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8th Infantry Division (Mech)

Looking for more information from military/civilian personnel assigned to or associated with the U.S. Army in Germany from 1945 to 1989. If you have any stories or thoughts on the subject, please contact me.

Division History (1955-1978)

Division Organization

Page 2
Inf Regiments
Div Arty

Page 3
Div Trains
Support Comd

Avn Brigade

Related Links

12th Engr Bn

108th MI Bn

8th Avn Bn

1st Bn, 59th ADA (C/V)

Det 12, 7th WS

Division History

The Big Picture: 8th Infantry Division (Airborne), early 1970s (YouTube)
1955 - 1978
(Source: "8th Infantry Division (Mechanized) - Pride and Professionalism" (Welcome Pamphlet, 1981?)
  In November 1955 the Department of the Army named the 8th Division an OPERATION GYROSCOPE unit and announced that it would change places with the 9th Infantry Division in Germany. On October 9, 1956, the 8th Infantry Division officially took its place among the NATO forces in Germany under the US Seventh Army.

Within a year the 8th Division participated in GYROSCOPE, reorganization and BIG SWITCH operations, and on December 14, 1957, the division headquarters became operational at Bad Kreuznach, Germany.

In 1958 the 8th Infantry Division (M) gained an airborne capability with the assignment of the 1st Airborne Battle Group, 504th Infantry. On January 15, 1959, the 1st Airborne Battle Group, 505th Infantry was also assigned to the Division.1) These two battle groups were relieved from assignment to the 8th in April 1963, but the Division's airborne capability was maintained by the assignment of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 509th Infantry (Abn).


In August 1961, when the East Germans erected the Berlin Wall, one of the division's battle groups, the 18th Infantry, moved overland to reinforce the Berlin garrison.

The year 1963 was a busy one for the Pathfinders. On April 1, the ROAD concept was implemented in the division. In early November, as the 2nd Armored Division was arriving at Rhein-Main Air Base from Fort Hood, Texas, in OPERATION BIG LIFT, Pathfinder elements moved into "battle positions" near the East German border. After several days of organizing, the "Hell on Wheels" from Texas conducted a relief operation with the 8th Division. BIG LIFT was the largest military air movement ever conducted up to that time.

The training highlight of 1965 was Exercise NORDIC AIR, in which division airborne units made a parachute assault into the Jutland peninsula. Exercise WINTER ARROW and SOUTHERN ARROW were the most important events in 1966's training calendar. SOUTHERN ARROW, conducted in May, was one of the largest joint-service airborne operations in Europe since World War II.

A joint exercise, PATHFINDER EXPRESS, was held in 1967 which involved troops from the division and Spanish Forces. The exercise was conducted in Spain, and airborne units from the 8th Division also parachuted into Turkey during the exercise DEEP FURROW in September. The second of the PATHFINDER EXPRESS exercises was held in December 1968 in Spain.

In February of 1972 the Pathfinders conducted KARNIVAL KING, the first FTX of division size in USAREUR since 1966, giving credence to the Commander-in-Chief, USAREUR's statement that USAREUR was "on the move again". The division's 1st Brigade conducted many joint airborne operations, including BOLD LEAP IV and FIRM LION in 1971, and GOLDEN STEP in Italy in June of 1972.

In 1973 LARAMIE GOLDEN ARROW was the high point of the 8th Division's training year. The operation was a complete success. It started on May 10, with about ten thousand men and three thousand vehicles from the 8th Division, as well as hundreds of Germans, Scottish, and Belgian troopers. It is believed to be the only full division-sized crossing of the Rhein ever attempted during maneuvers.

Also in 1973, the division lost its airborne mission. The 2nd Battalion, 509th Inf (Abn) was inactivated and the 1st Battalion, 509th Inf (Abn) was assigned to the US Army Southern European Task Force (SETAF). With the reassignment of the 1st Battalion, 509th Airborne Battalion Combat Team, SETAF accepted the missions of maintaining and deploying the battalion on its own or as part of the Allied Command Europe Mobile Force (Land).

Following an equally impressive and successful Division-size FTX in March 1974, the 8th Division pioneered the introduction of ARTEPs in USAREUR during March and April 1975 when six mechanized and five armored battalions participated in the first ARTEP evaluations conducted at Hohenfels. While injecting increased realism and maximum individual participation into training, the pitting of battalion-sized task forces against an opposing force unit provided battalion staffs with the unique opportunity to perform missions utilizing the combined arms team concept.

