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About the Unit:
Camp Upton, New York saw the first 500 members of the Ninth Infantry
Division on January 16, 1941. Selectees were pouring into the unit
daily. That summer, the Ninth began an extensive field training program.
Numerous exercises and maneuvers were put into practice in order to
train the unit. The Carolina Maneuvers were a prime training action for
the Ninth, ending on
November 28th, 1941. Later, the attack on Pearl Harbor brought the unit
into full battle rhythm.
At the beginning of this year, the unit began to get an idea of where
and what it would be doing. It was attached to the Amphibious Corps,
Atlantic Fleet for training. The spring and summer of this year saw the
division go through a metamorphosis. It was learning a new tactic called
the Amphibious Assault. Unit after unit was sent out into Chesapeake
Bay to stage amphibious attacks on Solomons Island. Soldiers raced up
and down nets on mock landing craft in preparation for future
activities. September 17, 1942 was a day that many might remember as the
day the 39th Regiment of the Ninth received orders to proceed to a Point
Of Embarkation (POE). This indicated that the Regiment was being shipped
out for combat. The 47th and 60th Regiments moved out to Chicken Road at
this time. Chicken Road was known as the boon docks, according to Maj.
Doxsee. Here, the unit would receive a shake down prior to combat. This
would help everyone make sure they had everything ready for combat. On
October 14, 1942, the 60th Regiment moved out to their point of
embarkation. (the proceeding is adapted from the book Hold Fast)
The 60th boarded this ship, APA 27, the George Clymer for their
transport to North Africa. On November 8, 1942, the 60th made history as
one of the first units to begin combat during Operation TORCH. The
battalions of the 60th went ashore around the town of Port Lyautey, now
known as Kenitra. After taking the beach the unit went on to take an old
Portguese Fortress, called the Casbah. The Casbah was well defended and
thus hard to take over. The second battalion took at least two days to
capture the fortress completely. As the fortress was captured, the
battle itself wound down. The taking of Port Lyautey gave the 60th
Regiment it's first victory in combat, but would only be a small trial
by fire for what was to come. The unit spent the next few months in the
area living in tents and working with the local population, as well as
doing border guard duty with Spanish Morocco to the North.
After a few
months, the unit started to move to inland Africa by rail car. According
to the memoirs of LtCol. Kauffman, the unit took a few days and traveled
to Algeria by rail car. All of the cars had been used to carry men and
horses previously, and still smelled of the horses. There were kitchen cars on the train that enabled hot
coffee to be made every morning. This turned out to be a real morale
boost. Once the unit reached Algeria they were put into port guard duty.
After a few weeks of this, the unit was again sent into combat in
Tunisia. Here, during the springtime, the unit encountered some of the
worst fighting it would ever see, especially on Easter Morning 1943.
During combat in Tunisia with the German Army, the unit garnered it's
first Presidential Unit Citation. The combat was fierce, in the words of
Colonel Kauffman, you could see the best come out in men during that
battle. No one left their post during the horrendous German counter
attack. All stood and fought. It was a true moment of heroism for the Go
Devils. From Tunisia, the unit went into action in Sicily with Operation
HUSKY. After the completion of HUSKY, the ship ORIZABA took the unit on
to England where they would all prepare for the D-Day Invasion.
Going in at UTAH beach, the unit did not land on
D-Day but rather went in on June
10, 1944. They were committed to action on June 14th. The job of the 60th was to aid as much as possible the
cutting of the Cotentin Peninsula. The regiment immediately began
working from village to village, ejecting German defenders as they went.
From Utah Beach, the unit started moving east, securing the Douve line.
This phase of operations lasted from 14-16 June, 1944. Beginning
near Renouf, the 60th pushed northwest towards Reigneville. From
there they shot west to Ste. Colombe. In the town of Ste. Colombe,
the unit secured a series of three bridges over the Douve River.
Encountering continued resistance from the town of Nehou to the west,
the unit went directly into the village of Nehou. From here,
during June 17-18 the regiment split into three battalions and proceeded
to cut the peninsula. The Second Battalion went west towards hill
145, securing the hill near the town of St. Pierre-d'Arthglise.
The First Battalion went west towards hill 133, securing it.
Finally, the Third Battalion pushed into the town of Barneville-Sur Mer,
providing the final cut in the Contentin Peninsula. From 19-21
June 1944, the 60th advanced north, toward the town of Cherbourg.
On June 19th, the 60th had set a front line, extending from the west to
the east, and just to the north of the village of Helleville.
Advancing toward Cherbourg, by the 21st of June, the regiment had pushed
the line north, to the village of Gourbesville. The final
drive on Cherbourg took place from 22-26 June 1944. The First
Battalion was positioned with the second battalion in the village of
Gourbesville. The Third Battalion was to the northwest, in the
village of Haut Biville. The first and second battalions pushed
out from Gourbesville line abreast, with the second battalion to the
north, and the first battalion on the south side. Both units were
moving west toward Cherbourg. The third battalion continued on the
northern flank of the second battalion. By the night of the 22nd,
the first and second battalions established themselves on a north south
line starting just north of Acqueville, and extending north to the
Gourbesville/Flottmanville-Hague Road. By the night of the 23rd.
the 60th was on the northwest side of Flottmanville-Hague. At this
time the 60th held position, allowing the 39th and 47th Infantry
Regiments to take the town of Cherbourg. The 60th worked the high
ground around Cherbourg to the northwest, cleaning up concrete
emplacements, trenches and mine fields. After the taking of
Cherbourg on 26 June, the unit continued their peninsula clearing
operations until 30 June. At this time, they moved into the town
of Jobourg, on the tip of the Cape De La Hague, to the west of the city
of Cherbourg. The 60th took a seven day break at Les Pieux.
