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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 March 1945 to 31 March 1945, inclusive.

As the month of March, burgeoning with Spring-like warmth, began in Italy, soldiers of the 133rd Infantry Regiment of the 34th Infantry Division were engaging in extensive training in offensive operations. The scene of these activities, which had started on 20 February, was an area in the vicinity of le Croci di Calenzano (Q765876 - Map 1:25,000 Sheet 106 I NW S. Piero a Sieve), 14 miles north of Florence.

Objectives of the training schedule were: a) assimilation of replacements; b) development of firing techniques and employment of all weapons; c) close coordination of all elements in platoon, company and general attacks; and d) specialized training based on individual shortcomings and weaknesses. Schools on various subjects were also held during the period. (For details of entire program, refer to training memorandum in February history..)

On 28 February Regimental Operational Instructions No. 10 had been published, concerning our relief of elements of the 88th Infantry Division beginning the night of 3-4 March. We were to continue an active defense of a sector above Monzuno (L824245 - Map 1:25,000 Sheet 98 I NW Loiano), some 12 air-line miles south of Bologna. (See February history for operational instructions mentioned.)

Of mordant interest is the fact that the Regiment was now about to return to a sector in which we fought and whose lines we established last October. We took Monzuno on 4 October 1944. The front line had not changed appreciably in the intervening five months, during which we had established another point of farthest advance in the Monte Belmonte sector, capturing the strategic height on 23 October.

[1 March 1945]

On 1 and 2 March our troops carried on their training activities, such as range firing, scouting and problems in patrolling, and lessons in military courtesy and discipline.

Announced on the morning of 1 March were Divisional plans, heretofore tentative, for our First Battalion to become attached on 3 March to the 10th Mountain Division, in the IV Corps sector. (For details of the move, see Changes and Additions to Operational Instructions No. 10 and accompanying march table, dated 2 March.)

During the day reconnaissance patrols from the 349th Infantry, the regiment about to be relieved by us, arrived in our training sector. That 88th Division organization was to occupy the le Croci di Calenzano area upon our departure. Our Third Battalion, in turn, sent an advance party forward to make preparations for the relief, as our Second Battalion had done the day before.

On the evening of this day a USO troupe gave a show for our soldiers in the "theater" tent beside Anti-Tank Company's area.

[2 March 1945]

On 2 March 100 enlisted men, accompanied by two duty officers, departed for five days' relaxation in Montecatini Terme, Fifth Army rest city for combat troops 25 miles west of Florence. Four officers went to Florence for a brief vacation at the Anglo-American Hotel.

[3 March 1945]

At 0100 hours 3 March the 1st Battalion arrived at Vidiciatico (L505137 - Map 1:25,000 Sheet 97 I SE), 21 miles southwest of Monzuno. Thereupon the unit passed into Army reserve, its mission being to reinforce the 10th Mountain Division in the event of a counter-attack in that sector.

The Second Battalion and Anti-Tank and Cannon Companies moved to their forward areas in the vicinity of Monzuno as indicated on the aforementioned march table. The Second Battalion arrived at 2320 hours, Anti-Tank and Cannon at 2400 hours.

This day First Lieutenant Gilbert D. Wenger departed for Naples to attend a two-week course in Allied Military Governments work.

[4 March 1945]

At 0930 hours 4 March the Regimental command post left le Croci di Calenzano, arriving at the new command post location in Monzuno at noon. The command post opened officially at 1500 hours. By 2245 hours our Third Battalion had relieved the 349th Infantry's Third Battalion, company for company. At that hour our Regiment assumed control of the entire sector.

Attached to us as we commenced operations were Company C and one platoon of Company D, 757th Tank Battalion; Company C, 804th Tank Destroyer Battalion; one platoon of Company B, 100th Chemical Mortar Battalion; one platoon of Company B, 432nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion; Company A, 109th Engineer Combat Battalion; and the 2nd Battalion, 351st Infantry, acting as our reserve in the absence of our First Battalion. The 346th Field Artillery Battalion of the 91st Infantry Division was in direct support of the Regiment, the 151st Field Artillery Battalion of the 34th Division was in general support.

This day a memorandum on patrolling, outlining minimum requirements during the current period of active defense, was issued by Captain Earl W. Ralf, Regimental S-3, by order of Colonel Walden S. Lewis, Regimental commander.

At 1645 hours an enemy light mortar scored a direct hit on a Company F dugout, wounding three men who had to be evacuated. The shell was the sole round landing in the area that day. Company F's command post was situated at L829273, to the left of Highway 6532, some 2,800 yards north of Monzuno.

[5 March 1945]

Shortly before 0500 hours 5 March a small group of enemy approached Company F's second platoon, dug in at L829279, 500 yards above the company's command post. Our soldiers immediately hurled grenades at the Germans, dispersing them. Only one hostile soldier had gotten close enough to be espied by our men.

As Highway 6532, to the right and left of which both the Second and Third Battalions were deployed, was under enemy observation, road blocks were set up at the north end of Monzuno. Thus all vehicles were barred from using the upper, or front route to the battalion command posts in the daytime. The Third Battalion's command post was just to the right of the highway, at L828253, about 800 yards northeast of the Regimental command post. The Second Battalion's headquarters, L829263, was 1,000 yards north of the Third's, also on the right side of the road. The entire Third Battalion sector which, roughly, extended from Highway 6532 west to Highway 64 and the Setta River, was in hostile view.

At 1230 hours a German phosphorous shell hit a Company E dugout, burning two men. Their positions were to the right of the road, immediately below the 28 northing.

Early in the afternoon the S-3 of the 151st Field Artillery Battalion notified us that his unit would take over, beginning this coming night, the mission of our directly supporting artillery, the 346th. The latter organization was to go into general support of the Regiment. This day a list of observation posts in our sector was published.

At 1401 hours Anti-Tank Company reported it had fired its rocket guns, with good results observed. The action, planned earlier in the day, was coordinated with the artillery. To blind enemy observers, the artillerymen fired 40 rounds of smoke shells when the rockets went off. Although there was no immediate reaction from the enemy, about two hours later the rocket-gun platoon received 15 to 20 rounds of mortar in its area. Anti-Tank Company's command post was located at L825247, some 300 yards northeast of the Regimental command post in Monzuno. The rockets were set up from 1,000 to 1,500 yards north of the company's headquarters.

Several times during the afternoon our observation posts spotted enemy soldiers entering a tunnel at L825304, approximately 2,500 yards north of the Second Battalion's forward positions. Observed again at 1600 hours, the Germans were fired upon by our Cannon Company.

In the evening Overlay Nos. 1, 2 and 3 were published showing, respectively, dispositions of our Regiment and attached units, fire plan of the Regiment, and defensive fires in the sector.

At 1830 hours Second Lieutenant Chester E. Freel, S-4 of the Third Battalion, was severely wounded when an enemy shell landed near the town square of Monzuno. Hospitalized, the officer died on 7 March.

The sector was quiet until 2100 hours, when machine-gun fire and numerous flares were reported. The Third Battalion observation post at L800264 heard an enemy machine gun firing southward from Vado (L813288), which was situated along Highway 64 and the Setta River, approximately 1,500 yards southeast of the aforementioned tunnel.

A Company K reconnaissance patrol, returning at 2345 hours, reported having received machine-gun fire from Ca' Valla (L811281), 700 yards below Vado. (For all patrol and raid plans and report during the month refer to "Patrols and Raids".)

