90th Infantry Division
|Date Activated||Date Sent Overseas||Date Entered Combat||Status as of June 1946|
|25 Mar 42||4 Apr 44 England||9 Jun 44 Normandy||inactivated 27 Dec 45|
|25 Mar 42|
|Date Sent Overseas|
|4 Apr 44 England|
|Date Entered Combat|
|9 Jun 44 Normandy|
|Status as of June 1946|
|inactivated 27 Dec 45|
Maj. Gen. Henry Terrell, Jr.
(Mar 42 - Jan 44)
Brig. Gen. Jay W. MacKelvie (Jan 44 - Jul 44)
Maj. Gen. Eugene M. Landrum (Jul 44 - Aug 44)
Maj. Gen. Raymond S. McLain (Aug 44 - Oct 44)
Maj. Gen. James A. Van Fleet (Oct 44 - Feb 45)
Maj. Gen. Lowell W. Rooks (Feb 45 - Mar 45)
Maj. Gen. Herbert L. Earnest (Mar 45 - Nov 45)
The 90th Infantry Division landed in England, 5 April 1944, and trained from 10 April to 4 June. First elements of the Division saw action on Dday, 6 June, on Utah Beach, Normandy, the remainder entering combat, 10 June, cutting across the Merderet River to take Pont l'Abbe in heavy fighting. After defensive action along the Douve, the Division attacked to clear the Foret de Mont Castre, clearing it by 11 July, in spite of fierce resistance. An attack on the island of Seves failing, 23 July, the 90th bypassed it and took Periers, 27 July. On 12 August, the Division drove across the Sarthe River, north and east of Le Mans, and took part in the closing of the Falaise Gap, taking Chambois, 19 August. It then raced across France, through Verdun, 6 September, to participate in the siege of Metz, 14 September - 19 November, capturing Maizieres les Metz, 30 October, and crossing the Moselle at Koenigsmacker, 9 November. On. 6 December 1944, the Division pushed across the Saar and established a bridgehead north of Saarlautern, 618 December, but with the outbreak of the Von Rundstedt drive, withdrew to the west bank on 19 December, and went on the defensive until 5 January 1945, when it shifted to the scene of the Ardennes struggle. It drove across the Our, near Oberhausen, 29 January, to establish and expand a bridgehead. In February, the Division smashed through Siegfried fortifications to the Prum River. After a short rest, the 90th continued across the Moselle to take Mainz, 22 March, and crossed the Rhine, the Main, and the Werra in rapid succession. Pursuit continued to the Czech border, 18 April 1945, and into the Sudeten hills. The Division was en route to Prague when the war in Europe ended.
DETAILED HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS
Source: Battle Route of the 90 Inf Div in the European Theater of Operations map, 1945.
THE 90TH IN ENGLAND 18 Feb - 5 June 1944.
90th Advance Detachment sailed from NEW YORK on the Queen Mary 18 February 1944, arriving FIRTH of CLYDE, SCOTLAND. 23 February 1944, thence to BIRMINGHAM. ENGLAND. Division Main Body followed on 22 March 1944, sailing from NEW YORK and docking at LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, then to BIRMINGHAM. Division moved to staging area centered on CARDIFF and BRISTOL. WALES. Group A (1st and 3rd Bns, 359th Inf) moved to DARTMOUTH. Group A sailed 5 June as Reserve Regiment of 4th Infantry Division, (assault division of UTAH BEACH). Main Body sailed from BRISTOL CHANNEL on 6 June.
THE BATTLE OF NORMANDY 6 June - 27 July 1944.
Group A landed on UTAH BEACH 1000 - 1600 D-DAY, 6 June and assembled vie ST MARTIN de VERREVILLE. The Main Body arrived off UTAH BEACH mid-morning 8 June and began debarkation by noon. By midnight, all foot elements had closed into allocated positions, TURQUEVILLE - REUVILLE - AUDONVILLE - LA HUBERT - ECOQUENEAUVILLE. Division made its first attack 100400 June through 82nd A/B Division with the high ground E of DOUVE R as its objective. Elements had reached the western shore of the Peninsula by 18 June vicinity PORTBAIL. Battle of FORET de MONT CASTRE 3â€”12 July. 22 July, 358th Inf made its ill-fated attack of SEVES ISLAND. 25 July, under cover of a tremendous aerial bombardment, VII Corps initiated its assault from positions W of ST LO.
By dark, 29 July, entire 90th Division, together with supporting units, had crossed S of the PERIERS - COUTANCE ROAD, thus ending first phase of the Division's combat action.
THE BREAKTROUGH 1 - 10 August 1944.
