We portray the 1st Infantry Division, Easy Company 16th Infantry. Our living history display has many different aspects of the GI's life during WW11 service.
In World War II, the 1st Division landed in Oran, Algeria on November 8, 1942, as part of Operation Torch. Elements then took part in combat at Maktar, Tebourba, Medjez el Bab, Kasserine Pass, Gafsa, El Guettar, Béja, and Mateur, from January 21, 1943 to May 9, 1943, helping secure Tunisia.
In July 1943, it took part in Operation Husky in Sicily . It was assigned to theII Corps. It was in Sicily that the 1st saw heavy action when making amphibious landings on Gela, the most fortified German beach head positions. The 1st then moved up through the center of Sicily, slogging it out through the mountains. In these mountains, the division saw some of the heaviest fighting in the entire Sicilian campaign at Troina,some units losing more than half their strength in assaulting the mountain town.
When that campaign was over, the division returned to Europe to prepare for the Normandy invasion. It was one of the two divisions that stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day, with some of the division's units suffering 30 percent casualties in the first hour of the assault, and secured Formigny and Caumont in the beachhead by the end of the day. The division followed up the Saint-Lô break-through with an attack on Marigny, July 27, 1944, and then drove across France in a continuous offensive, reaching the German border at Aachen in September. The division laid siege to Aachen, taking the city after a direct assault on October 21, 1944.
The 1st then attacked east of Aachen through Hurtgen Forest, driving to the Ruhr, then moved to a rest area December 7, 1944 for its first real rest in 6 months of combat, when the Wacht Am Rhein offensive (commonly called the Battle of the Bulge) suddenly broke loose on December 16, 1944.The division raced to the Ardennes, and fighting continuously from December 17, 1944 to January 28, 1945, helped blunt and turn back the German offensive. Thereupon, the division attacked and again breached the Siegfried Line, fought across the Ruhr, February 23, 1945, and drove on to the Rhine, crossing at the Remagen bridgehead, March 15 &16. The division broke out of the bridgehead, took part in the encirclement of the Ruhr Pocket, captured Paderborn, pushed through the Harz Mountains, and was in Czechoslovakia, fighting atKinsperk, Sangerberg, and Mnichov when the war in Europe ended. Sixteen members of the division were awarded the Medal of Honor.