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80th Infantry Division

You can’t say too much for them.”

That was the tribute “brass” paid to the 80th Infantry Division Doughboys after they had broken through a ring of German lead and steel to help rescue the 101st Airborne Division, never-say-die defenders of Bastogne.

Christmas Day, side by side with tanks of the 4th Armored, Infantrymen of the “Blue Ridge” Division began to batter forward toward the besieged 101st. Through murderous opposition, over frozen, snow-crusted terrain, they bent their heads to bullet and blizzard, and advanced 9 miles. Next day the gap between rescuers and trapped was reduced to 4,000 yards. A Blue Ridge patrol, working at night, slipped through the Nazi lues to meet up with an outpost of the 101st, and gather information concerning German strength and displacement.

With this information, the Doughs of the 80th and the 4th tankers, drove forward, scorning withering artillery, Nebelwerfer, and small-arms fire. They chased the Germans from ridge to ridge, from pillbox to pillbox and, on December 28, knifed through to the lines of the 101st. Relief of Bastogne was completed, Rundstedt’s hope for a major breakthrough was finished, and the men of the 80th could proudly reassert their motto: “Ever Forward.”

It was no untried division that achieved the drive to Bastogne. The 80th had been in action since it landed on Utah Beach, in France, early in August. A few days after it hit France the 80th began fighting at Le Mans, and aided in stemming the powerful armored counterattack by five panzer divisions which sought to cut the Third Army’s supply line at Avranches.

Under new orders, the Blue Ridgers were thrown into the battle of the Argentan-Falaise Gap.

They were told to take Argentan and the high ground north of the city. This strongpoint was held by a panzer division, a Luftwaife battalion, and Storm Troopers supported by artillery and numerous self-propelled guns. Just before midnight of August 19, the city was blasted by artillery. The Blue Ridgers stormed into the burning objective. Surging north from this point, the Doughs of the Blue Ridge had a field day mopping up the wreckage of the once proud German Seventh Army.

After this hard blow to the Wehrmacht, the Division once again became a part of the Third Army, swung south of Paris and spearheaded the Allied drive across France.

The Blue Ridgers crossed the Meuse and, with history repeating itself, rolled into St.Mihiel where, 26 years ago, during the same month, the World War I 80th had fought. Ahead was the heavily fortified Moselle River. Loading on a small stream that runs into the Moselle, the 80th crossed without a shot being fired, and the Third Army’s spearhead was ready to run wild. In the later stages of this battle the 80th’s artillery commander, Brigadier General Edmund W. Searby, was killed while fighting in the front line with the Doughboys.

In November of 1944, the 80th attacked the Maginot Line. Before its men were relieved by the 6th Armored Division forward elements of the 80th had penetrated the German frontier less than five miles from Saarbriicken.

After 102 days of contact with the enemy, the Blue Ridgers were withdrawn on December 7 for a rest.

Then came Bastogne.

True to their motto, the men of the 80th moved “Ever Forward.”

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

"Blue Ridge Division"

The division insignia is a white bordered escutcheon of gold emblazoned with three azure blue mountain peaks. It symbolizes the three "Blue Ridge" states, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, from which the majority of the 80th's World War I personnel were drawn.


Commanding General

7 Jul 44 Maj. Gen. Horace L. McBride

Assistant Division Commander

7 Jul 44 Brig. Gen. Owen Summers
7 Mar 45 Col. George W. Smythe
1 May 45 Brig. Gen. George W. Smythe

Artillery Commander

7 Jul 44 Brig. Gen. Edmund W. Searby
19 Sep 44 Brig. Gen. Jay W. MacKelvie

Chief of Staff

7 Jul 44 Col. Max S. Johnson
10 Jan 45 Col. Samuel P. Walker

Assistant Chief of Staff G-1

7 Jul 44 Lt. Col. Leon O. Clayton

Assistant Chief of Staff G-2

7 Jul 44 Maj. Richard R. Fleisher
15 Sep 44 Lt. Col. Richard R. Fleisher

Assistant Chief of Staff G-3

7 Jul 44 Lt. Col. Augustus G. Elegar

Assistant Chief of Staff G-4

7 Jul 44 Lt. Col. Erland L. Sandberg

Assistant Chief of Staff G-5

7 Jul 44 Maj. Edmund A. Ball
16 Nov 44 Lt. Col. Edmund A. Ball

Adjutant General

7 Jul 44 Lt. Col. John W. Trone

Commanding Officer, 317th Infantry

7 Jul 44 Col. A. Donald Cameron
3 Oct 44 Col. Warfield M. Lewis
4 Dec 44 Lt. Col. Henry G. Fisher

Commanding Officer, 318th Infantry

7 Jul 44 Col. Harry D. McHugh
13 Sep 44 Col. Milton C. Shattuck
26 Sep 44 Col. Lansing McVickar
15 Jan 45 Col. James S. Luckett

Commanding Officer, 319th Infantry

7 Jul 44 Col. Orion L. Davidson
22 Nov 44 Col. William N. Taylor
13 Feb 45 Col. Normando A. Costello



Activated 15 July 1942
Arrived ETO 7 July 1944
Arrived Continent (D+58) 3 August 1944
Entered Combat 8 August 1944
Days in Combat 239

Casualties (Tentative)

Killed 2,614
Wounded 10,795
Missing 654
Captured 397
Battle Casualties 14,460
Non-Battle Casualties 11,012
Total Casualties 25,472
Percent of T/O Strength 180.8


