Original U.S. WWII 116th Infantry Regiment 29th Division Named Grouping

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The 29th Infantry Division (29th I.D.), also known as the "Blue and Gray" fought in World War II. The division's 116th Infantry Regiment, attached to the First Infantry Division, was in the first wave of troops ashore during Operation Overlord, the landings in Normandy, France. It supported a special Ranger unit tasked with clearing strong points at Omaha Beach. The rest of the 29th ID came ashore later then advanced to Saint-Lô, and eventually through France and into Germany itself.

John Axel Nordberg ASN 32326310 was a technician 4th grade in Company L of the 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Regiment during World War Two. He enlisted in New York on April 28th, 1942.

Included in the wonderful set are the following items:

- Original Battle Participation Award document named to John A. Nordberg for participation in the "Northern France" Campaign. The Northern France Campaign of World War II began on July 25, 1944, with General Omar Bradley launching Operation COBRA to break out from the Normandy beachhead, and concluded on September 14 with Belgium and most of France liberated from German rule.

- Ike Jacket with early war 29th Infantry division patch on right shoulder, WW2 United States Army European Theater of Operations Advanced Base Cloth Patch on left shoulder, sterling silver Combat Infantryman's Badge, Medal ribbons: Good Conduct, European-African-Middle Eastern with two battle stars and WWII Victory Medal. Technician 5th Grade chevrons, Ruptured Duck patch, Belgian Fourragere, and 6 overseas service bars on left sleeve indicating 36+ months of overseas service. The jacket is named to Nordberg 32326310. Jacket is a size 40S.

- Overseas Garrison Cap with blue infantry piping.

- Two Army issue shirts with necktie

- 4 x Original Wartime Photos with Nordberg in uniform, some with writing on the reverse.

- Expandable tine cup with case.

- Hardwood "To My Wife" 29th ID plaque with AEXL NORDBERG Co "L", 116th Infantry engraved in gold.

- Red Cross HBT ditty bag.

- Various wartime paperwork and paper items including wartime permits, passes, restricted orders, newspaper clippings and much more.

29th Infantry Division, especially members of the 116th Infantry Regiment is some of the very hardest material to find on the collectors market due to the stunning casualties they suffered on D-Day. This is a very rare set of a soldier that fought in Northern France during the opening days and months of WWII.

History of the 116th Infantry Regiment In WWII:

In preparation for the Invasion of Normandy, the regiment participated in invasion rehearsal exercises, using landing craft, vehicle, personnel (LCVP). For the invasion, the regiment was part of Force O, the initial assault force. The regiment was to lead the assault on Omaha Beach to the west of the 1st Division's 16th Infantry, and would be temporarily attached to the 1st Division. H-Hour, the beginning of the invasion, was scheduled for dawn on 5 June (D-Day, the first day of the assault). Companies A, E, F, and G were to be in the first wave of the assault on Omaha Beach. The beach was divided into subsectors: Company A, the westernmost, was to land in Dog Green, Company G in Dog White, Company F in Dog Red, and Company E in Easy Green on the right of the 16th Infantry. It was planned that by 09:30 on D-Day, the beach exits would be open and vehicles able to leave the beach. The 1st Battalion of the regiment was to take Vierville, link up with the Ranger Assault Group advancing east along the coastal highway, and advance on Vire. Meanwhile, the 2nd Battalion would capture Saint-Laurent and the heights southwest of it. 3rd Battalion constituted the reserve, and was tasked with advancing to Longueville.

Between 3 and 8 May, the regiment participated in Exercise Fabius I at Slapton Sands, a final rehearsal before D-Day. On 11 May elements of Force O moved to their assembly areas. The regiment relocated by truck to Blandford Camp on 15 May, where it was confined behind barbed wire in order to preserve secrecy. At Blandford each company was briefed on its missions for the invasion. On 3 June the regiment embarked for Normandy from Weymouth. 1st Battalion (Companies A, B, C, and D) boarded the HMS Empire Javelin, 2nd Battalion (Companies E, F, G, and H) the USS Thomas Jefferson, and 3rd Battalion (Companies I, K, L, and M) the USS Charles Carroll.

