45th Infantry Division

The 45th Division landed in North Africa, 22 June 1943, and trained at Arzew, French Morocco. It landed in Sicily, 10 July, in its first major amphibious operation and moved inland under minor opposition. The enemy resisted fiercely at Motta Hill, 26 July, before losing the fourday battle of "Bloody Ridge." On 1 August, the Division withdrew for rest and patrols. On 10 September 1943, the second landing at Salerno occurred. Against stiff resistance, the 45th pushed to the Calore River, 27 September, crossed the Volturno River, 3 November, and took Venafro.

Until 9 January 1944, the Division inched forward into the mountains reaching St. Elia north of Cassino before moving to a rest area. The 45th landed at Anzio, 22 January 1944, and for 4 months stood its ground against violent assaults. It went over to the attack, 23 May, crossed the Tiber River, 4 June, outflanking Rome and withdrew for rest and training on the 16th.

The 45th participated in its fourth assault landing, 15 August 1944, at St. Maxime in Southern France. Against slight opposition, it spearheaded the drive for the Belfort Gap. It took the strongly defended city of Epinal, 24 September, crossed the Moselle River and entered the western foothills of the Vosges, taking Rambervillers on the 30th, and crossing the Mortagne River, 23 October.

After a brief rest the 45th cracked the forts north of Mutzig, an anchor of the Maginot Line, 25 November, crossed the Zintzel River and pushed through the Maginot defenses. From 2 January 1945, the Division fought defensively along the German border, withdrawing to the Moder River. On 17 February, it went back for rest and training.

The 45th moved north to the Sarreguemines area and smashed at the Siegfried Line, 17 March, taking Homburg on the 21st and crossing the Rhine between Worms and Hamm on the 26th. The advance continued, Aschaffenburg falling, 3 April, and Nurnberg on the 20th. The Division crossed the Danube, 27 April, took Munich on the 30th and as war ended was stationed near Dachau.

Unit awards
Medal Of Honor
Medal Of Honor
Awarded: 9
Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Cross
Awarded: 61
Distinguished Service Medal
Distinguished Service Medal
Awarded: 3
Silver Star
Silver Star
Awarded: 1.848
Legion of Merit
Legion of Merit
Awarded: 38
Soldier's Medal
Soldier's Medal
Awarded: 59
Bronze Star
Bronze Star
Awarded: 5.744
Air Medal
Air Medal
Awarded: 52
Combat chronicle
  • 15 September 1944: VI Corps, Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.
  • 1 November 1944: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.
  • 22 November 1944: XV Corps.
  • 31 December 1944: VI Corps.
  • 15 March 1944: XV Corps.
  • 6 May 1945: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.

Thunderbird Division

45th Infantry Division
Original WW2 patch
Circular, containing the nomad, Korean symbol of eternal life. Half of patch is blue; half is gray

Nicknamed: Thunderbird Division

Slogan: Semper Anticus (Always Forward)

Activated: 16 September 1940
Inactivated: 7 December 1945

Days of combat: 511

Date overseas: 8 June 1943

Casualties of the 45th Infantry Division
Killed in action: 1.510
Wounded in action: 7.246
Missing in action: 1.436
Captured: 266
Non battle: 15.991
Total casualties: 26.449

7
Unit Citations: 7
45th Infantry Division
Commanders of the 45th Infantry Division during WW2
Maj, Gen. William S. Key

Maj, Gen. William S. Key

September 1940 - October 1942
Maj. Gen. Troy H. Middleton

Maj. Gen. Troy H. Middleton

October 1942 - December 1943
Maj. Gen. William W. Eagles

Maj. Gen. William W. Eagles

December 1943 - December 1944
Maj. Gen. Robert T. Frederick

Maj. Gen. Robert T. Frederick

December 1944 - September 1945
Brig. Gen. Henry J. D. Meyer

Brig. Gen. Henry J. D. Meyer

September 1945 to inactivation

Campaigns

Sicily

Naples-Foggia

Anzio

Southern France

Ardennes-Alsace

Rhineland

Central Europe

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