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.

  • 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 Jason,

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

    Lot of information here.

    Thank you.

Reply Children
  • PFC Donald E. Thompson, member of I Company, 3rd Battalion,

    180th Infantry Regiment, per the 29 June 1945 Roster of the

    45th Infantry Division.  Screen shot attached.

    According to the regimental After Action Report of May 1945,

    the 1st and 2nd Battalions were assigned to guard duty at KZ Dachau.

    "On 20 May, the Regiment was incorporated under the Dachau Area

    Command.  Under this Headquarters, the Regimental CP became the

    Dachau Area Command Headquarters."

    George Fisher, in his superb "The Story of the 180th Infantry Regiment,"

    states "On June 9th, our Regiment was relieved of its mission of guarding

    the Dachau Concentration Camp by the 72nd AAA Battalion.  The Regimental

    Command Post was moved into Dachau and training began."

    It appears that most of the regiment remained in the Dachau vicinity until

    20 July, when the regiment embarked by train for Camp St. Louis. "Train

    No. 9, commanded by Major Kirk A. Meaders, and carrying personnel of

    our Third Battalion and five Officers and 95 Enlisted Men of the 120th

    Medical Battalion, left Dachau at 2:35."

    When I have time, Jon, I will look through the General Orders of the 180th

    and see if I can find a CIB for your dad.


    29 June 1945 Division Roster
  • Wow. Thank you, Dave.

    That's the most information, all in one place, nailing things down to a specific place and time, that I've seen on Dad. It's like a window back in time.

    Up till now everything was basically small scattered pieces to the puzzle. His discharge of course just general information, various theaters served in, listing  him attached to HQ CO 290 INF, 75th DIV, but that didn't explain the 3rd DIV patch on his uniform. I've always guessed that was possibly for convenience of shipping home. I've often thought he may have been attached to the 75th after they were sent south to the Colmar Pocket, and when that was over, and the 75th went back north, Dad was transferred out to - my best guess at the time - the 3rd Division.

    This explains the book he had on the 180th Regiment. I always felt there was more than a random reason he would have that, though his name\photo is not in the book.

    I found that book on the 180th Regiment by George Fisher on line. Will order it. 

    Thanks again.