65th Infantry Division (United States)

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65th Infantry Division
65th Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia
Active 1943–45
Country  United States
Branch  United States Army
Type Infantry
Size Division
Nickname(s) "Battle-Axe"
Engagements World War II

The 65th Infantry Division—nicknamed the "Battle-axe"—was an infantry division of the United States Army that served in World War II. Its shoulder patch is a white halberd on a blue shield.

The entire length of Pennsylvania Route 65 is named the 65th Infantry Division Memorial Highway in its honor.

World War II

Activated: 16 August 1943.
Overseas: 10 January 1945.
Campaigns: Rhineland, Central Europe.
Days of combat: 55.
Awards: MH-1 (Frederick C. Murphy); DSM-1 ; SS-77; LM-14; SM-4; BSM-686; AM-19.
Commanders: Major General Stanley Eric Reinhart (August 1943 – 1 August 1945), Brig. Gen. John E. Copeland (1 August 1945 to inactivation).
Inactivated: 31 August 1945 in Germany.

Combat chronicle

The 65th Infantry Division landed at Le Havre, France, 21 January 1945, and proceeded to Camp Lucky Strike, where training continued until 1 March, when the division moved forward to relieve the 26th Infantry Division. First elements entered the line, 5 March 1945, and the division as a whole took over aggressive defense of the sector along the Saar, from Orscholz to Wadgassen, on 8 March 1945. On 17 March, the division attacked across the Saar, crossing the river at Dillingen and captured Saarlautern, 19 March, as Siegfried Line defenses cracked. Capturing Neunkirchen, 21 March 1945, the division raced to the Rhine, crossed the river at Oppenheim, 30 March, and ran into heavy German resistance and counterattacks. Langensalza fell on 5 April, Struth on the 7th, and Neumarkt on the 22nd.

Continuing its advance against crumbling German opposition, the division crossed the Danube 4 miles below Regensburg, 26 April, took the city, 27 April, seized Passau, cross the Inn River, 4 May, and occupied Linz, Austria, on the 5th. Germans surrendered en masse. On 9 May, as hostilities officially ended in Europe, the troops of the 65th made contact with the Russians at Erlauf.[1]

Assignments in ETO

Medal of Honor recipients

Frederick C. Murphy, PFC, U.S. Army, Medical Detachment, 259th Infantry, 65th Infantry Division, Siegfried Line at Saarlautern, Germany, 18 March 1945.


  1. The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States. Combat chronicle: 65th Infantry Division. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1950.

External links