60th Infantry Regiment (United States)
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|60th Infantry Regiment|
Coat of arms
|Active||10 June 1917– 2 September 1921
10 August 1940 – 28 December 1946
15 July 1947 – Present
|Part of||United States Army Training and Doctrine Command; 193rd Infantry Brigade|
|Motto||"To the Utmost Extent of Our Power"|
|Engagements||World War I
World War II
|2nd Bn LTC Jeff Kirby; 3rd Bn LTC Tom McCardell|
|U.S. Infantry Regiments|
|57th Infantry Regiment||61st Infantry Regiment|
During three wars on three continents, the 2nd Battalion has played a part in the achievements of the computer regiment and the 5th Division in WWI and 9th Infantry Division in World War II and Vietnam. The regimental crest reflects this. The cannon in the embattled canton refers to the 7th Infantry Regiment that provided the cadre who activated the regiment; it is a principal charge in the 7th's arms dealers. The silver pale wavy makes reference to the Regiment's crossing of the Meuse in World War I; and the red diamond on that pale wavy to the Fifth Infantry Division, to which the 60th was assigned in the First World War.
World War I
The 60th Infantry was organized in June 1917 at the outset of World War I from cadre furnished by the 7th U.S. Infantry. In November 1917 it was assigned to the 5th Infantry Division and underwent its baptism of fire on the Western Front. The 60th Infantry participated in the campaigns of St. Mihiel, Alsace and Lorraine and finally in war ending campaign of the Meuse-Argonne. During this battle, 1LT Woodfill, later called by General Pershing "the outstanding doughboy of the war", was awarded the Medal of Honor for his single-handed destruction of a German company (with all available weapons from a machine gun to pick ax) as the Battalion made an epic crossing of the Meuse River under ferocious enemy fire to help break the back of German resistance.
World War II
After the First World War the 60th Infantry was inactivated in South Carolina in 1921. A generation later, in August 1940, war in Europe resulted in a rapid expansion of the US Army. The 60th Infantry was reactivated and assigned to the 9th Infantry Division.
The 60th Infantry spearheaded the November 1942, invasion of French Morocco at Port Lyautey in Operation Torch, winning the arrowhead assault landing device in an action which laid the basis for its nickname 'Scouts Out'. At the time of the invasion, there was great confusion among the Navy coxswains about the landing sites. They either placed their units in the wrong sector, or put them on the beaches very late. The 60th, for example, landed at 05:30, 40 minutes late, giving the defending Vichy French time to organize. The 1st Battalion landed 2,800 yards north of their assigned beach, and were engaged by French light tanks once ashore. The 2nd and 3rd Battalions were strafed by French planes. Company E, 2nd Battalion, was stopped completely at a strongpoint, the Port Lyautey lighthouse. The 2nd Battalion's eventual objective was to take an ancient fortress, the Kasba. Once the landing points were completely secured, engagements were fought between small units and opposing batteries. The regiment culminated its successful North African campaigns with a defense on 18 April 1943 (Easter Sunday) against a massive German attack, and earned a Presidential Unit Citation. The Germans hit the "Go Devils" from all four sides with 2 full battalions of infantry supported by artillery. After a four hours attack that failed, the Germans threw in the towel, leaving 116 dead, 48 wounded, and many prisoners in American hands.
In 1943 during the battle of Sedjenane Valley along the Tunisia-Algeria border, it was during the fanatical drive by the 60th Regiment that a captured German general's diary gave the regiment its nickname. In his account of American actions against the Germans, he wrote "Look at those devils go!" Thereafter, the 60th Infantry Regiment became known as the "Go Devils".
In Sicily the regiment continued its winning ways, culminating in the famous "Ghost March," where the unit infiltrated enemy lines and broke open the last of the German resistance. The Regiment landed at Palermo, Sicily on 5 August. Their first combat action was the first of the infiltrations they would make in Sicily. The Regiment flanked the city of Troina, which forced the German artillery protecting the Infantry in the city to withdraw, allowing other U.S. divisions to easily swallow up the Germans in the city. Next, the Go Devils chased the retreating Germans east towards Randazzo. The pursuit was hindered by a number booby traps, demolitions, anti-tank and personnel mines, craters and blown bridges. Regardless, the 60th completed its flanking movement around Randazzo, which allowed its sister regiment, the 39th Infantry, to take the city. With Randazzo taken the road to Messina was open; and the city was taken on 17 August. Rest and further training followed for some two months. On 11 November 1943, the 60th embarked for Winchester, England.
