Nickname: Yankee DivisionShoulder patch: Khakicolored, in the shape of a diamond. In the center, in blue are the letters "Y" and "D" in the form of a monogram.
World War I
Activated: July 1917 (National Guard Division from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)
Overseas: October 1917
Major Operations: Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne
Days of combat: 210
Casualties: Total 13,664 - KIA 1,587 - WIA 12,077
Inactivated: May 1919
World War II
|Inducted||16 January 1941|
|Overseas||26 August 1944|
|Arrived ETO||7 September 1944|
|Arrived Continent (D+105)||19 September 1944|
|Entered Combat||12 October 1944|
|Days in Combat||199|
|Returned to U.S.||December 1945|
|Inactivated||29 December 1945|
The 26th Infantry Division landed in France at Cherbourg and Utah Beach, 7 September 1944, but did not enter combat as a Division until a month later, 7 October. Elements were on patrol duty along the coast from Carteret to Siouville, 13-30 September, and the 328th Infantry saw action with the 80th Division to which it was attached, 5-15 October. On 7 October the 26th relieved the 4th Armored Division in the Salonnes-Moncourt-Canal du Rhine au Marne sector, and maintained defensive positions; a limited objective attack was launched, 22 October, in the Moncourt woods. On 8 November the Division went on the offensive, took Dieuze, 20 November, advanced across the Saar River to Saar Union, and captured it, 2 December, after house-to-house fighting. Reaching Maginot fortifications, 5 December, it regrouped, entering Saareguemines 8 December.
Rest at Metz was interrupted by the Von Rundstedt offensive. The Division moved north to Luxembourg, 19-21 December, to take part in the battle of the Ardennes break-through. It attacked at Rambrouch and Grosbous, 22 December, beat off strong German counterattacks, captured Arsdorf on Christmas Day after heavy fighting, attacked toward the Wiltz River, but was forced to withdraw in the face of determined enemy resistance; after regrouping, 5-8 January 1945, it attacked again, reached the Wiltz River, and finally crossed it, 20 January. The Division continued its advance, took Grumelscheid, 21 January, and crossed the Clerf River, 24 January.
The 26th then shifted to the east bank of the Saar, and maintained defensive positions in the Saarlautern area, 29 January-6 March 1945. The Division's drive to the Rhine jumped off on 13 March 1945, and carried the Division through Merzig, 17 March, to the Rhine, 21 March, and across the Rhine at Oppenheim, 25-26 March. It took part in the house-to-house reduction of Hanau, 28 March, broke out of the Main River bridgehead, drove through Fulda, 1 April, and helped reduce Meiningen, 5 April. Moving southeast into Austria, the Division assisted in the capture of Linz, 4 May. It had changed the direction of its advance, and was moving northeast into Czechoslovakia, across the Vlatava River, when the cease-fire order was received.
|7 Sep 44||Valognes Staging Area
(Division landed directly in France.
Did not go to U.K.)
|8 Jan 45||Eschdorf||Luxemb.|
|6 May 45||Aigen||Bavaria||Germany|
On May 8, 1945 (the day the war ended) General Willard S. Paul, C.O. of the 26th Infantry Division established his command post in the town of Prachatice (or Prachatize), Czechoslovakia. My friend Sgt. Edward Canty had notified me that the anticipated advance division CP was designated Netolice, Czechoslovakia. The end of the war made the advanced CP unnecessary. - Carl P. De Vasto