Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole Remembers Anzio - 1944 - Jan. 23rd, 2003
Posted on 01/23/2003 5:36:38 AM PST by SAMWolf
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22 January-24 May 1944
During the early morning hours of 22 January 1944, troops of the Fifth Army swarmed ashore on a fifteen-mile stretch of Italian beach near the prewar resort towns of Anzio and Nettuno. The landings were carried out so flawlessly and German resistance was so light that British and American units gained their first day's objectives by noon, moving three to four miles inland by nightfall. The ease of the landing and the swift advance were noted by one paratrooper of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division, who recalled that D-day at Anzio was sunny and warm, making it very hard to believe that a war was going on and that he was in the middle of it. The location of the Allied landings, thirty miles south of Rome and fifty-five miles northwest of the main line of resistance running from Minturno on the Tyrrhenian Sea to Ortona on the Adriatic, surprised local German commanders, who had been assured by their superiors that an amphibious assault would not take place during January or February. Thus when the landing occurred the Germans were unprepared to react offensively. Within a week, however, as Allied troops consolidated their positions and prepared to break out of the beachhead, the Germans gathered troops to eliminate what Adolf Hitler called the "Anzio abscess." The next four months would see some of the most savage fighting of World War II.
Following the successful Allied landings at Calabria, Taranto, and Salerno in early September 1943 and the unconditional surrender of Italy that same month, German forces had quickly disarmed their former allies and begun a slow, fighting withdrawal to the north. Defending two hastily prepared, fortified belts stretching from coast to coast, the Germans significantly slowed the Allied advance before settling into the Gustav Line, a third, more formidable and sophisticated defensive belt of interlocking positions on the high ground along the peninsula's narrowest point. The Germans intended to fight for every portion of this line, set in the rugged Apennine Mountains overlooking scores of rain-soaked valleys, marshes, and rivers. The terrain favored the defense and, as elsewhere in Italy, was not conducive to armored warfare. Luftwaffe Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, whom Hitler had appointed as commander of all German forces in Italy on 6 November 1943, promised to hold the Gustav Line for at least six months. As long as the line was maintained it prevented the Fifth Army from advancing into the Liri valley, the most logical and direct route to the major Allied objective of Rome. The validity of Kesselring's strategy was demonstrated repeatedly between October 1943 and January 1944 as the Allies launched numerous costly attacks against well-entrenched enemy forces.
The idea for an amphibious operation near Rome had originated in late October 1943 when it became obvious that the Germans were going to fight for the entire peninsula rather than withdraw to northern Italy. The Allied advance following the Salerno invasion was proving so arduous, due to poor weather, rough terrain, and stiffening resistance, that General Dwight D. Eisenhower pessimistically told the Anglo-American Combined Chiefs of Staff that there would be very hard and bitter fighting before the Allies could hope to reach Rome. As a result, Allied planners were looking for ways to break out of the costly struggle for each ridge and valley, which was consuming enormous numbers of men and scarce supplies.
The Anzio invasion began at 0200 on 22 January 1944 and achieved, General Lucas recalled, one of the most complete surprises in history. The Germans had already sent their regional reserves south to counter the Allied attacks on the Garigliano on 18 January, leaving one nine-mile stretch of beach at Anzio defended by a single company. The first Allied waves landed unopposed and moved rapidly inland. On the southern flank of the beachhead the 3d Division quickly seized its initial objectives, brushing aside a few dazed patrols, while unopposed British units achieved equal success in the center and north. Simultaneously, Rangers occupied Anzio, and the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion seized Nettuno. All VI Corps objectives were taken by noon as the Allied air forces completed 1,200 sorties against targets in and around the beachhead. On the beach itself, the U.S. 36th Engineer Combat Regiment bulldozed exits, laid corduroy roads, cleared mines, and readied the port of Anzio to receive its first landing ship, tank (LST), an amphibious assault and supply ship, by the afternoon of D-day. By midnight over 36,000 men and 3,200 vehicles, 90 percent of the invasion force, were ashore with casualties of 13 killed, 97 wounded, and 44 missing. During D-day Allied troops captured 227 German defenders.
Allied units continued to push inland over the next few days to a depth of seven miles against scattered but increasing German resistance. In the center of the beachhead, on 24 January, the British 1st Division began to move up the Anzio-Albano Road toward Campoleone and, with help from the 179th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Infantry Division, captured the town of Aprilia, known as "the Factory" because of its cluster of brick buildings, on 25 January. Within three days the continuing Anglo-American drive pushed the Germans a further 1.5 miles north of the Factory, created a huge bulge in enemy lines, but failed to break out of the beachhead. Probes by the 3d Division toward Cisterna and by the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment toward Littoria on 24-25 January made some progress but were also halted short of their goals by stubborn resistance. Renewed attacks on the next day brought the Americans within three miles of Cisterna and two miles beyond the west branch of the Mussolini Canal. But the 3d Division commander, Maj. Gen. Lucian K. Truscott, Jr., on orders of the corps commander, called a halt to the offensive, a pause that later lengthened into a general consolidation and reorganization of beachhead forces between 26 and 29 January.
Meanwhile, the Allied troop and materiel buildup had proceeded at a breakneck pace. Despite continuous German artillery and air harassment, a constant fact of life throughout the campaign, the Allies off-loaded twenty-one cargo ships and landed 6,350 tons of materiel on 29 January alone, and on 1 February the port of Anzio went into full operation. Improving air defenses downed ninety-seven attacking Luftwaffe aircraft prior to 1 February, but the Germans did succeed in sinking one destroyer and a hospital ship, as well as destroying significant stocks of supplies piled on the crowded beaches. Mindful of the need for reinforcements, Lucas ordered ashore the rest of the 45th Infantry Division and remaining portions of the 1st Armored Division allotted to the Anzio operation, raising the total number of Allied soldiers in the beachhead to 61,332.
The Germans had not been idle during the week after the Anzio landing. The German Armed Forces High Command (OKW) in Berlin was surprised at the location of the landing and the efficiency with which it was carried out. Although they had considered such an attack probable for some time and had made preliminary plans for meeting it, Kesselring and his local commanders were powerless to repel the invasion immediately because of the lack of adequate reserves. Nevertheless, German reaction to the Anzio landing was swift and ultimately would prove far more powerful than anything the Allies had anticipated.
Upon receiving word of the landings, Kesselring immediately dispatched elements of the 4th Parachute and Hermann Goering Divisions south from the Rome area to defend the roads leading north from the Alban Hills. Within the next twenty-four hours Hitler dispatched other units to Italy from Yugoslavia, France, and Germany to reinforce elements of the 3d Panzer Grenadier and 71st Infantry Divisions that were already moving into the Anzio area. By the end of D-day, thousands of German troops were converging on Anzio, despite delays caused by Allied air attacks.
OKW, Kesselring, and Brig. Gen. Siegfried Westphal, Kesselring's chief of staff, were astonished that the Anzio forces had not exploited their unopposed landing with an immediate thrust into the virtually undefended Alban Hills on 23-24 January. As Westphal later recounted, there were no significant German units between Anzio and Rome, and he speculated that an imaginative, bold strike by enterprising forces could easily have penetrated into the interior or sped straight up Highways 6 and 7 to Rome. Instead, Westphal recalled, the enemy forces lost time and hesitated. As the Germans later discovered, General Lucas was neither bold nor imaginative, and he erred repeatedly on the side of caution, to the increasing chagrin of both Alexander and Clark.