This day four enlisted men, granted 10-day furloughs to visit relatives, departed. Two of the soldiers went to southern Italy, one to Sicily, one to Greece.

[6 March 1945]

The dark early morning hours of 6 March were characterized by frequent enemy flares, as well as by harassing fire from mortars and artillery. At 0135 hours Company I reported some hostile activity, and aerial bursts over its sector along the 27 northing. Company F troops along the 28 northing near Highway 6532 heard digging noises 700 yards to their left front.

The 151st Field Artillery Battalion fired a concentration into German territory at 0530 hours, but our observers reported no reaction.

At 0630 hours Staff Sergeant Ambrose W. Hennes and Corporal George E. Berg, both of Company H, were directing the mortar fire of their platoon from an observation post on Hill 502 (L821274), to the left of Highway 6532 above Company F's command post. The two soldiers observed enemy troops in the vicinity of C. Furcoli, 1,000 yards north of the lookout, and directed mortar fire on them. The pair also directed effective fire on a German vantage point which they spotted on Hill 403, near C. di Bocchino, 800 yards west of C. Furcoli.

However, the Germans had apparently in turn detected our observation post, for they began firing round after round of artillery and mortar toward the position. One shell scored a direct hit, partially destroying the sandbagged dugout but not injuring our observers. Despite constant peril, Hennes and Berg remained at their post and continued to direct fire throughout the day. The two soldiers were instrumental in the destruction of several enemy guns. They finally left their shattered position at nightfall, when they could no longer observe the enemy.

Issued during the morning were Counter-attack Plans A and B, with Overlay Nos. 4 and 5, to be executed in the event of a successful German counter-thrust.

At 1501 hours an enemy plane strafed Highway 64 to the left rear of the Third Battalion, west of Monzuno. No damage or casualties resulted. In the evening the Germans began their usual harassing program, our observation posts reporting shellings until the close of the period.

This day two Portuguese-speaking enlisted men left on temporary duty with the Brazilian Expeditionary Force in the IV Corps sector. Four officers departed for five days' relaxation in Florence.

[7 March 1945]

The period of 7 March opened with reports of enemy activity on the left of the Third Battalion, in the 135th Infantry sector. Then, at 0135 hours, Captain John. R. Karlson, commanding Cannon Company, reported that his men had been doing a great deal of shooting for Company K, along with the 4.2 chemical mortarmen. This was the first indication that there was any disturbance in our sector.

At 0200 hours Company K soldiers had heard what they believed to be a German tank moving in Ca' Valla, some 1,200 yards northwest of Company K's command post. Our men had artillery fire placed on it. Shortly afterward they began receiving self-propelled fire at Ca' di Serra, 300 yard below Ca' Valla, apparently from the same tank.

A few minutes later a force of about 50 enemy attacked our positions along the road from Ca' Valla. Mines were heard exploding in the dry bed of the Setta River. In the ensuing fire fight we inflicted several casualties, and ourselves suffered one killed, three wounded and three missing before routing the Germans.

At 0045 hours, Company K, still absorbing self-propelled fire, requested more friendly supporting fire to their front. Our cannoneers and mortarmen came to their instant assistance. Fifteen minutes afterward Company I reported two enemy machine guns firing at Ca' di Serra. German artillery knocked out the telephone wire to Company K's forward platoon, entrenched in Ca' di Serra. At 0130 hours Company K reported a machine gun shooting from the tunnel on the other side of the river and road, pinning down the third platoon. Fire requested from the 135th Infantry silenced the piece.

By 0200 hours the sector was quiet once more, but at 0225 hours a call was received from Company K asking for help for its forward platoon, which was surrounded on three sides. Intense fire was brought to bear on the enemy at once and a Company L platoon was sent to aid the hard-pressed soldiers. By 0335 hours the situation was under control and the sector was quiet again.

In support of their raid the Germans fired 250 to 300 rounds of light and medium mortar which landed in front of Ca' di Serra, 50 rounds of 105-millimeter exploding in Ca' di Serra and along the highway southward, and 50 rounds of self-propelled fire bursting in the village, south of it, and in the river bed.

Three Company K soldiers won commendations for their heroism during the counter-attack, Privates Roy H. Leath and Felix Necklace voluntarily repaired a vital communication line under intense mortar and self-propelled fire and grazing machine-gun fire. When one of the outposts was encircled by Germans and all communication lines were knocked out, Private First Class Ralph H. Neel, Jr., immediately volunteered to contact the platoon command post and bring up reinforcements. This he did, although he had to traverse terrain which was known to be heavily mined. The reinforcements he brought saved the outpost members from being captured and prevented important ground from being lost.

There was little enemy activity in the forenoon of this day. At 1000 hours Cannon Company fired 30 rounds at L814289, near Vado, after the Third Battalion's observation post had spotted hostile movement there. Subsequently our attached platoon of the 432nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery fired on enemy seen at L832284, near C. Furcoli.

Later in the morning the 4.2 chemical mortars began smoking enemy lookouts at 833287,832287 and 821287, above and to the left of C. Furcoli, for the purpose of blinding the German observers while our rockets fired. The rockets were launched at 1300 hours, with good results noted. We scored hits in the vicinity of the railroad station (Stazione Monzuno-Vado) at L817296, about 700 yards north of Vado. The Germans countered with a few rounds of 120-millimeter mortar.

All our units were notified in the afternoon that a training program would be carried out while we remained in the present defensive position. Emphasis was to be placed on the care and cleaning of equipment, knowledge of weapons, map and aerial-photo reading, field sanitation, military courtesy and discipline, and other subjects which could be taught to small groups not requiring large training areas.

Before dark an enemy self-propelled gun was reported firing from the neighborhood of Vado, along with some mortar and artillery.

Plans were made for Anti-Tank Company's mine platoon to lay anti-personnel and anti-tank mines and trip flares in front of Company K's forward platoon, at Ca' di Serra. Issued also was a list and overlay (Overlay No. 6) of friendly minefields in our sector.

In the hours of darkness the Germans released many flares and engaged in their nightly harassing program.

About 2100 hours the enemy fired a heavy barrage of mortar shells at Company H's first platoon positions on Hill 502 (L829274) and 520 (L833267). The shelling cut the communication line in several places between Hill 502 and the Company H command post at Ca' di Giuletta, 400 yards south of Hill 520. Private First Class Vern G. Buchanan, acting squad leader, and Private First Class Robert J. Garriott, first gunner, volunteered to repair the damage. Although the terrain afforded almost no cover from the continual German fire, the two soldiers entered the impact area and checked the wire. Shells burst around them as they worked, and Buchanan received a slight shell fragment wound in his hand, but both he and Garriott persisted in fixing the line. They labored for three hours, until communication was again restored, and then returned to perform their normal duties.

(see Overlay No. 7 for positions of our troops at 2400 hours.)

This day nine replacements were received from the MTOUSA Disciplinary Training Center, in line with the theater's rehabilitation program. Four of the men, who had had no infantry instruction, were attached temporarily to the recently formed Regimental raiding platoon, which was in training at the Regimental reserve area near Trasasso, 2,800 yards south of Monzuno.

Six officers went to Rome for several days pleasure at the Hotel Excelsior.

[8 March 1945]

At 0110 hours 8 March Company F reported four enemy rifle grenades exploding in its sector. The area in front of the company was shelled by light artillery at 0415 hours. At 0515 hours Company K men shot at a light in Ca' Valla. The light went out at once.

