63d INFANTRY DIVISION

 

"Blood and Fire Division"

 

The division insignia is a blood-tipped golden sword on a sheet of crimson flame. The Commanding General, Major General L. B. Hibbs, inspired by the promise to the enemy of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill at Casablanca in 1943 "To bleed and burn in expiation of their crimes against humanity", developed this emblem. A card showing the emblem explaining its significance, and containing the signatures of 10 civil and military leaders of Great Britain and the United States who were participants at the Casablanca Conference, has been placed in War Department archives.

 

[page 188]

 

COMMAND AND STAFF

 

Commanding General

8 Dec 44 Maj. Gen. Louis E. Hibbs

Assistant Division Commander

8 Dec 44 Brig. Gen. Frederick L. Harris

Artillery Commander

8 Dec 44 Brig. Gen. Edward J. McGaw

Chief of Staff

8 Dec 44 Col. Earl G. Wheeler

Assistant Chief of Staff G-1

8 Dec 44 Lt. Col. John E. Brooks, Jr.

Assistant Chief of Staff G-2

8 Dec 44 Lt. Col. John M. Hardaway

Assistant Chief of Staff G-3

8 Dec 44 Lt. Col. Morris O. Edwards
6 Mar 45 Lt. Col. Robert S. Redfield

Assistant Chief of Staff G-4

8 Dec 44 Lt. Col. Frank T. Ritter, Jr.

Assistant Chief of Staff G-5

1 Jan 45 Lt. Col. Halkey K. Ross

Adjutant General

8 Dec 44 Lt. Col. Ralph Lavergna

Commanding Officer, 253d Infantry

8 Dec 44 Col. Edward P. Lukert
10 Mar 45 Col. Morris O. Edwards

Commanding Officer, 254th Infantry

8 Dec 44 Col. Joseph H. Warren

Commanding Officer, 355th Infantry

8 Dec 44 Col. Edward A. Chazal
21 Mar 45 Col. James F. Hatcher

 

[page 189]

 

STATISTICS

 

Chronology

Activated 15 June 1943
Arrived ETO 14 January 1945
Arrived Continent (D+151) 14 January 1945
Entered Combat--First Elements 22 December 1944
Entered Combat--Entire Division 6 February 1945
Days in Combat 119

 

NOTE: Three Inf Regts and improvised Div Hq under command of Asst Div Comdr arrived 8 Dec 44. D Day Southern France 15 Aug 44

 

Casualties (Tentative)

Killed 735
Wounded 3,417
Missing 332
Captured 63
Battle Casualties 4,547
Non-Battle Casualties 3,472
Total Casualties 8,019
Percent of T/O Strength 56.9

 

Campaigns

Rhineland

Central Europe

 

Individual Awards

Distinguished Service Cross 1
Legion of Merit 3
Silver Star 293
Soldiers Medal 9
Bronze Star 2,692
Air Medal 25

 

Prisoners of War Taken 21,542

 

COMPOSITION

253d Infantry

254th Infantry

255th Infantry

63d Reconnaissance Troop (Mechanized)

263d Engineer Combat Battalion

363d Medical Battalion

63d Division Artillery

861st Field Artillery Battalion (105mm Howitzer)

862d Field Artillery Battalion (105mm Howitzer)

863d Field Artillery Battalion (105mm Howitzer)

718th Field Artillery Battalion (155mm Howitzer)

Special Troops

861st Ordnance Light Maintenance Company

63d Quartermaster Company

563d Signal Company

Military Police Platoon

Headquarters Company

Band

 

[page 190]

 

ATTACHMENTS

 

Antiaircraft Artillery

436th AAA AW Bn (Mbl) 11 Feb 45-1 May 45
1st Plat, Btry C, 353d AAA SL Bn 16 Feb 45-30 Apr 45

Armored

Co A, 749th Tk Bn 2 Mar 45-4 Mar 45
Co C, 43d Tk Bn (12th Armd Div) 9 Mar 45-12 Mar 45
70th Tk Bn 12 Mar 45-18 Mar 45
740th Tk Bn 17 Mar 45-28 Mar 45
CC A (6th Armd Div) 19 Mar 45-20 Mar 45
…15th Tk Bn (6th Armd Div) 19 Mar 45-20 Mar 45
…9th Armd Inf Bn (6th Armd Div) 19 Mar 45-20 Mar 45
…212th Armd FA Bn (6th Armd Div) 19 Mar 45-20 Mar 45
…Tr A, 86th Cav Rcn Sq (6th Armd Div) 19 Mar 45-20 Mar 45
…Co B, 25th Armd Engr Bn (6th Armd Div) 19 Mar 45-20 Mar 45
753d Tk Bn 31 Mar 45-28 May 45

