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World War II

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Monographs, Books and Reports on CD
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85th Infantry
"Custer"
Division


337th Infantry
Regiment


History

338th Infantry
"March On"
Regiment

History

339th Infantry
"Polar Bears"
Regiment

History

Order of Battle

85th Division Headquarters
Headquarters Company, 85th Division
85th Reconnaissance Troop
85th Counter Intelligence Corps (detachment)
Military Police Platoon, 85th Infantry Division

337th Infantry Regiment
338th Infantry Regiment
339th Infantry Regiment

Headquarters & Headquarters Battery, Division Artillery
328th Field Artillery Battalion- 105mm howitzer
329th Field Artillery Battalion- 105mm howitzer
910th Field Artillery Battalion- 105mm howitzer
403rd Field Artillery Battalion- 155mm gun

310th Engineer Battalion
310th Medical Battalion
785th Ordnance Light Maintenance Company
85th Quartermaster Company
85th Signal Company



Casualties
Killed in action - 1,561
Wounded in action - 6,314
Died of wounds - 175



Commanders

Maj. Gen. Wade H. Haislip
May 1942-February 1943


Maj. Gen. John B. Coulter
February 1943 to inactivation




Campaigns
Rome-Arno
22 Jan - 9 Sep 44
North Apennines 10 Sep 44 - 4 Apr 45
Po Valley

5 Apr - 8 May 45




Medals

Legion of Merits - 29
Distinguished Service Medals - 3
Silver Stars - 545
Bronze Stars - 4,988

Distinguished Unit Citations - 5

Medal of Honor - 4




Battle Honors

Presidential Unit Citation
337th Infantry Regiment
Company C - 1st Battalion
Tremensuoli

Presidential Unit Citation
337th Infantry Regiment
Company F - 2nd Battalion
Mount Monzano

Presidential Unit Citation
338th Infantry Regiment
Mount Altuzzo

Presidential Unit Citation
339th Infantry Regiment
Company G - 2nd Battalion
Tremensuoli

French Croix de Guerre with Palm
339th Infantry Regiment
Central Italy



Medal of Honor Recepients

Orville Emil Bloch, 1st Lt.
85th Infantry Division
338th Infantry Regiment
Company E
Firenzuola, Italy
September 22, 1944

Chris Carr, Sgt.
85th Infantry Division
337th Infantry Regiment
Company L
Guignola, Italy
October 1-2, 1944

George D. Keathley, S/Sgt.
85th Infantry Division
Mt. Altuzzo, Italy
September 14, 1944

Robert T. Waugh, 1st Lt.
85th Infantry Division
339th Infantry Regiment
Tremensucli, Italy
May 11-14, 1944






1942

 
15 May-
Division activated at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.
Aug-
The Division reaches its authorized strength.
Oct-
The three infantry regiments begin battalion level maneuvers in Camp Shelby's training areas and nearby DeSoto National Forest.
1943
 
Mar-
The Custer Division is transported to Louisiana to begin army level maneuvers.
Jun-
The Division is shipped by train to the Desert Training Center at Camp Pilot Knob, California to begin desert training.
Oct-
The Division completes desert training, transported by train to Fort Dix, New Jersey.
Dec-
85th Division arrives at Camp Patrick Henry near the Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation.
24 Dec-
Debarkation
1944
 
2 Jan-
First elements of 85th Division land in at Csaablanca, North Africa.
1 Feb-
It received amphibious training at Port aux Poules near Arzew and Oran, Algeria, 1 February.
15 Mar-
First elements of the 85th Infantry Division arrive in Naples, Italy.
10 Apr-
The Custer Division is committed to a combat area around Minturno as a complete division.
11 May-
Operation Diadem, assault on the Gustav Line.
5 Jun-
The 85th Infantry Division marches through Rome.
Jun-
Training in mountain and river crossing tactics to July.
1Aug-
Arno River crossing to 16 Aug.
13 Sep-
Gothic Line assault into the North Apennines above Florence.
Nov-
85th Division relieved from front line duty.
Dec-
Combat Team 9 is sent to the Serchio Valley to reinforce the 92nd Division.
1945
 
Jan-
85th Division committed to the Winter Line near Mount Grande to Apr.
Apr-
Po Valley Campaign. 85th Division committed to center of Fifth Army drive toward Verona.
2 May-
Hostilities cease in Italy.
25 Aug-
Returned to United States.
26 Aug-
Inactivation.



