Division History  |  2nd Infantry Division   LoneSentry.com

[Webmaster Note: The following division information is reproduced from the public domain publication, The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950. Portions of the information may be out of date. Only minor formatting changes and typographical corrections have been made.]

World War I

Activated: 26 October 1917.
Overseas: October 1917.
Major Operations: Aisne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, Aisne-Marne.
Casualties: Total - 11,746 (KIA - 1,964; WIA - 9,782).
Commanders: Brig. Gen. C. A. Doyen, USMC (26 October 1917), Maj. Gen. Omar Bundy (8 November 1917), Maj. Gen. James G. Harbord (15 July 1918), Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune, USMC (26 July 1918).
Returned to U.S.: July 1919.

In World War I, the 2nd Division included the 4th Marine Brigade, which consisted of the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments. The Navy furnished the hospital corpsmen for the Marine Brigade, and made a special uniform change which allows hospital corpsmen of this organization to wear a shoulder strap on the left shoulder of the "Dress Blues" so that the French Fourragere could be worn. This is the only Navy unit to wear the Fourragere.

World War II

Overseas: 10 October 1943.
Campaigns: Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland.
Days of combat: 303.
Distinguished Unit Citations: 16.
Awards: MH-6; DSC-34; DSM-1; SS-741; LM-25; SM-14; BSM-5,530; AM-89.
Commanders: Maj. Gen. John C. H. Lee (6 November 1941-8 May 1942), Maj. Gen. Walter M. Robertson (9 May 1942-June 1945), Brig. Gen. W. K. Harrison (June-September 1945), Maj. Gen. Edward M. Almond (September 1945-June 1946), Maj. Gen. Paul W. Kendall (June 1946 to 24 May 1948), Maj. Gen. Harry J. Collins (30 June 1948-).
Returned to U.S.: 20 July 1945.

Combat Chronicle

After training in Ireland and Wales from October 1943 to June 1944, the 2nd Infantry Division crossed the channel to land on Omaha Beach on D plus 1, 7 June 1944, near St. Laurent-sur-Mer. Attacking across the Aure River, the Division liberated Trevieres, 10 June, and proceeded to assault and secure Hill 192, the key enemy strongpoint on the road to St. Lo. With the hill taken 11 July 1944, the Division went on the defensive until 26 July. Exploiting the St. Lo breakthrough, the 2nd Division advanced across the Vire to take Tinchebray 15 August 1944. The Division then moved west to join the battle for Brest, the heavily defended fortress surrendering 18 September 1944 after a 39-day contest. The Division took a brief rest 19-26 September before moving to defensive positions at St. Vith. The German Ardennes offensive in mid-December forced the Division to withdraw to defensive positions near Elsenborn, where the German drive was halted. In February 1945 the Division attacked, recapturing lost ground, and seized Gemund, 4 March. Reaching the Rhine 9 March, the 2nd advanced south to take Breisig, 10-11 March, and to guard the Remagen bridge, 12-20 March. The Division crossed the Rhine 21 March and advanced to Hadamar and Limburg, relieving elements of the 9th Armored Division, 28 March. Advancing rapidly in the wake of the 9th Armored, the 2nd Division crossed the Weser at Veckerhagen, 6-7 April, captured. Gottingen 8 April, established a bridgehead across the Saale, 14 April, seizing Merseburg on the 15th. On the 18th the Division took Leipzig, mopped up in the area, and outposted the Mulde River; elements which had crossed the river were withdrawn 24 April. Relieved on the Mulde, the 2nd moved 200 miles, 1-3 May, to positions along the German-Czech border near Schonsee and Waldmunchen, and attacked in the general direction of Pilsen, reaching that city as the war in Europe ended.

Assignments in the ETO

22 October 1943: Attached to First Army. // 24 December 1943: XV Corps, but attached to First Army. // 14 April 1944: V Corps, First Army. // 1 August 1944: V Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group. // 17 August 1944: XIX Corps. // 18 August 1944: VIII Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group. // 5 September 1944: VIII Corps, Ninth Army, 12th Army Group. // 22 October 1944: VIII Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group. // 11 December 1944: V Corps. // 20 December 1944: Attached, with the entire First Army, to the British 21st Army Group. // 18 January 1945: V Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group. // 28 April 1945: VII Corps. // 1 May 1945: V Corps. // 6 May 1945: Third Army, 12th Army Group.


Nickname: Indian head.
Slogan: Second to none.
Shoulder patch: An Indian head on a white star superimposed on black shield.
Publications: Second Division - Summary of Operations in the World War (WW I); prepared by the Battle Monuments Commission; Government Printing Office. History of the Second Division (WW I); 1930. The Indian Head, monthly publication of the 2nd Division Association. From D+1 to 105; by unit members; TI&E, ETO-USA; Distributor, 2nd Division Association; 1945. D+106 to VE; by unit members; D. A. Clegg Co., San Antonio, Tex.; 1945. History of the 2nd Infantry Division, by Capt. Henry S. Hopkins; Army & Navy Publishing Co., Baton Rouge, La.; 1947.

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