By 24 January Kesselring, confident that he had gathered sufficient forces to contain the beachhead, transferred the Fourteenth Army headquarters under General Eberhard von Mackensen from Verona in northern Italy to Anzio. Mackensen soon controlled elements of 8 divisions, totaling 40,000 troops, with 5 more divisions on the way. Seeking to prevent a permanent Allied foothold at Anzio, Kesselring ordered a counterattack for 28 January, but Mackensen requested and received a postponement until 1 February to await further reinforcements, especially armored units that were being held up by Allied air attacks. Two days before the scheduled offensive, the Fourteenth Army numbered about 70,000 combat troops, most already deployed in forward staging areas, with several thousand more on the way.
Racing against the expected German counterattack, both the Fifth and Eighth Armies prepared to renew their stalled offensives in the south. Lucas meanwhile planned a two-pronged attack for 30 January. While one force cut Highway 7 at Cisterna before moving east into the Alban Hills, a second was to advance northeast up the Albano Road, break through the Campoleone salient, and exploit the gap by moving to the west and southwest. A quick link-up with Fifth Army forces in the south was believed still possible even though German resistance all along the perimeter of the beachhead was becoming stronger.
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BARFOOT, VAN T.
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Carano, Italy, 23 May 1944. Entered service at: Carthage, Miss. Birth: Edinburg, Miss. G.O. No.: 79, 4 October 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 23 May 1944, near Carano, Italy. With his platoon heavily engaged during an assault against forces well entrenched on commanding ground, 2d Lt. Barfoot (then Tech. Sgt.) moved off alone upon the enemy left flank. He crawled to the proximity of 1 machinegun nest and made a direct hit on it with a hand grenade, killing 2 and wounding 3 Germans. He continued along the German defense line to another machinegun emplacement, and with his tommygun killed 2 and captured 3 soldiers. Members of another enemy machinegun crew then abandoned their position and gave themselves up to Sgt. Barfoot. Leaving the prisoners for his support squad to pick up, he proceeded to mop up positions in the immediate area, capturing more prisoners and bringing his total count to 17. Later that day, after he had reorganized his men and consolidated the newly captured ground, the enemy launched a fierce armored counterattack directly at his platoon positions. Securing a bazooka, Sgt. Barfoot took up an exposed position directly in front of 3 advancing Mark VI tanks. From a distance of 75 yards his first shot destroyed the track of the leading tank, effectively disabling it, while the other 2 changed direction toward the flank. As the crew of the disabled tank dismounted, Sgt. Barfoot killed 3 of them with his tommygun. He continued onward into enemy terrain and destroyed a recently abandoned German fieldpiece with a demolition charge placed in the breech. While returning to his platoon position, Sgt. Barfoot, though greatly fatigued by his Herculean efforts, assisted 2 of his seriously wounded men 1,700 yards to a position of safety. Sgt. Barfoot's extraordinary heroism, demonstration of magnificent valor, and aggressive determination in the face of pointblank fire are a perpetual inspiration to his fellow soldiers.
BLOCH, ORVILLE EMIL
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company E, 338th Infantry, 85th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Firenzuola, Italy, 22 September 1944. Entered service at: Streeter, N. Dak. Birth: Big Falls, Wis. G.O. No.: 9, 10 February 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. 1st Lt. Bloch undertook the task of wiping out 5 enemy machinegun nests that had held up the advance in that particular sector for 1 day. Gathering 3 volunteers from his platoon, the patrol snaked their way to a big rock, behind which a group of 3 buildings and 5 machinegun nests were located. Leaving the 3 men behind the rock, he attacked the first machinegun nest alone charging into furious automatic fire, kicking over the machinegun, and capturing the machinegun crew of 5. Pulling the pin from a grenade, he held it ready in his hand and dashed into the face of withering automatic fire toward this second enemy machinegun nest located at the corner of an adjacent building 15 yards distant. When within 20 feet of the machinegun he hurled the grenade, wounding the machinegunner, the other 2 members of the crew fleeing into a door of the house. Calling one of his volunteer group to accompany him, they advanced to the opposite end of the house, there contacting a machinegun crew of 5 running toward this house. 1st Lt Bloch and his men opened fire on the enemy crew, forcing them to abandon this machinegun and ammunition and flee into the same house. Without a moment's hesitation, 1st Lt. Bloch, unassisted, rushed through the door into a hail of small-arms fire, firing his carbine from the hip, and captured the 7 occupants, wounding 3 of them. 1st Lt. Bloch with his men then proceeded to a third house where they discovered an abandoned enemy machinegun and detected another enemy machinegun nest at the next corner of the building. The crew of 6 spotted 1st Lt. Bloch the instant he saw them. Without a moment's hesitation he dashed toward them. The enemy fired pistols wildly in his direction and vanished through a door of the house, 1st Lt. Bloch following them through the door, firing his carbine from the hip, wounding 2 of the enemy and capturing 6. Altogether 1st Lt. Bloch had single-handedly captured 19 prisoners, wounding 6 of them and eliminating a total of 5 enemy machinegun nests. His gallant and heroic actions saved his company many casualties and permitted them to continue the attack with new inspiration and vigor.
DAVILA, RUDOLPH B.
Staff Sergeant Rudolph B. Davila distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action, on 28 May 1944, near Artena, Italy. During the offensive which broke through the German mountain strongholds surrounding the Anzio beachhead, Staff Sergeant Davila risked death to provide heavy weapons support for a beleaguered rifle company. Caught on an exposed hillside by heavy, grazing fire from a well-entrenched German force, his machine gunners were reluctant to risk putting their guns into action. Crawling fifty yards to the nearest machine gun, Staff Sergeant Davila set it up alone and opened fire on the enemy. In order to observe the effect of his fire, Sergeant Davila fired from the kneeling position, ignoring the enemy fire that struck the tripod and passed between his legs. Ordering a gunner to take over, he crawled forward to a vantage point and directed the firefight with hand and arm signals until both hostile machine guns were silenced. Bringing his three remaining machine guns into action, he drove the enemy to a reserve position two hundred yards to the rear. When he received a painful wound in the leg, he dashed to a burned tank and, despite the crash of bullets on the hull, engaged a second enemy force from the tanks turret. Dismounting, he advanced 130 yards in short rushes, crawled 20 yards and charged into an enemy-held house to eliminate the defending force of five with a hand grenade and rifle fire. Climbing to the attic, he straddled a large shell hole in the wall and opened fire on the enemy. Although the walls of the house were crumbling, he continued to fire until he had destroyed two more machine guns. His intrepid actions brought desperately needed heavy weapons support to a hard-pressed rifle company and silenced four machine gunners, which forced the enemy to abandon their prepared positions. Staff Sergeant Davila's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.
DERVISHIAN, ERNEST H.
