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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 September 1944 to 30 September 1944, inclusive.

Training Area, Vicinity of Castelfiorentino, Italy

From 1 September 1944 to 4 September 1944, the Regiment was in training in small unit problems and specialist training, mountain training, map reading and conditioning marches, also tank and Infantry co-ordination practice problems. Much emphasis was placed on small unit problems and tank and Infantry co-ordination for the future operations to come. The Second Battalion of this Regiment was inspected by Lt. General Mark Clark, on 4 September, while the battalion was participating in training with tanks and the mule pack trains. The General indicated keen interest in the proceedings and expressed his satisfaction of the type of training the Regiment was receiving for the future operations.

On 5 September, the Regiment prepared to move in the evening. The first march unit leaving the area at 2100 hours and the last march unit at 2340 hours with the IP at Castelfiorentino. (See overlay No. 1) (Map Italy, 1/100,000, sheets 106, 112, 113)

Training Area, Vicinity of Florence, Italy

At 0245 hours, 6 September 1944, the entire Regiment closed in at the new training area in the vicinity of Florence after a motor march of some fifteen miles over very dusty roads in complete blackout driving. The Regiment then prepared equipment and supplies for the near future combat operations. A quartering party from each Battalion and each of the companies of the Special Units was sent out north of Florence to search for a new assembly area. From this party, three men were Battle casualties when an "S" mine was set off, killing one enlisted man and wounding the Regimental S-3, Major Warren C. Chapman, and the Headquarters Commandant, 1st Lt. Edward B. Edwards. Many mines were found on the roads and houses blown over the road also trees felled over the road and mined and booby trapped.

During the next day the weather was most disagreeable with heavy rains and so the proposed move to the new location north of Florence was called off for the time being. All during this period of time however, the Regiment continued to prepare for future operations, cleaning equipment, hauling supplies, and collecting mules for the operations through the mountains. Five enlisted men from Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion were killed when their peep hit a mint in the road. The Regiment received forty one rotation replacements and two officers during the period. On this date, 8 September, the Regiment, less the Service Company and the Regimental S-1 Section, moved to the vicinity of Cercina (809777), a movement of ten miles over very rough and dusty roads. The Regiment passed to IP at 2100 hours and closed in at the new area at 0400 hours, 9 September 1944.

Battle for the Gothic Line.

[Time flow is not sequential, hence confusing, in the period 9-11 September 1944.]

Celebrating Salerno Day, 9 September 1944, the Regiment was given an informal presentation of decorations and awards by Major General Charles L. Bolte, Commanding General of the 34th Infantry Division. Twenty decorations and awards were presented by the General, consisting of the following: 1 Silver Star, 12 Bronze Stars, 6 Division Citations, and 1 Italian Bronze Medal for Valor, which was presented to the Regimental Commander, Colonel William H. Schildroth, for valor in the liberation of Rome. The Regiment then moved to the vicinity of Legri, less the Service Company, Service train and the Regimental S-1 Section, a distance of twenty three and one half miles over rough and very dusty mountain roads and prepared to attack. (See overlay No. 3, Map, Italy, 1/50,000) One platoon of the First Battalion was motorized and moved in advance of the Regiment and occupied the first objective of the Regiment, Hill 520, without opposition. The Third Battalion then moved up and relieved this platoon of the First Battalion. The First Battalion moved to an assembly area and the Second Battalion moved to the right flank of the Regimental Area of Legri. Thirty two enlisted men and three officers, to be sent to the United States on temporary duty for a thirty day leave were sent to the 34th Division Rear on 10 September 1944. On this date the Service Company and Regimental S-1 Section moved up to the location of the Regimental Command Post at Legri, from the vicinity of Florence. The entire Regiment was then in a forward assembly area (See overlay No. 4, Map of Italy, 1/25,000) preparing to attack at 0530 hours the morning of 11 September. (See overlay No. 5, Map of Italy, 1/50,000) The attack started on time with Battalions abreast, the First Battalion of the left, Second Battalion on the right and Third Battalion in reserve following the First Battalion. The First Battalion reached objective Number Eight without opposition and continued on to objective Number Ten. The Second Battalion encountered enemy machine gun fire at 1630 hours but continued to advance. The First Battalion encountered thirty enemy in the vicinity of 705922, had a fire fight with the enemy withdrawing to the north. The First Battalion occupied the objective Number Ten at 2000 hours and proceeded northwest to the Corps boundary. Eight enlisted men of the First Battalion were wounded in the fire fight previously mentioned.

The Second Battalion forward elements were on their objective Number Ten at 738930 and in contact with the enemy at 2400 hours. The Third Battalion moved to an assembly area in the vicinity of 750913 and closed in at 2400 hours 9 September 1944. (Map of Italy 106, I and II)

The evacuation of the wounded was most difficult. The mountain trail that was used in following the troops with an ambulance became unusable. It took fifteen hours to evacuate a load of casualties over this trail and through river beds and narrow trails over the rugged terrain. Partisans assisted the Medical personnel to guide the ambulances over these little known trails during the night.

With the First and Second Battalions abreast and the Third Battalion in Reserve, the Regiment continued the attack with the two leading Battalions approaching the objective Number Ten. At 1800 hours, the First Battalion reported, through the Cannon Company, that they were drawing sniper fire and long range machine gun fire. The Second Battalion was on their objective (738924) at 1815 hours but drawing machine gun fire from 739937. At this time the First Battalion had not reported in for six hours as all communications were out but as resistance was light all along the line, they were believed to be near their objective. The Second Battalion was ordered to gain their objective before dark, outpost it, and patrol to the north.

Heavy air support was indicated and this Headquarters was notified on 11 September that there would be five hundred fighters and three hundred bombers over the sector in the next three days, bombing in our advance in the Futa Pass region. Four casualties were reported to have been inflicted on the First Battalion from enemy mortar fire. At 0730 hours, the Third Battalion was moving to a new assembly area in the vicinity of Quaranta. A reconnaissance party from Regimental Headquarters left at 0840 hours to select a new Command Post location further forward because communications were very difficult in spite of the fact that several relay stations were in use.

In the morning, Corps G-2 called and reported that reliable civilian reports indicated that the enemy was withdrawing generally towards the north to Bologna, leaving only about one hundred and fifty men to guard the passes in a rear guard action. These reports were later confirmed by prisoners captured from the 356th German Division. At 1120 hours, the First Battalion was ordered to move to a new assembly area (See overlay No. 5) the Second Battalion was ordered to continue to outpost their objective.

While the First Battalion was on the move. this Headquarters received a change in plans from the Division G-3. Objective Number Ten was to have been our final objective with the Regiment then being pinched out and the 135th Infantry Regiment taking over this territory. But due to the change in plans, this Regiment was to obtain objective Number Eleven tonight, using vehicles if possible.

On the morning of 12 September, this Regiment was to jump off through the 168th Infantry Regiment, heading for objective Number Fourteen (See overlay No. 6). The proposed plan was to march in a column of Battalions.

The two lead Battalions, the First and the Second, still in the attack, were now very much nearer objective Number Eleven than any elements of the 168th Infantry Regiment who were supposed to take the objective and it was believed that this Regiment would reach the objective before the 168th Infantry Regiment, making it necessary to pass through them in the morning if the plans were not changed in the meantime.

All during the period the 133rd Infantry Regiment had been the furthermost forward unit of the II Corps, which was making the main Fifth Army effort, in fact, this had been the situation since the push started. At 1545 hours, the Regimental forward Command Post closed out and moved to Pimonte, closing in at 1756 hours. (See overlay No. 6)

The Third Battalion reported they had picked up an American aviator that had been shot down about two months ago and had been hiding in the hills, aided by friendly civilians since that time. He also reported that he had information on enemy defenses and positions in this sector and it is suspected that this information would greatly aid the Regiment in the advance.

At 1800 hours, a Reconnaissance party from Regimental Headquarters left to search for a more forward Command Post location, returning later in the evening with a proposed Command Post location at Montecuccali.

The Commanding Officer of the Third Battalion was called by the Regimental Commander at 1800 hours, explaining the situation and also stating that the 168th Infantry Regiment had bogged down and that the Second Battalion of this Regiment was going to take the 168th's objective Number Eleven and that the Third Battalion was to follow the Second Battalion. An hour later, the 168th Infantry Regiment was called asking them to check on their mortar firing as our Second Battalion had men on their objective Number eleven and had been receiving mortar fire which they thought was from friendly sources. During the evening, the Cannon Company moved up by sections in order to provide continuous support with their guns. The Chemical mortars, of which a platoon of each was with the Second and Third Battalions, also moved up. The Second Battalion, at 1940 hours, reported that their troops were past the 96 grid line and that they had again received friendly artillery fire but had it stopped. At this time it was reported that the Regiment on our right had a Battalion in the rear of our Second Battalion. Division G-3 was then notified and he then reported that he ordered the 168th Infantry Regiment to get out of our way and our troops, meeting light resistance, continued to advance over extremely rough terrain towards their objective.

