World War II:  Overview of Actions

  

History of the 14th Infantry Regiment
 with the 71st Infantry Division
in World war II

 

History of the 14th Infantry Regiment with the 71st Infantry Division in World war II, excerpted from:

"THE RIGHT OF THE LINE"

14th Infantry Regiment Newspaper

published in "ON GUARD" by Gerald McMahon, 1990


January, 1946

"Occupation Adds Another Chapter in Regimentís Long and Fiery History"



Light Division

 

Not until June 7, 1943, was the Fourteenth called again to the States (from Ft. Wm. Davis, Canal Zone, Panama).  Camp Carson, Colorado, was the new home of the regiment, but not for long.  The 71st Light Division was activated on July 15, 1943, and the Fourteenth became one of the three colorful regiments comprising the experimental division.  In February of the year following (1944), the 71st Lt. Div. was ordered to Hunter-Liggett Military Reservation in California, for what was the most grueling maneuvers known in the U.S. Army, after which the division moved to Fort Benning on May 24, 1944.

The Regiment completed training as a part of the light division in May of the same year, shipped a large percentage of its personnel overseas as replacements, and was re-activated as a regiment of a regular triangular division on May 26, 1944.  Field training followed as the reorganization was completed, and the Fourteenth was again awaiting the call.

World War II

The call was not long in coming, as early in January of 1945 the regiment moved to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, and sailed from the New York port on the Navy troop ship "General J. R. Brooke" on January 26.  Men of the Fourteenth debarked 13 days later at Le Harve after a quiet crossing and established themselves at Camp Old Gold.

Early in March the regiment moved by truck and rail 350 miles across France to the assembly area in the vicinity of Deuze in the rear of the Seventh Armyís lines bordering the Saar-Mosselle triangle.

First Action

On the nights of March 13-14, the regiment shifted into position guarding the right flank of the Fifteenth Corps.  The first battalion, under the command of Lt. Col. (then Major) Samuel E. Hubbard, made the Fourteenthís first contact with the enemy on March 16, when it relieved elements of the 399th Infantry, on the right flank of the 100th Divisionís attack on the city of Bitche.  Colonel Carl E. Lundquist assumed command of the Regiment on March 19, relieving Colonel Donald T. Beeler.

After helping mop up the Bitche area, the regiment took part in the breaching of the Siegfried Line on March 22, protecting the right flank of the Divisionís attack.  Two days later, the regiment was on the bank of the Rhine River, near Speyer, Germany, where a feigned crossing of the river drew the enemyís attention from the Seventh Armyís successful attack above Mannheim.

Cross Rhine

On March 29 and 30 the regiment crossed the Rhine and covered 105 miles.  The monthís end found it in a position near Frankfurt-on-Main.  During its first twenty days of combat the Fourteenth had constantly found its positions on the "right of the line" while helping in the clean-up of the Saar-Moselle Triangle, and had crossed the Rhine.

During the month of April the regiment continued its push across central Germany from the vicinity of Frankfurt, reaching Meiningen, on the edge of the Thuringer Forest.  On the afternoon of 1st of April the 2nd Bn. under Lt. Col. Brandt raced to the left side of the 3rd Army spearhead where the XII Corps supply line had been cut.  At 1600 hours contact was made and the small force found themselves faced with the 6th SS Mountain Division on the north.  Attacking without artillery, the Mountain Division was driven to cover.  Replacements were brought up during the night.  Three days later the entire SS Mountain Division ceased to exist.  On April 10 the attack swung to the southwest and elements of the Fourteenth were fighting their way into Bayreuth, and by noon the following day the city had fallen.

From April 17 to April 22 the regiment attacked down the Bayreuth-Amberg highway in five days of fighting against a determined enemy effort.  The Third Battalion, commanded by Lt. Col. Paul G. Guthrie, dislodged the enemy from Amberg, and on the 22nd had occupied the city.

River Crossings

The monthís end brought no relief to the regiment, as three assault river crossings followed in rapid succession across the Regan, Isar and the Danube rivers.  The city of Regensburg was surrendered to the Fourteenth on the morning of April 27.

On April 30 the regiment made a quick thrust towards the Isar River.  The swift and treacherous river, the third for the regiment in six days was crossed, and a narrow bridgehead near Landau was established.

The following day the bridgehead was widened, and the regiment had once again gained speed in its relentless drive against the now shattered enemy.  Striking toward the Braunau-Lambach highway on May 4 to cut the only remaining escape route from central Germany area to the Redoubt area in the Bavarian Alps.

Peace in Europe

Warís end on May 9 found the regiment in the middle Danube plain at Droissendorf, Austria, faced with the problems created by thousands of prisoners and displaced persons.  The Fourteenth remained in this sector until June 1, when they moved to Gunzburg, Germany to take up occupational duties.



Acknowledgements:
World War II:  Overview of Actions in Europe
Copyright © 2012  14th Infantry Regiment Association
Last modified: January 19, 2013