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36th Infantry Division

"Deep in the Heart of Texas” is the theme song of the “Texas” Division, but it has been a long time since its men have seen the prairies of the Lone Star State.

The first American Division to land on continental Europe, the Texans have been deep in the heart of Italy, France and Germany since late in 1943.

The rough, tough men who wear the blue arrowhead and green T on their shoulders ended their campaign against the Germans by capturing two of the Nazi chieftains who had done the most to make life miserable for the Division since it first went ashore at Salerno in September 1943. The first to fall into the clutches of the Texans was Field Marshal Von Rundstedt, ace strategist and planner of the mighty winter offensive. Shortly after, the biggest Nazi of them all, Reichsmarschal Hermann Goering, was taken to the rear under cover of the 36th’s rifles.

The 36th’s baptism of fire was a bloody one. For five days after the Division struck at Salerno the issue was in doubt, and the Texans suffered heavily before the beachhead was secured. But there was to be no rest for them. Few Doughboys in this war have undergone a more merciless fire than did the Westerners in their attempts to cross the Rapido River. Crack German troops raked them with every weapon of warfare when they plunged into the swiftly moving waters of the Rapido.

It was in this campaign, near Altavilla, that the 36th produced one of the outstanding heroes of the war.

A private first class, Charles E. Kelly, voluntarily joined a patrol and located and neutralized enemy gun positions. Again voluntarily, Kelly made his way under intense fire to a hill a mile away, reporting on his return that it was held by the enemy. Joining another patrol, he assisted in putting two machine guns out of action. He found an ammunition dump under enemy fire, and joined in its defense. He protected his position all night and held off an enemy detachment the next day to cover the withdrawal of his outfit. Kelly, now known to all Americans as “Commando,” was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic action.

Following the savage battle for Cassino, the Texans were given seven weeks of rest and then thrown back into battle. It joined the beachhead forces at Anzio, and by a brilliant maneuver captured Velletri and paved the way for the fall of Rome. The men hoped for a rest in Rome but they didn’t get it. They moved through the Eternal City on the double, hot in pursuit of the fleeing Germans.

The Texans made their second landing, in southern France, in August of 1944. Objectives were gained so fast that the Division got into the position east and north of the German Ninth Army at Montélimar and cut it to ribbons. A month after the Division hit the beaches at St. Raphaël, it had gained 300 miles and was in the foothills of the Vosges, facing the formidable Moselle River.

The Moselle was one of the German’s heaviest fixed lines of defense, but the Texans outwitted the defenders. Led by the 70-year-old Mayor of Raon-aux-Bois, who knew every ripple of the Moselle near his town, the 1st and 3d Battalions of the 141st Infantry, wading waist deep, sneaked across a little-known ford during the night and established a bridgehead. Recovering from their surprise, the Germans turned murderous fire on the battalions. But the Texans drove on into the forests that covered the slopes of the Vosges. The 442nd Infantry Combat Team, made up of Japanese-Americans, distinguished itself with a savage attack that took the town of Bruyères. Mines, snipers and artillery made the battle in the forests a nightmare.

The 36th kept moving, and before it rested had established the modern army record of 132 days of consecutive combat. The Texans took Colmar and Oberhoffen, and smashed on across the Rhine, taking Wissembourg, to plant the Lone Star flag of Texas deep in the heart of Germany.

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

36th Infantry Division World War II Missing in Action

There are 127 soldiers of the 36th Infantry Division World War II still listed as missing in action.

