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HISTORY OF THE 4TH MP PLATOON, (404th MP Company), 4th Armored Division from 15 April 1942.

Born on the Sandy Plains of Pine Camp-The 4th AD

(Page 1 of 6 Pages): Born on the Sandy Plains of Pine Camp (Camp Drum) NY - History of the 4th Armored Division WW II : The 4th Armored Division was activated on the sandy plains of Pine Camp (Camp Drum), NY at 2805 hrs, 15 April 1942, with a complement of 600 Officers and 3200 enlisted men who had just reported to the unit for duty, standing at attention while the flag was raised, the orders read and the new 4th Armored Division had its first retreat ceremony held. Units designated and assigned to the 4th Armored Division were HQ Company, Res.Com, CCA; CCB; 8th, 35th and 37th Tank Battalions; 10th ; 51st; and 53rd Armd Inf BNs; 24th Armd Engr Bn; 25th Cav Rcn Sq (Mecz); 144th Armd Sig Co; Division Artillery: 22nd; 66th and 94th Armd FA Bns; Division trains: 4th Armd Med Bn, 126th Ord Maint Bn; MP Platoon and Band. The 4th Armored Division assigned duty station was Pine Camp (Camp Drum), NY. From 14 September through 26 October 1942, the 4th Armored Division was on maneuveres under the Second Army in Tennessee. During November 1942, the 4th Armored Division was transferred to base camps established near Freida and Needles,CA at Camp Young. There they participated in Desert Training Center maneuvers from 1 December 1942 through 22 February 1943. From 19 April to 10 July, the 4th Armored Division took part in further Desert Training Center maneuvers and then moved to Camp Bowie, TX, under the VIII Corps, 3rd Army on 3 June 1943. They had maneuvered during a broiling summer until alerted 11 November for overseas duty. Train after train left the Lone Star State from Dec. 11 to 18 to take armored troops into a frigid Massachusetts winter at Camp Myles Standish, Mass .(Source of information is from the History of the 4th AD WW II, Fact Sheet on the 4th AD WW II from the Information Section, Analysis Branch, Hq Army Ground Forces and research by Richard Burch of open source information for this website).

4th Armored Division - In Combat WW II

(Page 2 of 6 Pages): The main body of troops sailed from Boston POE 29 December 1943 and eleven days later, disembarked in Wales and were loaded on troop trains for camps in Wiltshire, England. In a final polishing, the 4th trained six months on the English downs and in the bitter winter frosts of the Salisbury and Avebury plains. Completing training the Division was deployed to Utah Beach at Normandy landing on the Cherbourg Peninsula of France on D-Day Plus 36 17 July 1944. The Division entered combat on 28 July 1944, when Units of the 4th Armored Division moved out and then struck due south and broke through oppositin at St.Lo, Avraches and Rennes. The Divisioon swung west and bottled up Nazi Forces in the Submarine base at Lorent. Turning East, the Division forces swung back through Nantes and Angers, overan stiff opposition at Orleans and smashed on to Seine,where another important engagement was fought and won at Troyes. The 4th AD then crossed the Marne and Meuse Rivers and fought a series of rough battlesbefore being called on to relieve the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne, Belgium. Late December 1945, Christmas afternoon, light and medium tanks of the 35th outflanked the Melch woods on the Arlon-Bastogne road and wiped out a company of paratroopers. Hit by tank machine gun bursts, scores of enemy casualties crumpled in the snow. 4th Armored MPs had maintained a perfect record in handling and processing prisoners of war (POW's). None has ever escaped. The record almost was marred that night when a German plane swooped down over housetops as MPs were searching 220 prisoners.(Source of information is from the History of the 4th AD WW II, Fact Sheet on the 4th AD WW II from the Information Section, Analysis Branch, Hq Army Ground Forces and research by Richard Burch of open source information for this website).

With the 4th Armored Division-End of WW II

(Page 3 of 6 Pages): During the commotion, prisoners fled into barns and houses.One German officer and several men charged Pfc Paul J. Carrafiello, Tuckahoe, N.Y. The MP blazed away with a machine gun, dropping the officer just short of the gun and spraying the others. All prisoners were flushed from their hiding places. Battling doggedly to the the northwest, the Division relieved the 101st Airborne Division. Then after pulling back to Luxemburg City to regroup, the 4th AD struck north towards Koblenz on the Rhine and then rolled southeastward through Bad Kreuznach, crossing the Rhine north of Worms and the Main near Hanau. The 4th AD forces then rolled northeastward to Weimar before turing eastward, then southeastward to sweep down through Bayreuth. The 4th Armored Division swung to the northeast and into Czechloslovakia towards Prague after getting as far south in Germany as the Regensburg-Deggendorf area. It was while the Division was in Czechoslovakia that World War II ended in Europe. During the war the 4th AD became the only Armored Division to receive the Distinguished Unit Citation (for "extraordinary tactical accomplishments", most notably to race to Bastogne), and the second Division in the Army's history to be so decorated by order of the President of the United States. The Division was also awarded the French Fourragere for its victories at Avranches, Nantes and in the Moselle areas. The Men and Officers of the 4th Armored Division won more than 4,000 individual decorations during WW II.Source of information is from the History of the 4th AD WW II, Fact Sheet on the 4th AD WW II from the Information Section, Analysis Branch, Hq Army Ground Forces and research by Richard Burch of open source information for this website).

