World War I
Activated: July 1917 (National Guard Division from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont).
Overseas: October 1917.
Major Operations: Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne.
Days of combat: 210.
Casualties: Total-13,664 (KIA-1,587 ; WIA-12,077).
Maj. Gen. C. R. Edwards (22 August 1917)
Brig. Gen. P. E. Traub (12 October 1917)
Brig. Gen. C. H. Cole (22 October 1917)
Brig. Gen. P. E. Traub (31 October 1917)
Maj. Gen. C. R. Edwards (11 November 1917)
Brig. Gen. P. E. Traub (25 November 1917)
Maj. Gen. C. R. Edwards (1 December 1917)
Brig. Gen. Frank E. Bamford (25 October 1918)
Maj. Gen. Harry C. Hale (19 November 1918).
Inactivated: May 1919.
World War II
Activated: 16 January 1941.
Overseas: 26 August 1944.
Campaigns: Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe.
Days of combat: 210.
Distinguished Unit Citations: 1.
Awards: MH-1; DSC-43; DSM-1; SS-955; LM-11; SM-47; BSM-5,558; AM-81.
Maj. Gen. Roger W. Eckfeldt (January 1940-August 1943)
Maj. Gen. Willard S. Paul (August 1943-1 June 1945)
Brig. Gen. Harlan N. Hartness (June-July 1945)
Maj. Gen. Stanley E. Reinhart (July-November 1945)
Maj. Gen. Robert W. Grow (November-December 1945).
Returned to U.S.: December 1945.
Inactivated: 29 December 1945. (see National Guard.)
The 26th Infantry Division landed in France at Cherbourg and Utah Beach, 7 September 1944, but did not enter combat as a Division until a month later, 7 October. Elements were on patrol duty along the coast from Carteret to Siouville, 13-30 September, and the 328th Infantry saw action with the 80th Division to which it was attached, 5-15 October. On 7 October the 26th relieved the 4th Armored Division in the Salonnes-Moncourt-Canal du Rhine au Marne sector, and maintained defensive positions ; a limited objective attack was launched, 22 October, in the Moncourt woods. On 8 November the Division went on the offensive, took Dieuze, 20 November, advanced across the Saar River to Saar Union, and captured it, 2 December, after house-to-house fighting. Reaching Maginot fortifications, 5 December, it regrouped, entering Saareguemines 8 December. Rest at Metz was interrupted by the Von Rundstedt offensive. The Division moved north to Luxembourg, 19-21 December, to take part in the battle of the Ardennes break-through. It attacked at Rambrouch and Grosbous, 22 December, beat off strong German counterattacks, captured Arsdorf on Christmas Day after heavy fighting, attacked toward the Wiltz River, but was forced to withdraw in the face of determined enemy resistance; after regrouping, 5-8 January 1945, it attacked again, reached the Wiltz River, and finally crossed it, 20 January. The Division continued its advance, took Grumelscheid, 21 January, and crossed the Clerf River, 24 January. The 26th then shifted to the east bank of the Saar, and maintained defensive positions in the Saarlautern area, 29 January-6 March 1945. The Division's drive to the Rhine jumped off on 13 March 1945, and carried the Division through Merzig, 17 March, to the Rhine, 21 March, and across the Rhine at Oppenheim, 25-26 March. It took part in the house-to-house reduction of Hanau, 28 March, broke out of the Main River bridgehead, drove through Fulda, 1 April, and helped reduce Meiningen, 5 April. Moving southeast into Austria, the Division assisted in the capture of Linz, 4 May. It had changed the direction of its advance, and was moving northeast into Czechoslovakia, across the Vlatava River, when the cease-fire order, was received.
Assignments in the ETO *
28 August 1944: Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.
5 September 1944: III Corps
28 September 1944: Third Army, 12th Army Group
1 October 1944: XII Corps
12 December 1944: III Corps
28 January 1945: XX Corps
23 March 1945: XII Corps.
Nickname: Yankee Division. Shoulder patch: Khakicolored, in the shape of a diamond. In the center, in blue are the letters "Y" and "D" in the form of a monogram. Association: Yankee Division Veterans' Association, 290 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Mass., Mr. H. Guy Watts, secretary. Publication: History of the 26th Infantry Division; by unit members; The Infantry Journal, Washington 6, D. C.; 1947.
* 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.]