At 03:10, Companies F and G began climbing into their LCVPs. All first wave landing craft had left the ships by 04:30. At 05:00, a naval and aerial bombardment commenced pounding the German defenses, but the aerial bombardment was ineffective and the naval bombardment failed to destroy most of the German gun emplacements, manned by the 352nd Infantry Division. The landing craft approached Vierville at 06:00, and at 06:30 the ramps of Company A's boats were dropped after reaching the assigned sector. There were no shell holes for cover in Dog Green, and Company A was virtually wiped out by the heavy German fire – by the end of the day, only 18 of 230 members of the company had avoided becoming casualties.

Company G mainly landed on Dog Red after its boats drifted off course from their assigned sector, Dog White. Smoke from grass fires shielded the three or four sections on Dog Red, who suffered few losses to "sporadic and inaccurate" fire as they moved across the tidal flats. Most of Company G reached the shingle intact ten to fifteen minutes after landing, but other boats suffered heavy casualties farther to the east. F Company mostly landed in its assigned sector, Dog Red, directly in front of the strongly fortified German positions at Les Moulins, and was disorganized due to losses of officers. Company E, assigned to Easy Green, ended up east of Fox Green with E Company of the 16th Infantry.

The second wave began at 07:00, landing in a period of forty minutes. Company B waded ashore around 07:26 and suffered heavy casualties, although one of its boat teams took Vierville. By the end of the day Company B had been reduced to 28 men. The regimental command group landed around 07:30 with assistant division commander Brigadier General Norman Cota and Canham. They rallied the men for the attack and around 08:30 Cota discovered an exit off the beach, through which men from the regiment advanced.[53] Company D landed off course, running into heavy German fire. Company H suffered heavy losses to German machine gun firing from Les Moulins. Company K landed around 07:50 and elements of the unit ended up pinned down until midday near the Vierville draw. Company L also landed around this time.

Around 9:00 Company K began advancing inland, breaching the seawall but losing fifteen men in a minefield before reaching the crest around 12:30. The 111th Field Artillery's guns were lost in the surf and its artillerymen ended up pinned down in front of Les Moulins like the 2nd Battalion after landing between 07:30 and 08:30. Company G advanced up the beach between 08:00 and 09:00, meeting the wounded Canham, who was organizing an attack on Vierville. Around 08:30 he and 50 to 60 men moved up a hill to the right of Hamel; this group later joined up with an element of Company B led by Lieutenant Walter Taylor in the attack on the fortified Chateau at Vierville.

Company H landed at H+30 but suffered heavy losses because the smoke from the grass fires had lifted by that time. After Taylor's group captured the Chateau, they advanced beyond the house but had to pull back to the house when three truckloads of German infantry counterattacked. Company K linked up with the 5th Ranger Battalion at 16:00 and advanced into Vierville, encountering only sniper fire. At the end of the day, only 250 men were left with the 1st Battalion. Meanwhile, the 3rd Battalion and elements of the 2nd held positions northwest of St. Laurent near the 115th Infantry. Company C and Ranger units were west of Vierville, while parts of the 1st and 2nd Battalions and the 121st Engineers were half a mile south of Vierville. On 6 June, the regiment suffered 341 casualties, including soldiers from Bedford-based Company A, a community which proportionally had the highest D-Day losses in America. The National D-Day Memorial was located in Bedford to honor their loss.

On 7 June, the 1st Battalion moved back to Pointe du Hoc against stiff German resistance to assist the Rangers in repulsing a German counterattack, digging in there for the rest of the day. On 8 June, the 2nd and 3rd Battalions joined the 1st at Pointe du Hoc, and the 116th fought as a unit for the first time in the war. Companies K and L with the 3rd Battalion assisted the Rangers in an attack across a bridge on the Aure later in the day. During a move from Les Moulins, the 2nd Battalion broke loose from the beach and fought their way to a farmhouse to establish the first command post in France.[58] Towards the end of 8 June, Company K advanced on Grandcamp, during which Technical Sergeant Frank Peregory killed numerous German soldiers and forced others to surrender. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.[59] After capturing Grandcamp, the 2nd and 3rd Battalions mopped up scattered German resistance, while the 1st Battalion continued the advance towards Maisy and the coastal battery.

