Russell Herman Sines joined the 80th Division in 1942 in the 317 Infantry. This division during World War I and World War II, was nicknamed the “Blue Ridge Division”, it was initially composed of draftees from the mid-Atlantic states of Virginia, West Vir
Russell Herman Sines joined the 80th Division in 1942 in
the 317 Infantry. This division during World War I and World War
II, was nicknamed the “Blue Ridge Division”, it was initially composed
of draftees from the mid-Atlantic states of Virginia, West
Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland . Twenty three years later, on
July 15, 1942, the 80th Division was again ordered into active service.
Major General Joseph Dorch Patch, the Division Commander,
issued General Order No. 1 to reactivate the 80th Division. Russell
was trained at Camp Phillips, near Salina, Kansas and in the California-
Arizona Desert Training Center (known today as Fort Irwin).
The 80th Division set sail aboard the SS Queen Mary on July 4, 1944, landing a few days
later on July 7 at Greenock, Firth of Clyde, Scotland. They proceeded south to Northwick, England
via trains for additional training. Training included learning how to waterproof equipment for the upcoming
channel crossing. The Division crossed the English Channel in LSTs and Liberty Ships landing
in Normandy on Utah Beach shortly after noon on August 2, 1944, D-Day + 57 and assembled near
St. Jores, France. A few days later on August 8, 1944, the 80th was initiated into battle when it took
over the LeMans bridgehead in the XX Corps area. The Division then attacked Argentan, taking it
on the 20th of August, and creating the Falaise Pocket. The U.S. Third Army, under the command of
General George S. Patton liberated Argentan after eight days of violent combat against the German
9th Panzer Division and the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich.
After mopping up in the area, the 80th took part in the Third Army dash across France,
cutting through Saint – Mihiel, Chalons, and Commercy, in pursuit of the retreating Germans until
stopped by the lack of gasoline and other supplies at the river Seille.It was during this time, September
4th between Chalons and the Seille River that the 317th regiment had to cross Moselle River
to Pont A
Mousson toward the west wall of the Germans line where they encounter heavy resistance
and casualties. It was at this time when Russell was hit by shrapnel in his calf and ankle. He was
taken to a Red Cross tent for treatment and then on a hospital in Paris. He received a purple heart
for his wounds. After the battle at Mousson the 317th Regiment infantry arrived at the Seille River
November 8th, 1944.
When the Germans began their Ardennes Offensive, Russell had rejoined 317 Regiment, 80th
Division from his injury as it moved north to Luxembourg slamming into the German lines Southeast
of Bastogne where heavy fighting continued unto the spring. While in Bastogne, Russell ran into his
brother, Junior Sines on the street who was member of the 82nd Airborne Division.
In April, the 80th Division, 317th infantry had captured Kassel, Erfurt, Weimar, Jena and
Gera. It was during this time on April 10th Sargent Russell Sines received a bronze medal for bravery
while fighting between Kassel and the drive on to Erfurt. On April 11th while at Erfurt Russell
was offered by his commander 30 days of Rest and Relaxation back in the States. It was at this time
he received instructions to report at Breckenridge, Kentucky as commanding officer for the Military
The 317th Regiment proceeded on to Regensburg at the end of the month. It has been alleged
that the last shot fired on the western front was in Czechoslovakia by the 80th, the last of
General Patton’s divisions still in action. By V-E Day the 80th Division had amassed 289 days of
combat and had captured more than 200,000 enemy soldiers.
This being the 75th anniversary of D-Day, it would be nice if the VFW and veterans of West
Virginia recognize and honor a fellow native who saw a lot of action in a war that preserved our
freedoms here in the United States. Russell Herman Sines represents as Tom Brokow said “Our