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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 1945 to 31 January 1945, inclusive.

During the greater portion of December 1944, part of the 133rd Infantry was employed defensively under control of the two other regiments of the 34th Infantry Division, the 135th and the 168th. Another group engaged in extensive training activities under Regimental jurisdiction, receiving instruction in the most effective use of all infantry weapons. Still other soldiers, attending schools elsewhere, learned how to operate the new 4.5 rocket gun, studied mine warfare and demolition tactics, and brushed up on communication procedures.

On 30 December the Regimental command post had moved from Casola (894295 - Map 1:25,000 Sheet 98 I NE Monterenzio) southeast to Piancaldoli (848170 - Map 1:25,000 Sheet 98 I SE Passo della Radicosa). Along with the entire Division, the 133rd was to occupy a secondary defense line in the new region, preparing defensive positions and developing a new main line of resistance.

[1 January 1945]

The first day of the new year dawned clear and white. Deep snow covered the hills and valleys. There was no troop activity during the day, which was designated as a period of cleaning and rehabilitation of personnel and equipment.

This day Lieutenant-Colonel Walden S. Lewis, Regimental commander, and members of his staff reconnoitered the proposed site for our new main line of resistance. Upon their return to the command post they studied and discussed counter-attack plans prepared by Division. These plans were designed to combat a breakthrough by the enemy of the primary line of resistance, the Regiment to be ready to counter-attack in any one of four sectors where hostile penetration appeared possible.

Seventeen enlisted men returned to the Regiment from temporary duty (furlough) in the United States. Forty enlisted men, accompanied by a duty officer, traveled to the Fifth Army Rest Camp in Florence for several days' recreation. Five officers began a five-day stay at the Anglo-American Hotel in Florence.

On this and other days, here and there in our area, resourceful soldiers made "ice cream". Although the manner of manufacture was unorthodox, the result was altogether palatable. Taking an empty gallon can, GI gourmets poured into it a half canteen cup of evaporated milk and a third of a cup of sugar which they had policed up. To these, as flavoring, they added a half canteen cup of cocoa, or two large spoonfuls of fruit powder. The rest of the can was then filled with pure white snow, all the ingredients being stirred continuously. In a matter of minutes six generous portions of tasty "snow cream" were ready for six eager appetites.

[2 January 1945]

On 2 January work was begun on the defensive positions in the sector assigned to us by Division. (For each battalion's tactical area refer to Regimental Training Memorandum No. 1, with Overlay No. 1.) Operations involved the development of the main line of resistance, digging in positions and preparing sites for minefields and wire obstacles.

The First, Second and Third Battalions were assigned to work, respectively, on Tactical Areas 11, 7 and 9. Cannon and Anti-Tank Companies spent the day preparing gun positions to cover these areas. Company A of the 109th Engineer Combat Battalion, attached to us, labored on the roads in the area. At noon sandwiches and hot coffee were served to the soldiers, who found digging in the hard, snow-blanketed earth cold work.

This day all troops were paid for the month of December. They also received their periodic post exchange rations of candy and other items, at nominal charges. In the evening a motion picture, "Rhapsody in Blue", was shown in Piancaldoli.

[3 January 1945]

On 3 January the First Battalion surveyed Tactical Area 8, the Second reconnoitered Area 10, and the Third Battalion inspected Area 12 (see Training Memorandum No. 1 and Overlay No. 1). Our report to Division at 1730 hours revealed that in the left sector Area 7 was 85 per cent completed, Area 9 was 60 percent done, and work in Area 11 was 80 per cent finished. Cannon and Anti-Tank Companies had completed 50 per cent of their work on installations in the left sector. The Engineers continued laboring on roads in the region and formed a dump holding mines, barbed wire and similar materiel.

This day a Regimental shower and clothing exchange unit was established, with First Lieutenant Gilbert D. Wenger in charge.

On this and the following day, 24-hour permits to visit Florence were issued to enlisted men, 100 soldiers leaving each morning. Two-day passes were granted officers, an average of 12 a day going to Florence from 3 to 7 January, inclusive.

[4 January 1945]

During 4 January the boundaries of the defensive line were changed slightly. Corrected overlays were sent to all units. (For revisions, refer to overlay No. 2, to accompany Training Memorandum No. 1.)

Work continued on positions in Areas 7, 9 and 11. Our report to Division at 1730 hours disclosed that on account of the change in boundaries, operations for the period had been slowed up. Area 7 was almost completed; Area 9 was entirely laid out, but digging was not finished. A number of positions had had to be altered in Area 11 because of boundary revisions, yet some progress had been achieved.

Issued this day was an announcement concerning counter-battery demonstrations to be held at Filigare (869157 - Map 1:25,000 Sheet 98 I SE Passo della Radicosa) on 7, 8, 9 and 10 January, to be attended by limited groups of soldiers from each unit of the Regiment except Service Company.

Captain William M. Joost, former Second Battalion S-2, left to attend the MTOUSA Leadership and Battle School. Second Lieutenant John Decker had become S-2 of the battalion on 31 December.

Captains William D. Paske and John G. Goettsch arrived during the afternoon from temporary duty (furlough) in the United States. Captain Paske resumed his duties as Regimental communications officer, relieving First Lieutenant Frederick S. Short, who became communications officer for the First Battalion. Captain Goettsch, resuming his post as commander of Anti-Tank Company, relieved First Lieutenant Jed G. Harris, who became executive officer.