The Bicentennial year witnessed the first of the highly successful annual REFORGER training exercises, GORDIAN SHIELD. After long hours of training and planning, the combined armored and infantry attacks of Pathfinder units pushed back, surrounded, and captured an "enemy" force that included the 101st Airborne Division. In March, Brigade '76 arrived in Wiesbaden, Germany. Attached to the 8th Division, the 4th Brigade reunites the 4th "Ivy" Division and the Pathfinder Division who fought side by side in the bloody battle of the Hurtgen Forest in World War II. The 4th Brigade adds two infantry battalions, an armor battalion, a field artillery battalion and a support battalion as well as a cavalry troop and an engineer company to the combat strength of the Division.

In 1977 the anti-armor and combined arms capabilities of the division were enhanced by the activation of the 8th Aviation Battalion (Combat) stationed at Finthen Army Airfield. The battalions boasts two Attack Helicopter Companies equipped with TOW-armed Cobra helicopters.

The Pathfinder Division continued its spirited drive toward "interoperability" with allied NATO units. Pathfinders maneuvered in the British-sponsored Operation SPEARPOINT in 1976, the Belgian-sponsored Operation BLUE FOX in 1977, and hosted Operation CERTAIN SHIELD in 1978.

During his mid-July 1978 economic summit conference in Bonn, the 4th Brigade and its partnership unit, the 14th Panzer Brigade greeted President Carter with an impressive display of over 5,000 soldiers, 100 tanks, 300 armored personnel carriers, and 70 self-propelled howitzers at Wiesbaden Air Base.

The President saw interoperability in action, viewing a demonstration of the ability to mass anti-armor forces and equipment in a short period of time on the modern, mobile battlefield.

The division's success proves the capabilities of the division as a highly trained professional command able to meet the enemy head-on in any type of terrain under any conditions. The professionalism and pride with which each unit preforms shows the true credentials of the 8th Infantry Division (M).

1) The 1st Abn BG, 504th Inf and 1st Abn BG, 505th Inf joined the division as part of the 1st Brigade. This made the 8th the only division in US Army history to be designated Infantry Division (Mechanized)(Airborne). The 5th Bn, 81st FA; Troop A, 3rd Bn, 8th Cav; and Company A, 12th Engr Bn were also designated as airborne and added to the 1st Brigade. (Source: The Pathfinder Orientation Magazine, 1985?).

1956 (TOE 1948)
(Source: USAREUR Station List, 30 June 1957)
8th Infantry Division - ORGANIZATION 1956:

(Webmaster Note: Station location is based on information obtained from the US Army Station List for June 1957. If a unit was originally located at a different post upon arrival in Germany in 1956, I will note it separately.)
  Headquarters Company Göppingen
  8th MP Company Göppingen
  8th Repl Company Göppingen
  5th Infantry Regiment Fürth HHC, 1st & 3rd Bns
  2nd Bn, 5th Inf Zirndorf
  13th Infantry Regiment Neu Ulm HHC & 3rd Bns
  1st Bn, 13th Inf Ulm
  2nd Bn, 13th Inf Ulm
  28th Infantry Regiment Heilbronn HHC, 1st, 2nd & 3rd Bns
  41st Tank Bn (90mm) Leipheim
  HHB, 8th Inf Div Artillery Göppingen
  28th FA Bn (155mm)(T) Schwäbisch Gmünd
  43rd FA Bn (105mm)(T) Neu Ulm
  45th FA Bn (105mm)(T) Neckarsulm
  56th FA Bn (105mm)(T) Schwabach
  23rd AAA AW SP Bn Nellingen
  12th Engineer Battalion Fürth
  8th Signal Company Göppingen
  8th Recon Company Nürnberg
  8th Medical Battalion Schwäbisch Gmünd
  708th Ordnance Battalion Neu Ulm
  8th QM Company Göppingen

Click on the above image to view the entire issue

(Source: USAREUR Station List, 30 June 1958)
8th Infantry Division - ORGANIZATION 1958:

