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2nd Infantry Division

The 2nd Infantry Division had an outstanding record during the last war, and it became the only division all of whose wartime units were authorised to wear the fourragère of the Croix de Guerre. At Château-Thierry and Belleau Wood, the 2nd —“Second to None,” according to its own slogan—made military history a generation ago. Composed then of both Infantrymen and Marine elements, it earned more decorations than any other World War I unit. And among its men was one since-forgotten truck driver who painstakingly adorned the side of his vehicle with a handsome shield framing an Indian head—the Indian Head that thousands of “Second to None” soldiers now wear on their shoulders today.

The 2nd hasn’t had exactly a back seat in this war, either. In October 1943, the Indian Head outfit sailed for England, and on June 7,1944—D-day plus 1—it landed at St. Laurent-sur-Mer in Normandy, while enemy shells were still pouring into the thinly held beachhead. For 70 straight days the Division fought against crack enemy forces, including the formidable 3rd Parachute Division, which the Indian Head men first encountered on June 11 in the Berigny-St. Georges-d’Elle-Ivon sector, and against which the 2nd waged a personal grudge fight for many weeks. The 2nd was instrumental in the fighting around St. Lo that led to the breakthrough out of Normandy, and was credited by Lieutenant General Leonard T. Gerow, then its corps commander, with having been largely responsible for victory in the grim battle of the hedgerows.

Sweeping 300 miles from Normandy to Brittany, the 2nd next set its sights on the besieged German defenders of the port of Brest—among them the same 3d Parachute Division. With the 8th and 29th Infantry Divisions, the 2nd took Brest in 39 days, although military experts had predicted a 90-day campaign. Next stop on the 2nd’s fighting itinerary was the Siegfried Line. The Division had advanced through it to a point near St. Vith and was just getting started on an attack when, in mid-December, Rundstedt launched his famous breakthrough. Cooks, clerks, and military police were thrown into the front lines, and the 2nd held its ground in the snow-covered Biilligen area until the Battle of the Bulge was won.

Then the Division began rolling again. It spilled out into Germany in February and March, capturing Monschau and Ahrweiler, among other key cities. By the end of April, the Division had moved on to Czechoslovakia and had firmly imprinted its name on the historical records of the city of Pilsen, up to then known merely for its beer.

During its last four months of fighting, the Indian Head Division operated under the First Army, and no one was better qualified to judge its effectiveness than General Courtney H. Hodges, the army commander. “What the 2nd Division has done,” the general said shortly after the Ardennes fighting, “will live forever in the pages of history of the United States Army.”

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

2ID Order of Battle

Arrived ETO 19 Oct 1943
Arrived Continent (D+2) 8 Jun 1944
Entered Combat (First Elements) 7 Jun 1944
Entered Combat (Entire Division) 12 Jun 1944
Days in Combat 303

Campaigns

Normandy
Northern France
Ardennes-Alsace
Rhineland
Central Europe

Composition

9th Infantry
23d Infantry
38th Infantry
2d Reconnaissance Troop (Mechanized)
2d Engineer Combat Battalion
2d Medical Battalion
2d Division Artillery
15th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm Howitzer)
37th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm Howitzer)
38th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm Howitzer)
12th Field Artillery Battalion (155mm Howitzer)
Special Troops
702d Ordnance Light Maintenance Company
2d Quartermaster Company
2d Signal Company
Military Police Platoon
Headquarters Company
Band

Commanders

Division Commander

19 Oct 43 Maj. Gen. Walter M. Robertson
22 Nov 43 Brig. Gen. Thomas L. Martin
2 Dec 43 Maj. Gen. Walter M. Robertson

Assistant Division Commander

19 Oct 43 Brig. Gen. Thomas L. Martin
4 Jul 44 Col. James A. Van Fleet
1 Aug 44 Brig. Gen. James A. Van Fleet
5 Sep 44 Col. John H. Stokes, Jr. (Acting)
21 Mar 45 Brig. Gen. John H. Stokes, Jr.

