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63rd Infantry Division

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 06:12 PM

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Sixty-Third Infantry Division / 63rd Division

"Blood and Fire"


World War II
Central Europe

June 15, 1943
March 1952
Feb 1968

Sept 27, 1945
Dec 1965


World War II:
The proud legend of the 63rd Infantry Division had its beginning at Casablanca in January 1943, when Prime Minister Churchill of Great Britain coined the phrase that the Axis powers would "Bleed and Burn in expiation of their crimes against humanity". From that statement, Brigadier General Louis E. Hibbs, soon to become the division's commander,designed the shoulder insignia and the slogan "Blood and Fire".

On 15 June 1943, the Division was activated at Camp Blanding, Florida. The cadre manning the new division came from Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky's 98th Infantry Division. Following initial cadre training the division relocated some 650 miles to Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi, arriving there during the latter part of August 1943.

During the month of September 1943, men from reception centers all over the country rapidly brought the division up to strength, and intensive basic training commenced. In November 1943 the men of the division had completed basic and small unit training and were anticipating advance and larger unit maneuvers. This, however was not to be.

In December 1943, all privates, privates first class, along with some noncommissioned and junior officers were reassigned to other divisions alerted for overseas movement. The process of receiving replacements and training them only to have them reassigned as fillers for other divisions alerted for overseas movement was repeated twice again before the division was at long last alerted as a unit for overseas assignment.

During March and April 1944 the division was brought to full strength with replacements coming from training centers as well as men from the Army Specialist Training Program and the Army Air Corps Cadet Training Program. The latter two programs had been cut-back and their participants released for assignment to the Infantry.

As the division reached full strength again, training started anew. By November 1944 the division was ready for movement to an overseas area. On 6 November 1944, the 63rd Infantry Division advance party left Camp van Dorn by train for Camp Shanks, New York and ultimate shipment to France. The advance party or forward element of the division was known as Task Force Harris and consisted of the three Infantry Regiments,; the 253rd, 254th and 255th plus a small supporting staff. The Task Force was commanded by Brigadier General Frederick M. Harris.

Task Force Harris arrived in Marseille, France on 8 December 1944 and after a few days in a staging area moved by road and rail to Camp d'Oberhoffen, France located about midway betwen Colmar and Sarreguemines. By the end of December 1944, Task Force Harris was disbanded and all three regiments were reassigned to various divisions of the 6th Army Group. The 253rd was attached to the 44th Infantry Division in the Sarreguemines-Riming area; the 254th was attached to the 3rd Infantry Division in the Colmar Area, and the 255th was attached to the 100th Infantry Division near Bitche.

Thus the three regiments, separated from 63rd Infantry Division control were destined to make their own history until reunited with the Division in Mid-February 1945.

From mid-February 1945 until the end of the war, the 63rd Infantry Division made a path of Blood and Fire from Sarreguemines through the Siegfried Line to Worms, Mannheim, Heidelberg, Gunzburg and ending in Landsberg Germany at the end of April 1945 when the division was pulled from the line for a much needed rest.

By war's end Division units had participated in three (3) battle campaigns and its Infantry Regiments had been awarded seven (7) Distinguished Unit Awards (Now known as Presidential Unit Citations) and a French Croix de Guerre with palm.

During the period of December 1944 to May 1945 the division suffered over 1000 killed, more than 5000 wounded, over 1000 missing in action, 63 captured by the enemy and over 4000 non-battle casualties. Division forces captured ovcr 21,000 enemy soldiers.

In September 1945 the "Blood and Fire" division was restaffed with "high point men" from other divisions, returned to the United States and on 29th of September 1945 was inactivated.

Assignments in the ETO
10 December 1944: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.
1 February 1945: XV Corps.
22 February 1945: XXI Corps.
21 March 1945: XV Corps.
26 March 1945: XXI Corps.
1 April 1945: VI Corps.
19 April 1945: XXI Corps.
30 April 1945: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.

Post-World War II

The 63rd Infantry Division came back to life in March of 1952 when it was activated in the Los Angeles, CA area as a reserve Division. The division was deactivated again in December 1965, only to return to life again as the 63rd US Army Reserve Command in February 1968.

During the period after deactivation in 1965 and reactivation in 1968, elements of the 63rd Reinforcement Training Units (RTU) became involved in the staffing of the National Rifle Matches in Camp Perry, Ohio in the Spring of 1966. The 63rd RTU along with personnel from five other USAR divisions was tasked to staff the National Rifle Matches in lieu of their two weeks of Annual Active Duty Training. All reserve members of the support element were designated as the 63rd Div RTU Reserve Support Battalion and were placed under the command of a 63rd RTU officer who displayed the 63rd Infantry Division colors in the Battalion's Headquarters.

