XV Corps History

The Fifteenth Corps was organized and ordered into active service on February 1 5th, 1943 at Camp Beauregard, Louisiana. After additional training at the California-Arizona Desert Maneuver Area in the summer of 1943, the Corps embarked for the European theater and arrived in England on December 27th, 1943.

While in England, the Corps was assigned to the Third Army and prepared for the Cobra phase of Operations on the Continent.

The Fifteenth landed on Normandy and became operational on July 31 st, 1944, participating in the advance south on Avranches on August 2nd. Corps units split to form a twopronged attack to capture Laval and Mayenne on August 5th and then joined together to capture LeMans on August 8th. Changing direction to the north, the Fifteenth drove through Alncon and helped to close the Falaise Gap with the capture of Argentan on August 13th, and then drove east again capturing Dreux two days later before turning north towards Mantes and Gassicourt.

The men of the Fifteenth established the first Allied bridgehead across the Seine River just east of Paris on August 19th, and ten days later passed through Paris and raced across France with the Third Army capturing Fontainbleau, Sens, Troyes, Neufchateu, and ending the campaign for northern France along the Moselle River at Charmes on September 14th.

Much hard fighting was ahead for the Corps as it was attached to the Seventh Army for operations in the Vosges Mountains. Corps troops slowly fought their way into German fortifications in the Vosges and crossed the Saar River at Sarrebourg and then crossed the Vosges Mountains to liberate Sarrebourg on November 23rd, becoming the first American troops to reach the Rhine River. Fighting to the north, the Corps was ordered to establish defensive lines in the Bitche Sector during the German winter attack in the Ardennes in order to relieve units to make a counterattack.

On March 15th, 1945, the XV went on the offensive and breached the Siegfried Line south of Zweibrucken. Corps elements reached the Rhine River on March 23rd and were given the mission of spearheading the attack across the Rhine.

On March 26th at 0230 hours in the morning, Corps units consisting of the 3rd and 45th Infantry Divisions made assault boat crossings of the river and a firm bridgehead was established on the east bank. Corps Engineers quickly built several bridges across the Rhine, and Corps Antiaircraft Artillery units fought off several enemy air attacks and were credited with bringing down seven enemy planes on the first day of the crossings.

Attacking to the northeast, the men of the XV captured Worms on March 21 st, crossed the Main River south of Hanau, captured Aschaffenburg on March 29th, arched to the south and captured Bamberg on April 14th, and drove to take Nurnberg in a three-day battle ending on April 20th after house-to-house fighting.

Without giving the retreating German forces time to regroup, elements of the Fifteenth attacked to the south and captured Donauworth and crossed the Danube River on April 26th. With the 3rd Infantry Division on the right flank, the 42nd Infantry and 20th Armored Divisions in the center and the 45th Infantry Division on the left, the Corps drove south to capture Aichach, took the huge underground gasoline storage area at Unterpfaffenhofen intact, liberated the inmates held at the notorious Dachau Concentration Camp, and captured Munich by April 30th.

Changing the direction of attack to the east, the Corps left the 45th Division to occupy Munich and raced to cross the Inn River and take Rosenheim and Wasserburg. Passing north and south of the Chiem See, the Fifteenth crossed into Austria and captured Salzburg on May 4th and established a line from Berchtesgaden to north of Laufen where they were located when the war in Europe ended.

Following a short period of occupation duty, the Corps was inactivated on March 31st, 1946, in Europe after having participated in four Campaigns.

The shoulder patch worn by the XV Corps was approved by the QMG on April 20th, 1943. Although the Corps was allocated to the Organized Reserve in 1921 , it had no approved official insignia until WW II. The Roman numerals "X" and "V" make "15" the unit's designation, and the colors blue and white are from the Corps' distinguishing flag. Two pre-war shoulder patches of different design have been attributed to the Corps, but there is no record of these being worn or approved.

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History || Honor Roll