85th Infantry Division
in World War II

CD 1
Open all files from the folders on the CDs
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Apr - May 1944

337th Infantry Regiment
Headquarters
1st Batallion

History of Operations



CD 1
8 Pages - PDF


1944

337th Infantry Regiment

Operation Reports





CD 1
35 Pages - PDF


16 - 27 Aug 44

337th Infantry Regiment
Company L
2nd Platoon

Battle History



CD 1
3 Pages - PDF


1 - 4 Oct 44

337th Infantry Regiment
3rd Batallion

Operations at
Casoni di Romagna
North of Piancaldoli
Italy

CD 1
33 Pages - PDF


10 - 13 Oct 44

338th Infantry Regiment
2nd Batallion

Taking of
Mt.Della Forniche
Italy

CD 1
22 Pages - PDF


1945

337th Infantry Regiment

Operations Report




CD 1
20 Pages - PDF


1944 - 45

85th Infantry Division

History




CD 1
99 Pages - PDF


85th Infantry Division

Minturno
To The
Apennines




CD 1
100 Pages - PDF


War Against Germany
and Mediterranian
and Ajacent Areas

Pictorial Record




CD 1
459 Pages - PDF


Connecticut Men
of the 85th

85th Infantry
Division History
20 Personal Stories
Roster


CD 1
11 Pages - PDF


May 45

General Orders 36

Lists of
Silver Star and
Bronze Star
Medal Citations

CD 1
8 Pages - PDF

Medal of Honor
Citations of WWII







CD 1
4 Citations - PDF


Order of Battle

US ARMY
European Theater
of Operations

CD 1
618 Pages - PDF


6 Oct - 15 Nov 43

From Volturno to
the Winter Line


CD 1
132 Pages - PDF


Magazine
Covers




CD 1
74 Pages - PDF


Headlines

World War II
Newspaper
Headlines

CD 1
507 Pages - PDF



Readers Guide


US Army
in World War II




CD 1
185 Pages - PDF



Form SF180
Records Request

Request for
Personnel Records


CD 1
3 Pages - PDF



Research Guide

National Archives
Finding Information of
Personal Participation
in World War II Guide

CD 1
5 Pages - PDF


Guide to
World War II
Research Resources





CD 1
20 Pages - PDF


Sep 43 - 4 Jun 44

Road To Rome


CD 1
66 Pages - PDF


22 Jan - 9 Sep 44

Rome-Arno
Campaign

CD 1
31 Pages - PDF


10 Sep 44 - 4 Apr 45

North Apennines
Campaign

CD 1
32 Pages - PDF


5 Apr - 8 May 45

Po Valley
Campaign

CD 1
28 Pages - PDF


14 Apr - 2 May 45

Final Campaign
Across
Northwest Italy


CD 1
145 Pages - PDF


1945

Finito

The Po Valley
Campaign

CD 1
69 Pages - PDF


1944 - 1945

Cassino
to the Alps



CD 1
609Pages - PDF


19 Days
From the Apeninnes
To The Alps

The Po Valley
Campaign

CD 1
90 Pages - PDF


1939 - 1945

The Long Road
To Victory

The War in
Europe and Africa
Chronoogy

CD 1
20 Pages - PDF


"Fighting Divisions"

