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Thread: 103rd Infantry Division, France and Germany

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default 103rd Infantry Division, France and Germany

    My dad is an 85 year old WWII vet, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and is now blind and suffering from dementia. I am his 60 year old daughter.

    When I was growing up my dad never talked about the war. Then, when I started to actively try and find information from him, he was too old to remember a whole lot. So, I'm hoping maybe someone here has some advice for me.

    Dad said he was in Company B., 47th Infantry Regiment, the 103rd Infantry Division. He called it the "Cactus Division" but every time I try and do a web search on the Cactus, all I get is a brigade that was in the Pacific. Yet, I have a map my dad had from WWII entitled "Cactus Division, 500 Fighting Miles" and it shows the route from northern France, just south of the Sigfried Line, up through Germany and south through Austria. So why can't I ever find anything about this on the web?

    And when I do a search on the army regiment, company, and division my dad was in, I come up with nothing.

    My dad was in basic training at Ft. Sheridan, IL, in 1944, and from there went to Camp Wheeler, GA, for about seven months. He got shipped overseas in Feb. 1945, and went to France. I assume he joined the 103rd there, but I'm just not finding anything.

    Does anyone know anything about this unit my dad was supposedly with? The more I can find out about it, the more questions I will have to jog his memory. This military history is very important to me, and I don't know how much longer dad will be with us for me to glean more from him.

    Thanks to any and all who can help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Pluckley Kent

    Default Re: 103rd Infantry Division, France and Germany

    All I could find on 'Cactus' Div - not much. I'm afraid.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    West Lafayette Indiana

    Default Re: 103rd Infantry Division, France and Germany

    I've a copy of Stanton's 'WWII Order of Battle' which has brief unit histories of US Army ground combat units. The Division emblem was a Cactus, a green catus was on the shoulder patch. The Division fought in Europe from early November 1944 through April 1945. The "47th Infantry Regiment" may be a misunderstanding as that organization was part of the US 9th Infantry Division. The 103rd Infantry Division had the 409th, 410th, & 411th Infantry regiments as its infantry.

    There is some other brief information in Stanton about the town the 103rd fought amoung. You may post any other questions here, or email me directly at:

    [email protected]

    Good Luck

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