Cross of Lorraine

76 years ago today, while the Navy was fighting off the last major sortie of the Japanese fleet in the Philipines, the ground war in Europe was slogging away.

Battered but happy Soldiers of the 79th “Cross of Lorraine” Infantry Division, enjoying some Luckies on their way to a rest camp after being relieved from combat near Laneuveville, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France.

Left to right; Pfc. Arthur Henry Muth, Sergeant Carmine Robert Sileo, and Sergeant Kelly C. Lasalle. October 25, 1944. Note the e-tool, bayonets, skrim covers on their M1 helmets, carbine pouch on Muth, and M1 pouches on Sileo, map case and binos on Lasalle. Photo via NARA

Ordered into active military service 15 June 1942 at Camp Pickett, Virginia, Maj. Gen. Ira T. Wyche (USMA 1907) in command, the 79th landed at on Utah Beach on Normandy on D+6 and spent the next 248 days in combat through Northern France with the Third Army then the Ardennes and into Central Europe with the Seventh Army, including several spates of brutal house-to-house fighting.

You are now entering Germany, courtesy of the 79th Inf. Div

The 79th suffered 15,203 battle casualties as well as 8,582 non-battle casualties, 166.5% of their TOE strength, ending the war at Recklinghausen, Westphalia.

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