- 99th Infantry Division (United States)
Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=U.S. 99th Infantry Division
caption=99th Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia
United States ArmyReserve (inactive)
November 15, 1942- October 15, 1945
nickname=Battle Babies, Checkerboard Division
World War II/ Ardennes Offensive
previous=98th Infantry Division
next= 100th Infantry Division
The 99th Infantry Division was a unit of the
United States Armyin World War II.
World War II
*Activated: 15 November 1942
*Overseas: 30 September 1944
Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe
*Days of combat: 151
*Distinguished Unit Citations: 2
Medal of Honor-1 ; Distinguished Service Cross (United States)-16 ; Distinguished Service Medal (Army)-1 ; Silver Star-252; Legion of Merit-6; DFC-7 ; Soldier's Medal-8 ; Bronze Star -2,127 ; Air Medal-48
*Commanders: Maj. Gen. Thompson Lawrence (November 1942-July 1943), Maj. Gen. Walter E. Lauer (July 1943-18 August 1945), Brig. Gen. Frederick H. Black (August 1945 to inactivation)
*Returned to U. S.: 17 September 1945
*Inactivated: 15 October 1945
The 99th Infantry Division arrived in England, 10 October 1944, moved to
Le Havre, France, 3 November, and proceeded to Aubel, Belgium, to prepare for combat. The division first saw action on the 9th, taking over the defense of the sector north of the Roer Riverbetween Schmidt and Monschau. After defensive patrolling, the 99th probed the Siegfried Lineagainst heavy resistance, 13 December.
The Ardennes Offensive caught the division on the 16th. Although cut up and surrounded in part, the 99th held as a whole until reinforcements came. Then it drew back gradually to form defensive positions east of Elsenborn on the 19th. Here it held firmly against violent enemy attacks. From 21 December 1944 to 30 January 1945, the unit was engaged in aggressive patrolling and reequipping. It attacked toward the Monschau Forest, 1 February, mopping up and patrolling until it was relieved for training and rehabilitation, 13 February.
On 2 March, 1945, the division took the offensive, moving toward Keln and crossing the Erft Canal near Glesch. After clearing towns west of the
Rhine, it crossed the river at Remagen on the 11th and continued to Linzand to the Wied. Crossing on the 23d, it pushed east on the Koln-Frankfurt highway to Giessen. Against light resistance it crossed the Dill Riverand pushed on to Krofdorf-Gleiberg, taking Giessen 29 March. The 99th then moved to Schwarzenau, 3 April, and attacked the southeast sector of the Ruhr Pocketon the 5th. Although the enemy resisted fiercely, the Ruhr pocket collapsed with the fall of Iserlohn, 16 April.
The last drive began on 23 April. The 99th crossed the Ludwig Canal against stiff resistance and established a bridgehead over the
Altmuhl River, 25 April. The Danubewas crossed near Eining on the 27th and the Isarat Landshut, 1 May, after a stubborn fight. The attack continued without opposition to the Inn Riverand Giesenhausen when VE-daycame.
Assignments in the ETO
*4 November 1944: V Corps,
First United States Army, 12th Army Group
*18 December 1944: Attached to 2d Infantry Division of the V Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group
*20 December 1944: Attached, with the entire First Army, to the
British 21st Army Group
*7 January 1944: Relieved from attachment to the 2nd Infantry Division and assigned to V Corps, First Army (attached to the British 21st Army Group), 12th Army Group
*18 January 1945: V Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group
*20 February 1945: VII Corps
*9 March 1945: III Corps
*19 April 1945: III Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group
Medal of Honor Recipients
Vernon McGarity: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company L, 393rd Infantry, 99th Infantry Division. Near Krinkelt, Belgium, 16 December 1944
*Nickname: Battle Babies; formerly Checkerboard Division.
*Shoulder patch: A fivesided shield of black on which is superimposed a horizontal band of white and blue squares. The black represents the iron from the mills of Pittsburgh where many of the troops were from. The blue and white are taken from the coat of arms for William Pitt for whom Pittsburgh was named.
* The I&R Platoon from 394th infantry regiment of the 99th division is the most decorated platoon of
World War IIfor only one single action (4 DSC, 5 SS, 10 BSM with V (valor) device and Presidential Unit Citation).
*"The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States" U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950 at http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/lineage/cc/cc.htm
*"The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge and the Epic Story of World War II's Most Decorated Platoon", Alex Kershaw
* [http://www.lonesentry.com/gi_stories_booklets/99thinfantry/index.html Battle Babies: The Story of the 99th Infantry Division]
* [http://www.battleofthebulge.org/fact/fact_sheet_of_the_99th_infantry.html Fact Sheet of the 99th Infantry Division] from http://www.battleofthebulge.org
* [http://99div.com/ Checkerboard, official publication of 99th Infantry Division Association]
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