63D INFANTRY DIVISION
World War II
Activated: 15 June 1943. Overseas: 25 November 1944. Campaigns: Rhineland, Central Europe. Days of combat: 119. Distinguished Unit Citations: 3. Awards: MH-1 ; DSC-5 ; DSM-1 ; SS-435; LM-6; SM-13 ; BSM4,068 ; AM-61. Commanders: Maj. Gen. Louis E. Hibbs (June 1943-July 1945), Brig. Gen. Frederick M. Harris (August 1945 to inactivation). Returned to U. S.: September 1945. Inactivated: 27 September 1945.
Three regiments of the 63d Infantry Division arrived in Marseille, France, 8 December 1944, trained at Haguenau and, under the designation Task Force Harris, protected the east flank of the Seventh Army along the Rhine River. The Task Force fought defensively from 22 to 31 December 1944. The rest of the Division arrived at Marseilles, 14 January, 1945, and moved to Willerwald, 2 February, where it was joined by the advance elements on 6 February. On the 7th, the 63d conducted local raids and patrols, then pushed forward, crossing the Saar River, 17 February, and mopping up the enemy in Muhlen Woods. After bitter fighting at Gudingen early in March, the Division smashed at the Siegfried Line, 15 March, taking Ormesheim and finally breaching the line at St. Ingbert and Hassel, 20 March. Before resting on the 23d, the 63d took Spiesen, Neunkirchen and Erbach. On 28 March, the Division crossed the Rhine at Neuschloss, moved to Viernheim and captured Heidelberg on the 30th. Continuing the advance, the 63d crossed the Neckar River near Mosbach and the Jagst River. Heavy resistance slowed the attack on Adelsheim, Mockmuhl, and Bad Wimpfen. The Division switched to the southeast, capturing Lampoldshausen and clearing the Hardthauser Woods, 7 April. A bridgehead was secured over the Kocher River near Weissbach, 8 April, and Schwabisch Hall fell, 17 April. Advance elements crossed the Rems River and rused to the Danube. That river was crossed on the 25th and Leipheim fell before the Division was withdrawn from the line, 28 April, and assigned security duty from the Rhine to Darmstadt and Wursburg on a line to Stuttgart and Speyer. The 63d began leaving for home 21 August.
Assignments in the ETO*
10 December 1944: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group. 1 February 1945: XV Corps. 22 February 1945: XXI Corps. 21 March 1945: XV Corps. 26 March 1945: XXI Corps. 1 April 1945: VI Corps. 19 April 1945: XXI Corps. 30 April 1945: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.
Nickname: Blood and Fire. Shoulder Patch: An upright sword of gold with a red tip on a background of crimson flame, all on a field of olive drab; the patch is pear shaped. Publication: Victory in Europe; by unit members.
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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