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 34th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Cisterna, Italy, 23 May 1944. Entered service at: Richmond, Va. Birth: Richmond, Va. G.O. No.: 3, 8 January 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 23 May 1944, in the vicinity of Cisterna, Italy. 2d Lt. Dervishian (then Tech. Sgt.) and 4 members of his platoon found themselves far ahead of their company after an aggressive advance in the face of enemy artillery and sniper fire. Approaching a railroad embankment, they observed a force of German soldiers hiding in dugouts. 2d Lt. Dervishian, directing his men to cover him, boldly moved forward and firing his carbine forced 10 Germans to surrender. His men then advanced and captured 15 more Germans occupying adjacent dugouts. The prisoners were returned to the rear to be picked up by advancing units. From the railroad embankment, 2d Lt. Dervishian and his men then observed 9 Germans who were fleeing across a ridge. He and his men opened fire and 3 of the enemy were wounded. As his men were firing, 2d Lt. Dervishian, unnoticed, fearlessly dashed forward alone and captured all of the fleeing enemy before his companions joined him on the ridge. At this point 4 other men joined 2d Lt. Dervishian's group. An attempt was made to send the 4 newly arrived men along the left flank of a large, dense vineyard that lay ahead, but murderous machinegun fire forced them back. Deploying his men, 2d Lt. Dervishian moved to the front of his group and led the advance into the vineyard. He and his men suddenly became pinned down by a machinegun firing at them at a distance of 15 yards. Feigning death while the hostile weapon blazed away at him, 2d Lt. Dervishian assaulted the position during a halt in the firing, using a hand grenade and carbine fire, and forced the 4 German crewmembers to surrender. The 4 men on the left flank were now ordered to enter the vineyard but encountered machinegun fire which killed 1 soldier and wounded another. At this moment the enemy intensified the fight by throwing potato-masher grenades at the valiant band of American soldiers within the vineyard. 2d Lt. Dervishian ordered his men to withdraw; but instead of following, jumped into the machinegun position he had just captured and opened fire with the enemy weapon in the direction of the second hostile machinegun nest. Observing movement in a dugout 2 or 3 yards to the rear, 2d Lt. Dervishian seized a machine pistol. Simultaneously blazing away at the entrance to the dugout to prevent its occupants from firing and firing his machinegun at the other German nest, he forced 5 Germans in each position to surrender. Determined to rid the area of all Germans, 2d Lt. Dervishian continued his advance alone. Noticing another machinegun position beside a house, he picked up an abandoned machine pistol and forced 6 more Germans to surrender by spraying their position with fire. Unable to locate additional targets in the vicinity, 2d Lt. Dervishian conducted these prisoners to the rear. The prodigious courage and combat skill exhibited by 2d Lt. Dervishian are exemplary of the finest traditions of the U.S. Armed Forces.
*DUTKO, JOHN W.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Ponte Rotto, Italy, 23 May 1944. Entered service at: Riverside, N.J. Birth: Dilltown, Pa. G.O. No.: 80, 5 October 1944. citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, on 23 May 1944, near Ponte Rotto, Italy. Pfc. Dutko left the cover of an abandoned enemy trench at the height of an artillery concentration in a single-handed attack upon 3 machineguns and an 88mm. mobile gun. Despite the intense fire of these 4 weapons which were aimed directly at him, Pfc. Dutko ran 10.0 yards through the impact area, paused momentarily in a shell crater, and then continued his l-man assault. Although machinegun bullets kicked up the dirt at his heels, and 88mm. shells exploded within 30 yards of him, Pfc. Dutko nevertheless made his way to a point within 30 yards of the first enemy machinegun and killed both gunners with a hand grenade. Although the second machinegun wounded him, knocking him to the ground, Pfc. Dutko regained his feet and advanced on the 88mm. gun, firing his Browning automatic rifle from the hip. When he came within 10 yards of this weapon he killed its 5-man crew with 1 long burst of fire. Wheeling on the machinegun which had wounded him, Pfc. Dutko killed the gunner and his assistant. The third German machinegun fired on Pfc. Dutko from a position 20 yards distant wounding him a second time as he proceeded toward the enemy weapon in a half run. He killed both members of its crew with a single burst from his Browning automatic rifle, continued toward the gun and died, his body falling across the dead German crew.
FOWLER, THOMAS W.
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 1st Armored Division. Place and date: Near Carano, Italy, 23 May 1944. Entered service at: Wichita Falls, Tex. Birth: Wichita Falls, Tex. G.O. No.: 84, 28 October, 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, on 23 May 1944, in the vicinity of Carano, Italy. In the midst of a full-scale armored-infantry attack, 2d Lt. Fowler, while on foot, came upon 2 completely disorganized infantry platoons held up in their advance by an enemy minefield. Although a tank officer, he immediately reorganized the infantry. He then made a personal reconnaissance through the minefield, clearing a path as he went, by lifting the antipersonnel mines out of the ground with his hands. After he had gone through the 75-yard belt of deadly explosives, he returned to the infantry and led them through the minefield, a squad at a time. As they deployed, 2d Lt. Fowler, despite small arms fire and the constant danger of antipersonnel mines, made a reconnaissance into enemy territory in search of a route to continue the advance. He then returned through the minefield and, on foot, he led the tanks through the mines into a position from which they could best support the infantry. Acting as scout 300 yards in front of the infantry, he led the 2 platoons forward until he had gained his objective, where he came upon several dug-in enemy infantrymen. Having taken them by surprise, 2d Lt. Fowler dragged them out of their foxholes and sent them to the rear; twice, when they resisted, he threw hand grenades into their dugouts. Realizing that a dangerous gap existed between his company and the unit to his right, 2d Lt. Fowler decided to continue his advance until the gap was filled. He reconnoitered to his front, brought the infantry into position where they dug in and, under heavy mortar and small arms fire, brought his tanks forward. A few minutes later, the enemy began an armored counterattack. Several Mark Vl tanks fired their cannons directly on 2d Lt. Fowler's position. One of his tanks was set afire. With utter disregard for his own life, with shells bursting near him, he ran directly into the enemy tank fire to reach the burning vehicle. For a half-hour, under intense strafing from the advancing tanks, although all other elements had withdrawn, he remained in his forward position, attempting to save the lives of the wounded tank crew. Only when the enemy tanks had almost overrun him, did he withdraw a short distance where he personally rendered first aid to 9 wounded infantrymen in the midst of the relentless incoming fire. 2d Lt. Fowler's courage, his ability to estimate the situation and to recognize his full responsibility as an officer in the Army of the United States, exemplify the high traditions of the military service for which he later gave his life.
*GIBSON, ERIC G.
Rank and organization. Technician Fifth Grade, U.S. Army, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Isola Bella, Italy, 28 January 1944. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Birth: Nysund, Sweden. G.O. No.: 74, 11 September 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. On 28 January 1944, near Isola Bella, Italy, Tech. 5th Grade Gibson, company cook, led a squad of replacements through their initial baptism of fire, destroyed four enemy positions, killed 5 and captured 2 German soldiers, and secured the left flank of his company during an attack on a strongpoint. Placing himself 50 yards in front of his new men, Gibson advanced down the wide stream ditch known as the Fossa Femminamorta, keeping pace with the advance of his company. An enemy soldier allowed Tech. 5th Grade Gibson to come within 20 yards of his concealed position and then opened fire on him with a machine pistol. Despite the stream of automatic fire which barely missed him, Gibson charged the position, firing his submachine gun every few steps. Reaching the position, Gibson fired pointblank at his opponent, killing him. An artillery concentration fell in and around the ditch; the concussion from one shell knocked him flat. As he got to his feet Gibson was fired on by two soldiers armed with a machine pistol and a rifle from a position only 75 yards distant. Gibson immediately raced toward the foe. Halfway to the position a machinegun opened fire on him. Bullets came within inches of his body, yet Gibson never paused in his forward movement. He killed one and captured the other soldier. Shortly after, when he was fired upon by a heavy machinegun 200 yards down the ditch, Gibson crawled back to his squad and ordered it to lay down a base of fire while he flanked the emplacement. Despite all warning, Gibson crawled 125 yards through an artillery concentration and the cross fire of 2 machineguns which showered dirt over his body, threw 2 hand grenades into the emplacement and charged it with his submachine gun, killing 2 of the enemy and capturing a third. Before leading his men around a bend in the stream ditch, Gibson went forward alone to reconnoiter. Hearing an exchange of machine pistol and submachine gun fire, Gibson's squad went forward to find that its leader had run 35 yards toward an outpost, killed the machine pistol man, and had himself been killed while firing at the Germans.