Army
Divisions History





CD 1
241 Pages - PDF


Supreme Command

European
Theater Operations





CD 1
631 Pages - PDF


World War II
Situation Maps
Europe






CD 1
83 Pages - PDF
The files below are found on CD 2


VE Day
Eisenhower Flyer



CD 2
1 Page - PDF


Rank
Insignia of Grade



CD 2
1 Page - PDF


Chart

Enlisted Men's
Uniform Insignias

CD 2
1 Page - PDF


Patch
Identification
Guide


CD 2
19 Pages - PDF


Mines - Booby Traps
Identification Guide

CD 2
80 Pages - PDF


Aircraft
Nose Art

CD 2
34 Pages - PDF


Aircraft
Recognition Guide

CD 2
17 Pages - PDF



Aircraft
Insignia Poster

CD 2
1 Page - PDF



US
World War II
Posters



CD 2
249 Pages - PDF



German
World War II
Posters



CD 2
75 Pages - PDF



Comic Book
Covers




CD 2
8 Pages - PDF


Song Lyrics

Army
HIT KIT
of Popular Songs

CD 2
6 Pages - PDF


Troopships
of World War II















CD 2
391 Pages - PDF


British
Grenadier Guards
1939 - 1945

Campaigns

BEF - 1939 - 1940
Tunisia 1942 - 1943
Italy - 1943 - 1945
Europe 1944 - 1945







CD 2
93 Pages - PDF


Film

The
BIG PICTURE
Documentary Film

"Combat Infantryman"

An Official
Television Report
to the Nation
From the
United States Army



CD 2
Film Info - PDF
Film: 27m14s - MP4


Newsreels

"Allied Vise Tightens
On Rhineland"
Universal Newsreel
7 Dec 44
Film: 7m17s

"Nazis Surrender"
Universal Newsreel
14 May 45
Film: 7m24s

"The Year 1945"
United Newsreel
Film: 8m34s

CD 2
Newsreels - Folder


1 Sep 39 - 10 May 42

Graphic History
Of The War





CD 2
76 Pages - PDF


1985

Veterans
Remerbrances
of World War II

40th Anniversary
of VE Day

CD 2
141 Pages - PDF


Brief History
of World War II







CD 2
55 Pages - PDF


APOs

Army
Postal Service
Addresses




CD 2
149 Pages - PDF
The files below are found on CD 3


Music

"Singing Soldiers"

Winners Second
All Army Soldier
Singing Contest

1954-55
19 Song LP Record
2 Album Set


CD 3
Info - PDF
Files - Folder


Music

What Do You
Do In The Infantry ?

American Military March
Semper Fidelis (Marines)





CD 3
Files - Folder


D-Day
Radio Broadcasts

13 - BBC/CBS/NBC
Normandy Invasion
Broadcasts

24 - CBS Invasion
1 Hour Broadcasts





CD 3
Files - Folder



Cartoons

11
BANNED
World War II
Cartoons

Bugs Bunny
Donald Duck
Popeye
Superman
more ...

CD 3
Info - PDF
Files - Folder



85th Infantry
"Custer"
Division

85th Infantry Division History

The 85th Infantry Division arrived in Casablanca, French Morocco, 2 January 1944. It received amphibious training at Port aux Poules near Arzew and Oran, Algeria, 1 February to 23 March, then embarked for Naples, Italy, arriving on 27 March.

A selected advance detachment appeared on the Minturno-Castelforte front north of Naples, 28 March. The Division was committed to action as a unit, 10 April 1944, north of the Garigliano River, facing the Gustav Line, and held defensive positions for a month.

On 11 May, it launched its attack, taking Solacciano, Castellonorato, and Formia. Itri fell, 19 May, and the 85th continued to mop up the Gaeta Peninsula. Terracina was taken and the road to the Anzio beachhead was opened. The Division pursued the enemy to the hills near Sezze until pinched out by friendly forces from Anzio.

The Gustav Line had been smashed and the 85th started for a rest area, 29 May, but was ordered to the Lariano sector which the Division cleared by the 31st. Driving on Rome, the 85th pushed through Monte Compatri and Frascati, entered Rome, 5 June 1944, and advanced to Viterbo before being relieved, 10 June. After rehabilitation and training, the 85th took over the defense of the Arno River line, 15 to 26 August.

The Division attacked the mountain defenses of the Gothic Line, 13 September, and broke through, taking Firenzuola on the 21st. The 85th advanced slowly through mud and rain against heavy resistance taking La Martina and gaining the Idice River Valley road, 2 October, and reaching Mount Mezzano on the 24th overlooking the Po River Valley. From 27 October to 22 November, 1944, defense areas near Pizzano were held. On the 23d, the Division was relieved for rest and rehabilitation.

