Free Web Counter

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 February 1945 to 28 February 1945, inclusive.

From 31 December 1944 to 12 January 1945 the 133rd Infantry of the 34th Division occupied and developed a secondary defensive line north of Piancaldoli (948170 - Map 1:25,000 Sheet 98 I SE Passo della Radicosa). On the latter date the Regimental command post moved forward to Savazza (927273 - Map 1:25,000 Sheet 98 I NE Monterenzio). We were to engage in an active defense of a sector some 2,500 yards west of Monte Belmonte, above Ca di Razzone (937324 - Map 1:25,000 Sheet 87 II SE Pianoro).

As February began we were continuing this operation, patrolling constantly and vigorously. The Germans determinedly resisted our probings, their mortarmen and machine gunners being ever alert to our movements. Now we were preparing to launch a limited-objective attack, in one-battalion strength, on 5 February.

[1 February 1945]

The front on 1 February was quiet, only the normal artillery and mortar action disturbing the stillness of a dreary, warm day.

The period was notable chiefly in two respects. At 1300 hours Company K troops picked up an enemy deserter at 935326, south of the ridge 500 yards above Ca di Razzone. The soldier, a Pole, was the first prisoner taken by us since late December. According to his story, at noon he was sent to relieve an outpost guard on Hill 358, near Casa Collina (929327 - Map 1:25,000 Sheet 87 II SE Pianoro). At that time the position had been under our fire. The Pole waited until the fire ceased, relieved the other man, and walked to the place where he surrendered. The prisoner's unit was 2nd Company, 578th Regiment, 305th Division.

At 1330 hours occurred the other noteworthy event of the day. Major-General Charles L. Bolte, commander of the 34th Division, visited the Regimental command post and pinned the silver "eagles" of a full colonel on the Regimental commander, Walden S. Lewis. Colonel Lewis had been promoted from lieutenant-colonel on 27 January.

Second Battalion officers, their unit having been chosen to make the attack on 5 February, spent most of this and the two succeeding days on reconnaissance of assembly areas and possible routes of approach for the assault. Issued were Overlay Nos. 1 and 2 showing, respectively, tank and tank destroyer support of the 168th Infantry, and fires planned for 2 February.

During the evening the First Battalion, whose positions were west of Ca di Razzone, sustained three casualties from enemy mortars. A Company L raiding group found no Germans in suspected hostile positions on the forward slope of Hill 357 (928326 - Map 1:25,000 Sheet 87 II SE Pianoro), about 1,000 yards west of Ca di Razzone. The company intended to outpost that vicinity nightly.

Toward midnight our .50-caliber machine gun platoon and our 60- and 81-millimeter mortarmen fired on Casella to provide a diversion for a raiding party from the Division's 135th Infantry, the unit on our left. Casella was situated at 943339 (Map 1:25,000 Sheet 87 II SE Pianoro), 1,600 yards to the right front of Ca di Razzone.

[2 February 1945]

Only the customary German harassing activities, featuring artillery and mortars, were reported for the night of 1-2 February. Our patrols were active (refer to "S-2 Reports" for all patrol plans and results during the month). Early in the morning of 2 February, however, two small but intense mortar concentrations, of approximately 25 rounds each, fell on Company L's newly established outpost on the forward slope of Hill 357. The intensity of the shellings forced the outpost's members to withdraw.

At 0235 hours our attached platoon from the 100th Chemical Mortar Battalion fired its 4.2 mortars on an enemy position at the request of Company A. The mortars started a large fire at 943334, 1,200 yards northeast of Ca di Razzone. Observed by our men, the flames seemed to be rising from a small-arms and artillery ammunition dump.

Shortly before noon the barrage scheduled to be laid down on selected targets in the afternoon, was postponed until the next day on account of poor visibility.

About 1400 hours a Third Battalion observation post at 933328, 500 yards north of Ca di Razzone, spotted an enemy soldier peering through field glasses near a house 200 yards to the observation post's right front. A member of the post shot the German and saw the wounded man taken away on a sled by comrades.

At 2030 hours a hostile eight-man patrol attempted to enter our lines in Company K's sector, but were quickly dispersed by our machine-gun and mortar fire. The evening was tranquil otherwise. A fine rain began to fall in the late hours.

This day 100 enlisted men, accompanied by two duty officers, rode in trucks to Montecatini Terme, Fifth Army rest city for combat troops 25 miles west of Florence. There, residing at the 34th Division Rest Camp, they were to enjoy several days' respite from battle.

Troops of the Second Battalion and special units were paid for the month of February.

[3 February 1945]

On 3 February, shortly after midnight, a German soldier deserted to men of Company I at 924325, about 1,200 yards west of Ca di Razzone. He had been supposed to relieve a medical aid man, but kept on going and surrendered to us. The prisoner, whose unit was 2nd Company, 576th Regiment, 305th Division, claimed to be an anti-Nazi and said he had long been awaiting an opportunity to desert.