(Webmaster Note: Station location is based on information obtained from the US Army Station List for June 1958.)
  Headquarters Company Bad Kreuznach
  1st BG, 5th Infantry Gonsenheim
  2nd BG, 8th Infantry Gonsenheim
  2nd BG, 12th Infantry Baumholder
  1st BG, 13th Infantry Sandhofen
  1st BG, 28th Infantry Baumholder
  HHB, 8th Inf Div Artillery Baumholder
  1st FA Bn (RKT/HOW), 28th Arty Baumholder
  1st How Bn, 2nd FA Baumholder
  12th Engineer Battalion Dexheim
  8th Signal Bn Bad Kreuznach
  3rd Rcn Sq, 8th Cavalry Sandhofen
  2nd Med Tk Bn, 68th Armor Baumholder
  Hqs, 8th Inf Div Trains and Band Bad Kreuznach
  8th Medical Battalion Wackernheim
  20th Transportation Battalion Bad Kreuznach
  16th Trans Co (Lt Trk) Gonsenheim
  23rd Trans Co (Lt Trk) Baumholder
  104th Trans Co (Lt Trk) Bamberg
  151st Trans Co (Lt Trk) Schweinfurt
  8th AG Admin Company Bad Kreuznach
  8th Aviation Company Hoppstätten
  708th Ordnance Battalion Baumholder
  8th QM Company Bad Kreuznach

Click on the above image to view the entire issue
(Source: Special Organization Day 1960 Issue of the THE ARROW, 8th Inf Div newspaper, July 1, 1960)
In November, 1955, the 8th Infantry Divison was designated to rotate to Europe in a station exchange with the 9th Infantry Division under "Operation Gyroscope," and a year later, the final boatload of troops landed on German soil and became part of the NATO force.

In August, 1957, the 8th became a pentomic division and soon after the new pentomic units had begun training, the Division participated in "Operation Switch," (Webmaster: more correctly known as "Operation Big Switch") a major relocation of three Army divisions with the 8th Division moving from the Nürnberg, Heilbronn, Ulm area north to the Rhineland with headquarters in Bad Kreuznach.

Throughout 1959 the Pentomic 8th showed their credentials in every field of military endeavor as Division units and personnel accumulated new laurels, awards and letters of commendation from higher headquarters. In garrison and in the field in athletic competition and in staff operations, the Division performed as professionals and came to be known just as that -- the professional 8th.

Early 1959 brought more changes to the Division that made change mean progress. Outstanding old line battle groups left -- to specifically mention each now is to linger on the past. Spurs won and new laurels gained, they have moved on. Important to the present are the battle groups here in 1960 - distinguished and legendary units whose combat records and lineage are unsurpassed. Each is described at length on other pages of this issue.

Important to mention is that in 1959 the airborne credential was added to the Division's portfolio as the 8th Div became the Army's only combined Infantry-Airborne Division, numbering three Infantry and two Airborne Battle Groups, in addition to airborne supporting member units. The success of the Division's six major operations during the year, "Heaven Sent," "Side Step," "Fleche de Or," "Pau," "Fer de Lance" and "Bayonet Blue," indicate the capability of the Infantry and Airborne units of the Division.

Proud and fierce competitors, the 8th Div enjoyed a tremendous year of success, setting new records and firsts in charity drives and local and Army-wide competitions and contests.

Early in 1960, the 8th became the only Divisional size unit in the United States Armed Forces to be awarded the Minuteman Flag with star for it's outstanding participation in the savings program. Two records were shattered when the Division, for the second straight year, won the USAREUR Honor Blood Plaque for the highest contribution in the Military Blood Procurement Program, and established a new high in per-capita level donations during the 1960 American Red Cross campaign. The 8th also set a USAREUR record for reenlistments with the 26th Inf's record of 69 and took top honors, numerous times, in the Seventh Army NCO Academy graduation classes.

Probably one of the most outstanding achievements of the year was the tremendous performance displayed by 8th Div marksmen. The "Golden Arrow" firers captured V Corps' A-R matches and Rifle and Pistol championships in early 1960. Later they captured the USAREUR team trophy in the USAREUR Rifle and Pistol championships at Grafenwoehr. Recently, the Division recorded smashing victories in the 1960 V Corps Prix Le Clerk Match and the 1960 Army Rifle and Pistol matches at Fort Banning, Ga., where they swept 10 out 12 awards in the automatic rifle firing competition, setting new Army records with every victory.

