1945 MB, original body


A brief history of those we portray with this impression:

TYPE OF DIVISION:  Regular Army.

NICKNAME:  While the men of the division adopted no nickname, the Germans dubbed it the “Phantom Division.”

SHOULDER PATCH:  Triangular design divided into three area: red (representing Field Artillery), blue (representing Infantry), and yellow (representing Cavalry).  Superimposed on three areas, in black, are a canon and the track of a tank.  A bolt of lightning, in red, is superimposed on these.  The division‘s number appears in the upper portion of the triangle..

ACTIVATION DATE:  15 July 1942.

INACTIVATION DATE:  13 October 1945 at Camp Patrick Henry VA..

COMPONENT UNITS:   Hq Co; Res Comd, CCA; CCB; 2nd, 14th and 19th Tank Bns; 9th Armored Engineering Bn; 89th Cav Rcn Sq (Mech); 149th Armd Signal Co; Division Artillery: 3rd, 16th and 73rd Armored Field Artillery BNs;  Division Trains: 2nd Armored Medical Bn, 131st Ordnance Maintenance Bn, MP platoon and Band.  27th, 52nd and 60th Armored Infantry Bns..

TRAINING UNDER ARMY GROUND FORCES:  Division was activated at Fort Riley KS and assigned to the Armored Force.  The unit was composed in large part of the old 2nd Cavalry Division.  Other organizations, famed in American Military History, were incorporated into the 9th, such as the 2nd Cavalry FA Bn, which stems from units dated back to Revolutionary War days.  Almost a year later, in June 43, it moved to the Desert Training Center, with station at Camp Young CA.  In Oct 1943 the division was transferred to Camp Polk LA coming under the Third Army.  The 9th participated in Third Army maneuvers held in Louisiana between Nov 1943 and Jan 1944.

DEPARTED U.S. FOR FOREIGN DUTY:  26 August 1944 from NYPE.

COMBAT DAYS (Div):  91.:  .


BATTLE CREDITS:  (Division)   Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe... 

RETURNED TO US:  10 Oct 1945 at NYPE and Boston..

SUCCESSIVE COMMANDING GENERALS:   Major General Geoffrey Keyes from June to September 1942 and Major General John W Leonard from October 1942 until inactivation.

DISTINGUISHED UNIT CITATION:  Combat Command B for 28 Feb – 9 Mar 1945 action in Germany; Hq Res Comd, (w/101st Abn Div) for 18 – 27 Dec 1944 action in Belgium; Reserve Command for 18 – 27 Dec 1944 action in Belgium; 2nd Tank Bn for 18-27 Dec 1944 action in Belgium; Co C 9th Armored Engineering Bn, 8-10 Mar 1945 action in Germany; Co C 9th Armored Engineering Bn (w/101st Abn Div) for 18-27 action in Belgium; 16th Armored Field Artillery Bn 28 Feb – 9 Mar 1945 action in Germany; 27th Armored Infantry Bn for 28 Feb –  9 Mar 1945 action in Germany; 52nd Armored Inf Bn for 28 Feb – 9 Mar 1945 action in Germany; 52nd Armored Inf Bn for 18 – 27 Dec 44 action in Belgium and 73rd Armored Field Artillery Bn (w/101st Abn Div) for 18 –27 Dec 1944 action in Belgium; As this article is being written on 7/28/2001 the Combat Command A was just notified of it award for action 18 – 27 Dec 1944, almost 57 years later.

CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR WINNER:  Cpl Horace M Thorne, 89th Cavalry Recn Sqdn (Mech) for 21 Dec 1944 action at Grufflingen, Belgium.

COMBAT HIGHLIGHTS:  Seizure of the Ludendorf Bridge across the Rhine at Remagen, a coup which undoubtedly saved thousands of American lives and helped shorten the war, is a triumph of which the 9th Armored Division can proudly boast.  Beyond that achievement, however , lay other successes.  The 9th first went into the line in Oct 1944, in the relatively quiet sector along the Luxembourg-German frontier.  First real action for the division came in Dec 1944, when it was sent in to help stem the Von Runstedt offensive at Bastogne and elsewhere along the front.  German prisoners spoke of it as the “Phantom Division” because it seemed to be everywhere there was action.  In the vital sectors of the front, at Bastogne, St Vith and Echternach there were 9th Armored Division combat teams fighting.  During the winter fighting the 9th wiped out large numbers of hardened enemy troops, captured hundreds of German prisoners and destroyed many hostile tanks.  Combat teams helped defend Bastogne itself thus splitting the wedge the Germans had driven into Belgium and sapping the force of their efforts to wheel northward and capture vital Belgian cities.   Early in 1945 the 9th began to drive on the West Wall and to the Roer River.  Next month the Division smashed across the Cologne Plain.  Main objective was the Rhine River.  Then, in March 1945, the 9th electrified the Allied Armies and brought despair to the Germans by seizing the Ludendorf Bridge across the Rhine.  The 9th had driven hard during the previous to reaching the Remagen, capturing thousands of German soldiers.  When the 9th reached Remagen, Brig Gen William M Hoge, commanding Combat Command B of the Division, saw the bridge was intact.  He scrapped other plans to move south along the Rhine and ordered his men across the span.   His troops moved out into heavy antiaircraft and sniper fire.  His orders were followed to the letter, however, and a handful of 9th Armored troopers fort to the east bank of the river to establish a bridgehead, and the ground around the bridge as well as the span itself was seized.  Next month the 9th continued to press into Germany, taking Limberg and pulling  up just before Frankfurt.  In May the Division captured Leipzig and just before V-E day was heading into Czechoslovakia.  After V-E day, the Division assumed occupational duties and upon being relieved, elements sailed for the United States on 2 October 1945.  

  These Army Ground Forces Fact Sheets were prepared at the end of the war (1 March 1947) by The Information Section, Analysis Branch, Headquarters Army Ground Forces on each division.  They may be found in Record Group 407, Unit Records, for each division, under the file number 3 (Division #) - 0 at the National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Rd, College Park MD.

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