A mine-sweeping crew from the First Battalion's Pioneer and Ammunition Platoon swept Route 6531 from Company B's positions to the forward boundary of the battalion's sector.

The artillery demonstration planned for this afternoon was again postponed, this time indefinitely. Visibility was nil, practically, the entire day and night. Throughout the period enemy artillery, mortar, and long-range- machine-gun fires were light in volume.

This day 48 enlisted men and two duty officers departed for the Fifth Army Rest Camp in Rome. They were to travel in trucks to Montecatini Terme, thence by train to Rome, where they would spend four days and four nights in pursuit of pleasure.

The night of 3-4 February brought a slight increase in the number of enemy shells exploding in our sector. A definite rise was noted in the Third Battalion area, especially around Company I's positions. There, small mortar concentrations of from eight to 20 rounds fell at intervals through the night, in addition to the usual harassing fires.

Company L night raiders got to within grenade-throwing distance of enemy bunkers at 928328, 1,000 yards northwest of Ca di Razzone, on Hill 357. They fired bazookas and rifle grenades and hurled hand grenades, but were unable to knock out the bunkers.

[4 February 1945]

At noon on 4 February Regimental Operational Instructions No. 5 was published, concerning the 5 February attack by the Second Battalion. The unit was to seize and hold Objective A (See Overlay No. 3), running roughly from coordinates 920323 northeast to 935340, then southeast to 947333 (Map 1:25,000 Sheet 87 II SE Pianoro). Also issued in connection with the attack were Overlay Nos. 4, 5 and 6. They outlined, respectively, the fire plan of the Second Battalion, the proposed plan of dispositions on the objective line, and defensive fires and check points. (For details, including supporting elements, refer to overlays and Operational Instructions No. 5, mentioned above.)

The Second Battalion completed its plans for the push. Troops laid communication wire from the companies' command posts to the assembly area. Ration and ammunition dumps were set up as near the line of departure as possible. A forward command post group moved up to Casa Ronco Coresa, 500 yards below Casa Collina, the line of departure.

This warm, hazy day the snow which had long covered the hills and trails was fast melting, and it was very slushy underfoot. At night Company L raiders again tried to take the bunkers on the slope of Hill 357, but were stopped by a minefield and heavy mortar and machine-gun fire.

[5 February 1945]

Following is an account, with certain emendations and additions, of the "Collina Operation", the 5 February limited-objective attack by the Second Battalion. The original report was prepared by Captain Cleo W. Buxton, S-3 of the battalion. (References: Operation Instructions No. 5 and Overlay Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6. For all coordinates mentioned refer to Map 1:25,000 Sheet 87 II SE Pianoro.)

The Second Battalion, 133rd Infantry, was given the objective of taking Casa Cerrara (932332), Hill 363 (936335), and Casa Rio Buio (934339). H hour was set at 1500 hours 5 February. The troops were to jump off from a line of departure at Casa Collina (929327). The general plan of attack was to have Company F lead off, with Company G echeloned slightly to the right rear. Both companies would have to go over the little spine of ground to the front of Casa Collina, at 930328. Company F's plan was to start at Casa Collina and follow the path around to Casa Cerrara closely behind the supporting barrage. The first platoon was to run up the path and take the high ground at 929329. There it would lay down a base of fire on Casa Cerrara, while the second platoon continued up the path and flanked the town from the left rear. Company G troops were going to stay to the right of the path until they reached 933329. Then they were to pursue the trail to the two houses at 936332, to the right of Casa Cerrara. Company E was to follow through after the other two companies' objectives were taken, going over Hill 363 to Casa Rio Buio and organizing that ground.

The battalion moved into the assembly area at Casa Ronco Coresa (928323) at 0100 hours 5 February. The company commanders made a reconnaissance from Casa Collina. At 1445 hours, under cover of a heavy ground mist, Company F left the assembly area for the line of departure. Arriving at Casa Collina at 1457 hours, the troops paused while Company G drew up on their right.

Promptly at 1500 hours there thundered in ahead of them our supporting barrage of machine guns, 60- and 81-millimeter mortars, 4.2 chemical mortars, tanks, tank destroyers, cannon, and light and medium artillery. Smoke was laid on Monte Scanno (942350) and to the right and left of the objective line, to supplement the natural ground fog.

The roaring demonstration covered the front completely. First Lieutenant James A Gray, commanding Company F, closed his forward platoon up to the barrage. Then, as the concentration lifted, on the double the men rushed up the path leading to Casa Cerrara. Hardly had the forward elements advanced 200 yards past the line of departure when a terrific German mortar barrage tore down the path, hitting the ninth man of the first platoon and blasting on through the length of the whole company. Except for the first eight men, most soldiers in the first platoon were either killed or wounded. The two scouts and the squad leader ran into a minefield and set off a mine which injured all three.

Second Lieutenant Paul E. Heinemann, leader of the platoon and seventh man in the attack, immediately took command of the remaining men. Turning left, he led them at a right angle to the trail for about 20 yards, paralleled it for another 50 yards, and then turned back to the trail, avoiding any mines. THe group hurried along the path under fire and gained the higher ground at 930328, midway between Casa Collina and Casa Cerrara.

