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16th Armored Division

The 16th Armored Division averaged 8,000 prisoners per day while it was in combat.

But it was only in combat one day.

That will always be a memorable day for the men of the 16th. Swarming into Piisen, Czechoslovakia, after long moves across the continent of Europe, the 16th Armored decisively captured the city famed both for its beer and as the seat of the Skoda munitions works.

There was only one jarring note to the last-minute triumph. Allied bombers, seeking out the Skoda plants, had inadvertently hit the beer factories as well.

The 16th Armored arrived in France on February 5, 1945, and was subsequently assigned to the Third Army. Traveling to N├╝rnberg, the division got there on April 28 for final precombat training. On May 4 it ieaped to Waidhaus, SO miles away, and two days later launched its attack on the l>eer city, at the far end of the American line of penetration into Czechoslovakia.

After its brief flurry of combat, the 16th Armored had the trying job of herding together German soldiers and civilians attempting to flee from the Russian forces in Prague.

One well remembered tank of the 16th Armored never dirl fight at all. Separated from the division in France when the railroad car on which it was lashed had to be side-tracked, the tank and the crew set out determinedly to rejoin their outfit. The tank men raced from France to Belgium, into Luxembourg ancl Germany, and on into Czechoslovakia. Finally they rumbled into Pilsen.

But by the time they got there the war hud ended.

From Fighting Divisions, Kahn & McLemore, Infantry Journal Press, 1945-1946.

Chronology & Statistics

Activated 15 July 1943
Arrived ETO 11 February 1945
Arrived Continent 11 February 1945 (D+250)
Entered Combat:
First Elements 28 April 1945
Entire Division 5 May 1945
Days in Combat 3


Central Europe

Division Composition

Organic Units

Headquarters Company
Combat Command A
Combat Command B
Reserve Command
5th Tank Battalion
16th Tank Battalion
26th Tank Battalion
18th Armored Infantry Battalion
64th Armored Infantry Battalion
69th Armored Infantry Battalion
23d Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized)
216th Armored Engineer Battalion
156th Armored Signal Company

16th Armored Division Artillery

393d Armored Field Artillery Battalion
396th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
397th Armored Field Artillery Battalion

16th Armored Division Trains

137th Ordnance Maintenance Battalion
216th Armored Medical Battalion
Military Police Platoon

Commanding Officers

Division Commander

11Feb45 Brig. Gen. John L. Pierce

Artillery Commander

11Feb45 Col. Barksdale Hamlett

Chief of Staff

11Feb45 Col. Thomas V. Webb
21Mar45 Col. Edwin C. Greiner (Acting)
4Apr45 Col. Edwin C. Greiner

Assistant Chief of Staff G-1

11Feb45 Lt. Col. Ralph W. Gontrum

Assistant Chief of Staff G-2

11Feb45 Maj. George T. Rolan
6Mar45 Lt. Col. Everett G. Hahney

Assistant Chief of Staff G-3

11Feb45 Lt. Col. Shelby F. Williams
21Mar45 Lt. Col. James M. Worthington

Assistant Chief of Staff G-4

11Feb45 Lt. Col. Elbert M. Sleeker
14Mar45 Lt. Col. Philip L. Elliott

Assistant Chief of Staff G-5

21Mar45 Maj. Julian P. Anderson

Adjutant General

11Feb45 Lt. Col. Leo E. Schulten, Jr.

Commanding Officer, Combat Command A

11Feb45 Col. William T. Hamilton
23Mar45 Lt. Col. Thoss B. Beck (Acting)
23Apr45 Lt. Col. Shelby F. Williams

Commanding Officer, Combat Command B

11Feb45 Col. Charles H. Noble

Commanding Officer, Reserve Command

11Feb45 Col. Charles F. Howard
4Apr45 Lt. Col. Shelby F. Williams
23Apr45 Lt. Col. Thoss B. Beck

Attached Units

Antiaircraft Artillery

571st AAA AW Bn (SP) 20Apr45-19May45


1 platoon, 994th Engr Treadway Br Co 6May45-10May45

Field Artillery

Btry B, 987th FA Bn (155mm Gun) 6May45-15May45

Tank Destroyer

633d TD Bn (SP) 1May45-14Jun45

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16th Infantry Division World War II patch, front view


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