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A BRIEF 1ST DIVISION HISTORY.

The First Expeditionary Division, later designated the 1st Infantry Division, was organized in May 1917 from Regular Army units then in service on the Mexican border and at various posts
throughout the United States.

The first units sailed from New York and New Jersey, on 14 June 1917. Throughout the remainder of the year, the rest of the Division followed landing at St. Nazaire, France, and Liverpool,
England . After a brief stay in rest camps, the troops in England proceeded to France, landing at Le Havre. The last unit arrived in St. Nazaire on 22 December. Upon Arrival in France, the
Division, less Artillery, was assembled in the 1st (Gondrecourt) Training Area and the Artillery at Le Valdahon.
On the 4th of July, the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, paraded through the streets of Paris to bolster the sagging French spirits. At Lafayette's tomb, one of General Pershing's staff uttered
the famous words, "Lafayette, we are here!" Two days latter, on 6 July, the first Expeditionary Division was re designated as the First Infantry Division.

On the morning of 23 October, the first American shell of the war was sent screaming toward German lines by a First Division Artillery unit. Two days latter, the 2nd Battalion, 16th
Infantry suffered the first American casualties of the war.

By April 1918, the Germans had pushed up to within 40 miles of Paris. In reaction of this thrust, the Big Red One was moved into the Picardy Sector to bolster the exhausted French First
Army. To the Divisions front lay the small village of Cantigny, situated on the high ground overlooking a forested country side. It was the "Black Lions of Cantigny," attacked the town and
within 45 minuets had captured it together with 250 German soldiers. The first victory of the war was a First Division Victory.
Soissons was taken by the First Division in July 1918. The Soissons victory was costly - 7,000 men were killed or wounded. The First Infantry helped to clear the St. Mihiel salient by fighting
continuously from 11-13 September 1918. The last major World War I battle was fought in the Meuse-Argonne Forest. The Division advanced seven kilometers and defeated, in whole or
part, eight German divisions. The war was over when the Armistice was signed. The Division was at Sedan the farthest American penetration of the war. The Division was the first to cross
the Rhine into occupied Germany.

By the end of the war, the Division had suffered 22,320 casualties in the war and boasted five Medals of Honor winners. Its colors carry campaign streamers for (1) Lorraine, 1917; (2)
Lorraine, 1918; (3) Picardy, 1918; (4) Montdidier-Noyon; (5) Aisne-Marne; (6) St. Hihiel; and (7) Meuse- Argonne.

The 1st Infantry Division entered World War II at Oran, North Africa, as part of the "Torch" Invasion, the first American campaign against Germany. On 8 November 1942, following
training in the United Kingdom, soldiers of the Big Red One landed on the coast of Algeria near Oran. The initial lessons of combat were harsh and many men were casualties in the
following campaign in Tunisia.

On 9 May 1943, the commander of the German "Afrika Korps" surrendered his force of 40,000. The Division then moved on to take Sicily in "Operation Husky."
The1st Division stormed ashore at Gelaon 10 July 1943 and quickly overpowered the preliminary Italian defenses. Soon after, the division came face-to-face with 100 tanks of the Herman
Goering Tank Division. With the help of naval gunfire, it's own artillery and Canadian Allies, the First Infantry Division fought it's way over the island's hills, driving the enemy back. The
Fighting First advanced onto capture Troina and opening the allied road to the straits of Mesina.

On D-Day, 6 June 1944, the Big Red One stormed ashore at Omaha Beach. Soon after H-Hour, the Division's 16th Regiment was fighting for it's life on a strip of beach near
Coleville-sur-Mer that had been marked the "Easy Red" on battle maps. Within two hours, the decimated unit huddled behind the seawall. The beach was so congested with the dead and the
dying there was no room to land reinforcements. Colonel George Taylor, Commander of the 16th Infantry Regiment, told his men "Two kinds of people are staying on this beach! The dead
and those who are going to die! Now lets get the hell out of here!" Slowly, the move inland got underway.
A German blockhouse above the beach became a command post named "Danger Forward."

The Division moved through the Normandy Hedgerows. The Division liberated Liege, Belgium, and pushed to the German border, crossing through the fortified Siegfried line. The 1st
Infantry Division attacked the first major German city, Aachen and after days of bitter fighting, the German commander surrendered the city on October 21 1944.
The Division continued its push into Germany, crossing the Rhine River. On 16 December, twenty-four enemy divisions, 10 of which were armored, launched a massive counter-attack the
Ardennes sector, resulting in what became know as the Battle of the Bulge. On 15 January 1945, the First Infantry attacked and penetrated the Siegfried Line for the second time and
occupied the Remagen bridgehead. On Easter Sunday, 1 April 1945 the Division marched 150 miles to the east of Siegen. On 8 April, the division crossed the Weser river, into
Czechoslovakia. The war was over on 8 May 1945.