Suddenly four machine guns opened up on our soldiers from their left rear, in the vicinity of 927326 (Hill 357). At the same time another machine gun began firing at Lieutenant Heinemann from his left. Shooting from some 15 yards down the slope of the rise (929329) the German gunner was too well camouflaged for the officer to see him. Successfully dodging the bullets, the lieutenant espied two enemy soldiers coming out of a dugout about 25 yards to his left front. Almost at the instant they emerged, the Germans threw white phosphorus grenades in our groups's direction, burning two men. Lieutenant Heinemann shot the two Germans, probably fatally.

Feeling that he now had control of the high ground, the officer turned around to find only six of his men with him. The rest had been felled by machine-gun and mortar fire. He thereupon sent one man back to fetch the machine guns, while with the other five infantrymen he deployed around the small hill to defend it. The soldier he sent for the guns never reached them. Lieutenant Heinemann and his men were surrounded and pinned down by withering German fire.

In the meantime, in the midst of a crashing, unrelenting enemy mortar barrage, Lieutenant Gray was trying desperately to reorganize Company F. Seemingly, the hostile 120- and 81-millimeter mortars had area targets. The 50-millimeter mortars fired in an uncanny manner, the shells "walking" right down the path toward the rear of the company. The German fire even covered the bends in the trail, and the shells exploded always right on the path. Combat-wise Company F men later said it was the most concentrated barrage they had ever witnessed, and the most accurate.

Lieutenant Gray, succeeding in reorganizing his company, led three more forward pushes - at 1555, 1615 and 1735 hours - but his men were each time scattered by the Germans' vicious and phenomenally expert machine-gun resistance. The fire came from the following locations: two machine guns at 931331, at least two on Hill 363, and a number of guns at 931328 and 934329. Self-propelled-gun fire was also directed at our troops. A three-gun battery situated north of Gorgognano (913333) was heard firing, and hitting Casa Collina. Others fired from 930336 and Monte Scanno.

After the three abortive attempts to forge through the deadly German fire, Lieutenant Gray organized a patrol to rescue Lieutenant Heinemann and the remnants of his platoon. The patrol, leaving at 1815 hours, had advanced 150 yards when mortar shells and machine-gun bullets threshed through the group, causing seven casualties out of the patrol's strength of 12. The five survivors were compelled to turn back.

During all this time Lieutenant Heinemann had to hug the ground to avoid being struck by the murderous machine-gun bullets directed at him and his men from all directions. One of his men was killed, another was shot in both arms, two were seriously seared by the phosphorus grenades. Then the Germans threw in 50-millimeter mortars, severely wounding the lieutenant in the leg and injuring another man by concussion. At the time, the officer was 200 yards from Casa Cerrara, which he could see. He believed that the fire came from behind the village.

The enemy hurled grenades and continued firing at our hard-pressed men until dusk. Then the enlisted men able to do so helped Lieutenant Heinemann back to our lines.

Company G, to the right rear at H hour, jumped off from the line of departure at 1505 hours and caught the full impact of the area mortar fire. About a platoon managed to gain the ravine at 931327. The previously mentioned machine guns raked the draw and caused some casualties. The mud, knee-deep in places, absorbed a great deal of the mortar fire and kept down Company G's casualties. The company asked for a concentration of smoke at 931328 and 934329 to cover it from the machine-gun fire so that it could reorganize its scattered forces. The 4.2 chemical mortars immediately laid down a smoke screen which gave the company an opportunity to effect this regrouping. Instead of attacking, however, the company withdrew under orders. It had thrice unsuccessfully tried to emerge from the ravine, each time encountering defensive machine guns raking the banks of the draw. As they did on Company F, mortar and self-propelled fire also fell almost uninterruptedly on Company G's troops.

At 1630 hours it was reported that approximately a platoon of Company E, at 930329, 250 yards southeast of Casa Cerrara, had been cut off from the rest of the company. They were pinned down by grazing machine-gun bullets and mortar shells coming from their left rear. The platoon had unwittingly by-passed enemy troops entrenched on the northwestern slope of Hill 357. Captain Allan W. Sudholt, Company E's commander, was slightly wounded earlier in the attack.

Eleven minutes after our barrage started, German 105-millimeter and self-propelled-gun shells began bursting in our assembly area and in the neighborhood of our 81-millimeter mortars. A considerable number of casualties resulted. This fire, landing at the rate of four rounds a minute, for 30 minutes, settled down to about 40 rounds of harassing fire an hour until 0200 hours the next morning. Meanwhile, at 1900 hours, the decision was made for the battalion to dig in for the night and hold whatever ground might have been gained. The men marooned out front were to be brought back to safety if at all possible.