The 85th relieved the 1st British Division, 6 January 1945, and limited its activities to cautious patrols' until 13 March. After a brief training period, the 85th thrust southwest of Bologna, 14 April, pushing through Lucca and Pistoia into the Po Valley as enemy resistance collapsed. The Panaro River was crossed on tile 2.3d and the Po the next day. The Division mopped up fleeing Germans until their mass surrender, 2 May 1945, in the BellunoAgordo area.



337th Infantry
Regiment
337th Infantry Regiment History
Activated in 1942 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, the 337th Infantry Regiment was the lead infantry regiment of the 85th Infantry or "Custer" Division. Though the regiment did not experience combat in France in 1918, it's World War II service would prove to be very different. Under the command of Colonel Oliver Hughes, the 337th Infantry saw active combat in 1944 at Minturno and Tremensuoli (the Gustav Line offensive), Formia, the Arno River, Mount Altuzzo (the Gothic Line offensive), North Apennines, Mount Mozano, and into the Po Valley in 1945.

It was during Operation Diadem in May 1944 when the 1st Battalion, 337th Infantry experienced severe combat at Hills 69 and 66 north of Tremensuoli, Italy. On May 12, the day after the assault began, the battalion was ordered to relieve the depleted 3rd Battalion, 339th Infantry. The Wolverines made their way to Hill 69 and then charged into a hailstorm of mortar, artillery, and machine gun fire in an attempt to subdue the strongly fortified Hill 66.

The Germans would not budge, but pinned down the Custermen with heavy weapons and infantry counterattacks preceded by saturations of mortar and artillery. Leadership and determination held Hill 69, throwing back each enemy strike. After several days, the battalion eventually cleared Hill 66 of a stubborn enemy as the remainder of the German line began to show weaknesses. The 337th's capture of Hill 66 contributed to the final collapse of the Gustav Line in this sector north of Minturno.



338th Infantry
"March On"
Regiment
338th Infantry Regiment History

Activated in 1942 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, the 338th Infantry Regiment was the core infantry regiment of the 85th Infantry or "Custer" Division. Though the regiment was not used in combat in France in 1918, it's World War II heraldry would be very different. The 338th Infantry saw active combat through 1944 beginning at Minturno, Santa Marie Infante (the Gustav Line offensive), Terracina, the Arno River, Mount Altuzzo (the Gothic Line offensive), North Apennines, and into the Po Valley in 1945.

It was at Mount Altuzzo that the 338th Infantry proved its mettle. A significant point of defense in the German Gothic Line, the 3,000-foot peak overlooked the eastern flank of the Il Giogo Pass through the mountains north of Florence. At H-Hour on September 13, 1944, the 338th Infantry attacked the height. Despite heavy losses and a desperate enemy defense, the 338th Infantry made significant gains against enemy positions on the western slope and overran the mountain's lower defenses.

By September 18, the regiment had secured most of the height and the breach in the Gothic Line was impossible for the weakened German units to retake. Combined with the fall of Mount Monticelli to the 91st Infantry Division on the western flank of the pass, the important breach of the Gothic Line gave Fifth Army passage into the North Apennines Mountains and Firenzoula. The Custermen of the 338th broke the back of German resistance at the pass. Veterans of Combat Team 8 returned to Mount Altuzzo on September 20, 1987, to dedicate a monument where the regiment fought.



339th Infantry
"Polar Bears"
Regiment
339th Infantry Regiment History

The 339th Infantry was one of three infantry regiments of the 85th Infantry Division, Army of the United States. The regiment went overseas with the division in 1944 and was assigned to Fifth Army, 15th Army Group in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. As a unit of the 85th Infantry or "Custer" Division, the 339th Infantry saw combat service in Italy from March 1944 until the surrender of German forces in May 1945.

