Reinhardt, Emil Fred.

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Reinhardt, Emil Fred, born 27-10-1888 in West Bay City, now Bay City, Michigan, the son of Christoph L. Reinhardt and Seyville L., born, Tomhafe-Reinhardt. Emil graduated from Bay City Western High School in 1906 and the United States Military Academy at West Point , New York in 1910 and held a number of command and staff positions in the Army, eventually rising to the rank of Major General. In 1942,

Reinhardt attended the Divisional Commanders Course at Command and General Staff Colleqe at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and then was promoted to Major General on 17-04-1942 and also appointed the commanding general of 76th Infantry Division, nicknamed “Onaway Division,” “Liberty Bell Division” . He  was their commander until December 1942 and succeeded by Major General William Richard Schmidt

    who died age 76 on 18-07-1966 in Washington D.C. Under Schmidt 7.000 troops were taken from the 76th to build up forces for D-Day during April 1944 and their casualties in 107 days of combat, killed 667, wounded 2.197 and missed 262. In September 1944 Reinhardt was appointed commander of the 69th Infantry Division  at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. The shoulder sleeve insignia of the division was designed by its then commander Major General Charles Lawrence Bolt  with the red, white and blue being the colours of the United States forming a “6” and a “9”. The division was sent to Europe in December 1944 and entered combat in January 1945 when it relieved the 99thDivision, nicknamed “Battle Babies”  in Belgium. The division attacked rapidly eastward. It crossed the Rhine River on 27-03-1945, and captured the city of Leipzig in mid-April. On 25-04-1945, elements of the Division reached the Elbe River and became the first American unit to contact the Russian army.

Death and burial ground of Reinhardt, Emil Fred.

Major General Emil F. Reinhardt (left in hardhat), commanding the 69th Infantry Division of the U. S. First Army, meets with Russian Major General Vladimir Rusakov (right in cap), commanding the Russian 58th Guards Infantry Division , at Torgau, Germany.

After the end of the war the division was placed on occupation duty in Germany. Reinhardt returned to the United States in August 1945 and retired from the army in 1946. He died at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, age 80 on 24-07-1969. and is buried on Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. Close by the grave of General Henry “Hammering Hank” Hodes  and Charles Hall.

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