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2nd Infantry Division

After training in Ireland and Wales from October 1943 to June 1944, the 2nd Infantry Division crossed the English Channel to land on Omaha Beach on D plus 1 (June 7, 1944) near St. Laurent-sur-Mer. Attacking across the Aure River, the division liberated Trevieres on June 10, and proceeded to assault and secure Hill 192, the key enemy strongpoint on the road to St. Lo. With the hill taken on July 11, the division went on the defensive until July 26. Exploiting the St. Lo break-through, the 2nd Division advanced across the Vire to take Tinchebray on August 15. The division then moved west to join the battle for Brest, the heavily defended fortress, which was surrendered to the Americans on September 18 after a 39-day contest. The division took a brief rest from September 19 to 26 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. 

Troops of the 2nd Infantry Division file up the bluff from Easy Red sector, Omaha Beach, on D-Day plus 1, June 7, 1944.
Men of U.S. Army 2nd Infantry Division advancing into Brest, France under German machine gun fire on September 9, 1944.

In February 1945 the division attacked, recapturing lost ground, and seized Gemund on March 4. Reaching the Rhine on March 9, the 2nd advanced south to take Breisig on March 10 and 11, and to guard the Remagen Bridge from March 12 to 20. The division crossed the Rhine March 21 and advanced to Hadamar and Limburg, relieving elements of the 9th Armored Division on March 28. Advancing rapidly in the wake of the 9th Armored, the 2nd Division crossed the Weser at Veckerhagen on April 6 and 7, captured Gottingen on April 8, and established a bridgehead across the Saale on April 14, seizing Merseburg on the 15th. On April 18 the division took Leipzig, mopped up in the area, and outposted the Mulde River. Elements that had crossed the river were withdrawn April 24. Relieved on the Mulde, the 2nd moved 200 miles from May 1 through 3, 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.

Men of Cannon Company, 9th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army 2nd Infantry Division shell Brest, France with their howitzer, 1944.
2nd Infantry Division patrol passing ruins in Harperscheid, Germany. G Company, 9th Regiment. February 1945.

Overseas: October 10, 1943

Campaigns: Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland.

Days of Combat: 303.

Distinguished Unit Citations: 16.

Awards: Medal of Honor-6 ; Distinguished Service Cross-34 ; Distinguished Service Medal-1 ; Silver Star-41; Legion of Merit-25; Soldier's Medal-14 ; Bronze Star Medal-5,530 ; Achievement Medal-89.

Returned to United States: July 20, 1945