Black Panthers During World War 2

The Black Panther Division

‘The Black Panther Division’ was the nickname given to the 66th Infantry Division of the United States. This infantry was active from April 1943 to November 1945. This group was engaged in the Northern France Campaign and World War II.

It was commanded under Major General Herman Kramer from April 1943 to August 1945. Nicolas Viscardi, who was a famous comic book artist, also served in this division, and it was he who designed the patch for the snarling black panther that was used as a logo of this group. During the war, there were several major cover-ups by the US military regarding this division. One of the most horrific cover-ups, which is still unrecognized, was the falsification of records regarding the 12,000 plus men who perished when their ship was sunk by the Germans.

Additional Information

This forum thread is worth reading to learn more about this division from family members of those who served in it:

http://www.warhistoryfans.com/was-the263rd-infantry-division-division-66-involved-in-the...-192142.html

There is also a Facebook page that has been set up to commemorate the men: WWII 263rd Infantry Company C Panther Division

How to find an individual’s service records

If you would like to learn more about a member of the 66th Infantry Division, or any other person who served, you can ask for their DD-214 form.

What is the DD-214? The Defense Department issues to each a veteran a DD-214 that identifies his condition (discharge/honorable/general/honorable/ dishonorable/bad conduct). Simply put this is the Report of Separation.

This will verify his military service for benefits, retirement, employment or membership to a veteran’s organization.

The DD-214 will show the following:

  • Date and place of entry into active duty
  • Home address at the time when he entered into service
  • Date and Place of Release from Active Duty
  • Home address after separation from service
  • Last duty assignment and rank
  • Military Specialty (His specific job)
  • Military Education
  • Awards that he might received which includes medals, badges, citation etc
  • Total creditable service
  • Foreign creditable service
  • Information about Separation from the service such as the reason why he separated, type of separation, character of service and re-enlistment eligibility codes


The DD-214 is considered a public record so getting access to it should not be a problem.

Images by Roxanne Lime Marble (guest)

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment.

5 Comments:

  • Vale: Thanks for posting the links Marra, it seems like this division has quite an interested history! I wonder if the user on the other thread ever published his book, if so, I’d love to read it!
  • cpl edward jordan: on march 29 another member of the 66 passed.He was my father and my friend.
    He spoke little of his time in the ETO,the leopold was his quiets moments.
    he was transitioned to the Rainbow Division at the end of the war.
    Hollywood Harry they called him.To the family’s of the 66 remember them all.
  • michael w ellis: hello, my dad was in world war 2 and when i was going thru his stuff i found the patch, of black panthers ,, he had mention it before,, i know he was proud of it and i would like to find more info about this ,,, or even if there is other men that are still alive that could help me find more info, or even pictures of the group, i am not sure what one he was in ,,, thank you ,,,
    would really like to learn so much more ,
  • Beverly C Bennett: My dad James U Cross served in 66 Division heavy artillery is still living in Chickamauga GA. He’ll be 94 November 30th and still raises garden and mentally sharp
  • michael ellis: hello ,, i am so glad your dad is still so alert and sharp,,, maybe just maybe he would know my dad,, my dads name was harry e ellis ,,, i am still trying to find out what division he was in ,,,
    thank you so much for getting back to me ,,, would love to hear more

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