66th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Divisions of World War II


Name:66th
Type:Infantry
Nickname:Black Panther
Source:Army of the US
Theater: European
Casualties:1,452
Days of Combat:91
Activation Date:15 Apr 43
Date Sent Overseas:12 Dec 44 (England)
Date Entered Combat:1 Jan 45 (Northern France)
Status June 1946:inactivated 8 Nov 45
Commanding General(s): Maj. Gen. Herman F. Kramer    (Apr 43 - Aug 45)
Maj. Gen. Walter F. Lauer    (Aug 45 - inactivation)
 
Campaign(s): Northern France    (25 Jul 44 - 14 Sep 44)

Brief History:

The three regiments of the 66th Infantry Division arrived in England, 26 November 1944, and the remainder of the Division, 12 December 1944, training until 24 December 1944 when the Division crossed the English Channel to Cherbourg. A German torpedo ripped into the transport as it was crossing the Channel, and 14 officers and 748 enlisted men were lost. Attached to the 12th Army Group and designated the 12th Army Group Coastal Sector, with operational control of all French forces in the area, the 66th relieved the 94th Division in the BrittanyLoire area, 29 December 1944. Its mission of containing the enemy in the St. Nazaire and Lorient pockets was carried out by daily reconnaissance patrols, limited objective attacks, and the maintenance of harassing and interdictory fires on enemy installations. A heavy German attack near La Croix was repulsed, 16 April 1945, and several strongly emplaced enemy positions were taken, 19-29 April 1945. Enemy troops in the Lorient and St. Nazaire pockets surrendered to the Division upon the end of hostilities in Europe, 8 May 1945. The 66th moved to Germany on occupation duty, in the Koblenz subarea, 20 May 1945, and left for Marseille, 26 May 1945. It sailed for home 27 October 1945.

Notes:
Activation date is the date the division was activated or inducted into federal service (national guard units).
Casualties are number of killed, wounded in action, captured, and missing.
Other Wars are the wars in which the division was mobilized.
The dates after the campaign name are the dates of the campaign not of the division.

Sources: The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States; , U.S. Government Printing Office. Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths in World War II, Final Report, 1 December 1941 - 31 December 1946.


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