U.S. ARMY 1ST ARMORED DIVISION UNIT CREST

The story of the 1st Armored Division in North Africa mirrors that of the overall Allied campaign following the landings dubbed Operation Torch: initial successes in late 1942, tactical defeats in the first few months of 1943, and eventual domination over the deteriorating Afrika Korps.  Following setbacks at Sidi Bou Zid and Kasserine Pass, the division began to push back the German forces to the east and north, eventually advancing on Ferryville and Mateurs in northern Tunisia, taking Ferryville just days before the Germans began surrendering on May 9, 1943.

These successes were followed by the division’s participation in Operation Avalanche, the invasion of Italy, in September 1943. After assaulting the nearly impenetrable German defensive fortifications called the Winter Line in November 1943, the 1st Armored took part in the January, 1944 landings at Anzio that flanked many of the enemy’s defensive lines and opened the road to Rome. Following the fall of the Italian capital, the division continued advancing up the Italian boot into the Po Valley, where some of the fiercest German defenses of the entire war were encountered. By the end of the war, the division had captured over 40 towns and taken nearly 110,000 prisoners.

The 1st Armored Division's Distinctive Unit Insignia, more familiarly known to soldiers as a Unit Crest, is composed of an equilateral triangle divided into three sections and perched atop a rectangular base bearing the unit's nickname, "Old Ironsides." At the apex of the triangle is an Arabic number "1," and in the middle of the triangle is a gun in front of a tank track and wheels, over which is superimposed a red lightning flash. Note that the design of the 1st Armored's Unit Crest is identical to the design of its CSIB (Combat Service Identification Badge) as well as its shoulder sleeve insigina, or Unit Patch.
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