On 11 June the 116th was withdrawn to the reserve in order to reorganize due to the D-Day losses. After the 115th Infantry was repulsed while attacking across the Ellé towards the key road junction of Saint-Lô, the 116th was moved forward on the morning of 13 June. The regiment began crossing the river at 20:15, encountering heavy small arms which died down, allowing the 116th to reach the opposite bank by midnight. The 2nd Battalion captured Saint-Clair, and Couvains was captured at 10:45 on the morning of 14 June. By 17 June, most of the regiment had reached positions only 3 miles (4.8 km) short of Saint-Lô, but the fighting in the Battle of Saint-Lô bogged down in the difficult bocage terrain of Normandy. The 116th fought to overcome Martinville Ridge near the city from 12 July, then after street fighting the city was captured on 18 July. 3rd Battalion commander Major Thomas Howie was killed by a mortar shell on 17 July; his casket was brought into the city on the lead jeep during its liberation and laid in state in the city's square. Between 7 June and 19 July, 438 men of the regiment were killed, 2,040 wounded, and 38 missing, for a total of 2,516 casualties. On 20 July the 29th was relieved by the 35th Infantry Division and sent back into XIX Corps reserve near Saint-Clair.

In reserve, the regiment rested and received replacements. During Operation Cobra, the breakout from Normandy, the regiment fought in the advance on Vire in early August. Its objective was to secure the high ground to the north and northwest of the town. Between 7 and 8 August, 1st Battalion took Hill 203, covering the approaches to the town, which was abandoned by the German defenders in the morning. Following the capture of Vire, the division was pulled back to receive replacements, and the regiment conducted battle drill and small unit training between 16 and 21 August.

On 22 August, the regiment moved out by truck for Brest, a strongly fortified German-held port city. The regiment completed its march by the afternoon of 23 August at an assembly area near Ploudalmézeau, 10 miles (16 km) northwest of the city. The 116th, the first to arrive, sent the 3rd Battalion to "a forward assembly area one mile northeast of" Saint-Renan on 24 August. From the forward assembly area, the battalion patrolled the line of departure for the 29th's attack, a southeast-facing line around four miles northwest of the city. For the attack, the 29th was positioned on the right flank of VIII Corps. The regiment moved up to the line of departure on the night of 24–25 August, beginning the attack at 01:00. The 116th advanced south in column of battalions with the 115th Infantry on its left. Its 3rd Battalion initially faced little resistance, and by 04:00, the 1st Battalion was tasked with capturing the high ground at Guilers and Keriolet by attacking on the 3rd Battalion's right. German resistance increased throughout the day, and the regiment dug in for the night. During the next two days, German oppositions stiffened further, and the regiment was relieved by the 115th so that it could flank the German positions by using a natural ridgeline towards Brest.

On 28 August, the 116th took positions on the division's right flank, moving forward to Kerguestoc by the evening in column of battalions. It advanced 500 yard the next day, but the fighting bogged down on 30 August. A midnight attack by the 1st and 2nd Battalions took La Trinite on the night of 4–5 September, after which they repulsed a German counterattack on the next day. The regiment's 3rd Battalion was assigned to Task Force Sugar alongside the 5th Rangers and a tank unit, attacking Hill 53 and helping to cut the coastal highway. On the night of 13–14 September, the 116th replaced the 115th in the attack against Fort Montbarey. After the 121st Engineers blew gaps through the minefields surrounding the fort. Company C attacked at dawn and cleared the ground west of the moat in fierce close combat. After the engineers continued clearing the minefield under the cover of a smoke screen, a combined tank and infantry assault was launched at 17:00. Advancing behind flamethrowing Churchill tanks, Company B mopped up German resistance, enabling the 1st Battalion to surround the fort by the end of the day.

Fort Montbarey surrendered on 16 September after the engineers tunneled under the fort and blew parts of it up with explosives. The battalion captured around 75 German soldiers. In house to house fighting the regiment advanced into the last German stronghold, Recouvrance, and cleared the area by the end of 17 September. The remaining defenders surrendered on 18 September and the 116th was tasked with policing the division area in Brest before moving out to a rest area on 19 September. However, the regiment's rest was brief, and they moved out by train for the Siegfried Line on 24 September, arriving at Visé in Belgium on 29 September.

Siegfried Line
On 6 October, the 29th, as part of XIX Corps, was tasked with protecting the corps' left flank, probing the Siegfried Line (a German fortification line on the Franco-German border), and following up the 2nd Armored Division advance at Geilenkirchen. The 116th was positioned on the right flank of the corps, with the 1st Infantry Division on its left and the 3rd Battalion cooperating with the 2nd Armored's Combat Command A (CCA). The 3rd Battalion rode across the Wurm from Rimburg on CCA's tanks, dismounting at Umbach to occupy the town. On the next day the attack continued towards Baesweiler and Oidtweiler, which fell on 8 and 7 October, respectively. Between 1 and 4 October the 1st Battalion was attached to the 30th Infantry Division, defending positions three miles northwest of Aachen. On 4 October the 2nd Battalion was moved up from the reserve to the Kerkrade and Holz area, relieving the 30th's 120th Infantry.

