5 AD Story
The 5th Armored Division was activated October 1, 1941 at Fort Knox, Kentucky. From there they went to Camp Cooke, California (now Vandenberg Air Force Base) near Lompac and Santa Maria. They participated in Desert Maneuvers in the Majove Desert near Rice. The Division went on Tennessee Maneuvers and on to Pine Camp, New York (now Fort Drum). They went to Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania before going overseas to Swindon, England. Major General E. Lunsford Oliver led the Division as it landed on Utah Beach July 26, 1944. They were part of General Patton's 3rd Army. Their identity was secret, thus often referred to as Patton's Ghosts. The Division led the encircling movement in France which swung in back of the German Seventh Army and snapped shut the trap on this enemy force at the Falaise Gap. Among the Division's accomplishments were:
· It was the first division to reach the Seine River;
· It was one of the first divisions to enter Belgium;
· It was the first division to reach and liberate Luxembourg;
· It was the first division to fight on German soil;
· It was the first division to plunge through the Siegfried Line;
· It was the American division, which, after the thrust across the German heartland, lay closest to Berlin; it was halted on the west bank of the Elbe River, 45 miles from the enemy capital, not by the Germans but by orders from SHAEF.
The 5th Armored or VICTORY Division was awarded the Croix de Guerre with silver star by the French Government; the Belgium Government Unit Citation. On September 9, 1989 the Luxembourg Government awarded the 5th Armored Division the Cross of Honor and of Military Merit.
The 5th Armored Division participated in these campaigns:
· Northern France,
· Central Europe.
After WWII, the division returned to the states and was deactivated.
During the Korean War it was reactivated at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas but did not serve overseas. Units of the Division were activated and served in Vietnam. Some units are active today at Fort Knox, Kentucky and Fort Riley, Kansas.
Chronology of the 5th Armored Division - The Victory Division:
October 1, 1941 @ Activated Fort Knox KY
January, Tony received notice to be inducted in the army
February 9, Tony and Primus went to Wichita for physical examinations
February 15, 1942 @ Camp Cooke CA
April 9, Tony left for Ft. Leavenworth (Kansas), then to Ft. Knox, Kentucky
July 2-20, Agnes and Alice Steiben went to Kentucky to visit Tony, stayed in Louisville
July 28, Tony left for Camp Cooke (5 days on road)
August-December 1942 @ Mojave Desert
December 1942-March 1943 @ Camp Cooke CA
December 14-26, Tony received furlough, went home