The 44th Infantry Division
was a formation
of the United States Army
from around 1917 to
December 1954, when it was finally inactivated after Federal
Service during the Korean War
was activated after World War I as a
National Guard Division in New Jersey and New
World War II
The division was activated on 16 September 1940, and went overseas
on 5 September 1944.
- Campaigns: Northern France, Rhineland,
- Days of combat: 190.
- Distinguished Unit Citations: 3.
- Awards: Medal of Honor-1; DSC-38; Distinguished
Service Medal -2; Silver Star-464;
Legion of Merit-8; Soldiers Medal-6; Bronze Star-2,647; Air Medal-110.
- Commanders: Maj. Gen. Clifford R. Powell (September 1940-August
1941), Maj. Gen. James I. Muir (August 1941-August 1944), Maj. Gen.
Robert L. Spragins (August 1944-December 1944), Maj. Gen. William
F. Dean (January 1945September 1945), Brig. Gen. William A.
Beiderlinden (1 November-14 November 1945), Brig. Gen. Robert L.
Dulaney (November 1945 to inactivation).
- Returned to U.S.: 21 July 1945.
- Inactivated: 30 November 1945.
The 44th Infantry Division landed in France via Cherbourg, 15
September 1944, and trained for a month before entering combat, 18
October 1944, when it relieved the 79th Division
vicinity of Foret de Parroy, east of Lunéville, France, to take
part in the Seventh Army drive to secure several passes in the
Vosges Mountains. Within 6 days, the division was hit by a heavy
German counterattack, 25-26 October. The attack was repulsed and
the 44th continued its active defense. On 13 November 1944, it
jumped off in an attack northeast, forcing a passage through the
Vosges Mountains east of Leintrey to Dossenheim, took Avricourt, 17
November, and pushed on to liberate Strasbourg, along with the 2d
French Armored Division. After regrouping, the division returned to
the attack, taking Ratzwiller and entering the Ensemble de Bitche
in the Maginot Line. Fort Simserhof fell 19 December. Displacing to
defensive positions east of Sarreguemines, 21-23 December, the 44th
threw back three attempted crossings by the enemy of the Blies
An aggressive defense of the Sarreguemines area was continued
throughout February 1945 and most of March. Moving across the Rhine
at Worms, 26 March, in the wake of the 3d Division, the 44th
relieved the 3d, 26-27 March, and crossed the Neckar River to
attack and capture Mannheim, 28-29 March. Shifting to the west bank
of the Main, the division crossed that river at Gross-Auheim in
early April, and engaged in a 3-week training period. Attacking 18 April,
after the 10th Armored
Division, the 44th took Ehingen, 23 April, crossed the Danube, and attacking southeast, took Füssen, Berg, and Wertach, in a drive
On May 2, a group of V-2 rocket scientists
to the 44th. Pursuing the disintegrating enemy through
Pass and into the Inn River valley, the 44th set up its CP at Imst, Austria, on
After a short period of occupation duty, the division
returned to the United States in July 1945 for retraining prior to
redeployment, but the end of the Pacific war resulted in
inactivation in November.
Assignments in the ETO
- 30 August 1944: Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.
- 5 September 1944: III Corps.
- 10 October 1944: Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.
- 14 October 1944: XV Corps, 6th Army Group, for supply.
- 17 October 1944: XV Corps, Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.
- 8 April 1945: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.
- 15 April 1945: XXI Corps.
- 17 April 1945: VI Corps.
The division was reactivated in the Illinois Army National Guard
1945-46, and inducted into federal service in early 1952 during the
. It was inactivated after its
release from federal service in December 1954.
References and Notes
accessed July 2009