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6th Armored Division

Armored Divisions are supposed to be able to travel pretty fast, but few have eclipsed the speed records set in France in the summer of 1944 by the men of the 6th Armored, who called themselves the “Super 6th” and more than justified their claim to the name. Landing in Normandy on July 24, the 6th Armored put its tanks in high gear and headed for the coast of Brittany. In two weeks, the Division had pulled up at the outskirts of Brest, where its Combat Command A trapped 40,000 Germans and earned the nickname of the “Brassiere Boys.” During its dash, the Super 6th averaged 25 miles a day, and in one 24-hour period covered 48 miles. It was that sort of fast traveling that prompted the division commander, Major General Robert W. Grow, to exclaim to one of his staff, “These maps are too small. Give me a map large enough so that I won’t run off it today.”

Leaving Brest to the Infantry, the Super 6th cruised on down to Lorient, and then turned east and rumbled through Orleans, Autun, Nancy, and Metz. Across France, at Dijon, it met up with the Seventh Army moving north from the Mediterranean, and pushed its way to the Saar River, within sight of Germany.

Then came the winter counteroffensive, and the 6th Armored was shifted to the south of the Ardennes, just north of Mersch, Luxembourg, to relieve the 10th Armored. Five days later, it was in the thick of the action to the north of Bastogne. For 23 days, the Super 6th fought in the winter hell of the Bulge. Tank turrets froze, and tank doors wouldn’t open. Rifle bolts got so stiff from the cold that they would operate only after being beaten with hand grenades. For five days, the Super 6th— now measuring distances in yards rather than miles—was pushed slowly back under the 'tremendous weight of the German assault. Then it held, and slowly the pendulum began to swing the other way, and the 6th Armored drove the enemy back.

The Germans threw everything they had at the Super 6th. Heavy artillery concentrations and barrages of rockets crashed incessantly, with tank and infantry forces charging behind them. Bombers blasted the 6th Armored from above. But the Division dug in, and by the time the enemy threat had been crushed, late in January, the Super 6th had pushed the Germans right across the Our River and back into their own country.

Then the American tankers began rolling again. Theirs wasn’t all a war of machines, however. There was one sergeant, for instance—one among many like him—who, when his tanks were knocked out, seized a carbine, picked off 26 Jerries, and then, running out of ammunition, grabbed a submachine gun and shot three more. The men and machines of the 6th Armored added one more important page to their own military history when, on March 20, the Third and Seventh Armies were linked up by the junction of the 26th Infantry Division and the 6th Armored. By the time the Super 6th was through, it had convinced a lot of Nazis that maybe they weren’t supermen after all.

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

"Super Sixth"

Chronology & Statistics

Activated 15 Feb 42
Arrived ETO 25 Feb 44
Arrived Continent (D/42) 18 Jul 44
Entered Combat:
First Element 27 Jul 44
Entire Division 28 Jul 44
Days in Combat 226
Casualties (Tentative)
Killed 1,169
Wounded 4,198
Missing 152
Captured 7
Battle Casualties 5,526
Non-Battle Casualties 7,290
Total Casualties 12,816

Campaigns

Normandy
Northern France
Ardennes
Rhineland
Central Europe

Division Composition

Organic Units

Headquarters Company
Reserve Command
Combat Command A
Combat Command B
15th Tank Bn
68th Tank Bn
69th Tank Bn
9th Armored Infantry Bn
44th Armored Infantry Bn
50th Armored Infantry Bn
86th Cavalry Rcn Sq (Mecz)
25th Armored Engineer Bn
146th Armored Signal Co

6th Armored Division Artillery

128th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
212th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
231st Armored Field Artillery Battalion

6th Armored Division Trains

128th Ordnance Maintenance Battalion
76th Armored Medical Battalion
Military Police Platoon
Band