[5 January 1945]

On 5 January defensive positions in the left sector were developed, and reconnaissance again was made of sites in the right sector. In the latter area preliminary excavation was started on automatic-weapon emplacements.

During the day counter-attack plans were published (see Overlay Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6). The Regiment was to be ready to counter-attack in any direction in the II Corps sector. In order that they might be fully prepared to execute any of the four plans, unit commanders were instructed to effect complete reconnaissance of their tactical areas.

All schemes were based on the assumption of an enemy penetration of our present front line. - In Counter-Attack Plan No. 1, it was assumed that the enemy had penetrated our lines in the vicinity of Monzuno (823247 Map - 1:25,000 Sheet 98 I NW Loiano), and our mission was to repel them and recapture ground near 830280 (same map).

- Plan No. 2 postulated a German assault against Casoni (874260 Map - 1:25,000 Sheet 98 I NE Monterenzio); we were expected to repulse it and regain territory around 860360 (Map - 1:25,000 Sheet 98 I NW Loiano).

- The assumed hostile breakthrough in Plan No, 3 was to Santa Maria di Zena (915288 - Map 1:25,000 Sheet 87 II SE Pianoro), we were to throw back the foe and recapture ground in the neighborhood of 910325 (same map).

- The supposition in Plan No 4 was that our adversaries had attacked through to coordinates 944266 (Map - 1:25,000 Sheet 98 I NE Monterenzio), our job being to retake ground lost near 950320 (Map 1:25,000 Sheet 87 II SE Pianoro).

Toward the close of this day the weather turned colder and a wet snow began to fall.

[6 January 1945]

Labor on the defensive positions continued on 6 January in all the tactical areas. Reconnaissance was instituted by the battalions in connection with the four counter-attack plans. Snow and rain fell alternately throughout the day and night.

Eight enlisted men departed during the morning to attend the MTOUSA Radio School. The bi-weekly beer ration of six cans was distributed to each soldier of the Regiment, at a charge of eight cents a can.

At an impressive field ceremony in the afternoon, Major-General Charles L. Bolte, Divisional commander, presented seven Silver Stars, 14 Bronze Stars, and one Oak Leaf Cluster for the Bronze Star to members of the 133rd Infantry who had distinguished themselves in th service of their country.

One hundred enlisted men and two officers left for a four-day stay at the 34h Division Rest Camp at Montecatini Terme, Fifth Army rest city for combat troops, situated 25 miles west of Florence. Four officers traveled to the Anglo-American Hotel in Florence for a brief holiday.

[7 January 1945]

On Sunday, 2 January, a day of relaxation for our soldiers, church services were held in various areas of the Regiment. At a Company D formation in the afternoon, Purple Heart awards and Good Conduct Ribbons were presented to a number of the unit's members.

The Regimental S-3 staff prepared Overlay Nos. 7, 8, 9 and 10 showing the proposed defensive positions in the Tactical Areas 7 to 12, inclusive. These overlays indicated, in the order numbered above, troop dispositions, minefields and tactical wire, fire plan for automatic weapons and anti-tank guns, and concentrations of cannon, mortar, and artillery.

In the vicinity of the Regimental command post, a model two-man foxhole was built by several members of Regimental Headquarters Company to show troops the kind of foxhole most advisable for maximum protection and usefulness. Under normal terrain conditions the position, consisting of two pits with connecting passages to a slit trench, could be dug in two hours by two men. The project was in charge of Technician Fourth Grade Charles W. Williamson, Jr. Under "S-3 Reports" will be found a sketch of the model installation drawn by Private First Class Francis Clark.

On this cold, clear day, and on other days during their leisure hours, various soldiers enjoyed skiing on skis borrowed from civilians in and around Piancaldoli.

[8 January 1945]

High snow drifts interfered with work on the defensive positions on 8 January. Some units were unable even to reach their areas on account of icy roads and trails.

This day advance word was received from Division that our Regiment was tentatively alerted to begin movement of one battalion on the night of 11 January. We were to relieve elements of the 88th Infantry Division.

Through Major Timothy F. Horan, commanding officer of the Second Battalion, a report was received that one man and a vehicle of the 88th Division, reconnoitering in our sector, was blown up by a mine after running into an extensive minefield near grid square 9122 (Map 1:25,000 Sheet 98 I NE Monterenzio. Note: the following day First Lieutenant Joseph A. Szewdo, Regimental mine officer, checked that area and found it free of mines.

Written instructions were sent to all units this day concerning the issuance of passes to Italian civilians employed by various sections of the Regiment. Major James R. McClymont, Regimental S-2, would in the immediate future arrange interviews between the 34th Counter-Intelligence Corps and the civilians. The latter were to be investigated by the Corps and, if found to be trustworthy, granted passes permitting them to remain in the Divisional area.

[9 January 1945]

Throughout 9 January the battalions and Cannon and Anti-Tank Companies labored on the defensive positions in the right sector.

At 0950 hours Captain Earl W. Ralf, Regimental S-3, telephoned from the Divisional command post, where he was attending a meeting, and reported that he had received orders for one battalion and Anti-Tank and Cannon Companies to go forward the night of 11-12 January, to begin relief of the 350th Infantry of the 88th Division. Our First Battalion was chosen to make the initial move, the Second and Third Battalions to move up during daylight of 12 January and the night of 12-13 January.