Of interest is the 34th Division G-2 report covering the day of the attack. In part, it read:

"The limited-objective attack initiated by us early in the period met heavy resistance generally across the entire front and particularly in the center sub-sector, where the enemy stubbornly defended the approaches to Hill 363 with intense machine-gun and heavy mortar fire. Anti-personnel mines were encountered in the routes of approach north of Collina, which limited the scheme of maneuver to an appreciable degree. The enemy response to our offensive effort was prompt and thoroughly effective, featuring intense mortar and mutually-supporting machine-gun fires, concurrently with a moderate medium-caliber shelling in some depth at the hands of the enemy artillery."

"... Enemy machine guns delivered very effective fire against all elements of the attack. ..."

Sergeant James P. Shannon of the Regimental S-3 Section made the following compilation of the amount of ammunition fired in support of [our] own attack:

- 81-millimeter, 4,500 rounds;

- 60-millimeter, 2,400 rounds;

- .50-caliber, 45,000 rounds;

- .30 caliber, 21,000 rounds;

- by Cannon Company, 700 rounds;

- 4.2 chemical mortars, 985 rounds.

In this operation the Regiment sustained 58 casualties (see Battle Casualty List [not provided here]): seven killed, 11 missing in action, and 40 wounded. Company F suffered by far the greatest share. From a short-range point of view we gained little by the attack. No ground was won. However, considering the "big picture" of the war, our effort doubtlessly had a measurable effect of the enemy. (See "Dugout Digest" for 14 February, published by the Regimental Information-Education section.)

In every action against the enemy there are individuals who distinguish themselves by outstanding performance of duty. The "Collina Operation" was no exception in that respect. Following are two instances of heroic achievement by soldiers in the 5 February engagement. The first citation is based on an eye-witness account by Second Lieutenant Donald H. Dearborn, [Third Battalion] Company K

platoon leader:

At approximately 1530 hours heavy enemy shelling knocked out communication between one of Company K's outposts and the first platoon's command post, in the vicinity of Ca di Razzone. It was imperative that contact be maintained, as the outpost was within 200 yards of the enemy and had been the center of numerous fire fights. It was also the focal point of German infiltration activities. As soon as it was apparent that communication with the platoon command post had been severed Private Henry A. Markiewicz, acting on his own initiative, immediately went out into the midst of the enemy barrage. He checked the wire for 100 yards until he found the break. Showing no concern for his safety, the soldier repaired the break and then returned to the outpost. As a result of Private Markiewicz's heroic action wire communication, which at the time was of the utmost importance, was kept intact.

The other outstanding incident reported concerns the leader of the First Battalion's ammunition and pioneer platoon and ten of his men: First Lieutenant Charles W. Seebeck; Sergeants Samuel E. Carpenter and Robert P. Nesbitt; Privates First Class Michael Pappi, Owen Cahoon, John W. Hardy, Dennis L. Lynn and Gordon L. Martin; and Privates Clayton J. Ashbaugh, Curtis C. Chambers and Charleston Creech.

At about 1900 hours the 11 men went down the Idice River to a point 150 yards beyond an outpost at Ca di Razzone and there, within 400 yards of the enemy's position at Ca Merla, built a foot bridge over the swollen river. The river at this point was more than 70 feet wide and nearly five feet deep at its center. Both sides of the stream had been heavily mined by our forces and by the enemy. Lieutenant Seebeck and Sergeants Nesbitt and Carpenter began the job by setting up and securing an "H" frame in the middle of the stream, while Private First Class Kelly [a 12th man?] and Privates Creech and Chambers cut down six trees and trimmed them into 35-foot lengths. Meanwhile Privates First Class Cahoon, Hardy, Martin, Lynn and Pappi and Private Ashbaugh policed up boards and timbers from the mined and booby-trapped houses in Ca di Razzone. Despite the harassing enemy artillery and mortar fire and the difficulty in obtaining materials, these men completed the bridge in four-and-one-half hours, and furnished a safe crossing over this hazardous water barrier.

On this 5 February five enlisted men took preliminary examinations at the Divisional rear command post for warrant-officer appointments. Lieutenant-Colonel Bruno S. Marchi, who had returned from temporary duty furlough in the United States the day before, became commanding officer of the Third Battalion. He relieved Lieutenant-Colonel Rudolph D. Zobel, who was assigned to Regimental Headquarters. Four officers went to Florence and one to Rome for several days relaxation.

[6 February 1945]

During the morning of 6 February Division notified us that it would be inadvisable for the Regiment to attempt to attack again; our operation was over and the Second Battalion was to return to its former Regimental reserve area. Some of the troops still forward would be able, it was thought, to infiltrate back during the daylight hours, while the remainder would be forced to wait for darkness. Shortly after noon, the soldiers began to drift back, but approximately one full company was compelled to wait until nightfall before returning.

At 1500 hours another demonstration by the Regiment was requested by Division, to provide a diversion for the 168th Infantry on our right. That organization was scheduled to attempt another limited attack at that hour. The demonstration was executed as planned, 15 minutes of firing being done by our small-arms, 60-millimeter mortars, Cannon Company, .50-caliber machine guns, and our supporting tanks, tank destroyers and our [125th] artillery battalion. Our battalions were to fire on targets of opportunity during and after the demonstration with 4.2 and 81-millimeter mortars.

