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Artillery Fires More Than 1,000,000 Shells
Sets Record For World War II
Artillerymen of the veteran 34th "Red Bull" Division fired more than 1,125,639 shells at the Germans in World War II, it was revealed today. This figure is the greatest record of artillery-support-of-infantry of the war.
Each of the four battalions the 34th Division Artillery has had its "Black Days," which may account for some of the enthusiasm with which the Artillerymen tossed shells at the Krauts.
The 151st Field Artillery Battalion avenged Altavilla, Italy, where four days after they landed at Salerno on D-Day, Sept 9, 1943, the Germans heaped shells (Continued on page 3)(Continued from page 1) in on the 151st gun pits from mountain peak positions.
The 125th F.A. Bn. remembered with a vengeance Nov. 29, 1943, when more than a score of Artillerymen fell at Scapoli, Italy.
In January, 1944, the 175th F. A. Bn. took a beating from big shells at San Pietro, Italy, and the 175th didn't forget.
The 185th F. A. Bn. recalled the 40 casualties suffered by the Battallon from the bombs of Six Nazi planes at Venatro, Italy, in January, 1944.
During more than two years of combat, more than a thousand casualties have been sustained by the four artillery battalions.
The artillery outfits have been working together so long that battery officers don't have to snap Out a half dozen orders when telephone lines are to be laid, when the battery is to move, when gun positions must be prepared. The men know what has to be done and they do it.
One battery commander makes a habit of announcing the exact time the battery will move when he has received a march order. When that hour arrives, he gets in his peep(sic) and starts--it's taken for granted that the battery is ready, packed and set to roll. He doesn't look back to check-- it isn't necessary.
And the men have never let him down.
General Clark Congratulates 34th Division
SAYS 34TH IS 'MAGNIFICENT'
General Mark W. Clark, 15th Army Group Commander, has sent the following message to the Division commander:
"The great victory we have won belongs to the combat troops, to the supporting arms and to the supp]y services. To the magnificent 34th Division goes much of the credit for winning this hardfought fight.
"Congratulations to the Division which has tbe greatest number of combat days among American troops.
Artilleryman Wins Air Medal
T-Sqt. George G. Rogers, Headqaurters Battery, 34th Division Artiliery, receives the Air Medal and congratulations of Brig. Gen. Foster J. Tate, 34th Division Artillery commander. Technical Sergeant Rogers was awarded the medal for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight as an observer by performing 35 field sorties against the enemy in Italy.
133 'JAYBIRDS' GET 444 KRAUTS
Nine days after our forces broke from their Apennine positions to decisively crush all remaining resistance in ltaly, the 133rd Infantry Regiment was dashing in a northerly direction toward Piacenza to cut off a probable German escape route over the Po River.
Advancing along parallel highways, the three battalions of the regiment moved swiftly, encountering only slight, passive resistance en-route. The Third "Liberator" Battalion, operating on the regiment's left flank, was the first to reach its objective, though the Second Battalion finished a close second. Only the First "Iron-Man" Battalion, operating on the right flank, encountered anything resembling organized resistance. And that came in the form of delaying action from what seemed to be the rear guard of a Nazi column beating a hasty retreat to the Po River.
Shortly after midnight, however, Second Battalion headquarters reported that an enemy column--believed to be the same which resisted troops of the First (Continued on page 4)(Continued from page 1) Battalion--had cut the highway connecting its forward and rear cinnabd post groups. Immediate assistance was sought to combat the large enemy force.
At that moment was born Task Force J (for Jaybird). Commanded by
Capt. William Dubinsky of Charleroi, Pennsylvania, regimental transportation
officer, a force 0f 121 men was quickly assembled non-combatant units.
Typist, clerks, cooks, bakers, drivers, mechanics and the like were
alerted and issued weapons and ammunition.
At 5 A. M. the Jaybirds rode to an assembly area, then, with the
advance party perched on tanks and the remainder on trucks, rolled
into Cortemaggiore, site of the Second Battalion's rear command post.
Here the enemy, already engaged in battle by battalion headquarters
company, was in a state of disorganization and groping for another
444 Germans Surrender
Four hundred and forty-four Germans surrendered, including a colonel (regimental commander) and his 11 staff officers.
It was the largest single prisoner haul in the 133rd Infantry's long combat career, topping the previous high of 133.
'You Are Superb Soldiers' States Gen. Crittenberger
Maj. Gen. Willis D. Crittenberger, commanding, IV Corps, the Allied Forces of which have defeated the German forces in Northwest Italy, made the following statement to his troops:
"The greatest obstacle in the history of mankind to the onward march of free people has been removed. Let us give thanks to God-- Allied soldiers and people of Italy--that this catastrophic struggle has ended, and that the forces of right and freedom have emerged victorious.