HALL, GEORGE J.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, 135th Infantry, 34th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Anzio, Italy, 23 May 1944. Entered service at: Boston, Mass. Born: 9 January 1921, Stoneham, Mass. G.O. No.: 24, 6 April 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Attacking across flat, open terrain under direct enemy observation, S/Sgt. Hall's company was pinned down by grazing fire from 3 enemy machineguns and harassing sniper fire. S/Sgt. Hall volunteered to eliminate these obstacles in the path of advance. Crawling along a plowed furrow through furious machinegun fire, he made his way to a point within hand grenade range of 1 of the enemy positions. He pounded the enemy with 4 hand grenades, and when the smoke had died away, S/Sgt. Hall and 2 dead Germans occupied the position, while 4 of the enemy were crawling back to our lines as prisoners. Discovering a quantity of German potato-masher grenades in the position, S/Sgt. Hall engaged the second enemy nest in a deadly exchange of grenades. Each time he exposed himself to throw a grenade the Germans fired machinegun bursts at him. The vicious duel finally ended in S/Sgt. Hall's favor with 5 of the enemy surrendered and 5 others lay dead. Turning his attention to the third machinegun, S/Sgt. Hall left his position and crawled along a furrow, the enemy firing frantically in an effort to halt him. As he neared his final objective, an enemy artillery concentration fell on the area, and S/Sgt. Hall's right leg was severed by a shellburst. With 2 enemy machineguns eliminated, his company was able to flank the third and continue its advance without incurring excessive casualties. S/Sgt. Hall's fearlessness, his determined fighting spirit, and his prodigious combat skill exemplify the heroic tradition of the American Infantryman.
HAWKS, LLOYD C.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Medical Detachment, 30th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Carano, Italy, 30 January 1944. Entered service at: Park Rapids, Minn. Born: 13 January 1911, Becker, Minn. G.O. No.: 5, 15 January 1945. Citation: For gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. On 30 January 1944, at 3 p.m., near Carano, Italy, Pfc. Hawks braved an enemy counterattack in order to rescue 2 wounded men who, unable to move, were Iying in an exposed position within 30 yards of the enemy. Two riflemen, attempting the rescue, had been forced to return to their fighting holes by extremely severe enemy machinegun fire, after crawling only 10 yards toward the casualties. An aid man, whom the enemy could plainly identify as such, had been critically wounded in a similar attempt. Pfc. Hawks, nevertheless, crawled 50 yards through a veritable hail of machinegun bullets and flying mortar fragments to a small ditch, administered first aid to his fellow aid man who had sought cover therein, and continued toward the 2 wounded men 50 yards distant. An enemy machinegun bullet penetrated his helmet, knocking it from his head, momentarily stunning him. Thirteen bullets passed through his helmet as it lay on the ground within 6 inches of his body. Pfc. Hawks, crawled to the casualties, administered first aid to the more seriously wounded man and dragged him to a covered position 25 yards distant. Despite continuous automatic fire from positions only 30 yards away and shells which exploded within 25 yards, Pfc. Hawks returned to the second man and administered first aid to him. As he raised himself to obtain bandages from his medical kit his right hip was shattered by a burst of machinegun fire and a second burst splintered his left forearm. Displaying dogged determination and extreme self-control, Pfc. Hawks, despite severe pain and his dangling left arm, completed the task of bandaging the remaining casualty and with superhuman effort dragged him to the same depression to which he had brought the first man. Finding insufficient cover for 3 men at this point, Pfc. Hawks crawled 75 yards in an effort to regain his company, reaching the ditch in which his fellow aid man was lying.
HUFF, PAUL B.
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion. Place and date: Near Carano, Italy, 8 February 1944. Entered service at: Cleveland, Tenn. Birth: Cleveland, Tenn. G.O. No.: 41, 26 May 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, in action on 8 February 1944, near Carano, Italy. Cpl. Huff volunteered to lead a 6-man patrol with the mission of determining the location and strength of an enemy unit which was delivering fire on the exposed right flank of his company. The terrain over which he had to travel consisted of exposed, rolling ground, affording the enemy excellent visibility. As the patrol advanced, its members were subjected to small arms and machinegun fire and a concentration of mortar fire, shells bursting within 5 to 10 yards of them and bullets striking the ground at their feet. Moving ahead of his patrol, Cpl. Huff drew fire from 3 enemy machineguns and a 20mm. weapon. Realizing the danger confronting his patrol, he advanced alone under deadly fire through a minefield and arrived at a point within 75 yards of the nearest machinegun position. Under direct fire from the rear machinegun, he crawled the remaining 75 yards to the closest emplacement, killed the crew with his submachine gun and destroyed the gun. During this act he fired from a kneeling position which drew fire from other positions, enabling him to estimate correctly the strength and location of the enemy. Still under concentrated fire, he returned to his patrol and led his men to safety. As a result of the information he gained, a patrol in strength sent out that afternoon, 1 group under the leadership of Cpl. Huff, succeeded in routing an enemy company of 125 men, killing 27 Germans and capturing 21 others, with a loss of only 3 patrol members. Cpl. Huff's intrepid leadership and daring combat skill reflect the finest traditions of the American infantryman.
JOHNSTON, WILLIAM J.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company G, 180th Infantry, 45th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Padiglione, Italy, 1719 February 1944. Entered service at: Colchester, Conn. Birth: Trenton, N.J. G.O. No.: 73, 6 September 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. On 17 February 1944, near Padiglione, Italy, he observed and fired upon an attacking force of approximately 80 Germans, causing at least 25 casualties and forcing withdrawal of the remainder. All that day he manned his gun without relief, subject to mortar, artillery, and sniper fire. Two Germans individually worked so close to his position that his machinegun was ineffective, whereupon he killed 1 with his pistol, the second with a rifle taken from another soldier. When a rifleman protecting his gun position was killed by a sniper, he immediately moved the body and relocated the machinegun in that spot in order to obtain a better field of fire. He volunteered to cover the platoon's withdrawal and was the last man to leave that night. In his new position he maintained an all-night vigil, the next day causing 7 German casualties. On the afternoon of the 18th, the organization on the left flank having been forced to withdraw, he again covered the withdrawal of his own organization. Shortly thereafter, he was seriously wounded over the heart, and a passing soldier saw him trying to crawl up the embankment. The soldier aided him to resume his position behind the machinegun which was soon heard in action for about 10 minutes. Though reported killed, Pfc. Johnston was seen returning to the American lines on the morning of 19 February slowly and painfully working his way back from his overrun position through enemy lines. He gave valuable information of new enemy dispositions. His heroic determination to destroy the enemy and his disregard of his own safety aided immeasurably in halting a strong enemy attack, caused an enormous amount of enemy casualties, and so inspired his fellow soldiers that they fought for and held a vitally important position against greatly superior forces.
