France    Belgium    Holland    Germany    Czechoslovakia

The invasion of Normandy had the members of the 314th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division, fighting their way from Utah Beach, through Cherbourg, into La-Haye-du-Puits, across France, through the Forêt de Parroy, into Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany and finally conducting operations as part of the Army of Occupation in Czechoslovakia. The 314th was the first U.S. Army unit to cross the Seine River and the first into Belgium.

Battles in France included the Utah Beach area, the assault on and capture of Fort du Roule on 25 June 1944, the capture of Cherbourg on 26 June 1944, the battle against units of the Waffen SS for and capture on 7 July 1944 of La Haye du Puits, the battle on 9 July 1944 for Hill 84, the Normandy Breakthrough, and the Mayenne River Bridgehead at Change established on 6 August 1944. In August and September, the regiment's combat activities included Falaise Gap, Mantes-Gassicourt, Charmes, and the Meurthe River.

October and November 1944 saw the regiment fighting in Moncel, frontally assaulting Forêt de Monden, attacking and participating in the capture of the Forêt de Parroy and its main road junction on 5 Oct 44 and the taking of Lunéville. In November 1994, fighting continued in Lunéville and moved onward to the Vosges Mountains and Saverne Gap. On 11 December 1944, the regiment captured Hagenau. In December, the regiment invaded Germany and fighting continued in Germany and France, including the capture of Ruhrweiller-Drusenheim on 6 January 1945. In one of the war's many unfortunate moments, on 19 January 1945, the Germans captured the regiment's second battalion.

Unit Journal, 3rd Battalion, 314th Infantry, June-December 1944  Unit Journal, 3rd Battalion, 314th Infantry, June-December 1944

In February 1945, the regiment accomplished a rapid redeployment into Belgium and into the Netherlands and in March the regiment entered Germany. Combat in 1945 included Bais d'Ohlangen-Schweighausen, the Battle of the Autobahn, the capture of Steele on 9 April 1945, and the occupation of Dortmund. The 314th captured twelve thousand prisoners and suffered over five thousand wartime casualties.

Wartime assignments placed the regiment under the First, Third, Seventh and Ninth Armies. On 2 June 1945, the regiment arrived in Czechoslovakia as part of the Army of Occupation. The regiment began movement back to the US on 15 November 1945 and was deactivated on 11 December 1945.

History by Month

JUN 44 |  JUL 44 |  AUG 44 |  SEP 44 |  OCT 44 |  NOV 44 |  DEC 44 |  JAN 45 |  FEB 45 |  MAR 45 |  APR 45

Significant Dates

Honors & Decorations

Individual Decorations

Congressional Medal of Honor 2
Distinguished Service Cross 3
Silver Star 282
Bronze Star 757
Legion of Honor in Grade of Chevalier (French) 1
Croix de Guerre with Palm (French) 4
Croix de Guerre with Silver Gilt Star (French) 4
Croix de Guerre with Silver Star (French) 1
Croix de Guerre with Bronze Star (French) 4
British Military Medal (Great Britain) 1
Source: Through Combat - 314th Infantry Regiment

Presidential Unit Citations

2nd Battalion Fort du Roule
1st Battalion La Haye Du Puits
3rd Battalion Meurthe River

Meritorious Unit Commendation

Service Company 1 Jul 44 - 31 Dec 44

Campaigns

Normandy 6 Jun 44 - 24 Jul 44
Northern France 25 Jul 44 - 14 Sep 44
Rhineland 15 Sep 44 - 21 Mar 45
Ardennes-Alsace 16 Dec 44 - 25 Jan 45
Central Europe 22 Mar 45 - 11 May 45

Occupation Credit

Germany 20 May - 31 Oct 45
Source: Department of the Army Pamphlet 672-1, July 1961

Foreign Unit Awards

French Croix De Guerre with Palm, awarded under Decision No. 3864, 28 April 1947, by the President of the Provisional Governement of the French Republic, with the following citation:

A remarkable unit which displayed splendid endurance and exceptional fighting zeal. It distinguished itself brilliantly from 21 to 24 November 1944 in hard combat. It mopped up in the forest of Parroy and materially aided the 2d Armored French Division to break through to the Col de Saverne. In spite of heavy losses, it fought stubbornly against a dashing and fanatical enemy, preventing it from reappearing in the Vosges. It thus contributed greatly to the liberation of Baccaret, Phalsbourg, and Saverne.

French Croix De Guerre with Palm, awarded under Decision No. 5, 14 January 1949, by the Minister of National Defense, with the following citation:

Splendid unit that incited by savage vigor, landed in Normandy in June 1944. Covered itself with glory in the battles of Saint-Lo and at Haye-du-Puits. Participated in the capture of Fougeres, Laval, and Le Mans, then crossing the Seine at Maintes-Gassicourt, on 19 August 1944, inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy before marching triumphantly into Paris on 27 August 1944. By its bold action, contributed largely to the success of the Allied armies and the liberation of Paris.

French Fourragere in the colors of the Croix de Guerre (1939-1945), awarded under Decision No. 48, 16 August 1949, by the Minister of National Defense.

Note: Wearing of French and Belgian Fourrageres - Normally, two citations are required before a unit becomes eligible for the award of the Fourragere. The award of the Fourragere is not automatic, but must be specifically authorized by decree of the respective foreign government. A citation in orders or award of the Croix de Guerre to a unit does not authorize the wearing of the decoration by an individual. Likewise, no award of the Croix de Guerre to an individual will serve to constitute eligibility to wear the Fourragere. The Fourragere may be worn permanently by individuals who participated with the unit in both actions for which the unit was cited. The French Fourragere may be worn temporarily by individuals assigned to the unit subsequent to the time the award was made, but only so long as they remain with such unit.

Source: Department of the Army General Order 43 1950.

Recommended Reading

America's Forgotten Army (U.S. Seventh Army) by Charles Whiting - 1999 St. Martin Paperbacks; ISBN-10: 0312976550, ISBN-13: 978-0312976552

First to the Rhine - The 6th Army Group in World War II by Harry Yeide and Mark Stout - 2007 by Zenith Press; ISBN-10: 0760331464, ISBN-13: 978-0760331460

When the Odds Were Even: The Vosges Mountains Campaign, October 1944-January 1945 by Keith Bonn; ISBN-10: 0345476115, ISBN-13: 978-0345476111

Teenage Soldier (Working intelligence and reconnaissance missions from hedgerow to hedgerow, river to river and canal to canal: The 79th Division from Normandy - Belgium - Holland - to the surrender of Germany. June 1944 to May 1945) by Roger E. Campbell - 1999 Teenage Soldier Trust

The Other Battle of the Bulge: Operation Northwind by Charles Whiting - 1990 Scarborough House; ISBN-10: 1862273995, ISBN-13: 978-1862273993

World War II, As I Remember by Mark Gordon Hazard - 2005 Hazard Cattle Company