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What were the most famous U.S. divisions during World War 2?

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by Allied-vs-Axis, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. Allied-vs-Axis

    Allied-vs-Axis New Member

    Jun 8, 2016
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    United States
    I was just wondering what were some of the most famous divisions during WW2 on the U.S. side? I would also like to hear what made them famous. If you can please tell me some famous regiments as well that is great. Please do not talk about other countries. Also, if you tell me what their gear was that would be amazing.
  2. McCabe

    McCabe Active Member

    Nov 1, 2013
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    The 3rd Infantry Division was one of the most highly-decorated and combat-tested divisions of the war, fighting in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, Germany and Austria, and earning 10 campaign streamers. The 3rd was one of the few divisions of the war to receive the Presidential Unit Citation, for action in the Colmar Pocket, and it was also awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Palm and French Fourragere for action in France during World War 2 . Members of the division earned 36 Medals of Honor, and 71 Distinguished Service Crosses. By the end of the war, the division had suffered 4,922 men killed in action and 18,766 wounded. The most decorated American soldier of the war, Audie Murphy, was a "Marnesman" and served with the 15th Infantry Regiment.
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  3. harolds

    harolds Member

    Aug 9, 2011
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    The "Big Red One" was a highly publicized division mainly due to it's being the first Infantry division our country fielded (WWI). Also contributing to it being famous was its two highly colorful leaders, Terry Allen and Theodore Roosevelt Jr. The division fought well but was, after North Africa, somewhat undisciplined. Someone made the comment that the First considered the U.S. Army to consist of The Big Red One and two million replacements! Both Allen and Roosevelt were relieved of their positions but went on and made definite contributions to victory. Roosevelt Jr. garnered CMH before his father for his actions on Utah Beach and Allen went to another division and did well there.
  4. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

    Sep 25, 2011
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    I don't know which was the most famous during the war. I was born in 1955 and have been fascinated with WWII since I progressed past the Dick and Jane primers. The first division I became aware of by name was the 101st Screaming Eagles.

  5. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Nov 20, 2012
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    The Arid Zone
    "Most famous" is a very subjective criteria. After the war, 35 staff officers were asked by Eisenhower to rate the divisions and they picked the 30th as the most outstanding division in the ETO.

    Marshall Letter
    16 March 1946
    Dear General Hobbs:
    Now that I am leaving the service, I thought it might be well to give you the following information for whatever satisfaction you might derive therefrom.
    I was historian of the ETO. Toward the end of last fall, for the purpose of breaking the log-jam of paper concerning division presidential unit citations, General Eisenhower instructed me to draw up a rating sheet on the divisions. This entailed in the actual processing that we had to go over the total work of all the more experienced divisions, infantry and armor, and report back to him which divisions we considered had performed the most efficient and consistent battle services.
    We so did, and we named certain infantry divisions in the first category and same with armor, and we placed others in a second category and yet others in a third. The 30th was among five divisions in the first category.
    However, we picked the 30th Division No. 1 on the list of first category divisions. It was the combined judgment of the approximately 35 historical officers who had worked on the records and in the field that the 30th had merited this distinction. It was our finding that the 30th had been outstanding in three operations and that we could consistently recommend it for citation on any one of these three occasions. It was further found that it had in no single instance performed discreditably or weakly when considered against the averages of the Theater and that in no single operation had it carried less than its share of the burden or looked bad when compared with the forces on its flanks. We were especially impressed with the fact that it had consistently achieved results without undue wastage of its men.
    I do not know whether further honors will come to the 30th. I hope they do. For we had to keep looking at the balance of things always and we felt that the 30th was the outstanding infantry division in the ETO.
    Respectfully yours,
    /s/S.L.A. Marshall
    Colonel S.L.A. Marshall, GSC
    Historian of ETO​

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