At 2040 hours, 11 September 1944, Division G-3 notified this Regiment that it was again the furthermost forward unit of the Fifth Army. Just before midnight the First Battalion was ordered to make plans for moving up by motor on 12 September, as they had been left in their assembly area for a rest. Cannon Company had one platoon in position at 754934 and the other platoon was on the move forward just prior to midnight. Shortly after midnight, the Second Battalion again discovered patrols from the 168th Infantry Regiment operating in their rear and the division G-3 was again notified of the same.

[12 September 1944]

The troops jumped off in the attack from objective Number Eleven at 0530 hours, 12 September 1944, advancing on objective Number Fourteen (See overlay No. 6, Map of Italy, 1/25,000, Sheets 98 III, SE, NE). The enemy had been shelling our proposed Regimental Command Post but at 0530 hours the shelling ceased and wire was laid in. Another report of enemy shelling was received at 0800 hours with the enemy shelling the road to Montecuccoli. This shelling caused two killed and four wounded in Company "K" as they were on the road at this time. At 0900 hours the forward Command Post party left Pimonte and closed in on the new Command Post at Montecuccoli at 1000 hours. The S-1 section and Headquarters Company Rear party moved from the vicinity of Legri to the vicinity of Pimonte and closed in at 1600 hours. The troops were moving steadily forward in a column of Battalions with the Second Battalion leading and the Third Battalion following.

At 1015 hours, the Second Battalion ran into a minefield covered by machine gun fire (See overlay No. 6) and suffered four casualties but immediately began to deploy and work around the minefield but were held up as they could not immediately discover the extent of the minefield and the enemy resistance was stiffening. The Third Battalion which was following the Second Battalion, was ordered to send a strong combat patrol around the left flank, feel out the situation and then, if possible, follow up with the rest of the Third Battalion and outflank the enemy holding up the advance of the Second Battalion. The Second Battalion was to go around to the right of the minefield and again go north. The first of the two Battalions, the Second and the Third, to reach the general line of advance (Point "X" on overlay No. 6) was to lead the advance from that point on.

An Italian civilian, who claimed he had been forced to help the enemy lay the minefield, volunteered to guide the Second Battalion around the minefield. In the meantime, extra mine teams and sweepers were sent out to the two Battalions, as well as bangalores and prima wire, in case it was found feasible to blow up the minefield.

Still another minefield was discovered in the vicinity of Mongona (See overlay No. 6).

At 1125 hours, the Division Commanding General called at the Regimental Command Post and remarked that he was most pleased with the progress of the Regiment.

The Third Battalion, at this time, had patrols as far as the 98 grid line and it was believed that they could get around the left flank. Due to the extremely rugged terrain, the Anti-Tank Company had been in an assembly area through much of the advance, moving up as the situation warranted. Two platoons of this company were sent forward with picks and shovels to work on the roads due to the shortage of engineers.

At 1330 hours, the Second Battalion was working to the right of the minefield and were advancing but had received enemy small arms fire. The First Battalion was ordered to walk to 740948 as the use of trucks was not feasible due to the poor condition of the roads. At 1430 hours, four TOTs [Time on Target, pre-planned artillery fire] were fired, ten minutes apart, on known enemy positions in advance of our troops. An enemy Command Post was reported, by a civilian, to be at 754995 and another TOT was requested.

Resistance was increasing and both Battalions were engaged in frequent fire fights and were receiving small arms, mortar, machine gun and self propelled artillery fire, but the advance continued.

Although the Regimental Commander thought our reserve Battalion (1st Bn.) was not needed forward, despite the fact that we were meeting determined resistance all day since mid-morning, in response to a suggestion from the Division Commander, the First Battalion was ordered to move by foot to an assembly area at 750962 (See overlay No. 7) (Map of Italy, 1/50,000 Sheet 98 II & III) starting in the morning at 0530 hours. At the same time, the attached tank platoon (Co. A, 757th TD Bn.) was ordered to stay in place for the night and in the morning to reconnoiter the routes forward.

In response to a civilian report mentioned earlier in the evening, the Assistant S-2 led a small patrol to investigate a house in which it was believed the fifteen or twenty enemy were located (737962). Upon arrival at the house, the patrol and the enemy became engaged in a fire fight and upon our patrol sending for reinforcements, the enemy disengaged and retired back down into the valley. At 1930 hours, the Regimental Commander went forward to the Battalions to secure first hand information of the situation.

At this time the Cannon Company reported their new Command Post to be located at 753957 (See overlay No. 7). The Second and Third Battalions were still moving forward but very slowly at this time. Rugged terrain, extremely poor trails and numerous minefields hampered their advance, in addition to the fact that the Second Battalion was still engaged in a fire fight and the Third Battalion was receiving machine gun and mortar fire on their left flank in addition to some artillery fire estimated to be 105mm. One prisoner from the 1st Company, 334th Fusilier Battalion was captured at 2000 hours by Company "G", the forward element of the Second Battalion. Both advance Battalion were moving slowly all evening and at 2130 hours they both held up in place for the night, it being impossible to advance over the extremely rough terrain and dangerous trails after nightfall. Vigorous patrolling to both flanks and to the front was carried out by both Battalions during the night. Plans were made to continue the advance at day break. At 2245 hours, Cannon Company closed in their new area and were set up and ready to fire.

[13 September 1944]

On 13 September, at 0550 hours, the First Battalion was on the move, by foot, to the forward area. After a preliminary reconnaissance and after vigorous patrolling throughout the night, the Second and Third Battalions were underway, moving forward in a column of companies, with the Third Battalion on the left flank with Company "I" in the point. At 0730 hours, a TOT was placed on known enemy strongpoints in this sector at 735019, by all Division and Corps artillery. The Battalions then moved slowly forward, hampered by the fact that all passable trails were mined and covered with machine gun fire.

At 0900 hours the Third Battalion Commanding Officer asked for more mine teams as their leading company, Company "I", had run into another minefield at 757976. The Third Battalion was ordered to pull the lead company back and to allow Company "K" to swing around to the right flank of the minefield. The First Battalion, which was moving up at this time, was ordered to reconnoiter the route forward that was used by the Second Battalion the day previous, as it was planned to put the First Battalion in the line in case the Third Battalion could not extricate itself from the minefield in time to be effective. This plan, however, proved to be unnecessary because a couple of civilians were located to lead the Third Battalion around the minefield and show the Battalion the most advantageous route forward.

Meanwhile the Second Battalion had cleared a path through the minefield encountered the previous day, marked it, and then proceeded to move their forward Command Post forward. At 1020 hours, the Division Commanding General arrived at the Regimental Command Post and commented most favorably on the progress of the Regiment.

A report was received at 1100 hours that about twenty enemy had returned to the house previously mentioned (737962). The Assistant S-2 again took a patrol, composed of enlisted men from the Regimental Headquarters Company I & R (Intelligence and Reconnaissance) platoon and from the Third Battalion to investigate the house. Upon approaching the house the patrol was fired upon and engaged in a fire fight with the occupants. The enemy thereupon screened their exit by driving several Italian women out of the house into the line of fire. The enemy then retreating, followed by fire from our patrol, ran into troops from Company "I", who, engaging them in a fire fight, killed several and took four prisoners from the following enemy organizations: two from the 5th Company, 754th Infantry Regiment and two from the 4th Company of the same Regiment.

At the same hour, two enemy deserters from the 4th Company, 754th Infantry Regiment, 334th Division were picked up by the Third Battalion. A TOT was placed on enemy strongpoints at 1130 hours at 746010 and ten minutes later at 747018. At 1240 hours, the First Battalion was closing behind the Second Battalion and preparing to pass through them in the night. The Third Battalion was receiving heavy machine gun and small arms fire at 1300 from 927982. The mission of clearing and weakening this strongpoint was given to the attached artillery and 4.2 chemical mortar platoon.

During the period, 1320 hours to 1330 hours, seven rounds of estimated 88mm enemy artillery fire fell in the vicinity of the Regimental Command Post, three of which were duds. On about 1350 hours, a enemy pocket was located at 757991 and was fired upon by our 4.2 mortars and 81mm mortars. Enemy was seen to break and run from a house at one point and to enter another house which was also taken under fire. Companies "E" and "K" were sent in that direction.

At about 1600 hours, a patrol from Company "K" was ambushed by the enemy with the result that four were killed, six wounded and five missing in action. A house at this location was reported by the patrol, to be set up as a strongpoint, well protected by mines, wire and booby traps and with fields of fire cut through the trees by machine gun fire. Company "G", who later located this same pocket of resistance, aided the ambushed patrol to retire.

