The division insignia is a gray Timberwolf's head on a balsam green disc. It was designed by Charles Livingston Bull, artist and authority on wild life, and represents the northwest. It was in this section of the country that the 104th conducted its training in 1942-43 when it was activated. Motto: "Nothing in Hell Can Stop the Timberwolves"
Arrived European Theatre of Operations on 7 September 1944.
Arrived Continent 7 September 1944 and the Division entered combat at 24 October 1944. First elements entered combat at 23 October 1944.
A brief overview of the activities of the 104 Infantry Division (USA)
07 September 1944 The 104th Infantry Division landed in France.
23 October 1944 They moved into defensive positions in Wuestwezel, Belgium.
26 October 1944 And switched over to the offensive to attack Zundert, Holland.
Battle of the Dykes
26 October 1944 Gained control of the Breda and Roosendaal Road. Hard fought battle for Leur and Etten. Overran Germans defenses at Vaart Canal. Division advanced to the Mark River.
31 October 1944 Attacked over the Mark River at Standaarduiten.
02 November 1944 Captured Zevenbergen. Established a bridgehead.
05 November 1944 Reached the Maas River while the bulk of the Division moved near Aachen, Germany by convoy.
The Siegfried Line
16 November The biggest air assault of WWII was through the heavily defended fortress towns of Aahen, Stolberg and Eschweiler. The Division positioned themselves in the town called Aachen. This allowed them to launch an assault on the pill boxes and other fortifications of the Siegfried Line. The 104th attacked Stolberg and pushed against heavy resistance.
21 November Captured Eschweiler and the enemy was cleared from the area West of the Inden River.
26 November Three more towns were captured – Frenz, Lamersdorf and Inden. Timberwolves hung more grenades on themselves and moved on to Frenz. After a thunder punishing artillery, the 104th ripped Frenz. Eight hours later Frenz was secured.
Battle of the Hürtgen Forest
27 November 1944 Orders came-in to attack on Lamersdorf and Inden at night. The 104th Infantry Division was a night-fighting division. The 104th knew they were going to fight for it and fight hard they did. Into the pitch darkness began the fight that raged for five days with blazing machine gun fire, tossing grenades and house-to-house fighting. Nazi were punished to submission by the 104th.
03 December 1944 Lucherberg was held against enemy counter-attacks and heavy fire. They went down to bayonets and grenades. By noon, the Nazi garrison were defeated.
15 December 1944 The 104th defended its sector at Düren and Merken. 104th Division continued to exploit it’s proficiency in night attacks. Night attacks were the key that opened the Hürtgen Forest. Germans resented night fighting. One captured German lieutenant complained. “It’s just plain unfair to fight at night”. Ha Ha Ha… you lose!
Crossing the Roer River
23 December 1944 All strongholds west of the Roer River were captured. The 104th found itself on the North side of the Battle of the Bulge. The German’s offensive, in the Ardennes, whined down, moved across the Roer River to Cologne (Koln), and waited for the 104th Infantry Division.
23 February 1945 Objectives: advance to the Roer and Rhine Rivers, and take control of the dams located in the area. The Roer was now swollen by rain. The Germans increased the flood by blowing dams and opening floodgates. H-Hour. The rigorous tension gripped the men as they smoked cigarette after cigarette and ate with little appetite. The performed their final check-up of their weapons and ammunition. And said a final prayer.
At 0330 hours, the jump-off ORDER was given. The assault crossing began with a tremendous 45 minute barrage of artillery. This became one of the heaviest artillery concentrations of the war. Germans answer back throwing everything in and the kitchen sink. At 0400 hours, as the first two boats started to cross, the German flares began to drop and all Hell was breaking loose. There were 25,000 American infantrymen, crossing in various ways, under constant enemy fire that grew fiercer and fiercer. Nothing but rifles, grenades, mortars, bazookas, machine guns, and artillery fire were coming their way. On the second day, the water level had dropped enough to permit the construction of 19 bridges, allowing tank destroyers to join the attack.
27 February 1945 The 104th completed it’s role in Operation Grenade.
The Battle for the Rhineland
02 March 1945 The troops attempted to cross Erft Canal bridge that was located between Roer river and the Rhine river. They met intense enemy automatic fire.
Next, they attempted to slip through the woods and cross the canal. This time, they ran directly into a German counterattack. The Germans threw five strong counterattacks. All were beaten back, but the enemy blew the bridge before the 104th could secure the bridgehead.
Very quickly, the 82nd Engineer Combat Battalion stepped-in and installed an even stronger and wider bridge. This allowed the 104th and 3rd Armored Division to cross the river. Our troops were supported by 3rd Armored Division, know as the “Spearhead”. The 104th and 3rd Armored Division composed a joint task force, the tank-infantry. This was Nine miles outside of Cologne (Köln). The third largest city in Germany.
Fall of the Big Town
05 March 1945 The U.S. 8th Air Force and the R.A.F. leveled Cologne. They bombed night and day for four years.
The final blow was struck by army artillery followed by the 104th Infantry with the 3rd Armor Division “Spearhead”.
The city was alive with German snipers, machine guns, bazookas, and 88mm howitzers with prowling Tiger tanks.
After three days of heavy street fighting, they finally captured the third largest city in Germany; complete by March 7.
The Remagen Bridgehead
22 March 1945 Night operation in Honnef, the 104th crossed the Rhine. Easily defending the surprised Germans.
At dawn, Amerikaanse attacked the east side of the Ludendorff Railroad Bridge.
The Germans counterattacked, unveiling their newly developed jet planes. With the 555th and 104th infantry, they were able to hold back the German’s fierce heavy assaults and captured the Ludendorff Bridge intact.
Encirclement of the Ruhr Pocket
The Battle of the Bulge, Siegfried Line, and The Battle of Remagen Sealed the fate of Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany. General Ike’s Last Major Battle: The Battle of the Ruhr Pocket
25 March 1945 VII Corps (First Army) was given the assignment of encircling the important Ruhr industrial area of Germany from the south.
All night attacks. The 3rd Armored Division, with the 104th Infantry Division, successfully moved eastward quickly.
After 9 days, the 3rd Armored and 104th Infantry had completed a 193-mile dash to Paderborn, and at Lippstadt. They linked up with the U.S. 9th Army to complete the encirclement of the Ruhr Pocket.
01 April 1945 The 104th Division participated in capturing 335,000 German troops in the greater industrial area.
Liberators of the Dora-Mittlebau Concentration Camp
11 April 1945 Patrols, of the 414th Regiment with the 3rd Armored, had reached Nordhausen and found a large German concentration camp.
They discovered 5,000 corpses among the 6,000 inmates in various stages of decay.
The Dora-Mittlebau Concentration Camp had been forced to construct massive tunnels and work in underground factories producing V-2 rockets for the German military.
104th going home to San Luis Obispo, California.
24 April 1945 Visual contact between the 104th and the Russian forces was first made on this day at 1305 hours.
07 May 1945 German high command signed the unconditional surrender.
08 May 1945 Prime Minister Churchill announced “V-E Day”.
Thanks to the unknown author of this article