GENERAL ORDERS #54 WAR DEPARTMENT 12 July 1945
As authorized by Executive Order 9396 (sec. I, WD Bul. 22, 1943), superseding Executive Order 9075 (see. III, DW Bul. 11, 1942) citations of the following units in General Orders 54, Headquarters Third Armored Division, 30 April 1945, as approved by the Commanding General, European Theater of Operations, is confirmed under.the provisions of section IV, WD Circular 333, 1943, in the name of the President of the United States as public evidence of deserved honor and distinction.
The citations read as follows:
The 1st Battalion, 36th Armored Infantry Regiment, is cited for outstanding performance of duty in action against the enemy in Germany during the period 12 to 22 September 1944. The 1st Battalion, 36th Armored Infantry Regiment, on 12 September 1944 was assigned the mission of supporting an armored task force in its drive to smash the defenses of the Siegfried Line. Antitank-obstacles retarded the progress of armor, and the battalion was committed to overrun strongly fortified defensive positions overlooking the obstacles.
In 2 days of fierce fighting against a determined enemy the 1st Battalion, 36th Armored Infantry Regiment, succeeded in overpowering enemy defenses and penetrating the first fortified belt of the West Wall. Over difficult terrain overlooking the second fortified belt this fighting force then attacked to force a bridgehead through the second belt of dragon’s teeth. Vigorous hostile action was counterbalanced by an insuperable urge to close with and destroy the enemy wherever found.
Against tremendous odds the battalion succeeded in establishing a bridgehead and for 3 days repulsed vigorous enemy counterattacks launched against it in an effort to break the battalion’s foothold north of the dragon’s teeth on critical terrain. On 18 September 1944, after infantry elements on the left and right failed to advance, the 1st Battalion was given the vital mission of withdrawing from its salient and attacking the strongly fortified town of Munsterbusch. Its fighting spirit undimmed, the 1st Battalion withdrew under pressure and launched the assault. The enemy poured deadly fire into its ranks inflicting severe losses on the attackers. The enemy fought savagely which often resulted in hand-to-hand combat. Despite enormous losses incurred in this offensive the 1st Battalion allowed the enemy no respite. Defending the town stubbornly the enemy employed tank, mortar, artillery, and automatic weapons fire and fanatically held their positions until either killed or overpowered by unrelenting pressure.
During the period 12 to 22 September 1944 the 1st Battalion demonstrated extraordinary heroism and exhibited gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps in overcoming unusually difficult and hazardous conditions.
The unconquerable spirit displayed by the 1st Battalion, 36th Armored Infantry Regiment in attack missions against important objectives made possible more deadly blows against the enemy on German soil.