"I am humbly grateful for the magnificent manner in which the troops under my command have fought. You have proved to be men with stout hearts, cool heads, and great determination. You have attacked the enemy with a fury that has decisively defeated him all along our front. You are superb soldiers.
"With us today still march the brave souls who paid the supreme sacrifice on our battlefields.
"The patriotic people of Northwest Italy can well be proud of their efforts, which have obstructed and confounded the enemy and helped materially in his collapse. Their assistance has been of marked value to the Allied arms.
"As comrades-in-arms, who have fought victoriously against the forces of evil, today in victory we can look with assurance toward the inevitable return of peace and order and freedom from oppression, throughout the world"
168 Lt. Takes 2,000 Krauts
Among the thousands of prisoners taken during the 34th Division's recent successful offensive in Italy was a group of 2,000 Germans who surrendered to the unconditional terms of 2nd Lt. Jess J. Branch, platoon commander with a rifle company of the 168th Infantry Regiment.
The 22-year-old infantry officer led his motorized patrol into Novara, Italy, cheered by thc civilians lining the streets, left his men in the town square while he went searching for the German garrison, found it, and a short time later had arranged surrender terms with the enemy colonel in charge of the troops.
German Commands "Alt."
Lt. Branch's recon patrol consisted of a jeep, a weapons carrier and 12 men from his platoon. While en route on reconnaissance, the group had to pass through the Italian town. When they arrived, the force was met by enthusiastic (Continued on page 4) (Continued from page 1) Italian civilians lining the streets, cheering and waving, but Lt. Branch wanted to satisfy himself that no Germans remained in the village. Leaving his men in the town square he proceeded on foot by himself through the northern half of the town, until he was challenged with the command "Alt" by a German soldier guarding a building.
With no knowledge of the German language, the infantry officer nevertheless made it known to the enemy guard that he wanted to speak to the commanding officer in charge. This was finally arranged after the lieutenant had spoken to the guard, the charge of quarters, the officer of the day, the adjutant and the executive officer who took the daring lieutenant in to see the German colonel.
Krauts Click Heels
The German officer was standing behind a long table with his junior officers on each side of him. It was not until Lt. Branch had gone the length of the table shaking hands with each officer after each one had clicked his heels and said, "Sig Heil," that the men sat down to discuss the situation.
First, the Germans offered Lt. Branch a German cigarette which he refused politely, giving the enemy officers two packages of Life Savers, two packages of cigarettes and 15 chocolate bars instead. Settling back in his chair, the infantry lieutenant outlined briefly the terms of unconditional surrender to the Germans. When he had finished, the enemy officers retired to another room for about 10 minutes to arrive at a decision, while Lt. Branch, who usually smokes about half a pack of cigarettes a day, smoked three cigarettes.
The German officers returned with their decision to accept the lieuteuant's surrender terms, and Lt. Branch wound Up with 2,000 Germans on his hands. Tbe prisoners represented the German military government officials ruling the Italian town, enemy police and crack SS troops. One German captain shot himself through the head while an enemy sergeant took a dose of poison during the surrender discussions.
Since he joined the 168th Infantry Regiment at Anzio as a rifleman, Lt. Branch has been outstanding as a bazookaman and a squad leader. A few months ago he was chosen to attend the Infantry OCS located in Italy,and was in the first group to be graduated as a second lieutenant from the newly-organized school.
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.; Pfc. 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. Cacciutti. Photographer: Pfc. John J. Ling. Printers: Pfc. Michael Guman, Pfc. Raymond L. Bailey, Pfc. 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 BULIETIN, 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. 9 May 19, 1945
NOW WE KNOW
Now we know everything but the time element required to get this redeployment completed, which we are going into shortly. For instance, we know that we of the 34th Infantry Division fall into four groups; those who will be shipped direct to the Pacific, those who will be occupational troops; those who will be sent back home to be retrained and re-equipped for another theater, and those who wi]l be discharged. We also know that each and everyone of us has to fill out a card called the Service Rating Card which gives us our due credits to fit us into one or the other of the above four groups.
What we don't know is how long it will be'till we can take off again on one or the other of the above named group-jobs. If we are in the group to go to the Pacific, that should be soon. If we are in the group for occupational duties, we are nearly set. But if we are to go to the States for one reason or another, we are going to be on a low priority to get returning transportation.
Have to Take Care of Japs
But figure it out for yourself. First we have to take care of the Japs and the occupational problems here. That will take time because the majority of the troops over here will be involved. After that, the other two groups will be taken care of either by plane or boat as the latter become available.
Let's study for instance--it took us nearly as long after the fight to get from Africa to Italy as it did to comp]ete the campaign in Africa and we were a very small group in comparison with the army over here now and we weren't going home. Does that sound like a quick trip home? No, but, you of the last two groups can say, "that state of mine by Christmas time--maybe!"
