World War II
Activated: 15 July 1942.
Overseas: 26 August 1944.
Campaigns: Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe.
Days of Combat: 91.
Distinguished Unit Citations: 11.
Awards: MH-1 ; DSC-1 ; DSM-2 ; SS-191 ; LM-13; SM-11 ; BSM-1,263 ; AM-28.
Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Keyes (June September 1942)
Maj. Gen. John W. Leonard (October 1942 to inactivation).
Returned to U.S.: 10 October 1945.
Inactivated: 13 October 1945.
The 9th Armored Division landed in Normandy late in September 1944, and first went into line, 23 October, on patrol duty in a quiet sector along the Luxembourg-German frontier. When the Germans launched their winter offensive, the 9th, with no real combat experience, suddenly found itself engaged in heavy fighting. The Division saw its severest action at St. Vith, Echternach, and Bastogne, its units fighting in widely separated areas.
Its stand at Bastogne held off the Germans long enough to enable the 101st Airborne to dig in for a defense of the city. After a rest period in January 1945, the Division made preparations for a drive across the Roer River. The offensive was launched, 28 February, and the 9th smashed across the Roer to Rheinbach, sending patrols into Remagen. The Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen was found intact, and was seized by elements of the 9th Armored minutes before demolition charges were set to explode on 7 March 1945. The Division exploited the bridgehead, moving south and east across the Lahn River toward Limburg, where thousands of Allied prisoners were liberated. The Division drove on to Frankfurt and then turned to assist in the closing of the Ruhr Pocket. In April it continued east, encircled Leipzig and secured a line along the Mulde River. The Division was shifting south to Czechoslovakia when the war in Europe ended.
Assignments in the ETO *
29 July 1944: Ninth Army.
28 August 1944: III Corps, Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.
5 September 1944: XIII Corps.
28 September 1944: III Corps.
15 October 1944: VIII Corps.
22 October 1944: VIII Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.
20 December 1944: III Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group.
21 December 1944: VIII Corps.
30 December 1944: VIII Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to Oise Section, Communication Zone, for supply.
31 December 1944: SHAEF.
8 January 1945: Fifteenth Army, 12th Army Group.
22 February 1945: III Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.
21 March 1945: V Corps.
28 April 1945: VII Corps.
30 April 1945: VIII Corps.
4 May 1945: V Corps.
6 May 1945: Third Army, 12th Army Group.
Nickname: Sometimes called Phantom Division. Shoulder patch: Same as the 1st Armored with a number "9" in the upper portion of the triangle. Association: 9th Armored Division Association, The Armored School, Fort Knox, Ky. (Capt. Louis Gelling, acting secretary). Publications: .Bridge; by unit members; Carl Giesel, Bayreuth, Germany; 1945. History of the 9th Armored Division; by unit members; Albert Love Enterprises, Atlanta 2, Ga.; 1947. The 9th, The Story of the 9th Armored Division; U. S. Army Forces in the European Theater; Paris, P. Dupont, 1945 ; 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.]