As authorized by Executive Order 9396 (sec. I, Bul. 22,WD, 1943), superseding Executive Order 9075 (sec. III, WD Bul, 11, 1942), the following unit is cited by the War Department under the provisions of section IV, Circular No. 333, War Department, 1943 in the name of the President of the United States as public evidence of deserved honor and distinction.
The citation reads as follows:
101st Airborne Division (less 2nd Battalion, 401st Glider Infantry Regiment), with the following-attached units:
501st Parachute Infantry Regiment;
506th Parachute Infantry Regiment;
463rd Parachute Field Artillery Battalion;
Counterintelligence Detachment, 101st Airborne Division;
Order of Battle Detachment Number 5;
Military Intelligence Interpreter Team Number 410;
Photo Interpreter Teams Number 9 & 81;
Prisoner of War Interrogation Teams Number 1, 9 & 87;
Third Auxiliary Surgical Group, Team Number 3;
969th Field Artillery Battalion;
755th Field Artillery Battalion;
705th Field Artillery Battalion;
Combat Command B, 10th Armored Division including:
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Combat Command B, 10th Armored Division;
3rd Tank Battalion (less Company C);
20th Armored Infantry Battalion (less Company A);
54th Armored Infantry Battalion (less Company A and C);
420th Armored Field Artillery Battalion;
Troop D, 90th Calvary Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized);
Company C, 609th Tank Destroyer Battalion (less 1st Platoon; with 2nd Platoon Reconnaissance Company attached);
Battery B, 796th Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion;
Company C, 55th Armored Engineer Battalion ;
Company C, 21st Tank Battalion;
Reserve Command, 9th Armored Division including:
Headquarters Reserve Command, 9th Armored Division;
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 12th Armored Group;
2nd Tank Battalion;
52nd Armored Infantry Battalion;
73rd Armored Field Artillery Battalion;
Company C, 9th Armored Engineer Battalion;
Company C, 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion > Battery C, 482nd Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion (Self-Propelled);
These units distinguished themselves in combat against powerful and aggressive enemy forces composed of elements of 8 German divisions during the period from 18 December to 27 December 1944 by extraordinary heroism and gallantry in defense of the key communications center of Bastogne, Belgium.
Essential to a large-scale exploitation of his break-through into Belgium and northern Luxembourg, the enemy attempted to seize Bastogne by attacking constantly and savagely with the best of his armor and infantry.
Without benefit of prepared defenses, facing almost overwhelming odds and with very limited and fast dwindling supplies, these units maintained a high combat morale and an impenetrable defense, despite extremely heavy bombing, intense artillery fire, and constant attacks from infantry and armor on all sides of their completely cut off and encircled position. This masterful and grimly determined defense denied the enemy even momentary success in an operation for which he paid dearly in men, material, and eventually morale.
The outstanding courage and resourcefulness and undaunted determination of this gallant force is in keeping with the highest traditions of the service.
[General Orders No. 17, War Department, 13 March 1945.]
Official: DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
Chief of Staff
EDWARD F. WITSELL
The Adjutant General
The following units received the Distinguished Unit Citation for action in Normandy:
101st Airborne Division Headquarters and Headquarters Company
101st Airborne Division Military Police Platoon
326th Airborne Engineer Battalion
326th Airborne Medical Company
101st Airborne Signal Company
501st Parachute Infantry Regiment
502d Parachute Infantry Regiment
506th Parachute Infantry Regiment
377th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion
Batteries A and B, 81st Airborne AA Battalion
French Croix de Guerre with Palm Medal: Decree No. 367 22 July 1946
A splendid airborne unit which gave proof of extraordinary heroism in the course of the Normandy landing operation on 6-8 of June 1944. It parachuted before dawn on the assault beach on 6 June and in spite of all sorts of difficulties succeeded in regrouping. Attacked by important forces with violent fire, it nevertheless occupied positions of strategic importance for the landing of friendly troops. This action opened the way to la Douve and the Carentan road for the assault troops. In this way it greatly contributed to the first phase of the liberation of France.
Belgian Croix de Guerre Medal Decree no. 828 30 July 1945
By its glorious resistance from 22-27 Dec 1944 in the hardest time of the battle of the Ardennes it kept completely isolated the key position Bastogne. The 101st airborne division with its attached units caused the failure of the enemy’s plan. This required a deep penetration into Belgium and this division served as a pivot to the operations of the counter offensive, which liberated the invaded territories. During these operations, because of its courage, endurance, discipline, and experience in fighting, the 101st pushed back the unceasing attacks of the elements belonging to 8 German divisions in spite of scarce supplies. These troops and their chiefs wrote one of the most beautiful pages in military history and earned the admiration of the world and the everlasting gratitude of Belgium
Belgian Croix de Guerre Medal Decree no. 1196 22 Oct 45
The 101st us army landing by chute, glider and assault craft on the coast of France 6 June 44 was one of the first units to attack the enemy in the campaign that was to liberate Europe from German domination. It was necessary for small groups to battle fiercely in many places in order that they might reach and unite at the assembly point. Many causalities were inflicted upon the enemy and the division sustained many causalities while it subdued enemy strongpoints, attacked and held vital communication centers, bridges, and observation posts. The success with which these missions were accomplished hindered the enemy from using reinforcements, which could have caused the failure of the US VII Corps, which later participated in the liberation of Belgium.
Belgian Fourragere of 1940
Awarded under Decree no. 1196, 22 Oct 45, by Charles, Prince of Belgium, Regent of the Kingdom.
Under the Belgian custom two awards of the Croix de Guerre entitles a unit to the Fourragere.
Orange Lanyard of the Royal Netherlands Army
Decree no. P-203 20 Sept 45
Considering that the outstanding performance of duty of the 101st during the airborne operations and the ensuing fighting actions in the so. Part of the Netherlands in the period from 17sept-28nov 44 has greatly contributed to the liberation of that part of the country. Considering also that it is desirable for each member of the division who took part in the aforesaid operations to possess a lasting memento of this glorious struggle, decrees that each member of the personnel of the 101st who took part in the operations in the so part of Netherlands in the period of 17 sept-28 nov 44 is authorized to wear the Orange Lanyard of the Royal Netherlands Army.