In 1967, the 63rd RTU was again tasked with the mission of providing support to the National Rifle Matches in Camp Perry, Ohio and again was assigned responsibility of command for all reserve component elements in the support unit. As in 1966, the support element was commanded by a 63rd RTU officer and the colors were again displayed in the support element headquarters.

In 1968 with the formation of the 63rd US Army Reserve Command, the RTU was inactivated and the 63rd Infantry Division colors were turned over to the 63rd US Army Reserve Command.(63rd ARCOM).

The 63rd ARCOM embraced California, Arizona and Nevada and was made up of Combat Service and Combat Service Support units and one tank battalion. During DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM 22 units of the ARCOM were mobilized. Fourteen (14) of these units were deployed to Saudi Arabia.

In April 1995, the United States Army Reserve Command, in response to a downsized force and redefined mission, announced its largest realignment in decades. As a result the 63rd was once again redesignated, this time as the US Army 63d Regional Support Command (RSC). Its geographic boundaries were realigned to conform with the standard federal district observed by the Federal Emergency Managment Agancy (FEMA) and other government agencies. This new alignment will held the 63rd support natural disasters and other regional crises much more quickly.

The 63d RSC's main mission will continue to be that of providing combat support and combat service support to units during deployments; to support troop projections by filling in for deploying active troops; providing port, rail and other transportation support; and act as the training base during full mobilization. The 63rd has command and control of approximately 14,000 soldiers serving in approximately 140 units in the States of California, Arizona and Nevada, with obligation to control budgets, manage supplies and provide personnel support and planning.

In addition the 63rd RSC has the increased responsiblity to support the major reserve commands located within its boundaries, including the 91st Division (Exercise), 104th Division (Institutional training) and the 311th Support Command (Corps). Support includes resource and logistic managment, personnel functions, real property management, and regional planning related to military support of civilian authorities.

In 2003 the command was redesignated as the 63rd Regional Readiness Command (RRC)

The 63rd RRC is currently commanded by Major General Robert B. Ostenberg and is headquartered in Los Alamitos, California. The 63rd RRC continues to support Active Army mission, both foreign and domestic, including participation in the peace implementation force in Bosnia and the conflict in Iraq..

It is expected that the current organization will be redesignated in 2008 as the 63rd Regional Readiness Sustainment Command and stationed at Moffett Field, CA.

Divisional history from:

#2 Jim Baker

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 06:28 PM

63rd ID, white back.

This patch also exists with a white sword.

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  • 63rd_Infantry___5_.JPG

Edited by Jim Baker, 04 January 2007 - 06:28 PM.

#3 GLM *Deceased*

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 06:31 PM




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#4 GLM *Deceased*

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 06:34 PM



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  • 63ID_02_rev.jpg

#5 tredhed2

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 08:19 PM

German-made patch w/ attached tab BLOOD AND FIRE

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  • INFDIV063_C.jpg

Edited by tredhed2, 23 March 2007 - 08:20 PM.

#6 tredhed2

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 08:32 PM

This is the real German-made, w/ yellow border and attached BLOOD AND FIRE tab

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  • 63rd_ID_Blood_and_Fire_tab.jpg

#7 Germanymp

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 11:31 AM

German made patch (front and back)

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  • 63rd_Inf_Div_German_made_small_front.JPG
  • 63rd_Inf_Div_German_made_small_back.JPG

#8 AndrewA74



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Posted 22 June 2008 - 04:22 PM

63rd Infantry Division, Subdued, Merrowed Edge.

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  • 63rd_ID.jpg

#9 Proud Kraut

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 09:30 AM

Another German made one with yellow border.


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#10 vzemke

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 01:03 PM

Some more variations

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#11 vzemke

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 01:04 PM

Here is an odd one.  Does not glow

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#12 historyfixer

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 02:00 PM

I love these!!!

#13 ryanduggerr

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 11:15 AM

These are great.

#14 patches

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 08:50 PM

Here is an odd one.  Does not glow




You know Vance this looks like one of those WW2 ones that was talked about awhiles ago,remember, manufacturer old stock, and that were  upgraded in the late 60s-early 70s with a merrowed border, with an additional bullion embellishment, not sure who would of done this, unit by the late 60s-earl 70s called 63rd ARCOM in the Reserves in California.

Edited by patches, 08 December 2016 - 08:51 PM.

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