Lou J. Divin
Biography: Lou James Divin was born on September 2, 1911, in Bolivar, Polk County, Missouri. He was one of four sons and four daughters born to Mike Joseph Divin Jr and Ruzena F. Korn. The 1925 Kansas State Census indicates the family was living in Jennings, Decatur County, KS and the 1930 U.S. Census shows the family living in Altory, located in the same county of KS. In 1940, the U.S. Census indicates the family is living in Melba, Canyon County, Idaho and Lou is working as a farm laborer. His enlistment record states he completed one year of high school.
Service Time: Lou entered the Army on April 1, 1941 at Salt Lake City, Utah. We don’t have information on Lou’s early time in the service but on February 18, 1942, Private Divin was assigned to and joined Company B of the 607th Tank Destroyer Battalion, located at Sunnyvale, California on that date. He trained with the unit at a number of locations including: Fort Ord, Camp San Luis Obispo, Hunter Liggett Military Reservation and the Desert Training Center, all in California, along with Camp Hood, Texas and Camp Cooke, CA. While they originally trained with M10 tank destroyers, the unit was converted to a towed battalion, utilizing the M5 3” gun, on December 15, 1943.
Arriving at Liverpool, England, on April 21, 1944, they continued training. Company B landed at Utah Beach, Normandy, France on June 23rd and supported the advance on Cherbourg, fighting along the Seves River in July. They joined the drive to Le Mans and envelopment of the Falaise Pocket in August, advancing to the Moselle River in September and supporting operations against Metz through November. The unit converted to a self-propelled battalion equipped with M36 tank destroyers in time for the final assault on Metz.
Continuing the drive toward the Saar River, they participated in the attack on Saarlautern, Germany, followed by the subsequent fight against the Siegfried Line in December. The unit was deployed to the Ardennes sector in January 1945 and were again committed against the Siegfried Line in February in the Schnee Eifel. On March 4th, Sgt Divin was Lightly Wounded in Action. Supporting the capture of Koblenz, Germany in mid-March, they crossed the Rhine River at Boppard on March 25. The unit continued to drive east through Hessen and Thüringen during April.
On April 10th, the 2nd Task Force Sundt, which included Company B, was formed. The force was organized into three composite companies consisting of 1 platoon of TD’s, 1 platoon of tanks, 1 platoon of infantry, 1 recon platoon with a reserve of the engineer platoon, pioneer platoon and the TD recon platoon. On the 11th, all three of the companies were approaching Trassdorf, Germany in the late morning. They were met with heavy enemy artillery and direct fire. First Company was ordered to bypass the town and during the afternoon, they were directed to attack Stadtilm, where they encountered heavy observed artillery and direct fire. As darkness fell, all units bivouacked in place. Sergeant Lou J. Divin was killed on this day. The unit records have no information as to what caused his death. It’s possible that one of the two incidents of heavy artillery and direct fire were the cause.
He was awarded the Good Conduct, EAME, with credit for the campaigns of Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe, WWII Victory and the Purple Heart medals. He was also posthumously awarded the Oak Leaf Cluster to the Purple Heart Medal. Sergeant Divin was temporarily buried in Europe but in 1948 he was repatriated to the U.S. and buried in the Mount Cavalry Cemetery in Nampa, Canyon, Idaho. We would like to thank Sergeant Divin for making the ultimate sacrifice for his country. Thank you to Find-a-Grave contributor Sue Ann Harfst for use of the grave marker photo.