Original U.S. WWII 3rd Infantry Division Named Grouping
Original Items: One-of-a-kind set. Technician 3rd Grade Robert Ward Boyer ASN 33925186 from Kittanning, Pennsylvania was born in 1921 and enlisted on September 1st, 1944. He was assigned to the 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division of the U.S. Army and fought in the ETO beginning February 16th, 1945. He was assigned to a mortar company in Southern France then entered Germany in March, 1945, and arrived in Austria in May 1945. His regiment occupied Salzburg until early July 1945, at which time he was transferred to Bad Wildungen, Germany for the occupation. All of this is documented in his hand written spiral notebook which is included with the set.
The 3rd Division broke through the West Wall at Zweibrücken in mid- March 1945, crossed the Rhine, and drove through Germany taking the cities of Bamberg, Nürnberg, Augsburg, München, Berchtesgaden and finally the Obersalzberg on May 4th. Thanks to the efforts of the city commandant of Salzburg, the city surrendered on May 4 without a fight, saving the city from destruction. The peaceful surrender freed the 3rd Infantry Division to seize Berchtesgaden and the Obersalzberg, which had not been their originally assigned objectives. Three units of the 7th US Army, namely the 3rd Infantry Division, the 101st Airborne Division, and the 2nd French Armored Division, were competing to capture Hitler’s so-called Eagle’s Nest, the Berghof on the Obersalzberg.
The 3rd Infantry Division arrived in Berchtesgaden first, having seized the only standing bridge over the Saalach and barring its use by any other units. Major General Leclerc of the 2nd French Armored Division was turned away at the bridge on the express order of the 3rd Infantry Division Commander, Major General “Iron Mike” O’Daniel. The French moved into Berchtesgaden later in the evening of May 4, and participated in a joint flag-raising ceremony with the 3rd Infantry Division’s 7th Infantry Regiment on the Obersalzberg the morning of May 5. The 3rd Infantry Division occupied Salzburg from May 4 until early July 1945, at which time it was transferred to Bad Wildungen, Germany. Trying to return to a sense of normalcy, the Division instituted an athletics program, including a rodeo which used captured Hungarian cavalry horses and Austrian bulls.
Included in this fantastic 3rd Infantry Division "The Rock of the Marne" named grouping includes the following items:
- Infantry overseas garrison cap with rare theater made hand painted 3rd Infantry Division Distinctive Unit Insignia (DI).
- Unattached patches
- Wartime spiral notebook with handwritten dates and locations.
Overall a fantastic grouping from a soldier in one of the most famous U.S. infantry divisions of WWII.
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