In the afternoon Company I reported a self-propelled gun firing from L804304, a hillside point about 1,700 yards northwest of Vado. Our attached company of the 804th Tank Destroyer Battalion shot at it, fire being directed from the observation airplane. Hits were observed all over the hill, results undetermined.

Issued this day was a memorandum concerning ground pyrotechnic signals.

With darkness came a few enemy harassing shells and flares.

[9 March 1945]

Except for light enemy shelling and some long-range machine-gun fire, the post-midnight hours of 9 March were quiet.

In the forenoon Company E soldiers observed enemy personnel around a cave at L833286, above C. Furcoli. Whenever we shelled the area the Germans hurried into the cave and covered the entrance with a large sheet of steel. When the shelling ceased they took down the "door" and emerged again.

At the Regimental command post in the morning, officers were shown new 75- and 57-millimeter rifles and a new 4.2[-inch] chemical mortar. The use and operation of the weapons was explained in a lecture and film. In the afternoon selected members of the Regiment were notified to attend a demonstration of a new mine-clearing device on 10 March.

Beginning at 1400 hours, our rocket gunners fired 90 rounds into enemy territory.

Arrangements were completed during the day for the transportation and quartering of our First Battalion, which was to return to our control on 11 March from reserve status with the 10th Mountain Division. Published was an addition to the friendly minefield legend issued on 7 March.

This day 100 enlisted men, accompanied by two duty officers, left for five days' recreation at the 34th Division Rest Camp in Montecatini Terme. The First Battalion's quota of men went direct from Vidiciatico. The Articles of War were read to Service Company personnel, as they had been to members of our other units in recent days. Service Company was encamped at Monghidoro (L859180 - Mp 1:25,000 Sheet 98 I SW Monghidoro), about six miles southeast of Monzuno.

During the night of 9-10 March the .50-caliber machine gun platoon, in charge of First Lieutenant John J. Carroll of Anti-Tank Company, loosed 6,624 rounds into the German lines.

[10 March 1945]

Returning from a patrol after midnight, on 10 March, two Company G soldiers were wounded when they stepped on mines south of Hill 333, about 800 yards southeast of C. Furcoli. (See "Patrols and Raids".)

At 0215 hours forward elements of Company K reported hostile movement in Ca' Valla. All was quiet after we brought fire down on the settlement. At daybreak Company I observers saw 20 to 25 soldiers around a cave at L822283, some 1,000 yards to our left front. In the late afternoon our supporting tanks, firing from southwest of Monzuno, sped 60 rounds toward that cave and another at L834287, above C. Furcoli on the slope of Monterumici. The tanks scored good hits. Cannon Company fired on and silenced a German mortar shooting from beside a building at L809290, west of Vado.

At 0700 hours an Italian civilian, walking from the direction of Ca' Valla, approached Company K's lines. Halted at the forward platoon's command post at Ca' di Serra, he responded readily to questions and pointed out enemy positions on an aerial photograph map. Asked why he came to us, he said he was fleeing from the Germans, who had pressed him into labor service. It was noticed, however, that his smooth hands did not look like those of a laborer. Interrogated further at the Regimental command post, he gave much information about the enemy. But, grilled later by the Counter-Intelligence Corps at 34th Division headquarters, he admitted to being a paid short-range agent for Germany, sent across our lines to observe insignia worn by troops in this area and general living conditions and political feelings of civilians. Nevertheless, his answers remained the same under all questionings, and some of his information was thought to be reliable.

At 1615 hours Anti-Tank Company's rocket gunners fired 89 rounds at Hill 427 (L825286), above Ca' di Bocchino, west of C. Furcoli. The results were excellent, the reverse slope of the hill being well covered. Four erratic rounds fell short, but caused no damage. Between 1900 and 2000 hours enemy soldiers were seen picking up propaganda leaflets which our artillery had fired over their positions in Vado and in Cova, south of Vado. Cannon fire was directed on Ca' Valla when activity was noted there at 2300 hours.

During the day, II Corps Engineers began camouflaging Highway 6532 leading from Monzuno to the Second and Third Battalion command posts. Nets were strung along the left-hand side of the road, and overhead on curves, to screen traffic from enemy observation. however, it was subsequently decided not to use the road in the daytime after all, on account of the dust raised by vehicles.

This day First Lieutenant Ray R. Murdock and four enlisted men departed for Aversa, near Naples, to attend a five-day course of instruction in administration of prisoners of war after the cessation of hostilities in Europe. Two enlisted men left for two weeks' instruction at the MTOUSA Mine Warfare School. One soldier went to the 34th Division Signal School.

Each company of the Regiment was ordered this day to designate voting officers for state elections. First Lieutenant Rex H. Garrett was designated Regimental voting officer. A Regimental shower and clothing exchange unit began operating near Trasasso. Two enlisted men went to Naples, one to Bari, on 10-day furloughs given them to visit relatives.

[11 March 1945]

At 0045 hours 11 March Second Lieutenant Russell E. Saunders and a 26-man Company G combat patrol occupied a house at L830282, about 200 yards below C. Furcoli. Near this building another patrol, on the night of 8-9 March, had encountered an enemy ambush. This time, however, as Lieutenant Saunders and his men approached the house, three Germans ran from it without firing a shot, and disappeared. We left one squad to hold the position, our furthermost point of northerly occupation so far in this sector. During the hours of darkness a platoon was detailed to hold the building.

The pre-dawn hours were comparatively quiet. Activity in Ca' Valla was again reported, and there was the usual machine-gun and flare action.

By 0735 hours all First Battalion units had closed in the reserve area at Trasasso. Again under our jurisdiction, the battalion relieved the Second Battalion, 351st Infantry, as our reserve unit. Our battalion would be subject, on Divisional order, to attachment to the 135th Infantry, to be employed as a counter-attacking force under the latter's control.

(During their eight-day sojourn in Vidiciatico, where they acted as a reserve element for the 10th Mountain Division, the First Battalion's troops trained in small-unit problems, at the same time remaining on the alert for a possible call to action. Vidiciatico lay across a large valley from Monte Belvedere, key terrain feature recently taken by the 10th Mountain Division. Our soldiers thoroughly reconnoitered all roads and trails in the sector, in order that a complete knowledge of all routes would be available in the event of a move. Security patrols were sent out into the hills on the flanks. Interdictory long-range artillery fire fell in the reserve area on occasion. Early on the afternoon of 7 March a German shell burst among a group of Company D men training on their machine guns. Ten men were wounded, six of them being evacuated.)

In the forenoon considerable enemy movement was observed across our lines, such as German soldiers sun-bathing and strolling about. Cannon Company and our attached platoon of the Chemical Mortar Battalion (100th) discouraged them from continuing their leisurely pursuits.

During the afternoon, which was dormant tactically, the Regiment received six war dogs and 12 handlers, a squad from the 33rd Quartermaster War Dog Platoon. Four dogs and their handlers were sent to the First Battalion to attend a mine school. The others went to Company K's forward platoon at Ca' di Serra, to be used as messengers between there and the company's command post. This was the second time in the Italian Campaign that dogs were attached to the Regiment. A full platoon, serving with us in the Savazza area last January, performed to our complete satisfaction. (See January 1945 history.)

Division informed us that on the following day we would receive 18 knee mortars, six for each battalion.

