World War II
Activated: 15 April 1941.
Campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe.
Days of Combat: 231.
Distinguished Unit Citations: 7.
Awards: DSC-25 ; DSM-3 ; SS-839 ; LM-21; DFC-5 ; SM-28 ; BSM-3,881 ; AM-134.
Maj. Gen. Alvan C. Gillem (April 1941-January 1942)
Maj. Gen. Walton H. Walker (January-August 1942)
Maj. Gen. Leroy H. Watson (August 1942-August 1944)
Maj. Gen. Maurice Rose (August 1944 March 1945)
Brig. Gen. Doyle O. Hickey (March-June 1945)
Brig. Gen. Truman E. Boudinot (June-July 1945)
Brig. Gen. Frank A. Allen, Jr. (July 1945)
Maj. Gen. Robert W. Grow (July 1945 until inactivation)
Maj. Gen. Ray T. Maddocks (15 July 1947-1 April 1948)
Maj. Gen. Roderick R. Allen (15 April 1948 to present).
Inactivated: 10 November 1945 in Europe
Reactivated: 15 July 1947.
The 3d Armored Division landed in Normandy and entered combat 29 June 1944, taking part in the hedgerow fighting. The Division broke out at Marigny and with the 1st Infantry Division swung south to Mayenne in a general exploitation of the St. Lo break-through. In August 1944, the Division participated in the heavy fighting involved in closing the Falaise Gap, pocketing the German Seventh Army. Six days later (25 August) the Division had cut across the Seine River, and was streaking through Meaux, Soissons, Laon, Mons, Namur, and Liege. Liege fell 8 September and Eupen on 11 September. The Division breached the Siegfried Line with the capture of Rotgen, 12 September, and continued a slow advance against heavy resistance, to the vicinity of Langerwehe. When the Battle of the Bulge broke, the Division was shifted to Houffalize, Belgium, where it severed a vital highway leading to St. Vith, and in January participated in the reduction of the German salient west of Houffalize. After a brief rest, the Division returned to the front, crossed the Roer River- into Duren, broke out of the Duren bridgehead, and drove on to capture Koln, 6 March 45. The Division swept on to Paderborn ; it was at a road junction near Paderborn that Major General Rose was killed while attempting to surrender to a German tank commander, 31 March 1945. The Division took Paderborn, assisted in mopping up the Ruhr pocket, crossed the Saale River, and after overcoming stiff resistance took Dessau, 21-23 April 1945.
Assignments in the ETO *
20 November 1943: VII Corps, First Army.
8 February 1944: XIX Corps.
15 July 1944: VII Corps.
1 August 1944: VII Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.
19 December 1944: XVIII (Abn) Corps.
20 December 1944: Attached, with the entire First Army, to the British 21st Army Group.
23 December 1944: VII Corps.
18 January 1945: VII Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.
1 May 1945: XIX Corps, Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.
Nickname: Spearhead Division. Shoulder patch: Same as 1st Armored, with number "3" in upper portion of triangle. Association: 3d Armored Division Association, Col. L. L. Doan, acting secretary, P. O. Boa 66, Fort Monroe, Va. Publication: ,Spearhead in the West; published by the 3d Armored Division; Frankfurt am Main, Germany; 11 October 1945 ; 260 pp.
* See footnote, 1st Infantry Division.
[Nota Bene: These combat chronicles, current as of October 1948, are reproduced from The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950, pp. 510-592.]