70th Infantry reunion set

Tue, 06/17/2008 - 3:40pm
By: Letters to the ...

The 70th Infantry Division Association, Trailblazers, will hold its Biennial Reunion at the Holiday Inn Cincinnati Airport Hotel, Erlanger, Ken., Sept. 10-14, 2008. For information, contact Steve Dixon, VP South, 404 Calgary Drive, Peachtree City, Ga., 30269 or call 404-944-1268 or email skdixon@bellsouth.net.

The 70th Division was activated as a component of the Army of the United States on June 15, 1943, with headquarters at Camp Adair, Ore. The division had one change of station to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., before embarking for the European Theater in December 1944.

The three infantry regiments began arriving in Marseilles, France, on Dec. 10 and were immediately organized into Task Force Herren and assigned to the Seventh Army.

Reaching the front on Dec. 28 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 Jan. 18, 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 Feb. 17, 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 18 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 21, 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 [in Europe] ended on May 8, 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 86 days of combat.

In the 1950s, the 70th Infantry Division (Training) was formed as part of the Army Reserve and continued until inactivated in 1996. In 1996 the the 70th Regional Service Command was activated, then later renamed 70th Regional Readiness Command. In 2007, the 70th RRC was inactivated, In 2008, the 70th Division Training (Functional Training) was activated. It is this unit that carries the 70th’s colors today.

Steve Dixon

VP South and Webmaster

70th Infantry Division Association


Peachtree City, Ga.

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