The 339th Infantry was nicknamed the "Polar Bears" because of the unit's service at Archangel in North Russia during the first World War. The 339th Infantry was the core element of "Regimental Combat Team 9", a combat organization composed of an infantry regiment with an attached artillery battalion, an engineer company and a medical company. "Combat Team 9" included the 339th Infantry, 910th Field Artillery Battalion, C Company, 310th Engineer Battalion, and C Company, 310th Medical Battalion.

The regiment's role in World War II began in 1942 when the 85th Infantry Division, one of the first all-draftee filled divisions authorized, was officially activated at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. Preparations had been ongoing since mid-April when a cadre of officers and non-commissioned officers arrived at the sparsely provisioned camp to get organization underway. Many of the officers assigned to the 339th infantry had jus completed training and promotions at Fort Benning and the re-activated "Polar Bear" regiment was the first real field experience for many of them.

Under the guidance of Colonel Donald Stroh and executive officer Lt. Colonel G. R. Schweickert, the officers set up headquarters and attended to the pile of paperwork involved in getting a regiment ready for training. Among the new officers was one officer who could appreciate the heraldry of the 339th Infantry, Captain Charles Isely. This tough Illinois-born officer was proud of his military service and was immediately enthralled with the history of the 339th Infantry. He made every effort possible to let the new recruits know something about the old regiment and what that Polar Bear symbol meant. Another officer who came into the regiment soon after activation was Lt. Paul Schultz who would author The 85th Infantry Division in World War II soon after war's end.

While in Italy, the regiment had a sequential order of commanders, the first being Colonel James Matthews, who was forced to resign because of illness. He was followed by Colonel Brookner Brady who led the regiment until October 1944 when he was replaced by Colonel William Fitts from division headquarters. Colonel Fitts remained in command until December 31, 1944, when the 339th Infantry reverted to the regimental executive officer, Lt. Colonel John English, who commanded the regiment until it was deactivated in August 1945.



85th Infantry
Division

Campaigns

85th Infantry Division
Campaigns of World War II

Rome-Arno
22 Jan - 9 Sep 44
North Apennines 10 Sep 44 - 4 Apr 45
Po Valley

5 Apr - 8 May 45




Rome-Arno Campaign
22 January – 9 September 1944

The Allied operations in Italy between January and September 1944 were essentially an infantryman’s war where the outcome was decided by countless bitterly fought small unit actions waged over some of Europe’s most difficult terrain under some of the worst weather conditions found anywhere during World War II.


North Apennines Campaign
10 September 1944 – 4 April 1945

The northern Apennines fighting was the penultimate campaign in the Italian theater. Although the Allies steadily lost divisions, materiel, and shipping to operations elsewhere, which diminished their capabilities, their offensives prevented the Axis from substantially reinforcing other fronts with troops from Italy. Yet the transfer of units from Fifth and Eighth Armies for use in northwest Europe, southern France, and Greece, both after the capture of Rome and during the North Apennines Campaign itself, left Allied commanders with just enough troops to hold Axis forces in Italy but without sufficient forces to destroy the enemy or to end the campaign.


Po Valley Campaign
5 April – 8 May 1945

For the Allied armies in Italy, the Po Valley offensive climaxed the long and bloody Italian campaign. When the spring offensive opened, it initially appeared that its course might continue the pattern of the previous months and battles in Italy, becoming another slow, arduous advance over rugged terrain, in poor weather, against a determined, well-entrenched, and skillful enemy.

However, by April 1945 the superbly led and combat-hardened Allied 15th Army Group, a truly multinational force, enjoyed an overwhelming numerical superiority on the ground and in the air. On the other side, Axis forces had been worn down by years of combat on many fronts; they were plagued by poor political leadership at the top as well as shortages of nearly everything needed to wage a successful defensive war.

By April 1945 factors such as terrain, weather, combat experience, and able military leadership, that had for months allowed the Axis to trade space for time in Italy could no longer compensate for the simple lack of manpower, air support, and materiel. By the end of the first two weeks of the campaign both sides realized that the end of the war in Italy was in sight, and that all the Allies needed to complete the destruction of Axis forces was the skillful application of overwhelming pressure, a feat largely accomplished within ten days, by 2 May 1945.



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