World War II
Activated: 15 September 1942.
Overseas: 27 August 1944.
Campaigns: Northern France, Rhineland, Central Europe.
Days of combat: 200.
Distinguished Unit Citations: 9.
Awards: MH-1 ; DSC-14 ; DSM-1 ; SS-642 ; LM-6; SM-20 ; BSM-2,797 ; AM-40.
Maj. Gen. G. R. Cook (10 June 1942-1 October 1943)
Maj. Gen. Terry de la Mesa Allen (2 October 1943-31 October 1945)
Brig. Gen. Charles g. Galley, Jr. (November 1945 to inactivation).
Returned to U. S.: 3 July 1945.
Inactivated: 20 December 1945.
The 104th Infantry Division landed in France on 7 September 1944. It moved into defensive positions in the vicinity of Wuestwezel, Belgium, 23 October 1944, and went over to the, offensive on the 26th, taking Zundert, gaining control of the Breda-Roosendaal Road and overrunning Vaart Canal defenses. Leur and Etten fell as the Division advanced to the Mark River, 31 October. A coordinated attack over the Mark River at Standaarduiten, 2 November 1944, established a bridgehead. Zevenbergen was captured and the Maas River reached on 5 November. While the bulk of the Division moved near Aachen, Germany, elements remained to secure Moerdijk before being relieved on 7 November.
The 104th attacked, 16 November, taking Stolberg and pushing on against heavy resistance. Eschweiler fell on the 21st and the enemy was cleared from the area west of the Inde River including Inden by 2 December. Lucherberg was held against enemy counterattacks on 3 December, and all strongholds west of the Roer River were captured by the 23d. The 104th actively defended its sector near Duren and Merken from 15 December 1944 to 22 February 1945. Then it moved across the Roer taking Huchem-Stammeln, Birkesdorf, and North Duren. On 5 March, after heavy fighting, it entered Koln. After defending the west bank of the Rhine, the Division crossed the river at Honnef, 22 March 1945, and attacked to the east of the Remagen bridgehead. After a period of mopping up and consolidation, it participated in the trap of enemy troops in the Ruhr pocket. The 104th repulsed heavy attacks near Medebach and captured Paderborn, 1 April 1945. After regrouping, it advanced to the east and crossed the Weser River on the 8th, blocking enemy exits from the Harz Mountains. The Division then crossed the Saale River and took Halle in a bitter 5-day struggle, 15 to 19 April. The sector to the Mulde River was cleared by the 21st, and after vigorous patrolling, the Division contacted the Red Army at Pretzsch, 26 April. The 104th left for home and inactivation 27 June.
Assignments in the ETO *
28 August 1944: Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.
5 September 1944: III Corps.
15 October 1944: Ninth Army, but attached for operations to the British I Corps, Canadian First Army, British 21st Army Group.
5 November 1944: First Army, 12th Army Group.
8 November 1944: VII Corps.
20 December 1944: VII Corps, First Army (attached to the British 21st Army Group), 12th Army Group.
21 December 1944: XIX Corps, Ninth Army (attached to the British 21st Army Group), 12th Army Group.
3 February 1945: VII Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.
Nickname: Timberwolf Division. Slogan: Nothing in hell can stop the Timberwolves. Shoulder patch: A gray timberwolf's head on balsam green disk. Association: 104th Infantry Division National Timberwolf Association, Col. Robert R. Clark, II, Quaker Oats Co., Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Timberwolves; U. S. Army, ETOUSA, Paris, Curval-Archereau, 1945. 30 pp. Timberwolf Tracks: The History of the 104th Infantry Division, 194245. By Leo A. Hoegh, and Howard J. Doyle, Washington, D. C.; Infantry Journal Press, 444 pp.
* See footnote, 1st Infantry Division.
[Nota Bene: These combat chronicles, current as of October 1948, are reproduced from The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950, pp. 510-592.]