bordered inner shield on which is a white cross of Lorraine, symbol of triumph. . History: Organized: August 1917, Camp (now Fort) Meade, Maryland. Overseas action: Meuse-Argonne. . Training: Reactivated: 15 June, 1942, Camp Pickett, Virginia. Other stations: Camp Blanding. Florida: Camp Forrest, Tennessee and Camp Phillips, Kansas Maneuvers: Tennessee Second Army; California-Arizona Maneuver Area. Overseas: April, 1944 (ETO). . Commanding Generals: Maj. Gen. Ira T. Wyche, June. 1942, May, 1945; Brig. Gen. LeRoy H. Watson, May-July, 1945: Maj. Gen. Anthony McAuliffe. July-August, 1945: Brig. Gen. LeRoy H. Watson August, 1945, to present. . Component Units: (As of April 1944): 313th, 314th and 315th Infantry Regiments; 310th, 311th, 312th (M) and 904th (L) FA Battalions. Higher Commands: First, Third. Seventh and Ninth Armies. . Awards: Distinguished Unit Citation to Co. A. 315th Infantry Regiment for action at Embermenil (Fr.) 20-22 Oct., 1944; to 2nd Battalion, 315th, for action at Hatten (Fr.) 9-20 Jan., 1945: to 310th FA Battalion, for action at Rittershofen and Hatten (Fr.), 7-20 Jan., 1945: to 2nd Battalion, 313th Infantry Regiment, for action near Obberreedern (Fr.) 31 December, 1944 to 21 January, 1945; to 3rd Battalion, 315th Infantry Regiment, for action near Rittershofen, 9-20 January, 1945: to 2nd Battalion, 314th Infantry Regiment, for action at Fort Du Roule (Fr.) 25-26 June, 1944. . Combat Highlights: The liberation of Cherbourg, defeat of von Rundstedt’s drive and the capture of Essen are highlights of the 79th Division & distinguished battle action. Going into action 19 June, 1944, the 79th cut the enemy Valognes-Cherbourg supply road, moved on into Cherbourg a week later, taking 6000 prisoners. La Haye du Puys and the Coutance-Avranches breakthrough came next, Le Mons and the Falaise pocket. The 79th was in the open field and dashing for the Seine to down the ball momentarily at Mantes-Gassicourt, a bit of rubble which firmly held, effected the liberation of Paris. Ordered to advance into Belgium, the 79th covered 180 miles in 72 hours, crossing the Somme and numerous other streams. Moving to the Moselle, the 79th took Reims, Charmes, Epinal, St. Dizier, Neufchateau and by September, Luneville, finishing the year 1944 by driving the Nazis out of Saverne Gap and Saarebourg. By sheer heroism, the division stopped the Nazi armor at Bitche. The 315th Regiment stood off two Nazi divisions at Hatten. The Rhine was crossed late in March. Duisberg, the Ruhr pocket, Gelsinkirchen, Essen, Bochum, Kettwig were subsequent actions.