At 1700 hours, the point of the First Battalion was just behind the Second Battalion and were to close up and follow the Second Battalion who was going to push forward as much as possible before dark. At 0600 hours the next morning, the First Battalion was to pass through the Second Battalion. All attached personnel, including the 4.2 mortars and mine sweepers of the Second Battalion were to go with the First Battalion. In the morning the First Battalion was to lead off, followed by the Second Battalion who in turn is to be followed by the Third Battalion. Artillery concentrations for known enemy strongpoints were planned for just before nightfall. Exact positions and types of positions, number of enemy in them and names of enemy units were given by the captured prisoners during the day.

The advance was slow and difficult due to the lack of trails up the sides of the mountains. All trails were poor, mined and covered by machine gun fire from well prepared enemy strongpoints. As the Regiment approached the heart of the Gothic Line, enemy resistance continued to grow more stubborn and determined but in spite of these adverse conditions, our battle wise troops advanced slowly but steadily.

During the early evening hours, the Second Battalion was ordered to maintain pressure on the enemy all night by probing and pushing as much as possible. The Third Battalion was to keep moving until dark and to start the advance again at dawn. The First Battalion was to keep up close behind the Second Battalion, follow them and to move through or around them at dawn.

Evacuation of the wounded was most difficult due to the rugged terrain. approximately fifty litter bearers were obtained from the Anti-Tank Company and thirty from the 109th [Medical] Collecting Company, which were established in a litter relay chain for the evacuation of the casualties. This litter chain was used for the litter haul of approximately six miles from the point of casualty to the waiting ambulances. The Second Battalion Aid Station, one of the most advanced stations, was located in a gully approximately two hundred yards back of the village of Fresciano. The town being in ruins because the enemy had blown down every building in the town. This aid station had to carry on its work in absolute darkness and extreme care had to be exercised because the surrounding area were heavily mined.

Our troops received enemy fire all during the evening of the 13th of September and during the evening several enemy mortar positions and enemy artillery positions were taken under fire by our supporting artillery with good results. Huge explosions were observed at a known enemy artillery position (738038) after our artillery had placed a concentration on it.

[14 September 1944]

Soon after daylight on the 14th of September, the First Battalion started through the Second Battalion, both Battalions receiving enemy artillery fire and machine gun fire. Particularly heavy fire came from Hill 769 (743997) and the Second Battalion was ordered to swing over and take the hill. If the attack on Hill 769 was successful, it was planned for the Second Battalion to continue to attack to the north to the left of the First Battalion. At about 0830 hours, the platoon of chemical mortars attached to the Third Battalion was detached and sent over to the 135th Infantry Regiment on our right and the remaining platoon was ordered to work up and around to the right in supporting range.

At 0930 hours, the Second Battalion reported that they had a patrol working up Hill 769, the First Battalion reported that they were receiving heavy artillery fire, estimated to be 105mm and also heavy machine gun fire from their right flank. Heavy mined areas and wire were also encountered at 749995. At 1000 hours, the remaining platoon of chemical mortars were detached and sent to the aid of the Regiment on our right.

As the First Battalion approached S. Margherita (757995) they found increasingly heavy mortar fire in addition to sniper and machine gun fire. Heavy artillery also fell upon our troops and several casualties were inflicted. Meanwhile, elements of Company "G" had worked up Hill 769 after raking the strongpoint at the crest with artillery, mortar and machine gun fire. About 150 yards from the crest they encountered a mined area and from that point engaged in a sharp fight with the enemy troops holding the hill. After an exchange of fire a white flag went up on the hill, seven prisoners were captured and our patrols pushed on over the crest of the hill to continue the advance. At 1430 hours, the attached tanks and tank destroyers, one platoon of each, were ordered to move forward with the intention of getting them up to Laiano [Vaiano?] (762983) and attaching them to the First Battalion in order that they might be used to support direct fire whenever possible, although because of the nature of the terrain, they would be unable to maneuver. The Division Commanding General, Major General Charles L. Bolte, made frequent visits to the forward Regimental Command Post, and each time expressed his satisfaction of the progress made by the Regiment over the rugged terrain encountered.

Company "C" was sent to take Hill 791 (747005) because our troops had been receiving heavy fire from that point. Upon leaving Hill 769, they immediately became engaged in another exchange of fire with the enemy and started to fight their way up to Hill 791. Company "A" was ordered to work around Terenzana to aid Company "C", by attacking the hill from the east. Meanwhile, Company "E" received a counter-attack, coming from the west and southwest, with an estimated one to two hundred enemy in the attack. The enemy attacked with hand grenades and small arms fire, shouting and firing indiscriminately. Our troops fell back a few yards and then mowed them down as they came on in waves, running and falling over their own dead. The enemy was successfully beaten off, losing heavily, but a few of them managed to remain in holes and our troops had to pry them out at close range. Artillery fire was immediately brought to bear on the enemy, however, some of the artillery fell close to our troops, inflicting casualties.

Our troops had fought hard all day and had engaged in bitter exchanges of fire. Our advance was still impeded by heavily mined areas, wire, and fortified strongpoints.

During the evening, the First and Second Battalions continued to move slowly forward, meeting heavy and almost fanatical opposition and numerous enemy were in front of them. Company "B" moved up above S. Margherita to protect our right flank from infiltration as there was considerable distance between us and 135th Infantry Regiment on our right.

Defensive and harassing fire were planned for the night and at 2045 hours, the Second Battalion reported they were still engaged in a fire fight and that they were working up the crest of Hill 769 where they ran into protective wire and heavily mined areas. Twenty to twenty five casualties were inflicted upon the Battalion, most of them fatal. Numerous enemy were within hand grenade distance beyond the protective wire but the enemy were well dug in and difficult to remove. Toward midnight, however, the front was fairly quiet.

Eight prisoners were captured during the day by the First Battalion from units as follows: two from the 7th Company, 754th Infantry Regiment, 334th Infantry Division and six from the 8th Company of the same Regiment and Division. (See overlay No. 8 for positions of troops)

Evacuation of the wounded was becoming more difficult as the front advanced in the mountains. One hundred and sixty five litter bearers were now being used over a litter relay chain of seven and one half miles. Lines of evacuation were constantly being reconnoitered but most of the small roads or paths were under direct enemy observation and therefore received heavy artillery shelling.

The supply problem in the mountains was also a major problem. As with the evacuation of casualties, the supply routes were also under observation of the enemy and also received much artillery fire. At this time, one hundred and seventy two mules and two hundred and forty Italian mule skinners were being used. Both Italian and American mules were being used to haul the "K" rations, ammunition and water and various other supplies up to the front line troops. Four to five mules were lost per night due to falling off the steep cliffs and narrow trails in the dark.

[15 September 1944]

At 0600 hours, the morning of the 15th of September, the First and Second Battalions again started to move with the Third Battalion moving up close behind the First Battalion; both forward Battalions immediately received small arms and heavy machine-gun fire. The tanks and tank destroyers moved to Collina (773963) at 0930 hours but the road west from Laiano could not be used because it was heavily mined. Throughout the morning the Second Battalion continued to meet very heavy opposition from close quarters, the First Battalion continued the attempt to move but progress was very slow and costly. All trails were mined and booby trapped and the enemy had used demolitions in many places.

Shortly after 1200 hours, the Commanding General of the II Corps, Major General Geoffrey Keyes, and the Commanding General of the 34th Infantry Division, Major General Charles Bolte, called at the forward Regimental Command Post and stated they were most pleased with the progress of the Regiment, especially over the rough terrain and against such stiff opposition.

Artillery had been used continuously all day and in the afternoon our supporting artillery fire increased in intensity. Our supporting artillery and also Division artillery were used in concentrations requested from the Chemical mortars attached to the Regiment on our right. Fifteen minute concentrations were placed by the Chemical mortars every hour starting at 1615 hours and until 2015 hours on the following points: 746003, 747006, and 748008. Our Cannon Company also fired ten rounds per minute for 15 minutes on the same targets.

A coordinated attack, preceded by an intense artillery concentration and a rolling barrage was planned for the First and Second Battalions and at 1705 hours they jumped off in the attack. Companies "E" and "G" attacked to the north and northwest, Company "B" proceeding toward Terenzana (754005) [900m ESE of Hill 810] which they occupied an hour later while Company "C" became engaged in a heavy fire fight at 744997.

At 1800 hours our positions were as indicated on overlay Number 9. Our troops had met stiff opposition throughout the day and had suffered seventy five casualties but still heavier casualties were inflicted on the enemy and we had advanced in the famed Gothic Line.