In the sports field, the 8th produced colorful and outstanding teams in competitions as well as individual performers. The Blue Rangers, winners of the Rhine League and USAREUR semi-finalists, won 24 of 28 games. Righthander Vern Orndorff was chosen as
USAREUR's Most Valuable Player and won a trip to the 1959 World Series. In football, the Mainz Troopers etched their names in USAREUR annuals by becoming the first team in six years to win the championship game and remain undefeated, a 26-0 victory over the Gelnhausen Braves. The Troopers set two new USAREUR records, fewest points allowed in a single season, 4.30 and most field goals in a championship game, two. The 8th also produced the 1960 USAREUR Bantamweight boxing champ, Thomas (Lucky) Lutge.


Since the Division has been in Germany on their current tour of duty as a member of the NATO Forces, "Golden Arrow" members have earned laurels in every field of military endeavor. In the accomplishment of training and operational requirements, units and individual soldiers have been standard setters, whether their marks have been recorded numerically or adjectivally.

Training tests, marksmanship, crew served weapons' competitions, alert, and individual arms qualification are some of the areas of combat readiness proficiency in which Division members have attained the professional standards of top level performers.

The statistical data which competitively measures certain factors of discipline have consistently shown the 8th Infantry Division soldier to be a man whose conduct indicates his pride in his profession. His thrift, deportment off duty and care of equipment are in the finest tradition of military service.

In every aspect of society, Division members have been pace setters in German-American relations. Particularly productive have been the athletic competitions in soccer, basketball and boxing between German and Division teams.

During this past fiscal year the generosity of "Golden Arrow" members in charity campaigns has earned commendations for the Division. In addition, the informal contributions by Division personnel to German orphanages and similar organizations have vividly indicated their neighborliness.

Organization Day 1960

The 8th Infantry Division celebrates it's fourth Organization Day in Germany this year. In this passing of almost four years since the Division arrived here in the fall of 1956, many, many events have taken place.

Who was here years ago and who will be here tomorrow is not as important as the Division today. Today's 8th Infantry Division is, as always, the Division that gets things done; the Outfit that goes for first place and gets it. The Division that says, "These Are My Credentials .. ." and means exactly that.


This special anniversary, Organization Day 1960 issue of the Arrow is dedicated to the present members of the 8th Infantry Division and the pages that follow have been prepared accordingly. Our readers,whether present or former Division members, or their friends and relatives, can understand our pride in saying, "These Are My Credentials."

(Source: Organization Day 1960, THE ARROW; STATION LIST, June 1961)
HHC, 8th Inf Div Rose Bks, Bad Kreuznach
8th Admin Co Bad Kreuznach
8th Div Abn School Wiesbaden AB
8th Div NCO Academy Baumholder
11th QM Co (PS&M) Biebrich
3rd Rcn Sqdn, 8th Cav Sandhofen
12th Engr Cbt Bn Dexheim
8th Sig Bn Bad Kreuznach  
1st BG, 16th Inf Baumholder
1st BG, 18th Inf Bad Kreuznach  
1st BG, 26th Inf Baumholder
1st Abn BG, 504th Inf Mainz-Gonsenheim
1st Abn BG, 505th Inf Mainz-Gonsenheim
2nd Med Tank Bn, 68th Arm Baumholder
8th Div Arty  
Hq/Hq Btry, 8th Div Arty Baumholder
1st How Bn, 2nd Arty Baumholder 105mm / 155mm
2nd How Bn, 12th Arty Baumholder 105mm / 155mm
7th How Bn, 16th Arty Baumholder 105mm / 155mm
5th How Bn, 81st Arty Mainz-Gonsenheim 105mm / 155mm
5th How Bn, 83rd Arty Baumholder 105mm / 155mm
1st Rkt How Bn, 28th Arty Baumholder Btry B in Darmstadt
8th Div Trains  
Hq/Hq Det , Div Trains Bad Kreuznach
Div Band Bad Kreuznach
8th QM Co Bad Kreuznach
708th Ord Bn Baumholder A Co, Mainz-Gonsenheim
20th Trans Bn Bad Kreuznach Co B & Co C in Baumholder
8th Med Bn Wackernheim
8th Avn Co Bad Kreuznach

Division Organization - ROAD
1963 (ROAD)
8th Infantry Division - ORGANIZATION 1963

