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The following file is the property of the 34th Infantry Division Association and Patrick Skelly, webmaster. Thanks to Patrick and the Association for allowing me to post them here.
 

History, 133rd Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division

From 22 September 1943 to 31 October 1943, inclusive.

ARRIVAL AT SALERNO

     At 0800 hours 22 September 1943, the convoy carrying the 133rd Infantry Combat Team, less the 151st F.A., arrived in the Bay of  Salerno, Italy near the mouth of the Sele River.  Troops and equipment  were Combat Loaded on four ships; 1st Battalion aboard the "Charles  Carroll", the 100th Inf. Bn. (Sep) aboard the "Frederick Funston", the  3rd Bn aboard the "O'Hara".  Considerable equipment and transportation  on the "Andromeda".  Special unit personnel were divided and carried on  all four ships.  The bay was free of enemy action, there being a heavy  barrage of friendly aircraft.  At 1000 hours the first assault boats  were lowered to the water and troops were taken ashore in waves, all  ships being unloaded simultaneously.  In a short time the sandy beach  was filled with troops carrying their equipment.  Immediately heavy  equipment including trucks, peeps, 57mm AT and 75mm pack howitzers were  taken ashore.  The sandy beach swarmed with activity and within 24 hours  all equipment had been unloaded.

     The troops marched from the shore to an assembly area a short  distance inland from whence they marched about 5 miles across country to  a regimental bivouac area.  Immediately two companies of the 100th Inf  Bn (Sep), "E" and "F" were placed under Army control for use as a guard  detail.  While in this area the combat team was dissolved and all  special units returned to their parent organizations.  Units of the  Regiment took advantage of the clear warm weather and ample supply of  water for bathing and cleaning of personal equipment.

FORMATION OF TASK GROUP

     The Regiment remained in this area until September 25th, when  Colonel Fountain received orders that the combat [team] was reformed  under the command of Brig. General Caffey, and was to move to the  vicinity of Montecervino-Rovella approximately 25 miles.  Move was made  by shuttle and the Regiment had hardly closed in when orders were  received to move to the vicinity of Oliveta Citra in the 45th Division  area.  Brig. General Caffey returned to Division and Colonel Fountain  was placed in command of the combat team.  At 1426 hours 26th September,  all unit commanders were assembled at the Regimental C.P. and given the  orders for the move by Lt. Colonel Marshall, S-5, as Colonel Fountain  was at Division Hq.  Units were cautioned that the move was to be  approximately 60 to 80 miles over narrow mountainous roads.  At 1715  hours the commanders were re-assembled at the Regimental C.P. for new  orders, as there had been a change of plans. We were to take over an  area in the 45th Division Sector and the Commanding General, 34th  Division was to be Task Force Commander.  Our objective was to establish  contact with the enemy, secure the route leading N.West in our sector,  and pursue the enemy.  Movement was to be by motor and in tactical  formation with the 3rd Bn as the advance guard for the combat team.   Attached to the 3rd Bn was Company "C" 151st F.A., 1st Platoon Company  "A" 109th Engineers, one platoon AT Company. The combat team was to be  joined by the 17th F.A., one platoon from 105 AA, and a Tank Destroyer  Recon unit from the 776 TD.  Trucks began arriving for the move at 1800  hours.

OPERATIONS OF THE TASK FORCE

     Last elements of the combat team left the bivouac area at 0200  hours, 27th Sept 43.  Travel was slow on account of blown bridges and  narrow mountainous roads.  Units arrived, and the Regimental C.P. was  established 10 Kms East of Montemarano at 2130 hours 27 Sept 43.  An  outpost line was established, patrols and reconnaissance parties were  sent out to locate a by-pass over the Galere River.  The 3rd Bn was  ordered to secure a bridgehead at N-877355 on Highway No. 7 to  Montemarano, to a depth of 1000 yards, on the morning of Sept 28th,  which they did.  About noon the Regiment resumed the advance in the same  formation, and by night the 3rd Bn outposted a line in the vicinity of  Castelvetere, Northwest of Montemarano.  This day's advance was  characterized by the outstanding work of the mine sweepers in removing  mines the enemy had laid all along the way.  Italian citizens were  helpful in locating enemy mines and in many cases they had already  marked them.  One 3rd Bn Hq peep struck a mine injuring one officer and  two enlisted men.  Weary troops found little comfort that night as a  terrific rainstorm poured down most of the night.