We still have a war to fight--an enemy to destroy as we did in Italy. In the redeployment the War Department will give that a high priority. When we are held here in Italy awaiting transportation, you can know that you are awaiting because a bigger thing than just getting home is under way. Operations are in progress to end this war so that everybody may go home--and that is all going to take time. Time that will be evaluated by months rather than weeks.
Consider the facts, when working with millions of men as the War Department is now--we can't all be satisfied.
- I. and E.
Share This Copy
Copies of THE RED BULLETIN are limited so please pass this copy along when you finish reading it. Sorry, but personal copies will not be available, due to war economy.
FRESH FROM THE FRONT
PRAYER FOR THE WEEK
O God, our Father, we stand with bowed heads and humble hearts in Thy Presence in the light of events which have taken place these past few days. We realize that victory has been ours because the Lord our God has been with us. Accept our most humble gratitude for Thy leadership and guidance, and in the days that lie ahead continue to bless us with Thy Spirit. We ask it in Thy Name. Amen.
James L. Carraway
In your issue of April 21 you displayed a picture of pretty Louise La Planche.
Will you kindly inform me if she is the sister of Rosemary La Planche of Los Angeles who has won numerous beauty contests? Your answer wlll settle a dispute which has arisen in our outfit.
- Pvt. Thomas 0. Grounds
Answer - Louise and Rosemary are sisters.
I Walk With Death
By PfC. Walter J. Mikulak
I walk with lovely Death
My sights are on a man
I fire the shot and wait
She takes me by the hand
Why did I give you birth
I walk with lovely Death
Farewell, farewell the uttering cry;
Thru-out the Army life
Shells bursting in the air,
- Pfc. Joseph C. Scafidi
News Material Wanted
THE RED BULLETLN 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.)
"Dragging Their Howitzers Behind Them'
Artillery Carries Infantryment Right Up To Their Position
After 30 months of combat in Italy and Africa, the artillery battalions of the 34th Division decided that the rear (2,000 to 6,000 yards behind infantry outposts) was a dull place from which to prosecute the war and with the launching of the Po Valley campaign, the cannoneers moved forward. Not only did they sprinkle the fleeing Germans with 127 000 Shells, four inches and better in diameter, but they carried the doughboys right up to infantry positions, dragging their howitzers behind them.
Never has there been a closer coordination of infantry and artillery than during the electric offensive culminating in the unconditional surrender of all enemy forces in Italy. Artillery liaison, forward observer, and reconnaissance groups frequently operated with forward infantry elements, not only getting a line-up for their guns but also clearing the way for the advance of the major body of foot soldiers. At the same time cannoneers were busy cleaning up pockets of resistance at the very areas in which they were placing their guns in position.
Following orders to overload all vehicles, doughboys piled onto the trucks pulling up the big guns and in the drive through Bologna, Modena, Reggio, Parma and Biella they could he seen mounting fenders, cabs and trailers. Fraternization between the gunners and the riflemen reached a high peak Just as the war was drawing to a victorious conclusion.
After a sedentary winter in the Apennines, 34th artillery men found their firing so effective that they often moved twice a day during the rout of the Po Valley foe. The effect of the howitzer barrages was clearly shown by the negligible loss of men in the infantry regiments, and the destroyed enemy equipment strewn along the roads bore witness to the appalling situation of the Krauts when attempting to make a successful getaway with 105mm and 155mm shells raining on them.
Frequently, the infantry moved so rapidly that forward artillery men had the pleasure of being the first to occupy villages in Piedemonte, Amelia and Lombardy, hamlets off the main stems. Italians welcoming Americans were not particularly interested in the branch of service to which the soldiers belonged, and showered wine and flowers on the newly arrived troops.
Many veterans of Tunisia were with their units during the final campaign of the war in Europe. Some of the old timers in the battalions came upon the rice paddies of Piedemonte with memories of Louisiana four years ago.
While forward artillery groups operating with the infantry returned to their outfits with musette bags loaded with experiences, the hardworking cannoneers received the praises of their battalion commanders, Lt. Col. Edwin Bodey of the 125th, Lt. Col. Robert D. Offer of the 185th, Lt. Col. Joseph E. Kelly of the 175th and Major William H. Francis of the 151st.
R. S. V. P.
Now let's be specific:
• • •
Recollections - North of Bologna
The truckloads and walkloads of sour Krauts ...the peppy Partisans . . .GIs riding captured vehicles and horses... The many bicycles, and the pretty signorine pedaling them... Partisans and Fascists taking pot-shots at one another while we go by.. .. Street lights at night! ! ! The fertile fields . . .Eggs and fresh milk . . . The chill-covered Alps... The souvenirs . . . The rice paddies (preview of Japan?) . . .The clean towns, well-dressed and well-fed civilians, and friendly but not servile attitudes . . . Ice cream ! ! !