On the 9th of July, the unit assembled south of Carentan and prepared
for new operations. After the breakthrough at St. Lo, the
unit pressed on to cross the Seine River at the town of Melun.
They then crossed the Marne river at Meaux. Finally, the 60th
arrived at the Belgium border, and proceeded to cross it north of the
town of Hirson, France on 2 September, 1944. It was the 4th of
September, 1944 when the 60th contacted the enemy again, near Givet,
Belgium. The German Army retreated across the Meuse River.
After intense fighting, the 60th established a bridgehead near St. Masil.
On the 6th of September, the 60th made first contact with the Siegfried
Line, with reconnaissance units. By the 17th of
September, the first position on the Seigfried Line, Hofen, fell to the
60th Regiment. Alzen fall also, but with a heavy toll of
prisoners. One pillbox alone took twelve hours of incessant
pounding to force it's occupants to surrender. On the night of 4
October, the 60th was poised to attack towards the German towns of
Germeter and Vossenbach. The final goal was control of the Roer
Dams. On the 6th of October, the battle for the dams began.
This battle took such a toll on the 60th that it had to be relieved.
The Go-Devils fell back to Camp Elsenborn. They stayed here until
10 December, when the all out attack on the dams began. Six days
later, the battle was over and the 60th found themselves on the west
bank of the Roer River.
Towards the end of January, 1945, the 60th found
themselves relieving the 47th Regiment near Monschau and Hofen in
Germany. On the 1st of February, the 60th jumped off in the
drive toward Dreiborne Road. Taking the town of
Dreiborne in somewhat fierce urban combat, they stayed for a while,
until new orders arrived for an attack on Schwammanuel Dam. On the
9th of February, the 60th began their attack. Here the unit
smashed through fanatical resistance and powerful defenses to win the
dominating ground overlooking the town of Hasenfield. This made
defense of the German dam impossible, and opened the way for an allied
crossing of the Roer River. In March, the town of Zulpich fell to
the Go-Devils. After this, on March 8-9, 1945, the 60th crossed
the Ludendorff Bridge, also known as the Remagen Bridge. Forming
up across the bridge, in the tunnel, the unit re-organized in 45 minutes
and filed out, to begin securing the high ground around the eastern side
of the bridge head. The Go-Devils were over the Rhine at Remagen.
As they pressed out of the tunnel, an ammunition truck received a direct
hit, jarring the crumbling foundations of the bridge. The
60th spent three days in their fox holes on top of Flak Hill, staving
off German aircraft attacks and artillery barrages, intent on collapsing
the bridge. The Go-Devils broke out and captured the high ground
just east of Erpel (the town on the other side of the Ludendorff Bridge,
from Remagen). After the bridge was completely secured, the 60th
continued on toward the Cologne-Frankfurt Autobahn. In the process
they took the towns of Strauscheid, Rahms, Weissenfeld, Hodden, Hombach
and Epgert. Now, the 60th began an odyssey into the heart of the
Reich. Their only problem was supplies, halting them near
the town of Marberg, Fronthausen. On 5 April, E Company, with an
attached company of black troops, took Legenbach, Germany. This
was the first taste of combat for the E Company platoon. One of
their platoon mates won the DSC in the process. The final
objectives of the 60th were reached by the 10th of April and they were
pinched off into a secondary position by other allied units. The
next mission for the 60th was to the Harz Mountains. On Friday the
13th of April, the 60th made a 150 mile motor march from the east Ruhr
area to Nordhausen. Organized resistance in the Harz mountains
ended on 20 April and the line became static as the 60th waited on
Russian Allies. The Go-Devils were treated like Kings in the small
German Vilages. Most of the Burgermeisters of the towns wanted the
American occupiers as opposed to the Russian occupiers. They
collected guns and cameras by the hundreds and had them ready when the
troops moved through. The 60th's left flank was at Wolfen and
Jessnitz, where the Mulde and Elbe Rivers joined. A bridge was in
the area, and as it was the only passable bridge, it was a natural
magnet. Orders came down from on high forbidding anyone except
Allied personnel to cross the bridge. Soon, the bridge was packed
with individuals trying to surrender to the Americans before the
Russians came. Then, at 1830 hours on 27 April, the Third
Battalion of the 60th Regiment made contact with elements of the Russian
forces. The two fronts had now become one. Here, on the 2nd
of May, a Russian Major rode up to the 60th's outpost on the bridge with
a truckload of Russian troops singing and shouting. This was the
relief of the final Go-Devil outpost of World War II. The fighting
part of the war was over. Finally, on 7 May, the following message
was received at the Go-Devil Regimental Headquarters: "At 0001, 9 May
1945, all hostilities in Europe will cease." signed, Eisenhower.
A few days after the declaration of Peace, a
memorial service was held for all the men of the 60th, who died during World War II. It took place in
the Bitterfield town square. According to records, the living
tried honoring the dead, while worrying about who was slated for
shipment to the Pacific. Fortunately, the Pacific battle was soon