1ST ARMORED DIVISION
World War II
Activated: 15 July 1940. Overseas: May 1942. Major Operations: Tunisia, Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, North Apennines, Po Valley. Distinguished Unit Citations: 3. Awards: DSC-1 ; DSM-1 ; SS-794; LM-2; SM-35- BSM-1,602 ; AM-3. Commanders: Maj. Gen. Bruce Magruder (July 1940-March 1942), Maj. Gen. Orlando Ward (March 1942-April 1943), Maj. Gen. E. N. Harmon (April 1943-July 1944), Maj. Gen. V. E. Prichard (July 1944-September 1945), Maj. Gen. Roderick R. Allen (September 1945-January 1946), Maj. Gen. Hobart R. Gay (February 1946 to inactivation). Returned to U. S.: 24 April 1946. Inactivated: 26 April 1946.
Elements of the 1st Armored Division first went into action in the North African invasion, landing at Oran 8 November 1942 and taking the city. The Division fought numerous actions in North Africa, at Maknassy, El Guettar, Gafsa, and Kasserine Pass, and engaged in the final campaign to reduce enemy resistance in Tunisia, occupying Mateur 3 May 1943. The Division was then reorganized in French Morocco. Elements took part in the initial landings at Salerno and Paestum, Italy, 9 September 1943, while other elements took part in the fighting near the Rapido River in mid-December 1943. Units under a Task Force Allen attacked and seized Mount Porchia, 4-9 January 1944, suffering heavy casualties. The Division was then switched to the Anzio beachhead, first elements landing 24 January 1944, where they repulsed heavy counterattacks and maintained defensive positions for 4 months, building up for the final break-through 23 May 1944. The Division drove through and north of Rome, .moving 200 miles in 5 days. It continued to fight its way northward through successive defensive and offensive actions, crossed the Arno 1 September 1944 and engaged in the slow, bitter advance through the Apennines. The Division broke through into the Po Valley in April 1945, took Milan 30 April, and was driving north to Cigliano when German forces in Italy capitulated 2 May 1945. The Division thereupon engaged in occupational duties and became part of the Army of Occupation until 16 April 1946, when it sailed for home.
Shoulder patch: Triangular design divided into three areas: Red, blue, and yellow. Superimposed, in black, are the track of a tank and a cannon; a bolt of red lightning is superimposed on these. The Division's number appears in the upper portion.
[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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