On 11 June 1944, the 60th Regiment debarked at Utah Beach on the Cotentin Peninsula, Normandy, France. On the 12th, driving hard toward the St. Colombe in France, the 2nd Battalion, 60th Regiment completely outdistanced the rest of the 9th Division. For a time, the unit was even believed to be lost. Actually, the battalion had overrun the German defenses in the face of murderous fire and had cut the main highway to the northwest. Instead of withdrawing, the battalion set up a bridgehead on the Douve River and held the position for seven hours until the rest of the division caught up to them, thus facilitating the cutting of the peninsula. Due to this demonstration of rapid penetration and maneuver, the "Scouts Out" motto originated for the Second Battalion. "Scouts Out" is the official greeting of the battalion.
In France during the heroic days of June 1944, the Regiment once again led the way for the 9th Division as it spearheaded the American advance out of the beachhead that cut the Contentin Peninsula. While the 39th and 47th Infantry Regiments secured the vital Port of Cherburg, the 60th cleared Cape La Hague, northwest of Cherbourg, where John E. Butts was killed. At the pivotal crossing of the Douve River, 1LT John Butts earned the Medal of Honor and the Battalion earned its second Presidential Unit Citation. Following the breakout at St. Lo, the regiment rushed south in Operation Cobra and helped relieve the battered 30th Infantry Division, that had been surrounded by the Germans in their own counterattack (Operation Luttich). Next, the regiment turned east and helped in the closure and clearing of the Falaise Pocket. Continuing east, the regiment crossed the Marne, Aisne, and the Seine Rivers in a matter of days. Next the regiment entered Belgium and made its second combat crossing of the Meuse River. Here, LTC Matt Urban earned his Medal of Honor, having gone AWOL from a hospital to rejoin his troops and lead them in combat.
After the bitter and bloody struggle in the Huertegen Forest, the Regiment fell back to the Monschau area where its efforts won it a third Presidential Unit Citation in the snow and bitter cold of the Battle of the Bulge. The 60th then was the first to capture the Schwammanuel Dam on the Roer River. Continuing south, the Regiment was one of the first to cross the Rhine at Remagen. After expanding the bridgehead, the Go Devils shot northeast, where they helped seal and destroy the Ruhr Pocket. Continuing northeast, the Regiment advanced toward the Harz Mountains, where for the first time the 60th had attached to them a platoon of black volunteers. While destroying a German roadblock, one black soldier, Pfc. Jack Thomas, won the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions. After relieving the 3rd Armored Division, the Regiment held that line until VE day, and met up with Russian soldiers soon after. For their actions in Central Europe, the regiment won a fourth Presidential Unit Citation. The Regiment was inactivated in November 1946 while on occupation duty in Germany.
After service as the 2nd Battle Group, 60th Infantry from 1958–1962, three battalions (2/60, 3/60, and 5/60 Mech) were activated at Fort Riley, Kansas, and assigned to the 9th Infantry Division for its deployment to the Republic of Vietnam in December 1966. The division was the only major U.S. combat unit to conduct operations in the Mekong Delta. On September 13, 1969, the 5th/60th Mech was "swapped" with the 1st/16th of the 1st Infantry Division. From then until August 1970, the 5th/60th operated as a "straight leg" infantry unit. The battalions of the 60th participated in both Riverine operations and "jitterbug tactics" which featured split-second timing of airmobile insertions in close proximity to enemy units. These operations won the battalions unit citations and campaign streamers, including one Presidential Unit Citation. The 9th Infantry Division was the first to be withdrawn from Vietnam, and returned to the Ft. Lewis, Washington, in 1970 where its battalions were inactivated.
2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry was reactivated on 21 October 1972 at Ft. Lewis, then inactivated at Fort Lewis and relieved from assignment to the 9th Infantry Division in February 1991. The regiment was assigned to the Training and Doctrine Command on 27 August 1996, with the 2nd Battalion activated at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
3d Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment "River Raiders" is currently also assigned to the 193d Infantry Brigade in Ft Jackson, South Carolina (along with the 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, and 3rd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment) and serving as a basic combat training battalion with A,B, C, D, E, and F companies.