At 2100 hours our Second Battalion reported itself completely closed in its old area. At midnight the front was comparatively quiet. The weather was cool, visibility poor.

[7 February 1945]

In the dark morning hours of 7 February our .50 caliber machine-gun platoon fired more than 5,000 rounds of harassing fire into enemy territory, and our Cannon Company also worried the foe. A great deal of German flare activity was noted coincidentally with our patrol forays, but hostile artillery, mortar, and machine-gun fire remained generally light over the entire 24-hour period. In the evening the enemy again reacted to our patrolling efforts with intense flare action.

On this cool, foggy day 100 enlisted men, accompanied by two duty officers, traveled to Montecatini Terme for five days' pleasure.

[8 February 1945]

On 8 February appeared Regimental Operational Instructions No. 6, accompanied by a march table. The orders dealt with the relief of our Regiment by the 363rd Infantry of the 91st Division beginning the night of 12-13 February. Our three battalions were to enjoy a seven-day rest in Montecatini Terme, after which the troops would move to a training area in the vicinity of le Croci di Calenzano (765876 - Map 1:25,000 Sheet 106 I NW S. Piero a Sieve), 14 miles north of Florence. The other regimental units were to go directly to le Croci di Calenzano. (For details, refer to instructions and Overlay No. 7 showing bivouac and training areas.

The evening hours brought an increase in enemy mortar and artillery fire, the shells falling almost exclusively in our forward areas. At 2100 hours a four-man Company L reconnaissance patrol left its command post. Moving along the western slope of Hill 357 toward Casa Cerrara, the group drew vicious machine-gun fire from three German positions. Forced to withdraw, our men nevertheless set up a listening post at 929328, just above Casa Collina.

[9 February 1945]

The entire 24 hours of 9 February were fairly calm. Routine patrolling was engaged in and normal harassing and interdictory artillery fired throughout the period.

In the morning a quartering party composed of Major Lewis A. Fletcher, assistant Regimental S-3, all battalion S-3's, and a representative from each company departed to select bivouac and training areas in the vicinity of le Croci di Calenzano. (Refer to Operational Instructions Nos. 6 and 7.) Training Memorandum No. 2 was issued, concerning the intensive training in offensive operations to be engaged in by our soldiers from 20 February to 1 March, inclusive.

This day six enlisted men went to the MTOUSA Leadership and Battle School for a six-week course. These picked soldiers, who if they passed the course would become second lieutenants, were Staff Sergeants John J. Hayes, Everett F. Ware and Jefferson Terrill; Sergeants Walter J. Lang and Everett W. Rasche, and Corporal Kenyon W. Rasmussen.

Corporal Edwin R. Barnard and Technician Fifth Grade William H. Keyser III, both of Regimental Headquarters Company, returned from the Fifth Army Rest Camp in Rome with the interesting news that on 5 February they had been among the passengers on the first air tour of Italian battlefields. Arranged for combat troops by Fifth Army Special Service, the four-and-one-half hour trip in a C-47 covered the peninsula from the port of Piombino in the north to Salerno in the south. The shell holes of Anzio and the ghostly rubble of Cassino were plainly visible to the soldier's eyes, and vied in their memory with the more pleasing sights of Mount Vesuvius, Naples, and Pompeii.

[10 February 1945]

On 10 February, a dormant day along the whole front, our .50-caliber machine-gun platoon, in charge of First Lieutenant John J. Carroll of Anti-Tank Company, fired its 100,000th round in this sector. Our usual patrols entered "no-man's land" during the night.

Five officers traveled in peeps to Florence, to spend five days at the Anglo-American Hotel.

[11 February 1945]

There was little activity, either friendly or enemy, on Sunday 11 February. During the day one enemy deserted to Company C troops. His unit was 6th Company, 576th Regiment, 305th Division. The Germans engaged in their customary harassing action, employing artillery, mortars and machine guns. At night our patrols made sorties into hostile territory, without incident.

Catholic and Protestant services were held this day in various areas of the Regiment.

[12 February 1945]

During the morning of 12 February our 4.5 rocket-gun platoon fired the ammunition on hand, marking the first time the guns were fired by us in action. On account of poor visibility, an accurate report on their effect could not be obtained.

In the evening the battalions of the 363rd Infantry began relieving in place our Second and Third Battalions.

This day Major Timothy F. Horan was relieved as commanding officer of the Second Battalion, becoming executive officer of the same unit the following day. He relieved Major Walter J. D. Hewitt. On 13 February Lieutenant-Colonel Rudolph D. Zobel was placed in command of the Second Battalion.

