90th Infantry Division (United States)

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90th Infantry Division
90th Infantry Division.patch.svg
90th Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia
Active 1917–19
1921–45
1995–present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Army
Type Infantry
Size Division
Garrison/HQ Moffett Field
Nickname(s) "Tough 'Ombres" (special designation)[1]
Texas-Oklahoma Division
Engagements

World War I

World War II

Commanders
Notable
commanders
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (Died before taking command)
James A. Van Fleet
Raymond S. McLain

The 90th Infantry Division ("Tough 'Ombres"[1]) was a unit of the United States Army that served in World War I and World War II. Its lineage is carried on by the 90th Sustainment Brigade.

World War I

  • Activated: August 1917.
  • Overseas: June 1918.
  • Major Operations: St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne.
  • Casualties: Total-7,549 (KIA-1,091; WIA-6,458).
  • Commanders: Maj. Gen. Henry T. Allen (25 August 1917), Brig. Gen. Joseph A. Gaston (23 November 1917), Brig. Gen. W. H. Johnston (27 December 1917), Maj. Gen. Henry T. Allen (1 March 1918), Brig. Gen. Joseph P. O'Neil (24 November 1918), Maj. Gen. Charles H. Martin (30 December 1918).
  • Returned to U.S. and inactivated: June 1919.

Interwar period

The division was reconstituted in the Organized Reserve on 24 June 1921 and assigned to the state of Texas.

World War II

  • Activated: 25 March 1942.
  • Overseas: 23 March 1944.
  • Distinguished Unit Citations: 5.
  • Campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland, Central Europe
  • Awards: MH-4 ; DSC-54 ; DSM-4 ; SS1,418 ; LM-19; DFC-4 ; SM-55 ; BSM-6,140 ; AM-121.
  • Commanders: Maj. Gen. Henry Terrell, Jr. (March 1942 – January 1944), Brig. Gen. Jay W. MacKelvie (5 April 1944), Maj. Gen. Eugene M. Landrum (13 June 1944), Maj. Gen. Raymond S. McLain (30 July 1944), Maj. Gen. James A. Van Fleet (15 October 1944), Maj. Gen. Lowell W. Rooks (22 January 1945), Maj. Gen. Herbert L. Earnest (2 March 1945)[2].
  • Returned to U.S.: 16 December 1945.
  • Inactivated: 27 December 1945.

Combat chronicle

The monument to the 90th US Infantry Division at Utah Beach, Manche, Normandy, France.
Lieutenant Klaptocz of the 1st Polish Armoured Division and American officer (Major Leonard C. Dull) from the 359th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division, after the junction of the two units, Chambois, August 1944

The 90th Infantry Division landed in England, 5 April 1944, and trained from 10 April to 4 June.

First elements of the division saw action on D-Day, 6 June, on Utah Beach, Normandy, the remainder entering combat 10 June, cutting across the Merderet River to take Pont l'Abbe in heavy fighting. After defensive action along the river Douve, the division attacked to clear the Foret de Mont-Castre (Hill 122), clearing it by 11 July, in spite of fierce resistance. In this action the Division suffered 5000 killed, wounded, or captured, one of the highest casualty rates suffered in WW II. An attack on the island of Saint-Germain-sur-Sèves on 23 July failed so the 90th bypassed it and took Périers on 27 July.

On 12 August, the division drove across the Sarthe River, north and east of Le Mans, and took part in the closing of the Falaise Gap, by reaching 1st Polish Armored Division in Chambois, 19 August.

It then raced across France, through Verdun, 6 September, to participate in the siege of Metz, 14 September-19 November, capturing Maizières-lès-Metz, 30 October, and crossing the Moselle River at Kœnigsmacker, 9 November. Elements of the 90th Infantry assaulted and captured the German-held Fort de Koenigsmacker 9–12 November.

On 6 December 1944, the division pushed across the Saar River and established a bridgehead north of Saarlautern (present-day Saarlouis), 6–18 December, but with the outbreak of Gerd von Rundstedt's (Army Group A) drive, the Battle of the Bulge, withdrew to the west bank on 19 December, and went on the defensive until 5 January 1945, when it shifted to the scene of the Ardennes struggle, having been relieved along the Saar River by the 94th Infantry Division. It drove across the Our River, near Oberhausen, 29 January, to establish and expand a bridgehead. In February, the division smashed through Siegfried Line fortifications to the Prüm River.

After a short rest, the 90th continued across the Moselle River to take Mainz, 22 March, and crossed the rivers Rhine, the Main, and the Werra in rapid succession. Pursuit continued to the Czech border, 18 April 1945, and into the Sudetes mountain range. The division was en route to Prague when they came upon the remaining 1500 emaciated prisoners left behind by the SS at Flossenbürg concentration camp. Today, a memorial wall at the former camp honors the 90th as the liberators of Flossenbürg concentration camp.[3] A week later, word came that the war in Europe ended on 8 May 1945. On that same day, Erich Hartmann, the highest-scoring fighter ace in history, along with a squadron of the elite Jagdgeschwader 52 fighter wing (the highest-scoring fighter wing in history), surrendered to the 90th.

Casualties

  • Total battle casualties: 19,200[4]
  • Killed in action: 3,342[4]
  • Wounded in action: 14,386[4]
  • Missing in action: 287[4]
  • Prisoner of war: 1,185[4]

Assignments in ETO

  • 5 March 1944: Third Army.
  • 23 March 1944: Third Army, but attached to First Army.
  • 27 March 1944: VII Corps.
  • 19 June 1944: VIII Corps.
  • 30 July 1944: Third Army, but attached to First Army.
  • 1 August 1944: XV Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group.
  • 17 August 1944: Third Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to V Corps, First Army.
  • 25 August 1944: XV Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group.
  • 26 August 1944: XX Corps
  • 6 January 1945: III Corps.
  • 26 January 1945: VIII Corps.
  • 12 March 1945: XII Corps.

General

  • Nickname: Tough 'Ombres; originally called the Texas-Oklahoma Division which was represented by the T & O on the shoulder patch.
  • Shoulder patch: A khaki-colored square on which is superimposed a red letter "T", the lower part of which bisects the letter "O", also in red.

References

  1. ^ a b "Special Unit Designations". United States Army Center of Military History. 21 April 2010. Archived from the original on 9 July 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2010. 
  2. ^ http://www.history.army.mil/documents/ETO-OB/90ID-ETO.htm
  3. ^ Memorial Plaque honoring the 90th Infantry Division's liberation of Flossenburg
  4. ^ a b c d e Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths, Final Report (Statistical and Accounting Branch, Office of the Adjutant General, 1 June 1953)
  • Combat Chronicles: "90th Infantry Division". – The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. – 1950. – pp. 510–592. Hosted at the United States Army Center of Military History.
  • Wythe, George. A History of the 90th Division. New York, N.Y.: 90th division Association, 1920. OCLC 1237202

External links

  • Tough 'Ombres! The Story of the 90th Infantry Division
  • Official Website of the Tough 'Ombres
  • 90th Infantry Division Preservation Group – Living History & Reenactment Articles
  • "Tough 'Ombres!", Company "B", 359th Regiment, 90th Infantry Division Living History & Reenactment – Tough 'Ombres!
  • Raw Combat Footage of the 90th Infantry Division – Combat Reels
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