World War I
Activated: September 1917.
Overseas: June 1918.
Major Operations: Designated a depot division ; supplied over 195,000 officers and enlisted men as replacements in France. Certain division units saw action.
Maj. Gen. Edwin F. Glenn (25 August 1917)
Brig. Gen. Frederick Perkins (13 January 1918)
Brig. Gen. Willard A. Holbrook (23 March 1918)
Maj. Gen. Edwin F. Glenn (3 April 1918).
Inactivated: October 1919.
World War II
Activated: 15 August 1942.
Overseas: 6 April 1944.
Campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe.
Days of combat: 244.
Distinguished Unit Citations: 7.
Awards: MH-1 ; DSC-7 ; DSM-1 ; SS-710; LM-11; SM-25 ; BSM-6,294 ; AM-110.
Maj. Gen. Frank W. Milburn (August 1942-December 1943)
Maj. Gen. Robert C. Macon (January 1944-31 January 1946).
Returned to U. S.: 26 March 1946.
Inactivated: 5 April 1946.
The 83d Infantry Division arrived in England on 16 April 1944. After training in Wales, the Division landed at Omaha Beach, 18 June 1944, and entered the hedgerow struggle south of Carentan, 27 June. Taking the offensive, the 83d reached the St. Lo-Periers Road, 25 July, and advanced 8 miles against strong opposition as the Normandy campaign ended. After a period of training, elements of the Division took Chateauneuf, 5 August, and Dinard, 7 August, and approached the heavily fortified area protecting St. Malo. Intense fighting reduced enemy strong points and a combined attack against the Citadel Fortress of St. Servan caused its surrender, 17 August. While elements moved south to protect the north bank of the Loire River, the main body of the Division concentrated south of Rennes for patrolling and reconnaissance activities. Elements reduced the garrison at Ile de Cezembre, which surrendered, 2 September. The movement into Luxembourg was completed on 25 September. Taking Remich on the 28th and patrolling defensively along the Moselle, the 83d resisted counterattacks and advanced to Siegfried Line defenses across the Sauer after capturing Grevenmacher and Echternach, 7 October. As the initial movement in operation "Unicorn," the Division took Le Stromberg Hill in the vicinity of Basse Konz against strong opposition, 5 November, and beat off counterattacks. Moving to the Hurtgen Forest, the 83d thrust forward from Gressenich to the west bank of the Roer. It entered the Battle of the Bulge, 27 December, striking at Rochefort and reducing the enemy salient in a bitter struggle. The Division moved back to Belgium and Holland for rehabilitation and training, 22 January 1945. On 1 March, the 83d advanced toward the Rhine in the operation "Grenade," and captured Neuss. The west bank of the Rhine from North of Oberkassell to the Erft Canal was cleared and defensive positions established by 2 March and the Division renewed its training. The 83d crossed the Rhine south of Wesel, 29 March, and advanced across the Munster Plain to the Weser, crossing it at Bodenwerder. As opposition disintegrated, Halle fell on 6 April. The Division crossed the Leine, 8 April, and attacked to the east, pushing over the Harz Mountain region and advancing to the Elbe at Barby. That city was taken on the 13th. The 83d established a bridgehead over the river but evacuated the area to the Russians on 6 May 1945.
Assignments in the ETO *
8 April 1944: VIII Corps, Third Army.
25 June 1944: Third Army, but attached to the
VIII Corps of First Army.
1 July 1944: VII Corps.
15 July 1944: VIII Corps.
1 August 1944: XV Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group.
3 August 1944: VIII Corps.
5 September 1944: VIII Corps, Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.
10 September 1944: Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.
21 September 1944: XX Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group.
11 October 1944: VIII Corps, Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.
22 October 1944: VIII Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.
8 November 1944: XX Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group.
11 November 1944: VIII Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.
7 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 the British 21st Army Group).
26 December 1944: VII Corps, First Army (attached to British 21st Army Group), 12th Army Group.
16 February 1945: XIX Corps, Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.
8 May 1945: XIII Corps.
Nicknames: Thunderbolt Division, and Ohio Shoulder patch: A black isosceles triangle with its vertex pointed downward in the center of which, within a gold circle, appear the letters "O," "H," "I," and "O," in a monogram pattern. Association: 83d Infantry Division Association,, c/o The Infantry Journal, 1115 Seventeenth Street NW., Washington 6, D. C.; Lt. Col. George W. Rhyne, secretary. Publications: The Thunderbolt Across Europe; by Maj. Gen. Robert C. Macon; F. Bruckmann, KG Printing Co., Munich, Germany; distributor, The Infantry Journal, Washington 6, D. C. ; 1945. The Thunderbolt Across Europe: A History of the 83d Infantry Division, 1942-45 ; edited by C. D. Philos and Ernie Hayhow, Washington, D. C.; Infantry Journal Press; 119 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.]