U.S. 42nd Infantry Division Shoulder Patch - Rainbow
New Made Item: Top quality embroidery. The 42d Infantry Division (42ID) ("Rainbow") is a division of the United States Army National Guard. The 42nd Infantry Division has served in World War I, World War II and the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). The division is currently headquartered at the Glenmore Armory in Troy, New York with the New York National Guard.
3.5" L x 1.5" W
World War I:
The division was activated in August 1917, drawing men from 26 states and the District of Columbia. It was composed of the 83rd Infantry Brigade (165th and 166th Infantry Regiments) and the 84th Infantry Brigade (167th and 168th Infantry Regiments). It went overseas in November 1917. The division took part in four major Operations: the Champagne-Marne, the Aisne-Marne, the Battle of Saint-Mihiel, and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. In total, it saw 264 days of combat. While in France, the division was placed under French control for a time, commanded by various French generals including Henri Gouraud and Georges de Bazelaire of the French VII Army Corps.
WW2 Combat chronicle:
When formed and activated for World War II, the 42ID was a unique unit, as it was a reconstitution of the Rainbow Division from World War I. Except for the division headquarters, none of its earlier elements had reformed in the interwar period, so the Army Ground Forces filled its new units with personnel from every state. From the division standup at Camp Gruber until the division stood down in Austria, at every formal assembly, the division displayed not only the National and Divisional Colors, but all 48 state colors (State Flags). To emphasize the 42ID lineage from the 42ID of World War I, Maj. Gen. Harry J. Collins activated the unit on 14 July, the eve of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Champagne-Marne campaign in France.
Following training at Camp Gruber, OK and the journey to Europe, the three infantry regiments (222nd, 232nd, & 242nd) and a detachment of the 42ID Headquarters arrived in France at Marseille, 89 December 1944, and were formed into Task Force (TF) Linden, under Henning Linden, the Assistant Division Commander (ADC). TF Linden was task organized to VI Corps under 7th Army. TF Linden entered combat in the vicinity of Strasbourg, relieving elements of the 36ID on 24 December 1944.
In January 1945, defending a 31-mile sector along the Rhine, north and south of Strasbourg, TF Linden repulsed a number of enemy counterattacks, at Hatten and other locations, during the German "Operation Northwind" offensive. At the headquarters of the First Battalion, 242IR, Private First Class Vito R. Bertoldo was waging his 48-hour defense of the Command Post, for which he received the Medal of Honor. When the battalion CP was attacked by a German tank with its 88-mm. gun and machine gun fire, Bertoldo remained at his post and with his own machine gun killed the occupants of the tank when they tried to remove mines which were blocking their advance. On 24 and 25 January 1945, in the Bois D’Ohlungen, and the vicinity of Schweighouse-sur-Moder and Neubourg, the 222nd Infantry Regiment held a position covering a front of 7,500 yards, three times the normal frontage for a regiment in defense. After a two-hour artillery bombardment the 222nd Infantry Regiment was repeatedly attacked by elements of the German 7th Parachute, 47th Volks Grenadier Division, and the 25th Panzer Grenadier Division. During the ensuing struggle one company of the 222nd IR was surrounded, but only withdrew from their position and infiltrated back through the Germans to the regimental lines after exhausting all but 35 rounds of ammunition. For 24 hours the battle raged, but the Germans were never able to break through the 222nd IR lines. For this action the 222nd Infantry Regiment was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (2001). After these enemy attacks, TF Linden returned to reserve of the 7th Army and trained with the remainder of the 42ID which had arrived in the meantime.
On 14 February 1945, the 42ID as a whole entered combat, taking up defensive positions near Haguenau in the Hardt Forest. After a month of extensive patrolling and active defense, the 42ID went on the offensive. On the night of February 27 Germans laid down a heavy contingent of artillery and mortar fire and under this the elements of the 6th Mountain Division were withdrawn and replaced by the 221st Volksgrenadier Regiment.
In the brief period this unit had been in the line it had come to respect the Rainbow and fear its patrols and raids. "Is your Division a part of Roosevelt's SS?" asked one German when captured. The remark was passed along and men kidded each other about being in the Rainbow SS. The 42ID attacked through the Hardt Forest, broke through the Siegfried Line, 1521 March 1945, cleared Dahn and Busenberg, and mopped up in that general area, while the 3rd Army created and expanded bridgeheads across the Rhine. Moving across the Rhine, 31 March 1945, the 42ID captured Wertheim am Main, 1 April 1945, and Würzburg, 26 April 1945, after a fierce battle. Schweinfurt fell next after hand-to-hand engagements, 912 April 1945. Fürth, near Nürnberg, put up fanatical resistance, but was taken, 1819 April 1945, by the 42ID.
On 25 April, the 42ID captured Donauwörth on the Danube, and on 29 April 1945, liberated some 30,000 inmates at Dachau, a NSDAP prison camp. The 42ID passed through Munich, 30 April 1945, and ended its campaign by crossing the Austrian border north of Salzburg.
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