This day being Sunday, religious services were conducted in various areas of the Regiment. First Battalion soldiers took baths and exchanged clothing at the Regimental showers. Members of the Regiment each received a ration of six cans of American beer, at a nominal charge.

[12 March 1945]

The morning of 12 March dawned bright and clear. This was to be another day of sunny, almost warm weather, such as we had experienced every day since we arrived in this sector. Outside of some enemy machine-gun fire and flare action, the sector had been quiet during the night, and continued to be so throughout the day.

Before noon details were worked out with our supporting tank and tank destroyer units to dig in positions enabling them to fire on targets of opportunity.

The First Battalion, in reserve at Trasasso, began a training program. Four hours a day were devoted to such subjects as squad problems and gun drill; mine, wire and radio classes were to be conducted. Bazookas were fired on a range in the area at night.

In the afternoon Anti-Tank Company's rocket-gun platoon, in charge of First Lieutenant Ray D. Phillips, fired 135 rounds at the town of Vado. Fifty rounds were equipped with the new radio-active VT fuses. Results on the target were excellent. In Vado, aerial bursts occurred 10 to 15 feet above the ground. However, 40 per cent of the VT-fitted shells burst at random over our own sector.

(War Department Training Circular No. 76, dated 29 December 1944, describes the new fuse. To quote, in part: "The VT fuses belong to a new class of artillery fuses which function automatically under the influence of the target, thereby causing the burst to occur in the most effective position with respect to the target. These fuses will detonate a shell when the shell approaches within a certain distance of aircraft, earth or water. These fuses are in effect automatic time fuses.") Our soldiers in the area over which the rockets would pass were cautioned to stay under cover during the firing, to avoid the effects of possible premature explosions.

In the course of the day Cannon Company fired a total of 64 rounds at the request of battalion observation posts.

At 2300 hours Company L's second platoon relieved, according to schedule, the second platoon of Company K. Only the customary enemy harassing and flare activity disturbed the still of the night before midnight. Ca' Valla was shelled by us when Third Battalion troops reported enemy activity there around 2400 hours.

This day 48 enlisted men, accompanied by a duty officer, went to the Fifth Army Rest Camp in Rome. They were to go in trucks to Montecatini Terme, thence by train to Rome, spending four days and four nights in the Eternal City. Four officers departed for Florence, for several days' relaxation at the Hotel Anglo-American.

[13 March 1945]

The period of 13 March opened with even less hostile machine-gun and flare action than on previous nights.

During the morning, which was clear and cool, plans were completed and all details arranged for the relief of the Second Battalion by the First on the night of 14 March. Operational Instructions No. 11 was published, concerning this relief. Officers sent by Division surveyed our sector as a preliminary to smoking some of the roads, thereby permitting freer movement of vehicles.

At noon the air was warmer. Later in the day the 757th Tank Battalion decided to attempt to move a light tank up near Company K's forward platoon, so that infantrymen could be supported by direct fire if necessary.

Company H's 81-millimeter mortarmen, their fire directed by Company F observers, hit squarely an enemy dugout at L820281, about 300 yards southwest of C. di. Bocchino. The heavy weapons unit also fired on L826285, just north of the hamlet, with good results.

The afternoon was generally calm, our observation posts reporting few incoming shells, and those mostly mortar.

In mid-afternoon of this day, in an impressive field ceremony near Trasasso, Major-General Charles L. Bolte, 34th Division commander, presented four Silver Stars, 22 Bronze Stars, and 11 Division citations to members of the 133rd Infantry who had distinguished themselves in the Italian campaign.

At the Regimental command post in the evening, the first in a series of informal camera classes was conducted by Private First Class George Molnar, Regimental field correspondent, for interested members of the Regiment. Other subjects taught at the command post during the remainder of our stay in this sector were Italian, by First Lieutenant Bruno G. Loehner; Business Law, by Sergeant Samuel H. Bloom; and English, by Private First Class Joseph Hoffman, Regimental historian.

Six officers left for Rome, to spend five days at the Hotel Excelsior. Two bottles of Coca-Cola were issued to each member of the Regiment, at five cents a bottle.

[14 March 1945]

At 0130 hours 14 March Lieutenant Edward C. Crangle and 24 men from the Regimental Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon returned from a combat patrol. It was their first raiding mission since the formation of raiding squads within the platoon late in February.

The preceding evening the soldiers has assembled at Company K's forward platoon position at Ca' di Serra and were inspirationally briefed in their mission by Brigadier-General Gustav J. Braun, assistant Divisional commander. At 1930 hours Lieutenant Crangle and his two squads started out, going up the road to L812281, at Ca' Valla. Near that point, Privates Carmelo Contreras and William Williamson discovered a box mine and a Schu mine. They marked the former with white paper and cut the trip wire running from the latter. The patrol then searched the houses in Ca' Valla and found them unoccupied (Previously, ever since assuming control of this sector, our troops had received frequent fire from Ca' Valla, and enemy movement had been observed there.) The patrol next set up an ambush at the entrance to the houses from the road. They remained there until 0100 hours, but no Germans came into view or were heard. Then Sergeant Kersey Stover and Private Richard Hite blew up one of the buildings with a 20-pound TNT charge. This house had, it was suspected, been used as an observation post by the enemy. (See "Patrols and Raids".)

This day was to be another 24-hours of negligible hostile activity. At 1100 hours Anti-Tank Company fired two armor-piercing and four heavy-explosive rounds of 57-millimeter at an enemy-occupied cave near C. di Bocchino. The shells caved in part of the bank and partially closed the entrance. Rockets, some equipped with VT fuses, were fired at Vado at 1500 hours.

This day Sergeant Samuel H. Bloom, of the Regimental awards and decorations section, lectured to officers and men of the First Battalion on the requirements for award recommendations.

The relief of the Second Battalion by the First was completed without incident at 2210 hours. Company A relieved Company G, Company C took over Company F's positions, B relieved E, and D replaced H. The scheduled replacement of Company K troops by Company L men was final by 2355 hours, Company K entering battalion reserve.

At intervals during this day Company M, which had received one of the newly issued Special Service radios at its command post, telephoned the latest news to its platoon members up front.

To the 34th Division Rest Camp in Montecatini Terme traveled 100 enlisted men and two duty officers. Post Exchange rations of candy bars, cookies, and nuts were distributed to all members of the Regiment.

[15 March 1945]

By 0110 hours 15 March the Second Battalion had closed in the reserve area at Trasasso.

Between 0130 and 0300 hours patrols returned from their night's missions. For the first time in this sector, a war dog and his handler accompanied one of our reconnaissance patrols. Another group, composed of five Company I men and an officer, found houses and bunkers at Ca' Valla still unoccupied. The soldiers also noted a 50-foot steel bridge, undamaged, spanning Rio Blogna at the north edge of the village. (See "Patrols and Raids".)

During the day orders were received from the commanding general of the Division instructing each regiment to send out one combat patrol every night, its mission to contact the enemy.

At 1230 hours Anti-Tank Company's 57-millimeter guns placed direct fire on targets between C. di Bocchino and C. Furcoli.

At 1415 hours our attached tank unit loosed several rounds against caves near the base of Monterumici, the height above C. Furcoli. Our 4.5[-inch] rocket gunners, at 1500 hours, fired on enemy positions in the vicinity of Vado. A percentage of the shells fitted with VT fuses burst prematurely.

