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Fifteenth U.S. Army / 15th Army

The Fifteenth Army, the final U.S. Army for ETOUSA, was activated in the United States in August 1944 and began operations in Britain in late November. The Fifteenth Army became operational on the Continent on 6 January 1945, and Lieutenant General Leonard T. Gerow became its commander. Gerow left V Corps to assume command of Fifteenth Army on 15 January 1945. Fifteenth Army became responsible for the coordination of all movement of field force units from the beaches to army areas.

As it had since 28 November 1944, the Ninth Army, on 1 February 1945, stood poised on the banks of the Roer River. Most of the Ninth's divisions had been transferred to the First Army to allow it to counterattack the German offensive effort in the Ardennes. The Ninth Army plan called for the XVI Corps to make an assault crossing at Rheinberg. Once this bridgehead was enlarged sufficiently, the XIX Corps would also be committed east of the Rhine. The XIII Corps would continue to secure the west bank of the Rhine. After being relieved of its mission to secure the west bank by the Fifteenth Army, which was acting as an army of occupation behind the Ninth Army, the XIII Corps would join the XVI and XIX Corps west of the Rhine.

In March 1945 Fifteenth U.S. Army took over control of containing forces in Brittany and in April 1945 the occupation of the Rhineland. Besides occupational duties, Fifteenth Army did not have operational responsibilities for the offensive in Germany. Fifteenth Army never had more than two corps assigned to it. The Army was used to prepare forces for occupational responsibilities following the defeat of Germany in May 1945.

General George S. Patton became Commander of Fifteenth Army, then a paper army assigned the mission of recording the history of the European war. In August 1945 the Theater General Board was formed from the 15th Army under command of General Patton, to study the conduct of the war and draw lessons therefrom. Patton died as a result of an automobile accident on the 9th day of December 1945, near 15th Army Headquarters, located at Bad Nauheim.

The shoulder sleeve insignia was approved on 26 Oct 1944. Within a 1/8 inch (.32cm) olive drab border a pentagon 1 13/16 inches (4.60cm) on a side, divided per saltire and charged with the letter "A" 1 7/8 inches (4.76cm) in height, all counterchanged red and white. The insignia is in the colors of an army. The division per saltire and the five sides of the pentagon are suggestive of the numerical designation of the organization while the letter "A" indicates that the organization is an army.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:21:12 ZULU