2-60 History

History,
2nd Battalion 60th Infantry Regiment

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The Battalion is a part of a regiment which holds one of the most illustrious battle records in the American Army during the twentieth century. During three bloody wars on three continents, the 2d Battalion has played a conspicuous part in the division achievements of the Infantry Regiment and the 9th Infantry Divisions.

The Battalion was organized in June 1917 at the outset of the First World War from cadre furnished by the 7th U.S. Infantry Regiment. In November 1917 it was assigned to the 5th Infantry Division and quickly underwent its baptism of fire in the fierce warfare on the Western Front. The Battalion participated in the campaigns of St. Mihiel, Alsace and Lorraine and finally in war ending campaign of the Muese-Argonne. During this battle, 1LT Woodfill, later called by General Pershing “the outstanding doughboy of the war”, won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his single-handed destruction of a German company (with all available weapons from a machine gun to pick ax) as the Battalion made an epic crossing of the Muese River under ferocious enemy fire to help break the back of German resistance. Having successfully answered America’s call to arms, the Battalion was inactivated in South Carolina in 1921. A generation later, in August 1940, war clouds again gathered over Europe and again the Battalion answered its country’s call. With its assignment to the 9th Infantry Division, it once again became a part of the active Army. The Battalion fought with superb distinction throughout the Second World War. The outfit spearheaded the Algeria-French Morocco invasion at Port Lyautey, winning the arrowhead assault landing device in a bold action which laid the basis for its distinctive nick name ‘Scouts Out”. The Battalion culminated its successful North African campaigns with its heroic Easter Sunday defense against the massive German attack on the Battalion, under the leadership of “Iron Mike” Kauffman, and earned a Presidential Unit Citation.

In Sicily the Battalion continued its winning ways, culminating in the famous Ghost March where the unit infiltrated enemy lines and broke open the last of the German resistance.

In France during the heroic days of June 1944, the Battalion once again led the way for the division as it spearheaded the American advance out of the beachhead that cut the Contentin Peninsula and secured the vital Port of Cherburg. At the pivotal crossing of the Douve River, 1LT John Butts won the Medal of Honor and the Battalion gained another Presidential Unit Citation. Following the breakout at St. Lo, the battalion fought across France and in September 1944 made its second combat crossing of the Meuse River. Here, LTC Matt Urban won his Medal of Honor having gone AWOL from a hospital to rejoin his comrades and lead the in combat. After the bitter and bloody struggle in the Huertegen Forest, the Battalion displayed its immense reserves of courage and steadfastness by winning still another Presidential Unit citation in the snow and bitter cold of the Battle of the Bulge. Following the final advance into Central Europe the Battalion won another Presidential Unit Citation and the battalion was inactivated in November 1946 while in Germany. After service as the 2d Battle Group, 60th Infantry from 1958-1962, the Battalion was activated at Fort Riley, Kansas in 1966, this to meet the call to action in the jungle and rice paddies of Southeast Asia. it deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in December 1966 and fought with great valor during the next three years in the in the steaming rice paddies of the Mekong Delta. During these campaigns, the Battalion perfected the famous “jitterbug tactics” which featured split-second timing of airmobile insertions often within a dozen meters of the enemy. These operations were brilliantly successful and won the Battalion many more unit citations and streamers including one Presidential Unit Citation. The unit returned to the United States in 1970. On October 13,1970 the unit was deactivated at Ft. Lewis. The 2d Battalion, 60th infantry was reactivated on October 21, 1972 at Ft. Lewis. The 2d Battalion, 60th Infantry was inactivated on February 1991 at Ft. Lewis and relieved from assignment to the 9th Infantry Division. The battalion was finally called back to the roles of the active Army on 27 August 1996 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. As the only member of the 60th Infantry Regiment, the 2/60th instills the spirit of the “GO DEVIL” regiment and the “SCOUTS OUT” battalion into the hearts and minds of todays’ young fighting men and women. UNIT CREST: The 60th Regiment was originally organized with personnel from the 7th Infantry, which is represented by the canton (field gun from the battle of Cerro Gordo). It participated in WWI as an element of the 5th Infantry Division, the insignia of which is carried on the shield (red diamond). Black, white and red show engagements with Germany, and the wavy pale is for the Meuse River, the crossing of which near DUN in November, 1918 was an outstanding operation for the regiment. The crest and the motto (“To The Utmost Extent Of Our Power”) symbolizes the spirit of the battalion and are guides for the future conduct of the organization. BATTALION NICKNAME: “SCOUTS OUT”. On 11 June 1944, the 60th Regiment debarked at Utah Beach on the Cotentin Peninsula, Normandy, France. On 12 June, 1944, driving hard toward the St. Colombe in France, the 2nd Battalion, 60th Regiment completely outdistanced the rest of the 9th Division. For a time, the unit was even believed to be lost, but actually the battalion had overrun the German defenses in the face of murderous fire and had cut the main highway to the northwest. Instead of withdrawing, the battalion set up a bridgehead on the Douve River and held the position for seven hours until the rest of the Division caught up to them, facilitating the cutting of the pennisula. Due to this demonstration of rapid penetration and maneuver, the “Scouts Out” motto originated for the battalion. “Scouts Out” is the official greeting of the battalion. REGIMENTAL NICKNAME: “GO DEVILS”. In 1943 during the battle of Dedjenane Valley along the Tunisia-Algeria border, it was during the fanatical drive by the 60th Regiment that a captured German Generals’ diary was to give the regiment its nickname. In a German Generals’ account of American actions against the Germans, he wrote “Look at those devils go”, and thus the 60th Infantry Regiment became the “GO DEVILS”. The battalion has been credited with four Medal of Honor winners, Campaign Participation Credit for WWI (4), WWII (8), and Vietnam (11); and has received 5 Presidential Unit Citations.