Issued in the afternoon were Addition No. 2 to the friendly minefield legend published on 7 March and a list of the enemy minefields in the sector.

This day Major Lewis A. Fletcher, assistant Regimental S-3, became S-3. He relieved Captain Earl W. Ralf, who was soon to leave the Regiment on rotation to the United States. The next day Captain Cleo W. Buxton, Second Battalion S-3, was named assistant Regimental S-3.

Second Battalion troops, in their reserve area, took showers and exchanged clothing at the nearby Regimental clothing exchange and shower unit. The Regimental seven-piece "jam" band, recently organized by First Lieutenant Wilbur R. Irwin, Special Service officer, played in the area.

Captain Fred R. Edgar, Regimental chaplain, departed by airplane for Palestine. He had been granted a five-day leave, exclusive of travel time, to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

[16 March 1945]

At 0200 hours 16 March a Company A reconnaissance patrol, originally consisting of First Lieutenant Oliver P. Watson, Second Lieutenant Gyle E. Herron, and seven enlisted men, returned from its mission without Lieutenant Watson. When Lieutenant Herron challenged three German soldiers talking on the road west of the junction at C. Furcoli, two of the enemy ran south, one west of the road. Our patrol fired on them and in turn received intense fire from machine guns to the left of the junction. Lieutenant Herron ordered his men to withdraw, but Lieutenant Watson did not hear the order. When he could not locate his comrades, he stayed under cover until nightfall, returning to the First Battalion command post at 2045 hours. (See "Patrols and Raids".)

From dawn to midnight there was no hostile activity worthy of note. During the morning our 57-millimeter guns shot direct fire on houses between C. di Bocchino and C. Furcoli, targets at which they had been firing for the past few days. The gunners scored several direct hits.

At 1945 hours a Company I patrol composed of Second Lieutenant Francis F. Haggerty and 18 men returned to the Third Battalion command post after a 24-hour absence. An account of their experience follows:

Starting out from Ca' di Serra at 1930 hours 15 March, the patrol went up Highway 64 to Ca' Valla and found the houses there unoccupied. Eight Italians were in a cave at L814281, close to the road at Ca' Valla. Part of the patrol stayed there while a reconnaissance group went northward along the road to L815283, just above Ca' Valla. During this time two machine guns were firing harassing fire from the direction of Vado. While our patrol was at L815283, a group of enemy approached along the road from the north. The reconnaissance party dropped back to the remainder of the patrol in the cave. From there they saw about 40 enemy soldiers enter houses at Ca' Valla. On account of the limited field of vision from the cave, our men could not observe all the buildings the enemy entered. At 1730 hours the patrol moved to L813289, after Lieutenant Haggerty had found high ground at that point. From there our soldiers saw four Germans enter the cave the patrol had just left and talk to the civilians. Up to this point the group had had telephone contact with its command post, but suddenly the line went dead. However, nothing further of an untoward nature occurred, and under cover of darkness our men returned to their headquarters. (See "Patrols and Raids".)

Issued this day was a list of observation post locations in our sector, superseding one published on 5 March,

The Second Battalion, in reserve at Trasasso, began a training schedule, to be followed every morning. Afternoons were to be devoted to athletics.

In the afternoon, Major-General Geoffrey Keyes, II Corps commander, accompanied by the Divisional commander, inspected several areas in the Regimental sector, as he was to do on several succeeding days. He was well pleased with what he saw on his tour. In anticipation of such a visit, all units had policed their areas and quarters.

Jewish services were held at the Second Battalion command post at 1800 hours.

Received this day by the Regimental commander was a letter of commendation from the Divisional commander concerning the 133rd Infantry's outstandingly low venereal disease and intestinal disease rate in the month of February, 1945.

[17 March 1945]

On 17 March we made plans to support by fire an attack scheduled for the night of 17-18 March by the 168th Infantry, our right neighbor (see Operational Instructions No. 12). If the 168th's operation proved successful, our First Battalion plus attachments would attack to the north, in the general direction of Monterumici. (See blown-up sketch of objective zone, and Plan Monterumici, under "Operational Instructions".)

In the late afternoon our 57-millimeter mortarmen fired at targets on Hill 427. All the shots were direct hits - some on houses, one bursting in an enemy trench. Target of the 4.5 rocket gunners was Cova. Most of the shells, however, landed in Vado. Some premature bursts occurred over Company I positions. Guns of the 757th Tank Battalion fired on a known enemy machine-gun nest at L808288, northwest of Ca' Valla. They scored one direct hit and four probables.

At 1612 hours Divisional G-3 notified our S-3 that the demonstration in attack had been postponed 24 hours.

[18 March 1945]

German artillery and mortar action was light throughout the night of 17-18 March, but stepped-up machine-gun fire was reported over the entire sector. Most of it came from the Monterumici and Vado areas. The fire was sporadic and accompanied by intense flare activity. By dawn of 18 March, however, the front was calm again, the daylight hours remaining so.

In the morning and afternoon of this day, Sunday, Catholic and Protestant services were held in the Regimental Headquarters and Second Battalion areas.

At 1300 hours Operational Instructions No. 13 appeared. The orders concerned a proposed attack by the First Battalion on the areas between C. di Bocchino and C. Furcoli at 0600 hours 20 March, assuming that an offensive scheduled by the 168th Infantry toward Monterumici during the coming night was successful.

(For full details, refer to operational instructions mentioned. Issued with them were Overlay Nos. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 showing, respectively, assembly areas, lines of departure and routes of approach; light and heavy machine-gun fire plan; preparatory fire targets (1A); preparatory fire targets (1B); cannon, artillery and mortar fires; and proposed defensive fires.)

In preparation for the attack the tanks zeroed in on targets on Hills 403 and 427. Anti-tank Company shot more that 70 rounds of 57-millimeter direct fire at targets above C. Furcoli and C. di Bocchino.

In the evening the enemy kept the front lighted by shooting flares into the air continually over the entire sector.

As the period closed at midnight, it was reported that a Company I patrol, led by Second Lieutenant Sylvester M. Decker, had been surrounded by the enemy at Ca' Valla and was engaged in a fierce fire fight. At the same time, a Regimental Intelligence and Reconnaissance patrol, headed by First Lieutenant William A. Taylor, had approached Ca' Valla.

[19 March 1945]

From midnight on, throughout 19 March, news filtered through on the experiences of our patrols around Ca' Valla. As pieced together from reports, some of them conflicting, the following record of events emerges:

The I and R (Intelligence and Reconnaissance) Platoon combat patrol, starting out at 2100 hours 18 March, found the houses at Ca' Valla unoccupied. While one group established a base of fire around several of the buildings, a squad moved eastward along Highway 64 to L812281. Suddenly two white flares arose ahead of our men, followed immediately by small-arms fire and grenades from a draw to the right of the road and machine-gun fire from both sides of the highway. The leading squad members moved back about 100 yards to the bend in the road, where they augmented the first squad in providing a base of fire.

In the meantime, Lieutenant Decker and his Company I men had reached L815279 in the Rio Blogna draw, on the far side of the road from Ca' Valla. Almost at the moment of their arrival at that point, however, Germans dug in along both banks fired on our soldiers from the rear and each side. Our men had telephone communication with their company command post, having maintained contact by stringing wire for a sound-power telephone as they advanced. When the Germans ambushed the group, the soldier laying wire was talking to Captain John T. Gorman, his commanding officer. The last words coming over the line before it went dead were, "We are about to be taken prisoner!" Three men succeeded in making a getaway, returning to our lines just before 0200 hours. One of the men was wounded, though able to walk. The soldiers said that they believed two members of the patrol had been killed, the remainder taken prisoner.