*KESSLER, PATRICK L.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company K, 30th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Ponte Rotto, Italy, 23 May 1944. Entered service at: Middletown, Ohio. Birth: Middletown, Ohio. G.O. No.: 1, 4 January 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Kessler, acting without orders, raced 50 yards through a hail of machinegun fire, which had killed 5 of his comrades and halted the advance of his company, in order to form an assault group to destroy the machinegun. Ordering 3 men to act as a base of fire, he left the cover of a ditch and snaked his way to a point within 50 yards of the enemy machinegun before he was discovered, whereupon he plunged headlong into the furious chain of automatic fire. Reaching a spot within 6 feet of the emplacement he stood over it and killed both the gunner and his assistant, jumped into the gun position, overpowered and captured a third German after a short struggle. The remaining member of the crew escaped, but Pfc. Kessler wounded him as he ran. While taking his prisoner to the rear, this soldier saw 2 of his comrades killed as they assaulted an enemy strongpoint, fire from which had already killed 10 men in the company. Turning his prisoner over to another man, Pfc. Kessler crawled 35 yards to the side of 1 of the casualties, relieved him of his BAR and ammunition and continued on toward the strongpoint, 125 yards distant. Although 2 machineguns concentrated their fire directly on him and shells exploded within 10 yards, bowling him over, Pfc. Kessler crawled 75 yards, passing through an antipersonnel minefield to a point within 50 yards of the enemy and engaged the machineguns in a duel. When an artillery shell burst within a few feet of him, he left the cover of a ditch and advanced upon the position in a slow walk, firing his BAR from the hip. Although the enemy poured heavy machinegun and small arms fire at him, Pfc. Kessler succeeded in reaching the edge of their position, killed the gunners, and captured 13 Germans. Then, despite continuous shelling, he started to the rear. After going 25 yards, Pfc. Kessler was fired upon by 2 snipers only 100 yards away. Several of his prisoners took advantage of this opportunity and attempted to escape; however, Pfc. Kessler hit the ground, fired on either flank of his prisoners, forcing them to cover, and then engaged the 2 snipers in a fire fight, and captured them. With this last threat removed, Company K continued its advance, capturing its objective without further opposition. Pfc. Kessler was killed in a subsequent action.
KNAPPENBERGER, ALTON W.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Cisterna di Littoria, Italy, 1 February 1944. Entered service at: Spring Mount, Pa. Birth: Cooperstown, Pa. G.O. No.: 41, 26 May 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action involving actual conflict with the enemy, on 1 February 1944 near Cisterna di Littoria, Italy. When a heavy German counterattack was launched against his battalion, Pfc. Knappenberger crawled to an exposed knoll and went into position with his automatic rifle. An enemy machinegun 85 yards away opened fire, and bullets struck within 6 inches of him. Rising to a kneeling position, Pfc. Knappenberger opened fire on the hostile crew, knocked out the gun, killed 2 members of the crew, and wounded the third. While he fired at this hostile position, 2 Germans crawled to a point within 20 yards of the knoll and threw potato-masher grenades at him, but Pfc. Knappenberger killed them both with 1 burst from his automatic rifle. Later, a second machinegun opened fire upon his exposed position from a distance of 100 yards, and this weapon also was silenced by his well-aimed shots. Shortly thereafter, an enemy 20mm. antiaircraft gun directed fire at him, and again Pfc. Knappenberger returned fire to wound 1 member of the hostile crew. Under tank and artillery shellfire, with shells bursting within 15 yards of him, he held his precarious position and fired at all enemy infantrymen armed with machine pistols and machineguns which he could locate. When his ammunition supply became exhausted, he crawled 15 yards forward through steady machinegun fire, removed rifle clips from the belt of a casualty, returned to his position and resumed firing to repel an assaulting German platoon armed with automatic weapons. Finally, his ammunition supply being completely exhausted, he rejoined his company. Pfc. Knappenberger's intrepid action disrupted the enemy attack for over 2 hours.
McCALL, THOMAS E.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company F, 143d Infantry, 36th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near San Angelo, Italy, 22 January 1944. Entered service at: Veedersburg, Ind. Birth: Burton, Kans. G.O. No.: 31, 17 April 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. On 22 January 1944, Company F had the mission of crossing the Rapido River in the vicinity of San Angelo, Italy, and attacking the well-prepared German positions to the west. For the defense of these positions the enemy had prepared a network of machinegun positions covering the terrain to the front with a pattern of withering machinegun fire, and mortar and artillery positions zeroed in on the defilade areas. S/Sgt. McCall commanded a machinegun section that was to provide added fire support for the riflemen. Under cover of darkness, Company F advanced to the river crossing site and under intense enemy mortar, artillery, and machinegun fire crossed an ice-covered bridge which was continually the target for enemy fire. Many casualties occurred on reaching the west side of the river and reorganization was imperative. Exposing himself to the deadly enemy machinegun and small arms fire that swept over the flat terrain, S/Sgt. McCall, with unusual calmness, encouraged and welded his men into an effective fighting unit. He then led them forward across the muddy, exposed terrain. Skillfully he guided his men through a barbed-wire entanglement to reach a road where he personally placed the weapons of his two squads into positions of vantage, covering the battalion's front. A shell landed near one of the positions, wounding the gunner, killing the assistant gunner, and destroying the weapon. Even though enemy shells were falling dangerously near, S/Sgt. McCall crawled across the treacherous terrain and rendered first aid to the wounded man, dragging him into a position of cover with the help of another man. The gunners of the second machinegun had been wounded from the fragments of an enemy shell, leaving S/Sgt. McCall the only remaining member of his machinegun section. Displaying outstanding aggressiveness, he ran forward with the weapon on his hip, reaching a point 30 yards from the enemy, where he fired 2 bursts of fire into the nest, killing or wounding all of the crew and putting the gun out of action. A second machinegun now opened fire upon him and he rushed its position, firing his weapon from the hip, killing 4 of the guncrew. A third machinegun, 50 yards in rear of the first two, was delivering a tremendous volume of fire upon our troops. S/Sgt. McCall spotted its position and valiantly went toward it in the face of overwhelming enemy fire. He was last seen courageously moving forward on the enemy position, firing his machinegun from his hip. S/Sgt. McCall's intrepidity and unhesitating willingness to sacrifice his life exemplify the highest traditions of the Armed Forces.
MILLS, JAMES H.