(Webmaster Note: Station location is based on information obtained from the US Army Station List for December 1963.)
  Hq/Hqs Company Rose Bks, Bad Kreuznach
  12th Engineer Battalion Anderson Ksn, Dexheim HHC, A, B, C, D & E Cos
  8th MP Company Rose Bks, Bad Kreuznach
  8th MI Det (Div) (attached) Rose Bks, Bad Kreuznach 7th Army asset
  8th Signal Bn Rose Bks, Bad Kreuznach HHC, A & B Co
  8th Aviation Battalion Finthen AAF, Finthen HHC and A Co
  B Company Rose Bks, Bad Kreuznach  
  1st Bde, 8th Inf Div Lee Bks, Gonsenheim
  2nd Bde, 8th Inf Div Smith Bks, Baumholder
  3rd Bde, 8th Inf Div Coleman Bks, Sandhofen
  1st Mech Bn, 13th Infantry Smith Bks, Baumholder
  2nd Mech Bn, 13th Infantry Coleman Bks, Sandhofen
  1st Mech Bn, 39th Infantry De La Police Ksn, Worms
  1st Mech Bn, 87th Infantry Smith Bks, Baumholder
  2nd Mech Bn, 87th Infantry Sullivan Bks, Mannheim
  1st Mech Bn, 509th Infantry Lee Bks, Gonsenheim
  2nd Mech Bn, 509th Infantry Lee Bks, Gonsenheim
  1st Bn, 68th Armor Smith Bks, Baumholder
  2nd Bn, 68th Armor Smith Bks, Baumholder
  3rd Bn, 68th Armor Sullivan Bks, Mannheim
  4th Bn, 68th Armor Coleman Bks, Sandhofen
  3rd Sq, 8th Cavalry Coleman Bks, Sandhofen
  HHB, 8th Inf Div Artillery Smith Bks, Baumholder
  1st Bn, 2nd FA Smith Bks, Baumholder
  7th Bn, 16th FA Smith Bks, Baumholder
  1st MSL Bn, 28th FA McCully Bks, Wackernheim
  5th Bn, 81st FA Biebrich
  5th Bn, 83rd FA Smith Bks, Baumholder
  Hqs, 8th Inf Div Spt Comd & Band Rose Bks, Bad Kreuznach
  11th QM Company (Prcht Sup) Biebrich  
  8th Medical Battalion McCully Bks, Wackernheim HHC, A, B, C and D Cos
  8th Sup & Trans Battalion Rose Bks, Bad Kreuznach HHC, A and B Cos
  544th Trans Co (Lt Trk) Lee Bks, Gonsenheim
  547th Trans Co (Lt Trk) Lee Bks, Gonsenheim
  708th Maint Battalion Smith Bks, Baumholder HHC, A & E Cos
  B Company Lee Bks, Gonsenheim  
  C Company Coleman Bks, Sandhofen  
  D Company Lee Bks, Gonsenheim  
  8th AG Admin Company Rose Bks, Bad Kreuznach
May 26, 2012 - Webmaster note: Going through the STATION LISTS for 1963, I realized that 4th Bn, 68th Arm at Sandhofen was also part of the 8th Inf Div. A comment from Wally Ramirez made me check into this: I was at Coleman Barracks from Mar 1962 to May 1964 with C Co 4th Bn 68th Armor. The entire unit rotated back to Fort Bragg NC in June 1964... We had 8th Div shoulder patches, but our tanks had 7th Army on the front.

1964 (ROAD)
8th Infantry Division - ORGANIZATION 1964

(Webmaster Note: shows only battalion-size units and larger; Source: 7th Army Annual Historical Report for 1964)
Click here to see 8th Infantry Division organization for 1 August 1964.

1966 (ROAD)
8th Infantry Division - ORGANIZATION 1966

(Webmaster Note: shows only battalion-size units and larger; Source: 7th Army Annual Historical Report for 1966)
Click here to see 8th Infantry Division organization for 1 July 1966.

(Source: 8th Infantry Division booklet, 1967)

Front Cover

Back - Unit Crests

(Source: Walter Elkins)

Location of 8th Mechanized Infantry Division units, July 1974
The list was created by Walter Elkins and is based on units and locations listed in the July 1974 STATION LIST. For corrections, please contact the webmaster.