During the early evening hours, telephone conversations were held between the Regimental Commander and the three Battalion Commanders and plans for the coming morning attack were made. It was planned to send the Third Battalion around to our extreme right flank and for them to attack to the north. Company "K" was to proceed to Terenzana immediately so as to be prepared and in position for the early morning attack as the point of the Battalion. Companies "A" and "B" were to continue the attack on Hill 791 [350m SSE of Hill 810] during the evening and if not successful by nightfall, were to continue on in the morning. Late in the evening Company "C" was still engaged in a heavy fire fight and could not move forward. Company "G" was just short of the crest of Hill 672 at 2150 hours and patrols were sent forward of that position. Company "E" was about two hundred yards behind Company "G" and an enemy machine gun was firing on them from a position about one hundred and fifty yards west and between the two companies but troops from these companies silenced the gun in short order.

At midnight Company "K" had cleared S. Margherita and were heading for Terenzana. The Second Battalion was still in a fierce fire fight and Companies "C" and "B" were moving slowly up the hill. Only four prisoners were captured, all by the Second Battalion, from the 7th Company, 754th Regiment of the 334th Infantry Division. Our casualties were heavy, about ninety wounded and killed, but at the same time we had inflicted severe casualties upon the enemy.

The evacuation of the wounded was still a major problem and more litter bearers were obtained from all available sources in the Regiment, especially the Service Company and the Anti-Tank Company. A new route of evacuation was opened by using the main highway running into S. Margherita, regardless of the fact that the highway was under direct artillery observation. The litter bearers were worn out from almost continuous twenty four hour duty and the litter bearer problem was becoming acute.

[16 September 1944]

At daylight, on the morning of the 16th of September, a combat patrol from Company "F" was to go to wipe out an enemy strongpoint at 741991 and elements of Company "G" were to go to Hill 662. At 2330 hours a small enemy counter-attack was launched, estimated to be about twenty five men in strength, which was beaten off by Company "E" by using hand grenades. At daylight the Third Battalion jumped off in the attack with Company "K" in the point but almost immediately ran into enemy machine gun fire which slowed them down. The First Battalion also moved off but ran into very heavy resistance from their objectives.

At 0725 hours, a small forward Regimental Command Post group left Montecucolli to establish a new forward Command Post at Corsica (762971). The First Battalion was in a fierce fire fight at 0830 hours and enemy positions in front of them were as heavily fortified as in Cassino. Positions were protected by wire, mined areas, and every approach was covered by machine gun fire. Bunkers were well constructed, buttressed with heavy timbers covered with about three or four feet of rocks and earth.

Because the Regiment did not have a Battalion in reserve, it was hoped that the Second Battalion could clean up the opposition in front of them but this could not be accomplished however, as the opposition was very strong and the fighting was still going on fiercely at 1000 hours. During this opposition encounter, the Second Battalion S-3, Captain Hugh S. Jacobs, was wounded and evacuated.

However, the First Battalion had been able to get two tank destroyers in a forward position and they were supporting by direct fire. At 1030 hours the First Battalion encountered another heavily mined area between them and their objective and reconnaissance was instituted with the objective of finding a way of getting through or around the area.

Terenzano had erroneously been reported as captured after a combat patrol from the Third Battalion had entered the town in the early morning hours and after engaging the enemy had been forced to withdraw. But at 1400 hours, The Third Battalion jumped off in a coordinated attack, preceded by an artillery preparation, to take Hill 582 upon which the town of Terenzano is located.

The Second Battalion, which had been engaged in bitter fighting and had not moved, prepared an exceptionally heavy artillery preparation and moved off in a co-ordinated attack at 1715 hours. At 1800 hours the Second Battalion was moving slowly against opposition which had increased considerably during the last twenty four hours.

Enemy artillery, mortar and machine gun fire had increased in intensity on our front but the Third Battalion had made favorable advances in face of slightly lessened resistance on their front. All during the day our troops had been engaged continuously with a very stubborn enemy, who at times, fought with near-fanatic ferocity. Their positions were well placed, well protected by wire, mines and machine gun cross fire and were impossible to take without heavy casualties to our troops.

At 1830 hours, Company "A" received a counter-attack [which] was repulsed by bringing down intense artillery, mortar and heavy machine gun fire upon the attacking enemy. Almost at the same time, Company "B", on the other flank, was hit by a counter-attack which also was repulsed, inflicting casualties upon the enemy. Later in the evening, Company "F" was counter-attacked, Company "G" was counter-attacked and Company "E" was counter-attacked, all within an hour and a half. As our supporting Battalion of Artillery, the 151st Field Artillery Battalion, was on the move forward at this time, artillery fire was brought to bear by the 125th Field Artillery Battalion, through the Division Artillery, and was very effective. All counter-attacks were repulsed and no ground was lost but casualties were inflicted on our tired, hard fighting troops.

At 1950 hours, Major General Bolte, the Division Commanding General, in a telephone conversation with the Regimental Commander, ordered him to hold the Third Battalion in place until the other units of the Regiment had a chance to clean out the left flank, as by this time the Third Battalion was considerably ahead and it was thought that their flank might be endangered. Company "A" had been temporarily stopped at 2000 hours, because of fierce opposition, Company "B" was progressing very slowly under heavy fire but Company "C" was meeting less resistance and their progress was more favorable. At midnight the Regimental Commander gave orders to the Battalion Commanders for the planned offensive of the next day. The First Battalion was to attack to the north and occupy Hill 810, the Second Battalion was to take Hills 662 and 622 and clean out the enemy, the Third Battalion to occupy Hill 505, all Battalions to move at daylight or as soon thereafter as possible. All Battalions were to operate very strong and active patrols throughout the night maintaining pressure upon the enemy. At the same hour the 151st Field Artillery Battalion closed in their new area and were in position to give supporting artillery fire.

For the preceding twenty four hours, this command has been in continuous close contact with the enemy, engaging in very fierce fighting and repulsing numerous and frequent enemy counter-attacks. During the day our attached tanks and tank destroyers had knocked out seven enemy bunkers and our troops had again inflicted severe casualties upon the enemy. But due to the enemy's extremely well placed, well fortified and well protected strongpoints, our own tired, dirty and depleted troops also had suffered with approximately seventy five casualties for the day. (See overlay No. 10 for positions of troops at 2400 hours, 16 September 1944)

[17 September 1944

On the morning of 17 September 1944, all three Battalions again started to advance. The enemy immediately launched a strong counter-attack, an estimated two companies against Company "E". A fierce battle ensued at close quarters with many hand grenades being used by the enemy in addition to rifle grenades, machine gun, mortar and self propelled artillery fire. The counter-attack was repulsed, both sides losing heavily, but our troops remained in close contact and the fighting continued.

The fire power of the Regiment was strengthened by a platoon of the 84th Chemical Mortar Battalion and the 168th Infantry Regiment's Cannon Company being attached to the Third Battalion. But to some extent the fire power of the Regiment was reduced because the allotment of 81mm mortar ammunition had been reduced to five hundred rounds per day. The Regiment had previously been firing approximately 1200 rounds of 81mm mortar ammunition per day so the curtailment of this ammunition did make a decided difference.

Throughout the day the enemy artillery and mortars had been very active, in fact, in spots the enemy laid in more artillery fire than this Regiment had ever experienced in all their contact with the enemy. At about 1200 hours, two concentrations of mortar and artillery fire, of fifty or sixty rounds, landed within a ten minute period on Hill 628. At 1300 hours, Hill 810 was captured by the First Battalion and prisoners were captured. The Third Battalion, following the 135th Infantry Regiment's flank, attacked Hill 602 from the east. At this time the Battalions were requested to use the Cannon Companies more frequently because our attached artillery had been and was firing continuously, in fact they were so busy they could not handle all the fire missions requested of them.

In an effort to get the road running north from S. Margherita open for our armor, additional Engineers were requested from Division but it was impossible to secure them.

At 1301 hours, another concentration of enemy mortar fire fell in our sector at 747971, two hundred rounds in five minutes, while heavy harassing fires fell continuously, making it most difficult to maintain communications. Again at 1515 hours, the Second Battalion was engaged in a fierce fire fight and the Third Battalion was progressing slowly. The First Battalion, fighting on Hill 810, had captured the hill but the enemy immediately counter-attacked, driving the First Battalion off the crest of the hill. Severe casualties were inflicted on both sides. The First Battalion immediately reorganized and attacked again. At 1615 hours, Hill 810 was in our possession after a fierce fight, by Companies "A" and "B" and more prisoners were captured. During this engagement the First Battalion Commanding Officer, Major Woodrow M. Dumont, was seriously wounded and the Battalion Executive Officer, Major Merton E. Church, assumed command. (See overlay No. 11 for check points)

A co-ordinated Division Attack was planned for the morning of the 18th of September with the 135th Infantry Regiment and our Third Battalion jumping off at 0530 hours. Preceded by an artillery preparation, the Third Battalion was to take Hill 606 and continue to attack northwest, the First Battalion to remain in place until the Second Battalion could disengage. After a protest to the Division Commander by the Regimental Commander, in which it was stated that our Second Battalion was heavily engaged with the enemy and in all probability would remain so for several days to come, it was decided to hold the first Battalion in place until 1100 hours on the morning of the 18th of September. This plan, of course, would depend on the progress of the 135th Infantry Regiment (See overlay for proposed plan of attack)

Our troops were still engaged in heavy fighting as darkness fell with very little progress having been made.