Artillery Commander

19 Oct 43 Brig. Gen. George P. Hays
12 Nov 44 Col. Richard Sears
14 Nov 44 Brig. Gen. John H. Hinds

Chief of Staff

19 Oct 43 Col. John H. Stokes, Jr.
15 Oct 44 Col. Ralph W. Zwicker (Acting)
18 Nov 44 Col. Ralph W. Zwicker

Assistant Chief of Staff G-1

19 Oct 43 Lt. Col. Reuben N. Hansen
5 Apr 44 Maj. Arthur M. Sherwood, III
21 Jul 44 Lt. Col. Arthur M. Sherwood, III

Assistant Chief of Staff G-2

19 Oct 43 Lt. Col. Donald P. Christensen

Assistant Chief of Staff G-3

19 Oct 43 Lt. Col. Jay B. Loveless
4 Dec 43 Lt. Col. John H. Chiles
13 Dec 44 Maj. Daniel Webster
26 Jan 45 Lt. Col. Daniel Webster

Assistant Chief of Staff G-4

19 Oct 43 Lt. Col. Homer S. Reese

Assistant Chief of Staff G-5

31 May 44 Lt. Col. Ellis O. Keller

Adjutant General

19 Oct 43 Lt. Col. Morris Braveman

Commanding Officer, 9th Infantry

19 Oct 43 Col. Chester J. Hirschfelder
10 Jan 45 Col. P. D. Ginder

Commanding Officer, 23d Infantry

19 Oct 43 Col. Hurley E. Fuller
11 Jul 44 Lt. Col. Jay B. Loveless
13 Sep 44 Col. Jay B. Loveless

Commanding Officer, 38th Infantry

19 Oct 43 Col. Walter A. Elliot
5 Jul 44 Col. Ralph W. Zwicker
18 Nov 44 Lt. Col. Francis H. Boos
28 Nov 44 Col. Francis H. Boos

