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34th Infantry Division

When complete histories are written of Allied operations in the Mediterranean Theater, the story of the progress of our forces from the coast of North Africa up the long Italian peninsula will be in many ways that of the 34th Division. No outfit has fought harder and longer, and the slow, steady, costly advance of the “Red Bull” Division from November 1942 to May 1945 is a typical example of grim infantry warfare over terrain so rugged that the foot soldier was the only consistently usable means of waging war.

Although its first members in this war were National Guardsmen from Iowa, Minnesota, and the Dakotas, the 34th has a shoulder patch—the background is an olla, a Mexican water bottle—inspired by the desert country of the Southwest, where it trained during World War I. It was the first Division to be shipped overseas after Pearl Harbor, its first elements embarking in January 1942, and sailing to Northern Ireland where the 34th trained for the invasion of North Africa. After landing at Algiers, it trained some more for the campaign in Tunisia. Parts of it were badly hit at Faïd Pass, and it had another rough time at Fondouk, but in the famous Battle of Hill 609, the 34th more than repaid the enemy for its previous setbacks and paved the way for the advance on Mateur and Bizerte.

The 34th rested during the Sicilian campaign, and then sailed for Salerno as a reserve division. Only one 34th unit, the 151st Field Artillery Battalion, got ashore at the start of the invasion, and during eight stormy days it fired more rounds than it had during the whole of Tunisia. One battery of the 151st, its guns overrun by German tanks, withdrew, and then, armed only with rifles, fought back and recaptured its guns.

During the 20 months of fighting in Italy that followed, the 34th’s artillery ran its wartime total of shells expended to 1,125,639—the record for any divisional artillery in this war. The 34th, after the whole Division had assembled at Salerno, moved up to the German defense line at the Volturno, and three times bridged that formidable river under fire. Once the assault battalions, after a crossing, had to pick their way single file through a fire-swept enemy minefield. For 76 straight days, the 34th maintained contact with the enemy, finally pushing into the outskirts of Cassino, under withering fire directed by German observers in the Benedictine Abbey at Monte Cassino. On the day the 34th was withdrawn from the city, the Abbey was finally bombed, after ground forces had long been forbidden to assault it. Then five Divisions hammered their way into Cassino, completing the job the 34th had started.

The Red Bull men moved on to the Anzio beachhead, broke out of there on May 25, 1944, marched through Rome, and then took Castellina, Pastina, Fauglia, Leghorn, and other cities, finally bumping into the Gothic Line in October. For four months the Division stayed there, dug in, probing the heavy enemy defenses, constantly patrolling and waiting for an opening. Finally, in February 1945, the Fifth Army launched a heavy attack, and the tired 34th reached Bologna and moved out through the Po Valley as all enemy resistance began to crumble. On May 3, when the German LXXV Corps surrendered in Milan to Major General Charles L. Boité, commander of the 34th, the Division’s long job was done. Fifteen thousand Purple Hearts had gone to wearers of the Red Bull, and more than 3,000 decorations for bravery. The 34th had learned so well the cost of living up to its own motto—“Attack, Attack, Attack!”

From Fighting Divisions, Kahn & McLemore, Infantry Journal Press, 1945-1946.

34th Infantry Division World War II Missing in Action

There are 140 soldiers of the 34th Infantry Division World War II still listed as missing in action.