At 1115 hours Division notified us that Company A of the 109th Engineer Combat Battalion, and the 109th Medical Battalion were being detached from the Regiment, but would remain in support. Word was also received that 40 of our soldiers, currently attached to the 34th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop along with 20 .50-caliber machine guns, were to revert to our control on 10 January.

At 1300 hours a reconnoitering party, consisting of the Regimental S-3 and representatives of the First Battalion, Cannon and Anti-Tank Companies and the Regimental transportation section, left to inspect the sector we were scheduled to take over.

Divisional Operational Instructions No. 2 were conveyed verbally to the Regiment at 2115 by an officer of the Divisional G-3 staff. They involved the marking of positions in the six tactical areas, directing that they be marked in the following manner:

A pole approximately six feet in length, with a red can or similarly painted object nailed atop it, was to be erected at each position. A linen tag was to be tied to the pole five feet from the ground. The markers were to indicate positions in the area corresponding with the area number. In the case of crew-served weapon pits, information was to include type of weapon, relative position (i.e., No. 1 gun), and azimuth setting. The data regarding the marking of positions was to be sent at once to all our units, with orders for them to stress the instructions in the following day's work.

This day 66 enlisted men, accompanied by a duty officer, went to Florence for a few days' relaxation at the Fifth Army Rest Camp.

[10 January 1945]

On 10 January our troops engaged in marking the defensive positions, according to instructions of the previous day.

Plans were formulated in the morning for our relief of the 350th Infantry. The route to be followed by our units on 11 January was Highways 6529, 65 and 6531, north to coordinates 926262 (Map - 1:25,000 Sheet 98 I NE Monterenzio).

At 1340 hours, however, verbal orders were received from Division drastically affecting the scheduled relief. The Regiment was now to replace the 349th Infantry of the 88th Division, instead of the 350th. The 349th was situated just west of the 350th Infantry.

Our reserve battalion, the Third, was to move up in daylight of 11 January, as were Anti-Tank and Cannon Companies. The First and Second Battalions were to go forward the night of 12 January. Upon receiving these orders we immediately began reconnoitering the new sector.

During the day the Anti-Tank Company platoon which had been attending the 4.5 rocket-gun school at II Corps Headquarters rejoined the Regiment. The platoon now comprised a group of soldiers thoroughly trained in this new instrument of war and well able to wield it against the enemy. The 40 men with the 34th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop also returned to our organization.

This day Sergeant Glen C. Reimers and Private First Class Clinton C. Dodson of Company E went to the 34th Division Counter-Intelligence Corps Headquarters, to act as witnesses in the trial of a suspected enemy agent. The two infantrymen had assisted in the apprehension of the accused last December. Discovered to have had previous connections with the Fascist movement in the town of Imola, southeast of Bologna, the Italian admitted in the course of the proceedings that he had been sent through our lines by the Germans for the purpose of espionage. He was convicted and sentenced to death.

At 2300 hours Regimental Operational Instructions No. 1, containing instructions for replacing the 349th Infantry, was issued along with a motor-march table and an overlay (No. 11) of dispositions and routes. Attached to us for the operation pending were one platoon of Company C, 100th Chemical Mortar Battalion, and one platoon of Battery D, 432nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion. The 337th Field Artillery Battalion would be in direct support of the Regiment.

[11 January 1945]

On 11 January the marking of positions in the secondary defense zone was completed. A reconnaissance party from the 88th Division visited our sector and was taken on a tour of all the prepared defensive positions.

A special agent from the 34th Division Counter-Intelligence Corps arrived at the Regimental command post to interview the Italian civilians employed by units of the Regiment. All passing investigation were to be issued permits authorizing them to stay within the Divisional sector. Of the 14 persons interviewed, all were given passes with the exception of one man. It was learned that he had deserted from a mule train attached to the Division. He was expected to be court-martialed by the Italian Army.

By 1640 hours Cannon and Anti-Tank Companies and the Third Battalion had closed in their new areas, relieving the corresponding units of the 349h Infantry at, respectively, coordinates 931296, 935286 and 927285, between Fiumetto and Baccanello (Map - 1:25,000 Sheet 98 I NE Monterenzio). Upon completion of this relief our three forward units passed to control of the 349th Infantry.

At 1440 hours our 40 soldiers who had been attached to the 34th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop with .50-caliber machine guns, took over the .50-caliber gun positions of the 349th Infantry. In charge of the group was First Lieutenant Roy D. Phillips of Anti-Tank Company.

This clear, bracing day three officers traveled to Florence for several days relaxation at the Anglo-American Hotel

A "Stars and Stripes" news dispatch from Washington, D.C., announced that on 10 January President Franklin D. Roosevelt awarded seven Congressional Medals of Honor to five soldiers and two Navy men. Two of the soldiers, Private First Class Leo J. Powers and First Lieutenant Beryl R. Newman, had won the laurels while in combat with the 133rd Infantry in Italy.

[12 January 1945]

Shortly after noon on 12 January the Regimental command post set up at Savassa (927273 - Map 1:25,000 Sheet 98 I NE Monterenzio) approximately seven miles north of Piancaldoli and three-and-a-half miles southeast of Monte Belmonte (904328 - Map 1:25,000 Sheet 87 II SE Pianoro), which our troops had captured after a bitter struggle last October.