Attachments

462d AAA AW Bn (Mbl) 17 Jun-17 Aug 44
Btry A, 116th AAA Gun Bn (Mbl) 30 Jul-4 Aug 44
462d AAA AW Bn (Mbl) 3 Oct 44-8 May 45
Hq, 18th AAA Gp 20-21 Dec 44
Co B, 747th Tk Bn 8-15 Jun 44
Co D, 747th Tk Bn 11-15 Jun 44
741st Tk Bn 15 Jun-17 Aug 44
759th Tk Bn 18-28 Jun 44
Hq, 3d Armd Gp 17-29 Jul 44
744th Tk Bn 18-29 Jul 44
759th Tk Bn 27 Jul-5 Aug 44
Co D, 709th Tk Bn 22 Aug-21 Sep 44
741st Tk Bn 8 Oct 44-8 May 45
102d Cav Rcn Sq (- Tr C) 11 Jun-29 Jul 44
Tr C, 102d Cav Rcn Sq 14 Jun-29 Jul 44
102d Cav Gp 16-29 Jul 44
38th Cav Rcn Sq (- Tr B) 16-29 Jul 44
102d Cav Gp 2-5 Aug 44
102d Cav Rcn Sq 2-5 Aug 44
38th Cav Rcn Sq 2-5 Aug 44
102d Cav Gp 9-14 Aug 44
102d Cav Rcn Sq (- Tr A) 9-14 Aug 44
Tr A, 102d Cav Rcn Sq 9-15 Aug 44
38th Cav Rcn Sq 9-15 Aug 44
18th Cav Rcn Sq 22 Oct-11 Dec 44
Tr D, 89th Cav Rcn Sq (9th Armd Div) 28 Oct-8 Nov 44
99th Rcn Tr (99th Div) 13-22 Dec 44
Tr A, 102d Cav Rcn Sq 9-13 Mar 45
102d Cav Rcn Sq (- Tr A) 10-13 Mar 45
Co C, 81st Cml Mort Bn 11 Jun-1 Aug 44
Co A, 81st Cml Mort Bn 11 Jun-5 Aug 44
Co B, 81st Cml Mort Bn 5 Jul-5 Aug 44
Co D, 81st Cml Mort Bn 1-5 Aug 44
Co B, 81st Cml Mort Bn 9-16 Aug 44
Co C, 81st Cml Mort Bn 9-16 Aug 44
Co C, 86th Cml Mort Bn 22 Aug-19 Sep 44
Co C, 86th Cml Mort Bn 12 Dec 44-13 Jan 45
Co D, 86th Cml Mort Bn 27 Jan-16 Feb 45
Co B, 86th Cml Mort Bn 1-14 Mar 45
Co C, 86th Cml Mort Bn 1 Mar-28 Apr 45
1340th Engr C Bn 13-14 Jun 44
112th Engr C Bn 8-13 Jul 44
454th Engr C Bn 17-28 Jul 44
2 plats, Co B, 9th Armd Engr Bn (9th Armd Div) 29 Oct-4 Nov 44
1 plat, Co B, 103d Engr C Bn (28th Div) 8-10 Mar 45
953d FA Bn (155 How) 13 Jun-5 Jul 44
62d Armd FA Bn 8-13 Jul 44
65th Armd FA Bn 8-13 Jul 44
953d FA Bn (155 How) 29 Jul-5 Aug 44
196th FA Bn (105 How) 30 Jul-5 Aug 44
76th FA Bn (105 How) 15-17 Aug 44
687th FA Bn (105 How) 21 Aug-11 Sep 44
275th Armd FA Bn 23 Oct-11 Dec 44
16th Armd FA Bn (9th Armd Div) 12-16 Dec 44
18th FA Bn (105 How) 12-18 Dec 44
196th FA Bn (105 How) 12-18 Dec 44
Btry C, 987th FA Bn (155 Gun) 12-19 Dec 44
Btry A, 987th FA Bn (155 Gun) 16-19 Dec 44
1 btry, 987th FA Bn (155 Gun) 27 Jan-4 Feb 45
76th FA Bn (25 pounders) 27 Jan-12 Feb 45
187th FA Gp 4-23 Feb 45
187th FA Bn (155 How) 4-23 Feb 45
953d FA Bn (155 How) 4-23 Feb 45
Btry A, 285th FA Obsn Bn 4-23 Feb 45
196th FA Bn (105 How) 8-12 Feb 45
34th FA Bn (9th Div) (155 How) 8-12 Feb 45
26th FA Bn (9th Div) (105 How) 8-12 Feb 45
26th FA Bn (9th Div) (105 How) 17-22 Feb 45
76th FA Bn (105 How) 23 Feb-9 Mar 45
955th FA Bn (155 How) 23 Feb-13 Mar 45
62d Armd FA Bn 9-14 Mar 45
187th FA Bn (155 How) 28 Mar-28 Apr 45
1 btry, 987th FA Bn (155 Gun) 23-28 Apr 45
190th FA Bn (155 Gun) 23-28 Apr 45
Btry A, 953d FA Bn (155 How) 23-28 Apr 45
17th FA Obsn Bn 23-28 Apr 45
187th FA Gp 23-28 Apr 45
Cos A, C & E, 5th Ranger Inf Bn 29 Aug-4 Sep 44
27th Armd Inf Bn (9th Armd Div) 26 Oct-8 Nov 44
99th Div 18 Dec 44-7 Jan 45
39th CT (9th Div) 8-12 Feb 45
26th FA Bn (9th Div) (105 How) 8-12 Feb 45
1 plat, Co A, 15th Engr C Bn (9th Div) 8-12 Feb 45
Co C, 746th Tk Bn 8-12 Feb 45
2 plats, 746th Tk Bn 8-12 Feb 45
Co A, 899th TD Bn (SP) 8-12 Feb 45
39th CT (9th Div) 18-22 Feb 45
26th FA Bn (9th Div) (105 How) 18-22 Feb 45
1 plat, Co A, 15th Engr C Bn (9th Div) 18-22 Feb 45
Co A, 899th TD Bn (SP) 18-22 Feb 45
Btry A, 367th AAA AW Bn (Mbl) 18-22 Feb 45
271st CT (69th Div) 18-19 Apr 45
879th FA Bn (69th Div) (105 How) 18-19 Apr 45
1 plat, Co A, 269th Engr C Bn (69th Div) 18-19 Apr 45
Co A, 777th Tk Bn 18-19 Apr 45
1 plat, Co A, 661st TD Bn (SP) 18-19 Apr 45
Co A, 635th TD Bn (T) 8-17 Jun 44
803d TD Bn (SP) 13-14 Jun 44
612th TD Bn (SP) 14 Jun 44-9 May 45
893d TD Bn (SP) 17 Jul-5 Aug 44
893d TD Bn (SP) (- Co B) 13-17 Aug 44
Co B, 705th TD Bn (SP) 23 Aug-19 Sep 44
629th TD Bn (SP) 30 Oct-2 Dec 44
644th TD Bn (SP) 12 Dec 44-27 Jan 45
Co B, 801st TD Bn (SP) 5 Jan-3 Feb 45

Command Posts

1943:
20 Oct Armagh Armagh Northern Ireland

1944:
19 Apr Tenby Pembrokeshire Wales
15 May-3 Jun St Donats Castle Glamorganshire Wales
7 Jun St Laurent-sur-Mer (vic west) Calvados France
9 Jun Formigny Calvados France
10 Jun Le Molay Calvados France
15 Jun Cerisy-la-Foret Manche France
29 Jun St Jean-des-Baisants (1 mile NW) Manche France
2 Aug Laveniere Calvados France
5 Aug Les Rairies Calvados France
10 Aug Coutances Calvados France
13 Aug Maisoncelles-la-Jourdan Calvados France
19 Aug Ploudaniel Finistere France
22 Aug Kersaint Plebennec Finistere France
30 Sep St Vith Liege Belgium
12 Dec Wirzfeld Liege Belgium
18 Dec Camp Elsenborn Liege Belgium

