[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 Portions of the information may be out of date.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 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; BSM-4,068; 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 63rd 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 63rd 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 23rd, the 63rd 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 63rd 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 rushed 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the 25th and Leipheim fell before the Division was withdrawn from the line,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 63rd 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.
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