- Constituted 15 May 1917 in the Regular Army as the 60th Infantry
- Organized 10 June 1917 at Gettysburg National Park, Pennsylvania
- Assigned 17 November 1917 to the 5th Division
- Inactivated 2 September 1921 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina
- Relieved 15 August 1927 from assignment to the 5th Division and assigned to the 8th Division.
- Relieved 1 October 1933 from assignment to the 8th Division and assigned to the 5th Division
- Relieved 16 October 1939 from assignment to the 5th Division
- Assigned 1 August 1940 to the 9th Division (later redesignated as the 9th Infantry Division)
- Activated 10 August 1940 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina
- Moved to Chester, South Carolina for maneuvers, and returned to Fort Bragg.
- Transferred to Norfolk, Virginia on 18 September 1942 for Amphibious Training.
- Departed Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation on 27 October 1942 for North Africa.
- Assaulted North Africa on 8 November 1942.
- Landed in Sicily on 31 July 1943.
- Arrived in England on 25 November 1943.
- Landed in France on 11 June 1944.
- Crossed into Belgium on 2 September 1944.
- Entered Germany on 15 September 1944.
- Attached to 104th Infantry Division from 18 December 1944 to 21 December 1944.
- Attached to 2nd Armored Division from 22 December 1944 to 23 December 1944.
- Attached to 9th Armored Division from 4 March 1945 to 5 March 1945.
- Attached to 7th Armored Division from 8 March 1945 to 9 March 1945.
- Attached to 3rd Armored Division from 22 April 1944 to 24 April 1945.
- On Occupation Duty at Geisenfeld, Germany on VJ Day
- Inactivated 30 November – 28 December 1946 in Germany
- Activated 15 July 1947 at Fort Dix, New Jersey
- Relieved 1 December 1957 from assignment to the 9th Infantry Division and reorganized as a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System
- Activated December 1966 and assigned to the 9th Infantry Division for deployment to Vietnam
- Withdrawn 1970 from Vietnam and inactivated
- Withdrawn 16 June 1986 from the Combat Arms Regimental System and reorganized under the United States Army Regimental System
- Transferred 15 April 1996 to the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command
- Present Day: Assigned to 193rd Infantry Brigade, Ft Jackson, South Carolina
Honors and decorations
The 2nd Battalion has received Campaign Participation Credit for WWI (4), WWII (8), and Vietnam (11); and has received 5 Presidential Unit Citations.
Nine men have earned the Medal of Honor while serving with the 60th Infantry:
- World War I
- World War II
- Second Lieutenant John E. Butts, Company E
- Sergeant William L. Nelson
- Captain Matt Urban, 2nd Battalion
- Vietnam War
- Sergeant Leonard B. Keller, Company A, 3rd Battalion
- Private First Class Thomas James Kinsman, Company B, 3rd Battalion
- Private First Class Clarence Sasser, Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion
- Specialist Four Raymond R. Wright, Company A, 3rd Battalion
Campaign participation credit
- World War I:
- World War II:
- Algeria-French Morocco (with arrowhead)
- Northern France
- Central Europe
- Counteroffensive, Phase II
- Counteroffensive, Phase III
- Tet Counteroffensive
- Counteroffensive, Phase IV
- Counteroffensive, Phase V
- Counteroffensive, Phase VI
- Tet 69/Counteroffensive
- Summer-Fall 1969
- Winter-Spring 1970
- Sanctuary Counteroffensive
- Counteroffensive, Phase VII
- Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for SEDJENANE VALLEY
- Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for STE. COLOMBE
- Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for SCHWAMMANAUEL DAMS
- Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for MEKONG DELTA
- Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for DINH TUONG PROVINCE
- Valorous Unit Award for SAIGON
- Valorous Unit Award for FISH HOO
- French Croix de Guerre with Palm, World War II for COTENTIN PENINSULA
- Belgian Fourragere 1940
- Cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action at the Meuse River
- Cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action in the Ardennes
- "Sgt Leonard O Blancett". Find A Grave. Retrieved 12 November 2012.