Nickname: This Division has no nickname. It is commonly referred to as the 71st. Its crossing of the Rhine and the final smash into Bavaria may give rise to a nickname now that the war is over and gallantry is being recorded and published. .
Shoulder Patch: A circular white patch with a red border. In blue, and placed diagonally on the face of the patch, are the Arabic numerals, "71." .
The 71st Division was one of the later divisions activated during the present war. Although its activation date, July, 1943, indicated it would be available for the final mop-up of the Japs, it was able instead to see important action in the European Theater of Operations and to be in at the death of the Nazi power in Europe. .
The Division was assigned for training to the XI Corps, Second Army, Camp Carson. Colorado, upon activation in July, 1943. During March and April, 1944, the 71st participated in the maneuvers conducted at the Hunter Liggett, California Military Reservation.
By the fall of 1944, the Division was ready for action and left the United States in Nov., 1944, for the European Theater of Operations. . Commanding Generals:
Maj. Gen. (then Brig. Gen.) Robert L. Spraggins, July, 1943, to Oct., 1944; Maj. Gen. Eugene M. Landrum, Oct., 1944, to Nov., 1944; Maj. Gen. Willard G. Wyman, Nov., 1944, to present. .
Component Units: (As of Nov., 1944): 5th, 14th and 66th Infantry Regiments; 564th (M), 607th, 608th and 609th (L) FA Battalions. Higher Command: Third Army. . Combat Highlights:
On March 12, 1945, the Division started its initial campaign, and from then until March 31, 1945, it was engaged in driving from Ratzwiller, France, to the Rhine river.
At the end of the month, the mission was accomplished as troops of the Division drove into the vicinity of Ludwigshafen, Germany. This operation included the breaking through of the Siegfried Line and capture of the German city of Pirmasens.
Then came the drive across the Hardt Mountains and the Rhine Plain. Final phase was the mopping up of isolated pockets and the occupation of the west bank of the Rhine, in the vicinity of Ludwigshafen and Speyer.
On March 31, under cover of a smoke screen the Division plunged across the Rhine at Oppenheim, as it started participation in the final blitz across Germany.
In April the 71st helped capture Mannheim. As V-E Day approached, the Division captured Bayreuth, Northeast of Nuernberg.
Later after securing and consolidating its bridgehead across the Danube; it smashed into Bavaria near war's end.
The 71st was assigned occupation duties at Augsberg, Germany.