World War I
Activated: January 1918.
Overseas: November 1918.
Col. Elmore F. Taggart (5 January 1918)
Col. G. L. Van Deusen (15 February 1918)
Brig. Gen. J. D. Leitch (25 February 1918)
Maj. Gen. J. F. Morrison (10 March 1918)
Brig. Gen. J. D. Leitch (18 March 1918)
Maj. Gen. W. S. Graves (18 July 1918)
Brig. Gen. J. D. Leitch (4 August 1918)
Maj. Gen. W. S. Graves (11 August 1918)
Brig. Gen. J. D. Leitch (12 August 1918)
Maj. Gen. Eli A. Helmick (2 September 1918)
Brig. Gen. J. J. Bradley (20 November 1918)
Maj. Gen. Eli A. Helmick (26 November 1918).
The 8th Division did not have battle experience in World War I; it returned to the United States and was inactivated in January 1919.
World War II
Activated: 1 July 1940.
Overseas: 5 December 1943.
Campaigns: Normandy, North France, Rhineland, Central Europe.
Days of combat: 266.
Distinguished Unit Citations: 5. Awards: MH-2 ; DSC-33 ; DSM-2 ; SS-768; LM-12 ; DFC-2 ; SM24; BSM-2,874 ; AM-107.
Maj. Gen. Philip B. Peyton (June 1940-December 1940)
Maj. Gen. James P. Marley (December 1940-February 1941)
Maj. Gen. William E. Shedd (February 1941)
Maj. Gen. Henry Terrell, Jr. (March 1941)
Maj. Gen. James P. Marley (April 1941-July 1942)
Maj. Gen. Paul E. Peabody (August 1942-January 1943)
Maj. Gen. William C. McMahon (February 1943-July 1944)
Maj. Gen. Donald A. Stroh (July 1944-December 1944)
Maj. Gen. William G. Weaver (December 1944-February 1945)
Maj. Gen. Bryant E. Moore (February 1945-November 1945)
Maj. Gen. William M. Miley (November 1945 to inactivation).
Returned to U. S.: 10 July 1945. Inactivated: 20 November 1945.
After training in Ireland the 8th Infantry Division landed on Utah Beach, Normandy, 4 July 1944, and entered combat on the 7th. Fighting through the hedgerows, it crossed the Ay River, 26 July, pushed through Rennes, 8 August, and attacked Brest in September. The Crozon Peninsula was cleared, 19 September, and the Division drove across France to Luxembourg, moved to the Hurtgen Forest, 20 November, cleared Hurtgen on the 28th and Brandenburg, 3 December, and pushed on to the Roer. That river was crossed on 23 February 1945, Duren taken on the 25th and the Erft Canal crossed on the 28th. The 8th reached the Rhine near Rodenkirchen, 7 March, and maintained positions along the river near Koln. On 6 April the Division attacked northwest to aid in the destruction of enemy forces in the Ruhr Pocket, and by the 17th had completed its mission. After security duty, the Division, under operational control of the British Second Army, drove across the Elbe, 1 May, and penetrated to Schwerin when the war in Europe ended.
Assignments in the ETO *
30 November 1943: Attached to First Army.
24 December 1943: XV Corps.
1 July 1941:
VIII Corps, attached to First Army.
1 August 1944: VIII Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group.
5 September 1944: VIII Corps, Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.
22 October 1944: VIII Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.
19 November 1944: V Corps.
18 December 1944: VII Corps.
20 December 1944: Attached, with the entire First Army, to the British 21st Army Group.
22 December 1944: XIX Corps, Ninth Army (attached to British 21st Army Group), 12th Army Group.
3 February 1945: VII Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.
2 April 1945: XVIII (Abn) Corps.
26 April 1945: XVIII (Abn) Corps, Ninth Army, 12th Army Group, but attached for operations to the British Second Army in the British 21st Army Group.
Nicknames: Golden Arrow Division; formerly called the Pathfinder Division. Slogan: These are my credentials. Shoulder patch: An upward pointing gold arrow piercing a silver figure "8" on a blue shield. Publications: History of the 8th Infantry Division; by unit members; Army & Navy Publishing Co., Baton Rouge 1, La.; 1947. These Are My Credentials, The Story of the 8th Infantry Division ; Stars and Stripes, Paris, Imprimerie du Centre; 1944 ; 31 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.]