Commanding Officers

Division Commander

22 Feb 1944 Maj Gen Robert W Grow
30 Apr 1945 Brig Gen George W Read Jr

Assistant Div Commander

24 Feb 1945 Brig Gen George W Read Jr

Arty Comdr

22 Feb 1944 Col Lowell M Riley
16 Jul 1944 Lt Col William R Jesse
14 Sep 1944 Col Lowell M Riley

Chief of Staff

22 Feb 1944 Col Glen C McBride

Assistant Chief of Staff G-1

22 Feb 1944 Lt Col James S Moncrief Jr

Assistant Chief of Staff G-2

22 Feb 1944 Maj Ernest W Mitchell Jr
1 May 1945 Lt Col Ernest W Mitchell Jr

Assistant Chief of Staff G-3

22 Feb 1944 Lt Col Michael J Galvin

Assistant Chief of Staff G-4

22 Feb 1944 Lt Col James C Boggs

Assistant Chief of Staff G-5

12 May 1944 Maj Walter C Bowman
27 Jul 1944 Capt Royce S Weisenberger
1 Nov 1944 Maj Royce S Weisenberger

Adj Gen

22 Feb 1944 Maj George W Moore Jr
1 May 1944 Lt Col George W Moore Jr

CC A Comdr

22 Feb 1944 Brig Fen James Taylor
30 Aug 1944 Col Harry F Hanson
8 Nov 1944 Col John L Hines Jr
25 Mar 1945 Col Albert E Harris

CC B Comdr

22 Feb 1944 Col George W Read Jr
24 Feb 1945 Col Harry F Manson
18 Apr 1945 Lt Col Embry D Lagrew

CC R Comdr

22 Feb 1944 Col Harry F Hanson
30 Aug 1944 Lt Col Albert E Harris
27 Jan 1945 Col Albert E Harris
25 Mar 1945 Lt Col Embry D Lagrew
18 Apr 1945 Lt Col Ralph H McKee

Attached Units

Antiaircraft Artillery

777th AAA AW Bn (SP) 22 Jul 44-29 Jun 45

Armored

737th Tk Bn 22 Nov 44-3 Dec 44
11th Armd Gp 19 Apr 45-still atchd 9 May 45

Cavalry

6th Cav Gp 21 Dec 44-24 Dec 44
6th Cav Rcn Sq 21 Dec 44-24 Dec 44
Tr E 28th Cav Rcn Sq 21 Dec 44-24 Dec 44
5th Ranger Inf Bn 21 Dec 44-24 Dec 44
Co B 295th Engr C Bn 21 Dec 44-24 Dec 44
Co C 602d TD Bn (SP) 21 Dec 44-24 Dec 44
41st Cav Rcn Sq (11th Armd Div) 11 Feb 45-21 Feb 45

Chemical

Co A 86th Cml Mort Bn 6 Oct 44-10 Oct 44
Co B 3d Cml Mort Bn 6 Jan 45-26 Jan 45
Co C 3d Cml Mort Bn 26 Jan 45-4 Feb 45
161st Cml SG Co 9 Feb 45-24 Feb 45

Engineer

284th Engr C Bn 9 Feb 45-15 Feb 45
184th Engr C Bn 9 Feb 45-15 Feb 45
1252d Engr C Bn 9 Feb 45-24 Feb 45

Field Artillery

Btry C 965th FA Bn (155 How) 29 Jul 44-31 Jul 44
83d Armd FA Bn 31 Jul 44-21 Aug 44
174th Armd FA Bn 31 Jul 44-21 Aug 44
969th FA Bn (155 How) 15 Aug 44-19 Aug 44
45th FA Bn (8th Div) (105 How) 18 Aug 44-21 Aug 44
28th FA Bn (8th Div) (155 How) 18 Aug 44-21 Aug 44
161st FA Bn (35th Div) (105 How) 22 Nov 44-30 Nov 44
696th Armd FA Bn 16 Dec 44-23 Dec 44
193d FA Gp 29 Dec 44-27 Jan 45
177th FA Bn (155 How) 29 Dec 44-27 Jan 45
253d Armd FA Bn 29 Dec 44-27 Jan 45
696th Armd FA Bn 29 Dec 44-27 Jan 45
776th FA Bn (155 How) 29 Dec 44-27 Jan 45
216th FA Bn (35th Div) (105 How) 13 Jan 45-18 Jan 45
161st FA Bn (35th Div) (105 How) 20 Jan 45-1 Feb 45
208th FA Gp 19 Mar 45-23 Mar 45
991st FA Bn (155 Gun) 19 Mar 45-23 Mar 45
995th FA Bn (8" How) 19 Mar 45-23 Mar 45
191st FA Bn (155 How) 18 Apr 45-27 Apr 45

