Recreating History

13th Armored Division

World War II

Activated: 15 October 1942.

Overseas: 18 January 1945.

Campaigns: Rhineland, Central Europe.

Days of combat: 16.

Awards: DSM-1 ; SS-6; LM-1; SM-1 ; BSM-76.


Maj. Gen. John B. Wogan (October 1942-April 1945)
Maj. Gen. John Millikin (April-September 1945).

Returned to U.S.: 23 July 1945.

Inactivated: 15 November 1945.

Combat Chronicle

The 13th Armored landed at Le Havre, France, 29 January 1945. After performing occupation duties, the Division moved to Homberg near Kassel to prepare for combat under the Third Army, 5 April. At Altenkirchen, it was attached to the XVIII Corps and prepared for the Rose Pocket operation.. The attack jumped off at Honnef, 10 April. After crossing the Sieg River at Siegburg, the 13th pushed north to Bergisch Gladback, then toward Duisburg and Mettmann by 18 April. Shifting south to Eschenau, the Division prepared for Bavarian operations. Starting from Parsberg, 26 April, the 13th crossed the Regen River, then the Danube at Matting and secured the area near Dunzling. On the 28th, elements closed in at Plattling and crossed the Isar River. Moderate to heavy resistance was met during this drive through southern Germany. The Division smashed into Brannan, Austria, 2 May, and the command post was set up in the house where Hitler was born. A bridgehead across the Inn was established at Marktl, but the river was not crossed as orders came to reassemble north of Inn, 3 May. Preparations were made for further advances when the war in Europe ended. The 13th remained in Germany until 25 June and left Le Havre, France, for home, 14 July 1945.

Assignments in the ETO

18 January 1945: 12th Army Group
21 January 1945: Fifteenth Army, 12th Army Group
20 March 1945: Fifteenth Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to the 6th Army Group
23 March 1945: Attached to the Seventh Army, 6th Army Group
31 March 1945: 12th Army Group
8 April 1945: Third Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to the Seventh Army, 6th Army Group
10 April 1945: Third Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to the XVIII (Abn) Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group
21 April 1945: Third Army, 12th Army Group. 22 April 1945: XX Corps.


Nickname: Black Cat Division. Shoulder patch: Same as the 1st Armored, but with a number “13” in the upper portion of the triangle. Publication: The Thirteenth Armored Division, A History of the Black Cats from Texas to France, Germany and Austria and Back to California: by unit members ; Army & Navy Publishing Co., Baton Rouge 1, La.; 1947.