[13 February 1945]

Upon the completion of their relief by the incoming elements, at 2350 hours 12 February and 0115 hours 13 February, respectively, the Second and Third Battalions began motor movement to the Montecatini Terme rest area. The Second Battalion arrived in Montecatini Terme at 0630 hours 13 February, the Third closing in two hours later. Our Cannon Company, relieved at 1205 hours, arrived in its new area in the vicinity of le Croci di Calenzano at 1600 hours. Regimental Headquarters, Regimental Headquarters Company and the Medical Detachment also moved to the latter area, closing in at 1630 hours. Anti-Tank Company, relieved at 2330 hours, immediately began moving to le Croci di Calenzano too.

The Regimental commander, Captain Earl W. Ralf, S-3, and Major James R. McClymont, S-2, remained at the Regimental command post in Savazza. They were to depart after the relief of the entire Regiment had been completed.

In the morning of this clear day General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, visited the 34th Infantry Division rear command post at Cavallina, 15 miles north of Florence, and there presented Distinguished Service Crosses to three members of the 133rd Infantry. The honored soldiers were First Lieutenant Sidney Goldstein, Corporal Norris P. Nelson, and Private First Class Joe F. Tinsley.

Lieutenant Goldstein was decorated for leading a handful of soldiers against a numerically superior force of Germans defending a strategic Gothic Line position and capturing three German officers and 61 enlisted men [on 21 September 1944].

Corporal Nelson was cited for extraordinary heroism on the Anzio beachhead. He and a fellow soldier manned two machine guns and repulsed an estimated battalion of attacking Germans. Nelson and his comrade remained at their guns, although the enemy directed murderous artillery and mortar barrages on their positions. The two infantrymen cut down wave after wave of advancing Germans and succeeded in breaking up the attack.

Private First Class Tinsley bravely crawled under heavy enemy machine-gun fire to kill two Germans on a machine gun and then, turning the enemy weapon on two more gun positions, killed two additional Germans and forced others to abandon their positions. His heroic action greatly helped his company occupy a hostile key point.

General Marshall, homeward bound from the historic Crimean [Yalta] Conference of the "Big Three" [Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin], had paused in Italy for a three-day inspection of the Fifth Army front. He was accompanied at the presentation by Lieutenant-General Joseph T. McNarney, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater; Lieutenant-General Mark W. Clark, 15th Army Group commander; Lieutenant-General Lucian K. Truscott, Jr., commander of the Fifth Army, and other military leaders.

[14 February 1945]

At 0001 hours 14 February the Regimental command post opened at le Croci di Calenzano. At 0200 hours the commanding officer of the 363rd Infantry assumed control of our former sector. Anti-Tank Company closed in its new area at 0500 hours. The Regimental commander and his S-2 and S-3 arrived at le Croci di Calenzano at 0900 hours. Our First Battalion was relieved at 0445 hours and arrived at Montecatini Terme at 1145 hours.

The day, by troops both in le Croci di Calenzano and Montecatini Terme, was devoted to showdown inspections to accomplish requisition of all shortages, turn-in of all surpluses, and submission of all equipment requiring repair or replacement.

This day the First and Third Battalions were paid. Crews from the 133rd Infantry's personnel strength section began making physical head checks of all members on the Regiment. Forty-eight enlisted men and two duty officers went to the Fifth Army Rest Camp in Rome.

From 14 February to 20 February the battalions' troops at Montecatini Terme engaged in various recreational activities. For seven restful days our soldiers attended American Red Cross-sponsored dances, enjoyed motion picture, band and USO shows, took showers and sulphur baths, and availed themselves of many other pleasurable facilities, including the attractions offered by the large Red Cross club in the city. During the same period the other units of the Regiment pursued a program of rest and recreation in the le Croci di Calenzano area. Movies were shown every evening, as well as several band and USO shows. Daily from 15 to 18 February, inclusive, 100 enlisted men were granted one-day passes to Florence.

[15 February 1945]

At 1130 hours 15 February Divisional Operation Instructions No. 15 was received. It instructed the 133rd Infantry to be prepared for possible movement on 24 hours notice to restore the present front lines by counter-attack. We immediately published Regimental Operational Instructions No. 8, on the same subject, and sent it to all units.

This cool, hazy day transportation was made available to soldiers of Jewish faith desiring to attend religious services at the Divisional rear command post. Four officers went to Florence for a "brief vacation" at the Anglo-American Hotel.

[16 February 1945]

At 1650 hours 16 February we received Divisional Operational Instructions No. 16. It contained instructions for the movement of our Second and Third Battalions on 19 February from Montecatini Terme to the vicinity of le Croci di Calenzano, and movement of the First Battalion on 20 February.

This day personnel of the Regiment received rations of Sicilian whiskey, for which they paid $3.10 a bottle.

[17 February 1945]

On 17 February the assistant Regimental S-3 and First Lieutenant Paul C. Brown, Regimental munitions officer, reconnoitered for the purpose of finding suitable locations for firing ranges. Plans and preparations were made for a training schedule to start when our three battalions had closed in the neighborhood of le Croci di Calenzano. Regimental Operational Instructions No. 9 was issued governing the battalions' move to the training area on 19 and 20 February.

