In September 1940, the 30th Infantry Division, composed of the National Guard troops of North & South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia, was inducted into Federal service at Ft. Jackson, S.C. spending over one year in preliminary training. In 1942 and 1943, the 30th received a major part of its advanced training at Camp Blanding, near Starke, Florida. After losing most of its trained Officers and Men to cadre new divisions throughout the country, the 30th received replacements from nearly every state in the country. Training continued during 1943 at Camp Blanding, Florida, Camp Forrest Tennessee and Camp Atterbury, Indiana, where final preparations were made to move overseas.
On 12 February 1944, the 30th Infantry Division sailed for Europe, and settled on the south coast of England to participate in further training for the coming invasion. In June of 1944, after being fully trained and prepared, the 30th Infantry Division started crossing the English Channel to France on 6 June, D-Day, to replace some of the units of the 29th Infantry Division which suffered devastating losses in the initial attack. The remainder of the Division to Omaha Beach on 10 June and was almost immediately committed into combat against the experienced German Army.
During combat, the 30th Infantry Division was known as the "Workhorse of the Western Front" and was named "Roosevelt's SS" by the German High Command because of the consistent vigor and terrific pressure the 30th Infantry Division brought to bear on Hitler's 'elite' 1st SS Division. The German 1st SS Division was the main force of resistance prior to the breakthrough at St. LO, and again at Mortain, where the 30th stopped the 1st SS, thereby allowing Gen. George Patton's 3rd Army to race across France, shortening the war by many months. The German 1st SS Division was reorganized over the next few months, and again faced by the 30th in the "Battle of the Bulge" during the Ardennes-Alsace Offensive, near Malmedy, Belgium, in the winter of 1944-45. Again the 30th Infantry Division tore to shreds this 'elite' enemy division, which never returned to battle.
During its initial training, the 30th Infantry Division was commanded by Maj. Gen. Henry D. Russell, followed by Maj. Gen. William Simpson. MG Simpson later commanded the Ninth Army when the 30th was attached to this command. Maj. Gen. Leland S. Hobbs commanded the 30th during the rest of its training and throughout the war. Immediately following the end of the war, the 30th Infantry Division spent the next two months in Occupation on the border of Czechoslovakia and Germany.
Shortly after the end of their Occupation duties, in early August 1945, the 30th Infantry Division returned to the United States on the Queen Mary and the USS General Black, and was soon deactivated at Ft. Jackson, S.C. on 25 November 1945.