1 August, Division joined Third US Army. The 90th, spearheaded by TASK FORCE WEAVER, marched 140 miles in 10 days to objective, LE MANS, had fought three tough engagements and captured MAYENNE bridge intact (1st Bn, 357th Inf).
FALAISE GAP - CHAMBOIS 10 - 22 August 1944.
The campaign which began with the advance N from LE MANS and culminated with the juncture of American and British forces N of CHAMBOIS will forever be regarded as one of the most brilliant episodes in the battle of France. At CHAMBOIS, the largest steel-ringed trap of WORLD WAR II, closed by the 90th Inf Div. In a period of four days, the Division took over 13,000 prisoners, killed or wounded 8,000 Germans and destroyed 1,800 horses, freeing 1,000 more. Materiel box score is as follows: Tanks - 220,
SP Arty Pieces - 160, Towed Arty Pieces - 700, AA. Arty Pieces - 130, Half-tracked Vehicles - 130, Motor Vehicles - 5,000, Wagons - 2000. The German 7th Army had been mercilessly mauled and beaten into the ground with only remnants escaping the trap.
SEES to REIMS 23 - 31 August 1944.
90th Division moved through MONTMIRAL - CHATEAUDUN to establish bridgehead for crossings at FONTAINEBLEAU and MONTERAU over the SEINE R. On the 29th, Division again moved with mission of establishing a bridgehead over the MARNE R and occupying REIMS in conjunction with 5th Inf Div. Mission completed by 1500, 3 August.
REIMS to THIONVILLE to METZ 1 Sept to 4 November 1944.
Entire Third Army virtually immobilized as the increasing gasoline shortage assumed critical proportions, 90th resupplied by air 4 September. 357th Inf moved by motor to occupy positions E and NE of ETAIN. The remainder of the Division made its shuttle move on the 6th to the VERDUN bridgehead, closing all elements by dark. A new mission had been given 90th Division: to capture THIONVILLE and establish a bridgehead over the MOSELLE R at that point. 357th Inf advanced on an axis ETAIN-BRIEY, 358th Inf on an axis LANDRES - FONTOY. 106th Panzer Brigade totally destroyed or captured 8 September when it penetrated Division zone. By the 13th all enemy resistance had been eliminated W of the MOSELLE R in our zone. At that time, Division moved S to relieve elements of 7th Arm and 5th Inf Div facing German defenses W of METZ. The relief was completed by midnight of the 14th. The defenses of FORTRESS METZ could not be penetrated by frontal assault, and by 22 September the whole Corps front, except for the fall of MAIZIER les METZ, was at a stalemate. This condition lasted from mid - September through the first week of November.
FIRST MOSELLE CROSSING 9 - 21 November 1944.
On 9 Nov, 90th Division, making the main effort of XX Corps, crossed the MOSELLE R north of THIONVILLE. On 10 November it joined hands with the 5th Inf Div E of METZ and the METZ Garrison succumbed. It was a climatic performance of a battle-tried division, which had fought without respite since 8 June 1944. In the intervening nine days of the operation, it had made a night crossing of a treacherous, flooded river, the worst in the river's history, into the face of formidable FORT KOENIGSMACHER, rolled up the MAGINOT LINE in that zone, and eventually teamed up with 10th Armd Div, closed the pincer E of METZ. The Army Commander publicly announced this deed as the greatest military achievement of the war.
DRIVE TO THE SAAR 24 - 30 November 1944.
The Division turned E upon the capture of METZ and fought its way to the SAAR R. By 30 November the Division had cleared the Germans from W of the SAAR R, entered Germany proper and commenced plans for assault of the SIEGFRIED LINE. Beyond the SAAR R water barrier lay the thickest portion of the vaunted SIEGFRIED LINE, the SAARBURG Switch.
SAAR RIVER CROSSING 6 22 December 1944.
90th Infantry Division crossed SAAR R 6 December. This operation lasted over a period of 18 days during which time nine battalions of infantry, 712th Tk Bn, 773 rd TD Bn, and 100 organic vehicles were crossed, sustained, and subsequently withdrawn without bridging facilities, in rain, snow, and ice with the enemy counters attacking as many as 23 times in a 24-hour period. PACHTEN and DILLINGEN fell to cur forces and a threatening salient had been torn into the SIEGFRIED LINE defenses in the area before the Division was ordered to withdraw its forces back across the river on 21â€“22 December. The mounting German offensive in the ARDENNES, and the threat from the N between the MOSELLE and SAAR Rivers, necessitated the Division's withdrawal.
THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE 9 - 29 January 1945
90th Division moved N on the 6 and 7 January to an assembly area N of ARLON on the LUXEMBOURG - BELGIUM border with a brand of secrecy and speed seldom seen before. The Division was the main effort in the attack on 9 January which destroyed the German salient E of BASTOGNE, and to eventually drive the enemy back through BELGIUM and LUXEMBOURG into GERMANY. Division spearheaded VIII Corp's crossing of the OUR R Vic BERG RUELAND. Twice the Germans had ridden roughshod through this passage to the West: in 1940 and more recently in the breakthrough. The German ARDENNES gamble ended in disheartening failure. Von Rundstedt pulled his once elite - now shattered remnants back to the security of the West Wall.
THE SIEGFRIED LINE 1 - 28 February 1945
During the month of February 90th Infantry Division and its normal attachments fought their way through Germany's West Wall in vicinity HABSHIED - PRONSFELD. February was a month of conquest - conquest of dirty weather, cold, heavy snows, concrete and barbed wire, and stubborn enemy groups committed to a â€œdo-or-dieâ€� effort to hold the West Wall. Over 500 pillboxes and log bunkers had to be captured and destroyed. 3,195 prisoners were taken. 25 tanks and 13 SPs guns were captured or knocked out, plus quantities of miscellaneous enemy materials. The Reich was entered; the West Wall had been cracked.
THROUGH THE HILLS OF THE EIFEL 1 - 10 March 1945
After bitter weeks of vicious fighting, the Division began a rapid advance in pursuit of a wildly retreating enemy who fell back in rout before the surging weight of American forces. The Division route of advance, SCHONECKEN - KELBERG - MAYEN, brought its forces abreast of the Moselle R 40 Kms. SW of COBLFNZ.
FROM THE MOSELLE TO THE RHINE 12 - 23 March 1945
90th Division made its second crossing of the MOSELLE R 14 March, vicinity HATZENPORT - MOSELKERN. The crossing was made with comparative ease in contrast to the experience of the first crossing in November. From the initial bridgehead, the Division resumed the rapid pursuit of the retreating enemy. The chase for the period culminated with the capture of MAINZ and the drawing up of Division forces on the RHINE R in that area, preparatory to making a crossing of the RHINE itself, the German's last formidable defense.
FROM THE RHINE TO THE MAIN R. 23 - 27 March 1945
90th Division crossed the Rhine R in trace of the 5th Div at DEXHEIM - OPPFNHEIM 23 - 24 March. The advance to the MAIN R was paced by the 4th Armd Division. DARMSTADT fell to elements of the 4th Armd Div and 90th on 25 March. In a matter of a few days, all enemy resistance had been mopped up to the MAIN R in its zone as our troops came abreast of the River E of FRANKFURT - HANAU.
THROUGH THE HILLS OF HESSEN 28 - 31 March 1945
The 90th crossed the MAIN R vicinity HANAU - DOERNIGHEIM 28 March. From this bridgehead, the unit was poised to continue its history-making mission - the slicing of Germany in two parts across its middle. Following the 4th Armd Division again, it struck NE across Germany via FULDA â€” VACHA SCHLITZ Â· ZELLAMEHLIS, the backbone of the famous THURINGEN FOREST.
THE SPLIT OF GERMANY 1 - 18 April 1945
The Division's long-range objective was changed from DRESDEN to PRAGUE, and it turned SE as the 4th Armd Div continued its advance E. On 4 April, Division elements discovered the hidden gold cache at MERKERS. Inventory of the booty disclosed the following: 100 tons of gold bullion, 5,000,000,000 German marks, dollars 2,000,000 American currency, hundreds of pieces of sculpture, and over 2000 famous paintings. HOF fell on the 15th and three days later patrols crossed the CZECHOSLOVAKLAN border vicinity CHEB. Germany had been split by the 90th Division.
THE ADVANCE INTO BAVARIA 20 April - 6 May 1945.
The Division's advance continued SE, parallel to the Czech border, into BAVARIA. WALDSASSEN - TIRSCHENREUTH - WEIDEN - CHAM were over-run in rapid succession. American PsW were rescued at FUCHSMUHL. Political prisoners in the concentration camp at FLOSSENBERG were liberated. The 11th Panzer Division surrendered en masse on 4 May. Division attacked through the Regen Pass into CZECHOSLOVAKIA 6 May to cover debouchinent of elements of 4th Armd Div. Division proper moved through ZWIESEL into CZECHOSLOVAKIA. The Division then held a restraining line, awaiting juncture with Red Army Forces when hostilities officially ceased 090001B May 1945. Last shot in the Division was fired 071130 May by a BAR man, K Co., 358th Inf. Division remained in position until moved to its WEIDEN OCCUPATIONAL AREA 16 - 17 May.
Final Count: PsW - 83,437
Tanks - 501
SP Guns - 195
Date Activated 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.
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.
US Army Center of Military History at http://www.history.army.mil/
Various divisional histories