At the end of World War II, the division had suffered 21,023 casualties and 43,743 men had served in its ranks. Its soldiers had won a total of 20,752 medals and awards including 16
Congressional Medals of Honor. Over 100,000 prisoners had been taken.
Its  colors carry World War II campaign streamers for Algeria-French Morocco (with arrowhead); Tunisia; Sicily (with arrowhead); Normandy (with arrowhead); Northern France;
Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe

French Croix de Guerre with Palm, World War II for KASSERINE
French Croix de Guerre with Palm, World War II for NORMANDY
French Croix de Guerre, World War II, Fourragere
Belgian Fourragere 1940
Cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action at MONS
Cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action at EUPEN-MALMEDY
A History of Company "E", 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st U.S. Infantry Division. 1942-1945

Cannon Company Morning reports. 7th Nov 1943 - 6th June 1944

16th CT S-3 Combat Report (History 16th Combat Team Invasion of France)

Interview with: Lt. John Spalding Leader 1st Section.Company "E"

Summary of Regimental Situation on  D-Day

Col. G. A Taylor, Biography, Distinguished Service Cross Citation and 16th Infantry movement reports.
Sgt. N.T.Kimball, Battery B, 5th Field Artillery, examines an abandoned
German 37mm AT gun on the road near Muringen, Belgium.
Crews of Co. A, 80th Chemical Mortar Bn, dig in on the outskirts of Weilerwist while,
in the background, dogfaces of  Co.H, 2nd Bn, 16th Inf, prepare for an attack on Metternich
.
A 1st Division radioman and rifleman photographed near Kelz.
Note the later wears metal-snapped rubber over-shoes and wears
divisional shoulder patch on his field jacket.
November 1944, men of the divisions 26th Infantry
slog through  the frozen mud of a forest track.
Pvt. Mike Redmond, 1st Combat Engineer Bn., uses a mine detector at a road block
in Bliesheim, Germany, March 1945.
Infantrymen of Co.F, 2nd Bn, 18th Inf. move up to the jump off point in Weilerswist.
The squad practicing their skills in the Dorset countryside, Spring 1944.
Photo: Sergeant Raymond Mohrlang G Company 16th Inf in and around
Walditch, England, 1944
The boys of Company G, Spring 1944.
Photo: Sergeant Raymond Mohrlang G Company 16th Inf in and around
Walditch, England, 1944
Forest and Harris pose for the camera at the Walditch camp. Spring 1944.
Photo: Sergeant Raymond Mohrlang G Company 16th Inf in and around
Walditch, England, 1944
Pierce, Spring 1944, Walditch Camp.
Photo: Sergeant Raymond Mohrlang G Company 16th Inf in and around
Walditch, England, 1944
Lamendola and Brenza, Spring 1944, Walditch camp
Photo: Sergeant Raymond Mohrlang G Company 16th Inf in and around
Walditch, England, 1944
Brenza, Spring 1944, Walditch camp, he was to loose a leg in combat.
Photo: Sergeant Raymond Mohrlang
Gary writes, 'this is Ed Tatara, Dad's closest buddy. They had both entered
Company G at the same time right after the Kasserine Pass battle in Africa.
Ed won the Silver Star medal at Omaha beach for showing rare coolness
and heroism under fire while badly wounded.

He had a through and through gunshot wound right below his heart. The
bullet entered from the rear and exited in the front (think about it, he was
heading up the beach?) he still managed to place a bangalore torpedo in
the wire so the men could get off the beach.

He was evacuated to England and after recovering from his gunshot wound
was told that he would be sent to a different division as a replacement.

He went A.W.O.L., caught a boat across the channel and tracked down
Company G where he got Capt. Joe Dawson to take him back into the
company.

He would go on to win the Distinguished Service Cross, another Silver Star
and a couple of Bronze Stars. He ended the war as Company G's First
Sergeant.

