Presidential Unit Citations (ARMY) awarded to: 100th Battalion & the 442d Regimental Combat Team

The 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate)

Cited in War Department General Orders 66, 15 August 1944:

The 100th Infantry Battalion (separate) is cited for outstanding performance of duty in action on 26 and 27 June 1944 in the vicinity of Belvedere and Sassetta, Italy. The 100th Infantry Battalion was assigned the mission of neutralizing a strongly defended German center of resistance at Belvedere, Italy, which dominated a vital highway and seriously impeded an American infantry division's northward advance. With insufficient time for a proper physical reconnaissance but with a determined desire to fulfill its important mission, the battalion quickly formulated its plan and launched the operation. The battalion maneuvered to a point 1 mile northwest of Belvedere where a large and determined force of German infantry and field artillery, including self-propelled guns and tanks, was encountered. Initially one company of the 100th Infantry Battalion was committed toward the west to engage the enemy reserves and field artillery batteries. A second company passed through the leading company to continue the attack southward to cut the road leading to Sassetta, Italy. All three companies went into action, boldly facing murderous fire from all types of weapons and tanks and at times fighting without artillery support. Doggedly the members of the 100th Infantry/ Battalion fought their way into the strongly defended positions. The stubborn desire of the men to close with a numerically superior enemy and the rapidity with which they fought enabled the Tooth Infantry Battalion to destroy completely the right flank positions of a German army, killing at least 178 Germans, wounding approximately 20, capturing 73, and forcing the remainder of a completely disrupted battalion to surrender approximately 10 kilometers of ground. In addition, large quantities of enemy weapons, vehicles, and equipment were either captured or destroyed, while the American infantry division operating in the sector was able to continue its rapid advance. The fortitude and intrepidity displayed by the officers and men of the 100th Infantry Battalion reflect the finest traditions of the Army of the United States.

100th Battalion, 442d Regimental Team

Back to Top Cited in War Department General Orders 78, 12 September 1945:

The 100th Battalion, 442d Regimental Team, is cited for outstanding accomplishment in combat during the period 15 to 30 October 1944, near Bruyeres, Biffontaine, and in the Foret Domaniale de Champ, France. During a series of actions that played a telling part in the 442d Regimental Team's operation which spearheaded a divisional attack on the Seventh Army front, this unit displayed extraordinary courage, endurance, and soldierly skill. Jumping off in the attack on the morning of 15 October 1944, the 100th Battalion fought an almost continuous 4-day firelight in freezing and rainy weather. through jungle-like forests, to wrest the strongly fortified Hill A, dominating Bruyeres, from a fanatically resisting enemy. When, during the course of the attack, the progress of an assault company was delayed by a strong point consisting of 50 enemy riflemen and an SP gun, a second company of the battalion swept in on the enemy force from the flank and completely routed it. To attack Hill A proper, the battalion was forced to cross 150 yards of open terrain covered by seven enemy machine guns and heavy automatic weapon fire. Following an artillery barrage, limited because a draw lay between the two high hills, the battalion, with one company acting as a base of fire, launched a frontal attack. Covered by friendly tank fire, waves of platoon after platoon zigzagged across the open field into a hail of hostile fire. So skillfully coordinated was the attack that the strongly fortified hostile positions were completely overrun, numerous casualties were inflicted on the enemy, and the capture of the town was assured. During the 3-day operation, beginning on 21 October 1944, that resulted in the capture of Biffontaine, the 100th Battalion fought 2 miles into enemy territory as a self-contained task force. On the third day of the attack, the battalion launched an assault to capture the isolated town. In the first surprise onslaught the battalion captured large quantities of supplies and ammunition which it turned against the enemy. Counterattacking enemy troops and tanks approached and fired point-blank into their positions. Shouting defiance in the face of demands for surrender, the men of the 100th Battalion fired their rifles and threw captured hand grenades at the enemy tanks. Bitter fighting at close range resulted in the capture of the entire town. During this action the battalion captured 40 prisoners, killed or wounded 40 of the enemy, and destroyed or captured large quantities of ammunition and enemy materiel. On 27 October 1944 the 100th Battalion was again committed to the attack. Going to the rescue of the "lost battalion,'' 141st Infantry Regiment, it fought without respite for 4 days against a fanatical enemy that was determined to keep the "lost battalion" isolated and force its surrender. Impelled by the urgency of its mission, the battalion fought forward, risking encirclement as slower moving units left its flanks exposed. Fighting yard by yard through a minefield the battalion was stopped by an enemy strong point on the high ground which he had made the key to his defense. As the terrain precluded a flanking movement, the battalion was forced to the only alternative of a frontal attack against a strongly entrenched enemy. Attacking in waves of squads and platoons, and firing from the hip as they closed in to grenade range, the valiant men of the 110th Battalion reduced the enemy defense lines within a few hours. Between 50 and 60 enemy dead were found at their automatic weapon emplacements and dugouts. On the fourth day, although exhausted and reduced through casualties to about half its normal strength, the battalion fought doggedly forward against strong enemy small-arms and mortar fire until it contacted the isolated unit. The extraordinary heroism, daring determination, and esprit de Corps displayed by the men of the 100th Battalion, 442d Regimental Team, during these actions live as an inspiration and add glory to the highest traditions of the armed forces of the United States. [General Orders 360, Headquarters Seventh Army, 3 August 1945, as approved by the Commanding General European Theater (Main).]

