The Red Bull in World War II 34th Infantry Division Resources 1941-1945

The Red Bulletin

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Volume I Number 5 • April 14, 1945


34th Completes 500th Combat Day April 16th

Red Bull is Still Snortin' and Pawin'

The 34th "Red Bull" Infantry Division will complete its 500th day of combat Monday, Apr. 16 and the old Red Bull is still snortin' and pawin' the earth!

The first American division to go to Europe after Pearl Harbor, elements of the 34th made the initial allied landings in North Africa Nov. 8, 1942 as part of the Eastern Assault Force, commanded by Maj. Gen. Charies W. Rvder, then 34th Division Commander.

In releasing its record of 500 days in combat, the 34th counts only those periods of time during which the Division was in command of a sector and component units were committed to combat. Some of the original infantry and artillery men, who supported other Allied forces in both North Africa and Italv, have more than 600 days fighting the Germans to their credit.

LARGE TURNOVER

There has been a large turnover (Continued on page 3) (Continued from page 1) in personnel, due to casualties, rotation and tranisfers to rear units during the 500 days of combat, and few original members of the infantry outfits who came overseas in January, February and April, 1942, are still with the Division. Percentage of "old timers" in artillery and service u nits is greater but faces are changing every day.

The fighting "Red Bull" organization received its baptisrn of fire at Algiers when elements of the Division assaulted the North African beaches.

DREW FIRST BLOOD

After the surrender of Algiers to Gen. Ryder, advance elements of the Division were detached and moved from Algiers to fight alongside other Allied forces. Thus the 34th Division, as a unified team, did not begin its long slugging match with the Krauts until February, 1943 in the vicinity of Pichon-El Ala, although one artillery battalion drew first blood for American cannoneers this side of the Atlantic on Nov. 17,1942, and one regiment marked its first important action with the capture of Sened Station n Jan. 31,1943.

From February until May 11, 1943, when the Tunisian campaign came to an end, the 34th Division cornered the enemy and beat him at Sbeitla and Hadjeb el Aloun in open, fluid warfares and at Fendouk Gap, Hill 609 and Eddekhila in mountainous terrain and close combat.

WITH ASSAULT WAVES

The Division was in Army reserve for the Salerno operation but one field artillery battalion landed with the assault waves, and for eight days shot it out with the Germans and fired more rounds than during the entire Tunisian campaign.

A Division task force made its first contact with the enemy on Europe's mainland on Sept. 28, 1943, near Montemarano, ltaly. Now fighting with the Fifth Army, the Red Bulls captured Benevento in early October. Infantrymen had advanced 40 miles in five days to score the first of the Division's great successes in Europe.

MAJOR SUCCESSES

These successes included three crossings of the Volturno River, capture of bloody Mt. Pantano, clearing of San Vittore, Cervaro, storming of Cassino, breakout from the Anzio Beachhead and pursuit through Rome to Civitavecchia, conquest of Cecina and Rosignano, the liberation of Leghorn and the assault on the vaunted Gothic Line.

During the Volturno-Mt. Pantano operations, the 34th Division was in contact with the enemy for 76 consecutive days.


Marks 500th Combat Day

T-4 Vernon F. Schleisman, 34th Div. Hq., marks the 500th day to the total days that the Division has spent in combat. The card is changed daily and is posted on a bulletin board in Division Headquarters. (APS, - Photo by Thomas)


General Braun Knew No Fear

Brig. Gen. Gustav J. Braun, former assistant commander of the 34th Division reported missing in action, established a reputation as a fearless infantry commander during his tour of duty with the Division.

Twice decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross, America's second highest military award, Gen. Braun was successively Chief of Staff, Regimental Commander of the 133rd Infantrv and assistant Division commander during the thrust from the Arno River to the high hills overlooking Bologna.

Highlights of his military career with the Division came during the six months preceding his disappearance Mar. 17 while on an aerial observation flight over the German lines. They were on Nov, 16,1944, when Gen. Mark W. Clark, then commanding general of the (Continued on page 3) (Continued from page 1) Fifth Army, presented him with an Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a second D. S. C. and on Feb. 13, 1945, when General of the Army George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, pinned the general's star upon him.

WON D. S. C.

