the National Archives
The 60th. Infantry was organized on 10 June, 1917 from elements of
the highly decorated 7th. U.S. Infantry. It was assigned to the
5th. Division on 17 November, 1917 and remained with that division
throughout World War I. The regiment sailed for France on 4
April 1918 and during the war participated in four campaigns,
including St. Mihiel, the first American Offensive, Alsace and
It was during the Meuse-Argonne Battle that the 60th. Infantry
first demonstrated the tenacity and determination leading to the motto
"To The Upmost Extent of Our Power", when it succeeded , after
repeated failures by other units, in seizing the French village of
Cuncel. It was during this epic struggle that Captain Samuel
Woodfill earned the Medal of Honor. Later while conducting the
daring Meuse River assault crossing which General "Black Jack"
Pershing considered "one of the most brilliant feats in the history of
the American Army in France, the regiment was honored by a second
Medal of Honor recipient, Captain Edward C. Allsworth.
At the end of World War I the regiment was assigned to Occupation
duty until the following summer, when it returned to the United
States. On 21 September 1921 the regiment was de-activated,
although it remained on the rolls of the regular Army. The
peaceful years between World War I and II were dormant ones for the
60th. Infantry. After several paper transfers it was assigned to
the 9th. Infantry Division on 10 August, 1940. This began an
association which has lasted to this day.
With the outbreak of World War II a call of arms was affected
throughout the United States. The 60th. Infantry was activated
in the summer of 1940. From then until late in 1942, the
regiment was engaged in training for the tasks that lay ahead.
The 9th. Division and the Regiment quickly attained a reputation of
excellence, and as a result, the division was earmarked to participate
in the first combat operation against the Germans of World War
II---the assault landing in North Africa. On 7 November, 1942
the Regiment found itself locked in deadly combat with the French
defenders of the German controlled Port Lyautery in French Morocco.
During this operation the regiment made the 9th. Division's first
river assault of the war by crossing the River Oued.
After a period of time spent in guarding routes of communication
and training, the 60th. Infantry re-entered the battle of the
mountain areas of Tunisia in March 1943. The GO-DEVILS developed
the ability to traverse mountains quickly and was repeatedly used by
the division to outflank enemy positions by going through terrain
considered impassable. It was during this period that Sergeant
William L. Nelson of the 2nd. Battalion won the 9th. Division's first
Medal of Honor. At the cost of his life he halted a dangerous
German counter-attack which threatened to engulf his unit. The
2nd. Battalion earned the Division's first Distinguished Unit
By May 1943 the regiment had added two more campaign streamers to
it's colors, Algeria-French Morocco and Tunisia. On 1 August,
1943, the GO-DEVILS landed on the Island of Sicily. Sicily
became the seventh campaign streamer to be added to the regiment's
colors, after two weeks of fierce mountain fighting.
The period between November 1943 and June 1944 was spent in England
preparing for the invasion of France. On 7 June the regiment
sailed for the assault beaches, and during the next ten days launched
a vital attack which resulted in the 2nd Battalion's second
Distinguished Unit Citation. During the massive offensive, the
GO-DEVILS repeatedly demonstrated their mobility and aggressiveness.
The heroic actions of men such as 2LT. John E. Butts of Company E,
2nd. Battalion, did much to aid in the final destruction of the enemy.
On 7 September 1944 the 3rd Battalion was awarded the Distinguished
Unit Citation after suffering the highest casualties during the
crossing of the treacherous River Meuse. On 14 September the
regiment entered the final phase of World War II with its advance into
Germany. During the early part of 1945 Company B was awarded the
Distinguished Unit Citation for its part in the seizure of the town of
Haven. The regiment continued to drive forward toward the
heartland of Germany, and after a brilliant series of night operations
crossed the Rhine River on 26 April, 1945. The 60th Infantry had
participated in five major campaigns on the continent: Normandy,
Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe.
The regiment occupied Germany until late 1946. On 15 July
1947, after a short inactivation, the regiment was re-activated as a
training unit at Fort Dix, New Jersey. In 1954 it was again
shipped overseas to Germany. It remained part of the NATO forces
guarding Europe until 1 August, 1956, when it was split up and
redistributed. On 1 February 1966, as a result of the war in
Vietnam, the 9th. Division was re-activated and along with her the
2nd, 3rd, and 5th. Battalions of the 60th. Infantry. Once again
the GO-DEVILS took their place on the firing line.
Arriving in the Republic of Vietnam in December 1966, with other
elements of the 9th. Infantry Division, the 5th. Battalion, 60th.
Infantry, pushed its way south from Bearcat to establish its Base Camp
in Rach Kien, Long An Province. The months that followed saw the
construction of a well fortified base of operations and concentrated
efforts toward the elimination of all insurgent activity within Long
An Province. Minor skirmishes with local guerrillas and hard
core Viet Cong constituted the paramount efforts of the unit in its
first year in the Republic of Vietnam.
The TET Offensive, 1967-1968, posed new and greater challenges for
the GO-DEVIL Brigade. Such places of battle as Ben Tre, An Nhut
Tan, Ben Luc, Rach Kien and Peoples Road stand as important victories
for the 5th. Battalion, 60th. Infantry.
In June 1968 the 5th Battalion, 60th. Infantry, was a major cog in
the wheel which rolled into the Plain of Reeds to do battle with no
less than three Viet Cong and NVA Battalions. Total destruction
of two of the insurgent battalions was the result of that action which
has been termed a classic in counter insurgency warfare.
The standard is high, and the history of the 5th. Battalion, 60th.
Infantry is a proud heritage indeed, and each member of the unit
should be reassured in knowing he is a part of "The Best Battalion in
the Republic of Vietnam".