On 13 October, the regiment's 1st and 2nd Battalions were attached to the 30th Division for an attack on Aachen through heavily defended Würselen. Under heavy German artillery and mortar fire, the 116th advanced between 500 yards (460 m) and 1,000 yards (910 m) by the end of the day in street fighting. The attack was resumed the next day, and 2nd Battalion commander Major Charles Cawthon was wounded; he was replaced by Colonel Sidney Bingham. The regiment was withdrawn from the front and returned to the 29th after the capture of Aachen for rest and river crossing training at Brunssum between 23 and 24 October. In early November the division returned to the front, taking positions on the line of Schaufebberg, Oidtweiler, and Baesweiler against Jülich. During the month Dwyer transferred to another unit and was replaced by Lieutenant Colonel Harold A. Cassel.

On 16 November the attack began, with the 116th joining with units from the 2nd Armored to take Setterich on the 29th's left flank. Its 1st Battalion attacked from the south with Companies B and C, but were stopped 400 yards (370 m) short of the town on 17 November by machine gun fire. That night, Company A moved up to the town's western side, while the 2nd Battalion attacked from the southeast. The three-pronged attack with tank support captured the town in street fighting on 18–19 November. The regiment briefly went into reserve at Baesweiler before moving forward to take Ungershausen and Englesdorf on 20 November. It then advanced against Koslar, the last line of defense before Jülich, beginning 21 November. Due to mud and adverse weather conditions Koslar was not taken until 28 November. In early December, Bingham replaced Cassel in command of the regiment. In heavy fighting the regiment cleared the west bank of the Roer River by 9 December. The front then settled down and the regiment trained for the Roer crossing for the next weeks.

Advance into the Roer to the end of the war
After the German counterattack in the Battle of the Bulge, the 116th took over the 2nd Armored's positions after it left for the fighting. In January the regiment conducted three major raids on German positions on the opposite bank, which kept the German troops "on edge". On 23 February the division launched the attack across the Roer, with the 116th's 3rd Battalion capturing Immerath, and the 2nd Battalion Lutzerath on 27 February. After "pausing to regroup", the regiment continued towards Spenrath and Pesch, with the 1st Battalion taking Otzenrath just before nightfall. These gains brought the 29th Division to Mönchengladbach, and the regiment bypassed the city on the right on 1 March, cutting off the defenders. On 24 March the 1st Battalion took over security at Ninth Army headquarters in the city.[67]At the beginning of April, the regiment went back into combat, attached to the 75th Infantry Division, attacking the Ruhr Pocket. It took up positions on 2 April, and was tasked with crossing the Dortmund–Ems Canal in an attack beginning two days later. Preceded by a half-hour artillery bombardment, the regiment's 1st and 2nd Battalions crossed the canal and captured Waltrop. As German resistance crumbled, it reached the Duisburg–Berlin Autobahn by the end of 5 April. On the next day, the 3rd Battalion flanked the German left, advancing 5,000 yards (4,600 m) and repulsing a German counterattack against Companies E and G with the assistance of American artillery. The regiment then transferred back to the 29th. For the next few days the regiment helped organize Displaced persons camps before moving back into action to mop up the Ruhr Pocket between 18 and 19 April. After overcoming token resistance and accepting German surrenders, the regiment reached the Elbe on 24 April. At the Elbe it met troops of the German 160th Infantry Division, recently transferred from Norway, capturing 1,600 prisoners. On 2 May the division linked up with Soviet troops on the other bank, and Germany surrendered five days later. The regiment suffered casualties of 1,298 killed, 4,769 wounded, and 594 missing for a total of 7,113 during the war. In mid-May the 116th began occupation duty in the Bremerhaven and Wesermünde area in the Bremen enclave.

On 24 December the regiment boarded the transport USS Lejeune, setting sail for New York on Christmas Day. It arrived at New York on 4 January 1946, after which its men were demobilized. On 6 January, the regiment inactivated at Camp Kilmer.

  • This product is available for international shipping.
  • Eligible for all payments - Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX, Paypal & Sezzle


Cash For Collectibles