History

This summarized information is compiled from The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950, pp. 510-592. It is not original work of the 94th LHA but has been edited for ease of presentation.


A Combat Chronicle of the 94th in World War II

Following a brief stay in England, the 94th landed on Utah Beach, France on D plus 94, 8 September 1944, and moved into Brittany to relieve the 6th Armored Division and assume responsibility for containing some 60,000 German troops besieged in their garrisons at the Channel ports of Lorient and Saint-Nazaire.

The 94th inflicted over 2,700 casualties on the enemy and took 566 prisoners before being relieved by the 66th Infantry Division on New Year’s Day 1945.

As part of General Patton’s Third United States Army, the 94th Infantry Division (“94th ID”) was known as “Patton’s Golden Nugget.” Moving east, the division relieved the 90th Infantry Division on 7 January 1945, taking positions in the Saar-Moselle Triangle south of Wasserbillig, facing the Siegfried Switch Line. Fresh for the fight, the 94th shifted to the offensive, 14 January, seizing Tettingen and Butzdorf that day. The following day, the Nennig-Berg-Wies area was wrested from the enemy, severe counterattacks followed and it was at Nennig that the Germans gave the division its nickname “Roosevelt’s Butchers” for stacking the dead in houses and along roads and refusing prisoners lacking the means to guard and transport them.

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A Painting of the 94th in action.

Butzdorf, Berg, and most of Nennig changed hands several times before being finally secured. On the 20th, an unsuccessful battalion attack against Orscholz, eastern terminus of the switch position, resulted in loss of most of two companies. In early February, the division took Campholz Woods and seized Sinz. On 19 February 1945, supported by heavy artillery and air support, the division launched a full-scale attack with all three regiments, storming the heights of Munzigen Ridge, to breach the Siegfried Line switch-line defenses and clear the Berg-Munzingen Highway.

The division then moved by rail and motor to the vicinity of Krefeld, Germany, relieving the 102nd Infantry Division on 3 April and assuming responsibility for containing the western side of the Ruhr Pocket from positions along the Rhine. With the reduction of the pocket in mid-April, the division was assigned military government duties, first in the Krefeld and later in the Düsseldorf areas.

Moving forward, the 94th Infantry Division and the 10th Armored Division secured the area from Orscholz and Saarburg to the confluence of the Saar and Moselle Rivers by 21 February 1945. At Ayl, General Patton ordered to cross the Saar immediately, against the advice of many of his officers. Many men and material were lost during the ill-prepared Saar crossing. Two of the three crossings sites were eventually abandoned due to heavy and pinpoint German artillery and machinegun fire.

After establishing the bridgehead, the 376th regiment was detached to assist the 10th Armored Division in the capture of Trier. By 2 March 1945, the division stretched over a 10-mile front, from Hocker Hill on the Saar through Zerf, and Lampaden to Ollmuth. A heavy German attack near Lampaden achieved penetrations, but the line was shortly restored, and on 13 March, spearheading the XX Corps, the division broke out of the Ruwer River bridgehead by ford and bridge. Driving forward, the 94th reached the Rhine on 21 March, where it fought in the Battle forLudwigshafen. Ludwigshafen was taken on 24 March, in conjunction with Combat Command A of the 12th Armored Division.

By mid-April, the division relieved the 101st Airborne Division and assumed military government duties, first in the Krefeld vicinity and later around Düsseldorf. It was in that status when hostilities were declared at an end on 7 May 1945. From mid-June until the end of November, the division served the military government in Czechoslovakia.

The 94th Infantry Division was inactivated on 9 February 1946.

94th Infantry Division distinguishing flag, 1942 – 1956.
94th Infantry Division distinguishing flag, 1942 – 1956. (Source: Wikipedia)

Officers in the 94th

The officers of the 94th were ordered to active duty individually, and were disbursed to existing Regular Army and Army National Guard units. The majority of mid-level officers (captains through lieutenant colonels) in the U.S. Army during the Second World War II were OR officers. As such, the 94th provided leaders to every theater in the war.

With virtually all of the division’s personnel having gone off to war without it, the 94th Division existed only on paper when its shoulder sleeve insignia was changed on 5 September 1942 to a half-black, half-gray circle with the Arabic numerals 9 and 4 superimposed in reverse colors. Ten days later, on 15 September 1942, the division was recomposed as the 94th Infantry Division at Fort Custer near Kalamazoo, Michigan.


Assignments in the European Theatre of Operations (ETO):

  • 27 July 1944: XIII Corps, Ninth Army
  • 28 August 1944: XIII Corps, Ninth Army, 12th Army Group
  • 23 September 1944: Ninth Army, 12th Army Group
  • 9 October 1944: 12th Army Group
  • 5 January 1945: 12th Army Group, but attached to Oise Section, Communication Zone, for supply
  • 6 January 1945: XX Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group
  • 29 March 1945: XII Corps, Fifteenth Army, 12th Army Group

Overall Statistics

  • Activated: 15 September 1942.
  • Overseas: 6 August 1944.
  • Campaigns: Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe
  • Days of combat: 209.
  • Awards:
    • Unit
      • 1 Presidential Unit Citation (formerly called a Distinguished Unit Citation)
    • Individual
      • 1 Medal of Honor
      • 54 Distinguished Service Crosses
      • 2 Distinguished Service Medals
      • 510 Silver Stars
      • 10 Legions of Merit
      • 12 Soldier’s Medals
      • 2792 Bronze Star Medals
      • 66 Air Medals
  • Commanders:Returned to U.S.: 6 February 1946
    • Major General Harry J. Malony (September 1942 through May 1945)
    • Brigadier General Louis J. Fortier (June through July 1945)
    • Major General Allison J. Barnett (1 August 1945 through 9 February 1946)
  • Inactivated: 9 February 1946 at Camp Rucker, Alabama
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