Lieutenant Taylor, meanwhile, had been relieved by the Regimental commander, who placed Second Lieutenant Edward C. Crangle in charge of the I and R patrol. This group was now operating in conjunction with a Company I platoon led by Second Lieutenant Francis F. Haggerty and dispatched to aid the I and R patrol and Lieutenant Decker's party Both units were under the control of First Lieutenant William H. Shearson, Company K. The two groups outposted the Rio Blogna draw and one squad set up an ambush at L813289 to snare any enemy still in the draw who might try to leave in that direction. Another squad took up a position at L822277, at the western end of the pass. Lieutenant Haggerty and an outpost group dug in on the ridge overlooking the pass.

The I and R patrol now advanced up the highway again toward Ca' Valla. This time the Germans brought intense mortar and light artillery fire down on the road, forcing the infantrymen to seek cover in the houses just beyond the draw at L814282, along with members of Company K's ambush group. Our artillery was directed against the estimated positions of the German guns, and mortar fire was aimed toward enemy infantry along the highway.

At 0545 hours the 168th Infantry notified us that its attack on Monterumici had bogged down. Thus, our own assault plans (see Operational Instructions No. 13), whose execution had depended on the 168th's success, were postponed.

Shortly after dawn, enemy light artillery increased greatly, The Third Battalion sector in general and Ca' Valla in particular absorbing several heavy barrages. One barrage of 35 to 40 rounds exploded in Ca' Valla in a five-minute period. The Divisional air observation post took to the skies, causing the German fire to slacken almost at once.

At 0800 hours the situation in respect to our men in and around Ca' Valla was as follows:

Twenty-eight men from the I and R Platoon and 25 Company K soldiers were still in the houses beyond the Rio Blogna draw. Lieutenant Haggerty's outpost was still in position along the top of the draw. However it now seemed probable that there were no longer any enemy in the pass. After gathering as much information as possible, this headquarters reported at 1130 hours to Division that our casualties so far were one man wounded, 16 missing, three returned. Later four more soldiers showed up, making 12 missing, including Lieutenant Decker.

During the morning the 168th Infantry had asked us to determine how much direct fire we could place on the ridge line running from L833293 northeast to L835297. It was found that of our weapons one tank, four tank destroyers and three .50-caliber machine guns could put direct, observable fire in that area. The 168th Infantry was so informed, and we were requested to fire at 1800 hours in groups in the sequence given so that its observers might note the results. However, shortly afterward the 168th called again, stating that the area on which they wished us to fire was L834294 northeast to L837299, instead of the area indicated previously. We checked, and found that some of the guns would be unable to hit the new line; nevertheless, they were directed to fire as close to the ridge as possible.

In the afternoon our 57-millimeter guns fired at targets on hills 403 and 427, obtaining 35 direct hits out of 43 rounds.

Under protection of defensive fires, all our men in the houses at Ca' Valla withdrew to our lines early in the evening. One platoon of Company I remained at the entrance to the Rio Blogna draw, returning late in the night. It has espied no enemy.

This day was issued a change in the friendly minefield legend published on 7 March.

Thorough the National Jewish Welfare Board, Jewish soldiers in the Regiment were each issued three pounds of matzos in connection with the coming holiday of Passover.

To Montecatini Terme went 100 enlisted men and two duty officers, to spend five days at the 34th Division Rest Camp.

The night hours of 19-20 March were fairly quiet; the Germans released many flares in an effort to expose any patrol movement on our part.

[20 March 1945]

Shortly before 0600 hours on 20 March the 168th Infantry requested direct fire support for an attack it was about to launch against the ridge line mentioned previously. Our tank destroyers, tanks and .50-caliber machine guns fired on the objective, but by 0800 the 168th's attack had failed. Its troops returned to their original positions.

Just before dawn Company I observers spotted enemy movement on Hill 403. Cannon Company fired on the area with good results. Also in the early morning, observers saw an enemy gun flash in a cave opening above C. Furcoli. This target was taken under fire by our tank destroyers and 57-millimeter anti-tank guns. The former, firing 25 rounds, obtained five direct hits on the mouth of the cave. The anti-tank guns placed one shell squarely in the cave entrance.

At 1400 hours the 151st Field Artillery Battalion, in direct support of the Regiment, was relieved by the 329th Field Artillery Battalion of the 85th Infantry Division. The guns were replaced, one by one, until the entire unit had been relieved. At 1600 hours the 4.5 rocket guns unloaded 50 rounds on the Vado railroad station.

This day an anti-malaria control officer was appointed in each company. Captain Louis F. Kaleita, Regimental S-1, was named Regimental control officer.

Good Conduct Medals arrived and were distributed to the Second Battalion and special units. Other units were to receive their allotments when another shipment came in. Up to this date only the ribbon portion of the awards had been available.

[21 March 1945]

The day of 21 March was, appropriately, replete with the lively signs of Spring. The sun shone warmly from a blue sky. Soft white clouds drifted by. Trees were budding, and the hills and fields were turning from brown to green. Only tactically was our sector dormant. There were the customary artillery exchanges, and during the day our tank destroyers fired on the caves northeast of C. Furcoli, as they had done the day before.

In the afternoon a firing demonstration of the new recoilless weapons, previously exhibited in this area was held at L830001, South of Firenzuola. Selected members of the Regiment attended.

This day 26 non-commissioned officers of the Regiment were transferred as instructors to the MTOUSA Replacement Training Center.

[22 March 1945]

From midnight on into 22 March, and continuing for an hour, enemy mortar and artillery fire were markedly active, with the First Battalion receiving the greatest share of the German fire. Several small concentrations of mortar fell around Company C's observation post on Hill 446 and on a First Battalion vantage point on Hill 502.. As a result of the enemy's effort, we spotted one of his mortar positions behind Hill 427. The gun was neutralized by our chemical mortars and a two-battery artillery volley. Companies A and B absorbed a considerable amount of German artillery in their area during the hour.

After daylight the Third Battalion observation post espied hostile movement on Hill 389 (L827297), at Lizzano, about 1,400 yards above C. Furcoli. Our Cannon Company and the 329th Field Artillery Battalion took the target under fire. In the afternoon Company C again received a few small barrages of enemy mortar. Harassing shells fell over the whole sector.

Issued at 1600 hours was Operational Instructions No. 15, concerning the type of active defense to be continued by the Regiment in this sector. Also published was another change in the list of friendly minefields issued on 7 March.

In the evening our artillery placed fire on a house at L816284, on Highway 64 northeast of Ca' Valla. Enemy activity had been observed there earlier. We scored several direct hits. Toward midnight, confronted by a superior force of enemy, our combat patrol in the neighborhood of C. Furcoli withdrew 600 yards southeastward to an outpost on Hill 333. (See "Patrols and Raids".) The C. Furcoli area was then immediately pounded by our artillery.

This day eight Service Company drivers were dispatched to Florence to bring back eight new one-quarter ton trucks (jeeps). The vehicles were checked by our mechanics and painted with organizational markings. Seven of the cars were issued out at once, one each to Service Company; Headquarters Company, Third Battalion, and Companies C, D, H, I, and M.

