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Mouwembleem 85th Infantry Division (Sleeve patch 85th Infantry Division)

WW 2 aanmaak

€ 10,00

The 85th Infantry Division also known as Custer Division (named after the famous cavalry commander George Armstrong Custer). The Division was composed of the 337th, 338th, and 339th Infantry Regiments serving in both World Wars, and the 340th Infantry Regiment in World War I. During World War II, the support units included the 328th, 329th, 403rd, and 910th Field Artillery Battalions and the 310th Engineer Battalion, 310th Medical Battalion and the 85th Reconnaissance Troop.

On 15 May 1942 the 85th Infantry Division was reactivated at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. United States Divisions at that time were organized with three combat brigades. The 85th Division was organized so with the 337th Infantry Regiment the 338th Infantry Regiment, and the 339th Infantry Regiment. The 340th Infantry Regiment was redesignated at the 410th Quartermaster Battalion. Basic infantry training was begun in June 1942 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, under the command of Major General Wade H. Haislip. In April 1943, it participated in large-scale army training in the Louisiana Maneuvers near Leesville, Louisiana. In August, the Division was moved to Camp Coxcomb, California for desert warfare training. In October, the division was transferred to Fort Dix, New Jersey, for final preparations before shipment overseas. Major-General John B. Coulter was transferred as commander and retained this position throughout the war.

The 85th ID left the United States on 24 December 1943 and arrived in Casablanca, French Morocco, 2 January 1944. It received amphibious training at Port aux Poules near Arzew and Oran, Algeria, 1 February to 23 March, then embarked for Naples, Italy, arriving on 27 March. The 339th Infantry Regimental Combat Team was the first division element to depart Port-Aux-Poules for movement to the Italian Campaign. Arriving in Italy on March 14th, the 339th was attached to the 88th Infantry Division and became the first regiment of the 85th to see combat in WW2 on the Minturno-Castelforte front north of Naples, 28 March. The Division was committed to action as a unit, 10 April 1944, north of the Garigliano River, facing the Gustav Line, and held defensive positions for a month.

On 11 May, it launched its attack, taking Solacciano, Castellonorato, and Formia. Itri fell, 19 May, and the 85th continued to mop up the Gaeta Peninsula. Terracina was taken and the road to the Anzio beachhead was opened. The Division pursued the enemy to the hills near Sezze until pinched out by friendly forces from Anzio. The Gustav Line had been smashed and the 85th started for a rest area, 29 May, but was ordered to the Lariano sector which the Division cleared by the 31st. Driving on Rome, the 85th pushed through Monte Compatri and Frascati, entered Rome, 5 June 1944, and advanced to Viterbo before being relieved, 10 June.

After rehabilitation and training, the 85th took over the defense of the Arno River line, 15 to 26 August. The Division attacked the mountain defenses of the Gothic Line, 13 September, and broke through, taking Firenzuola on the 21st. The 85th advanced slowly through mud and rain against heavy resistance taking La Martina and gaining the Idice River Valley road, 2 October, and reaching Mount Mezzano on the 24th overlooking the Po River Valley. From 27 October to 22 November 1944, defense areas near Pizzano were held. On the 23d, the Division was relieved for rest and rehabilitation.

The 85th relieved the British 1st Infantry Division, 6 January 1945, and limited its activities to cautious patrols until 13 March. After a brief training period, the 85th thrust southwest of Bologna, 14 April, pushing through Lucca and Pistoiainto the Po Valley as enemy resistance collapsed. The Panaro River was crossed on the 23rd and the Po the next day. The Division mopped up fleeing Germans until their mass surrender, 2 May 1945, in the Belluno-Agordo area.

Through the entire campaign, the Division suffered some 7,268 casualties with 1,717 Killed In Action. Three soldiers from this division earned the Medal of Honor.

Sleeve patch 85th Infantry Division

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  • Sleeve patch 85th Infantry Division
  • Sleeve patch 85th Infantry Division