Charles A. Catania, Army T-5 Armored Car Division, Germany 1943-1946
The 3rd Armored Division ("Spearhead") was an armored division of the United States Army. Unofficially nicknamed the "Third Herd", the division was first activated in 1941, and was active in the European Theater of World War II.
Major General Maurice Rose - (November 26, 1899 – March 30, 1945) was a United States Army general during World War II and World War I veteran. The son and grandson of rabbis from Poland, General Rose was at the time the highest ranking Jew in the U.S. Army.
During World War II, Rose served in three armored divisions. In North Africa, he served with the 1st Armored Division. During the campaign in Tunisia, General Rose was the first officer to accept the unconditional surrender of a large German unit.
Battle of Paderborn - was bombed by allied aircraft in 1944 and 1945 (85% destruction, including many of the historic buildings). It was seized by the US 3rd Armored Division during a pitched battle 31 March - 1 April 1945, in which tanks and flamethrowers were used during combined mechanized-infantry assaults against the city's southwestern, southern and southeastern approaches.
Into battle - The first elements of the 3rd Armored in France saw combat on 29 June, with the division as a whole beginning combat operations on 9 July 1944. During this time, it was under the command of VII Corps and XVIII Airborne Corps for some time, and assigned to the First Army and the 12th Army Group for the duration of its career.
The division "spearheaded" the US First Army through Normandy, taking part in a number of engagements, notably including the Battle of Saint Lô, where it suffered significant casualties. After facing heavy fighting in the hedgerows, and developing methods to overcome the vast thickets of brush and earth that constrained its mobility, the unit broke out at Marigny, alongside the 1st Infantry Division, and swung south to Mayenne. The engineers and maintenance crews took the large I-Beam Invasion barriers from the beaches at Normandy and used the beams to weld large crossing rams on the front of the Sherman tanks. They would then hit the hedgerows at high speed, bursting through them without exposing the vulnerable underbellies of the tanks. Until this happened, they could not get across the hedgerows.