Mr. William Steis became attached to the Regiment as assistant field director for the American Red Cross. He relieved Mr. James H. Smith.

Four officers traveled to Florence for several days relaxation at the Anglo-American Hotel.

[23 March 1945]

Other than our patrols, during the early morning hours of 23 March, there was little action, either friendly or enemy. At 0300 hours, Company C's outpost reported hearing hostile activity in and around C. Furcoli. We at once dropped 60-millimeter barrages on the village.

Just before daybreak the 4.5 rocket guns fired. They covered the rear slope of Hill 403 northwest to the Monzuno-Vado railway station.

The daylight hours were quiet. Poor visibility prevented our observation posts from being fully effective. Nevertheless, at 1600 hours Germans were detected around a cave at L834287, north of C. Furcoli. The 804th Tank Destroyers fired on the position, obtaining a number of direct hits. At 1800 hours the rocket gunners again loosed a barrage, their target this time being Vado. Hill 375, southeast of C. di Bocchino, was the objective of our 4.2 chemical mortars at 2100 hours.

During the evening an advance Second Battalion party arrived at the Third Battalion's positions. The Second's troops were to relieve the Third's on the following night.

This day 48 men and a duty officer left for the Fifth Army Rest Camp in Rome. A beer ration of six cans was distributed to all soldiers.

[24 March 1945]

At 0130 hours 24 March a 24-man Company K combat patrol, headed by First Lieutenant William H. Shearer, returned from its mission. Reaching Ca' Valla, the group heard noises in houses east of Ca' Valla and decided to investigate. Leaving one squad behind as cover, Lieutenant Sheared and the other squad moved forward. Suddenly a flare went up and enemy machine-gun fire came from the vicinity of L813282, to the left of the road. Our men fired three bazooka shells at the position, but could not silence the gun. Then the patrol spotted 10 or 12 German soldiers around the houses at the north edge of Ca' Valla. Our troops opened fire on them with rifle grenades and heard one enemy cry out in anguish. Just then another machine gunner started firing on the patrol from the right side of the road. Lieutenant Shearer and his men pushed ahead again. Two more flares arose. All at once, to their rear our soldiers heard noises that sounded like men running over cobblestones. Believing that a second group of Germans were trying to come in behind him, the patrol leader withdrew all his men. As soon as the patrol had cleared Ca' Valla, we placed some 100 rounds of 105-, 81- and 60-millimeter mortar and 4.2 chemical mortar on the village, and continued to harass the area all through the night. (See "Patrols and Raids".)

At 0730 hours our 4.5 rockets fired on targets on Hill 389. This day and the night were unusually quiet.

By 2220 hours the Second Battalion had relieved without incident the Third Battalion's troops. Company E relieved Company I, F replaced K, G took over L's positions, and Company H relieved Company M. The Third Battalion closed in the reserve area at 2350 hours.

In the morning of this day 100 enlisted men, accompanied by two duty officers, went to Montecatini Terme for five days' respite from combat.

[25 March 1945]

Palm Sunday, 25 March, was another tranquil day in the sector. Appropriate religious services were held in the Third Battalion and Cannon and Regimental Headquarters Company areas.

Second Battalion observers located a new machine-gun position at L814285, north of Ca' Valla. It was taken under fire by the artillerymen, one direct hit being noted. Our supporting platoon of the 432nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion fired some 30 rounds on a cave at L832285, above C. Furcoli. Many direct hits were scored on the cave entrance.

At approximately 1900 hours the Germans shelled the area just south of Monzuno, a total of 20 rounds falling in 10 minutes. Our observation posts spied gun flashes from four guns, believed to be tanks or self-propelled artillery, firing from L828298, near Lizzano. The positions were at once blasted by our artillery. About two hours later our lookouts observed a large fire burning in the target area.

As the period closed at midnight the entire Regimental front was calm.

This day began the first of five two-day mine warfare refresher courses under the supervision of the 109th Engineer Combat Battalion. Selected members of the Regiment, enlisted men and officers, were to attend the classes. Second Lieutenant Tony Magnani departed to attend a 10-day course on motor maintenance problems at a Fifth Army Ordnance school.

[26 March 1945]

In the dark early morning hours of 26 March permanent listening posts were set up by our troops, one at the road junction north of Hill 446, near C. Furcoli, the other at a house at L813282, at Ca' Valla. Both listening posts had wire communication with the rear. The five-man post at C. Furcoli was within 50 to 100 yards of the nearest known enemy positions.

During the day a plan for a demonstration by fire was prepared and published in the form of Operational Instructions No. 16. Accompanying the orders were Overlay Nos. 14 and 15, showing our fire plans for the demonstration.

In addition to our usual harassing efforts, the principal targets fired on by our soldiers during the day were: le Braine (L832289), 500 yards north of C. Furcoli, by the 432nd AAA Battalion; machine-gun positions at L815285 and L812298, one above Ca' Valla, the other above the Monzuno-Vado station, by our mortars and artillery; and Hill 389 by Anti-Tank Company's 4.5 rocket gunners. The sky was overcast most of this day; light rain fell in the afternoon, the first precipitation we had experienced since our arrival in this sector. Visibility was consequently poor.

The enemy harassed us lightly during the day. At 1410 hours a small concentration of German mortar fire landed at L825262, to the right of Highway 6532. The shells were apparently intended for our .50-caliber machine guns in that vicinity. However, no damage or casualties resulted.

On this day Divisional G-3 notified our Regimental S-3 to dispatch a reconnaissance party the next morning to reconnoiter for an assembly area in the present 91st Infantry Division sector, to our Division's right. The proposed relief of the Regiment was to take place of 2-3 April.

In the afternoon a revised list of observation posts in our sector was distributed to all units.

At midnight a 27-man I and R combat patrol reported in after having suffered three casualties in a fire fight around C. di Bocchino. Second Lieutenant Edward C. Crangle, patrol leader, suffered a fractured jaw and a scalp wound from machine-gun fire and two enlisted men were wounded, one seriously. In addition to intense machine-gun fire, an estimated 250 rounds of mortar fire were directed against the patrol. (For full details, see "Patrols and Raids".)

This day 48 enlisted men and two officers, all of the Jewish faith, departed for Florence. They had been granted four-day passes to observe the Jewish holiday of Passover in that city.

[27 March 1945]

The post-midnight hours of 27 March were fairly quiet. The weather was cool, and a light rain fell. Shortly after dawn the rain ceased, but a high wind took its place. It was windy and cold the rest of the day and night.

In the morning Divisional G-2 discussed over the telephone with Major James R. McClymont, Regimental S-2, the evacuation of all civilians above the 25 northing, to commence the following day.

During the afternoon our supporting platoon of the 432nd AAA Battalion harassed in the vicinity of L835290, between le Braine and di Sotto, 600 yards above C. Furcoli. German self-propelled fire landed at L851241, on the Monzuno-Loiano road, during the day. This area apparently was under intense hostile observation, for shells burst there only when vehicles passed by.

In general, the front was comparatively quiet throughout the daylight hours. Our observers were hampered by poor visibility; a light rain began to fall again early in the evening. Issued late in the day was a change in Operational Instructions No. 16, concerning the duration of the coming fire demonstration and the ammunition allocation for it.

