“Breakthrough” Division. However, no nickname has
ever been officially adopted; troopers have preferred to be known
simply as members of the 4th Armored. Hence the unofficial nickname of
the "Name Enough" Division.
PATCH: Triangular design divided into three area: red
(representing Field Artillery), blue (representing Infantry), and
yellow (representing Cavalry). Superimposed on three area, in
black, are the track of a tank and a cannon. A bolt of lightning,
in red, is superimposed on these. The Division’s number
appears in the upper portion of the triangle.
DATE: 15 April 1941..
DATE: 26 April 1946 at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.
UNITS: Hq Co; Res. Com.; CCA; CCB; 8, 35 and 37 Tank Bns;
10, 51 and 53 Armd Inf Bns; 24th Armd Engr Bn; 25th Cav Rcn Sq (Mecz);
144 Armd Sig Co. Division Artillery: 22, 66 and 94 Armd FA
Bns. Division Trains: 4th Armd Med Bn; 126 Ord Maint Bn; MP
Upon activation the unit was assigned to the Armored Force and
stationed at Pine Camp NY. From 14 Sep through 26 Oct 1942, it
maneuvered under the Second Army in Tennessee. In Nov 1942, it
was transferred to Camp Young CA and participated in Desert Training
Center maneuvers from 1 Dec 1942 through 22 Feb 1943. From 19 Apr
to 10 Jul, it took part in further Desert Training Center maneuvers and
then moved to Camp Bowie, TX, under the VIII Corps, Third Army.
DEPARTED U.S. FOR
FOREIGN DUTY: 29 December 1943 from Boston.
TRAINING: The Division conducted training in England prior
to seeing combat on the continent.
COMBAT: Division 28 July 1944, First Elements 17 July 1944.
U.S.: 25 April 1946.
CREDITS: (Division) Normandy, Northern France,
Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe.
COMMANDING GENERALS: Major General H W Baird from April
1941 to May 1942; Major General J S Wood from May 1942 to
December 1944; Major General H Gaffey from Dec 944 to March 1945; Major
General W M Hoge from March to July 1945; Major General F B Prickett
from September 1945 to inactivation in April 1946.
MEDAL OF HONOR WINNERS: 1st Lt James H Fields, Houston
TX. He led his platoon in the seizure and defense of a vital hill
position near Rechicourt, France, 27 Sep 1944, though greatly weakened
and speechless from a serious head wound. He so inspired his
depleted platoon that it faced an overwhelming rush of Germans in a
stand that grabbed victory from the grasp of the Nazis.
J Sadowski, Perth Amboy NJ, for heroism near Valhey, France 14 Sep
1944. AS his unit, 37th Tank Bn, pressed towards the town under
heavy fire, Sgt Sadowski’ tank was disabled, and burst into
flame. He ordered his crew to take cover, but one member was
unable to dismount. In the face of almost certain death, the
sergeant returned to the tank and tried to pry open the turret, being
killed during his efforts.
R Hendrix of Lepanto AR, Company C of the 53rd Armored Infantry Bn, for
wiping out two enemy artillery positions and saving the lives of three
of his wounded comrades on 26 Dec 1944.
CITATION: The division became the first Armored Division to
receive the Distinguished Unit Citation, given the entire personnel for
“extraordinary tactical accomplishment” from 22 Dec 44 to
27 Mar 45 in spearheading the Third Army across France into Germany.
AWARDS: Awarded the French Fourragere for 27 July to 11 August
1944 action at Avranches and 12 to 29 September 1944 action at Nantes
and the Moselle area, France by French Decision #272, dated 22 July
HIGHLIGHTS: From the time the 4th ArmdD entered combat on the
Normandy peninsula, 17 Jul 1944, its action was nearly continuous
during long trek through France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany and
Czechoslovakia. First real test of the Division was the battle
for the city Coutances, France, on 28 Jul. Coutances was taken
the day it was attacked, and from there the Division started a marathon
sprint that carried it across France to the German border in an
unending chase. From Coutances, the unit swung south and lopped
off the Brittany peninsula in a lightning thrust. The outfit then
swung due east and Combat Command “B” drove 264 miles in 34
hours to reach Prunay, south of Vendeme, France. In mid-September
the 4th smashed across the cold, swift Moselle River and drove into the
heart of the Germans’ winter defense line. Two columns of
steel flanks the French City of Nancy and the famous old city fell as
the Germans fled to the east. Three weeks after the 4th’s
crossing of the Moselle River it saw some of the toughest fighting the
Division ever encountered. The Germans counterattacked with two
Panzer brigades and a Panzer Div, supported by Grenadiers. All
attacks were repulsed w/o loss of ground, and at the end of three weeks
men of the 4th ArmdD counted 281 German Panther and Tiger Tanks
littering the hills. On 18 Dec 1944, tankers of the organization
had heard vague reports of a 2 day German offensive in Belgium &
Luxembourg. Suddenly that night orders were issued for the outfit
to march north against the breakthrough. Elements raced northwest
thru Morhange, crossed the Moselle at Pont-a-Mousson, turned north to
Briey and Longwy, then into Belgium to Arlon, before arriving at an
assembly area at Vaux-les-Rosieres. The 151-mile march had been
made in 19 hours. For 4 days, 22-26 Dec, the 4th pounded away at
von Rundstedt’s offensive from the flank and finally on 26
Dec, the first Sherman tank lumbered the last few hundred yards over
the mine strewn Arlon – Bastogne highway to signal the relief of
the 101st AbnD which occupied besieged Bastogne. After six weeks
of waiting for another German attack that never materialized, the
4th plunged into action again.. This time it went thru the
Siegfried Line in the wake of the 90th InfD, drove to the Kyll River,
paused briefly and then took off on a historical drive that carried to
the Rhine River – - 66 miles in 58 hours. Enroute the
outfit had surged across the Moselle River at Trois and made a non-stop
trip to the ancient city of Worms on the Rhine, after capturing
Simmern, Bad Kreuznach and a huge total of Nazi prisoners. This
time the outfit passed thru the 5th InfD’s bridgehead and crossed
the Rhine 24-25 Mar. The Division advanced all night and by morning
straddled the Main River south of Hanau, w/4 bridges
intact. From here it was a lightning advance all the way to
Chemnitz and into Czechoslovakia. After V-E Day the Div was given
an occupational mission at Landshut, Ger until departure for the US and
inactivation. Some elements of the Div were redesignated as
Constabulary units to remain in Ger as occupation forces.