• • •
The Japs would probably like to call it quits now that they are one against the world, but can't without "losing face". But that really shouldn't bother them: it's their necks we're after.
• • •
It's a Grand and Glorious Feeling!
Not to have to wear steel helmets, or live in foxholes, or drive in a blackout, or lug a base plate, or eat K rations. It's a grand and glorious feeling---Japanese jokers Please note.
• • •
The Red Bull men who fought up front from Salerno to the Alps have a host of memorable experiences under their cartridge belts. No doubt you'd rather forget a lot of them. But how about swapping with your fellow soldiers, via the Red Bulletin, the pleasant, humorous, unusual episodes you participated in or witnessed? Send in your "most memorable experience"; we'll print as many contributions as we can.
- Pvt. Joseph Hoffmann
Kindre Takes Course
1st Lt. Thomas A. Kindre, Jr., 734th Ordnance (L.M.) Co., Shop officer in the Automotive Section, attended a course at the Allied Military Government School in Rome. Lt. Kindre has been a member of this organization since June, 1943, and has held the jobs of Assistant Automotive Supply officer, Automotive Supply Officer and Shop officer.
This wooden German grave marker Was discovered on the grave of Brig. Gen. Gustav J. Braun, former assistant Division commander, who was killed in action Mar. 17 during an aerial observation flight over German lines.
RETURN TO DUTY
Two men and one officer returned to duty with the 734th l Ordnance (L.M.) Company after having spent some time in the hospital.
Capt. Elmer E. Hodgkins, who was hospitalized in November, 1944, returned to his former assignment as Division Ammunition officer. T-3 Maurice J. Dugas resumed his duties as Motor Inspector in the Automotive Platoon after being hospitalized for more than a month. T-5 Faustin A. O'Neil, a wrecker operator had been hospitalized for two months.
- lst. Sgt. Clarence P. Jendro
Col. John M. Breit, commanding officer, l35th Inf. Regt., who presented unconditional surrender terms to the 75th German Army Corps.
135 Men Captured; Released When Krauts 'Caput'
29 INFANTRYMEN CROSS PO AS PWs WALK 60 MILES; RESCUED BY TANKS
Twenty-nine members of the 135th Infantry Regiment captured by retreating Germans crossed the Po River with their captors, walked 60 miles, and then were released three days later when the enemy surrendered to American tanks, it can now be disclosed.
The 29 men were captured on Apr. 26 at Caerso, Italy, when a pocket of Germans attempted to fight their way through the rear of the regiment. A heavy battle continued throughout the night and ended the next day when 700 Germans surrendered.
But some of the Germans managed to make their way through the town.
"We had to march to Calcio," said lst Sgt. Richard R. Tuenge. "We must have covered about 60 miles," he continued.
"We really caught hell at the Po from our own artillery and mortars," commented S-Sgt. Robert W. Hardimon. "During the day we would stay under cover because the Germans were afraid of our aircraft.
"The Germans abandoned all their vehicles at the Po. They built a raft and ferried the troops across."
"The Italian people were mighty good to us,'' said Pvt. James A Ferguson. "They gave us bread, water and sausage whenever they could. One woman cried when she saw us."
"I think the Germans would have shot us only they realized that they might be forced to surrender soon," Pfc. Ordon T. Sevier said.
By the time the retreating column reached Calcio it numbered about 2,000 Germans.
"Two British officers drove near us in a peep," Pvt. Edmund S. Mitchell recalled. "They dismounted and carried a white flag. They had plenty of nerve.
"The English officers told the Germans that they were surrounded by tanks and that they would open fire if they did not surrender. The Germans went into a long huddle. Then they released us and most of the Germans surrendered. Those who didn't gave up after the tanks fired a few rounds."
Others in the group included Pfcs. Carmen S. Bombaro, Buford D. Taylor, James V. Vitale, Frederick L. Beachler, Freeman E. Bishop, Gene A. Borrelli, Alfred L. Lawrence, Carmin E. Castaldo, Charles H. L. Libby, Jr., Julius A. Alderman, Joseph W. Constantio, Lee W. Cripe and Corporal Clyde D. Fulcher.
Also, Pfcs. Joseph J. Michaelowski, Orville L. Culver, Herbert C. Decker, Carl W. Gaffy, Edward H. Ehnerd, Myron S. Little, Raymond C. McCurdy and Corporal Fong Hee. Pfcs. Record D. McKenzie and Clyde J. Walters and Pvt. Fred J. Naperano.
Kay Scool - Noel Neill