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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 1 January 1944 to 31 January 1944, inclusive.

PRESENZANO, ITALY

     During the period January 1-5 incl., the Regiment remained as II  Corps Reserve in an assembly area in the vicinity of Presenzano, Italy.  Plans were drawn for the employment of the 133RCT as II Corps Reserve  and extensive reconnaissance was made to both flanks of the Corps  Sector.  Training was continued with special emphasis on scouting and  maintenance of a high standard of physical fitness.

     On the night of January 5th the First Battalion was detached from  the Regiment and moved by marching to an assembly area in the vicinity  of Mt. Lungo under II Corps control as reserve for Task Force "A".  On  January 6th the Regiment (-1st Bn, Cannon Company, Anti-Tank Company and  Service Company) moved by motor to the vicinity of Ceppagna and from  there by marching to assembly areas in the vicinity of Radicosa (979202)  under control of Task Force "B".

ATTACK FOR APPROACHS TO CASSINO

(Hills #1270 (944234), Hill 1109 (937221), Mt Capraro (923222), Hill 780  (916230), Hill (926236))

     During the period January 7-15 incl., the Regiment attacked and  seized the following Hills, Hill 1270 (944234), Hill 1109 (937221), Mt  Capraro (923222), Hill 780 (916230), Hill (926236).  (The First  Battalion was reattached to the Regiment January 8th.)  Objectives were  taken in the face of stubborn enemy resistance, very mountainous terrain  and adverse weather conditions.  The taking of each hill was a battle in  itself, the enemy was well dug in and in each case held commanding  ground.  At times it was necessary to drive the enemy from his positions  at the point of a bayonet.  The weather was extremely cold and the  trails over the mountains were treacherous being covered with snow and  ice.  There were no vehicular roads, supplies had to be packed by mules  and hand for distances up to ten miles.  The tremendous problem of  evacuation of casualties is described in inclosure hereto (see Incl.  #1).  Communications were installed and maintained by crews working long  hours packing supplies and equipment, by mule and hand.

     On January 13th the Regiment (-2nd Battalion (100th Inf Bn) which  remained under control of First Special Service Force) reverted to  control of 34th Division and continued the attack to the Southwest  against determined enemy resistance and reached its objective Northwest  of Cervaro in the vicinity of (901202-906212-911215).  The Regiment  remained in place, established all around defense, patrolling vigorously  to the front and flanks, during the period January 15-21 incl.  The  100th Bn returned to Regimental control on January 17th.  During the  night of January 20-21 the Regiment put on a demonstration, with one  rifle company each, from the First and Third Battalions, and the heavy  weapons companies of the First and Third Battalions participating.  The  demonstration consisted of fire from the Heavy Weapons Companies and the  Rifle companies moving ahead in attack formation.  The demonstration was  made against enemy positions along the Rapido River in the general  vicinity of Cassino and designed for the purpose of attracting the  enemy's attention to our sector while an attack was being made by the  [36th] Division on our left.

ATTACK ON THE GUSTAV LINE (Cassino)

     On the night of January 21-22, the Regiment occupied positions north  of its former positions in anticipation of attacking the Cassino Heights  across the Rapido River.  Aggressive patrolling and reconnaissance was  continued in preparation for the attack.  Company "M" put on another  demonstration during the night of January 22-23 and delivered harassing  mortar fire throughout the day.  Final plans were completed for the  attack on the Cassino Heights.

     At 2200 hours January 24th the Regiment jumped off on its attack on  the heights north of Cassino.  The Regiment attacked with three  Battalions abreast, First Battalion on the right, 100th Battalion on the  left.  The Regiment advanced slowly against enemy wire entanglements,  mine fields and strongly fortified positions, by evening of January 25th  all three Battalions had elements across the Rapido River and were  preparing to continue the attack.  On January 26th the Regiment  continued the attack meeting stiff resistance in the form of  Machine-gun, Mortar, Small-arms fire, mines and wire entanglements.  Casualties were heavy and progress slow, that night defensive positions  were taken up of the West side of the River.  The 100th Battalion held  in place until relieved by elements of the 135th Infantry at  approximately 2400 hours.  The First and Third Battalions outposted the  river line and held Line of Departure for the 168th Infantry until 0630  hours January 27th at which time the 168th Infantry attacked through our  lines.  The Regiment immediately moved to an assembly area in Division  Reserve.  The Regiment remained in Division reserve until the night of  January 29th when it relieved the 135th Infantry taking up their  defensive positions.  The Regiment remained in position, conducted  intensive patrolling and made plans for attacking the barracks (858231)  with one reinforced rifle company and one Company of Tanks.

