VI Corps History

The Sixth Corps was activated on August 1 st, 1940, with Headquarters at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, and had one change of station before embarking for the Mediterranean Theater in February of 1943.

Following additional training in North Africa, Corps elements made a combat assault on the mainland of Italy at Paestum on September 9th, 1943 (D-Day). Overcoming determined resistance and enemy counterattacks, the Corps advanced into the mountains towards Avellino and reached the Volturno River on October 6th. One week later, Corps elements crossed the river in a drive towards the Mignano Gap and the town of Venafro. After two months of heavy fighting against the German Winter Line, the Corps was relieved in early January of 1944 to prepare for another combat assault.

On January 22nd, the Corps landed at Anzio and advanced slowly towards Cisterna as enemy resistance mounted and counterattacks began. The entire beachhead was within range of German artillery and under constant attack as the enemy made an all-out effort to drive the Allied forces back into the sea. By March 4th, four major enemy counterattacks had been repulsed, and on May 23rd Corps units launched an attack which broke through the German lines. While some Corps units entered Rome with Second Corps troops on June 4th, the remainder of the Sixth Corps turned west towards the Tiber River. After pursuing the fleeing Germans north beyond Tarquinia, the Sixth was relieved and assigned to the Seventh Army for the Assault on France and landed in the vicinity of Ste. Maxine and St. Tropez on August 15th, 1944 (D-Day).

The Corps enlarged the beachhead and advanced to Montelimar where the enemy escape route from the Rhone Valley was cut on August 29th. Continuing to advance against stiffening opposition, the men of Sixth Corps captured Bourg and Montreval on September 3rd in spite of fierce opposition and advanced along a 30 mile front into the Vosges foothills. After a month of hard fighting, the high ground dominating the Meurthe River Valley was secured as units crossed the Meurthe, fought across the Vosges, and reached the Rhine Valley by the end of November. In December, the steady advance continued as elements cleared the Alsatian Plain to the Siegfried Line and fought against heavy resistance along the Zintzel and Lauter Rivers.

During the Ardennes fighting, the Corps maintained defensive positions along the Moder River Line and resumed its offensive on March 15th, 1945, clearing French territory of enemy forces four days later. After a week of heavy fighting along the Siegfried Line, the Sixth broke through and crossed the Rhine River on March 25th near Mannheim and continued to advance to the Neckar River where it took another week of hard fighting to capture Heilbronn.

Crossing the Ulm and the Danube Rivers, the VI defeated a large enemy force trying to open an escape route to the southeast and reached Innsbruck, Austria, on May 5th where it accepted the surrender of the German Nineteenth Army as resistance officially ended the following day.

After fighting in six campaigns and participating in three assault landings, the Corps was assigned occupation duties until May of 1946 when it was reorganized and redesignated as "Headquarters United States Constabulary."

The patch worn by the VI Corps during WW II is based on a design approved by the AEF on January 1st, 1919, and consists of a white numeral -6- to indicate the unit's designation, placed on a blue disc.

Related Items:

History || Honor Roll