(Page 4 of 6 Pages) Born Again - Reactivation of the 4th Armored Division-15 June 1954: Eight years later, on the 15 June 1954, the 4th Armored Division was re-activatd again and became an active force, this time at Fort Hood, TX.. The 4th Armored Division participatd in varios large scale fieldexercises in the United States, including "SAGE BRUSH" in late 1955 in Louisiana.The Division also trained over 7,500 "Packet Trainees" for Armour units in Europe. With completion of that mission in June 1957, the 4th Armored Division was alerted for movement to Germany under "Operation Gyroscope" making the move in 3 days, replacing the 8th Infantry Division Headquarters, Cooke Barracks, Goppingen, Germany (note during this time the 8th Division relocated its headquarters from Cooke Barracks, Goppingen to Rose Barracks, Bad Kreuznach during "Operation Big Switch"). On 13 December 1957, the Colors of the 4th Armored Division were again unfurled on European soil, exactly 13 years and 5 months after the 4th Armored Divisions Command Post was established on the European continent during WW II. The 4th Armored was now a peacetime force as part of the NATO shield. Former enemies were now trusted allies. The 4rd Armored Division headquarters was established at Cooke Barracks, Goppingen, Germany. The 4th Armored Division units were spread out and located at Cooke Barracks, Goppingen, Willey Barracks, Neu Ulm; Ferris Barracks, Erlangen; McKee Barracks, Crailsheim; Air Field, Illesheim, Monteith Barracks, Furth; Obrien Barracks, Schwabach; Ford Barracks, Ulm; Wharton Barracks, Heilbronn; Johnson Barracks, Furth; Bismark Kaserne, Schwaebisch Gmuend; and Pander Barracks, Zirndorf, Germany.

After WW II -Occupation Duty and Deactivation

(Page 5 of 6 Pages)The 4th Armored Division-After WW II remained for occupation duty. After WW II ended three (3) members of the 4th Armored Division were awarded th Congressional Medal of Honor. In addition 34 Distiguished Service Crosses, 802 Silver Stars, 3,031 Bronze Stars, 88 Air Medals, 11 Soldier's Medals and 72 Croix de Guerre were awarded to member of the Division for action during WW II. After V-E Day the 4th Armored Division was given an occupational mission at Landshut, Germany. Some elements of the Division were re-designated as Headquarters for the Constabulary and others remained in Germany as occupation forces. The 4th Armored Division returned to the United States on 25 April 1946 to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey and was inactivated 26 April 1946. (Source of information is from the History of the 4th AD WW II, Fact Sheet on the 4th AD WW II from the Information Section, Analysis Branch, Hq Army Ground Forces and research by Richard Burch of open source information for this website). "They shall be known by their deeds alone."

404th MP Company - 1954 - 10 May 1971

(Page 6 of 6 Pages): Duty in Fort Hood and Germany. The MP Platoon, 4th Armored Division was inactivated 22 April 1946 at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. On the 28th of May 1954, at Fort Hood, TX, the MP Platoon, 4th Armored Division was reactivated. The MP Platoon, 4th AD was re-designated on 28 May 1954 as the 404th Military Police Company and Activated 15 June 1954 at Fort Hood, Texas. After serving at Fort Hood the 404th MP Company deployed with the 4th AD to Germany and was located at Goeppingen with detachmentd in Bamberg and Erlangen. The 4th Armored Division and the 404th Military Police Company was deactivated 10 May 1971 at Cooke Barracks, Goeppingen, Germany on the same date by the 1st Armored Division. The 1st MP Company, 1st Infantry Division assumed the duties in Goeppingen.

Lineage and Honors of the 404th MP Company

Constituted 31 August 1943 in the Regular Army as the Military Police Platoon, 4th Armored Division. Activated 10 September 1943 at Camp Bowie, TX. Inactivated 22 April 1946 at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. Re-designated 28 May 1954 as the 404th Military Police Company. Activated 15 June 1954 at Fort Hood, Texas.

CAMPAIGN PARTICIPATION CREDIT:

World War II -EAME Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe.

DECORATIONS:

Distinguished Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered ARDENNES French Craix de Guerre with Palm, World War II, Streamer embroidered NORMANDY. French Craix de gierre with Palm, World War II , Streamer embroidered MOSELLE RIVER. French Croix de Guerre, World War II, Fourragera. By order of the Secretary of the Army: s/ J.C. Lambert Major General, USA The Adjutant General stamp date May 18, 1965.



General Pattons comments to the 4th AD WW II

The following is a quote made by General George S. Patton to the members of the 4th Armored Division during WW in Germany: "The accomplishments of this Division have never been equaled. And by that statement I do not mean in this war. I mean in the History of warfare. There has never been such a superb fighting organization as the 4th Armored Division" ---General George S. Patton---

 


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