Upon his arrival in the new area, the Regimental S-1 sent to all our own and attached units a letter calling for the submission by 1800 hours 15 January of overlays, sketches and explanatory notes indicating the location of troops and installations, and supply and evacuation routes.

The First and Second Battalions detrucked at 924262 (Map 1:25,000 Sheet 98 I NE Monterenzio), 1,100 yards below Savazza, and moved forward from there by foot, relieving the 349th Infantry elements at 930230 (Map 1:25,000 Sheet 87 II SE Pianoro), 6,000 yards north of the de-trucking point by 1215 hours. At that time command of the sector and our units passed to our control. At the close of the period components of the 133rd Infantry had arrived in the new sector with the exception of Service Company, which was scheduled to move the following day.

This day six enlisted men departed to take a course in communication at the MTOUSA Wire School.

Captain Hershel L. Harrell and Sergeant George B. Reed of the 15th Air Force, based at Foggia, Italy, arrived at our command post to observe an Infantry regiment in combat over a week's period.

[13 January 1945]

In the dark early morning hours of 13 January all was quiet along the front. Heavy, wet snow fell over the sector, continuing throughout the day to re-blanket the already snow-covered countryside.

Two Company H soldiers were wounded slightly around 0300 hours when they wandered into a friendly minefield in front of Company G's position at 945324 (Map 1:25,000 Sheet 87 II SE Pianoro), 4,000 yards east of Monte Belmonte.

During the day our troops improved and strengthened their defenses by making some readjustments to the positions formerly occupied by the organization they relieved. Upon the arrival of Service Company in its new area near 925266 (Map 1:25,000 Sheet 98 I NE Monterenzio), 800 yards below Savassa, all units of the Regiment had closed in the sector.

Our line-company commanders reconnoitered proposed Switch Line positions. The Switch Line was to be used in the event the enemy should change the direction of his attack. Overlay No. 12, delineating all known friendly and enemy minefields in the sector, was issued, as well as a list of our observation posts.

Activity remained negligible throughout the day. In many places the snow was hip deep, hampering the operation of patrols, both the Germans' and our own. High drifts made positions extremely difficult to locate. Some hostile machine-gun fire was noted along the front, chiefly in the Second Battalion sector. Enemy artillery fire was light. Although our observation posts were operating 24 hours a day, this day poor visibility rendered their reports of little value.

Patrols made forays in the dark hours. Throughout the month, it may be mentioned here, our soldiers found the Germans alert to and wary of our probings. The extreme sensitivity of enemy outposts prevented our obtaining any prisoners at any time (Refer to "S-2 Reports" for all patrol plans and results for the month..)

To Florence this day went 40 enlisted men and a duty officer for a five-day stay at the Fifth Army Rest Center.

[14 January 1945]

After midnight on 14 January tanks of Company C, 752nd Tank Battalion, in support of the Regiment, shot 15 rounds of harassing fire at targets located at 954368, 961366, and 955360 (Map 1:25,000 Sheet 87 II SE Pianoro), about 4,500 yards northeast of Monte Belmonte. Our Cannon Company fired 60 harassing rounds during the period.

Further plans and reconnaissance were made for the development of Switch Line A. Visibility approached the zero point as the winter's worst blizzard to date thickly screened the air. The "Stars and Stripes" reported that six to eight inches of snow fell in less than 12 hours.

[15 January 1945]

A pea-soup fog hugged the terrain through the night, but following the dawn of 15 January the sun dissipated the mist, and visibility improved greatly. On the other hand, melting and shifting snow threatened to cave in foxholes, dugouts and gun emplacements. Front-liners in many instances had to reinforce their positions with sandbags, shell casings and wood.

Our supporting tanks had loosed some three score rounds of harassing fire against the foe in the hours of darkness. During the day Regimental Operational Instructions No. 2, with Overlay No. 13, appeared, dealing with the construction and maintenance of Switch Line A. Overlay Nos. 14, 15, and 16 were published, outlining, respectively, the disposition of troops; location of tanks, tank destroyers and anti-tank guns; and fire plan of machine guns in our sector.

Our forward elements absorbed a degree of hostile artillery, mortar, and machine-gun fire, the latter increasing toward evening. Rear areas were only lighly harassed, our cannoneers disturbing the Germans similarly. A cold, dense fog descended over the land at nightfall. The usual security, contact and reconnaissance groups patrolled during the late hours.

Three years ago this day, on 15 January 1942, our First Battalion and some special units formed the nucleus of the initial convoy to sail from the United States for foreign soil after Pearl Harbor. The third overseas anniversary, noted in a front-page story in "Stars and Stripes" on 16 January, was not celebrated by our battle-scarred infantrymen. (On 17 January, however, Army Pictorial Service photographers did take still and motion pictures of 133rd Infantry soldiers wearing six overseas stripes. A photograph of Lieutenant-Colonel Frank A. Reagan, executive officer of the Regiment, helping Corporal Edwin R. Barnard sew six overseas bars on his sleeve appeared in the "Stars and Strips" of 24 January.)

[16 January 1945]

Only a normal amount of German artillery and mortar harassing fire landed in our territory after midnight, on 16 January. There were occasional exchanges of long-range machine-gun fire.

At 0500 hours the Regimental observation post at Casa di Galeazzo (945312 - Map 1:25,000 Sheet 87 II SE Pianoro), 4,700 yards southeast of Monte Belmonte, reported enemy troops moving around Casa Cerrara (933332 - same map), about 2,000 yards northwest of the observation post. Our 81-millimeter mortarmen immediately brought fire down in that vicinity.