(Source: Scan of newspaper submitted by Jenni Johns, née Ritzler, who was assigned to the G-5/PAO section at Hqs 8th Inf Div from 1979-81 and served on the staff of the division newspaper, the CREDENTIALS)

8th Inf Div CREDENTIALS - January 31, 1980

1988 (Division 86)
8th Infantry Division - ORGANIZATION 1988

(Webmaster Note: Station location is based on information obtained from the US Army Station List for December 1963.)
  Hq/Hqs Company Rose Bks, Bad Kreuznach
  12th Engineer Battalion Anderson Bks, Dexheim  
  8th MP Company Rose Bks, Bad Kreuznach
  108th MI Bn Camp Wildflecken, Wildflecken  
  8th Signal Bn Minnick Ksn, Bad Kreuznach  
  1st Bn, 59th ADA McCully Bks, Wackernheim  
  1st Bde, 8th Inf Div Lee Bks, Gonsenheim
  2nd Bde, 8th Inf Div Smith Bks, Baumholder
  3rd Bde, 8th Inf Div Coleman Bks, Sandhofen
  3rd Bn, 8th Inf Lee Bks, Gonsenheim 1st Bde
  4th Bn, 8th Inf Coleman Bks, Sandhofen 3rd Bde
  5th Bn, 8th Inf Lee Bks, Gonsenheim 1st Bde - former 2/87th
  1st Bn, 13th Inf Smith Bks, Baumholder 2nd Bde
  1st Bn, 39th Inf Smith Bks, Baumholder 2nd Bde
  1st Bn, 68th Arm Camp Wildflecken, Wildflecken 1st Bde - M1A1 in Jun 1988
  2nd Bn, 68th Arm Smith Bks, Baumholder 2nd Bde
  5th Bn, 68th Arm Sullivan Bks, Mannheim 3rd Bde
  4th Bn, 69th Arm Lee Bks, Gonsenheim 1st Bde
  5th Bn, 77th Arm Sullivan Bks, Mannheim 3rd Bde
  4th CAB, 8th Inf Div Finthen AAF, Finthen
  2nd Bn, 4th Avn Finthen AAF, Finthen
  3rd Bn, 4th Avn Finthen AAF, Finthen
  TF Skyhawk Finthen AAF, Finthen
  Co G, 4th Avn Finthen AAF, Finthen general support avn
  Co H, 4th Avn Wiesbaden AB, Wrbenheim assault helicopter
  Co I, 4th Avn Finthen AAF, Finthen AVIM
  3rd Sq, 7th Cav Coleman Bks, Sandhofen
  HHB, 8th Inf Div Artillery Smith Bks, Baumholder
  2nd Bn, 29th FA Smith Bks, Baumholder
  4th Bn, 29th FA Smith Bks, Baumholder
  6th Bn, 29th FA Strassburg Ksn, Idar Oberstein
  C Btry (MLRS) , 16th FA Smith Bks, Baumholder
  C TAB, 333rd FA Strassburg Ksn, Idar Oberstein
  HHC, 8th Inf Div Support Comd Rose Bks, Bad Kreuznach
  118th Support Bn Lee Bks, Gonsenheim supports 1st Bde
  202nd Support Bn Sullivan Bks, Mannheim supports 3rd Bde
  208th Support Bn Smith Bks, Baumholder supports 2nd Bde
  708th Support Bn Minnick Ksn, Bad Kreuznach General support
  25th Chemical Co  

(Source: Email from Peter Blume, author of several publications on USAREUR and US Army vehicles & equipment in Germany)



1. M60A3

2. M-978 tanker



1. M113A2 ACAV

2. M901 ITV

3. AH-1S

Central Rheinland-Pfalz UNION - January 24, 1992
1992 (8th Inf Div inactivates)
(Source: Central Rheinland-Pfalz newspaper, January 24, 1992)
On Jan 17, 1992 the 8th Infantry Division formally became the 1st Armored Division in a ceremony held at Baumholder.

8th INF DIV AIRBORNE PATCHES - 1950s - 80s



8th Inf Div Pathfinder

8th Inf Div NCBU Patch

1st Bn, 28th FA (HJ)

Avn Sec, DivArty?

