World War II
Activated: 16 August 1943.
Overseas: 10 January 1945.
Campaigns: Rhineland, Central Europe.
Days of combat: 55.
Awards: MH-1 ; DSM-1 ; SS-77; LM-14; SM-4; BSM-686; AM-19.
Maj. Gen. Stanley E. Reinhart (August 1943-1 August 1945)
Brig. Gen. John E. Copeland (1 August 1945 to inactivation).
Inactivated: 31 August 1945 in Germany.
The 65th Infantry Division landed at Le Havre, France, 21 January 1945, and proceeded to Camp Lucky Strike, where training continued until 1 March, when the Division moved forward to relieve the 26th Infantry Division. First elements entered the line, 5 March 1945, and the Division as a whole took over aggressive defense of the sector along the Saar, from Orscholz to Wadgassen, on 8 March 1945. On 17 March, the Division attacked across the Saar, crossing the river at Dillingen and captured Saarlautern, 19 March, as Siegfried Line defenses cracked. Capturing Neunkirchen, 21 March 1945, the Division raced to the Rhine, crossed the river at Oppenheim, 30 March, and ran into heavy Germany resistance and counterattacks. Langensalza fell on 5 April, Struth on the 7th, and Neumarkt on the 22d. Continuing its advance against crumbling Nazi opposition, the Division crossed the Danube 4 miles below Regensburg, 26 April, took the city, 27 April, seized Passau, cross the Inn River, 4 May, and occupied Linz, Austria, on the 5th. Germans surrendered en masse. On 9 May, as hostilities officially ended in Europe, the troops of the 65th made contact with the Russians at Erlauf.
Assignments in the ETO *
25 January 1945: Fifteenth Army, 12th Army Group.
1 March 1945: XX Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group.
4 April 1945: VIII Corps. 17 April 1945: XX Corps.
Nickname: Battle-axe. Shoulder patch: A white halberd on a blue shield. Association: 65th Infantry Division Association, 4034 Ventura Canyon Avenue, Sherman Oaks, Calif. (Brig. Gen. John E. Copeland, secretary).
* 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.]