Activated 15 Dec 42  •  Entered Combat 29 Mar 1945  •  Days of Combat 34  •  Casualties 785


Commanding Generals

Maj. Gen. Alexander E. Anderson   (Dec 42 - Jan 43) 
Maj. Gen. Harris M. Melasky   (Jan 43 - Dec 45)



Rhineland (15 Sep 44 - 21 Mar 45)
Ardennes-Alsace (16 Dec 44 - 25 Jan 45)
Central Europe (22 Mar 45 - 11 May 45)

Campaign Route Map of the 86 Infantry Division


This vintage map chart the journey of the 86th Infantry Division throughout World War II. The map can be zoomed in and purchased at HistoryShots.com.


The 86th Infantry Division arrived in France, 4 March 1945, and moved to Koln, Germany, taking over defensive positions near Weiden, 24 March, in relief of the 8th Infantry Division. After a short period of patrolling on both sides of the Rhine, the Division was relieved, and moved across the Rhine to Eibelshausen, Germany, 5 April. In a rapid offensive advance, the 86th moved across the Bigge River, cleared Attendorn, 11 April, and continued on to the Ruhr, taking part in the Ruhr pocket fighting. On 21 April, the Division moved to Ansbach and continued to advance, taking Eichstatt on the 25th, crossing the Danube on the 27th, securing the bridge over the Amper Canal, 29 April, crossing the Isar and reaching Mittel Isar Canal by the end of the month. The Division was ordered to take Wasserburg, 1 May, and leading elements had reached the outskirts of the city when they were ordered to withdraw, 2 May, and to move east to Salzburg. The Division was securing the left flank of the XV Corps, when the war in Europe ended. After processing German prisoners of war, it was redeployed to the United States, arriving in New York 17 June 1945. The Division trained briefly at Camp Gruber, Okla., 21 June-11 August 1945; and then left San Francisco, 24 August 1945, for the Philippines.

Notes and sources:
Date Activated is the date the division was activated or inducted into federal service (national guard units).
Casualties are number of killed, wounded in action, captured, and missing.
The dates after the campaign name are the dates of the campaign not of the division.
The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States; , U.S. Government Printing Office. Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths in World War II, Final Report, 1 December 1941 - 31 December 1946. US Army Center of Military History at http://www.history.army.mil/ Various divisional histories