Ed told me that when he and Dad arrived in England from Sicily and received
a 3 day pass to London, they had just crawled into their bunks at the
Washington Club, when all of London's air raid sirens went off. It seems they
were in the middle of a Buzz Bomb attack. They were told to head for a bomb
shelter but Ed said he looked over at Dad and he was sound asleep and he
figured if dad could sleep through the racket ,so could he. Dad told the same
story when we were kids, but it was just the opposite. Ed was the one that
was sleeping.
Photo: Sergeant Raymond Mohrlang
Lamendola and Yapp, West Dorset Spring 1944. These two were
inseparable. Lamendola was wounded in action whilst the Company
attacked a German bunker. Yapp went to his aid and was also wounded.
Yapp pulled Lamendola into the relative safety of a captured bunker but the
German army would counter attack and recapture the bunker. Don Yapp was
taken prisoner, no one is sure what happened to Lamendola, he remains to
this day, missing in action.

Yapp was taken to an aid station in a wheelbarrow by a German soldier.
There the German doctors operated on his wounded leg. He was taken to a
series of prisoner of war camps where he suffered from lack of food,
infection and cold. It was a miserable existence. Yapp volunteered to work
outside the camp hoping he would be able to attend a civilian hospital. He
and 500 others were put into box cars for the trip to the new area. The trip
took 7 days and food was in very short supply. Yapp was assigned to work
for a farmer, an ex SS trooper. At first the farmer made him work even though
he was at deaths door. Thankfully the farmer was convinced to send Yapp to
a hospital and finally after four months Yapp received proper care. Once well
he worked for a different farmer until the war ended. Yapp returned to
Germany in the late 1960's to try and find the people who had helped him.
He was successful and came upon the catholic hospital, some of the
nurses and staff and even the doctor who had treated him. He also
managed to find the second farmer who showed him a letter Yapp had
written for him, showing the allied forces that he had taken care of Yapp and
treated him well.
Taken from an article in the 1st division newspaper of 1967 and the words of
Gary Mohrlang. Gary's father was delighted to hear about Yapp again having
lost contact for 23 years.
Photo: Sergeant Raymond Mohrlang
Three members of Company G, Names unkown.Spring 1944, Walditch
Camp. Photo: Sergeant Raymond Mohrlang
T.Sgt. Doug Ingram, Spring 1944
Photo: Sergeant Raymond Mohrlang
Molets, Spring 1944, Walditch Camp. The Real Tennis Court building is
seen in the background. It was used for vechicle maintenance and dances.
Photo: Sergeant Raymond Mohrlang
Lamendola, Mohrlang and Brenza, Spring 1944, Walditch camp
Photo: Sergeant Raymond Mohrlang
Molets, Spring 1944, Walditch Camp.
Photo: Sergeant Raymond Mohrlang
Staff Sergeant Silbert (Frank) Greene, killed at Omaha Beach June 6th, rests in
peace in Cambridge USA. He is standing with his friend T.Sgt. Doug Ingram.
They are outside the NCO's billet, in Walditch. He married a Bridport girl and
visited Bridport in 2005.
Frank came over to Company G as a replacement, flying over from the USA via
Iceland. He was killed on Omaha Beach. I saw him and spoke to him. He was
buried at Omaha Cemetery but was later taken back to the United States at the
request of his family.
Sadly Doug passed away in 2006. Rest in peace Doug.
Photo: Sergeant Raymond Mohrlang
Mohrlang, Hudzick and Harris, Forest took the photo. Spring 1944, Walditch.
Photo: Sergeant Raymond Mohrlang
Forest, Hudzick and Harris, Spring 1944, Walditch Camp.
Photo: Sergeant Raymond Mohrlang
Lamendola was the squad's practical joker. One of his favorite tricks was to
dump the powder out of a frag grenade and pull the pin, toss it into the midst
of the guys and watch them go scrambling, as you can tell from this photo he
looked the part. Spring 1944, Walditch Camp. Lost in action 1944.
Photo: Sergeant Raymond Mohrlang
1st Div/26th Inf SGT Melvin "Jim" Matern 3 day pass to Paris
July 1945
Germans surrendering to the 26th Inf. in Kraslice Czech May 1945
1st Div 26th Inf member John Gomula and Mrs Gomula in
Swanage  prior to D-Day
Lt Forest Wilson, Platoon leader Comp C 1st. 26th Infantry Regiment. Brilon Germany
Frank Dawson with his Halftrack "T Loop City Express",
Frank Dawson; Notice the name of his Halftrack "T Loop City Express", also note the flood lights he added to
his track Right After the Battle of the Bulge. He was the company scounger, he got anything they needed
anyway he could.
1st Div/26th Inf Blue Spaders Elmer Shiko, George Carpenter and Rizile W. Reid Brilon Germany
Elmer Shiko, Jerry Cataldo and John McGowan cleaning their Mine sweeper in Germany