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83rd Infantry Division

The 83rd Infantry Division arrived in England on April 16, 1944. After training in Wales, the division landed at Omaha Beach on June 18, and entered the hedgerow struggle south of Carentan on June 27. Taking the offensive, the 83rd reached the St. Lo-Periers Road on July 25, and advanced eight miles against strong opposition as the Normandy campaign ended. After a period of training, elements of the division took Chateauneuf on August 5, and Dinard on August 7, and approached the heavily fortified area protecting St. Malo. Intense fighting reduced enemy strong points and a combined attack against the Citadel Fortress of St. Servan caused its surrender on August 17. 

331st Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division partake in a staged photo for the Signal Corp near Periers, France on July 21, 1944.
Men of the 83rd Infantry Division move cautiously through St. Malo during a staged photo for the Signal Corps on August 8, 1944.

While elements moved south to protect the north bank of the Loire River, the main body of the division concentrated south of Rennes for patrolling and reconnaissance activities. Elements reduced the garrison at Ile de Cezembre, which surrendered on September 2 and the movement into Luxembourg was completed on September 25. Taking Remich on September 28 and patrolling defensively along the Moselle, the 83rd resisted counterattacks and advanced to Siegfried Line defenses across the Sauer after capturing Grevenmacher and Echternach on October 7. As the initial movement in operation "Unicorn," the division took Le Stromberg Hill in the vicinity of Basse Konz against strong opposition on November 5, and beat off counterattacks. Moving to the Hurtgen Forest, the 83rd thrust forward from Gressenich to the west bank of the Roer. It entered the Battle of the Bulge on December 27, striking at Rochefort and reducing the enemy salient in a bitter struggle. 

Men of the 83rd Infantry Division mount tanks as they prepare for a continuation of their drive to the Rhine. 1945.

The division moved back to Belgium and Holland for rehabilitation and training on January 22, 1945. On March 1 the 83rd advanced toward the Rhine in operation "Grenade," and captured Neuss. The west bank of the Rhine from north of Oberkassell to the Erft Canal was cleared and defensive positions established by March 2 and the division renewed its training. The 83rd crossed the Rhine south of Wesel on March 29, and advanced across the Munster Plain to the Weser, crossing it at Bodenwerder. As opposition disintegrated, Halle fell on April 6. The division crossed the Leine on April 8, and attacked to the east, pushing over the Harz Mountain region and advancing to the Elbe at Barby. That city was taken on April 13. The 83rd established a bridgehead over the river but evacuated the area to the Russians on May 6.

Men of the A Company, 331st Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division advance in Langlir, Belgium on January 12, 1945.
Men of the 83rd Infantry Division move through the main street of the small town of Bihain, Belgium.

Activated: August 15, 1942

Overseas: April 6, 1944

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

Days of combat: 244

Distinguished Unit Citations: 7

Awards: Medal of Honor-1; Distinguished Service Cross-7; Distinguished Service Medal-1; Silver Star-710; Legion of Merit-11; Soldier's Medal-25; Bronze Star Medal-6, 294; Achievement Medal-110

Returned to United States: March 26, 1946

Inactivated: April 5, 1946

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