Division History
The account below is from a document written in October 1947 and was obtained from the US Army Military History Institute.

Full history in DOC or PDF.

The 70th Division was activated as a component of the Army of the United States on June 15th, 1943, with headquarters at Camp Adair, Oregon. The Division had one change of station to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, before embarking for the European Theater in December 1944. The three infantry regiments began arriving in Marseilles, France, on December 10th and were immediately organized into Task Force Herren and assigned to the Seventh Army. Reaching the front on December 28th near Bischweiler on the west bank of the Rhine river, the task force engaged German units attempting to drive south from Bitche as part of an attack to cut off Seventh Army forces west of Severne Pass (Operation Nordwind).

The troops of the 70th took on von Rundstedt's German forces and defeated them at Phillipsbourg and at Wingen. Over 1,000 SS troops were killed by the division elements at Wingen, and the Bitche salient was eliminated. The Task Force moved to an area south of the heavily fortified German town of Saarbrucken in mid-January and patrolled aggressively until the arrival of the rest of the division on January 18th, 1945. The men of the 70th improved their defensive positions and launched a series of combat raids along a line running from Sarrguemines to Morsbach through mid-February and prepared for the drive into Germany.

On February 17th, the division attacked just below the Saar River and captured the high ground overlooking Saarbrucken. The French town of Forbach was liberated, and the 70th advanced to Stiring-Wendel where over 1,000 allied prisoners were freed in one of the first of such actions along the Western Front. Continuing its advance, the 70th made a night crossing of the Saar River on March 18th and captured Saarbrucken after two days of fierce fighting. The Siegfried Line was pierced north of the Saar and several cities were captured including the large town of Volklingen. On March 21st, elements of the 70th Division and the Third Army units met forming the Saar Pocket. The division then participated in the destruction of enemy forces in the Saar Basin until the war ended on May 8th, 1945.

In October of 1945, the division returned home after performing occupation duties in Germany with command posts located in Frankfurt, Bad Kreuznach, Oranienstein, and Otterberg. The men of the Trailblazer Division had fought in three campaigns and lost 3,919 men killed and wounded during 83 days of combat.

The shoulder patch of the 70th Division was approved on June 15th, 1943. The axe head represents the aim of the unit to overcome all obstacles in the path of the division. The white mountain in the background suggests Mt. Hood which is near where the unit organized, and the green fir tree suggests the region and ties between the 70th and the 91st Divisions. The color red represents the blood of the early pioneers who settled the area where the division was formed.

Assignment and Attachment to Higher Units:

DATE CORPS ARMY ARMY GROUP
Assigned Attached Assigned Attached

4 Dec 44

     

ETOUSA/6th

 

20 Dec 44

 

Seventh

 

6th

 

28 Dec 44

VI

Seventh

 

6th

 

3 Feb 45

XV

Seventh

 

6th

 

25 Feb 45

XXI

Seventh

 

6th

 

22 Mar 45

(-)

Seventh

 

6th

 

31 Mar 45

 

(-)

 

12th

 

8 Apr 45

 

Third

 

12th

 

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