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company F, 15th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Cisterna di Littoria, Italy, 24 May 1944. Entered service at: Fort Meade, Fla. Birth: Fort Meade, Fla. G.O. No.: 87, 14 November 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Pvt. Mills, undergoing his baptism of fire, preceded his platoon down a draw to reach a position from which an attack could be launched against a heavily fortified strongpoint. After advancing about 300 yards, Pvt. Mills was fired on by a machinegun only S yards distant. He killed the gunner with 1 shot and forced the surrender of the assistant gunner. Continuing his advance, he saw a German soldier in a camouflaged position behind a large bush pulling the pin of a potato-masher grenade. Covering the German with his rifle, Pvt. Mills forced him to drop the grenade and captured him. When another enemy soldier attempted to throw a hand grenade into the draw, Pvt. Mills killed him with 1 shot. Brought under fire by a machinegun, 2 machine pistols, and 3 rifles at a range of only 50 feet, he charged headlong into the furious chain of automatic fire shooting his M 1 from the hip. The enemy was completely demoralized by Pvt. Mills' daring charge, and when he reached a point within 10 feet of their position, all 6 surrendered. As he neared the end of the draw, Pvt. Mills was brought under fire by a machinegunner 20 yards distant. Despite the fact that he had absolutely no cover, Pvt. Mills killed the gunner with 1 shot. Two enemy soldiers near the machinegunner fired wildly at Pvt. Mills and then fled. Pvt. Mills fired twice, killing 1 of the enemy. Continuing on to the position, he captured a fourth soldier. When it became apparent that an assault on the strongpoint would in all probability cause heavy casualties on the platoon, Pvt. Mills volunteered to cover the advance down a shallow ditch to a point within 50 yards of the objective. Standing on the bank in full view of the enemy less than 100 yards away, he shouted and fired his rifle directly into the position. His ruse worked exactly as planned. The enemy centered his fire on Pvt. Mills. Tracers passed within inches of his body, rifle and machine pistol bullets ricocheted off the rocks at his feet. Yet he stood there firing until his rifle was empty. Intent on covering the movement of his platoon, Pvt. Mills jumped into the draw, reloaded his weapon, climbed out again, and continued to lay down a base of fire. Repeating this action 4 times, he enabled his platoon to reach the designated spot undiscovered, from which position it assaulted and overwhelmed the enemy, capturing 22 Germans and taking the objective without casualties.
MONTGOMERY, JACK C.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 45th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near, Padiglione, Italy, 22 February 1944. Entered service at: Sallisaw, Okla. Birth: Long, Okla. G.O. No.: 5, 15 January 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 22 February 1944, near Padiglione, Italy. Two hours before daybreak a strong force of enemy infantry established themselves in 3 echelons at 50 yards, 100 yards, and 300 yards, respectively, in front of the rifle platoons commanded by 1st Lt. Montgomery. The closest position, consisting of 4 machineguns and 1 mortar, threatened the immediate security of the platoon position. Seizing an Ml rifle and several hand grenades, 1st Lt. Montgomery crawled up a ditch to within hand grenade range of the enemy. Then climbing boldly onto a little mound, he fired his rifle and threw his grenades so accurately that he killed 8 of the enemy and captured the remaining 4. Returning to his platoon, he called for artillery fire on a house, in and around which he suspected that the majority of the enemy had entrenched themselves. Arming himself with a carbine, he proceeded along the shallow ditch, as withering fire from the riflemen and machinegunners in the second position was concentrated on him. He attacked this position with such fury that 7 of the enemy surrendered to him, and both machineguns were silenced. Three German dead were found in the vicinity later that morning. 1st Lt. Montgomery continued boldly toward the house, 300 yards from his platoon position. It was now daylight, and the enemy observation was excellent across the flat open terrain which led to 1st Lt. Montgomery's objective. When the artillery barrage had lifted, 1st Lt. Montgomery ran fearlessly toward the strongly defended position. As the enemy started streaming out of the house, 1st Lt. Montgomery, unafraid of treacherous snipers, exposed himself daringly to assemble the surrendering enemy and send them to the rear. His fearless, aggressive, and intrepid actions that morning, accounted for a total of 11 enemy dead, 32 prisoners, and an unknown number of wounded. That night, while aiding an adjacent unit to repulse a counterattack, he was struck by mortar fragments and seriously wounded. The selflessness and courage exhibited by 1st Lt. Montgomery in alone attacking 3 strong enemy positions inspired his men to a degree beyond estimation.
*OLSON, TRUMAN O.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 7th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Cisterna di Littoria, Italy, 30-31 January 1944. Entered service at: Cambridge, Wis. Birth: Christiana, Wis. G.O. No.: 6, 24 January 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Olson, a light machine gunner, elected to sacrifice his life to save his company from annihilation. On the night of 30 January 1944, after a 16-hour assault on entrenched enemy positions in the course of which over one-third of Company B became casualties, the survivors dug in behind a horseshoe elevation, placing Sgt. Olson and his crew, with the 1 available machinegun, forward of their lines and in an exposed position to bear the brunt of the expected German counterattack. Although he had been fighting without respite, Sgt. Olson stuck grimly to his post all night while his guncrew was cut down, 1 by 1, by accurate and overwhelming enemy fire. Weary from over 24 hours of continuous battle and suffering from an arm wound, received during the night engagement, Sgt. Olson manned his gun alone, meeting the full force of an all-out enemy assault by approximately 200 men supported by mortar and machinegun fire which the Germans launched at daybreak on the morning of 31 January. After 30 minutes of fighting, Sgt. Olson was mortally wounded, yet, knowing that only his weapons stood between his company and complete destruction, he refused evacuation. For an hour and a half after receiving his second and fatal wound he continued to fire his machinegun, killing at least 20 of the enemy, wounding many more, and forcing the assaulting German elements to withdraw.
POWERS, LEO J.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 133d Infantry, 34th Infantry Division. Place and date: Northwest of Cassino, Italy, 3 February 1944. Entered service at: Alder Gulch, Mont. Birth: Anselmo, Nebr. G.O. No.: 5, 15 January 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. On 3 February 1944, this soldier's company was assigned the mission of capturing Hill 175, the key enemy strong point northwest of Cassino, Italy. The enemy, estimated to be at least 50 in strength, supported by machineguns emplaced in 3 pillboxes and mortar fire from behind the hill, was able to pin the attackers down and inflict 8 casualties. The company was unable to advance, but Pfc. Powers, a rifleman in 1 of the assault platoons, on his own initiative and in the face of the terrific fire, crawled forward to assault 1 of the enemy pillboxes which he had spotted. Armed with 2 handgrenades and well aware that if the enemy should see him it would mean almost certain death, Pfc. Powers crawled up the hill to within 15 yards of the enemy pillbox. Then standing upright in full view of the enemy gunners in order to throw his grenade into the small opening in the roof, he tossed a grenade into the pillbox. At this close, the grenade entered the pillbox, killed 2 of the occupants and 3 or 4 more fled the position, probably wounded. This enemy gun silenced, the center of the line was able to move forward again, but almost immediately came under machinegun fire from a second enemy pillbox on the left flank. Pfc. Powers, however, had located this pillbox, and crawled toward it with absolutely no cover if the enemy should see him. Raising himself in full view of the enemy gunners about 15 feet from the pillbox, Pfc. Powers threw his grenade into the pillbox, silencing this gun, killing another German and probably wounding 3 or 4 more who fled. Pfc. Powers, still acting on his own initiative, commenced crawling toward the third enemy pillbox in the face of heavy machine-pistol and machinegun fire. Skillfully availing himself of the meager cover and concealment, Pfc. Powers crawled up to within 10 yards of this pillbox fully exposed himself to the enemy gunners, stood upright and tossed the 2 grenades into the small opening in the roof of the pillbox. His grenades killed 2 of the enemy and 4 more, all wounded, came out and surrendered to Pfc. Powers, who was now unarmed. Pfc. Powers had worked his way over the entire company front, and against tremendous odds had single-handedly broken the backbone of this heavily defended and strategic enemy position, and enabled his regiment to advance into the city of Cassino. Pfc. Powers' fighting determination and intrepidity in battle exemplify the highest traditions of the U.S. Armed Forces.
*RIORDAN, PAUL F.
