World War I
The 39th Infantry Regiment was organized at Camp
Greene, North Carolina on Dec 3, 1917 and became part of the 7th Infantry
Brigade (includes the 39th and 47th Infantry Regiments and the 11th Machinegun
Battalion), 4th Infantry Division. It was formed with personnel from the
30th Infantry Regiment and later brought up to strength by other Regular
Army personnel from the various camps in the United States. On January
5, 1918, organization is completed and the entire division began its extensive
training. On Apr 21, the division completed all phases of training and
was cleared for overseas movement to France.
On April 23, the division moved to Camp Mills, New York, staging for overseas movement by increments to England. The 39th Infantry Regiment, sailed on the SS Megantic and arrived at Brest on May 23. Part of the division (58th Inf Regt of the 8th Infantry Brigade) sailed on the SS Moldavia and was torpedoed by German submarine off the coast of England and lost 56 men
On May 18, the entire 7th Infantry Brigade moved to Le Havre, France and was attached to the French 4th Division and proceeded to Rosoy-en-Multign area for more training. At the completion of training on Jul 5, the 7th Infantry Brigade is place under the disposal of the French II Corps to occupy a second French position located between Autheuil and Varinfroy in case the Germans attacks. The 39th Inf Regt with attachment from Company A and C of the 11th Machine Gun Battalion, part of the 7th Inf Bde, is further attached to the French 33rd Div which occupies the left sector of the French II Corps, from Troesnes to Faverolles. On Jul 18, 39th Inf Regt attacks east through Buisson de Cresnesand captures Noroy-sur-Oureq. Jul 19, 39th Inf Regt is relieved and moves to rejoin the 4th Inf Div.
On Jul 24, again the 7th Inf Bde is placed at the
disposal of the French II Corps. But on the Jul 30, was detached from the
French and sent to reinforce the U.S. 42nd Infantry Division, in case of
emergency breakthrough by the Germans. After that emergency, the 7th Inf
Bde reverted to the 4th Infantry Division. On
Aug 4, the 39th Inf Regt advances to the Vesle River and crossed to reach and hold the France Route National east of Le Tron Baret until it was ordered to attack and captures Bajoches. There it remained to hold the line with the U.S 77th Infantry Division, until relieved by infantry elements of that U.S. division. When relieved the 39th Inf Regt continued its attack to Foret de Fere.
Aug 21, the 4th Inf Div with all its assigned units joins the U.S. 1st Army and moves to Vavincourt Area for rehabilitation of its infantry brigades and to conduct more training with new replacements for cohesiveness. On Sep 7, 39th Inf Regt moves out to attack the Toulon Sector (Lorraine). Sep 21, entire 4th Inf Div is sent to participate in the St Mihiel Operation where it relieved U.S. 33rd Infantry Division in the front lines of the Verdun-Fromereville Sector where continuous battles ensued.
Sep 26, the Meuse-Argonne Operation starts. The 39th Inf Regt attacks and captures Cuisy and Septsarges and occupies Bois de Septsarges. The next day pushes through the Bois de Brieulles against increasing resistance but gains the north edge of the town. Oct 4, in a series of attacks captures the Bois-de-Fayes, Bois de Malaumont, Bois-dePeut-de-Faux and continues on to Moulin-d’en-haut where it captures and occupies the town.
Oct 21, entire 4th Infantry division moves by stages to joins the U.S. 2nd Army at Commercy Area. On Nov 4, new orders, sends the division to join again with the U.S. 1st Army and moves to Blercourt for more training.
Nov 11, was designated Armistice. Nov 20, 39th Inf Regt advances into Germany and take station in the Kreise of Cochem and Adenau. Nov 27, entire 4th Inf Div goes into occupation in Germany and more training.
May 20, 1919, 39th Inf Regt along with all the Infantry Regiments (47th, 58th, 59th) of the 4th Division was detached to function under the U.S. 3rd Army, guarding property at railheads and supply depots in Germany and France.
Jul 9, 39th Infantry Regiment moves to Brest and on Jul 24, sails on the SS Mt Vernon, arrives at Hoboken, New Jersey and continues movement to Camp Merritt, New Jersey. Aug 10, the 39th Infantry Regiment moved to Camp Dodge, Iowa, where it was demobilized.
Source: Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World
War: AEF Divisions. U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle
Barracks, Pennsylvania and put together by Geraldo Gapol, a former veteran
of the 3/39th Infantry.
During the lull between wars the Regimental crest was designed and approved. Each of the devices in the crest holds significant meaning for the regiment. The shield in blue for infantry. The fleur-de-lis in from the coat of arms of Soissons, a town in France recaptured by the 39th Infantry Regiment in 1918. The two trees represent the Groves of Cresenes, the site of the regiment’s first military success in France during World War I. The boar’s head on the canton is taken from the crest of the 30th Infantry regiment and indicates the 39thIR was organized with personnel from the 30th IR. The crest is a falcon’s head, for Mount Faucon in Muesse-Argonne. The falcon holds, in its bill, an ivy leaf, from the shoulder sleeve insignia of the 4th ID to which the regiment was assigned during World War I. The motto “D’une Vaillance Admirable is a quotation from the French citation which awarded the Croix De Guerre with Gilt Star to the regiment for its distinguished service in World War I. The motto best translates “With a Military Courage Worthy of Admiration”.