Overlay Nos. 17 and 18 were issued showing, respectively, friendly and enemy minefields in the sector, superseding Overlay No. 12. Published also were counter-attack plans for our battalion in reserve, with Overlay No. 19.

The daylight hours were quiet, as had been the preceding night. German mortar fire rose somewhat in volume after dusk, but the evening as a whole was calm too. At midnight, a fine snow was sifting earthward and the atmosphere was cold.

This day three officers motored to Florence for a brief stay at the Anglo-American Hotel.

The night of 16-17 January was fairly quiet, the customary mortar and artillery duels breaking the winter stillness. There was considerable enemy flare activity. Our .50-caliber machine gunners shot 2,000 rounds of long-range harassing fire in the hours of darkness.

[17 January 1945]

At about 0115 hours 17 January shifting snow caused a dugout to cave in, burying six Company D men. After an hour-and-a-half's digging, their comrades rescued four soldiers caught in the collapse; the other two soldiers were dead from suffocation.

At 0410 hours Company F reported self-propelled fire falling at Ca di Razzone (937324 - Map 1:25,000 Sheet 87 II SE Pianoro), about 3,200 yards east of Monte Belmonte. Shells landed intermittently until 0630 hours. During the same period Company D experienced a slight increase in the number of enemy artillery shells exploding in its sector around Casa di Marchetti (929317 - map as above), 600 yards south of Ca di Razzone.

Hostile action in the sunny daylight hours was uniformly dormant over the sector.

At 1800 hours Company B received some German 50-millimeter mortar fire and at the same time heard vehicular movement in its front. Company B was situated at 928326, near Casa Collina (map as above), 300 yards above Ca di Razzone. At 2300 hours the company had to contend with a degree of long-range machine-gun fire, but otherwise the evening was tranquil.

Toward midnight Private First Class George F. Keane of Company B returned to his outfit after having been missing since the night of 13-14 January. Suffering from trench foot, he stated that he had been captured by the Germans when he got lost and wandered over into their lines. He escaped while his captors were asleep. The information he imparted as to the enemy's dispositions and installations was expected to be of future use to us.

Issued this day was Regimental Operational Instructions No. 3. It dealt with the vital necessity of maintaining continuous contact with our adversaries in order to prevent infiltrations and to obtain identifications and other information.

This day Major Warren C. Chapman, who had been wounded the past September, returned from the hospital and was assigned as executive officer of the Third Battalion. He relieved Major Edward M. Fabert, who became the First Battalion's executive officer. Major Fabert, in turn, replaced Major Linus T. Williams. The latter was assigned to the Regimental Headquarters staff.

Forty enlisted men traveled in trucks to Florence for several days respite from combat.

In rear areas, on this and other days in their leisure hours, divers soldiers enjoyed skiing over snow-packed hills.

[18 January 1945]

German fire was moderate in the hours following midnight, on 18 January. Early in the morning our Company D fired an intense counter-mortar barrage at an observed enemy mortar flash. Company F's 60-millimeter mortars knocked out a hostile machine gun. The enemy piece was spotted at 937327 (Map 1:25,000 Sheet 87 II SE Pianoro), 3,000 yards east of Monte Belmonte. Our mortarmen neutralized it with the first four rounds they fired.

Toboggans were issued to the active battalions for evacuation purposes and for the hauling of supplies over the snow-covered terrain to forward platoons and outposts. A number of snowshoes were also made available.

At 2215 hours Companies A and B, around Casa Collina, underwent a heavy mortar barrage, estimated to be 81-millimeter shells.

This day four enlisted men were sent to the 734th Ordnance Company to attend a course in the operation of the Carrier, Cargo, M29 (Weasel), a small tractor-type vehicle. Four of these vehicles, to be employed when show and ice became too forbidding for jeeps, were being acquired by the Regiment.

[19 January 1945]

Only the usual harassing fires featured German activity during the 24 hours of 19 January. Rain and snow this warm day caused streams to overflow. A stream running through the Second Battalion's sector rose above three feet, washing out foot bridges and preventing peeps from fording it. The Engineers furnished rubber boats, and the Battalion's Ammunition and Pioneer section used them as pontoons for foot bridges. One served Company H's command post, another made it possible for ration details to reach the first and third platoons of Company F.

At 2130 hours Second Lieutenant Charles F. Dosch of Company C and 28 enlisted men raided the house at Vivalvo (935327), near where Company F mortarmen had knocked out a machine gun the night before. The group found the house unoccupied, encountering no enemy or enemy fire at any time, and at 2300 hours returned to its base without incident. (See Raid Plan No. 1, under "S-3 Reports".)

This day Captain Delbert Cox, First Lieutenant Melvin E. Purinton and six enlisted men left for temporary duty with the Fifth Army Training Center in Montecatini Terme. They were to act as instructors for a new Infantry Regiment, the 473rd, composed of former anti-aircraft artillery soldiers. Two enlisted men departed for the MTOUSA Signal School for instruction in message center procedure.

