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9th Armored Division

With the possible exception of the titanic clash at El Alamein, no tank engagement in World War II will be longer remembered than the dashing armored coup which first put the American Army across the Rhine at Remagen bridge.

All Allied commanders—indeed, the world—applauded this bold action which was one of the major developments leading to the collapse of the German Army.

The 9th Armored accomplished this historic feat.

Striking with lightning speed, scorning all risks, the 9th Armored moved so swiftly that it had established a bridgehead before the Nazis could demolish the bridge or prepare defenses across the river.

Military authorities have estimated that the feat of the 9th Armored saved a minimum of 5,000 American dead and 10,000 wounded.

The 9th Armored, which was activated in 1942, was late in getting overseas. It crossed to England in August of 1944 and did not reach Normandy until a month later. But once on fighting soil it wasted no time. In six days after hitting France the 9th Armored was in Luxembourg near the German frontier.

Looked upon as a “Little Brother” by the bigger, older, and more experienced armored divisions such as the 1st, 2d and 3d Armored Divisions the 9th Armored proved it had what it takes when Rundstedt launched his mighty winter counteroffensive.

When the Nazis struck along the VIII Corps front the “Little Brother” 9th Armored, with no real combat experience, was the most powerful unit present to oppose the onslaught.

In its first real fight the Division’s three combat commands were forced to fight on separate fronts. Command B made a six-day stand at St.Vith against superior strength. Command A fought ten days near Echtemach, then, after an all night march without rest, launched its part in the operation that resulted in the breaking of the siege of Bastogne.

The third 9th combat command received a unit citation for its contribution to the epic of Bastogne. It stood up against the German juggernaut and delayed it for 36 hours, thus giving the 101st Airborne time to dig in for the defense of the city.

Proved in battle now, the 9th Armored was sent into the offensive between the Roer and Rhine Rivers. It couldn’t be stopped. In seven smashing, driving days it rolled from river to river.

And then it electrified the world by its action at Remagen bridge.

After its crossing of the Rhine the 9th Armored raced to Limburg, brooking no opposition, and there released thousands of Allied prisoners of war.

Then the 9th turned east, serving as the spearhead of the First Army’s thrust toward the Russian lines. In full cry now, the Division, no longer a “Little Brother,” encircled Leipzig, paving the way for the fall of that key city.

The 9th Armored’s final assignment was in the Sudetenland.

The 9th Armored Division was a little late getting into action, but once turned loose it never put on the brakes. It was in high all the time.

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

Chronology & Statistics

Activated 15 July 1942
Arrived ETO 27 August 1944
Arrived Continent (D+111) 25 September 1944
Entered Combat--First Elements 23 October 1944
Entered Combat--Entire Division 16 December 1944
Days in Combat 91

Campaigns

Ardennes
Rhineland
Central Europe

Division Composition

Organic Units

Headquarters Company
Combat Command A
Combat Command B
Reserve Command
2d Tank Battalion
14th Tank Battalion
19th Tank Battalion
27thArmored Infantry Battalion
52d Armored Infantry Battalion
60th Armored Infantry Battalion
89th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized)
9th Armored Engineer Battalion
149th Armored Signal Company

9th Armored Division Artillery

3d Armored Field Artillery Battalion
16th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
73d Armored Field Artillery Battalion

9th Armored Division Trains

131st Ordnance Maintenance Battalion
2d Armored Medical Battalion
Military Police Platoon
Band

Commanding Officers

Division Commander

27 Aug 44 Maj. Gen. John W. Leonard

Artillery Commander

27 Aug 44 Col. Joseph W. West

Chief of Staff

27 Aug 44 Col. Albert G. Kelly
17 Oct 44 Col. Joseph L. Gilbreth
26 Nov 44 Col. Harry W. Johnson
23 Mar 45 Col. Walter Burnside

Assistant Chief of Staff G-1

27 Aug 44 Lt. Col. Carl N. Smith

Assistant Chief of Staff G-2

27 Aug 44 Lt. Col. Ewing L. Lusk, Jr.

Assistant Chief of Staff G-3

27 Aug 44 Lt. Col. John S. Growden

Assistant Chief of Staff G-4

27 Aug 44 Lt. Col. Rollie W. Adams

Assistant Chief of Staff G-5

30 Aug 44 Maj. Howard P. Morley

Adjutant General

27 Aug 44 Lt. Col. Sidney Sogard

Commanding Officer, Combat Command A

27 Aug 44 Col. Thomas L. Harrold
3 May 45 Brig. Gen. Thomas L. Harrold

Commanding Officer, Combat Command B

27 Aug 44 Brig. Gen. Edwin W. Pilburn
2 Nov 44 Brig. Gen. William Hoge
23 Mar 45 Col. Harry W. Johnson

Commanding Officer, Reserve Command

27 Aug 44 Lt. Col. Adna C. Hamilton
12 Sep 44 Col. Adna C. Hamilton
26 Nov 44 Col. Joseph H. Gilbreth
21 Jan 45 Col. Walter Burnside
23 Mar 45 Lt. Col. Charlie Wesner
28 Apr 45 Lt. Col. Farris N. Latimer

