After training in Ireland the 8th Infantry Division landed on Utah Beach on July 4, 1944, and entered combat on July 7. Fighting through the hedgerows, it crossed the Ay River on July 26, pushed through Rennes on August 8, and attacked Brest in September. The Crozon Peninsula was cleared on September 19, and the division drove across France to Luxembourg, moved to the Hurtgen Forest on November 20, cleared Hurtgen on the 28th and Brandenburg on December 3, and pushed on to the Roer.
That river was crossed on February 23, 1945, Duren taken on February 25 and the Erft Canal crossed on February 28. The 8th reached the Rhine near Rodenkirchen on March 7, and maintained positions along the river near Koln. On April 6 the division attacked northwest to aid in the destruction of enemy forces in the Ruhr Pocket, and by April 17 had completed its mission. After security duty, the division, under operational control of the British Second Army, drove across the Elbe on May 1, and penetrated to Schwerin when the war in Europe ended.
Activated: July 1, 1940
Overseas: December 5, 1943
Campaigns: Normandy, North France, Rhineland, Central Europe.
Days of combat: 266
Distinguished Unit Citations: 5. Awards: Medal of Honor-2; Distinguished Service Cross-33; Distinguished Service Medal-2; Silver Star-768; Legion of Merit-12; Distinguished Flying Cross-2; Soldier's Medal-24; Bronze Star Medal-2,874; Achievement Medal-107.
Returned to United States: July 10, 1945
Inactivated: November 20, 1945