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 34th Infantry Division Place and date: Near Cassino, Italy, 3-8 February 1944. Entered service at. Kansas City, Mo. Birth: Charles City, lowa. G.O. No.. 74, 11 September 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. In the attack on the approaches to the city of Cassino on 3 February 1944, 2d Lt. Riordan led 1 of the assault platoons. Attacking Hill 175, his command was pinned down by enemy machinegun fire from the hill and from a pillbox about 45 yards to the right of the hill. In the face of intense fire, 2d Lt. Riordan moved out in full view of the enemy gunners to reach a position from where he could throw a handgrenade into the pillbox. Then, getting to his knees, he hurled the grenade approximately 45 yards, scoring a direct hit. The grenade killed 1 and wounded the other 2 Germans in the nest and silenced the gun. Another soldier then cleaned out the enemy pillboxes on the hill itself, and the company took its objective. Continuing the assault into Cassino itself on 8 February 1944, 2d Lt. Riordan and his platoon were given the mission of taking the city jail house, one of the enemy's several strongpoints. Again 2d Lt. Riordan took the lead and managed to get through the ring of enemy fire covering the approaches and reached the building. His platoon, however, could not get through the intense fire and was cut off. 2d Lt. Riordan, aware that his men were unable to follow, determined to carry on single-handed, but the numerically superior enemy force was too much for him to overcome, and he was killed by enemy small-arms fire after disposing of at least 2 of the defenders. 2d Lt. Riordan's bravery and extraordinary heroism in the face of almost certain death were an inspiration to his men and exemplify the highest traditions of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Cisterna di Littoria, Italy, 23-24 May 1944. Entered service at: Scobey, Mont. Born: 9 October 1918, Clinton, Okla. G.O. No.: 83, 27 October 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. On 23 May 1944, at 12 noon, Pfc. (now T/Sgt.) Schauer left the cover of a ditch to engage 4 German snipers who opened fire on the patrol from its rear. Standing erect he walked deliberately 30 yards toward the enemy, stopped amid the fire from 4 rifles centered on him, and with 4 bursts from his BAR, each at a different range, killed all of the snipers. Catching sight of a fifth sniper waiting for the patrol behind a house chimney, Pfc. Schauer brought him down with another burst. Shortly after, when a heavy enemy artillery concentration and 2 machineguns temporarily halted the patrol, Pfc. Schauer again left cover to engage the enemy weapons single-handed. While shells exploded within 15 yards, showering dirt over him, and strings of grazing German tracer bullets whipped past him at chest level, Pfc. Schauer knelt, killed the 2 gunners of the machinegun only 60 yards from him with a single burst from his BAR, and crumpled 2 other enemy soldiers who ran to man the gun. Inserting a fresh magazine in his BAR, Pfc. Schauer shifted his body to fire at the other weapon 500 yards distant and emptied his weapon into the enemy crew, killing all 4 Germans. Next morning, when shells from a German Mark VI tank and a machinegun only 100 yards distant again forced the patrol to seek cover, Pfc. Schauer crawled toward the enemy machinegun. stood upright only 80 yards from the weapon as its bullets cut the surrounding ground, and 4 tank shells fired directly at him burst within 20 yards. Raising his BAR to his shoulder, Pfc. Schauer killed the 4 members of the German machinegun crew with 1 burst of fire.
SHEA, CHARLES W.
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company F, 350th Infantry. 88th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Mount Damiano, Italy, 12 May 1944. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth: New York, NY. G.O. No.: 4, 12 January 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, on 12 May 1944, near Mount Damiano, Italy. As 2d Lt. Shea and his company were advancing toward a hill occupied by the enemy, 3 enemy machineguns suddenly opened fire, inflicting heavy casualties upon the company and halting its advance. 2d Lt. Shea immediately moved forward to eliminate these machinegun nests in order to enable his company to continue its attack. The deadly hail of machinegun fire at first pinned him down, but, boldly continuing his advance, 2d Lt. Shea crept up to the first nest. Throwing several hand grenades, he forced the 4 enemy soldiers manning this position to surrender, and disarming them, he sent them to the rear. He then crawled to the second machinegun position, and after a short fire fight forced 2 more German soldiers to surrender. At this time, the third machinegun fired at him, and while deadly small arms fire pitted the earth around him, 2d Lt. Shea crawled toward the nest. Suddenly he stood up and rushed the emplacement and with well-directed fire from his rifle, he killed all 3 of the enemy machine gunners. 2d Lt. Shea's display of personal valor was an inspiration to the officers and men of his company.
*SQUIRES, JOHN C .
Rank and organization: Sergeant (then Private First Class), U.S. Army, Company A, 30th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Padiglione, Italy, 23-24 April 1944. Entered service at: Louisville, Ky. Birth: Louisville, Ky. G.O. No.: 78, 2 October 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. At the start of his company's attack on strongly held enemy positions in and around Spaccasassi Creek, near Padiglione, Italy, on the night of 23-24 April 1944, Pfc. Squires, platoon messenger, participating in his first offensive action, braved intense artillery, mortar, and antitank gun fire in order to investigate the effects of an antitank mine explosion on the leading platoon. Despite shells which burst close to him, Pfc. Squires made his way 50 yards forward to the advance element, noted the situation, reconnoitered a new route of advance and informed his platoon leader of the casualties sustained and the alternate route. Acting without orders, he rounded up stragglers, organized a group of lost men into a squad and led them forward. When the platoon reached Spaccasassi Creek and established an outpost, Pfc. Squires, knowing that almost all of the noncommissioned officers were casualties, placed 8 men in position of his own volition, disregarding enemy machinegun, machine-pistol, and grenade fire which covered the creek draw. When his platoon had been reduced to 14 men, he brought up reinforcements twice. On each trip he went through barbed wire and across an enemy minefield, under intense artillery and mortar fire. Three times in the early morning the outpost was counterattacked. Each time Pfc. Squires ignored withering enemy automatic fire and grenades which struck all around him, and fired hundreds of rounds of rifle, Browning automatic rifle, and captured German Spandau machinegun ammunition at the enemy, inflicting numerous casualties and materially aiding in repulsing the attacks. Following these fights, he moved 50 yards to the south end of the outpost and engaged 21 German soldiers in individual machinegun duels at point-blank range, forcing all 21 enemy to surrender and capturing 13 more Spandau guns. Learning the function of this weapon by questioning a German officer prisoner, he placed the captured guns in position and instructed other members of his platoon in their operation. The next night when the Germans attacked the outpost again he killed 3 and wounded more Germans with captured potato-masher grenades and fire from his Spandau gun. Pfc. Squires was killed in a subsequent action.
*WAUGH, ROBERT T.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 339th Infantry, 85th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Tremensucli, Italy, 11-14 May 1944. Entered service at: Augusta, Maine. Birth: Ashton, R.I. G.O. No.: 79, 4 October 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy. In the course of an attack upon an enemy-held hill on 11 May, 1st Lt. Waugh personally reconnoitered a heavily mined area before entering it with his platoon. Directing his men to deliver fire on 6 bunkers guarding this hill, 1st Lt. Waugh advanced alone against them, reached the first bunker, threw phosphorus grenades into it and as the defenders emerged, killed them with a burst from his tommygun. He repeated this process on the 5 remaining bunkers, killing or capturing the occupants. On the morning of 14 May, 1st Lt. Waugh ordered his platoon to lay a base of fire on 2 enemy pillboxes located on a knoll which commanded the only trail up the hill. He then ran to the first pillbox, threw several grenades into it, drove the defenders into the open, and killed them. The second pillbox was next taken by this intrepid officer by similar methods. The fearless actions of 1st Lt. Waugh broke the Gustav Line at that point, neutralizing 6 bunkers and 2 pillboxes and he was personally responsible for the death of 30 of the enemy and the capture of 25 others. He was later killed in action in Itri, Italy, while leading his platoon in an attack.
