Military Gift Description
5th Army Infantry Division Military Patch Red Diamond
The 5th Infantry Division was activated on 2 October 1939. It was sent to Iceland in 1942 to relieve British troops occupying this vital link on the Atlantic convoy routes.
The 5th Infantry Division landed on Utah Beach, 9 July 1944 and 4 days later took up defensive positions in the vicinity of Caumont. Launching a successful attack at Vidouville 26 July, the division drove on southeast of St. Lo, attacked and captured Angers, 9-10 August, pushed across the Seine at Fontainebleau, 23 August, and across the Marne to seize Reims, 30 August, and positions east of Verdun. The division then prepared for the assault on Metz. In mid-September a bridgehead was established and secured across the Moselle, south of Metz, in the face of very heavy opposition. First attempts to take the fortress failed, 16 September-16 October 1944, and the division withdrew, returning to the assault on 9. November. Metz was reduced after a heavy, 10-day battle. The division crossed the German border, 4 December, captured Lauterbach on the 5th, and elements reached the west bank of the Saar River, 6 December, before the division moved to assembly areas. On the 16th of December the Germans launched their winter offensive, and on the 18th the 5th was thrown in against the southern flank of the Bulge, helping to reduce it by the end of January 1945. In February and March, the division drove across and northeast of the Sauer, cracked through the Siegfried Line, reached and crossed the Rhine, 22 March, and continued on to Frankfurt-am-Main, clearing and policing the town and its environs, 27-29 March. In April the division took part in clearing the Ruhr Pocket and then drove across the Czechoslovak border, 1 May, reaching Volary and Vimperk as the war in Europe ended.
After the war, the division was inactivated on 20 September 1946. However, it was reactivated on 15 July 1947. The 1950s saw the division in Germany as part of the US contribution to NATO. It sent one brigade to Vietnam, with the unit serving there from 1968 until 1971. Its final assignment was to III Corps, with the mission of reinforcement of Europe in the scenario of a general war breaking out there.
In 1989, units of the Fifth Infantry Division deployed in support of Operation Nimrod Dancer to "protect American interests" in Panama. 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry was one of the first units on the ground and remained there until September when there was a hand off to 4th Battalion, Sixth Infantry (another 5th ID unit). 4/6IN was in country and assisted during Operation Just Cause helping to overthrow Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, and also assisted in an emergency extraction of Delta Force operators engaged in Operation Acid Gambit when their helicopter went down.
The division was deactivated for the final time on 24 November 1992 as part of the post-Cold War rundown of US forces.