442d Regimental Combat Team (less 2d Battalion and 522d Field Artillery Battalion)

Back to Top Cited in War Department General Orders 34, 10 April 1946, as amended by War Department General Orders 106, 20 September 1946:

The 442d Regimental Combat Team (less the 2d Battalion and the 522d Field Artillery Battalion) composed of the following elements:

  • 442d Infantry Regiment
  • 232d Combat Engineer Company

is cited for outstanding accomplishment in combat for the period 5 to 14 April 1945 in the vicinity of Serravezza, Carrara, and Fosdinovo, Italy. When the 92d Infantry Division with the 442d Regimental Regimental Combat Team attached was ordered to open the Fifth Army offensive by executing a diversionary attack on the Ligurian Coast of Italy, the combat team was ordered to make the main effort of the attack. It was done by executing a daring and skillful flanking attack on the positions which formed the western anchor of the formidable Gothic Line. In 4 days, the attack destroyed positions which had withstood the efforts of friendly troops for 5 months. This was accomplished in the face of skilled enemy forces nearly equal in strength to the attacking forces and who had at least 5 months in which to improve their position. The 442d Regimental Combat Team drove forward, despite heavy casualties. Allowing the enemy no time for rest or reorganization, the combat team liberated the city of Carrara, seized the heights beyond, and opened the way for further advances on the way to the key road center and port of La Spezia and to Genoa. It accomplished the mission of creating a diversion along the Ligurian Coast, which served as a feint for the subsequent break-through of the Fifth Army forces into Bologna and the Po Valley. The successful accomplishment of this mission turned a diversionary action into a full scale and victorious offensive, which played an important part in the dual destruction of the German armies In Italy. The gallantry and esprit de corps displayed by the officers and men of the 442d Regimental Combat Team in bitter action against a formidable enemy exemplify the finest tradition of the armed forces of the United States.

2d Battalion, 442d Regimental Combat Team

Back to Top Cited in War Department General Orders 83, 6 August 1946:

The 2d Battalion, 442d Regimental Combat Team, is cited for outstanding performance of duty in action on 19 October 1944 near Bruyeres, France, on 28 and 29 October 1944 near Biffontaine, France, and from 6 to 10 April 1945, near Massa, Italy. The 2d Battalion executed a brilliant tactical operation in capturing Hill 503, to expedite the forward movement beyond Bruyeres, France and to erase the German threat from the rear. While two companies pressed forward against a formidable enemy main line of resistance, other elements of the battalion struck the enemy paralyzing blows from all directions, practically eliminating an entire German company and destroying numerous enemy automatic weapons. Attacking the strategic heights of Hill 617 near Biffontaine, France, on 28 October 1944, the 2d Battalion secured its objective in a 2-day operation, which eliminated a threat to the flanks of two American divisions. In the face of intense enemy barrages and numerous counterattacks, the infantrymen of this battalion fought their way through difficult jungle-like terrain in freezing weather and completely encircled the enemy. Methodically, the members of the 2d Battalion hammered the enemy, indicting heavy casualties upon the defenders and wresting this vital feature from the surviving Germans. Maintaining its admirable record of achievement in the vicinity of Massa, Italy the 2d Battalion smashed through and exploited the strong Green Line on the Ligurian Coast. Surging over formidable heights through strong resistance, the 2d Battalion, in 5 days of continuous, heavy fighting, captured a series of objectives to pave the way for the entry into the important communications centers of Massa and Carrara, Italy, without opposition. In this operation, the 2d Battalion accounted for more than 200 Germans and captured or destroyed large quantities of enemy materiel The courage, determination, and esprit de corps evidenced by the officers and men of the 2d Battalion, 442d Regimental Combat Team, exemplify the highest traditions of the armed forces of the United States. (General Orders 89, Headquarters Fifth Army, 17 July 1945.)

3d Battalion, 442d Regimental Combat Team

Back to Top Cited in War Department General Orders 68, 14 August 1945:

