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Official 71st Infantry Division Home

The History of the 71st Infantry Division

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The division was activated July 15, 1943, at Camp Carson, Colorado. The artillery components were made up of the mountain artillery units of the 601st, 602nd, 604th, and 605th FA Bns. and their mules, already stationed at Camp Carson and were later reorganized as the 607th, 608th, 609th FA Bns. These also cadred some of the 10th Mountain Division artillery at Camp Hale, Colorado. The historic and legendary 5th and 14th Infantry regiments along with the 66th infantry regiment which now has legends in its own right made up most of the personnel.
Organized as a light division with 9,000 personnel and 1800 mules--as a mountain division, transportation was the army mule with 75mm howitzers, schooled in mountain and jungle warfare. No motorized vehicles. Manuevered against the 89th Division in Hunter-Liggett Military Reservation near Camp Roberts, Californina.
In June, 1944, reorganized as a mechanized triangular infantry division with 15,700 personnel. Infantry regiments increased from 2,075 to 3,350 and the three artillery battalions swapped their 75mm howitzers for the larger 105mm howitzers and picked up the 564th FA Bn, which had 155mm guns. This conversion took place in Fort Benning, Georgia.
Deactivated March 11, 1946, Camp Kilmer, New Jersey

Combat
Entered combat near Luneville, France, sector with Seventh Army. With Rhine River crossing, joined Third Army for crossing Germany and Austria.

Battles
Bitche, France, breaching Maginot and Siegfried Lines
Lingenfield, Frankfurt, Coburg, Bayreuth, Amberg, Regensburg, Straubing
Austria: Reid, Lambach, Wels, Steyr

River Assaults
Main, Naab, Rhine, Danube, Regen, Isar, Inn, Enns

Concentration Camps Liberated
Straubing, Gunskirchen and more than 80 smaller camps in Austria

Other Distinctions
Penetrated farther east than any other U.S. combat unit
Accepted the surrender of the German Army Group South on May 7, 1945, one day prior to V.E. Day
Total rout of the German Sixth SS division Nord

Yoyo the mule

 
 
 

Yoyo, 71st Div
608th FA Bn (pack)
Proud member of the Mountain Artillery
U.S. Army, Retired

 
contact Lyle Storey or Robert D. Funke