[20 December 1945]

Throughout the day and night of 20 January German artillery and mortar harassing fire were of normal intensity, accompanied by sporadic machine-gun fire. At 1900 hours Company C infantrymen, in positions around 926315 (Map 1:25,000 Sheet 87 II SE Pianoro), 2,500 yards southeast of Monte Belmonte, weathered a heavy mortar barrage. Counter-mortar fire was directed at the enemy guns, which were spotted by our forward Regimental observation post. A sharp exchange of machine-gun fire occurred in the First Battalion sector, hostile bullets causing one casualty among our forces. The Germans released many flares in the early part of the night.

During the evening a platoon of Company F relieved the extreme right platoon of Company A, the boundary between our two front-line battalions consequently being shifted to the left.

In the Regimental reserve area at Fiumetto (930284 - Map 1:25,000 Sheet 98 I NE Monterenzio) a motion picture, "Strike Up The Band", was shown in two large connected storage tents. Movies were being exhibited every afternoon and evening to soldiers in that area.

First Lieutenant Harry C. Hodgkins and eight enlisted men, all of whom were adept at skiing, left this day for temporary duty with the II Corps Ski School, to brush up on the sport for military purposes.

[21 January 1945]

A slight rise in mortar and artillery action featured the enemy's efforts in the post-midnight hours, on 21 January. Shortly after dawn, however, this fire became of little account, and the remainder of the day and evening was fairly still.

At 1000 hours Overlay No. 20 was published, revealing a change in the 16 January counter-attack plans for the reserve battalions. At 1400 appeared Operational Instructions No. 4, announcing that the First Battalion was to be relieved by the Third on the night of 22-23 January.

Company B suffered two casualties when the Germans directed a brief but heavy mortar barrage against its positions just after nightfall.

A Second Battalion raiding party, consisting of Second Lieutenant Arnold A. Luzom and 26 enlisted men, left Company F's command post at 2145, 45 minutes later than previously scheduled (see Raid Plan No. 2). The group's objective was the house at Ca Merla (939328 - Map 1:25,000 Sheet 87 II SE Pianoro), approximately 500 yards above Company F's positions near Ca di Razzone. The building had been the goal of several patrols which were stopped by vicious mortar and machine-gun fire from that vicinity. Upon stealthy arrival at the house, our soldiers discovered it to be unoccupied. They returned to our lines without meeting any enemy. At about 2130 hours hostile aircraft were heard bombing and strafing north of the Regimental command post. The First Battalion later reported that the plane's apparent target had been the very house which our raiding party had found free of Germans. According to a Second Battalion report, the Luftwaffe also bombed and strafed Casella (943339 - map as above), 1,100 yards north of Ca Merla.

This day three officers traveled to Florence for a brief "vacation" at the Anglo-American.

[22 January 1945]

The entire 24 hours of 22 January was relatively calm. During the morning we received word from the Divisional G-3 that the 35th Quartermaster War Dog Platoon would be attached to the Regiment beginning 23 January. The group was composed of one officer, 20 enlisted men, and 24 dogs. Of the latter, 17 were to be utilized in scouting and patrolling missions, seven as messengers. The dogs were German Shepherd cross-breeds and Dalmations.

The Third Battalion began replacing the First at 1730 Hours, and the relief was completed without incident by 2145 hours. The First Battalion arrived in the Regimental reserve area at 2325 hours.

This night a Company G sergeant was killed when the vehicle he was driving hurtled over a steep bank. Enemy planes were heard flying over the sector around 2255 hours.

[23 January 1945]

On 23 January, as on the preceding day, the front was quite inactive. There were the usual artillery, mortar and long-range machine-gun exchanges, and patrol sorties. The weather was clear and cold.

First Lieutenant John W. A. Shibley, Jr., arrived with his 35th Quartermaster War Dog Platoon. They were to begin their work with the Regiment the night of 25-26 January. A war dog and his handler were to accompany a Company G contact patrol.

One hundred enlisted men, with two duty officers, went to the 34th Division Rest Camp in Montecatini Terme for five days' pleasure.

[24 January 1945]

The dark hours of 23-24 January were characterized by the usual scattered mortar and machine-gun fire over the whole sector, as well as light artillery harassing efforts. The daylight hours of 24 January, too, were fairly quiet.

At 2100 hours a 15-man enemy patrol approached Company L's positions at Casa Collina and engaged our outpost line with hand grenades. The hostile forces quickly retreated when blasted by our

machine guns and mortars.

This day, for the first time since last September, passes to Rome were given enlisted men of the Regiment. Train service had been established between Montecatini Terme and the Eternal City, trucks transporting the soldiers from our Service Company area to Montecatini Terme. Forty-eight men, accompanied by a duty officer, left early in the morning to spend, exclusive of traveling time, four days and four nights in Rome. The one-way trip was scheduled to take 28 hours, broken up by stops for showers, clothing exchange, and meals.

This day, also, our infantrymen received a rare treat: two bottles of Coca-Cola per man, at five cents a bottle.

[25 January 1945]

The period of 25 January, like the day before, was generally quiet. Company L suffered two casualties at 0200 hours, when about 15 rounds of light mortar landed in its area. Between midnight and dawn our .50-caliber machine gunners fired more than 7,000 rounds of harassing bullets at the Germans. It snowed part of the dark morning hours.

During the forenoon a firing demonstration of the 4.5 rocket launcher was held for personnel of the Anti-Tank Company, Major Lewis A. Fletcher, assistant Regimental S-3, and battalion representatives also attending. Distributed in the morning was Overlay No. 21, showing defensive fire plan "Razor" of the 337th Field Artillery Battalion. In the afternoon our current reserve battalion, the [First], fired rifle grenades and bazookas on a range near Fiumetto. Recently arrived replacements were thus enabled to familiarize themselves with the use of this weapon.