Infantry

1st Bn 28th Inf (8th Div) 8 Aug 44-18 Aug 44
28th Inf (8th Div) 18 Aug 44-21 Aug 44
1st Bn 134th Inf (35th Div) 23 Sep 44-26 Sep 44
134th Inf (35th Div) 22 Nov 44-27 Nov 44
5th Ranger Inf Bn 24 Dec 44-25 Dec 44
320th Inf (-1st Bn) (35th Div) 10 Jan 45-18 Jan 45
1st Bn 134th Inf (35th Div) 15 Jan 45-1 Feb 45
134th Inf (-1st Bn) (35th Div) 18 Jan 45-1 Feb 45
318th Inf (80th Div) 30 Mar 45-1 Apr 45
261st CT (65th Div) 30 Mar 45-4 Apr 45
869th FA Bn (65th Div) (105 How) 30 Mar 45-4 Apr 45
65th Rcn Tr (65th Div) 30 Mar 45-4 Apr 45
1st Plat Co C 265th Engr C Bn (65th Div) 30 Mar 45-4 Apr 45
Co A 691st TD Bn (T) 30 Mar 45-4 Apr 45
Btry D 546th AAA AW Bn (Mbl) 30 Mar 45-4 Apr 45
Co C 81st Cml Mort Bn 30 Mar 45-4 Apr 45
3d Bn 304th Inf (76th Div) 7 Apr 45-8 Apr 45

Tank Destroyer

603d TD Bn (SP) -29 Jun 45
691st TD Bn (T) 15 Dec 44-23 Dec 44

6th Armored Division World War II Missing in Action

There are 33 soldiers of the 6th Armored Division World War II still listed as missing in action.

Private Charles A. Bailey 69th Tank Battalion 01/16/1945
Private First Class Laurence G. Barnes 50th Infantry Battalion 10/01/1944
Corporal John H. Beckwith 15th Tank Battalion 01/02/1945
Sergeant William A. Blunt 128th Field Artillery Battalion 01/16/1945
Technician Fifth Grade Clarence N. Bushman 86th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron 04/16/1946
Sergeant Louis J. Capozi 68th Tank Battalion 08/06/1944
Private First Class Wesley J. Cookson 69th Tank Battalion 01/04/1945
Private Herman Craig 86th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron 04/16/1946
Corporal Ervin W. Crowe 69th Tank Battalion 08/06/1944
Corporal Earl H. Edwards 15th Tank Battalion 11/19/1944
Sergeant James H. Gatewood 44th Infantry Battalion 02/09/1945
Private Lowell A. Goebel 44th Infantry Battalion 08/09/1945
Technician Fifth Grade John P. Gray 69th Tank Battalion 09/19/1944
Private First Class Alvin E. Haffner 68th Tank Battalion 01/04/1945
Private Jewel C. Harrison 69th Tank Battalion 08/06/1944
Private Roger E. Hutchison 231st Field Artillery Battalion 08/01/1944
Sergeant Charles J. Jadin 69th Tank Battalion 08/06/1944
Technician Fourth Grade Robert F. Johnston 9th Infantry Battalion 04/05/1946
Private First Class Frank D. Kukuc 44th Infantry Battalion 08/09/1945
Private First Class John W. Little 68th Tank Battalion 01/08/1945
Sergeant Staley E. Montgomery 15th Tank Battalion 11/12/1944
Private First Class Glenn R. Moorman 9th Infantry Battalion 10/01/1944
Private James J. Murray 68th Tank Battalion 08/06/1944
Private First Class John C. Mustard 15th Tank Battalion 01/03/1946
Second Lieutenant Henry L. Pelzer 69th Tank Battalion 01/04/1945
Technician Fifth Grade Clem L. Reed 69th Tank Battalion 08/02/1944
Sergeant Frank J. Schmidt 15th Tank Battalion 11/22/1944
Sergeant John D. Schuyler 68th Tank Battalion 01/08/1945
Sergeant Michael Slater 69th Tank Battalion 08/02/1944
Private First Class John Terleski 25th Engineer Battalion 02/09/1945
Corporal Paul N. Thomas 15th Tank Battalion 11/22/1944
First Lieutenant John H. Townley 231st Field Artillery Battalion 08/03/1944
Private First Class John W. Winnicki 15th Tank Battalion 11/19/1944

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