Soon after dark the rate of enemy artillery and mortar fire suddenly increased very noticeably. The artillery consisted mainly of light- and medium-caliber shells, with some heavy-caliber. This fire continued at a high rate throughout the evening. So uncommonly heavy and extensive was it that at 2100 hours the Divisional commander ordered our battalions on the line to be particularly alert for the remainder of the night. It was thought that the Germans' unusual artillery activity might prove to be the preparation fire for an attack. Nothing further developed, however, and by 2400 hours the front was still again.

This day seven officers departed for Rome, four to Florence for several days' pleasure. Canteen rations of candy, nuts, and cookies were distributed to all personnel.

[28 March 1945]

Up until 1300 hours the period of 28 March was dormant over the whole front. In the afternoon enemy shelling rose markedly, but at 1700 hours it had reverted to its normal volume. Observers spotted a German self-propelled gun located at L815305, near Villa d'Ignano, 1,500 yards north of Loiano. Our tank destroyers fired on it, but smoke and ground haze prevented observation of results. It was believed that this gun had been the one firing on vehicles traveling the Monzuno-Loiano road. That road is now being smoked by generators.

This day all civilians, except for a few menfolk left to attend livestock, were evacuated from that part of the sector above the 25 northing.

By this date all winter clothing in the Regiment had been turned in to the Quartermaster's.

[29 March 1945]

From 0030 to 0035 hours 29 March the Regiment and attached and supporting units demonstrated by fire (see Operational Instructions No. 16 and change thereto). No enemy reaction, other than widespread flare activity, was observed. During the remainder of this 24-hour period nothing occurred worthy of especial note: the sector was very quiet.

Issued this day was Operational Instruction No. 17, concerning our relief of the 361st Infantry of the 91st Division, beginning the night of 1-2 April. We were to continue an active defense of, and prepare for offensive operations, in the sector embracing Monte Belmonte, the key height which we had captured last October. Accompanying the instructions was Overlay No. 16, indicating the disposition of troops in the present 361st Infantry sector.

Six newly commissioned officers, the Regiment's initial group of graduates from the six-week MTOUSA Leadership and Battle School course, returned and were assigned to companies. The second lieutenants, all former non-commissioned officers, were John J. Hayes, Everett F. Ware, Jefferson Terrill, Walter J. Lang, Everett W. Rasche and Kenyon W. Rasmussen.

To Montecatini Terme went 100 enlisted men and two duty officers, for a five-day stay at the 34th Division Rest Camp.

[30 March 1945]

At 0140 hours 30 March Second Lieutenant Everett G. Horne, Jr., and a 29-man Company F combat patrol checked in. The group had approached to within 50 yards of a house at L816282, on Highway 64, when a white flare rose from the building, followed by machine-gun fire. Then our soldiers saw three enemy coming down the road from the north. Our patrol fired on the Germans, and believed they killed them. Lieutenant Horne and his men thereupon tried to work up to the machine gun, but the moon was too bright. The machine gun prevented them from reaching the bodies of the Germans. (See "Patrols and Raids".)

During the hours of darkness a dummy tank of wood and canvas, constructed by the 109th Engineer Combat Battalion, was placed in position at L815247, 600 yards west of Monzuno. Care was taken that the enemy would be able to observe the silhouette at daylight. Before daybreak a tank from our attached company of the 757th Tank Battalion roared its motor and purposely backfired several time to attract the Germans' attention. Then the real tank left the area.

With the advent of dawn, the enemy located the dummy tank and immediately opened fire on it. Our observers quickly spotted a number of gun flashes. The air observation post at once adjusted fire on these targets, in the 8135 grid square. One enemy gun, which had directed many rounds at the dummy tank, was effectively silenced by our supporting artillery.

Later in the morning Second Battalion troops observed hostile movement around a house at L815285, on Highway 64 north of Ca' Valla. In a TOT [Time On Target fire], our artillery and mortars demolished it. Coincident with the TOT, several heavy explosions were heard in the nearby dry bed of the Setta River.

Distributed to all units was a march table to accompany Operational Instructions No. 17.

The afternoon hours were fairly quiet. In the early evening Company G troops, in position along Highway 64, received some self-propelled fire from the vicinity of Vado. This target, and a machine-gun nest behind a house at L816282, to the right front of Ca' Valla, were taken under fire. One of our patrols had been fired upon from that point the night before. The Second Battalion's 81-millimeter mortarmen scored 12 direct hits on the house, and the machine gun was heard no more.

Good Friday services were held in various areas of the Regiment this day.

[31 March 1945]

From midnight to the evening hours 31 March was a day, mainly, of routine action.

Our artillery took under fire enemy mortar positions at L809289, left of Vado, from which a considerable amount of mortar fire had been coming. Most of the shells had burst in Company F's sector, southeast of Highway 64. A German self-propelled gun location north of Vado was another artillery target. Our attached tank destroyers fired on observed targets throughout the day. In the early evening they silenced a machine-gun nest at L821282, below C. di Bocchino. After our fire ceased, one of our listening posts heard wounded enemy soldiers screaming.

During the evening, advance parties from the 135th Infantry of the 34th Division, the regiment taking over the sector upon our departure, partially relieved our Second Battalion mortar crews.

At night, the Germans reacted violently to our patrolling activities. They employed mortars and artillery to frustrate a Company A combat patrol and engaged a Company F reconnaissance party in a fire fight. In the first encounter four of our men were wounded, in the latter we inflicted at least 10 casualties. (See "Patrols and Raids" for details.)

As the month ended, the weather was cool and clear.

This day troops of the Third Battalion and special units were paid. First Lieutenant Leo D. Dyer departed to attend a two-week course at the Intelligence Officer Training Center, AFHQ.

[Summary]

Four second lieutenants received combat promotions to first lieutenant in March. They were Albert G. Mostrom, Seymour Green, Bernard O. Schofield and James W. Boyer.

During the month 34 enlisted men and four officers departed from the Regiment on rotation to the United States. Twenty enlisted men and two officers left for the United States on furlough.

So the 133rd Infantry [ended] the month of March, 1945. Although we made no immediately tangible gains in the sector, and sustained some casualties, our frequent raids, constant patrolling and scheduled fire demonstrations succeeded in keeping the enemy off balance. We inflicted casualties on him and destroyed an appreciable amount of his materiel. However, we captured no prisoners nor obtained any identifications. Engaging in little patrolling themselves, the Germans expertly employed machine guns and mortars in their efforts to halt our forays.

In connection with our activities in the Monzuno sector, it should be recorded that a relief map of the region, prepared by the Regimental S-2 and S-3 sections, proved to be most helpful in orienting patrol groups. Chiefly responsible for its construction were Technicians Fifth Grade William H. Keyser III and Claus Hollesen and Private First Class Harry C. Davidson.

Into the making of the map, which required 163 man-hours of work, went 125 yards of tar paper, [27 square feet] of half-inch plywood, a quart of paper cement, and numerous nails and staples. Paints of various colors were used to depict roads, trails, streams, railroads and grid lines. Buildings were indicated by bits of match sticks. Vari-colored plotting pins represented friendly and enemy weapons and minefields.

On 1 March the Regiment had an effective strength of 161 officers, three warrant officers and 3,080 enlisted men. On 31 March our effective strength was 167 officers, three warrant officers, and 3,145 enlisted men. During the month we received 62 replacements. Thus, our effective strength experienced an increase of 71 members.

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

For the Regimental Commander:

s/Louis F. Kaleita

LOUIS F. KALEITA

Captain, Infantry

Adjutant


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