1st Brigade Patch

Honor Guard

Division Band


8th Inf Div

Division Artillery

1st Bde, 8th ID

2nd Bde, 8th ID

3rd Bde, 8th ID

HHC, 3rd Bde (1)

8th ID NCO Academy

Division Trains

Div Spt Comd

708th Abn Ord Bn

8th Sig Bn

68th Armor

69th Armor

77th Armor

8th Cavalry

8th Infantry

13th Infantry

39th Infantry

87th Infantry

Honor Guard

(1) Source: Michael Belis, webmaster, 1st Bn, 22nd Inf web site
This is the DI that I wore when I was a SP4 & assigned as an M577 driver for Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade, 8th Infantry Division, in 1969-1970 at Coleman Barracks, Sandhofen. This DI was only worn by personnel of HHC 3BDE 8DIV.
We wore two of these on our Dress Green and short-sleeve Khaki dress uniforms . . . one on each shoulder strap. When these were not available, we wore the same style DI, but without the scroll at the top (Webmaster: that would probably be the NCBU - Non-Color Bearing Unit crest).

12th Engineer Battalion
(Source: Email from Clarence B. Drennon, B Co, 12th Engr Bn, 1959-61)
During 1959-1961 I was assigned to the 12th Engineer Battalion, 8th Infantry Division. During most of that period I was assigned to B Company, which supported the 1st Airborne Battle Group, 505th Infantry. Col Theodore Metaxis was the distinguished commander of the 505th during much of that period. He didn't like the Battle Group concept, and usually formed his BG, with attached tanks, etc., into two battalions.

The units at Wiesbaden-Bieberich were two companies of the 1/504 Airborne Infantry. They had more discipline problems than the 505th. It was said that more members of the 504th were killed trying to do parachute landing falls from the third story of the old German barracks at Bieberich (courtyard was cobblestone) than were killed doing actual parachute jumps during the two years I was in 8th Division.

The 505th had some unusual members. The scout platoon was commanded by a Lt. Timmerman, who had won the Medal of Honor in Korea as an EM. Timmerman seldom said anything. His best friend was then-Lt Anthony Herbert, later on rather well known in Vietnam. Herbert talked all the time. A member of the 505th staff was Gen. Patton's son.

Col. Metaxis always cross-attached the 505th organic engineer platoon to B company, giving us, effectively, three platoons rather than the usual two of a PENTOMIC era Engineer battalion.

(Source: Email from Art Walker)
In the posting above, Mr. Drennon wrote that A & C Co 504 were at Wiesbaden-Biebrich across the (Rhine) river and there were some jumps/fatalities off the buildings.

I was there. It was not the 504 but A & C Companies of the 505th. I was in A Co, 505 that night when PFC Allison French attempted a jump from the highest floor to the courtyard below.

1st Battalion, 59th Air Defense Artillery (Chaparral/Vulcan)
(Source: PATHFINDER, July 1989)

1/59ADA trains in the Dome (Webmaster's collection)

108th Military Intelligence Battalion

Sign in front of 108th MI Battalion headquarters, Wildflecken (Heinz Leitsch)
108th Military Intelligence Bn DUI

(Source: Email from Dan Cole)
Was just browsing tonight and came across your web site of the Mannheim area barracks and had a serious walk down memory lane.

If you look at your 1977 map of Colman Barracks and Bldg #87 directly across from the fire station and PX I lived in that bldg. in 1982-83. We were from B-Co 108th MI BN in Baumholder but our Platoon was permanently attached to 3rd Brigade the at Coleman.

After an 18 month stay I got orders and was leaving at which time my Platoon moved to Wildflecken. I went up only to help move and then was sent back for a month to eventually out process. Had that month to myself and what ever I wanted to do only having CQ a few times during that time. That was fun.

Any way, I'm just curious if you have any other pictures of that area. In the arial pic you can see the sitting pads for small copters and Cobras that would be there behind bldg. 87 thru 90 (our bks). There was no fence or barrier of any kind and we could walk right out there. Of course we were not supposed to but we did. We'd go out at night and lay in the grass as the helicopters would fly in, that was kind of cool.

Thanks for having the website, its cool!