1 Incl. Statement Regtl. Surgeon.

          CARLEY L. MARSHALL.

          Colonel, Infantry.

          Commanding.

     OFFICIAL:

     s/Roy L. Stephenson

     ROY L. STEPHENSON.

     Captain, Infantry.

     Adjutant.

========

MEDICAL DETACHMENT 133RD INFANTRY

U.S.A.P.O. 34

12 February 1944

EVACUATION IN MOUNTAIN FIGHTING

     Between 7 January 1944 and 15 January 1944 inclusive, this unit was  engaged in combat over a most difficult mountainous terrain extending  outward from La Noci to Radicosa to Mt. Majo to Mt. Peccia and finally  to Mt. Pischiatara.  The entire distance of about eight (8) to ten (10)  miles was completely devoid of a vehicular road.  The only route of  supply and evacuation was a footpath or trail which in many places was  difficult even for mountain mules.  For a considerable portion of the  distance, the trail ran above the timber line in the region of ice and  snow.

     Evacuation of wounded was accomplished by six (6) man litter teams  at regularly established relay posts.  Each relay post was placed such  that each team would have about a one-hour haul from its post to the  next post.  In all, there were twelve (12) such relay posts between the  Battalion Aid Stations on Mt. Pischiatara to the nearest available  ambulance at La Noci.  It therefore required seventy two (72) men to  evacuate one (1) litter patient from the Battalion Aid Station to the  ambulance, this took twelve (12) to fifteen (15) hours.  Between the  Battalion Aid Stations and the ambulance, along this route of  evacuation, there were three (3) Aid Stations, each one supervised by a  Medical Officer and each one provided with facilities to give first-aid  treatment, plasma, and hot drinks.  These Aid Stations provided a  resting spot for the walking wounded as they made their way back along  the route of evacuation.

     On the busiest day, each litter squad carried (8) litter cases from  their own post to the next one, and then of course, each litter team had  to make its way back to its own litter post.  Each team, therefore, made  eight (8) complete round trips that day.  Considering the character of  the terrain and the fact that each round trip took approximately two (2)  hours, it is not exaggerating to say that the litter teams worked that  day.  Much credit is due them for their perseverance and determination  in the face of extremely difficult physical hardships.  There were six  (6) such teams at each litter post.  It is pointed out that throughout  this period of operation, these men were bivouaced either on the top of  or on the slopes on a mountain and that they lived in pup tents in the  midst of snow and ice.  Supplies were brought to them daily by mule  train.

     On the 16th of January, the town of Cervaro was cleared of the enemy  so that the roads leading to it became available for evacuation by  vehicle.

1 Incl: Commendation Ltr., II Corps, U.S.Army.

          s/ Morris J. Leslie

          MORRIS J. LESLIE

         Major MC, 133rd Inf.

          Regimental Surgeon

========

HEADQUARTERS II CORPS

APO 302  U.S. ARMY

In the Field, 22 January 1944

303.13 (G-1)

Subject: Commendation

To: Division and Separate Unit Commanders

     1.   I desire to commend all men of this command who acted as  litter-bearers during the recent operations of II Corps, for the  splendid manner in which they performed their duties.

     2.   Working in extremely difficult, mountainous terrain, in  weather which often made the precipitous trails most hazardous, under  constant exposure to enemy artillery and small-arms fire, the often  averaged from 12 to 18 hours carrying a single patient.

     3.   Their dogged perseverance in their task, in the face of  formidable obstacles, bespeaks their courage and devotion to duty, and I  have no doubt that the efforts of these men resulted in the saving of  many lives and in reducing appreciably the extent of our casualties  during these operations.

     4.   It is my wish that the contents of this message be brought to  the attention of all personnel concerned.

          s/Geoffrey Keyes

          GEOFFREY KEYES,

          Major General, USA,

          Commanding

====

Hq 34th Inf Div, APO-34, U.S.Army, 24 January 1944

1st Indorsement

To: Unit Commanders

     1.   Your attention is invited to basic communication.

     2.   Your Division Commander desires to express his appreciation of  the splendid manner in which litter-bearers of the 34th Infantry  Division performed their hazardous duties.

          By command of Major General RYDER:

     s/ Dee M. White

     DEE M. WHITE

     Lt. Col., AGD.,

     Adjutant General.


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