Material from the Marshall S. Reed Family
by way of Jim MacClay, Web Staff
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Origins of the "Spearhead" Nickname
Surprising New Information
-  Name used in 1942 by 36th Infantry (AIR) of 3rd Armored Division  -

See article text further below.


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The undisputed traditional story of how "Spearhead" became 3rd Armored's nickname describes how in early September, 1944, in the aftermath of the Battle of Mons, Belgium, Gen. Rose ordered a group of his top officers to meet and come up with an appropriate label for the Division. In that meeting, someone suggested "Spearhead," which was immediately accepted by Rose and his troops with enthusiasm. The rest is history -- how that nickname became a badge of honor, forever synonymous with the Division, that would span to the end of the war and eventually on into the Cold War and Gulf War.

But in the beginning, there was never a hint that just maybe "Spearhead" had been around long before September, 1944, and that it had been used elsewhere in the Division. Such appears to be the case, as uncovered recently by web staffer Jim MacClay, who reports that the Division's 36th Armored Infantry Regiment had adopted "Spearhead" or "Spear Head" as its own with the creation of a regimental newspaper published at Camp Polk during early 1942 and up to July of that year, when the Division headed off to the Mojave Desert in California for Africa-like training. (See materials above, which include a transparency-artwork for the printer.) MacClay advises that research is continuing (as of late 2007) with a focus on how long the 36th AIR continued use of the name (if at all), when it first began use, and if it was considered a true regimental nickname.

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