Private First Class Wilbert J. Alexander 168th Infantry Regiment 03/30/1943
Second Lieutenant Daniel J. Anderson 133rd Infantry Regiment 02/05/1945
Private Ronald E. Aparicio 135th Infantry Regiment 02/01/1944
Second Lieutenant George Apollon 168th Infantry Regiment 03/30/1943
Private Edward F. Baehr 135th Infantry Regiment 11/08/1942
Private First Class James J. Baker 168th Infantry Regiment 02/13/1944
Private First Class Carl T. Bandow 135th Infantry Regiment 11/08/1942
Private First Class Hurchle Beecham 135th Infantry Regiment 10/13/1943
Private First Class Clifford T. Bennett 133rd Infantry Regiment 10/23/1944
Staff Sergeant Walker P. Bidstrup 168th Infantry Regiment 02/11/1944
Private Earl H. Binder 135th Infantry Regiment 11/08/1942
Private Marvin L. Bing 133rd Infantry Regiment 02/04/1944
Private First Class Clifford F. Bishoff 168th Infantry Regiment 03/30/1943
Private George J. Boder 133rd Infantry Regiment 10/17/1944
Private First Class Ronald A. Bolton 133rd Infantry Regiment 02/09/1944
Sergeant Charley N. Boso 135th Infantry Regiment 02/06/1944
Private Jacob Breitman 133rd Infantry Regiment 01/12/1945
Private First Class Calvin F. Brooks 135th Infantry Regiment 06/01/1944
Staff Sergeant Eugene R. Brown 168th Infantry Regiment 12/02/1942
Private First Class Russell L. Brown 133rd Infantry Regiment 09/14/1945
Private Harold C. Burnett 168th Infantry Regiment 12/06/1943
Private Lawrence E. Cameron 168th Infantry Regiment 05/30/1945
Technical Sergeant Charles G. Cavanaugh 133rd Infantry Regiment 05/13/1945
Technician Fifth Grade Carl R. Chase 168th Infantry Regiment 03/30/1943
Corporal Gordon W. Cochran 133rd Infantry Regiment 02/10/1944
Staff Sergeant Willard J. Coffron 133rd Infantry Regiment 02/06/1946
Sergeant Donald L. Colvin 133rd Infantry Regiment 09/12/1944
Private Michael E. Cosgrove 168th Infantry Regiment 06/01/1944
Sergeant William W. Cummings 135th Infantry Regiment 04/26/1945
Private Curtis Deen 135th Infantry Regiment 02/05/1944
Private Robert B. Dick 168th Infantry Regiment 02/16/1943
Private Robert E. Duffield 135th Infantry Regiment 02/09/1944
Private First Class Harry J. Egan 135th Infantry Regiment 11/08/1942
Private William Ely 168th Infantry Regiment 12/02/1943
Private First Class Robert W. Espie 168th Infantry Regiment 02/08/1944
Staff Sergeant George A. Evans 135th Infantry Regiment 04/09/1944
Private Thomas S. Fallin 133rd Infantry Regiment 02/05/1945
Private Pat Farmer 168th Infantry Regiment 03/07/1946
Private First Class Michael F. Ferreira 133rd Infantry Regiment 05/21/1945
Private Joseph V. Fisher 133rd Infantry Regiment 02/09/1944
Private First Class Trygve N. Fosso 168th Infantry Regiment 03/29/1943
Second Lieutenant George George 135th Infantry Regiment 11/08/1942
Private Douglas E. Gibson 168th Infantry Regiment 05/29/1944
Private Harold A. Gierhart 133rd Infantry Regiment 02/21/1944
Corporal Ervin R. Glantz 168th Infantry Regiment 03/31/1943
Private Harry H. Godfrey 168th Infantry Regiment 05/29/1944
Private First Class Joseph L. Gordon 135th Infantry Regiment 06/01/1944
Private First Class Joseph F. Guinan 135th Infantry Regiment 04/09/1944
Technical Sergeant Otto H. Hanssen 168th Infantry Regiment 02/04/1944
Private Charles H. Harris 168th Infantry Regiment 12/06/1943
Private Jewel J. Harris 168th Infantry Regiment 05/29/1944
Private Martin A. Hayes 168th Infantry Regiment 02/20/1946
Private Howard C. Haynes 135th Infantry Regiment 05/31/1944
Private Sylvester J. Henning 168th Infantry Regiment 12/02/1944
Private First Class Clyde Howe 168th Infantry Regiment 01/26/1945
Private First Class George W. Howery 168th Infantry Regiment 03/30/1943
Private George F. Hunter 168th Infantry Regiment 05/29/1944
Private First Class Clarence D. Inman 168th Infantry Regiment 03/29/1943
Private First Class Doane C. Jakabosky 135th Infantry Regiment 02/04/1944
Sergeant Joseph A. Kaleel 135th Infantry Regiment 02/11/1945
Private Elmer L. Keene 168th Infantry Regiment 04/07/1944
Private First Class Robert G. Kennedy 133rd Infantry Regiment 02/02/1944
Private First Class Herman C. Kiepe 135th Infantry Regiment 03/28/1944
First Lieutenant Ashley D. King 168th Infantry Regiment 02/05/1944
Private First Class James E. Kinkade 133rd Infantry Regiment 10/26/1944
Sergeant Ervin E. Kiser 168th Infantry Regiment 02/18/1944
Private Arthur J. Koeppen 168th Infantry Regiment 02/17/1943
Corporal Frederick G. Kramer 168th Infantry Regiment 02/18/1944
Sergeant Vernon Krueger 135th Infantry Regiment 03/27/1943
Private First Class Harold S. Lane 135th Infantry Regiment 02/09/1944
Technician Fourth Grade Louis M. Larson 135th Infantry Regiment 11/08/1942