1945
5 Feb Wahlerscheid Rhineland Germany
21 Feb Erkensruhr Rhineland Germany
5 Mar Kloster Mariawald Rhineland Germany
6 Mar Vlatten Rhineland Germany
7 Mar Mechernich Rhineland Germany
8 Mar Munstereifel Rhineland Germany
9 Mar Bruck Rhineland Germany
10 Mar Bad Neuenahr Rhineland Germany
21 Mar Honningen Hessen-Nassau Germany
25 Mar Nieder Bieber Hessen-Nassau Germany
27 Mar Hohr-Grenzhausen Hessen-Nassau Germany
29 Mar Hademar Hessen-Nassau Germany
30 Mar Homberg Hessen-Nassau Germany
1 Apr Sachsenhausen Hessen-Nassau Germany
5 Apr Oberlistingen Hessen-Nassau Germany
6 Apr Grebenstein Hessen-Nassau Germany
7 Apr Veckerhagen Hessen-Nassau Germany
8 Apr Dransfeld Westphalia Germany
9 Apr Wollmarshausen Westphalia Germany
11 Apr Ober Gebra (1 mile east) Saxony Germany
12 Apr Bad Frankenhausen Saxony Germany
13 Apr Barnstadt Saxony Germany
17 Apr Schladebach Saxony Germany
19 Apr Markranstadt Saxony Germany
21 Apr Bad Lausick Saxony Germany
2 May Ober Viechtach Bavaria Germany
4 May Rotz Bavaria Germany
5 May Klenec Bohemia Czech
6 May Horsovsky Tyn Bohemia Czech
7 May Pilsen Bohemia Czech

2nd Infantry Division World War II Missing in Action

There are 33 soldiers of the 2nd Infantry Division World War II still listed as missing in action.

Private Ted Acker 9th Infantry Regiment 06/13/1944
Private James P. Benfield 9th Infantry Regiment 09/22/1944
Private First Class Lloyd L. Cockrell 9th Infantry Regiment 12/15/1944
Private Clyde Cottingham 23rd Infantry Regiment 07/25/1944
Technician Third Grade John D. Deshazo 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion 12/19/1944
Private Mike A. Ferrer 38th Infantry Battalion 06/19/1944
Private First Class Ballard S. Flanary 9th Infantry Regiment 06/13/1944
Private Marshall V. Frank 38th Infantry Battalion 01/24/1946
Private First Class Edward L. Froehlich 9th Infantry Regiment 10/14/1945
Sergeant Marvin E. Hays 2nd Reconnaissance Troop 09/02/1944
Private Douglas E. Johnson 9th Infantry Regiment 12/15/1945
Private Ray Kelley 23rd Infantry Regiment 07/14/1944
Private Frank R. Maioli 9th Infantry Regiment 10/14/1944
Private First Class Robert D. Martin 23rd Infantry Regiment 08/30/1945
Second Lieutenant Raymond S. McCann 2nd Reconnaissance Troop 07/16/1944
Private First Class Stanley C. Nelson 9th Infantry Regiment 06/18/1944
Staff Sergeant James M. Osborne 38th Infantry Battalion 06/30/1945
Private Dudley M. Pangle 9th Infantry Regiment 12/15/1945
Private Lincoln C. Parker 9th Infantry Regiment 06/21/1945
Private First Class John P. Phelps 9th Infantry Regiment 06/25/1944
Staff Sergeant Robert G. Rudd 38th Infantry Battalion 01/30/1945
Private First Class Manuel Salas 23rd Infantry Regiment 12/19/1945
Private Samuel L. Samuel 38th Infantry Battalion 08/25/1945
Staff Sergeant Joseph H. Schwake 38th Infantry Battalion 10/14/1945
First Lieutenant Charles R. Seitz 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion 09/07/1944
Private First Class George L. Shields 9th Infantry Regiment 12/15/1944
Staff Sergeant John R. Simonetti 9th Infantry Regiment 06/16/1944
Private First Class William E.J. Smothers 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion 03/03/1945
Sergeant Robert I. Spencer 23rd Infantry Regiment 07/23/1944
Sergeant Leonard W. Story 23rd Infantry Regiment 12/19/1945
Private First Class John A. Straw 9th Infantry Regiment 12/14/1944
Private Lucas R. Tarin 9th Infantry Regiment 06/20/1944
Private Harold J. Thompson 9th Infantry Regiment 07/03/1944

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