The 29th Division, United States Army
Source: The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950.
US Army, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
World War I
Activated: July 1917 (National Guard Division from Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and District of Columbia).
Overseas: July 1918.
Major operations: Meuse-Argonne.
Casualties: Total: 5,570 (KIA: 787; WIA: 4,783).
Commanders: Brig. Gen. Charles W. Barber (28 July 1917), Maj. Gen. Charles G. Morton (25 August 1917), Brig. Gen. William C. Rafferty (24 September 1917), Maj. Gen. Charles G. Morton (6 December 1917), Brig. Gen. William C. Rafferty (11 December 1917), Maj. Gen. Charles G. Morton (26 December 1917), Brig. Gen. William C. Rafferty (23 March 1918), Maj. Gen. Charles G. Morton (26 March 1918 to inactivation).
Returned to U. S.: May 1919. Inactivated: May 1919.
World War II
Activated: 3 February 1941.
Overseas: 5 October 1942. Campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Central Europe.
Days of combat: 242.
Distinguished Unit Citations: 4.
Awards: MH-2; DSC-44 ; DSM-1; SS-854; LM-17; SM-24; BSM-6,308; AM-176.
Commanders: Maj. Gen. Milton A. Reckord (February 1941-January 1942), Maj. Gen. Leonard T. Gerow (February 1942-July 1943), Maj. Gen. Charles H. Gerhardt (July 1943 to inactivation).
Returned to U. S.: 4 January 1946.
Inactivated: 17 January 1946.
The 29th Infantry Division trained in Scotland and England for the crosschannel invasion, October 1942-June 1944. Teamed with the 1st Division, a regiment of the 29th (116th Infantry) was in the first assault wave to hit the beaches at Normandy on D-day, 6 June 1944. Landing on Omaha Beach on the same day in the face of intense enemy fire, the Division soon secured the bluff tops and occupied Isigny, 9 June.
The Division cut across the Elle River and advanced slowly toward St. Lo, fighting bitterly in the Normandy hedge rows. After taking St. Lo, 18 July 1944, the Division joined in the battle for Vire, capturing that strongly held city, 7 August.
Turning west, the 29th took part in the assault on Brest, 25 August-18 September 1944.
After a short rest, the Division moved to defensive positions along the Teveren-Geilenkirchen line in Germany and maintained those positions through October. (In mid-October the 116th Infantry took part in the fighting at the Aachen Gap.)
On 16 November the Division began its drive to the Roer, blasting its way through Siersdorf, Setterich, Durboslar, and Bettendorf, and reaching the Roer by the end of the month. Heavy fighting reduced Julich Sportplatz and the Hasenfeld Gut, 8 December.
From 8 December 1944 to 23 February 1945, the Division held defensive positions along the Roer and prepared for the offensive. The attack jumped off across the Roer, 23 February, and carried the Division through Julich, Broich, Immerath, and Titz, to Munchen-Gladbach, 1 March 1945.
The Division was out of combat in March. In early April the 116th Infantry helped mop up in the Ruhr area. On 19 April 1945 the Division pushed to the Elbe and held defensive positions until 4 May. Meanwhile, the 175th Infantry cleared the Klotze Forest. After VE-day, the Division was on military government duty in the Bremen enclave.
Assignments in the ETO
22 October 1943: V Corps, First Army.
14 June 1944: XIX Corps.
1 August 1944: XIX Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.
12 August 1944: V Corps.
19 August 1944: First Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to the VIII Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group.
5 September 1944: VIII Corps, Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.
21 September 1944: XIX Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.
22 October 1944: XIX Corps, Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.
20 December 1944: XIX Corps, Ninth Army (attached to British 21st Army Group), 12th Army Group.
23 December 1944: XIII Corps.
4 February 1945 : XIX Corps.
29 March 1945: XVI Corps.
4 April 1945: XVI Corps, Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.
5 April 1945: Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.
12 April 1945: XVI Corps.
17 April 1945: XIII Corps.
4 May 1945: XVI Corps.
Blue and gray.
Slogan: 29 Let’s Go.
Shoulder patch: Circular, containing the nomad, Korean symbol of eternal life. Half of patch is blue; half is gray.
Association [in 1950]:
29th Infantry Division Association, Inc., 1101 Fidelity Building, Baltimore, Md., Mr. C. Arthur Eby.
Publications [as of 1950]:
29th Infantry Division and Fort George G. Meade by Capt. Francis E. Lutz. Hyattsville, Md: Post Publishing Co., 1944.
29th Let’s Go by unit members. TI&E, ETOUSA: Distributor, Mr. C. Arthur Eby, vice commander, 29th Infantry Division Association, Inc.
History of the 29th Infantry Division by Mr. William Witte and unit members. Washington, D.C.: The Infantry Journal, 1947.