World War II
Activated: 15 May 1943.
Overseas: December 1944.
Campaigns: Rhineland, Central Europe.
Days of combat: 86.
Awards: DSc-1 ; DSM-1 ; SS-105; LM,-3; SM-12 ; BSM-2,253 ; AM-33.
Maj. Gen. Charles L. Bolte (May 1943-September 1944)
Maj. Gen. Emil F. Reinhardt (September 1944-August 1945)
Brig. Gen. Robert V. Maraist (August 1945 to inactivation).
Returned to U. S.: 13 September 1945.
Inactivated: 16 September 1945.
The 69th Infantry Division arrived in England, 12 December 1944, where it continued its training. It landed in Le Havre, France, 24 January 1945, and moved to Belgium to relieve the 99th Division, 12 February, and hold defensive positions in the Siegfried Line. The Division went over to the attack, 27 February, capturing the high ridge east of Prether to facilitate use of the Hellenthal-Hollerath highway. In a rapid advance to the east, the 69th took Schmidtheim and Dahlem, 7 March. The period from 9 to 21 March was spent in mopping up activities and training. The Division resumed its forward movement to the west bank of the Rhine, crossing the river and capturing the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, 27 March. It relieved the 80th Division in Kassel, 5 April, seized Munden on the 8th and Weissenfels on the 14th against sharp opposition, and captured Leipzig, 19 April, following a fierce struggle within the city. Eilenburg fell, 23 April, and the east bank of the Mulde River was secured. Two days later, Division patrols in the area between the Elbe and the Mulde Rivers contacted Russian troops in the vicinity of Riesa and again at Torgau. Until VE-day the 69th patrolled and policed its area. Occupation duties were given to the Division until it left for home and inactivation 7 September.
Assignments in the ETO *
18 January 1945: 12th Army Group.
7 February 1945: Fifteenth Army, 12th Army Group.
7 February 1945: V Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.
28 April 1945: VII Corps.
Nickname: Fighting Sixty-ninth. Shoulder patch: A white bordered square consisting of two interlocking parts, a red "6" and a blue "9", separated by a white border. Association: Maj. Gen. E. F. Reinhardt, 409 Ridgeman Avenue, San Antonio, Tex. Publications: 69th Infantry Division Pictorial History, by unit members. Pictorial Review; by unit members; Albert Love Enterprises, Atlanta 2, Ga. ; 1944.
* 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.]