106th Infantry Division
OF DIVISION: Army of the United States
NICKNAME: “Golden Lion” Division
Lions of 106 to Victory,” words
and music by Frank Power.
PATCH: The Division insignia is a golden lion’s face on a blue
circular background encircled by white, and then red borders
respectively. The blue
represents the Infantry and the red the supporting artillery.
The lion’s face is indicative of strength and power.
15 March 1943.
DATE: 2 October 1945,
Camp Shanks, NY.
UNITS: 422, 423 and 424 Inf Regts; 81 Engr Combat Bn;
106 Cav Rcn Tp (Mecz); 331 Med Bn.
Div Arty: 589, 590 and 591st FA Bns (105 how) and 592 FA Bn (155
how). Sp Tps: 106 QM Co, 106 Sig Co, 806 Ord Co (LM), Hq Co, MP
Plat and Band.
U.S. FOR FOREIGN DUTY:
10 November 1944
TRAINING: Trained briefly in England and then in France before being
put into the line.
10 December 1944.
DAYS (DIV): 63
TO U.S.: 1 October 1945
CREDITS: (Division) Northern
France, Ardennes, and Rhineland.
COMMANDING GENERALS: MG Alan W. Jones from 15 Mar 1943 through Nov 1944;
MG Donald A Stroh from Feb 1945 to inactivation.
UNIT CITATION: 81st Engr Cmbt Bn for 16-23 Dec 1944 action in Germany.
HIGHLIGHTS: On 11 Dec 1944, the 106th Infantry Division went into the
line in Belgium. It was a
quiet sector. Five days
later all the hell of modern war broke loose in that sector.
The full force of Von Rundstadt’s breakthrough spearhead came
up against the 106th. The
regiments of the division absorbed all the power which the Germans could
deliver at that point. Only
a handful of men from the regiments came back, but it could be said of
the division as a whole that it went down fighting.
The German attack started 16 Dec 1944.
The enemy turned its guns on the 422nd and 423rd Inf Regts and
followed up with infantry and tank assaults.
On 23 Dec the division pulled back to reorganize, but was thrown
into the line once again the next day.
It finally helped to halt the Germans on the north side of the
salient between Stavelot and Manhay.
During the gigantic German offensive the 106th suffered 8663
casualties, which included more
than 7000 men missing. Before
the last big drive into the Reich could gain momentum, the division was
pulled back to Rennes France for rehabilitation.
While there it also constituted the reserve for American troops
investing the St Nazaire and Lorient pockets.
When the Germans began to surrender by the thousands in April and
early May 1945, the 106th was rushed east to take over the partly-built
prisoner of war cages and to handle the masses of humanity who were
milling about in American held territory.
The division in June 1945, had a strength of 40,000 men, three
times the size of an ordinary Infantry Division, because of the gigantic
task it had to undertake on caring for prisoners and displaced persons.
Late in June the division had headquarters at Bad Ems, and was
disposed along a 340 mile front. The division sailed for the US in late Sep 1945 and was
inactivated upon arrival in this country.
Source: These fact sheets are from The Information Section, Analysis Branch, Hq Army Ground Forces, Washington 25 DC, 1 Mar 1947, as found in the records of the National Archives and Records Administration, RG 407, Archives II, College Park MD. Not all of the Division’s Fact sheets have survived and they are being presented here in random order as new ones are found.
10 October 2002
I enjoyed reading your web page history of the 106th Infantry Division.
In your web page about the 106th Infantry division, you state that the 106th departed U.S. on 10 Nov 1944. Perhaps the top brass departed NY on that date, or perhaps part of the division departed on that date, but I was in the 423rd Regiment, and we departed NY about 0700 hours on October 17, 1944, and docked at Greenock, the port for Glasgow, on October 22, 1944. We crossed on the Queen Elizabeth, unescorted and sailing a zig-zag course. This crossing of the 423rd Regiment on the Queen Elizabeth on October 17-22 has been well documented.
Perhaps you should mention this in your history of the 106th Infantry Division.
L. Martin Jones
1329 Kasold Drive, M-1
Lawrence, KS 66049
(I was 2nd Lieutenant Lloyd M. Jones, G company, 423rd Regiment, in military service).
106TH INFANTRY DIVISION
World War II
Activated: 15 March 1943. Overseas: 10 November 1944. Campaigns: Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace. Days of combat: 63. Distinguished Unit Citations: 1. Awards: DSC-6 ; DSM-1; SS-77; LM-9; SM-26 ; BSM-352 ; AM-10. Commanders: Maj. Gen. Alan W. Jones (15 March 1943-22 December 1944), Brig. Gen. Herbert T. Perrin (22 December 1944-8 February 1945), Maj. GenDonald A. Stroh (February 1945-August 1945), Brig. Gen. Francis A. Woolfley (August 1945 to inactivation). Returned to U. S.: 1 October 1945. Inactivated: 2 October 1945.
The 106th Infantry Division arrived in England, 17 November 1944, and trained briefly, then moved to France, 6 December. It relieved the 2d Infantry Division in the Schnee Eifel on the 11th. The Von Rundstedt attack was thrown in force at the 106th on 16 December. The 422d and 423d Infantry Regiments were encircled and cut off from the remainder of the Division by a junction of enemy forces in the vicinity of Schonberg. They regrouped for a counterattack but were blocked by the enemy and lost to the Division, 18 December. The rest of the Division withdrew from St. Vith on the 21st under constant enemy fire and pulled back over the Saint River at Vielsalm, 23 December. On the 24th, the 424th Regiment attached to the 7th Armored Division fought a delaying action at Manhay until ordered to an assembly area. From 25 December 1944 to 9 January 1945, the Division received reinforcements and supplies at Anthisnes, Belgium, and returned to the struggle, securing objectives along the Ennal-Logbierme line on the 15th after heavy fighting. After being pinched out by advancing divisions, the 106th assembled at Stavelot on the 18th for rehabilitation and training. It moved to the vicinity of Hunningen, 7 February, for defensive patrols and training. In March, the 424th advanced along tile high ground between Berk and the Simmer River and was again pinched out at Olds on the 7th. A period of training and patrolling followed until 15 March when the Division moved to St. Quentin for rehabilitation and the reconstruction of lost units. For the remainder of its stay in Europe, the 106th handled prisoners of war enclosures and engaged in occupational duties.
Assignments in the ETO*
29 November 1944: VIII Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group. 20 December 1944: XVIII (Abn) Corps, First Army (attached to the British 21st Army Group), 12th Army Group. 18 January 1945: XVIII (Abn) Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group. 6 February 1945: V Corps. 10 March 1945: Fifteenth Army, 12th Army Group. 15 April 1945: Fifteenth Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to the Advanced Section, Communications Zone.
Nickname: Golden Lion Division. Shoulder patch: A golden lion's face on a blue circular background encircled by white and then red borders respectively. Association: 106th Infantry Division, Inc., 237 South Manning Boulevard, Albany 3, N. Y. (D. S. Price, president). Publications: History of the 106th Infantry Division; by unit members; The Infantry Journal, Washington 6, D. C.; 1947. Pictorial Review; by unit members; Albert Love Enterprises, Atlanta 2, Ga. ; 1944. CUB, published in newspaper form in training after VE-day overseas, and resumed in magazine form by the 106th Infantry Division Association after inactivation of the division. The 106th; U. S. Army Forces in the European Theater; Paris, P. Dupont, 1945. 31 pp.
*See footnote, 1st Infantry Division.
[Nota Bene: These combat chronicles, current as of October 1948, are reproduced from The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950, pp. 510-592.]
Page last revised
James D. West