The 3d Battalion, 442d Regimental Combat Team, is cited for outstanding accomplishment in combat during the period 27 to 30 October 1944, near Biffontaine France. On 27 October the 3d Battalion, 442d Regimental Combat Team, was committed to battle after 1½ days in a divisional reserve. One of the battalions of another unit which had been advancing deep into enemy territory beyond the town of Biffontaine was suddenly surrounded by the enemy, and separated from all friendly units by an enemy force estimated at 700 men. The mission of the 3id Battalion was to attack abreast with the 100th Battalion and four other battalions and relieve the entrapped unit. The mission was more difficult than it first appeared for the enemy had reoccupied the thickly wooded hills situated within the 2½ miles separating the "lost battalion" from our front lines. For 4 days the battalion fought the stubborn enemy who was determined to stop all attempts to rescue the besieged battalion. Several roadblocks skillfully reinforced by machine guns had to be destroyed while under heavy artillery fire. On 29 October the battalion encountered a well-defended hill where the enemy, 100 strong, held well-dug-in positions on the hill and would not be dislodged. After repeated frontal assaults had failed to drive the enemy from the hill, Companies I and K, then leading the attack, fixed bayonets and charged up the slope, shouting at the enemy and firing from their hips, while the enemy fired point-blank into their ranks. Despite effective enemy fire the determined men pressed the assault and closed in with the enemy nearing the enemy machine gun and machine-pistol positions, some of the men charged the gun emplacements with Thompson submachine guns or BAR's, killing or seriously wounding the enemy gun crew, but themselves sprawling dead over the enemy positions they had just neutralized. Completely unnerved by the vicious bayonet charge, the enemy fled in confusion after making a desperate stand. Though seriously depleted in manpower, the battalion hurled back two determined enemy counterattacks, and after reducing a heavily mined roadblock finally established contact with the besieged battalion. The intrepidity, fearless courage, and complete disregard for personal safety displayed by the officers and enlisted men of the 3d Battalion, 442d Regimental Combat Team, exemplify the finest traditions of the armed forces of the United States. (General Orders 317, Headquarters Seventh Army, 16 July 1945, as approved by the Commanding General, European Theater of Operations.)

Companies F and L, 442d Regimental Combat Team

Back to Top Cited in War Department General Orders 14, 4 March 1945:

Companies F and L, 442d Regimental Combat Team, are cited for outstanding performance of duty in action on 21 October 1944, in the vicinity of Belmont, France. Assigned the mission of assaulting the flank and rear of the resistance which had stopped two frontal attacks by the combat team, Companies F and L, 442d Regimental Combat Team, designated the O'Connor Task Force, launched an attack down the north slope of the wooded ridge, Foret de Belmont, Company L, leading the assault, defeated a security group in a short, sharp action, capturing several prisoners. Then, by the prompt use of ride grenades and mortars, the garrisoned houses Just outside the woods were quickly reduced. The capture of these houses was an important factor in the success of the mission as It gave the task force observation on the ground to the enemy rear. To complete its work the task force now had to interdict enemy movement, drive a wedge through the forces resisting the combat team, and effect a junction with the main force. Heavy casualties were inflicted by artillery fire directed by the task force's forward observer on the enemy positions. Then assault groups began to clear the defenders from houses to the north of Lo Broqunime. The capture of these houses not only divided the enemy forces, but made certain that large numbers of the enemy would be trapped between the task force and the advancing combat team. By midafternoon the task force and the combat team made contact and what enemy troops were not surrounded were completely routed, thus bringing to a close a plan brilliantly conceived and expertly executed. By the next day the combat team had secured the high ridge which dominates Belmont. This ridge was both n protective are droned the recently won communications center of Bruyeres and an entering wedge in the drive to the Meurthe River. In destroying the enemy main line of resistance and advancing the divisional front lines by approximately 2,000 meters, the task force captured 56 prisoners, killed 80 of the enemy, and captured considerable quantifies of enemy materiel and equipment. The fearless determination, daring, and intrepidity displayed by the officers and enlisted men of the O'Connor Task Force exemplify the finest traditions of the armed forces of the United States.

232d Engineer Combat Company (then attached to the 111th Engineer Combat Battalion)

Back to Top Cited in War Department General Orders 56, 17 June 1946:

111th Engineer Combat Battalion with 232d Engineer Combat Company (attached), for heroism, esprit de corps, and extraordinary achievement in combat from 23 October to 11 November 1944 near Bruyeres, France. When It was decided to attack through the Foret Dominiale De Champ and outflank the German forces in the Laveline-Corcieux Valley, this unit was called upon to build a supply road out of a mountain trail which rose 1,000 feet above the valley floor and progress through a dense forest to the division objective. Working directly behind the assault elements, the men of this unit labored unceasingly to build and maintain this road. Artillery fire crashed into the trees, showering shrapnel on the engineers, who had no protection as they worked. Enemy snipers infiltrating behind our lines caused casualties and some of the engineers engaged these Germans in a fire fight while the others continued to work. Tanks were called up and, though these heavy vehicles tore the bottom from the trail, the engineers were able to keep it open so that the constant flow of supplies to the nine infantry battalions engaged in the action and the constant evacuation of dead and wounded was never interrupted. Corduroy and planking were used, hundreds of enemy mines were removed, and gravel and paving stones were hauled from the surrounding country side. At no time during the 19 days of this action did the work cease. Even though the engineers sustained 57 casualties in dead and wounded, they captured 27 German prisoners and killed many more as they worked. Almost continuous rain and snow made their task more difficult, and yet by sheer determination and grit, these men accomplished this magnificent feat of engineering. Without this road, the division operation could not have succeeded and it is due to the extraordinary achievement of the 11th Engineer Combat Battalion with the 232d Engineer Combat Company (attached) that the 36th Division was able to outflank the enemy forces in the Laveline-Corcieux Valley and pursue a disorganized enemy to the banks of the Meurthe River. (General Orders 425, Headquarters 36th Infantry Division, 1 October 1945, as approved by the Commanding General, 36th Infantry Division.)