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103d Infantry Division

World War II

Activated: 15 November 1942.

Overseas: 6 October 1944.

Campaigns: Rhineland, Central Europe.

Awards: DSC-12 ; DSM-1 ; SS-299; LM-3; SM-14 ; BSM-2,669 ;




Maj. Gen. Charles C. Hoffner, Jr. (November 1942-January 1945)
Maj. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe (January-July 1945)
Brig. Gen. John N. Robinson (August 1945 to inactivation).

Returned to U. S.: 10 September 1945.

Inactivated: 22 September 1945.

Combat Chronicle

The 103d Infantry Division arrived at Marseilles, France, 20 October 1944. It relieved .the 3d Division at Chevry, 8 November, and attacked west of St. Die, 16 November, in its drive through the Vosges Mountains. Meeting heavy resistance all the way, it crossed the Meurthe River, took St. Die, 23 November and captured Diefenbach on 29 November and Selestat on 4 December. The Division crossed the Zintzel River at Griesbach, 10 December. Pushing through Glimbach, the 103d crossed the Lauter River into Germany, 15 December, and assaulted the outer defenses of the Siegfried Line. On the 22d, the Division moved west to the Sarreguemines area where an active defense was maintained. The enemy offensive did not develop in its sector and the 103d moved to Reichshofen, 14 January 1945, to take up positions along the Saner River. Defensive patrols were active and a limited attack on Soufflenheim on the 19th was repulsed by the enemy. On the 20th, the Division withdrew to the Moder and repulsed German advances near Muhlhausen, 23-25 January. The 103d's offensive began, 15 March 1945. Crossing the Moder and Zintzel Rivers and taking Muhlhausen against sharp opposition, the Division moved over the Lauter River and penetrated the defenses of the Siegfried Line. As German resistance disintegrated, the 103d reached the Rhine Valley, 23 March, and engaged in mopping up operations in the plain west of the Rhine River. In April it received occupational duties until 20 April when it resumed the offensive, pursuing a fleeing enemy through Stuttgart and taking Munsinger on the 24th. Crossing the Danube near Ulm on the 26th, it took Innsbruck on 3 May and reached the Brenner Pass on the 4th. After VE-day the Division received occupational duties until it left for home and inactivation.

Assignments in the ETO *

1 November 1944: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.
6 November 1944: VI Corps.
22 December 1944: XV Corps.
9 January 1945: XXI Corps.
16 January 1945: VI Corps.
29 March 1945: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.
19 April 1945: VI Corps.


Nickname: Cactus Division. Shoulder patch: A yellow disk with a green saguaro cactus superimposed upon a patch of blue. Association: 103d Infantry Division Association, Headquarters, Airborne Center, Fort Bragg, N. C. (Col. Stanley Meloy, Jr.). Publications: Report after Action, The Story of the 103d Infantry Division; by Ralph Mueller and Jerry Turk, unit historians; Wagner'sche Universitats-Buchdruckerie, Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria; distributor, The Infantry Journal, Washington 6, D. C.; 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.]

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