45TH FC HISTORY
The 45th Finance Center was originally constituted in the Army of the United States as the 45th Finance Disbursing Section April 9,1943. Two weeks later it was activated at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana.
Upon deploying to the United Kingdom in 1943, the 45th FDS initially supported the 1st Bombardment Division of the 8th Army Air Force, earning a Presidential Unit Citation for the air offensive in Europe.
This is represented by the light blue streamer embroidered “GERMANY, 11 JANUARY 1944,” which is still attached to the unit’s guidon today. The 45th FDS was the only Finance Unit honored in this manner.
Landing in Normandy, France, as part of the Army’s Fifteenth Corps on the July 6, 1944, one month after “D-Day,” the 45th FDS served through the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central European campaigns. These are also represented on the guidon, documenting continuous service in combat from June of 1944 through the May 11, 1945.
During this time, the Fifteenth Corps operated under the U.S. Third Army from July through September 1944 and under the Seventh Army from the end of September 1944 until Victory in Europe Day.
Serving as part of the occupation Army immediately following the defeat of Germany as the Army worked to restore basic service and governance to the American Zone, the 45th FDS provided continuous service to the Soldiers of the Army of Occupation.
The 45th FDS continued to serve in Europe as the Cold War ramped up, including the Czech coup d’etat and Berlin Blockade of 1948 and the 1953 East German uprising. However, like many other units originally constituted to fight the “greatest of all wars,” the 45th FDS was inactivated, furling its flag on the Sept. 10, 1955, at Camp Roeder, Austria.
That inactivation was short-lived, however. As the U.S. Army presence in Europe became more established, the 45th FDS was re-activated on the Sept. 24, 1958, in Germany. Over the next thirty years, the unit provided service to more than 8 million U.S. Army Soldiers who served in Germany from 1958 through the end of the Cold War.
They also provided support to the periodic return of forces Germany and during Operations Reforger exercises, which tested the Army’s ability to quickly project power from the continental United States to reinforce the Army’s European forces.
During this time the 45th would be reorganized and redesignated three times, first as the 45th Finance Section in 1964, as the 45th Finance Center in 1984, and finally as the 45th Finance Support Unit in 1988.
As the Soviet Union collapsed between 1988 and 1991, the 45th continued to support U.S. Army Soldiers deployed to Germany.
Following the defeat of Iraqi forces and their expulsion from Kuwait in February 1991, the United States and its allies banded together to provide humanitarian assistance to the Kurdish people who had fled into the mountains of northern Iraq where they were at the mercy of the elements.
Operations Provide Comfort I and II were initiated to provide protection and humanitarian aid to the Kurds, and the 45th FSU deployed personnel in direct support of this effort with personnel deployed to Incirlik, Diyarbakir, and Silopi, Turkey, as well as to Sirsenk and Zakhu, Iraq. During that time, they supported all U.S. military personnel, regardless of branch, deployed for the operations.
As the number of U.S. service members in Germany dropped from around 250,000 to just over 100,000 in 1994, the 45th FSU was once again inactivated on July 15, 1994, in Germany.
Nearly 30 years later, on Feb. 8, 2023, the unit was redesignated as the 45th Finance Center, and it was officially re-activated on Oct. 16, 2023, under the U.S. Army Financial Management Command as a new generation of finance Soldiers carried on its legacy of “Service to Soldiers.”