  • Northern France
  • Ardennes
  • Rhineland
  • Central Europe

Individual Awards

Distinguished Service Cross 33
Legion of Merit 6
Silver Star 671
Soldiers Medal 30
Bronze Star 3,557
Air Medal 121

Prisoners of War Taken 212,295


  • 317th Infantry
  • 318th Infantry
  • 319th Infantry
  • 80th Reconnaissance Troop (Mechanized)
  • 305th Engineer Combat Battalion
  • 305th Medical Battalion
  • 80th Division Artillery
  • 313th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm Howitzer)
  • 314th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm Howitzer)
  • 905th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm Howitzer)
  • 315th Field Artillery Battalion (155mm Howitzer)
  • Special Troops
  • 780th Ordnance Light Maintenance Company
  • 80th Quartermaster Company
  • 80th Signal Company
  • Military Police Platoon
  • Headquarters Company
  • Band


Antiaircraft Artillery

633d AAA AW Bn (Mbl) 9 Aug 44-13 May 45


702d Tk Bn (- Co D) 8 Aug 44-27 Feb 45
Co D, 702d Tk Bn 8 Aug 44-1 Mar 45
CC B (4th Armd Div) 29 Jan 45-4 Feb 45
CC B (4th Armd Div) 21 Feb 45-24 Feb 45
702d Tk Bn 11 Mar 45-still attached 7 Jul 45


42d Rcn Sq (2d Cav Gp) 23 Nov 44-6 Dec 44
2d Cav Rcn Sq (2d Cav Gp) 1 Dec 44-6 Dec 44
16th Cav Gp 27 Mar 45-31 Mar 45


Co A, 91st Cml Mort Bn 5 Jan 45-12 Jan 45
Co B, 91st Cml Mort Bn 5 Jan 45-28 Jan 45
Co A, 91st Cml Mort Bn 28 Jan 45-10 Mar 45
Co A, 81st Cml Mort Bn 11 Mar 45-18 Apr 45
Co B, 81st Cml Mort Bn 27 Mar 45-12 Apr 45
Co A, 94th Cml Mort Bn 29 Apr 45-1 May 45
94th Cml Mort Bn (- Co A) 29 Apr 45-11 May 45


328th Inf (26th Div) 4 Oct 44-14 Oct 44
53d Armd Inf Bn (4th Armd Div) 4 Feb 45-9 Feb 45
51st Armd Inf Bn (4th Armd Div) 4 Feb 45-18 Feb 45
53d Armd Inf Bn (4th Armd Div) 20 Feb 45-21 Feb 45

Tank Destroyer

610th TD Bn (SP) 9 Aug 44-25 Sep 44
691st TD Bn (T) 16 Sep 44-18 Sep 44
808th TD Bn (SP) 25 Sep 44-21 Dec 44
Co C, 602d TD Bn (SP) 4 Oct 44-14 Oct 44
610th TD Bn (SP) 23 Nov 44-6 Dec 44
610th TD Bn (SP) 21 Dec 44-28 Jan 45
Co A, 631st TD Bn (T) 7 Jan 45-20 Jan 45
802d TD Bn (T) 28 Jan 45-4 Feb 45
811th TD Bn (SP) 3 Feb 45-4 Jul 45
Co B, 603d TD Bn (SP) 4 Apr 45-9 Apr 45


80th Infantry Division World War II Missing in Action

There are 26 soldiers of the 80th Infantry Division World War II still listed as missing in action.

Staff Sergeant Russell L. Abel 318th Infantry Regiment 09/20/1944
Private First Class Garland E. Ackelson 319th Infantry Regiment 05/21/1945
Staff Sergeant Roy C. Boston 319th Infantry Regiment 02/12/1945
Sergeant Donald D. Claar 318th Infantry Regiment 02/09/1945
Staff Sergeant Tomas Cruz 318th Infantry Regiment 10/24/1944
Private Harry R. De Haan 318th Infantry Regiment 11/10/1945
Sergeant Pershing F. Dennis 317th Infantry Regiment 04/12/1946
Staff Sergeant William L. Dewart 318th Infantry Regiment 02/12/1945
Private Daniel J. Fernandez 318th Infantry Regiment 09/16/1944
Private Harry Fredman 317th Infantry Regiment 03/16/1945
Private Oren C. Harris 317th Infantry Regiment 09/27/1945
Corporal Ernest W. Hogan 318th Infantry Regiment 09/16/1944
Private Robert B. Horner 317th Infantry Regiment 09/18/1944
Private Bernard W. Myers 318th Infantry Regiment 02/08/1945
Private William L. O'Neal 317th Infantry Regiment 09/26/1945
Private Joe C. Pemberton 318th Infantry Regiment 04/25/1946
Technician Fifth Grade Harold D. Pittis 318th Infantry Regiment 02/08/1945
Private Harold O. Poulter 318th Infantry Regiment 02/08/1945
Private Lyle T. Roberts 319th Infantry Regiment 02/22/1946
Second Lieutenant Robert G. Schmidt 319th Infantry Regiment 10/29/1945
Second Lieutenant Richard R. Schmon 313th Field Artillery Battalion 11/05/1944
Sergeant Carl C. Sparks 317th Infantry Regiment 02/22/1946
Sergeant Freeman A. Trudeau 318th Infantry Regiment 08/20/1944
Corporal Clarence Walters 319th Infantry Regiment 10/29/1945
Private Walter N. Wenger 317th Infantry Regiment 01/08/1945
Private Kwack K. Woo 318th Infantry Regiment 02/09/1945

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80TH INFANTRY DIVISION WWII patch, front view
80TH INFANTRY DIVISION WWII patch, back view


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