The 3rd Armored Division History Foundation - an online archive of the U.S. Army's famous
"Spearhead" Division of WW II, Cold War, and Gulf War I - Desert Storm

Click for: Introduction to the Division

  NOTE: This website is not yet formatted for smart-phones. Please view with a tablet, laptop, desktop, or smart-TV.

3AD Annual Reunion coming on November 15-17, 2018
The all-era Association of 3d Armored Division Veterans (A3ADV)
to meet in Columbus, Georgia, home of Ft. Benning
See Newsletter for details and for latest info
on the 3AD monument planned for Ft. Benning

The Desert Storm Victory Parade of 1991 is in the News again with Pres. Trump's
decision of a similar D.C. display of military might on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2018.

ABOVE: A battalion-size formation of 3AD troops is shown in the Desert Storm Victory Parade in Washington, D.C. on June 8, 1991, the largest such parade in the U.S. since immediately following WW II. At the lead is Maj. Gen. Jerry R. Rutherford (third from right), followed by his staff. Rutherford had taken command of the 3AD from Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk in Kuwait after Desert Storm. The above Spearhead troops had flown from West Germany for the event and are shown after crossing D.C.'s Memorial Bridge. Over 10,000 personnel from all service branches took part in the parade, which included Constitution Ave. and ended at the Pentagon.

At the WWll 3rd Armored Division Association reunion held Aug. 16-20, 2017, in Philadelphia, three Spearhead WWII veterans shared stories and answered questions from friends and families. Each was a tank crewman in the thick of combat in France, Belgium, and into Germany. Left to right: Joe Caserta, age 95; Walt Stitt, 93; and Clarence Smoyer, 94. (Photo by Gary Edmondson)

Much anticipated new book about the 3AD
Release date moved to late April 2018


Written by Bradley Gericke, Phd and military historian, and author of David Petraeus: A Biography, this narrative history of the 3AD covers its activation in 1941 until its flag folded in 1992. Gericke earned a commission in armor from West Point in 1988 and rose to Brig. Gen. before retirement.

The book provides a detailed campaign narrative of the Division in WWll that highlights its accomplishments in the breakout of Normandy, the fighting in northern France and Belgium, and the pursuit across Germany. It explains the historical development of the U.S. armored force as well as artillery and other weapons systems, including tactical nuclear. The book presents interesting leader capsules and vignettes of small unit actions. It includes coverage of the 3AD's preparation, deployment, and battlefield conduct during the Persian Gulf War.

The U.S. Army's Third Armored Division in Battle will be available in hardcover from Amazon. com and others for about $48.00 plus shipping.

Scroll down for a small sampling
of the online archives.

3AD Headquarters, Drake Kaserne, Frankfurt/M, West Germany, in 1957
The Division's Hq installation on Homburgerlandstr. from 1956 to 1992 (36 years)
An original 35mm Kodachrome slide located in 2015 by Jim MacClay of Staff

3rd Armored Shermans firing 75mm high-explosive rounds as artillery southeast of Stolberg, Germany, on Nov. 16, 1944. This was the furthest advance into Germany by any Allied force at that point in the war.

3AD Cold War Training in the Defense of Western Europe

Cold War exercise at Hohenfels Training Area, West Germany, in the 1980's. These 3AD soldiers (2 photos above) and their specific unit(s) were unfortunately not identified in available records. Anyone with that information, or other details, please contact the webmaster.

A Remarkable Tribute to the Spearhead Legacy
The Top Three U.S. Army Generals by rank in January 2012
-- All were veterans of the 3rd Armored Division --

Photo montage by

Left to right:


Gen. Martin Dempsey
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Gen. Raymond Odierno
Chief of Staff of the Army

Gen. Peter Chiarelli
Vice Chief of Staff of the Army

  4-Star Generals, from left: Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was Executive Officer (XO) of 3AD's 3rd Brigade in Operation Desert Storm. Full service in 3AD was 1988-1991, also including XO of 4/67 Armor; Gen. Raymond Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army, served as XO of 3AD's 2nd Bn, 3rd Field Artillery in late Cold War, then as XO of Division Artillery in Operation Desert Storm. During 2008-2010, Odierno was Commanding General of U.S. forces in Iraq; Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, served in the 3AD during 1985-88, including 1/33 Armor and as Bn S-3 of the 4-8 Cav where he was considered the behind-the-scene "brains" of Spearhead's historic victory (by D-4-8 Cav) at NATO's 1987 CAT tank gunnery competition. VIDEO SECTIONS

 3AD in World War II   Gulf War I & Desert Storm
 3AD in Cold War   Interviews of WWII Vets

3AD Desert Storm scenes in Iraq in February, 1991

President John F. Kennedy inspects the 3AD at Hanau, West Germany, in 1963
Life Magazine photo

The 280mm Atomic Cannon that was de facto attached to the 3rd Armored in West Germany during much of the late 1950's and early '60's for purposes of the cannon's security and shared artillery field exercises. However it remained under direct operational control by a special V Corps nuclear crew. Pictured above as part of a public weapons display near Frankfurt, the cannon could fire 550-pound nuclear and conventional shells up to 20 miles with great accuracy. The photo, a Kodachrome slide, was located by Jim MacClay of staff in 2016. (Photo copyright by Merritt Nesin)

Sp4 Elvis Presley
Possibly the best singer in the Division's history

Elvis received his draft notice at age 23 in Memphis, TN, and was inducted on March 24, 1958, After 6 months at basic and advanced training at Ft, Hood, TX, he was assigned to the 3rd Armored Division's 1st Battalion, 32nd Armor Regiment, Ray Barracks, Friedberg, West Germany. Elvis served with the Division from 10/1/58 to 3/1/60 with an MOS of 133.60: Armor Intelligence Specialist, or "Scout", and by all accounts he was a first-rate soldier. Shortly before his discharge, he was promoted to Sgt. E-5. (Presley photo montage above © 3rd Armored Division History Foundation)

Much more about Elvis and the 3rd Armored Division is in our "At Ease" section

About this website: Copyright © 2003-2018 by the 3rd Armored Division History Foundation. All rights reserved. This website,, is not associated with the U.S. Department of the Army or the Department of Defense. This site is a private, non-profit, historical project that is supported and maintained on behalf of 3rd Armored Division veterans and their families.

Return to Top