3rd Armored DIVISION - Spearhead

Activated 15 Apr 1941  •  Entered Combat 9 Jul 1944 at Normandy  •  Days of Combat 231  •  Casualties 9,243 


Commanding General

Maj. Gen. Alvan C. Gillem   (Apr 41 - Jan 42) 
Maj. Gen. Walton H. Walker   (Jan 42 - Aug 42) 
Maj. Gen. Leroy H. Watson   (Aug 42 - Aug 44) 
Maj. Gen. Maurice Rose   (Aug 44 - Mar 45) 
Brig. Gen. Doyle O. Hickey   (Mar 45 - Jun 45) 
Brig. Gen. Truman E. Boudinot   (Jun 45 - Jul 45) 
Brig. Gen. Frank A. Allen, Jr.   (Jul 45 - Jul 45) 
Maj. Gen. Robert W. Grow   (Jul 45 - inactivation) 



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)

Campaign Map of the European Theater


Division Chronicle

The 3d Armored Division landed in Normandy and entered combat 29 June 1944, taking part in the hedgerow fighting. The Division broke out at Marigny and with the 1st Infantry Division swung south to Mayenne in a general exploitation of the St. Lo break-through. In August 1944, the Division participated in the heavy fighting involved in closing the Falaise Gap, pocketing the German Seventh Army. Six days later (25 August) the Division had cut across the Seine River, and was streaking through Meaux, Soissons, Laon, Mons, Namur, and Liege. Liege fell 8 September and Eupen on 11 September. The Division breached the Siegfried Line with the capture of Rotgen, 12 September, and continued a slow advance against heavy resistance, to the vicinity of Langerwehe. When the Battle of the Bulge broke, the Division was shifted to Houffalize, Belgium, where it severed a vital highway leading to St. Vith, and in January participated in the reduction of the German salient west of Houffalize. After a brief rest, the Division returned to the front, crossed the Roer River- into Duren, broke out of the Duren bridgehead, and drove on to capture Koln, 6 March 45. The Division swept on to Paderborn ; it was at a road junction near Paderborn that Major General Rose was killed while attempting to surrender to a German tank commander, 31 March 1945. The Division took Paderborn, assisted in mopping up the Ruhr pocket, crossed the Saale River, and after overcoming stiff resistance took Dessau, 21-23 April 1945.

Notes and sources:
Date Activated is the date the division was activated or inducted into federal service (national guard units).
Casualties are number of killed, wounded in action, captured, and missing.
The dates after the campaign name are the dates of the campaign not of the division.
The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States; , U.S. Government Printing Office. Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths in World War II, Final Report, 1 December 1941 - 31 December 1946. US Army Center of Military History at http://www.history.army.mil/ Various divisional histories