Private First Class Virgil G. Larson 135th Infantry Regiment 11/08/1942
Technician Fifth Grade Roger S. Loesch 109th Engineer Combat Battalion 03/30/1943
Private First Class Ray L. Logsdon 135th Infantry Regiment 04/03/1944
Corporal Oswald F. Louviere 168th Infantry Regiment 05/27/1944
Private Guy Lupo 133rd Infantry Regiment 05/13/1945
Private First Class Lee W. Mace 135th Infantry Regiment 11/08/1942
Private Thomas J. Manion 135th Infantry Regiment 02/03/1944
Staff Sergeant Lealen R. Martin 133rd Infantry Regiment 01/22/1945
Private First Class Carl B. Masog 135th Infantry Regiment 11/08/1942
Sergeant John F. Mason 135th Infantry Regiment 02/08/1944
Private Valdemere Mattos 168th Infantry Regiment 04/16/1945
Private First Class Daniel F. McNaulty 168th Infantry Regiment 05/30/1945
Private First Class Kenneth Means 168th Infantry Regiment 05/30/1945
Private Andrew Mekita 135th Infantry Regiment 11/08/1942
Sergeant Edward B. Moody 175th Field Artillery Battalion 11/02/1942
Private Isaac C. Moore 109th Engineer Combat Battalion 06/19/1943
Private Jessie Moore 168th Infantry Regiment 05/27/1944
Private Joseph Musumeci 34th Reconnaissance Troop 02/02/1944
First Lieutenant Woodrow W. Nance 168th Infantry Regiment 02/01/1943
Private Sylvester Nijak 168th Infantry Regiment 12/06/1943
Private Jeremiah F. O'Neill 168th Infantry Regiment 02/18/1944
Private Geoffrey D. Outland 168th Infantry Regiment 05/27/1944
Private First Class Edwin E. Overton 133rd Infantry Regiment 12/02/1943
Private Francis J. Paffney 133rd Infantry Regiment 10/13/1944
Sergeant Edward Peacock 135th Infantry Regiment 02/09/1945
Private First Class Francis J. Perkins 135th Infantry Regiment 06/01/1944
Technician Fifth Grade Russell D. Phinney 168th Infantry Regiment 02/18/1944
Sergeant Donald C. Podoll 135th Infantry Regiment 11/08/1942
Private John Prohidney 168th Infantry Regiment 02/17/1943
Private First Class Thermon A. Pruitt 133rd Infantry Regiment 02/13/1944
Private Robert J. Reinhardt 135th Infantry Regiment 11/08/1942
Private Edmon Rice 133rd Infantry Regiment 07/18/1945
Private John F. Riordan 168th Infantry Regiment 05/29/1944
Private First Class Cassie R. Robertson 168th Infantry Regiment 11/25/1944
Staff Sergeant Charles J. Rodriguez 133rd Infantry Regiment 05/13/1945
Private First Class Max L. Rosencrans 168th Infantry Regiment 01/26/1945
Private Cecil J. Royalty 168th Infantry Regiment 12/06/1943
Private Kennet Ruppersberger 168th Infantry Regiment 11/29/1943
Corporal John M. Rybecky 168th Infantry Regiment 05/30/1945
Private Russell M. Sampson 34th Reconnaissance Troop 03/29/1943
Sergeant Matthew A. Schackman 168th Infantry Regiment 05/29/1944
First Lieutenant Arthur W. Schildgen 133rd Infantry Regiment 06/01/1945
Private Anthony P. Scorzafava 168th Infantry Regiment 06/01/1945
Private First Class Emile P. Senecal 168th Infantry Regiment 04/12/1945
Private First Class William Silberman 168th Infantry Regiment 04/12/1945
Sergeant John T. Skufca 135th Infantry Regiment 05/31/1944
Private First Class John M. Smalec 168th Infantry Regiment 01/26/1945
Private First Class Thomas J. Smith 133rd Infantry Regiment 09/19/1944
Sergeant Vincent A. Smith 135th Infantry Regiment 02/08/1944
Private Michael Sobol 168th Infantry Regiment 02/01/1943
Private First Class Carmen R. Sperati 168th Infantry Regiment 10/13/1943
Private First Class Edmond A. St Laurent 168th Infantry Regiment 05/28/1944
Private First Class Clarence H. Stone 133rd Infantry Regiment 01/12/1944
Private Joseph T. Tarver 168th Infantry Regiment 05/27/1944
Private Leigh L. Taylor 133rd Infantry Regiment 05/28/1944
Private First Class Taro Tonai 133rd Infantry Regiment 01/26/1944
Private Robert A. Underwood 168th Infantry Regiment 05/08/1944
Corporal Ersel R. Wakefield 168th Infantry Regiment 10/13/1943
Private John F. Ward 133rd Infantry Regiment 04/20/1944
Private First Class Chester M. Warner 168th Infantry Regiment 11/08/1942
Corporal Leroy P. Wicklund 135th Infantry Regiment 11/08/1942
Private First Class Edwin F. Willert 168th Infantry Regiment 04/15/1945
Private First Class Walton W. Williams 168th Infantry Regiment 05/27/1944
Sergeant Russell F. Wiseman 168th Infantry Regiment 02/16/1943
Private First Class Robert C. Woodall 168th Infantry Regiment 02/18/1944
Private Herbert L. Woolery 168th Infantry Regiment 02/18/1944
Staff Sergeant James E. Yeo 168th Infantry Regiment 01/27/1944
Private Eugene W. Young 168th Infantry Regiment 12/06/1943
Private First Class Everett P. Young 168th Infantry Regiment 05/30/1945

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