     The 100th Bn man-handled its vehicles out of the mud to take up the  advance guard for the combat team on the morning of Sept 29th.  About  noon the advance of the battalion was slowed up by artillery fire, some  of which was flat trajectory 75mm and evidently coming from  self-propelled guns.  The enemy made a lucky hit on a culvert into which  members of the Regimental Recon. patrol had taken cover, killing one  Artillery Liaison Officer, one Sgt and wounding two men.  This was our  first contact with the enemy.

OUR FIRST SKIRMISH WITH THE ENEMY

     That night the 100th Bn seized its objective which was the high  ground West of Chiusano and established a road block at  RJ[RoadJunction]-N755592 in order to block enemy elements withdrawing in  front of the 7th Infantry which was moving into Salsa (N7558).  The  following morning they had a brief skirmish with enemy machine gunners  in which the 100th Bn received its first battle casualty, Sgt Takota,  who was recommended for a D.S.C., posthumous, for his gallantry in  leading his squad in a flanking movement in an effort to wipe out an  enemy machine gun nest.  A single German tank attacked the battalion  about 0800 hours but quickly withdrew under fire of our Bazookas, it is  believed a hit was scored.  Later in the morning the 1st Bn moved out in  advance guard formation with the mission of establishing a road block on  the Avellino-Benevento highway in the vicinity of Pratela. The movement  was slow at first as they encountered what appeared to be our first  organized resistance.  The enemy force was estimated at 2 or 3 platoons.   Late in the afternoon both Companies "B" and "C" had a brisk fire fight  with the enemy, receiving both machine gun and mortar fire.  The  battalion moved forward during the afternoon of the next day.  One  prisoner was taken.

     Late in the afternoon of Sept 30th, the 3rd Bn moved out with the  mission of seizing Montemilette.  The battalion made a remarkable  advance across country over rugged terrain that night carrying all their  heavy weapons, and seized their objective at 0200 hours early the next  morning.  Later in the day the battalion moved in the vicinity of La  Serra.  The 100th Bn moved up and occupied the positions held by the 3rd  Bn at Montemilette. 

THE CAPTURE OF BENEVENTO 

     During the afternoon of Oct 2nd, the entire Regiment started moving  by battalions to positions in the general vicinity of S. Giorgio. While  the move was in progress orders were changed and the Regiment was given  the mission of capturing Benevento and seizing a bridgehead North of the  Calere River.  The 3rd Bn was given the mission of seizing Benevento and  securing a bridgehead across the Calere River, the 100th Bn was to  follow in close support taking up positions South of Benevento to  protect the left flank of the Regiment, the 1st Bn was to follow and  take up positions Southeast of Benevento with the mission of protecting  the right flank of the Regiment.  The 3rd Bn made a spectacular advance,  and morning found the bridgehead firmly secured and Benevento in our  hands.  The 1st and 100th Bns likewise reached their objectives.  It had  been a difficult move, much of it across country thru a drizzling rain  and heavy artillery fire.  Heavy weapons had to be carried a  considerable distance.  Company "K" suffered heavy casualties from  medium artillery fire during this movement in the outskirts of  Benevento.  The 1st Platoon of Company "I" was cited for its outstanding  work as advance guard for the 3rd Bn in the capture of Benevento.  Major  Lloyd H Rockwell received a battlefield promotion to the grade of Lt.  Colonel in recognition of his outstanding performance as battalion  commander of the 3rd battalion.  His leadership and aggressiveness  contributed greatly to the success of his battalion in seizing the  important railway center of Benevento.