Just before dark, Colonel William S. Schildroth, the Regimental Commander, went forward to confer with the Battalion Commanders on plans for the coming day. On his return trip, at about 2115 hours, his peep stalled about four or five hundred yards from the Regimental Forward Command Post. The Colonel and his radio operator started to walk the balance of the way to the Command Post, leaving the driver with the vehicle. In the darkness, they took the wrong fork of the trail, strayed into a minefield and both the colonel and the radio operator were killed as the result of setting off a Schu-mine with a prepared detonation charge under it. The terrific explosion was heard in the Command Post but the bodies were not found until daylight due to the difficulty of getting through the minefield. Mine teams were delayed in arriving at the location and as a result it was not sure it was the Colonel and his radio operator until dawn, when the bodies were found. Until then, there had been a faint possibility that the two had merely become lost in the hill surrounding the Command Post. Division Headquarters was immediately notified and the Regimental Executive Officer, Lt. Colonel Sarratt T. Hames, was ordered to take command of the Regiment. This he did, arriving at the Forward Command Post about midnight.

Prisoners captured during the day totalled fourteen of which thirteen were captured by the First Battalion. Twelve of the prisoners being from the 2nd Company, 334th Fusilier Battalion and one from the 1st Company, 334th Replacement Battalion and the other, captured by Headquarters Company, from the 4th Company, 754th Regiment, 334th Infantry Division.

So with another day of continuous hard fighting to crack the Gothic Line, no appreciable gains were made.

[18 September 1944]

Preceded by a heavy artillery preparation, the Third Battalion jumped off into the attack at 0530 hours, 18 September 1944. At the same hour, the Second Battalion spotted enemy troops and it appeared as though they were forming for a counter-attack. Artillery was brought to bear on the enemy and an attack was foiled although an exchange of fire continued. The Third Battalion continued moving forward and at 0750 hours Company "I" was on Hill 606, Company "L" was held up by a minefield at 759017. At 0825 hours, the 135th Infantry Regiment on our right, reported that their troops on Hill 751 were receiving fire from the eastern slopes of Hill 606 so it was then evident that the Third Battalion did not have complete control of the hill.

Due to casualties, the First Battalion had lost three Company Commanders as the Battalion was heavily engaged with the enemy. The First Battalion was not yet in complete command of Hill 810 at 0900 hours as had been previously reported, but they were receiving artillery fire with no small arms fire. Fighting continued throughout the morning with no appreciable progress being made. During the early part of the afternoon, plans were instituted for a ight attack to be made by Companies "C" and "K", who were attached to the Second Battalion for that purpose. (See plan of attack No. 2) Tanks, tank destroyers and chemical mortars were attached to the Second Battalion to support the attack, as well as extra mine teams.

At 1530 hours, Colonel Gustav J. Braun, Division Chief of Staff reported to the Regimental Command Post to take command of the Regiment.

Continuous contact was maintained with the enemy throughout the afternoon and at times sharp fire fights [were] breaking out.

At 1745 hours the Forward Command Post moved to Margherita (757995), closing in the new location at 1910 hours. (See overlay No. 12) At 1840 hours, Company "B" repulsed an enemy counter-attack on their left flank. At 1900 hours, Company "K" discovered the enemy in strength in front of them and the enemy attempting to infiltrate between them and Company "B". Fighting at close quarters ensued with many hand grenades being used on both sides. Both companies sent out strong combat patrols to flush the enemy from the draws between and in front of them, however Company "K" still had enemy in strength in front of them. Due to this situation, Company "K" could not disengage and start the attack west without leaving a force to hold the position and protect the companies' withdrawal. This was taken into account by the Regimental Commander and it was decided to postpone the time of the attack until the situation could be cleared. (See overlay No. 12) At 2250 hours, it was decided to leave one platoon of riflemen as protection for the machine guns and that the planned attack would go on as scheduled. This would leave approximately 80 men for the attack with Company "K". The companies reported that they could prepare their companies and be at the line of departure at 0300 hours, so at 2345 hours the Regimental Commander reported to the Division Commander that the attack would jump off at 0300 hours with the artillery preparation starting at 0100 hours.

At midnight the front was comparatively quiet with only sporadic firing being engaged. The positions of our troops were as indicated on overlay No. 12. Four prisoners were captured during the day, all from the 1st Company, 334th Reserve Battalion. Three were captured by Company "I", one by Company "B".

Casualties for the day were fairly heavy, but the litter routes were changed to converge in the town of S. Margherita in which the patients were treated before being evacuated by the clearing stations. The treatment of the patients was difficult because of the enemy laying in concentrations of artillery and mortar.

One hundred infantry replacements were received during the early evening hours and were turned over to the Kitchen trains to be escorted to their respective companies.

[19 September 1944]

In the early morning hours of 19 September the 151st Field Artillery Battalion notified this Headquarters that they received permission to fire again as did the British 5.5s, supporting artillery for this command. Both units had previously been ordered to cease firing because friendly fire was falling in the area of our troops. These units had not been at fault however, so they were granted permissions to resume firing. In the meantime the two attacking companies, Companies "C" and "K" were preparing for the coming attack. Company "K" was reported to be about forty five minutes late so Company "C" was ordered to hold up so as to enable the two companies to jump off together. At 0430 hours, Company "K" reported they were at the line of departure and Company "C" crossed the line at the same time.

Spasmodic firing continued throughout the night and at 0515 hours the first objective was reached by the two attacking companies with light opposition encountered but they did draw some mortar, machine gun and small arms fire. A short time later Company "C" had been shelled off objective Number 1 (See overlay No. 12, 18 September) and reorganized preparatory to going back up to the objective. However Company "K" held on to their objective and at 0600 hours reported that they had captured sixteen prisoners on Hill 662. At 0730 hours, Company "K" was again prepared for the attack and pushed on to the north followed by Companies "E" and "G". At 0750 hours, twenty four prisoners were brought in and by 1000 hours our troops had Hill 769 and were directing fire on Hill 791. All during the afternoon prisoners were brought back from the forward positions and it appeared that due to the number of prisoners captured that the enemy resistance was beginning to break.

During the afternoon plans were made for a night attack on Ridge 810. It was felt that if we could take this hill it would save us many casualties as the enemy had the commanding ground with excellent observation. This attack was to be made by the First Battalion supported by fire from the Third Battalion and the main effort being made by the troops of Companies "A" and "B" which had been combined into one company due to the high casualties. H-hour was to be at 0400 hours the following morning.

Company "K", which had been attached to the Second Battalion for the attack of the previous night, was returned to the Third Battalion control in the afternoon. During the afternoon it was decided to organize flame-thrower teams, as it was felt that these weapons could be utilized with good results on enemy bunkers and pill boxes which were most difficult to liquidate by other means. Each team was to consist of five men; the operator, assistant operator, one non-commissioned officer and two Chemical engineers, all men to carry grenades and the non-commissioned officer to be armed with a sub-machine gun. In the meantime, plans were reached for the night attack, strong combat patrols were sent out to reconnoiter the objectives and if the patrols reported "no contact" upon their return, the objectives would be occupied during the night, thus making an attack in force unnecessary. On or about 2330 hours, all patrols had returned, reporting no physical contact with the enemy on Hills 701, 748, and 810 but on Hills 701 and 810 they had heard sounds of voices, digging and vehicular movement. As a result it was decided that an attack was necessary, and so plans were completed for the attack to go as planned at 0400 hours.

During the day we had gained some ground, our objectives being prominent terrain features to the west from which the enemy had excellent observation and had been causing us considerable trouble. Our captured prisoner total had mounted, the total for the day being seventy five which included seven wounded which had been evacuated. Company "K" captured a total of forty nine, Company "F" fifteen, Company "E" three, and Headquarters Company Third Battalion one from the following enemy units as listed:

15 - Hq. Company, 754th Regt., 334 Inf. Div.

1 - 1st Company, 754th Regt., 334 Inf. Div.

3 - 2nd Company, 754th Regt., 334 Inf. Div.

1 - 3rd Company, 754th Regt., 334 Inf. Div.

1 - 4th Company, 754th Regt., 334 Inf. Div.

22 - 5th Company, 754th Regt., 334 Inf. Div.

