065 99th Infantry Division

Nickname: Checkerboard Division. . Shoulder Patch: Shield is black with white and blue checkerboard. The black is for iron district of Pennsylvania, the checkerboard for the coat of arms of William Pitt. (Division’s home station when constituted in 1921 was Pittsburgh.) . Training: Activated: Nov. 15, 1942, Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi, IV Corps. In September – November, 1943 the 99th took part in Louisiana Maneuvers, Third Army. Following maneuvers, the 99th was transferred to Camp Maxey, X Corps, Third Army. Overseas: September, 1944 (ETO). . Commanding Generals: Maj. Gen. Thomas Lawrence, November, 1942, to July, 1943: Maj. Gen. Walter E. Lauer, July, 1943, to 18 August 1945; Brig. Gen. Frederick H. Black, August, 1945, to present. .. Component Units: (As of September, 1944) 393rd, 394th and 395th Infantry Regiments.; 370th, 371st, 372nd (M) and 924th (L) FA Battalions. Higher commands (combat): V Corps, Nov., 1944; XVIII Corps (Airborne). Feb. 1, 1945; VII Corps, Feb. 21, 1945, and III Corps, March, 1945 – all First Army. . Combat Highlights; The Checkerboard Division was on the move forward most of its combat career. Probably the outstanding month for the unit was March, 1945, 24 days of which the division was on the offensive, taking over 495 square miles, 200 towns and 8356 prisoners. The division went into action in November, 1944, in Belgium, taking its position near Butgenbach. On November 16 it relieved the 9th Infantry Division and 102nd Cavalry Group in the vicinity of Aubel. Two days later the division proceeded to the vicinity of Wirtzfeld, where its first artillery duel with the Nazis ensued. Defense of the V Corps’ sector north of the Roer River between Schmidt and Monschau was the next big job, undertaken December, 1944. By mid-December the 99th launched an attack to the northeast, moved into the Hofen sector and took over an area near Murringen, entering Bullingen by the end of the month. A fierce armored fight broke out during the push on Elsenborn early in January, 1945, and the 99th Division was in the midst of it. Elsenborn fell and the 99th went on to take Berg. Preparation for the invasion of Germany followed and in March the 99th forced an entry to the Reich at Aachen from Belgium, swept past Duren and Julich, turned north to Dusseldorf, doubled back southeast to Remagen and there crossed the Rhine. After the crossing, the 99th drove east to Griessen and then on into the heart of the Reich. By war’s end the division was near Wurzberg. The battle record of the Checkerboard Division shows crossings of the Rhine, the Erft Canal, the Weid and Dill Rivers.