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.
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
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
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.