2 - 6th Company, 754th Regt., 334 Inf. Div.

9 - 7th Company, 754th Regt., 334 Inf. Div.

2 - 8th Company, 754th Regt., 334 Inf. Div.

3 - 13th Company, 754th Regt., 334 Inf. Div.

4 - 1st Company, Anti-Tank Bn., 334 Inf. Div.

4 - 5th Battery, 334th Artillery Regt., [334 Inf. Div.]

1 - 3rd Company, 334th Fusilier Bn., [334 Inf. Div.]

The evacuation of the wounded was now not quite as difficult as previously because the relay litter route was considerably shortened. However the litter bearers were practically exhausted because they were working day and night evacuating the patients over this most difficult terrain. A litter squad was relieved occasionally but this could not be accomplished as often as necessary due to the shortage of squads and the length of the litter haul.

One hundred Infantry replacements were received and processed. Seventy were forwarded to the First Battalion to be sent forward at once, and thirty to the Second Battalion kitchen train. Nine replacement officers were also received and assigned. (See overlay No. 13 for position of troops)

[20 September 1944]

All during the night and early morning hours of 20 September, the front was comparatively quiet with intermittent fire falling throughout the Regimental sector. During the early morning hours a light rain started to fall, continuing until after day light. The units making the 0400 attack were delayed somewhat and did not cross the line of departure until approximately 0420 hours.

An hour and a half later, Company "A" was on Hill 748 [200m SE of Hill 810] and the balance of the Battalion was shoving off for Hill 810. At 0630 hours, the First Battalion requested increased artillery fire on Hill 810. The units moved forward slowly over the rough terrain against light enemy resistance, Company "B" taking prisoners on the advance on Hill 810. While the First Battalion was advancing, the Second and Third Battalions held in place with the Third Battalion supporting the First Battalion by fire and with both Battalions patrolling vigorously and extensively. At 0945 hours, the First Battalion called for heavy artillery fire on 740008 [il Gallo, Hill 622] as their Out Post reported enemy troops forming at that point for a possible counter-attack. At 1010 hours an enemy Out Post on Hill 810 was spotted and artillery was brought to bear, a fire started immediately from a direct hit on the object.

An Italian civilian, picked up by our troops, gave locations of five enemy Out Posts and three enemy strongpoints so TOTs were placed by our artillery on each location. Enemy resistance continued throughout the morning and at 1115 hours, Company "A" was engaged in a fire fight with an estimated two platoons of the enemy from Hill 807, while machine guns from the same location kept a steady fire on Company "B". Due to the determined resistance from this Hill, it was decided that a part of the combined "A and "B" companies should attack the Hill while the balance of the unit continued to advance on Hill 810. Heavy mortar barrages were placed on both hills because at this time our troops were too close to use artillery. At 1405 hours, Company "B" was pinned down to some extent by self propelled artillery fire from the vicinity of 732119. At the same time our attached tanks and tank destroyers had knocked out several enemy strongpoints by direct fire on the eastern slopes of Hill 810. They continued firing throughout the afternoon, doing excellent work despite drawing heavy artillery fire from enemy guns attempting to knock them out.

Operational Instructions No. 89 from Headquarters 34th Infantry Division were received and were as follows: 34th Division continues attack at 0600 hours tomorrow morning; 168th Infantry Regiment goes through the left flank of 135th Infantry Regiment and attacks northwest; 135th Infantry Regiment continues to attack north; 133rd Infantry Regiment continues to attack north.

The platoon of the 84th Chemical Mortars attached to this Regiment was detached as was the Cannon company of the 168th Infantry Regiment. Plans were immediately prepared for the attack in the morning with the Third Battalion to attack north along the Regimental right boundary with the First Battalion on the left flank, the Second Battalion was to clean out pockets of enemy resistance to the west. (See Operational Instruction No. 22)

If the attack succeeded, this Regiment would be squeezed out of action in two or three days and then revert to Division Reserve.

Throughout the day the Second Battalion had been probing with strong combat patrols and at 1830 one patrol returned from Hill 642 after engaging in a fire fight with the enemy. The patrol captured four prisoners and disengaged because they were greatly outnumbered. During the evening, the Regimental Commander relieved the First Battalion Commander of his command and the Regimental Executive Officer, Lt. Colonel Sarratt T. Hames was given the command for the proposed attack of the next day. By midnight all plans had been completed, reconnaissance made and all preparations completed for the jump-off at 0600 hours in the morning.

The positions of our troops had not changed appreciably during the last twenty-four hours but we had engaged the enemy throughout the period with stiff fire fights and active patrolling. A total of fourteen prisoners were captured throughout the day by the following companies: five by Company "B", one by Company "E", four by Company "G", and four by Company "A". The prisoners were from enemy units as indicated:

3 - 2nd Company, 334th Fusilier Bn., [334 Inf. Div.]

1 - 1st Replacement Company, 334 Inf. Div. (Evac)

2 - 2nd Company, 754th Regt., 334 Inf. Div.

4 - 1st Company, 334th Reserve Bn., [334 Inf. Div.]

4 - 4th Company, 334th Fusilier Bn., [334 Inf. Div.]

The S-1 Section and Regimental Headquarters Rear Detachment moved to a new Command Post site in the town of Barberino and closed in at 1600 hours.

[21 September 1944]

Again the night was comparatively quiet until 0455 hours on the morning of 21 September 1944, at which time Company "A"'s forward elements on Hill 810 were receiving a counter-attack from an undetermined number of enemy and were forced to withdraw to Hill 791. Casualties were inflicted on both sides, Company "A" suffering two men killed and one wounded. At 0620 hours the Third Battalion jumped off in the attack, H-hour being 0600 hours. The First Battalion was also late in crossing the line of departure and at 0630 hours Company "A" jumped off but Company "B" was pinned down by fire and unable to move. Company "A" immediately ran into determined resistance and the Battalion attack bogged down and the attempted advance was halted. The troops then re-organized and at 0830 hours, after a ten minute artillery preparation, the two attacking companies resumed the advance but again the battalion was pinned down by fire coming from their left rear, generally in the vicinity of 736002. The Second Battalion was then ordered to send out strong combat patrols to clean out that pocket of enemy so as to enable the First Battalion to advance. Meanwhile the Third Battalion was advancing fairly well, meeting some resistance, mostly machine gun fire and by 1000 hours their forward element, Company "I", was above the 02 grid line and had knocked out several machine gun nests. At the same time the Second Battalion had six strong patrols out to the west and were working over the pocket of resistance holding back the First Battalion. They had captured three prisoners and had neutralized the enemy fire in that sector. The First Battalion then resumed the advance but were still receiving extensive heavy fire.

In the early part of the afternoon, Company "A" ran into extensive mine fields and wire on the eastern slopes of Hill 807. Casualties were suffered and the advance again held up temporarily.

At about 1500 hours, Major General Bolte, the 34th Division Commander arrived at the Forward Command Post and conferred with the Regimental Commander and then left for the First Battalion Command Post to secure a better view of the situation.

During the afternoon it was decided to put Company "C" in the line in order to lend greater strength to the advance of the First Battalion and so a platoon from Company "F" occupied the positions of Company "C" on Hill 791.

The attached tanks and tank destroyers performed exceptionally well, knocking out bunkers and strongpoints with direct fire and raising havoc with the enemy infantry. According to reports from captured prisoners, the tanks and tank destroyers kept them pinned down continuously throughout the day. They stated that they could not move, even to eat without having one of our direct fire weapons dropping a shell in among them and further added that when our tank destroyers did cease firing and they could lift their heads, our Infantry was upon them with hand grenades. An Officer prisoner stated that they had very heavy casualties today, and when taken prisoner, he had many severely wounded who had to be left behind, but our Medics took care of them and picked them up.

At 1635 hours, the Third Battalion knocked out two enemy machine gun nests and two Anti-Aircraft guns located at check point Number 2 (See overlay No. 14, Map of Italy, 1/25,000, sheets 98 III, NE, SE) but had not taken prisoners, all enemy personnel had been killed on their positions by our hand grenades. Meanwhile our First Battalion had been moving steadily forward but had been forced to follow mine sweepers through the mined areas. At 1840 hours, both Hills 807 and 810 were secure in our hands and Company "C" had captured over fifty prisoners.

During the day and early evening, the Third Battalion was advancing without much opposition and was abreast of their objective (See overlay No. 14) but to the east of it. However, they would continue to advance after dark, cutting across to occupy the objectives and continue to the northwest with Company "I" and endeavor to cut off the road running south from Montepiano (See overlay No. 14) and set up a road block.

Enemy strongpoints encountered were bypassed and left for the First Battalion, coming up from the south, to clean out. Prisoners were being brought in all day and a total of seventy five were captured during the day of which three were officers. Company "A" captured sixty nine, Second Battalion five, and Company "E" one from the following units as indicated:

1 - 1st Company, 755th Regt., 334th Inf. Div.

