Original German WWII National Flag Banner Signed by Company B, 23rd Armored Engineer Battalion, 3rd Armored Spearhead Division

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is a WWII German National Banner that measures approximately 29 inches wide by 52 inches long. It is cotton construction double sided with single section cotton white circles with black printed swass on both sides. The n hang edge features a stitiched staff pocket. The flag features hand written names of more than 25 members on the  Company B, 23rd Armored Engineer Battalion, 3rd Armored Spearhead Division. We did some light research and found World War Two service records for a couple of the men listed where noted. The Flag reads as follows:

Co B. 23rd Arm'd Engr's Bn.
3rd Arm'd Div.
Spearhead Division

Bill Schroppel
Chicago, ILL

Ray Gimm
Springfield, MO.

John Coffman
Kankekee, ILL

William Dionne
New Hampshire

Felix Cook
Phila, PA

Walter Johnson
Pittiburg, PA

Edgar Stohs
Chicago, ILL.

Delno Randall
Seattle, Wash.

Victor Trula

Adolph Schribrosky
Marsailles, Ill.

Clarence Campbell
Chicago, Ill.

Jake Rusiskaw
Mansfield, OK

J. Thomas
Clovis, N.M.

Vernon Wells
Joplin, Mo.

Duane Anger

Gerald Stoll
Toledo, Ohio
(Found in National archives at this link)

Ray Anderson

Sanford Healine
Bowling Green, Ky.

Ken Kagy
Warren, Ohio

Lewis Blake
Dallas, Texas

James Mussatto
Ottawa, Ill.
(Copy of Draft Registration Card Included)

Will Browy
Lebanon N.H.

Van Gise

Don Lingen

Vincent Bloom
Fargo, N.D.

Alex Beckett
Yonkers, N.Y.

The 3rd Armored Division was organized as a "heavy" armored division, as was its counterpart, the 2nd Armored Division ("Hell on Wheels"). Later, higher-numbered U.S. armored divisions of World War II were smaller, with a higher ratio of armored infantry to tanks, based on lessons of the fighting in North Africa.

As a "heavy" division, the 3rd Armored possessed two armored regiments totaling four medium tank battalions and two of light tanks (18 companies) instead of three tank battalions containing both (12 companies), 232 medium tanks instead of the 168 allotted a light armored division, and with attached units numbered over 16,000 men, instead of the normal 12,000 found in the light armored divisions. Each division type had an infantry component of three mechanized infantry battalions.

The division's core units were the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment, the 32d Armored Regiment, the 33rd Armored Regiment, the 23rd Armored Engineer Battalion, the 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, and the 143rd Armored Signal Company. During World War II these were organized operationally into task forces known as combat commands A, B and R (Reserve).

In addition to the core units, a number of other units of various kinds were attached to the division during various operations.

During 1944 and 1945, the units comprising the 3rd Armored Division included:[3][4]

Combat units:
        32nd Armored Regiment
        33rd Armored Regiment
        36th Armored Infantry Regiment
        54th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
        67th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
        391st Armored Field Artillery Battalion
        143rd Signal Company
        23rd Armored Engineer Battalion
        83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion

The first elements of the 3rd Armored in France saw combat on 29 June, 1944 with the division as a whole beginning combat operations on 9 July 1944. During this time, it was under the command of VII Corps and XVIII Airborne Corps for some time, and assigned to the First Army and the 12th Army Group for the duration of its career.

The division "spearheaded" the US First Army through Normandy, taking part in a number of engagements, notably including the Battle of Saint-Lô, where it suffered significant casualties. After facing heavy fighting in the hedgerows, and developing methods to overcome the vast thickets of brush and earth that constrained its mobility, the unit broke out at Marigny, alongside the 1st Infantry Division, and swung south to Mayenne. The engineers and maintenance crews took the large I-Beam Invasion barriers from the beaches at Normandy and used the beams to weld large crossing rams on the front of the Sherman tanks. They would then hit the hedgerows at high speed, bursting through them without exposing the vulnerable underbellies of the tanks. Until this happened, they could not get across the hedgerows.

Ordered to help close the Falaise Gap and Argentan pocket which contained the German Seventh Army, the division finished the job near Putanges by 18 August. Six days later the outfit had sped through Courville and Chartres and was located at the banks of the Seine River. On the night of 25 August 1944 the crossing of the Seine by the division started; once over, the 3rd slugged its way across France, reaching Belgium on 2 September 1944.

Liberated in the path of the division were Meaux, Soissons, Laon, Marle, Mons, Charleroi, Namur and Liege. It was at Mons that the division cut off 40,000 Wehrmacht troops and captured 8,000 prisoners. "Then the division began the first invasion of Germany since the days of Napoleon"[5] is a claim often repeated and derives from U.S. Army literature that ignored earlier acts such as the 5th Armored Division's reconnaissance into Germany on 11 September 1944, French troops entering the Saarland in September 1939 during the Saar Offensive, and the entry into Germany by imperial Russian troops in 1914 and of the French invasion of Alsace in August 1914.

Hurtgen and the Bulge
On 10 September 1944, the Spearhead Division fired what it claimed was the first American field artillery shell of the war onto German soil. Two days later, it passed the German border and soon breached the Siegfried Line, taking part in the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.

The 3rd Armored Division continued fighting during the Battle of the Bulge, far north of the deepest German penetration. The division fought south in an attack designed to help wipe out the bulge and bring First Army's line abreast of Patton's Third Army fighting northward toward Houffalize. It severed a vital highway leading to St. Vith and later reached Lierneux, Belgium, where it halted to refit.

Into the German heartland
After a month of rest the division continued its offensive to the east, and on 26 February, Spearhead rolled back inside Germany as both Combat Commands bolted across the Roer River and seized several towns, crossed the Erft Canal, and at last broke through to the Rhine River to capture Cologne by 7 March. Two weeks later it crossed the Rhine south of Cologne at Honnef.

On 31 March, the commander of the division, Major General Maurice Rose, rounded a corner in his jeep and found himself face to face with a German tank. As he withdrew his pistol either to throw it to the ground or in an attempt to fight back, a young German tank commander, apparently misunderstanding Rose's intentions, shot the general.

Beyond Cologne the division swept up Paderborn in its advance, to shut the back door to the Ruhr Pocket. In April, the division crossed the Saale River, north of Halle, and sped on toward the Elbe River.

On 11 April 1945, the 3rd Armored discovered the Dora-Mittelbau prison camp. The division first arrived on the scene, reporting back to headquarters that it had uncovered a large prison camp near the town of Nordhausen. Requesting help from the 104th Infantry Division, the 3rd immediately began transporting some 250 ill and starving prisoners to nearby hospital facilities.

The last major fighting in the war for the division was the Battle of Dessau, which the division captured on 23 April 1945 after three days of combat. Following the action at Dessau, the division moved into corps reserve at Sangerhausen.[6] Occupational duty near Langen was given t
  • This product is available for international shipping.
  • Not eligible for payment with Paypal or Amazon


Cash For Collectibles