[18 February 1945]

During the morning of 18 February work was begun on a Regimental range at 786877, 2,000 yards west of le Croci di Calenzano. The range was to be suitable for firing at distances from 200 to 400 yards. Quartering parties from all three battalions arrived at the Regimental command post early in the afternoon and made reconnaissance of their proposed areas.

This day a letter was received from the Divisional commander commending the Regimental commander and his administrative personnel on being given a MTOUSA rating of "Superior" in respect to the service records of the Regiment.

[19 February 1945]

On 19 February the Second Battalion moved to the vicinity of 760870, 800 yards south of le Croci di Calenzano, closing in the new area at 1415 hours. Shortly after their arrival in the new area. Lieutenant-Colonel Zobel and his staff gathered at a meeting on the second floor of the command post. Suddenly the floor collapsed. Lieutenant-Colonel Zobel sustained three broken ribs and was evacuated, and several other officers were injured slightly. Major Horan became acting battalion commander effective 20 February.

At 2000 hours the Third Battalion arrived at S. Pietro in Casagli (750871 - Map 1;25,000 Sheet 106 IV NE), 1,500 yards southeast of le Croci di Calenzano.

[20 February 1945]

On 20 February, as on the previous day, work continued on the Regimental range. Our Second Battalion and special units began their training program early in the morning. The Third Battalion commenced its training activities in the afternoon. (See Training Memorandum No. 2, dated 9 February, and Annex No. 1 to that memorandum, dated 21 February.) Troops engaged in physical hardening exercises, road marches and small-unit training.

Our First Battalion arrived in its training area in the vicinity of Secciano (737858 - Map 1;25,000 Sheet 106 IV NE), 2,900 yards southeast of le Croci di Calenzano, at 1745 hours.

At 1800 hours the Regimental commander held a meeting of battalion commanding and executive officers, all S-3's and special unit commanding officers. Discussed were plans for a presentation ceremony the next day and the training program. Colonel Lewis instructed the officers to emphasize training in such fields as enemy mine detection, patrolling, observation post procedure and range work. Military courtesy and proper uniform wear were also to be stressed.

This day six enlisted men went to the 34th Division Wire School. Forty-eight enlisted men, accompanied by a duty officer, departed for a few days' pleasure at the Fifth Army Rest Center in Rome. Five officers went to Florence, five to Rome for brief holidays.

[21 February 1945]

On 21 February First Lieutenant Rex H. Garrett, Regimental photo-intelligence officer, concluded his two-day photo-intelligence school for enlisted men of the Regiment. Classes for officers were to be held on 22-27 February, inclusive. (Refer to memorandum, subject "Photo-Intelligence School", dated 14 February, and mimeographed schedule .

At 1600 hours a formal presentation ceremony, including a band and color guard and participated in by a large portion of the Regiment, was held in a field to the rear of the Regimental command post. Major-General Bolte presented Combat Infantry Company streamers to each company of the Regiment and two Legion of Merit medals, 16 Silver Stars, 31 Bronze Stars and four Oak Leaf Clusters for the Bronze Star to members of the 133rd Infantry who had distinguished themselves in time of war.

During the day units followed their training schedules. In the evening hours Company K held a night problem in patrolling.

This day two Portuguese-speaking enlisted men of the Regiment were assigned on temporary duty with the 107th Anti-Aircraft Group, Brazilian Expeditionary Force, as machine-gun instructors. Day passes to Florence were again issued to our enlisted men, after such permits had been suspended during the battalions' move to le Croci di Calenzano. One hundred passes were to be available, daily if possible, for the remainder of the month.

[22 February 1945]

On 22 February 34th Division Counter-Intelligence Corps members gave lectures on their work to First Battalion troops. At 1445 Hours Major Raymond Sobel and Captain Vernon A. Weinstein, 34th Division psychiatrists, arrived at the Regimental command post to interview 100 men of the Regiment in an effort to learn why the 133rd Infantry had such a low AWOL rate as compared with other regiments of the Division. (Pertinent to this matter is letter, subject "Absence Without Leave", by the Regimental commander, dated 18 February.) From 1530 to 1730 hours Major Horan spoke to the officers of the Regiment on "The Attack of 5 February".

Between 1900 and 2300 hours Company L engaged in a problem in night patrolling. Throughout the day all units had diligently pursued their training schedules.

This day First Lieutenants Harry W. Raypole and Louis E. Lawrence and Corporal Alvin Wagner departed for attendance until on or about 8 March at the Photo-Intelligence School of Allied Force Headquarters.

To Montecatini Terme for five days of relaxation traveled 100 enlisted men, with two duty officers.

[23 February 1945]

Our troops continued their rigid training programs on 23 February. Companies E, F and G fired bazookas on the range. During the morning Company I held a "platoon in attack" problem; Company K conducted one in the afternoon. From 1530 to 1630 hours Major Sobel, Division psychiatrist, lectured to officers on "Psychology and Morale". Company I soldiers worked out a night problem between 1900 and 2300 hours.

