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5th Infantry Division

World War I

Activated: 1 December 1917.

Overseas: May 1918.

Major operations: St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne.

Casualties: Total-9,116 (KIA-1,630; WIA-7,486).


Maj. Gen. C. H. Muir (11 December 1917)
Col. William M. Morrow (18 December 1917)
Maj. Gen. J. E. McMahon (1 January 1918)
Maj. Gen. Hanson E. Ely (18 October 1918).

Returned to U. S.: July 1919.

World War II

Activated: 2 October 1939.

Overseas: 30 April 1942.

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

Distinguished Unit Citations: 2.

Awards: MH-1 ; DSC-39 ; DSM-1 ; SS-784 ; LM-19 ; SM-14 ; BSM-2,643 ; AM-100.


Brig. Gen. Campbell B. Hodges (October 1937-September 1940)
Maj. Gen. Joseph M. Cummins (September 1940-July 1941)
Maj. Gen. Charles H. Bonesteel (July 1941-August 1941)
Maj. Gen. Cortlandt Parker (August 1941-June 1943)
Maj. Gen. Stafford L. Irwin (June 1943-Apri11945)
Maj. Gen. Albert E. Brown (April 1945-June 1946)
Brig. Gen. Harry B. Sherman (June 1946-July 1946)
Maj. Gen. Jens A. Doe (August 1946 to inactivation)
Brig. Gen. John C. Church (15 July 1947-October 1947)
Maj. Gen. William B. Kean (October 1947-30 June 1948)
Maj. Gen. Geo. H. Decker (1 July 1948- ).

Returned to U. S.: 19 July 1945

Inactivated: 20 September 1946.

Reactivated: 15 July 1947.

Combat Chronicle

The 5th Infantry Division landed on Utah Beach, 9 July 1944 and 4 days later took up defensive positions in the vicinity of Caumont. Launching a successful attack at Vidouville 26 July, the Division drove on southeast of St. Lo, attacked and captured Angers, 9-10 August, pushed across the Seine at Fontainebleau, 23 August, and across the Marne to seize Reims, 30 August, and positions east of Verdun. The Division then prepared for the assault on Metz. In midSeptember a bridgehead was established and secured across the Moselle, south of Metz, in the face of very heavy opposition. First attempts to take the fortress failed, 16 September-16 October 1944, and the Division withdrew, returning to the assault on 9. November. Metz was reduced after a heavy, 10-day battle. The Division crossed the German border, 4 December, captured Lauterbach on the 5th, and elements reached the west bank of the Saar, 6 December, before the Division moved to assembly areas. On the 16th of December the Germans launched their winter offensive, and on the 18th the 5th was thrown in against the southern flank of the Bulge, helping to reduce it by the end of January 1945. In February and March, the Division drove across and northeast of the Sauer, cracked through the Siegfried Line, reached and crossed the Rhine, 22 March, and continued on to Frankfurt-am-Main, clearing and policing the town and its environs, 27-29 March. In April the Division took part in clearing the Ruhr Pocket and then drove across the Czechoslovak border, 1 May, reaching Volary and Vimpeck as the war in Europe ended.

Assignments in the ETO *

22 October 1943: Attached to First Army.
24 December 1948: XV Corps.
13 July 1944: V Corps, First Army.
1 August 1944: Third Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to First Army.
4 August 1944: XX Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group.
21 December 1944: XII Corps.
28 March. 1945: XX Corps.
7 April 1945: Third Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to First Army for operations.
22 April 1945: Third Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to the XVI Corps of Ninth Army.
25 April 1945: III Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to First Army.
21 April 1945: XII Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to First Army.


Nickname: Red Diamond Division. Slogan: We will. Shoulder patch: A red diamond. Association: Society of the Fifth Division, 3126 West Eddy Street, Chicago 18, Ill., Mr. William Romano, executive secretary. Publications: Pass in Review, The Fifth Infantry Division in ETO; by unit members; Albert Love Enterprises, Atlanta 2, Ga.; 1946.

* 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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