7th VII Corps Shoulder Sleeve Insignia Patch Subdued 3 x 3 in.
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The VII Army Corps of the United States Army was one of the two principal corps of the United States Army Europe during the Cold War. Activated in 1918 for World War I, it was reactivated for World War II and again during the Cold War. During both World War II and the Cold War it was subordinate to the Seventh Army, or USAREUR and was headquartered at Kelley Barracks in Stuttgart, West Germany, from 1951 until it was redeployed to the US after significant success in the Gulf War in 1991, then inactivated in 1992.
World War I
VII Corps was organized at the end of World War I on 19 August 1918, at Remiremont, France and was inactivated on 11 July 1919. It was commanded by Major Generals William M. Wright, Omar Bundy, William G. Haan, and Henry Tureman Allen. It was composed of the 6th, 81st and 88th Divisions, and served in the Vosges Sector.
World War II
VII Corps was reactivated at Fort McClellan, Alabama 25 November 1940 and participated in the Louisiana Maneuvers staged as the US Army prepared for World War II. In late December 1941, VII Corps HQ was moved to San Jose, California as part of the Western Defense Command and as it continued to train and prepare for deployment.
Its first return to continental Europe took place on D-Day in June 1944, as one of the two assault corps for the U.S. First Army during Operation Overlord, targeting Utah Beach via amphibious assault. For Overlord, the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions were attached to VII Corps. After the Battle of Normandy the airborne units were assigned to the newly created XVIII Airborne Corps. Subsequently, VII Corps participated in many battles during the advance across France; this included taking 25,000 German prisoners during the Battle of the Mons Pocket in early September 1944. The corps subsequently took part in the invasion of Germany until the surrender of the Third Reich in May 1945. The corps was inactivated in 1946.
Battle of Normandy
Major General J. Lawton Collins, VII Corps, describes the taking of Cherbourg to General Omar Bradley, First Army.
For the Normandy Operation, VII Corps was part of 21st Army Group under the command of General Bernard Montgomery and the U.S. First Army commanded by Lieutenant General Courtney Hodges. The Corps was commanded by Major General J. Lawton Collins.
VII Corps led the initial assault of Operation Cobra, the First Army-led offensive as part of the breakout of the Normandy area. Its success is credited with changing the war in France from high-intensity infantry combat to rapid maneuver warfare.
VII Corps details courtesy of Wikipedia.