274th Infantry Regiment|
The 274th Infantry Regiment was activated with the 70th
Infantry Division 15 July 1943 at Camp Adair, Oregon. It trained
there for its combat mission for the next 12 months. During that
period, the division was tasked to provide replacements for U.S.
Army losses in Europe and the Far East. This required new
replacements and retraining of the regiment's small units. In late
July 1944 the division entrained for a transfer to Fort Leonard
Wood, MO, and resumed training there. The last of the replacements
arrived in early October 1944, and the next month the regiment went
with the division to Camp Myles Standish, MA to stage for shipment
to Europe. On 10 December it landed at Marseilles, France and was
trucked to a staging area to make final preparations for combat.
On 20 December the regiment boarded 40 and 8 box cars and
traveled north toward the front line. Christmas Eve and 500 cold and
snowy miles later it arrived at. Brumath, France, and walked
carrying full field gear and weapons to Bischweiler ready for
commitment. The areas in which the 274th Infantry Regiment fought
are described in this home page and include:
Nestled deep in the Hardt Mountains near the German border, this
village was important to both adversaries because it was located
at an important intersection on highway N62 and also on a key rail
line. The Germans wanted control of this village so badly that they
would sacrifice almost anything. They almost succeeded, but the
274th Infantry was as determined and in the end, prevailed.
2d Battalion, 274th Infantry won the Presidential Unit Citation for
the capture and liberation of Wingen. This battle was the initial
mission of this battalion. They became veterans overnight by
decisively defeating the best in the German Army, in what later
proved to be a major battle of the winter campaign. In this victory,
the battalion destroyed two German battalions, liberated over 250
Americans from another division being held there as prisoners of the
German forces, and recaptured a significant number of American
weapons and vehicles.
The first week of January, 1945 was a critical one for the American
Seventh Army fighting in France. The Battle of the Ardennes was
still in a decisive stage. The Germans held the initiative. From
Belgium to Strasburg,and from Bitche to Hagenau. This is the German
operation North Wind. 274th's 3d Bn helps plug the gaps which
finally stops the German's final offensive of their winter
The Siegfried Line
Germany's defenses in this section of the Saar Basin rested in the
hands of some 125,000 soldiers of the German First Army manning the
Siegfied Line here, and the 274th Infantry Regiment must crack it in
its drive to capture Saarbrücken.
Key to the Saar basin was capture of the city of Saarbrücken. To do
so required a hostile crossing of the Saar River. This was done by
the doughs of the 274th Infantry the night of 19-20 March 1945, and
is completed with the capture of Saarbrücken.
Campaign Awards ||
|| Personal Accounts || Maps ||
Behren Medal Presentation
Excerpt from letter by Col.
Bob Cheves || Reg. Hqs and Battle sites