THE 30TH INFANTRY
DIVISION IN WORLD WAR II
30th Infantry Division Facts
TYPE OF DIVISION: National Guard-Troops from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.
NICKNAME: "Old Hickory" Top of Page
SHOULDER PATCH: An oval monogram OH containing the Roman numeral XXX in the center all in blue on a scarlet field. The OH represents the Division's nickname, "Old Hickory" and the Roman numeral XXX, the Division's numerical designation. The "Old Hickory" Division shoulder patch was designed for 30th Division troops of WWI in honor of President Andrew Jackson, Tennessee statesman, who led troops from Tennessee and the Carolinas in the War of 1812.
HISTORY: The division was formed from National Guard units from the four states named above in October 1917, at Camp Sevier, NC. After a brief training period in the US, the 30th went overseas for combined training with the British. In Aug 1918, elements took over the canal sector southwest of Ypres, Belgium, holding there until an Allied offensive opened up late that month for the entire Ypres-Lys sector. During the Somme offensive in Sept. and Oct. 1918, the division helped break the Hindenburg Line near Bellicourt and later participated in the battle of LaSelle River. The 30th's Field Artillery units fought separately, taking part in the St Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives. The division took 3848 prisoners and suffered 8954 casualties.
INDUCTION DATE: 16 September 1940, at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
INACTIVATION DATE: 25 November 1945 at Fort Jackson. South Carolina.
COMPONENT UNITS: 117th, 119th and 120th Inf. Regt's; 30 Cav.Rcn. Tp. (Mecz.); 105th Engr Combat Bn; 105th Med Bn.;30th Div. Arty; 118th, 197th and 230th FA .Bns (105 How); and 113th FA Bn (155 How); 30th Div. Sp Tps; 30th QM Co; 30th Sig. Co, 730th Ord. Co. (LM); 30th Div. Hq Co; 30th MP Platoon and the 30th Div. Band.
TRAINING UNDER ARMY GROUND FORCES: Began its training at Fort Jackson, SC. and in June 1941, took part in Tennessee maneuvers. During Oct. and Nov. 1941, the Division participated in the Carolina Maneuvers. On 9 Mar 1942, the 30th came under the control of the Army Ground Forces after having changed its station to Camp Blanding, FL in October 1942. In May 1943, the Division transferred to Camp Forrest, TN and in September of the same year, took part in the Second Army maneuvers held in Tennessee. In November 1943, it went to Camp Atterbury, Indiana.
DEPARTED U.S. FOR FOREIGN DUTY: 12 February 1944, from Boston, Mass. and arrived Scotland 22 February 1944.
OVERSEAS TRAINING: Resumed training immediately after arriving in the United Kingdom, much stress being placed on amphibious operations.
DATE ENTERED COMBAT: DIVISION-15 June 1944, FIRST ELEMENTS 10 Jun 1944, the 230th FA. Bn.
COMBAT DAYS (DIV): 282.
BATTLE CREDITS: (Division) Normandy. Northern France. Rhineland, Ardennes, Central Europe.
RETURNED TO US: 21 August 1945 (Hq).
SUCCESSIVE COMMANDING GENERALS: Major General Henry D. Russell from 31 Dec.1940 to Apr..1942; Lt Gen (then Major General) William H. Simpson from May to July 1942; Major General Leland S. Hobbs from 9 Sept. 1942 to Sept. 1945;Major General Albert C Cowper from Sept. 1945 to inactivation on 25 November 1945 at Ft. Jackson, SC.
DISTINGUISHED UNIT CITATIONS: 1st Bn. 117th Inf. for 7 Aug. 1944 action at St Barthelmy, France; 1st Bn, 120th lnf. for 8-12 Oct. 1944 action in Germany; Co E. 117th Inf. 16 Oct. 1944 for action in Germany; 1st Bn (reinf) 119th Inf . for 19-21 Dec .1944 action in Belgium; Co K, 120th Inf. for 6-12 Aug.1944 action in Normandy; 1st & 2nd Platoon AT Co., 120th Inf. for 6-12 Aug 1944 action in Normandy and 2nd Bn 120th Inf. for 6-12 Aug 1944 action in Normandy; 3rd Platoon, Co. B, 105th Engr. Bn. for action in the Vire River crossing; 743rd Tk. Bn., for action on Omaha Beach, 6 June 1944.
