14TH ARMORED DIVISION
World War II
Activated: 15 November 1942. Overseas: 14 October 1944. Campaigns: Rhineland, Central Europe. Days of combat: 167. Distinguished Unit Citations: 2. Awards: MH-1 ; DSC-9 ; DSM-1 ; SS-273; LM-8; SM-13 ; BSM-3,024 ; AM-47. Commanders: Maj. Gen. Vernon E. Prichard (November 1942-July 1944), Maj. Gen. Albert C. Smith (July 1944 to inactivation). Returned to U. S.: 7 September 1945. Inactivated: 16 September 1945.
The 14th Armored Division landed at Marseilles, France, 29 October 1944. Within 2 weeks some of its elements were in combat, maintaining defensive positions along the Franco-Italian frontier. The Division moved north to Rambervillers, 20. November, to take part in the VI Corps drive through the Vosges Mountains. Hard fighting at Gertwiller, Benfeld, and Barr cracked Nazi defenses, and the Division was on the Alsatian Plain early in December. Attacking across the Lauter River, 12 December, it took Haguenau, moved across the Moder River and entered the Haguenau woods. On Christmas Day the 14th was assigned defensive positions running south of Bitche near Neunhoffen. It thwarted the heavy German attack in the Bitche salient launched New Year's Eve. Although forced to withdraw, the Division remained intact. With the failure of his Bitche attack, the enemy attempted to break through to Strasbourg by attacks at Hatten and Rittershoffen, but again the drive was halted by the 14th Armored in a furious defensive engagement in January 1945. After rest, rehabilitation, and defensive missions during February and early March, the Division returned to the offensive, 15 March 1945, drove across the Moder River, cracked through the Siegfried Line, and by the end of the month, had captured Germersheim on the Rhine. On Easter Sunday, 1 April 1945, the 14th moved across the Rhine near Worms and continued pursuit of the retreating enemy through Lohr, Gemunden, Neustadt, and Hammelburg. In its final thrust, the Division raced to the Danube, crossed at Ingolstadt, and pushed on across the Isar River to Moosburg, where over 110,000 Allied prisoners were liberated. The Division fired its last rounds, 2 May 1945, and was processing prisoners of war as the war in Europe ended.
Assignments in the ETO*
1 November 1944: Attached to 6th Army Group. 10 November 1944: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group. 29 November 1944: XV Corps. 5 December 1944: VI Corps. 31 March 1945: XV Corps. 23 April 1945: III Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group.
Nickname: Liberator Division. Shoulder patch: Same as the 1st Armored, but with the number "14" in the upper portion of the triangle. Association: 14th Armored Division Association, Lt. Col. J. C. Lambert, The Infantry School, Fort Benning, Ga. Publications: History of the 14th Armored Division (first edition) ; by unit members; Albert Love Enterprises, Atlanta 2, Ga.; 1944. History of the 14th Armored Division; by Capt. Joseph Carter, Unit Historian; Albert Love Enterprises, Atlanta 2, Ga.; 1946.
[Nota Bene: These combat chronicles, current as of October 1948, are reproduced from The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950, pp. 510-592.]
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