Today's classic warship, USS Anzio (CVE-57) (ex-USS Coral Sea)
Casablanca class escort aircraft carrier
Displacement. 9,570 t.
l. 512' 3"
b. 65' 2"
ew. 108' 1"
s. 19.3 k.
a. 1 5", 16 40-mm., 20 20-mm.
Auxiliary aircraft carrier ACV-57 was laid down on 12 December 1942 by the Kaiser Shipbuilding Co., Vancouver, Wash. under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1094); named ALIKULA BAY on 22 January 1943; renamed CORAL SEA on 3 April 1943; launched on 1 May 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Frank J. Fletcher, wife of Vice Admiral Fletcher; redesignated CVE-57 on 15 July 1943; and commissioned at Astoria, Oreg., on 27 August 1943, Capt. Herbert W. Taylor in command.
On 24 September, CORAL SEA got underway for shakedown in Puget Sound. She arrived at San Diego, Calif., on 8 October to load aircraft and hold flight operations off the California coast. The carrier sailed for Hawaii on 25 October and, upon arrival at Pearl Harbor, joined sister ship LISCOME BAY (CVE-56) for exercises off Oahu. On 10 November, CORAL SEA steamed southwest to join the American forces about to invade the Gilbert Islands. She launched strikes on Makin Island from 20 through 28 November. When Tarawa had been captured, CORAL SEA headed for Pearl Harbor and arrived there on 5 December. She paused to embark passengers and load aircraft for transport to the United States and departed on 8 December. The carrier arrived at Alameda, Calif., on 14 December to take on new planes. She put to sea on 22 December and steamed back to Hawaii. On 28 December, CORAL SEA anchored at Pearl Harbor and began preparations for the impending assault on Kwajalein.
The escort carrier was underway on 3 January 1944 for a series of exercises in Hawaiian waters. After final fitting out, she sailed on 22 January in Task Group (TG) 52.9 and arrived in the vicinity of Kwajalein on 31 January, two days after planes of the Fast Carrier Task Force began pounding airfields on the atoll. CORAL SEA provided direct and indirect air support for the amphibious landings. On 24 February, the ship set course for Eniwetok, but was recalled to Hawaii and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 3 March.
After a brief respite, CORAL SEA got underway again on 11 March and proceeded to the Solomon Islands. She anchored at Tulagi on 21 March, topped off with fuel, and loaded stores. Sailing again on 30 March, the escort carrier headed for Emirau Island. From 1 to 11 April she launched planes in support of forces occupying Emirau and returned to Port Purvis on 15 April.
The next day, CORAL SEA left Tulagi to assist in the reconquest of New Guinea. On the 19th, she joined TG 78.2, which was formed to support Allied footholds at Hollandia and Aitape. Her planes joined in strikes on the 22d of April, and, on 26 April, the escort carrier sailed to Seeadler Harbor for replenishment and on 7 May, headed for Espiritu Santo for availability.
Her repair period completed, the ship got underway on 8 June for Kwajalein, the staging point for the invasion of the Marianas. The American forces sortied on 10 June, and CORAL SEA helped to provide air support for landings by the 2d Marine Division on Saipan. She endured numerous Japanese air attacks during the next few days but received only minor damage. The carrier had moved south to Guam on 17 June to begin softening-up operations against that island but returned to Saipan the next day to assist the bogged-down American forces. CORAL SEA and her escorts retired to Eniwetok on 28 June but returned to Saipan on 4 July. Her planes made further air strikes before she put into Eniwetok on 15 July for repairs to her engines. Ultimately, CORAL SEA was ordered back to the United States for a much needed overhaul, and the carrier sailed on 23 July. Two days later, she paused at Kwajalein to unload most of her aircraft and ammunition and then continued via Pearl Harbor for the naval base at San Diego. CORAL SEA received word that her name had been changed to ANZIO as of 15 September.
ANZIO held sea trials off the California coast and was ready to sail for the western Pacific on 16 September and entered the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard for a tender availability. On 8 October, the carrier began a series of training exercises; and, on the 16th, she set out for Eniwetok. There, ANZIO joined a hunter/killer group and carried out an antisubmarine warfare (ASW) mission while she was en route to Ulithi. ON 4 November, she was ordered to assist RENO (CL-96) which had been torpedoed in the Philippine Sea. When ANZIO was relieved by EXTRACTOR (ARS-15), she resumed her ASW patrols and worked at that task through mid-February 1945, when she steamed to Iwo Jima.
ANZIO resumed combat support operations on 16 February. Three days later, she launched a strike to the north on Chichi Jima in the Bonin Islands. From 19 February through 4 March, ANZIO followed a schedule of launching her first flight just before sunset and recovering her last just before dawn. During these nocturnal operations, she completed 106 sorties without a single accident. ANZIO departed the Iwo Jima area on 8 March and entered San Pedro Bay at Leyte on 12 March. After 10 days of upkeep, she sailed to join the invasion of Okinawa. After providing air cover for an Okinawa-bound amphibious group, the escort carrier joined other forces in the vicinity of Kerama Retto in seizing that island group to provide an advanced base for the Fleet. The Okinawa attack began on 1 April, and ANZIO remained on line until she retired to Ulithi on 30 April for repairs to her rudder bearings. On 21 May, the carrier resumed ASW operations in the Okinawa area. This role ended 17 June, when ANZIO sailed to San Pedro Bay, Leyte, for upkeep.
ANZIO left the Philippines on 6 July to begin what proved to be her last stint of combat duty. She joined TG 30.8 and positioned herself about 600 miles east of Tokyo. ANZIO made ASW patrols in support of Admiral Halsey's attacks on the Japanese home islands. She received word of the Japanese capitulation on 15 August and sailed for Guam on 19 August. After refitting and training new flight crews, the escort carrier headed for Okinawa. From that point, she was to provide air cover and ASW patrol services for transports carrying occupation troops to Korea. On 8 September, ANZIO anchored at Jinsen, Korea, whence she provided air support for the landings of the occupation force. The escort carrier left Korea on 13 September and returned to Okinawa. On 19 September, she broke her homeward-bound pennant, became a member of a Magic- Carpet" group, and reached San Francisco on 30 September.
While at San Francisco, ANZIO was modified to provide maximum passenger accommodations. The carrier made two trips to the western Pacific and back, one to Pearl Harbor and one to Shanghai, China, to shuttle American troops home. ANZIO arrived at Seattle, Wash., on 23 December and ended the year at that port.
On 18 January 1946, ANZIO sailed for Norfolk, Va. She paused at San Francisco then continued southward to transit the Panama Canal before finally reaching the east coast. ANZIO was placed out of commission on 5 August 1946 and became a unit of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet berthed at Norfolk. The ship was redesignated CVHE-57 on 15 June 1955. ANZIO was struck from the Navy list on 1 March 1959 and sold to the Master Metals Co. on 24 November 1959.
ANZIO received six battle stars for service in World War II.
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