Two Third Battalion men were wounded in the evening when they wandered into a hitherto undetected stick minefield while on the way to establish an outpost. The field was situated just northeast of Casa Collina.

At 0105 hours the Company G contact patrol returned from its mission. Its members reported that the war dog accompanying them alerted the patrol well in advance of each sentry encountered. This was the first time a war dog had been used by any unit of the 34th Division.

[26 January 1945]

Driving, bone-chilling rain made 26 January a trying day for our soldiers. Swiftly rising streams tore out foot bridges and flooded roads and fields. The turbulent waters, which rose one foot an hour, made the evacuation of the wounded a hazardous operation, and posed serious supply problems. The washed-out route between Savazza and Fiumetto prevented vehicles from reaching the front. Rowboats and rubber boats, plus spanning ropes for litter baskets, were resorted to. Certain Service Company sections and the battalion kitchen trains, situated in the river basin south of Savazza, had to move to higher ground. A Company E reconnaissance patrol was cancelled on account of flooded lowlands.

In the forenoon Second Lieutenant James J. Hallal, taking advantage of the poor visibility, led two eight-man Company I squads and a war dog and his handler in a raid on enemy bunkers just above Casa Collina. The dog was the first to detect the Germans, halting in his tracks 50 yards from an enemy ambush. Consequently, our raiders were already in position to fire from cover when the foe spied them and began to hurl grenades and shoot machine pistols at the Americans. Swiftly and fearlessly combatting this fire, Sergeant Thomas L. Rusch stood up to the Germans, killing one and wounding two others. Sergeant Rusch was our sole casualty, being injured slightly in the arm. (See Raid Plan No. 3 under "S-3 Reports"; for results in detail refer to Patrol Report No. 14 under "S-2 Reports".)

The Regimental S-2 and the assistant Regimental S-3 visited the battalions to acquaint key personnel with the CPX (command post exercise) to be conducted at 34th Division Headquarters the following day. The CPX was to test the soundness of the Corps counter-attack plan and familiarize leaders with the terrain over which they might operate. Details of coordination were to be worked out with the units involved.

Enemy mortar and artillery fire was largely of a harassing nature through the day, no large concentrations falling in our sector. Between 0400 and 0600 hours our Third Battalion 60-millimeter mortars and our platoon equipped with .50-caliber machine guns gave supporting fire to a raiding party from the 168th Infantry on our right. The mortars fired 100 rounds, the machine guns about 1,500.

In the evening Second Lieutenant Harvey D. White, Third Battalion transportation officer commissioned in December, lost his life when his boat capsized as he attempted to cross a raging, swollen stream near Company H's command post. Captain Robert L. Leonard, Third Battalion S-1, who was with Lieutenant White, was able to reach the river bank safely. All torrents coursed through the sector at spring tide until about 1930 hours, when the rains ceased, melting snows had frozen hard, and the waters began to recede.

Fires were started in German-held territory by the 337th Field Artillery Battalion and the Company C platoon of the 100h Chemical Mortar Battalion. The 4.2 chemical mortars hit an ammunition dump at 933333 (Map 1:25,000 Sheet 87 II SE Pianoro), above Casa Cerrara, about 600 yards north of Casa Collina.

This day Major Merton E. Church of the Regimental staff became S-4 of the Regiment, relieving Captain William Dubinsky, who was appointed assistant Regimental S-4.

Majors Beverly V. Pearson and Robert E. Scanlon, and First Lieutenant Robert D. McClure, all of the 15th Air Farce, arrived in our sector to observe Infantry combat methods for five days.

Three of our officers motored to Florence for a brief holiday at the Anglo-American Hotel.

[27 January 1945]

A few rounds of nebelwerfer (multi-barreled mortar shells and the familiar harassing artillery, mortar, and long-range machine-gun fire featured German action of 27 January. Shortly after midnight the Regimental observation post near Casa di Galeazzo reported that several fires in enemy territory, started the previous evening by our artillery and chemical mortars, were still burning.

At approximately 0100 hours the Third Battalion reported that the chemical mortars had scored 12 direct hits with heavy explosive shells and 10 with white phosphorus on Casa Cerrara. The fire was directed by Company K observers near Casa Collina, 500 yards below the target. German soldiers were seen running in confusion from the house in the midst of our shelling, and further rounds were dropped in the neighborhood.

Visibility in the early hours of daylight was very good. Our observers noted a great deal of hostile activity, some targets being taken under fire by our supporting artillery and the 4.2 chemical mortars. In the afternoon six rounds of German propaganda leaflets landed in Company H's sector at 930310, near Casa dei Marchetti. (Sample of Allied news leaflets, shot toward the enemy by the 337th Field Artillery Battalion, are [not] attached to this history.

The scheduled CPX was held at Division in the afternoon.

Friendly aircraft flew overhead during the evening. Contact, reconnaissance and security patrols were dispatched in darkness.

This day Lieutenant-Colonel Walden S. Lewis, Regimental commander, received congratulations upon his appointment to a full colonelcy.

[28 January 1945]

In the predawn hours of 28 January, the Regiment's .50-caliber machine gun platoon loosed 4,900 rounds of harassing fire against our adversaries. German fire of all types was normal in volume throughout the period.