MEDAL OF HONOR: Recipients: 1st Lt Raymond O. Beaudoin, Co. F, 119th Infantry Regiment for 6 Apr. 1945 action near Hamelin, Germany; S/Sgt Paul L. Bolden, for 23 Dec. 1944 action at Petit-Coo, Belgium; Sgt Francis S. Currey, Company K, 120th Infantry, for 21 Dec 1944 action near Malmedy, Belgium; S/Sgt Freeman V. Horner, Co. K, 119th Infantry, for 16 Nov. 1944 action at Wurselen, Germany; Pvt. Harold G. Kiner, Co. F, 117th Infantry Regiment, for 2 Oct. 1944 action near Palenberg, Germany; S/Sgt. Jack J. Pendleton, Co. I, 120th Infantry Regiment, for 12 Oct. 1944 action near Bardenbcrg, Germany.
FOREIGN AWARDS: Awarded the Belgian Fourragere for 4-10 Sept. 1944 action in Toumai, Louvain, Waterloo and theTongres areas, and for the 17-25 January 1945 action at Malmedy, Belgium, per Belgian decree #1393, dated 20 Nov 1945.
COMBAT HIGHLIGHTS: The 30th came ashore in Normandy on 10-15 June 1944, spearheaded the St Lo breakthrough and kept in the forefront all the way into Belgium, Holland and into Germany. It was the first unit of the Allied troops to enter Belgium and Holland. Its first mission on landing in France was to secure the high ground north of the Vire et Taute Canal. The small community of La Ray soon fell before the rolling 30th and the mission of clearing the north bank of the canal was completed by 17 June. On 7 July the Division moved forward again, crossing the Vire River and penetrating as far as St Jean-de-Day. Beginning 25 July the 30th took part in one of the war's most memorable actions, the St Lo breakthrough. Advances were slow in July, but by 6 August the 30th relieved the 1st Infantry Division near Mortain. Suddenly the Division was attacked by five armored divisions of the enemy, the German's purpose being to drive to the sea at Avranches and split the American First and Third Armies. The 2nd Battalion of the 120th Infantry Regiment and the 1st Bn. of the 117th Infantry Regiment, bore the brunt of the assault and were so hard-pressed, that all available personnel of the 30th Division were thrown into action. The Battalions held fast. In a week the Nazi spearhead was broken and the enemy thrown back. In August 1944. the town of Reuilly fell to the 30th and the Seine River was soon crossed. In September 1944, an offensive was started near Tournai and Brussels. In mid-September after the Albert Canal and the Meuse River were crossed, the 30th took objectives near Horbach, Germany and completed plans for the assault on the Siegfried Line. This attack opened on 2 October 1944 and a breach was made the following day. Contact with the 1st Infantry Division was made 16 October 1944, and encirclement of Aachen was completed. The 30th then continued on their offensive into Germany. When Von Rundstedt attempted his breakthrough in December, 1944, the 30th was rushed to the Malmedy-Stavelot-Stoumont area. Here the 30th gave such a mauling to some of Hitler's best troops, that the Germans called the Division "Roosevelt's SS Troops." After helping to stem the German winter drive, the Division moved to the Vielsalm.-Sart-Lierneux areas. Back in Germany, the Roer River was crossed in February and the unit headed for the heart of Germany. In March 1945, when the Rhine River was crossed, the 30th was one of the first divisions to break out from the bridgehead and it led the dash encircling the Ruhr and trapping thousands of Germans. At war's end the Division was stationed at Magdeburg, Germany. Arriving in the US late in August, the Division trained at Ft Jackson SC under V Corps until inactivatedon 25 November 1945.
These Army Ground Forces Fact Sheets were prepared at the end of the war (1 March 1947) by The Information Section. Analyst: Branch, Headquarters Army Ground Forces on each division. They maybe found in Record Group 407, Unit Records, for each division, under the file number 3 (Division #) - 0 at the National Archives and Records Administration. 8601 Adelphi Rd. College Park MD. 20740