[24 February 1945]

Training activities on 24 February included the following:

- An Information-Education film, "Prelude to War", was shown to soldiers of First Battalion; Headquarters Company, Third Battalion; and Regimental Headquarters Company.

- Companies E, F and I fired on the range, employing rifles, bazookas, mortars, machine guns and hand grenades.

- In the late afternoon Chief Warrant Officer Hustvedt, of the inspector-general's office of the 34th Division, spoke on "Council Books" at the officers' school held in le Croci di Calenzano.

On this and the following day Identification Card Team No. 2, Fifth Army Headquarters, photographed, finger-printed and issued identity cards to all officers of the Regiment and all members of the Medical Detachment. Announcement was made of a counter-mortar and shell rep[ort] school to be conducted on 27 February.

Coca-Cola, two bottles per man, and post exchange rations of candy and peanuts were distributed to all personnel. The day before each man had received six bottles of American beer.

[25 February 1945]

All units adhered strictly to their scheduled training programs on Sunday, 25 February. Church services were held between and after training hours.

A three-day flame-thrower school was started under the direction of First Lieutenant Edward B. Edwards, Regimental gas officer. In the afternoon representatives of the 109th Engineer Combat Battalion held a pioneer and ammunition school in Anti-Tank Company's area. The school was attended by one officer and two non-commissioned officers from each battalion's pioneer and ammunition platoon, and two non-commissioned officers from Anti-Tank Company. During the period Companies A, B, G, H, I, K, L, and Anti-Tank Company engaged in practical work on the range with various weapons.

This day four officers traveled to Florence for a five-day stay at the Anglo-American Hotel.

[26 February 1945]

On 26 and 27 February all units carried on their intensive training activities.

On 26 February Major Warren C. Chapman, executive officer of the Third Battalion, was named commanding officer of the First Battalion. Major Edward M. Fabert, First Battalion commanding officer, became executive officer of the same unit. Major Linus T. Williams of Third Battalion Headquarters was appointed executive officer of that battalion.

Forty-six soldiers of Jewish faith were given day passes and transportation to Florence to attend Purim services at the Teatro della Pergola. This was the last day one-day passes to Florence were issued to personnel of the Regiment.

[27 February 1945]

On 27 February six enlisted men, potential combat officers, departed for attendance at the MTOUSA leadership and Battle School beginning 5 March. The soldiers were Staff Sergeants Alexander McCammon and Charles R. Lease, and Sergeants Michael M. Fiveash, Eugene C. Egg, Ralph A. Casperson and Harold M. Thompson.

One hundred enlisted men and two duty officers went to Montecatini [Terme] for several days' enjoyment.

[28 February 1945]

On 28 February appeared Regimental Operational Instructions No. 10, pertaining to our contemplated return to the front. The 133rd Infantry was to relieve the 349th Infantry and one battalion of the 351st Infantry, both of the 88th Division. We were to continue an active defense of the sector. (For details, see operational instructions mentioned, with overlay.)

During the day details for a new set-up in the Regimental Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon were completed. The plans call for the present platoon to be augmented by approximately 30 men, who were to be employed as a Regimental raiding group. The men were selected volunteers from our various front-line companies.

Scouting and patrolling problems occupied the attention of Companies A, F, G and M after dark.

This day all members of the Regiment were paid for the month of February. To the Fifth Army Rest Center in Rome went 48 enlisted men and a duty officer.

During our stay in the le Croci di Calenzano area our Medical Detachment, headed by Captain John S. Houlihan, Regimental surgeon, treated 604 dental patients, handled 116 eye refractions, gave "shots" to members of the Regiment, and made daily inspections of the kitchens and other areas in all units. (See "Monthly Sanitary Report" for further information.)

Of interest is the fact that while bivouaced in this sector the Regiment's transportation facilities were drastically reduced, for two reason: to length the life of our vehicles and to provide an opportunity for necessary repairs. Metal tags were issued to vehicles authorized to be on the roads.


Technical Sergeant Edward C. Crangle and Staff Sergeants Robert D. Sherwin and Albert M. Charmack receive second lieutenancy combat appointments in February.

Second Lieutenants Francis W. Dowdell, Sidney Goldstein and Reginald M Ballantyne, Jr., received combat promotions to first lieutenant.

Thirty-six enlisted men and five officers departed from the regiment in February on rotation furloughs in the United States. Thirty-six enlisted men and three officers left for the United States on temporary duty furloughs.

On 1 February the Regiment had an effective strength of 161 officers, four warrant officers and 3,245 enlisted men. During the month we received 23 rotation replacements. Thus our strength experienced a decrease of 166 members.

As of 28 February 1945 the 133rd Infantry has been overseas three years, one month and 16 days.

For the Regimental Commander:

s/Louis F. Kaleita


Captain, Infantry


OrganizationCampaign HistoryPublicationsDocumentsOral History

PhotosMapsLinksCollectionBioSite MapMESSAGE BOARDContact

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