     About mid-afternoon of the 3rd of Oct the enemy attacked the 3rd Bn  outpost line North of Benevento with some armored vehicles.  The attack  was promptly beaten off, one 1.5 ton truck, undamaged, was captured and  at least six Germans definitely killed and one prisoner taken.  The  enemy made no further attacks and the following afternoon the 45th  Division passed through us.  On the morning of Oct 5th the Regiment  assembled in the general vicinity of S. Martino Sannetra NW of S.  Giorgio.

CROSSING OF THE VOLTURNO

     On the morning of Oct 7th the Regiment commenced moving by motor to  a bivouac area in the vicinity of Montesarchio a distance of  approximately 25 miles.  The move was made in shuttles and due to the  terrible conditions of roads and the nine by-passes, caused by heavy  rains throughout the period, the last elements did not close into the  new area until the afternoon of Oct 9th.  The Regiment remained in this  bivouac area until the afternoon of Oct 12th when it made a short march  to a new bivouac area West of Montesarchio, assembling as Division  Reserve, during the crossing of the Volturno near Limatola.  On Oct 15th  the Regiment marched to an area West of Agata a distance of  approximately 10.5 miles.  Company "E" 100th Bn which had been released  from duty with 5th Army, returned to the 100th Bn while we were in this  area.  Oct 17th the Regiment marched to the vicinity of Caizzo, Company  "F" rejoined the 100th Bn while we were there.  Early in the afternoon  the 1st Bn marched by motor to a detrucking point North of Caizzo to  relieve the 3rd Bn of the 135th Inf whose objective was hill N305920.  The remainder of the Regiment moved by marching that evening to an  assembly area a short distance South of the position occupied by the 1st  Bn.  The Regiment was greeted by intermittent enemy artillery fire upon  arrival in the assembly area, some casualties being suffered.

2ND CROSSING OF THE VOLTURNO

     Early in the afternoon of Oct 18th the Regiment moved out in column  of battalions with the mission of seizing a bridgehead across the  Volturno River in the vicinity of N270985.  The 1st Bn was given the  mission of securing the bridgehead, the 100th Bn was to protect the rear  of the 1st Bn and take up positions this side of the river, while the  3rd Bn was in reserve prepared to assist either.  The 1st Bn crossed the  river considerably South of the Bridge and made a daring end run in an  attempt to secure the bridge before the enemy could destroy it.  The  bridgehead was secured with little resistance.  Enemy artillery fire was  heavy during the crossing but not effective.  The following day the 1st  Bn sent patrols into Alife and the 3rd Bn sent patrols into Dragoni both  reported towns cleared of enemy troops.  The latter patrol captured one  prisoner.  That evening the 3rd Bn and 100th Bn crossed the river and  took up positions South of Alife in the general position of the 1st Bn  bridgehead.

THE BATTLE FOR S. ANGELO

     On the night of Oct 20th the Regiment moved out in a column of  battalions toward S. Leonardo at which point the 100th Bn was to swing  to the NW and seize the RJ 1000 yards East of S. Angelo (N229052); the  1st Bn to swing west and seize the RJ at N226041; the 3rd Bn to take up  positions NW of S. Leonardo in Regimental reserve; the Cannon Company to  be prepared to support the assault battalions.  Patrols that afternoon  had encountered considerable enemy machinegun fire and a fight was  expected.  Colonel Fountain directed that if the Battalions were stopped  by enemy fire they should flank to the right and gain high ground by  dawn.  The movement that night was very slow across country, about  midnight enemy machine-gun fire was encountered forcing deployment of  the 100th Bn.  Colonel Fountain directed the 1st Bn to move to the right  of the 100th Bn and advance along lower road, the 3rd Bn to advance to  the right of the 1st Bn and attack on upper road on its right and seize  S. Angelo, the 100th Bn to assemble in reserve.  By morning the 3rd Bn  had established positions on the road to S. Angelo and was prepared to  resume the attack, the 1st Bn was stopped short of lower road by heavy  enemy resistance, it advanced slowly during the morning towards its  objective, the 100th Bn in the meantime assembled in Regimental reserve.  Early that afternoon an enemy tank attack was repulsed, casualties were  heavy, however.  At 1225 hours Lt. Colonel Carley L. Marshall was  placed in command of the Regiment and that afternoon he reorganized the  Regiment in preparation for a new attack on the objective.  The  following morning the Regiment attacked with the 100th Bn and the 3rd Bn  is the assault, the 3rd Bn on the right.  The battalions reached their  objectives without resistance at approximately 0800 hours.