Cavalry

92d Cav Rcn Sq (12th Armd Div) 15 Mar 45-16 Mar 45
116th Cav Rcn Sq 15 Mar 45-20 Mar 45
101st Cav Rcn Sq 17 Mar 45-20 Mar 45
117th Cav Rcn Sq (-) 2 Apr 45-19 Apr 45

Chemical

Co A, 99th Cml Mort Bn 22 Feb 45-7 Mar 45
Co A, 99th Cml Mort Bn 8 Mar 45-22 Mar 45
99th Cml Mort Bn (- Co C) 17 Mar 45-21 Mar 45
Co A, 83d Cml Mort Bn 31 Mar 45-19 Apr 45
99th Cml Mort Bn (- Co B) 19 Apr 45-28 May 45

Engineer

1271st Engr C Bn 13 Apr 45-14 Apr 45

Field Artillery

18th FA Bn (105mm How) 13 Mar 45-21 Mar 45
522d FA Bn (105mm How) 13 Mar 45-22 Mar 45
93d Armd FA Bn 21 Mar 45-24 Mar 45
59th Armd FA Bn 31 Mar 45-4 Apr 45
36th FA Gp 19 Apr 45-28 May 45
162d FA Bn (105mm How) 8 May 45-10 Jun 45

Infantry

65th Inf (- Cos A&C) (Non-Div) 30 Apr 45-12 May 45

Tank Destroyer

822d TD Bn (SP) 6 Feb 45-17 Mar 45
776th TD Bn (SP) 16 Mar 45-21 Mar 45
822d TD Bn (SP) 21 Mar 44-28 May 45
692d TD Bn (SP) 30 Mar 45-31 Mar 45

 

[pages 191-192]

 

DETACHMENTS

(Attached to)

 

Field Artillery

63d Div Arty 45th Div 24 Mar 45-27 Mar 45

Infantry

254th Inf 3d Div 28 Dec 44-9 Feb 45
255th Inf 100th Div 31 Dec 44-19 Jan 45
253d Inf 44th Div 31 Dec 44-6 Feb 45
255th Inf 44th Div 19 Jan 45-6 Feb 45
254th Inf 100th Div 9 Feb 45-17 Feb 45
2d Bn, 254th Inf Task Force, 6th Army Group 31 Mar 45-5 Apr 45
2d Bn, 253d Inf 35th AAA Brig 16 Apr 45-20 Apr 45

 

[page 192]

 

ASSIGNMENT AND ATTACHMENT TO HIGHER UNITS

 

DATE CORPS ARMY ARMY GROUP
Assigned Attached Assigned Attached
4 Dec 44       ETOUSA; 6th  
10 Dec 44   Seventh   6th  
1 Feb 45 XV Seventh   6th  
22 Feb 45 XXI Seventh   6th  
21 Mar 45 XV Seventh   6th  
26 Mar 45 XXI Seventh   6th  
1 Apr 45 VI Seventh   6th  
19 Apr 45 XXI Seventh   6th  
30 Apr 45 (-) Seventh   6th  

 

(-) Indicates relieved from assignment.

 

[page 193]

 

COMMAND POSTS

 

DATE TOWN REGION COUNTRY
20 Jan 45 Sarralbe Moselle France
4 Feb 45 Willerwald Moselle France
16 Feb 45 Neufgrange Moselle France
2 Mar 45 Sarreguemines Moselle France
17 Mar 45 Bliesransbach Saar Germany
21 Mar 45 Altstadt Saar Germany
22 Mar 45 Spiesen Saar Germany
25 Mar 45 Winnweiler Pfalz Germany
28 Mar 45 Neuschloss Hessen Germany
29 Mar 45 Viernheim Hessen Germany
1 Apr 45 Heidelberg Baden Germany
2 Apr 45 Aglasterhausen Baden Germany
3 Apr 45 Mosbach Baden Germany
6 Apr 45 Adelsheim Baden Germany
13 Apr 45 Kunzelsau Wurtemberg Germany
21 Apr 45 Hessental Wurtemberg Germany
22 Apr 45 Ober Sontheim Wurtemberg Germany
24 Apr 45 Leinzell Wurtemberg Germany
25 Apr 45 Gerstetten Wurtemberg Germany
25 Apr 45 Asselfingen Wurtemberg Germany
27 Apr 45 Gunzburg Bavaria Germany
28 Apr 45 Jettingen Bavaria Germany
29 Apr 45 Gunzburg Bavaria Germany
30 Apr 45 Bad Mergentheim Wurtemberg Germany

 

NOTE: Three Infantry Regiments and an improvised Division Headquarters arrived in European Theater of Operations 10 December 1944.

 

Willerwald was first operating CP of entire division.

 

[pages 194-195 (starting second 25 Apr 45)]