Seeking Roster for 45th Inf Division WW2

Short version, I know that my father was transferred from the Army Air Corps to the infantry, I don't know to what division, in the winter of 1944, when the Allies were lined up along the Rhine.

His discharge papers list him as part of HQ & HQ Company 290 Infantry, which, if I'm right was part of the 75th Division, but they were farther to the north, involved in the Bulge. His old dress uniform has a 3rd Infantry Division shoulder patch.

Dad told us he was at Dachau. Just that, no other details. I know that the 45th, the 42nd, and the 3rd Divisions swept down through that area. The 3rd Division was not directly involved in the liberation of Dachau, but Dad, if he was with the 3rd Division, could have been sent over to see the camp. Eisenhower wanted as many as possible to witness the camps.

In his effects was a hard cover book, similar to school year books, of the 180 Infantry, 45th Division, published in Munich,1945. Dad's photo or name is not in the book. Circumstance may have prevented that. Possibly because he had enough points to be shipped home. I have to wonder why he would have that particular book.

Primarily I'm looking for a roster of the 45th Division, but also interested in the same for the 3rd Division.

I look forward to any and all replies.

Thank you.

  • Every Tom, Dick and Harry in the Seventh Army and beyond

    claimed to have liberated Dachau KZ on 29 April 1945 or to have

    been there afterwards.

    Nonetheless, I do have a roster of the 45th Infantry Division for 1945.

    If you provide your dad's name, I can check it.

  • Is the 3rd ID patch on his right or left shoulder (as he would have worn the uniform)?  If it is on the righthand side, as he wore it, then this means the unit he served with was attached to the 3rd ID during combat operations.

    The 42nd and 45th Infantry Divisions and the 20th Armored Division liberated Dachu, however there were many subcamps and soldiers with our unit, the 36th Infantry Division, often related in the stories they told to their families that they liberated Dachu, when technically it was a subcamp called Kaufring II in Landsburg. However, everyone at that time had heard of Dachu so it is what stuck in people's minds. So he might have actually meant one of the subcamps which would increase the number of possible units.

    One story I often share to illustrate how we have to look at the stories left by soldiers and their families helps illustrate the problem. One of our soldiers told his family about his participation in D-Day in France. They assumed he meant the more well known D-Day in Northern France in June 1944, but what he was actually talking about was the D-Day in Southern France in August 1944. So the stories that came down through the family where all about dad or grandpa's taking part in the D-Day landings on Normandy because they'd never heard about the ones in Southern France. I had to show them his records, with our unit to prove that he was nowhere near Normandy in June 1944.

    Your relative might have been told at the time that his unit was liberating a Dachu camp and it just stuck that it was "the" Dachu camp instead of one of its many sub camps.

    Good luck with your search.


    Lisa Sharik

    Texas Military Forces Museum

  • Dear Mr. Thompson,

    Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

    Rosters for units serving in World War II from 1944 - 1946 were destroyed in accordance with Army disposition authorities.

    If you haven’t already done so, we suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for soldiers of the U.S. Army who served during World War II and who separated from the service before 1960 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis. In many cases where personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, proof of service can be provided from other records such as morning reports, payrolls, and military orders, and a certificate of military service will be issued. Please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. In Section 1, Item 1, where it asks which items you are requesting, please check “Other” and specify that you want the entire file. If there is any information requested by the form that you do not know, you may omit it or provide estimates (such as for dates), but the more information you provide, the easier it will be to locate the correct file if it survived the fire. Veterans and next of kin of deceased veterans also may use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.

    Please be aware that NPRC is prioritizing the requests for separation documents needed by veterans and their dependents to prove eligibility for a variety of benefits. NPRC expects to eliminate this portion of the backlog by fall 2022, and restore their pre-pandemic response times of under ten days for these requests later this fall. It will take considerably longer to eliminate the backlog on other types of requests, such as genealogical requests for complete copies of records. For more information, please refer to Onsite Operations at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis.

    We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Morning Reports, ca. 1912 - 1946 for Army units that may include morning reports of the component units of the 45th Infantry Division and the 3rd Infantry Division, as well as the 290 Infantry Regiment. One possible method of researching his assignments is to start with the morning resorts for the last unit to which he was assigned, which would be the HQ & HQ Company 290 Infantry Regiment. The muster rolls often indicate which unit a soldier is transferring from when he is first noted on the muster rolls as transferring to the unit. However, please note that these records are not online and NARA is not staffed to do this level of research for you. To access these records for the 1940s, you will need to either make an appointment to visit the National Archives at St. Louis or hire a researcher. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL) at

    You may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RL-SL. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience as we balance mission-critical work and the safety of our staff during the pandemic.  Please check NARA’s web page about COVID-19 updates for the latest information.

    The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum provides information about which units liberated which camps on their  Recognition of U.S. Liberating Army Units website.

    We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!

  • Hi Lisa,

    The 3rd Div patch is on the left shoulder.

    Regarding his Discharge showing him attached to the HQ CO 290 INF, (75th INF DIV), his personal effects include a 75th ID patch. Also in that collection are two Army Air Corps patches - he started out in the Air Corps - and one USSTAF patch, which the Air Corps evolved into sometime prior to the crossing of the Rhine.

    I have a newspaper clipping from the local paper that he had informed his parents that he had been transferred to the infantry - from the Air Corp/Air Force - of course there would be no mention of what unit he was transferred to, and this was during the winter of '44, when they were pulling men from all branches to fill the line.

    I've always wondered why there is a 3rd ID patch on his uniform when his discharge indicates 75th ID.

    Lot of pieces to the puzzle.

  • Hi Jason,

    Yeah, I've heard of that fire in 1973. A shame.

    Lot of information here.

    Thank you.

  • Hey Dave, I’m new to this site and stumbled across this thread. I know it is old but thought I’d try to reach out. I have been trying to find out more about my grandfathers service and think he might have been a part of the 45th and was hoping you might see this and be able to check for me.

    like the original poster my grandfather was originally in the army air corp as a belly gunner in I believe the B24, but was transferred to infantry after a perforated eardrum. He also claimed to have been at Dachau and talked about it to some detail when I was younger. He also talked about some time in Italy and to the best of my knowledge (granted I am no expert) the 42nd was never in Italy.

    Anyways if you see this his name was Clarence LaHayne and he was enlisted. If you see this and check out your roster I would love to know what you find.

  • Hi, Ben.

    No record of Clarence E. LaHayne in the June 1945 Roster of the 45th Infantry Division nor

    in my General Orders' Worksheet.

    It is curious that his draft card ( has an annotated discharge date of 31 March 1946.

    The majority of the 45th ID GIs who returned in September 1945 were discharge Nov. - Dec. 1945


  • Hi Dave,

    I came on this site hoping to find a clue to Dad's whereabouts in Germany after crossing the Rhine, but I have to say I don't appreciate him being dismissed as every Tom, Dick, and Harry. Dad was not given to bragging about his three years in Europe. I can count on one hand the stories - harmless stories - we know of his time over there. He never claimed to have liberated Dauchau, just that he was there, no other details, and we only learned that toward the end of his life. We have every reason to believe him, because he was not the kind to tell stories just to make himself look good.

    His name was Donald E. Thompson, PFC. Hometown - Argyle.

    Thank you.

    Jon Thompson