1 - 1st Company, 754th Regt., 334th Inf. Div.

3 - 4th Company, 754th Regt., 334th Inf. Div.

1 - 8th Company, 754th Regt., 334th Inf. Div.

21 - 1st Company, 334th Fusilier Bn., [334th Inf. Div.]

15 - 2nd Company, 334th Fusilier Bn., [334th Inf. Div.]

29 - 4th Company, 334th Fusilier Bn., [334th Inf. Div.]

4 - Hq, Company, 334th Fusilier Bn., [334th Inf. Div.]

Evacuation were light for the day with a total of twenty four, [considering] the action encountered and the type of terrain fighting over. Three officers consisting of one Captain and two First Lieutenants were transferred to the Regiment as replacements.

[22 September 1944]

The Third Battalion, in the early morning hours of 22 September, continued their advance along the lines as planned. They met no resistance except for scattered small arms and intermittent self propelled artillery fire along the trails in their line of advance and at 0400 hours they were at Prati (749025). The Second Battalion area had been quiet throughout the night and at daylight they sent out strong combat patrols to the west. The First Battalion was on the move as scheduled and advanced along Ridge 791. At 0900 hours a patrol from the Second Battalion returned from Hill 528 and reported no contact with the enemy as all positions on the hill were vacated. Another patrol, returning from Hill 642, had engaged the enemy and captured seven prisoners. At 1200 hours, a report from the Air Out Post stated that three enemy tanks were spotted at 743026 and slightly to the northwest of that point, had observed enemy infantry, accompanied by three vehicles. Both targets were taken under fire by our artillery. Still another patrol returned, from Hill 662 (742001). They had made no contact with the enemy but had discovered an unarmed [unmanned(?)] machine gun position, many Schu-mines ready to be placed, and great piles of barbed wire. Shortly after 1200 hours, contact was made by our troops with elements of the 91st Reconnaissance Squadron who had been moving up the Fourth Corps boundary on our left flank. At 1300 hours, two enemy tanks were reported observed at 746015. Our supporting artillery was immediately brought to bear and also our attached tank destroyers moved up to engage them.

A message from the 168th Infantry Regiment on our right flank, transmitted through Division G-3, was received at 1400 hours and reported approximately thirty five enemy on Hill 845 (753030) and the division G-3 deemed it advisable to change the boundary between the two Regiments so as to enable a company from our Third Battalion to go up and clean out the hill because by this time the 168th Infantry Regiment was considerably north of that point. (See overlay No. 15 for boundary changes) Company "L" was sent on

A message from the 168th Infantry Regiment on our right flank, transmitted through Division G-3, was received at 1400 hours and reported approximately thirty five enemy on Hill 845 (753030) and the division G-3 deemed it advisable to change the boundary between the two Regiments so as to enable a company from our Third Battalion to go up and clean out the hill because by this time the 168th Infantry Regiment was considerably north of that point. (See overlay No. 15 for boundary changes) Company "L" was sent on this mission, because at this time Company "I" was on the eastern part of our objective with Company "L" slightly to the northwest of them.

During the afternoon, the Second Battalion was ordered to disengage one company to be used as a Regimental reserve and assemble near Corte (753998). Up to this time all three Battalions had been constantly on the line engaging the enemy. At 1530 hours, Company "I" captured Hill 918 on the eastern half of the objective and also captured several prisoners.

During the day resistance had lightened all along the line and so it was decided to abandon the plan for the road block south of Montepiano as had been planned for the Third Battalion. New plans called for the Third Battalion to send strong patrols up the east side of the road running northwest to the town of Montepiano, and, if the resistance proved to be not too strong, to enter and occupy the town. the First Battalion was to execute the same plan on the west side of the road, while a motorized patrol from the Regimental I & R platoon was to enter the town via the road. As part of the proposed plan, the Second Battalion was to outpost the town of Rimondeto and generally along the 995 northing line and to prepare to withdraw the balance of the Battalion to be used as the Regimental reserve.

During the evening, the front was again comparatively quiet except in the sector of Company "C" who were engaged in a fire fight on Hill 817. Resistance was considerably lighter throughout the day and our troops gained considerable territory considering the nature of the terrain. Large stores of enemy equipment were captured as well as a total of thirty two prisoners. Sixteen prisoners were captured by Company "B", seven by Company "A", seven by Company "E" and two by Company "I", from the enemy units as follows:

4 - 1st Company, 334th Fusilier Bn., [334th Inf. Div.]
10 - 2nd Company, 334th Fusilier Bn., [334th Inf. Div.]
1 - 3rd Company, 334th Fusilier Bn., [334th Inf. Div.]
2 - 4th Company, 334th Fusilier Bn., [334th Inf. Div.]
4 - 1st Company, 334th Medics, [334th Inf. Div.]
4 - 2nd Company, 754th Regt., 334th Inf. Div.
5 - 6th Company, 754th Regt., 334th Inf. Div.
2 - 7th Company, 754th Regt., 334th Inf. Div.

Casualties were light with only two men wounded during the day and of course the evacuation of the wounded was simple compared to what it had been for the past several days. (See overlay No. 15 for position of troops)

[23 September 1944]

The sector was very quiet throughout the night and at daylight of the morning of 23 September the First Battalion was moving up on their objective while the Second Battalion was moving back into the assembly area (See overlay No. 16) leaving an outpost on Hill 769 as a contact with the 91st Reconnaissance Squadron on our left flank. The Second Battalion patrols were to Vernio (725994) and had returned after finding the town empty. The Third Battalion patrols were progressing up the right side of the road northwest into Montepiano. At 0900 hours the First Battalion had completely occupied their half of objective "A" (See overlay No. 16) and elements were moving to 727029 to establish a road block.

At 0930 hours, this Headquarters was notified by Division G-3 that the 91st Reconnaissance Squadron was being pulled out of the line and was being replaced as soon as possible with the 34th Reconnaissance Squadron. At the same time this Regiment was order to secure Vernio so a platoon of Company "F" was sent out on the mission and was ordered to patrol as far as Quirico (722000). Company "B" was to move forward along the road leading northwest to La Crocuta and Canturato, with Company "A" moving to the north and with Company "C" to follow to follow to the rear of Company "B", along the road northwest to Montepiano. The Regimental Commander, Colonel Gustav J. Braun, attached himself to the first platoon of Company "B", which at that time was moving northwest along the road to Canturato and ordered them to push north. Upon reaching Canturato and after capturing twelve prisoners and five mules, they continued north along the road toward the town of Rusubbiani, encountering several machine guns firing in their general direction. Colonel Braun immediately radioed to the rear requesting mortar fire to be placed on the machine gun positions. The mortar fire silenced these machine guns immediately and the platoon continued the advance. At 1300 hours, upon reaching the intersection of the road running north and south at Montepiano, two patrols were formed. One patrol had the mission of patrolling north from Montepiano and the other to the south along the road with the mission to reconnoiter the roads forward and secure as many bridges as possible. Second Lieutenant Meyer Kasten, the Platoon Leader, took command of the patrol going north to which the Regimental Commander attached himself. At 1500 hours, the First Battalion Commander, Lt. Colonel Sarratt T. Hames, and the Forward Command Post of the First Battalion, moved on to the near vicinity of Montepiano and the Battalion Commander proceeded into the town of Montepiano to contact the Regimental Commander and radio the location of the First Battalion to Regimental Headquarters. The balance of Company " B", Company "D", Company "C" and then Company "A", moved into the vicinity of the town, followed by Company "I" while the First Battalion had strong combat patrols out to the north as far as the 058 grid line. All bridges and culverts that were found intact were placed under guard. A total of twenty prisoners were captured and ten enemy were killed by our artillery, mortar and grenade fire.

Throughout the day our troops had met no organized resistance, action being confined to patrol action and isolated pockets of resistance. Reports indicated that the enemy was heading north at various points and so our tired troops increased their activity, cleaning out small pockets of enemy and taking small groups of prisoners from time to time throughout the day. As soon as all resistance in this sector had been eliminated and in accordance with Divisional Operational Instructions Number Ninety, this Regiment was to go in Division Reserve.