39th Infantry Regiment World War II
Reactivation of the 9th Division, inactive for more than twenty years after it was demobilized in 1919, was on Aug 1, 1940 at Fort Bragg, NC (formerly Camp Greene). The division was planned as an assault unit and received amphibious warfare training in early 1942. Designated as the 9th Infantry Division on Aug 1, 1942. The 39th Infantry Regiment along with the 47th and 60th Infantry Regiments rounded out the infantry. Also attached at that time the 15th Engineer Combat Battalion and the 9th Medical Battalion.
The 39th Infantry Regiment was the first to ship overseas. Departing Camp Drum, New York on Sep 26, 1942. The 39th IR went first to England to await the North Africa invasion.
The division saw its first action on Nov 8, 1942, when the 39th IR landed east of Algiers, the sister regiments, the 47th IR at Safi and the 60th IR at Mehdia. The first of many outstanding achievements was the division artillery’s 100 hour forced march from Tlemcen, Algeria covering a distance of 777 miles, on slippery, winding road to Kasserine Pass at the Tunisian front. German General Rommel’s thrust was blunted, than stopped cold. The Division Artillery was credited with halting the German advances against American troops, earning the Division’s first, of 19, Distinguish Unit Citations.
The 9th ID entered combat as a division for the first time on Mar 28, 1943 in southern Tunisia in El Guettar, where bitter battles was fought for hills 290, 369 and 772. On Apr 11, 1943 the division moved northward and attacked Sedjenane sector enveloping the Green Bald Hill positions. Djebel, Dandys, Mrata and Cheniti were other captured towns on the way to attack Bizerti and entering the city on May 8, 1943.
The entire 9th ID embarked for Sicily. Outside the
Palermo Harbor on Aug 1, 1943, the troop transports were under a two hour
aerial attack by German aircraft but suffered no losses. The 39th IR led
the attack on Tronia. They advanced east to attack and occupy Randazzo,
key point in the enemy’s last line before Messina. The division stayed
until Aug 20, 1943 when it was announced officially that the entire Sicilian
Campaign was over
The 9th ID was withdrawn and sent to England, departing the Mediterranean Theater on Nov 25, 1943, to begin preparation for the Normandy amphibious landing. The 9th ID landed on Utah Beach (D+4) Jun 10, 1944. The 39th IR was temporarily attached to the 4th ID. During this period of attachment, the 39th IR cleared the beaches from Taret de Ravenoville to the Montebouge-Quineville ridgeline. Which has been used by the Germans to shell the Utah Beach area. The division was first committed to action on June 14, 1944 in an attack toward Columbe. The 9th ID on Jun 16, 1944 reinforced by one regiment of the 90th ID attacked to establish a bridgehead across the Douve. Along with elements of the 82nd Airborne Division, the 9th ID secured jump off points along Douve. On Jun 17-18 1944 reaching the West Coast of Cotentin, the 9th ID cutoff all German retreat to the south. The 9th ID began its drive to Cherborg, attacking the main fortification belt in Cotentin peninsula.
The 9th ID arrived in the Taute sector, south of
Carentan, on Jul 9, 1944. On Jul 11, 1944 the German Panzer Lehr Division,
in the Le Desert sector hit the 9th ID but slowly advanced against determined
resistance and reached the Periers-St Lo road on Jul 18, 1944, after sustaining
very high casualties.
At one point the 82nd AD was too spent to exploit an attack. The 9th ID moved into the positions and pushed 13 miles in two days, to be the first Allied Force to liberate the belgian town of Momignies.
The 9th ID began its attack on Hitler’s Deutschland on Sep 14, 1944. The 47th IR was the first Allied unit to completely breach the Siegfried Line, the 39th and 60th IR meantime drove into the Hurtgen Forest. The American troops came to refer to the Hurtgen as the “Death Factory” continuing for 3 long months. On Oct 6, 1944 the 39th and 60th IR began their first attack on Schmidt. By Oct 16, 1944 the advance was halted at Germeter, with a gain of but 3,000 yards at a total cost of 4,500 men.
When the German Ardennes Offensive struck, on Oct
Dec 16, 1944, the battle was a bitter one for the 9th ID. It repulsed a
German attack in this area aimed to expanding the base of the “Bulge”.
It held a defensive sector from Kalterherberg in the Hurtgen to Elsenborn
in the Ardennes through out Jan 1945.
The 9th ID was the first to establish a bridgehead east of the Rhine after crossing the Remagen, In helping close the Ruhr pocket, the 9th ID withstood a savage attempt to break out, then moved in to mop up.
The 9th ID was with the 9th Army in north central Europe when VE Day was announced. Aug 1, 1945 found just about all the division veterans gone. They had participated in 8 Campaigns, spent 304 days in combat, and suffered over 22,000 casualties and 4,581 KIAs. These men who wore the 9th Infantry Division Octofoil must never be forgotten.
Source: Taken from the 9th Infantry Division Home Page authored
by Leon Baldwin. His hard work on the research of many units of the 9th
ID brings endless information on the exploits of the division.
In this 3/39th Infantry Home Page, it partially depicts the history of the 39th Infantry. Not included are the exploits of the sister battalions, the 2nd and 4th. The 2nd has their Home Pages listed in the Mobile Riverine Force Association Web Pages, as for the 4th they will eventually open their Home Page. It will be my fortune to see the 3 battalions of the 39th Infantry, come under one roof to become again, regiment size as in the past.
Counteroffensive Phase II
Counteroffensive Phase III
Counteroffensive Phase IV
Counteroffensive Phase V
Counteroffensive Phase VI
Tet 1969 Counteroffensive