General Braun joined the 34th divisipn in July, 1944 as Chief of Staff and later, when the 133drd Regimental Commander was killed, requested permission to lead the troops in combat. It was during furious fighting in the early phases of the Gothic Line offensive that he won the D.S.C. In December, he returned to Division headquarters as assistant division commander and on Feb. 13 received his appointment as a brigadier general.

A native of Buffalo, New York, he called Berkeley, California, his home in recent years.

The general came up through the ranks by way of the National Guard which he joined in New York state in l9l0 and with which he served for six years, including a tour of duty on the Mexican Border in 1916. In 1917 he took the regular army examinations and became a provisional officer.

WORLD WAR I VET

During World War I, he served overseas with three American infantrv units as well as with the British and French and in the Army of Occupation in Germany after the Armistice.

He was awarded the D. S. C., the Second Division Citation, French Croix de Guerre, Italian Croce de Guerre and the British General Service medal during the First World War.

General Braun's post-war service included eight years on the faculty at Fort Benning Infantry School and two and a half years in the historical section of the Army War College. He spent three vears in China with the 15th Infantry and upon his return to the United States he was stationed at Fort Thomas and Fort Knox and was executive officer of the CCC Replacement Training center at the latter post.

SERVED ON STAFF

After serving on the staff at Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., for three years, he took the course and then became professor of Military Science and Tactics at the University of California, Los Angeles.

During the tense three year period preceding Pearl Harbor, General Braun was a General Staff officer of Ninth Corps and handled augmentation of west coast garrisons, layout and selection of sites and construction of training aids in addition to induction and training of National Guard units which later were sent to the Pacific.

From December, l941 to February, 1943, as staff officer of the Seventh Oivision and later the Seventh Corps, he aided in putting the defense plan for California, which he helped prepare, into effect.

In February, 1943 he became chief of staff of the 69th Infantry Division and remained in that post until he became Chief of Staff of the 34th Division.


AFRICAN DESERT FIGHTING

A 34th Division soldier views these wrecked Mark VI tanks pride of Rommel's Afrika Korps strewn along a highwav in the vicinity of Beja, North Africa in 1943.

(All historical photos by T-5 George I. Friedman, l09th Engr. Oombat Bn.)


HILL 609 IN AFRICA

With the capture of Hill 609 the 34th was credited with one of the most outstanding achievements of the Tunisian campaign. In his official report to the War Department, General Omar Bradley, then commanding II Corps, stated,"A strong enemy was repulsed. Fighting all day was intense and bloody. The enemy was engaged with bayonet and grenade, and there were many cases of outstanding bravery."


The Red Bulletin
Combat newspaper of the 34th “Red Bull" Infantry Division.
Published under supervision of A.C. of S, G-1.

Editor: 1st Lt. Harrison Harding, Public Relations Officer. Reporters: Pvt. George Molnar, 133rd Inf. Regt.; Pfc. Elmer O. Fehlhaber, 135th Inf. Regt.; Pvt. John S. Wellington, 168th Inf. Regt.; T-5 Nathan S. Levy, 34th Div. Arty.; Pfc. Stanley F. Cann, Special Troops, 34th Inf. Div. Secretary; Pfc. Anthony F. Cacciotti, Photographer; Pfc. john J. Ling. Printers: Pfc. Michael Guman, Pfc. Raymond L. Bailey, Pvt. Raymond H. Dietz. THE RED BULLETIN is published weekly in the field in Italy by and for the men and officers of the 34th Infantry Division, United States Army. Address all communications to THE RED BULLETIN, 34th Infantry Division, APO-34, United States Army. Member of Camp Newspaper Service, New York City, N. Y. Contents passed by Field Press Censor and may be sent through the mail. No subscriptions accepted..

VOL. 1—NO. 5
April 14, 1945



"PASS THE SPAM"

If a person sits or lies quietly all day and does not engage in any activities, it requires a necessary minimum of 1,700 calories per day to keep him alive from starving to death while 2,500 to 4,000 calories are required daily for a person in normal life, the amount depending upon the nature of his work.

The pre-war diet of the average person in the Netherlands was well over 2,480 calories daily. In October, 1944, it had fallen to 1,000 calories. The Dutch suffered under the occupation by the Germans.

GREECE SUFFERS

Greece suffers the worst food situation. The dairy herds, which supplied Athens, were reduced from a peacetime strength of 22,000 to a 1942 figure of 2,000. The peacetime consumption of wheat in Greece was 1,350,000 tons, of which 1,050,000 were imported. War disrupted the wheat production and the harvest remaining was "requisitioned" by the Germans.

