Historical Overview

The 87th Infantry Division fought in General George S. Patton’s Third U.S. Army during World War II. After months of training, first at Camp McCain, Mississippi, then at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, the division shipped overseas on the Queen Elizabeth. They first entered combat in France’s Alsace-Lorraine, and after extremely bloody fighting, crossed the German border in the Saar, capturing the towns of Walsheim and Medelsheim.

Caught up in the Third Army’s historic counterattack in the Battle of the Bulge, the 87th Division raced off into Belgium – attacking the German Panzer Lehr Division near Bastogne at the towns of Pironpre, Moircy, Bonnerue, and Tillet. At Tillet S/Sgt. Curtis Shoup earned the Medal of Honor, posthumously, and Lt. Glenn Doman the Distinguished Service Cross.

Soon after breaching the Siegfried Line in the Eifel Mountains, the division crossed the Moselle River and captured Koblenz. Then the Rhine River crossing near Boppard and the dash across Germany which took them to Plauen, near the Czech border.

The 87th Division returned to the States in July 1945 expecting to be called upon to play a role in the defeat of the Japanese, but the sudden termination of the war in the Pacific while the division was reassembling at Fort Benning changed the future of the 87th. The division was inactivated 21 September 1945.

European Theater Ribbon

Ardennes • Rhineland • Central Europe