At 0400 hours a company reconnaissance patrol of one officer, nine men, and a war dog and his handler returned from its mission. The leader, First Lieutenant George F. Howard, reported that when he and his group reached point 939327, near Ca Merla, they received several rounds on 50-millimeter mortar fire, and later had to seek cover from grazing machine-gun fire coming from the front and right front. Two sergeants and the dog handler were wounded and the war dog killed. The latter's death was believed to be the first such casualty on the American Fifth Army front. (For details of patrol, see Patrol Report No. 15.) On patrols the dogs wore white saddle jackets made out of mattress covers. This camouflage served the canines as well as the white parkas served the human soldiers.

This day Privates Ronald J. Keppen, Company C, and Omar P. Twitty, Company A, were selected to be part of the honor guard of Lieutenant-General Lucian K. Truscott, Jr., Fifth Army commander.

One hundred enlisted men and two duty officers went to the 34th Division Rest Camp at Montecatini Terme.

[29 January 1945]

At 0100 hours 29 January Company K observers spotted a column of 10 Germans walking southward toward Casa Cerrara, Notified, the Company C platoon of the 100th Chemical Mortar Battalion went into action at once. The 20 rounds the mortarmen fired effectively dispersed the enemy. Their casualties were not learned.

Soon after daybreak, the Regimental S-3 left for a general reconnaissance in the area of Barberino di Mugello (788941 - Map 1:50,000 Sheet 98 II Firenzuola), 15 miles north of Florence. It was expected that the Regiment would in the near future move to that area upon being relieved in our present sector.

The day and evening were quiet. Unidentified aircraft were in our vicinity at 1045, 1720, 1805 and 2100 hours, but no hostile action by them was reported.

A raid scheduled by Company E was postponed until the following night. It was decided that the bright moon shining this night would hamper the movements of the raiding party.

[30 January 1945]

At 0900 hours 30 January, friendly aircraft bomber and strafed in the area of Baccanello (933296 - Map 1:25,000 98 I NE Monterenzio), a village in our sector about one-and-a-quarter miles above the command post at Savassa. The planes had mistaken Baccanello for Mercatale, their intended target. The latter hamlet, German-held, was situated at 954367 (Map - 1:25,000 87 II SE Pianoro), some four miles north of Baccanello. Fortunately, no damage to our troops or damage to our installations resulted. Later in the day, at 1230 hours, our aircraft returned, this time bombing and strafing Mercatale. Our observation posts had noted much hostile activity during the morning, including movement in Mercatale.

In a telephone conversation this day, the Regimental G-3 informed our Regimental S-2 that the 133rd Infantry would attack of 5 February with the 168th, the regiment on our right. On 2 February a barrage was to be laid down on selected targets in an effort to uncover more enemy positions before the attack took place. Extra ammunition was to be allotted for the operation, and the 752nd Tank Battalion would fire in support.

During the evening hours the First Battalion relieved the Second. The relief was completed by 2150 hours, the Second Battalion going into Regimental reserve.

Patrols were very active in the night, a number of firefights resulting (see Patrol Report No. 18).

Enemy artillery action was light throughout the period. Toward midnight fires in German-held territory were reported by our observation posts, One of these fires was thought to be the burning of am ammunition dump.

This day, and on 31 January, 40 enlisted men were to begin a nine-day course in first-echelon vehicle maintenance and operation at the Regiment's motor pool.

[31 January 1945]

On 31 January preparation were begun for the Regiment, in one-battalion force, to attack on 5 February. It was planned to clothe every member of the attacking unit, the Second Battalion, either in a white parka or in a coat made out of a mattress cover, so that the soldiers might better blend with the snowy landscape.

The Regimental S-2 published a list of current observation posts.

The entire 24 hours was fairly quiet. At night, we maintained contact with the Germans and exerted pressure on them by aggressive and vigorous patrol action (refer to Patrol Report No. 19). Scattered mortar and machine-gun fires lightly harassed the Regimental front as midnight approached. As the month ended, the weather was cool and clear. Searchlights operated by II Corps were directing beams of artificial moonlight over the sector, as they had often in recent months, to aid our vehicle drivers. The moon itself was hazy, but visibility was good.

Nineteen enlisted men and three officers returned this day from temporary duty furloughs in the United States. Five officers motored to Florence for several days' pleasure.


Three enlisted men of the Regiment, Chester E. Freel, Francis F. Haggerty, and Gyle E. Herron, won combat appointments to second lieutenant in January.

Five second lieutenants received combat promotions to first lieutenant. They were Carl M. Lund, Norman J. Hooghkirk, Arthur Bartik, William H. Shearer and Addis Pride.

Forty nine enlisted men and five officers left the Regiment in January for rotation furloughs in the United States. Thirteen enlisted men and one officer departed for the United States on temporary duty furloughs.

Our casualties in January were the lowest in our history, a consequence of our operations in the month. Five soldiers lost their lives and 10 were wounded. One was captured, but escaped.

On 1 January the Regiment had an effective strength of 142 officers, three warrant officers, and 2,529 enlisted men. On 31 January our effective strength was 161 officers, four warrant officers and 3,245 enlisted men. During the month we received a total of 425 replacements. Thus our strength experienced an increase of 716 members.

As of 31 January 1945, the 133rd Infantry has been overseas three years and 16 days.

For the Regimental Commander:

s/Louis F. Kaleita


Captain, Infantry


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