Greece and the Netherlands are two striking examples of Field Marshal General Karl Gerd von Rimdstedt's boasted technique which he announced in 1943,"We (the Germans) must destroy at least a third of the inhabitants of all the adjacent nations. The only way is organized starvation, which for this purpose is always better than machineguns, for there are drawbacks and limits on executions, which famine can always surpass as a method, above all as regards the young."

HASTEN VICTORY

"Organized Starvation" has done its work-disease and death have followed the Nazis everywhere-infant mortality rates reach new highs-children faint and die from lack of food tubereulosis, rickets and other diseases are widespread.

We Americans are fortunute that we have our "spam" and sufficient food to feed our armies and our loved ones at home. We must and will share our food- by doing this our own military efficiency is increased and Victory hastened.

I. and E.


PRAYER FOR THE WEEK

Almighty God, Lord of Heaven and Earth, our Father, Thy wayward sons humbly beseech Thy tender mercy. Forgive our wanderings and draw us, thru the love of Christ, to Thy path.

O Thou who art love, richly bless our loved ones at home.
Great Physician, heal our sick and wounded comrades.
Holy Spirit, comfort those who mourn.
O Prince of Peace, hasten the day of Victory, we pray.
Through Christ Jesus our Lord
Amen.

Allen C. McSween
Chaplain (Capt.)
3rd Bn., 13.5th Inf. Regt.


News Material Wanted

THE RED BULLETIN is your Division newspaper and your suggestions and material are always welcome. If you have stories, letters, poems, cartoons, sketches or photographs for use in the newspaper, send them by Message Center to the Public Relations Section,Hq.,34th Inf. Div. (Fwd).


34th QM Copany Awarded Meritorious Service Unit Plaque

4 QUARTERMASTERS WIN BRONZE STAR

The 34th Quartermaster Co., Which has "delivered the goods" to the elements and attached units of the Division for the past four years, has been awarded the War Department Meritorious Service Unit Plaque.

The plaque was presented to 1st Lt. Fred Tennant,Jr., QM platoon leader, by Maj. Gen. Charles L. Bolte at a ceremotly in the company area recently. At the same time, the Division Commander pinned Bronze Stars on four members of the unit.

Medal winners included M-Sgt. Clifford Shields, Pfcs. Robert F. Roy, Wayne B. Littlefield and Theron P. Welslen.

The plaque award was based upon superior performance of duty, merit and discipline during the period July 1 to Dec. 31, 1944. Members of the organization are entitled to wear the Meritorious Service Unit wreath on the right sleeve.

During the six months period covered by the award, the 34th Q\1 Co. covered a total of 444,984 miles in transporting food, fuel, ammunition and troops in forward areas. During the same period the company operated showers and clothing exchange units for combat troops within enemy artillery range.

In November, 1944, when most units of the Division were withdrawn to rear areas for rest, the 34th QM Co. chose to continue serving Division troops attached to other organizations rather than take advantage of the rest period.

During the entire Italian campaign, when supply had been difficult due to heavy traffic, long distances and almost impassable roads, the QM has never failed to furnish all requirements of daily supply on schedule.

The company'now commanded by Capt. Charles K. Gustafson, has seen action in both Tunisia and Italy. Seven men have been killed in the line of duty and the company has a total of 38 Purple Hearts (one man has two clusters and another, one cluster).

Two Legion of Merit medals, two Silver Stars and 14 Bronze Stars have been awarded to its personnel. In addition, 16 men of the company wear Combat Infantryman's Badges, 106 have qualified for Driver's Badges and seven for Mechanic's Badges.


BULL, STRICTLY!

Dugout Doggerel

The rushing Russians
Are crushing Prussians

• • •

Short Rounds

"Germans evacuating Netherlands" - news headline. Probably figured they were in Dutch enough already!

 

• • •

We know of a fellow who thinks he is pretty lucky. He's a XXXXXX scout.

• • •

"I'm behind the wait ball," said the soldier sweating out a furlough list.

• • •

Wonder whether veterans of the Italian campaign, once we're all back home again, will ever take vacations in the mountains?

• • •

We understand that mule skinners like their work. In fact, they often get a real kick out of it!

• • •

Count Your Blessings

We don't suffer from a cigarette shortage, we needn't worry ahout food ration points, we've become familiar with another language, and we are making history. Aren't we lucky? Hm-m.

