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101st Airborne Division

World War II

Activated: 15 August 1942.

Overseas: 5 September 1943.

Campaigns: Rhineland, Central Europe, Normandy, Ardennes-Alsace.

Days of combat: 214.

Distinguished Unit Citations: 13.

Awards: MH-2 ; DSC-56 ; DSM-2 ; SS-456 ; LM-20; SM-4 ; BSM-9,488 ; AM-48.


Maj. Gen. William C. Lee (5 August 1942-30 March 1944)
Maj. Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor (31 March 1944-4 December 1944)
Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe (5 December 1944-26 December 1944)
Maj. Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor (27 December 1944-September 1945)
Brig. Gen. William M. Gillmore (September 1945)
Brig. Gen. Gerald St. C. Mickle (September 1945)
Brig. Gen. Stuart Cutler (October to inactivation).

Inactivated: 30 November 1945 in Europe.

Reactivated: 6 July 1948.

Combat Chronicle

The 101st Airborne arrived in England, 15 September 1943, and received additional training in Berkshire and Wiltshire. On 6 June 1944, the Division was dropped into Normandy behind Utah Beach. Against fierce resistance it took Pouppeville, Vierville, and St. Come du Mont. On the 12th, the stronghold of Carentan fell, and after mopping up and maintaining its positions, the Division returned to England, 13 July, for rest and training. On 17 September 1944, taking part in one of the largest of airborne invasions, the 101st landed in Holland, took Vechel and held the Zon bridge. St. Oedenrode and Eindhoven fell after sharp fighting on the 17th and 18th. Opheusden changed hands in a shifting struggle, but the enemy was finally forced to withdraw, 9 October. After extensive patrols, the Division returned to France, 28 November, for further training. On 18 December, it moved to Belgium to stop the German breakthrough. Moving into Bastogne under the acting command of Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe, it set up a circular defense and although completely surrounded, refused to surrender on 22 December. Its perimeter held against violent attacks. The 4th Armored Division finally reached the 101st on the 26th and the enemy offensive was blunted. Very heavy fighting continued near Bastogne for the rest of December and January. On 17 January 1945, the Division moved to Drulingen and Pfaffenhoffen in Alsace and engaged in defensive harassing patrols along the Moder River. On 31 January, it crossed the Moder in a three-company raid. After assembling at Mourmelon, France, 26 February 1945, for training, it moved to the Ruhr pocket, 31 March, patrolling and raiding in April and engaging in military government at Rheydt and Munchen-Gladbach. The 101st reached Berchtesgaden by the end of the war and performed occupational duties until inactivation in Germany.

Assignments in the ETO *

22 January 1944: VIII Corps, but attached to First Army.
13 March 1944: First Army.
6 June 1944: VII Corps, First Army.


June 1944: VIII Corps.
15 July 1944: Ninth Army.
12 August 1944: XVIII (Abn) Corps, First Allied (Abn) Army.
18 September 1944: First Allied (Abn) Army, but attached to the British XXX Corps, British Second Army.
21 September 1944: British I (Abn) Corps.
23 September 1944: British VIII Corps.
28 September 1944: British XII Corps.
9 November 1944: First Allied (Abn) Army, but attached to the Canadian II Corps, Canadian First Army.
17 December 1944: First Allied (Abn) Army, but attached to the VIII Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group.
26 December 1944: III Corps.
29 December 1944: VIII Corps.
19 January 1945: First Allied (Abn) Army, but attached to the Third Army, 12th Army Group.
20 January 1945: First Allied (Abn) Army, but attached to the XV Corps, Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.
26 January 1945: VI Corps.
28 February 1945: XVIII (Abn) Corps, First Allied (Abn) Army.
1 April 1945: First Allied (Abn) Army, but attached to the XXII Corps, Fifteenth Army, 12th Army Group.
6 April 1945: First Allied (Abn) Army, but attached to the 12th Army Group.
17 April 1945: First Allied (Abn) Army, but attached to the Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.
23 April 1945: VI Corps.
4 May 1945: XXI Corps.


Nickname: Nickname: Screaming Eagle. Shoulder patch: Black badge with black arc streaming above; on the badge is white screaming eagle; appearing on arc, in white, is "Airborne." Association: 101st Airborne Division Association (Carl E. Trimble, secretary), 17 Dupont Circle NW., Washington, D. C. Publications: Epic of the 101st Airborne Division; by unit members; 101st Airborne Division Association; Rendezvous with Destiny; by First Lt. Leonard Rapport and Lt. Arthur Northwood; 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.]

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