The 65th Infantry Division
—nicknamed the Battle-axe
—was an infantry division
of the United States Army
that served in World War II
. Its shoulder patch is a white halberd
on a blue shield.
World War II
Activated: 16 August 1943.
Overseas: 10 January 1945.
Campaigns: Rhineland, Central Europe.
Days of combat: 55.
Awards: MH-1 (Frederick C. Murphy); DSM-1 ; SS-77; LM-14; SM-4; BSM-686; AM-19.
Commanders: Major General Stanley Eric Reinhart (August 1943 – 1 August 1945), Brig. Gen. John E. Copeland (1 August 1945 to inactivation).
Inactivated: 31 August 1945 in Germany.
The 65th Infantry Division landed at Le Havre, France
, 21 January 1945
, and proceeded to Camp Lucky Strike, where training continued until 1 March
, when the Division moved forward to relieve the 26th Infantry Division
. First elements entered the line, 5 March 1945
, and the Division as a whole took over aggressive defense of the sector along the Saar, from Orscholz to Wadgassen, on 8 March 1945
. On 17 March
, the Division attacked across the Saar, crossing the river at Dillingen and captured Saarlautern, 19 March
, as Siegfried Line
defenses cracked. Capturing Neunkirchen, 21 March 1945
, the Division raced to the Rhine, crossed the river at Oppenheim, 30 March
, and ran into heavy Germany resistance and counterattacks. Langensalza fell on 5 April
, Struth on the 7th, and Neumarkt on the 22d.
Continuing its advance against crumbling Nazi opposition, the Division crossed the Danube 4 miles below Regensburg, 26 April, took the city, 27 April, seized Passau, cross the Inn River, 4 May, and occupied Linz, Austria, on the 5th. Germans surrendered en masse. On 9 May, as hostilities officially ended in Europe, the troops of the 65th made contact with the Russians at Erlauf.
Assignments in the ETO
Medal of Honor Recipients
Frederick C. Murphy
, PFC, U.S. Army, Medical Detachment, 259th Infantry, 65th Infantry Division, Siegfried Line at Saarlautern, Germany, 18 March 1945
- The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States. Combat chronicle: 65th Infantry Division U.S. Government Printing Office. 1950.