• • •

The Welcome Mat

You are invited to make this column yours. Send in poetry or prose-humorous serious-factual or imaginative - that is terse and timely. Include your name and organization, so that we can print them too.

—Pfc. Joseph Hoffmann
133rd Inf. Regt.


UP FRONT
By Pfc. Jerome Lipsky, Co. H. 135th Inf. Regt.


THE OLD RUGGED CROSS

Easter, 1945, found these men and officers of the 133rd Inf. Regt. assembled in this beautiful and simple service somewhere in Italy.


BULLETIN BEAUTY

Dolores Moran


34th Division Fighters Will Always Remember:


Cervaro Mt. Trocchio • Cassino

Famous places in the 34th's Italian campaign, this photo shoWs the entrance to the Liri "Purple Heart" Valley, as seen from a hill north of Cervaro. Cervaro is at the extreme left. Cassino is on the right.


Riding Tanks into Rome

34th Division men riding tanks in drive on Rome June 3, 1944 pause on Highway 7 in outskirts of Holy City to clear wreckage of mule-drawn cart in which some Germans attempted futile escape.


"The Anzio Express"

34th Division soldiers sit atop "The Anzio Express," one of two huge German railroad guns captured by the Allies at Civitavecchia, Italy, in early June, 1944. The big guns helped make the Anzio beachhead one of "the hottest spots on earth" for 34th Division men.


RED CROSS OPENS THE CIRCUS CLUB

Something new has been added to life in the 168th Infantry Regiment recently when the American Red Cross, assisted by Special Service installed and operated a tent club.

Known as The Circus Club, the four-tent unit was operated by ARC club workers Betty Nyce and Mrs. Gertrude Soltker under the direction of Howard Zull, ARC Field Director in the 168th Inf. Regt.

The Circus Club offered a snack bar featuring cookies, cakes and coffee, a game and writing room; reading room and a recreation tent where USO shows and movies were presented under the auspices of Special Service.

The 168th Special Service section, headed by Lt. Charles Snowden, provided much of the equipment and labor.

The club workers, Miss Nyce and Mrs. Soltker have been overseas for nearly a year. The latter's husband is an enlisted man in the 10th Mountain Division.


PREFERS AIR O.P.

S-Sgt. Carl Wiedmann, 125th F. A. Bn. observer, prefers to direct artillery fire from a Piper Cub plane rather than from a ground observation post.

"On an O.P. you just have to sit there and take it when the enemy shells start coming in," Sgt. Wiedmann says,"but when you're in a plane you can take a sneak when it starts getting hot".

Sgt. Wiedmann's ground observation experience includes both the mountains near Cassino and the rough terrain of northern Italy.


On June 5,1944, the 135th Inf. Regt. entered the first of the Axis capitals and was the first infantry unit to march into the limits of Rome. The CP of the first Battalion was established in Rome at 0130 hours, and the troops continued to press through and beyond the city with tanks.


FANS WALK OUT - - ON ERROL FLYNN!

"Objective Burma" was a swell picture. The action was fine but on the day it was at Co. A, 109th Med. Bn., the sound effects were not entirely produced by the sound track. During one of the minor skirmishes in the picture, Jerry threw a few shells into the company area to make the picture more realistic for the audience in the squad tent. As the picture progressed, the Shells still came in periodically and the audience thinned out. When one exploded close enough to throw dirt and rocks on the tent only those who could not forsake Errol Flynn in a tight spot in Burma remained.

P. S. Flynn got out Of Burma and none of the fellows in the company was hurt.

T-4 James F. Flood
Unit Correspondent


500 Day Radio Show To Be Aired Apr. 16

A special 34th Division anniversary radio show, "34th Division Completes 500 Days in Combat,"will be broadcast Monday, Apr.16 at 1715 hours on the "Fifth Army G.I.Tems" program by the Fifth Army Mobile American Expeditionary Station (1530) Kilocycles).

Veteran members of the Division who wlll be heard include Pfc. Don Jones, 133rd Inf. Regt.; Pfc. Chas. B. Cerar, 135th Inf. Regt., Pvt. Edwin Bailey, 168th Inf. Regt., and 1st Sgt. Arsini Perra, 34th Div. Artilleryman.

Pfc. William J. Brewer, 34th Div. Public Relations Section, is the script writer.

 


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