     At 0530 hours Oct 23rd the Regiment continued the attack in same  formation seizing the high ground NW of S. Angelo d'Alife.  Enemy  resistance was stubborn but the attack progressed steadily, and night  found the 3rd Bn is possession of the high ground NW of their objective;  the 100th Bn within a short distance of their objective, having  withstood a tank attack and accounting for one tank with a Bazooka.  The  3rd Bn having advantageous position on the high ground was ordered to  hold its position, and the following morning the 1st Bn attacked and  seized S. Angelo and the high ground immediately to the West.  The  Regiment remained generally in these positions sending out patrols and  establishing outposts until passed thru by the 135th Inf on the morning  of Oct 26th.  For three days the Regiment remained in place, protecting  the Division left flank and maintaining contact with the 3rd Division on  the left.

ATTACK TO THE VOLTURNO

     On October 29th the Regiment marched to a new assembly area SE of  Pratello.  Here the Regiment received orders to relieve the battalion of  the 135th Inf which was in position NE of Pratello.  This was done by  the 1st Bn and held until the Regiment attacked on Oct 31st with the  mission of seizing the high ground in the vicinity of Ciorlana.  The  attack was made in a column of battalions with the 1st Bn leading; the  3rd Bn echeloned to the right rear with the mission of protecting the  flank of the Regiment; the 100th Bn in reserve.  By evening the Regiment  had captured Ciorlana and the high ground NW and W thereof. It was a  difficult job well done.  The attack involved taking one hill after  another.  The 1st Bn reported they had given the enemy a good beating.   Food and ammunition had to be carried by hand pending the arrival of  newly acquired mules.

GENERAL

     In all the operations, although not mentioned in the foregoing  history, it must be remembered that the Special Units; Cannon Company,  Anti-Tank Company, Headquarters Company, Service company, and Medical  Detachment, contributed largely to the success of our battalions in  taking all objectives.

DISTANCES MOVED

     During this period the Regiment has moved from Salerno Bay a  distance of 267 miles, of which 122 miles was by foot.  A considerable  distance was traveled cross country over very rugged terrain.

SUMMARY OF DISTANCES MOVED

Salerno Bay to Bivouac Area - 5 Miles.

Salerno Bivouac Area to Montecervino-Rovella - 27 Miles.  (Truck)

Montecervino-Rovella to N9156 - 106 Miles.  (Truck)

N9156 to Montemarano - 13 Miles.

Montemarano to Chiusano - 11 Miles.

Chiusano to Montemilette - 8 Miles.

Montefalcione to Pratola - 6.5 Miles.

Chiusano to Montemilette - 7 Miles.

Pratola & Montemilette to Benevento - 16 Miles.

Benevento to Montesarchio - 12 Miles.  (Truck)

Montesarchio to Airola - 6.5 Miles.

Airola to Agata di Goti - 4 Miles.

Agata di Goti to Limatolo - 5 Miles.

Limatolo to Caiazzo - 4 Miles.

Caiazzo to Alvignano - 6 Miles.

Alvignano to Alife - 9 Miles.

Alife to S. Angelo d'Alife - 7 Miles.

S. Angelo d'Alife to Pratella - 7 Miles.

Pratella to Ciorlano - 7 Miles.

          CARLEY L. MARSHALL.

          Lt. Col. Infantry.

          Commanding.

     OFFICIAL:

     s/Roy L. Stephenson

     ROY L. STEPHENSON.

     Captain, Infantry.

     Adjutant.

 


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34th Infantry Division 133rd Infantry Regiment Rifle Company 1st Battalion A World War II 2 Italy