Attached Units

Antiaircraft Artillery

482d AAA AW Bn (SP) 2 Nov 44-8 Jan 45
482d AAA AW Bn (SP) 22 Feb 45-9 May 45

Armored

Hq & Hq Co, 12th Armd Gp 4 Dec 44-8 Jan 45
CC R (10th Armd Div) 22 Dec 45-26 Dec 44

Cavalry

18th Cav Rcn Sq 21 Mar 45-22 Mar 45

Field Artillery

400th FA Bn 28 Feb 45-13 Mar 45
667th FA Bn (155mm How) 28 Feb 45-13 Mar 45
60th FA Bn (9th Div) (105mm How) 3 Mar 45-6 Mar 45
84th FA Bn (9th Div) (105mm How) 7 Mar 45-9 Mar 45
186th FA Bn (155mm How) 26 Mar 45-20 Apr 45
Btry A, 987th FA Bn (155mm Gun) 1 Apr 45-19 Apr 45
987th FA Bn (- Btry A) (155mm Gun) 1 Apr 45-23 Apr 45
38th FA Bn (2d Div) (105mm How) 2 Apr 45-5 Apr 45
406th FA Gp 3 Apr 45-5 Apr 45
200th FA Bn (155mm Gun) 3 Apr 45-5 Apr 45
953d FA Bn (155mm How) 3 Apr 45-5 Apr 45

Infantry

109th Inf (28th Div) 20 Dec 44-22 Dec 44
1st Bn, 310th Inf (78th Div) 1 Mar 45-9 Mar 45
3d Bn, 310th Inf (78th Div) 1 Mar 45-9 Mar 45
60th CT (9th Div) 3 Mar 45-5 Mar 45
2d Bn, 310th Inf (78th Div) 5 Mar 45-9 Mar 45
47th CT (9th Div) 7 Mar 45-9 Mar 45
311th CT (78th Div) 8 Mar 45-9 Mar 45
1st Bn, 60th Inf (9th Div) 8 Mar 45-9 Mar 45
309th CT (78th Div) 8 Mar 45-9 Mar 45
38th CT (2d Div) 25 Mar 45-5 Apr 45
Co C, 2d Engr C Bn (2d Div) 25 Mar 45-5 Apr 45
1st Bn, 23d Div (2d Div) 2 Apr 45-5 Apr 45
2d Bn, 273d Inf (69th Div) 9 Apr 45-18 Apr 45
3d Bn, 273d Inf (69th Div) 9 Apr 45-20 Apr 45
3d Bn, 38th Inf (2d Div) 9 Apr 45-21 Apr 45

Tank Destroyer

811th TD Bn (SP) 14 Nov 44-8 Jan 45
656th TD Bn (SP) 22 Feb 45-still attached 9 May 45

9th Armored Division World War II Missing in Action

There are 18 soldiers of the 9th Armored Division World War II still listed as missing in action.

Technician Fifth Grade Bernard Chernin 27th Infantry Battalion 04/21/1945
Staff Sergeant Paul F. Finnegan 52nd Infantry Battalion 12/24/1944
Technician Fifth Grade Clemence J. Fischer 27th Infantry Battalion 12/23/1944
Corporal Alexander M. Giles 2nd Tank Battalion 12/24/1944
Private Myron E. Goff 19th Tank Battalion 04/02/1945
Private William H. Gordon 52nd Infantry Battalion 03/26/1945
Private First Class Alvin G. Harrell 60th Infantry Battalion 04/01/1946
Captain Lewie F. Hayse 52nd Infantry Battalion 12/18/1944
Second Lieutenant Henry W. Kurtz 3rd Field Artillery Battalion 04/10/1945
Sergeant Norris M. Mastin 2nd Tank Battalion 12/19/1945
Private First Class John P. Merkosky 14th Tank Battalion 03/02/1945
Private First Class Dominick Posillipo 27th Infantry Battalion 12/17/1944
Sergeant Wayne H. Rayburn 14th Tank Battalion 03/02/1946
Technical Sergeant Paul W. Sayles 73rd Field Artillery Battalion 03/01/1946
Technician Fourth Grade John H. Schmitz 2nd Tank Battalion 12/24/1944
Private First Class John W. Taviner 27th Infantry Battalion 01/04/1945
Corporal Franklin O. Wallow 52nd Infantry Battalion 12/24/1944
Private First Class David F. Wright 14th Tank Battalion 03/01/1945

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