(Source: THE PATHFINDER, 8th Infantry Division (Mech) Orientation Magazine, mid-1980s)
108th Military Intelligence Battalion
The 108th MI Battalion was formed March 16, 1981, from the 8th Military Intelligence Company and the 415th Army Security Agency Company. It was formally activated Sept. 16, 1981, at the Strassburg Kaserne, Idar-Oberstein and moved to its present location in Wildflecken in May 1983. This forward deployment led to the nickname, "The Point Battalion".

The battalion's motto, "Victory through Vigilance", highlights the unit's mission of enhancing the Division's combat power through use of electronic warfare, intelligence, surveillance, operation security, counterintelligence and prisoner-of-war interrogation. The equipment the battalion uses to accomplish its mission is as varied as its mission and includes surveillance radar, jammers, radio/radar direction-finding equipment and interceptors.

The battalion possesses the Army's newest pieces of electronic warfare equipment, including the TRAILBLAZER (AN/TSQ-114), a special purpose, track-mounted direction-finding intercept system, TEAMPACK (AN/MSQ-103), a track-mounted radar DF system, TACJAM (AN/MLQ-34), a track-mounted heavy jamming system, and TRAFFICJAM (AN/TLQ-17A), a tactical communications jammer mounted on M151 jeeps or CUCV's.

When organized for combat, the 108th fields a company team in direct support of each of the Division's brigades. Each company team is composed of ground surveillance radar and intercept and jamming systems. All systems are directly tasked by the brigade commander. The remainder of the battalion is controlled by the TCAE 1) and provides general support to the Division.

1) TCAE - Technical Control and Analysis Element. The Army TCAE provides support and guidance to Army tactical SIGINT units. The Army TCAE is the highest echelon in the Army's technical control architecture and serves as the single. POC at NSA for Army theater and tactical forces. This technical architecture extends through TCAEs located at theater or MACOM to corps and down through division, ACR, and separate brigade TCAEs (Source: FM 34-37, 15 January 1991).

(Source: PATHFINDER, June 1988)
Military Intelligence: Key to winning
by Carol A. Warner

The Army's primary objective is to win the land battle - to fight and win against whatever foe, wherever and whenever. We must assume the enemy will have weapons that are as effective as ours and in greater numbers (FM 34-10).

This is one reason military intelligence on the battlefield will be the key to winning any battle; this is also why military intelligence units are found in each US Army division.

The 8th Infantry Division is supported by
108th Military Intelligence Battalion in Wildflecken. 1st Lt. Jennifer Heldman, Company A platoon leader, said they are the most forward deployed military intelligence battalion in Europe. If anything is going to happen, they'll be the first to know because they are so close to the border. They are our early warning system.

This is one reason they take their training seriously. Once a month each platoon in the battalion rolls out to the field just as Co. A did, explained Heldman. This gives them a chance to practice convoy procedures, site occupation, running systems and provides cross training on systems. "It's a day when we get hands on training," she added.

Collection and Jamming Company obtains information by listening in on enemy radio. After they collect the information they analyze it and pass it to the Division as intelligence traffic. They can also jam enemy communications systems and provide battlefield surveillance.

Ground Surveillnce Company has radar and remote sensor teams to support the division, explained Heldman.

Service Support Company provides communications, food service, and maintenance support.

"We're here to provide intelligence for the Division," said SPC Anthony Prather, Co. A, 108th Ml. "It's our job to make sure they know where the enemy is, what the enemy is doing, what they are going to do and when."

"Our systems are capable of pinpointing enemy strengths, locations and directions of attack," said Heldman. "We can locate just about anybody on the battlefield if they are out there talking."

This is what a division commander needs to know to plan future operations. Operations are planned and resources allocated for up to 24 hours in advance.

The MI Battalion provides a variety of support to several different elements of the Division; because of the sensitive nature of their work and the need for OPSEC not much is seen or heard from 108th MI. Just know that they are out there listening and watching. They are the eyes and ears of the Division.

Related Links:
8th Infantry Division Association - a web site for ALL former soldiers of the 8th Infantry Division from beginning to end..... to keep the memories and spirit of the 8th Infantry Division from fading into history........
Paratroopers of the 50s -
  8th Infantry Division Veterans - Steven J. Dong and Jimmy Cohea are the moderators of this Facebook Page for former members of the Pathfinder Division and their families.  
  20th Transportation Bn - 8th Inf Div - Leonard Yniguez's website that includes photos of the 20th during 1960-61 at Bad Kreuznach.