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106th Infantry Division, United States Army, World War II

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106th Infantry Division in World War II

The 106th Infantry Division's Headquarters and Headquarters Company was constituted on paper on 5 May 1942, five months after the United States entered World War II. It was actually activated on 15 March 1943 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, with a cadre from the 80th Infantry Division. Following Basic and Advanced Infantry Training, the Division moved on 28 March 1944 to Tennessee to participate in the Second Army #5 Maneuvers. The 106th Infantry Division relieved the 2nd Infantry Division in the Schnee Eifel on 11 December 1944, with its 424th Infantry Regiment was sent to Winterspelt. Prior to the battle, according to the US Army Service Manual, one division should be responsible for no more than 5 miles (8.0 km) of front. On the eve of the battle, the 106th was covering a front of almost 26 miles (42 km).[1] In the Ardennes-Alsace Campaign, the Germans attacked the 106th on 16 December 1944. The division's 422nd and 423rd Infantry Regiments were encircled and cut off by a junction of enemy forces in the vicinity of Schonberg. They regrouped for a counterattack, but were blocked by the enemy. The two regiments surrendered on 19 December. The Germans gained 6,000 prisoners in one of the largest mass surrenders in American military history. Nearly 50% of the division's strength was brushed aside in the first days of the Battle of the Bulge.

  • Constituted on paper on 5 May 1942 in the Army of the United States.
  • Activated on 15 March 1943 with a cadre from the 80th Infantry Division at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
  • Moved to Camp Atterbury, Indiana, on 28 March 1944.
  • Staged at Camp Miles Standish, Massachusetts on 10 October 1944.
  • Departed Boston Port of Embarkation on 10 November 1944.
  • Arrived in England, 17 November 1944, and trained for 19 days.
  • Assigned 29 November 1944 to VIII Corps First United States Army , Twelfth United States Army Group.
  • Moved to France, 6 December 1944, where the division joined the ongoing Rhineland Campaign.
  • 106th Infantry Division crossed into Belgium on 10 December 1944.
  • Relieved from assignment to Rhineland Campaign on 16 December, and assigned to Ardennes-Alsace Campaign.
  • Relieved from assignment to VIII Corps, and assigned on 20 December to XVIII Airborne Corps, First Army, Twelfth United States Army Group, with attachment to the 21st Army Group (British).
  • Relieved from attachment to 21st Army Group on 18 January 1945, and returned to XVIII Airborne Corps, First Army, Twelfth United States Army Group.
  • Ardennes-Alsace Campaign terminated 25 January. Division resumed assignment to Rhineland Campaign.
  • On 6 February, the 106th Infantry Division relieved from assignment to XVIII Airborne Corps, and assigned to V Corps.
  • On 10 March, 106th Division relieved from assignment to V Corps, and assigned to Fifteenth United States Army, Twelfth United States Army Group.
  • 106th Infantry Division returned to France on 16 March.
  • Rhineland Campaign terminated on 21 March.
  • Central Europe Campaign started on 22 March.
  • On 15 April, 106th Infantry Division was attached to the Advanced Section, Communications Zone. Fifteenth Army directed the establishment of the Frontier Command segment of the Occupation of Germany.
  • On 23 April, the Frontier Command segment of the German Occupation started.
  • 106th Infantry Division entered Germany on 25 April.
  • On 8 May 1945, Germany signed its surrender.
  • With the termination of the Central Europe Campaign, German hostilities ceased on 11 May.
  • 106th Infantry Division was located at Bad Ems, Germany on 14 August.
  • 106th Infantry Division returned to New York Port of Embarkation on 1 October.
  • Inactivated 2 October 1945 at Camp Shanks, New York.

Engagements:World War II- Rhineland, Ardenns-Alsace and Central Europe Battle Honors: Distinquished Unit Citation, Belgian Fourragère, CasualtiesTotal battle casualties: 8,627 Killed in action: 417, Wounded in action: 1,278, Missing in action: 235, Prisoner of war: 6,697. Kurt Vonnegut served in this division and used his experiences during the Battle of the Bulge (and captivity as a prisoner of war) in his novel Slaughterhouse-Five. Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds (died 1985), who was captured on 19 December 1944 as a member of the 422nd Infantry Regiment, was recognized in 2015 by Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum as the first American serviceman from World War II to be honored with the title Righteous Among The Nations for risking his life to save Jewish-American POWs under his command from being taken from the POW camp in Germany to concentration camps, where they likely would have been murdered or worked to death.

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