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The insignia of the 79th Infantry Division

The 79th (nicknamed:"Cross of Lorraine")[1] was an infantry division that served under the United States Army during World War II. It was first formed in 1917 and served as one of the American divisions to travel to France and fight during World War One.[N 1] The division remained deactivated from 1919 to 1942 before finally being reestablished and sent into combat in Normandy.  

The 79th Infantry Division had been motorized on 14 August, to operate alongside the 5th Armoured Division  

On 16 August 1944,  the 79th Division with the 749th Tank Battalion and 813th Tank Destroyer Battalion, captured Nogent le-Roi and established a bridgehead over the Eure River, placing the reinforced division only seven miles (60 km) from Paris.  

The 79th Division took part in the Rhine Crossing operations, with the division adding another three infantry battalions and the guns from the 8th Armoured Division giving it ten battalions of guns for fire support.  



  1. It was during this period that the division selected the Cross of Lorraine - a symbol of triumph - as their emblem, having distinguished themselves at Montfaucon in Lorraine.[2]


  2. Room, Adrian (Editor). Brewer's Directory of Phrase and Fable - Millennium Edition. 2002. ISBN 0 304 35873 8 Page 989.
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