Good morning from Fort Worth, TX, John B.!!!
In partial response to your two inquiries I submit the following:
For an overview of the First Armored Division go to
which provides a 6-page description of the history of the division.
A little added insight:
If your grand father went over as a member of the division, and not later as a replacement, he would have sailed on one of four ships, all departing NY P/E .
1. QUEEN MARY, sailed alone 5-11-42, arrived Firth of Clyde, Scotland 5-16-42
2 DUTCHESS of YORK, sailed/convoy 5-25-42 arvd. Belfast, Northern Ireland, 6-10-42
3. SS NORTH KING, sailed/convoy 5-25-42, arvd. Belfast 6-10-42
4. ORIENT,sailed/convoy 5-31-42, arvd. Belfast 6-10-42.
The QUEEN MARY was the work horse in these operations, transportig 15,000-plus troops per passage. On 8-2-42 she carried the entire 1st Infantry Division, 15,000 strong, in one load, a first.
The 1st. Armored Division included three Tank Battalions (1st, 4th,13th), three Armored Infantry Battalions (6th,11th,14th), three Armored Field Artillery Battalions (27th,68th,91st) and the 81st. Cavalry Reconaissance Squadron, Mechanized, plus other elements.
Algeria-French Morocco, Tunisia, Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno,North Appenines, Po Valley.
Major General Bruce Magruder, Jul 40
M/G Orlando Ward, Mar 42
M/G Ernest N. Harmon, Apr 43
M/G Vernon E. Prichard, Jul 44
M/G Roderick R. Allen, Sep 45
Killed in Action, 1,194
Wounded in Action, 5,168
Died of Wounds, 234
The division landed outside Oran, Algeria 11-8-42, and entered the city 11-10-42. It moved from Tafaroui, Algeria to Bedja, Tunisia on 11-24-42, and raided Djedeida Airfield 11-25-42, taking Djedeida 11-26-42.
It moved southwest to Tebourba 12-1-42, and attacked the Germans at El Guessa Heights 12-3-42. After its lines were penetrated 12-6-42, it withdrew to Bedja on 12-10/11-42, with heavy equipment losses, and went into reserve status.
On 1-23-43 it attacked in the Ousseltia Valley, clearing that area until 1-29-43, when it moved to Bou Chebka, thence to Maktar 2-3-43.
The division fought at Faid Pass from 1-30-43, and advanced to Sidi Bou Zid , where it again experienced heavy tank losses 2-14-43, with some elements surrounded by the Germans at Djebel Lessouda, Djebel Ksairi and Garet Hadid.
Moving toward Sbeita, it counterattacked in the Sidi Bou Zi area 2-15-43, but was turned back with heavy losses. The division withdrew from Sbeita 2-15-43, but by 2-21-43 had contained the German attack toward Tebessa. When the Germans withdrew from this point it allowed the recovery by the division of the Kasserine Pass 2-26-43. It then went into reserve.
John, this brings us to beyond the capture of Chester, so I will end this review here.
I will try to provide you with some insight on the 83rd. Infantry Division later today.
Hope this is of benefit to you and your family.
Louie Franklin Turner
World War II Order of Battle
Shelby L. Stanton, author
GALAHAD BOOKS, NYNY, publisher