Early in the evening, Division G-3 issued the following orders to the Regimental S-3, Captain Earl T. Ralf: Our platoon of attached tanks were to start north from Montepiano and go as far north up the main road as possible, preceded by the Regimental I & R platoon and supported by a platoon of Infantry, with the mission of protecting such bridges and culverts as had been left intact by the enemy. This task force was to continue up the road as far as possible until the 34th Reconnaissance Squadron, which had relieved the 91st Reconnaissance Squadron, overtook them and at which time the Regiment would be relieved and pass into Division reserve. The plan was worked out and a platoon of Infantry, fully equipped with automatic weapons, was detached from the First Battalion to support the tanks. At 2100 hours, the Assistant S-2, Captain Edwin A. Meany Jr., in command of this task force, left the forward Regimental Command Post for Montepiano to carry out this mission. But before our task force was able to start advancing up the road, elements of the 34th Reconnaissance Squadron appeared at Montepiano, headed north, and took over the mission of our command, that of relieving the security on the bridges and culverts north of Montepiano, officially relieving this Regiment. The Regiment then passed into Division reserve.

During the day we had no large scale organized enemy resistance, all opposition coming from isolated pockets of enemy which had been cut off by our troops and these pockets our troops methodically cleaned up. Small amounts of prisoners were captured from time to time, also large stores of enemy arms, ammunition and equipment were captured. Sixty six prisoners were captured with Company "B" taking twenty two, Company "K" fourteen, Company "C" thirteen, Headquarters Company Third Battalion ten, Company "I" four, Headquarters Company First Battalion two and Company "F" one, from the following enemy units:

5 - 2nd Company, 754th Regt., 334th Inf. Div.
6 - 4th Company, 754th Regt., 334th Inf. Div.
8 - 6th Company, 754th Regt., 334th Inf. Div.
9 - 7th Company, 754th Regt., 334th Inf. Div.
2 - 8th Company, 754th Regt., 334th Inf. Div.
5 - 1st Battalion Headquarters, 755th Regt., 334th Inf. Div.
4 - 1st Company, 755th Regt., 334th Inf. Div.
1 - 4th Company, 755th Regt., 334th Inf. Div.
2 - 1st Company, 334th Fusilier Bn., [334th Inf. Div.]
5 - 3rd Company, 334th Fusilier Bn., [334th Inf. Div.]
3 - 4th Company, 334th Fusilier Bn., [334th Inf. Div.]
15 - 1st Company, 334th Reserve Bn., [334th Inf. Div.]
1 - 2nd Company, 334th Engineer Bn., [334th Inf. Div.]

[24 September 1944]

With the Regiment in Division reserve as of 0400 hours, 24 September 1944, the Regiment carried on patrolling throughout the night and a motorized patrol from the Second Battalion patrolled the road from Quirico to Montepiano, the road was found passable for peeps all the way. The attached platoons from the 757th Tank Battalion and the platoon from the 807th Tank Destroyers were detached for the time being. During the day the Battalions assembled in place but due to heavy enemy shelling of Montepiano, the First Battalion was forced to move further south than was planned (See overlay No. 17 for assembly area). Three prisoners were captured during the day by Company "K" from the following enemy units:

1 - 1st Company, 755th Regt., 334th Inf. Div.

2 - Headquarters Company, 754th Regt., 334th Inf. Div.

Fifty six Infantry replacements were received during the day and distributed to the units. The Regimental S-1 Section and Headquarters Company Rear Detachment moved from the location of Barberino to S. Margherita.

During the morning hours of 24 September, a report was received that the 6th South African Division was moving up on our left flank and so a patrol from the First Battalion was sent out to make contact with them, which they did at 1100 hours at 705025.

All during the day, elements of our troops engaged in salvage work, covering the territory of our recent fighting and recovered much of our arms, ammunition and equipment that had been lost or left behind. Also large stores of enemy equipment were found and salvaged. During the evening, the road block which had been maintained at Montepiano by the First Battalion, was withdrawn. The Regiment, being in Division reserve, spent the time in cleaning and replacing equipment and resting after the recent operations.

During the recent operations, this Regiment had attacked one of the most heavily defended sectors of the Gothic Line. We started operations with a very good knowledge of enemy defenses, gained from excellent aerial photos and air Out Posts and also, as we approached the outposts of the Gothic Line, knowledge was added from time to time on captured prisoner reports. We made our first physical contact with the enemy on 12 September 1944, taking our first prisoners of this operation on that date. The assault on the Gothic Line was accompanied by very fierce fighting, our path being continuously blacked by extensive minefields covered by enemy machine gun fire. Although the weather as a whole was favorable, the nature of the terrain, it being very mountainous and almost totally without roads, was universally in favor of the enemy, giving him perfect defensive ground. We assaulted the main Gothic Line for a period of nine days, cracking through one of the most heavily defended sectors, as the accompanying overprint of enemy defenses will indicate. During the complete operations to date, this Regiment captured three hundred and fifty three since the landings at Salerno, Italy on 22 September 1943. Although the enemy was well entrenched, had pill-boxes and extremely well defended and constructed bunkers, protected by wire and lanes of fire, this Regiment at the end of nine days of fierce combat, had broken the Gothic Line at this point and all that remained being mopping up operations as many pockets of enemy had been cut off and surrounded as a result of our columns outflanking them. Casualties for this period were the highest the Regiment had experienced in such a short time of combat with ninety one killed in action and four hundred and thirty two wounded in action.

[26-30 September 1944]

In a very impressive ceremony at 1100 hours, 26 September 1944, Major General Charles L. Bolte, the 34th Infantry Division Commanding General, presented seven Silver Stars for gallantry in action, eleven Bronze Stars for Heroic achievement in action and six 34th Infantry Division Citations for outstanding performance of Duty, to enlisted men and officers of this command. Four companies from the Second Battalion constituted the guard of Honor and the division Military Band offered the military marches.

Thirty new Infantry replacements were received during the day and distributed to the rifle companies. Major Edward M. Fabert was assigned to the Regiment and assigned to command the First Battalion, Lt. Colonel Sarratt T. Hames having been relieved of his command and re-assigned as Regimental Executive Officer.

Various forms of entertainment were presented for our resting troops including picture shows and Band Concerts by the Division Military Band. On the afternoon of 27 September, this Headquarters was ordered to send out reconnaissance parties to select a new assembly area on the right of the Division Sector in the vicinity of Montecarelli.

The reconnaissance party left at 1530 hours and returned at 1830 hours, having selected the areas for the future movement.

The weather was now turning cold and with steady rain, making it very uncomfortable for the troops but some items of winter clothing were issued. (See overlay No. 18 for assembly area)

The entire Regiment moved from the Vicinity of S. Margherita to the Vicinity of Montecarelli (806997) on the afternoon of 28 September 1944. The Regiment leaving the old area at 1505 hours and closing in at 1600 hours, a movement of fifteen miles over rough muddy roads. The weather was most disagreeable with cold rain falling and a very high wind. The troops, being hauled in open trucks, were wet to the bone upon arrival at the new location and about froze during the long cold hours of the night.

During the day of 29 September, as a consequence of telephone conversations with the Division G-3, our Battalions and separate units were each notified to be on the alert for a possible move the next day to a new assembly area at Madonna dei Fornelli, prepartatory to entering the line on the 1st of October. At midnight the troops were notified that the move was definite, that the time of crossing the I.P. would be 1140 hours the next morning, order of march to be Cannon Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Third Battalion, Second Battalion and First Battalion. The Anti-Tank Company was to be used as litter bearers in future operations with the exception of the mine teams, one of which was attached to each Battalion.

Seventy five Infantry Replacements were received during the day and distributed to the companies.

At approximately 0830 hours, 30 September, quartering parties left the Regimental Command Post to select assembly areas in the vicinity of Madonna dei Fornelli and at 1200 hours the Regimental Command Post closed with the exception of the S-1 Section, Service Company, Anti-Tank Company and the Rear Detachment of the Regimental Headquarters Company.

The Regimental Forward Command Post closed in the new Command Post at Madonna dei Fornelli (812160) at 1430 hours. (See overlay No. 19) The troops moved up by trucks to a detrucking point about five miles south of Madonna dei Fornelli, marching the remaining distance. The Cannon Company closed in at 1700 hours, and the balance of the Regiment at 1930 hours. The 34th Division Liaison Officer reported in to the Regimental Command Post at 2030 hours with Division Field Order No. 47, instructing this Regiment to enter the line on the right flank of the 168th Infantry Regiment and to attack north at 0600 hours the morning of the 1st of October. During the evening, plans for attack were prepared by the Regimental Staff. Plans for the attack are as indicated on Field Order No. 20, this Headquarters, as are the positions of our troops at the close of the period.

A steady rain has been falling all day and the temperature was steadily falling. The roads were in a very poor condition making it almost impossible to drive heavy trucks and equipment over the narrow, winding mountain trails of the Gothic Line region.

With the close of the period, this Regiment was still in the attack, slowly progressing against stubborn, determined resistance in the rugged terrain of the Apennine Mountains of Italy.

For the Regimental Commander:
SARRATT T. HAMES
Lt Col., Infantry
Executive Officer
OFFICIAL:
s/Donald L. Nabity
DONALD L. NABITY
Captain, Infantry
Adjutant


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