Private Donald C. Adams 142nd Infantry Regiment 02/07/1944
Private Charles C. Addington 141st Infantry Regiment 12/06/1944
Private Nicholas E. Alexander 141st Infantry Regiment 01/22/1945
Private James W. Alvey 143rd Infantry Regiment 04/18/1945
Private Murle R. Amerman 142nd Infantry Regiment 12/08/1944
Private First Class Lester S. Anderson 141st Infantry Regiment 06/01/1945
Corporal Paul M. Antoniel 142nd Infantry Regiment 12/11/1944
Staff Sergeant Charles W. Armstrong 142nd Infantry Regiment 02/05/1944
Private First Class Robert B. Bayne 141st Infantry Regiment 03/28/1945
Staff Sergeant Frank J. Belter 142nd Infantry Regiment 02/11/1945
Private First Class Trinidad Betancourt 141st Infantry Regiment 01/20/1945
Private First Class Gary F. Blanton 143rd Infantry Regiment 04/18/1945
Sergeant James G. Blume 142nd Infantry Regiment 06/02/1944
Private First Class Grady J. Boyles 141th Infantry Regiment 08/24/1945
Private First Class Daniel E. Bridges 143rd Infantry Regiment 02/10/1945
Private First Class Ornello N. Brignolo 141st Infantry Regiment 01/22/1945
Private Carl W. Buckley 141st Infantry Regiment 01/22/1945
Private Hilburn Bunch 142nd Infantry Regiment 12/13/1944
Private Edgar L. Casady 143rd Infantry Regiment 06/01/1945
Private Marcus E. Chamblee 141st Infantry Regiment 01/22/1945
Private Robert J. Charleville 141st Infantry Regiment 10/16/1944
Private Stephen Charnogursky 141st Infantry Regiment 09/17/1943
Private First Class Orville Conley 141st Infantry Regiment 04/18/1945
Private First Class Earl Cox 141st Infantry Regiment 02/12/1945
Private William H. Cronkhite 143rd Infantry Regiment 06/01/1945
Private Edmund J. Crotty 141st Infantry Regiment 01/17/1945
Private Joseph D. Crowley 141th Infantry Regiment 08/24/1944
Private First Class James E. Dillard 141st Infantry Regiment 02/19/1945
Private First Class Thomas B. Dillingham 141st Infantry Regiment 01/04/1946
Private Arthur M. Dixon 143rd Infantry Regiment 04/18/1945
Private First Class Adolph H. Dokler 141st Infantry Regiment 02/12/1945
Private First Class Leonard Dominick 142nd Infantry Regiment 02/04/1944
Private First Class Frederick W. Dudley 143rd Infantry Regiment 05/31/1945
Private James E. Dyer 111th Engineer Combat Battalion 10/20/1944
Private First Class Roy W. Ehrler 141st Infantry Regiment 03/21/1946
Captain John H. Eisenberg 142nd Infantry Regiment 11/07/1945
First Lieutenant Robert W. Eklind 141th Infantry Regiment 08/24/1944
Private Luke H. Fancher 143rd Infantry Regiment 06/01/1945
Private Harry J. Fetty 143rd Infantry Regiment 02/10/1945
Private Ernest R. Field 142nd Infantry Regiment 02/05/1944
Private Milton Finch 142nd Infantry Regiment 02/03/1946
Private Wilbert H. Galway 143rd Infantry Regiment 01/23/1944
Private First Class Rudolph S. Garcia 141st Infantry Regiment 11/15/1944
Private Frank A. Gardner 141st Infantry Regiment 04/18/1945
Sergeant Felipe Garza 141st Infantry Regiment 01/22/1944
Staff Sergeant Victor L. Geely Divison Artillery 08/15/1944
Private First Class Murray S. Generes 142nd Infantry Regiment 02/12/1944
Private Paul A. Glatzert 131st Field Artillery Battalion 06/24/1944
Private First Class Adolfo Gonzalez 141st Infantry Regiment 01/22/1945
Private First Class Arthur O. Gopfert 143rd Infantry Regiment 01/14/1945
Private First Class Thomas N. Gosnell 142nd Infantry Regiment 02/12/1944
Private Anthony J. Gross 142nd Infantry Regiment 02/12/1945
Technician Fifth Grade Billie W. Grunkemeyer 143rd Infantry Regiment 02/10/1945
Private First Class Paul A. Gunn 142nd Infantry Regiment 02/11/1945
Private First Class Harlan Hahn 143rd Infantry Regiment 01/18/1944
Private John J. Hallisey 141st Infantry Regiment 01/22/1945
Private First Class Edward L. Hardy 142nd Infantry Regiment 02/01/1945
Corporal Harold D. Hilty 143rd Infantry Regiment 06/01/1945
Technician Fifth Grade Rex J. Hines Divison Artillery 08/15/1944
Private James M. Holcomb 143rd Infantry Regiment 06/03/1944
Private First Class Charlie L. Horak 143rd Infantry Regiment 09/20/1944
Technician Fifth Grade Chester A. Huebner 111th Engineer Combat Battalion 01/21/1945
Private First Class Arthur W. Hunter 143rd Infantry Regiment 02/20/1945
Second Lieutenant Daryle L. Husby 143rd Infantry Regiment 12/02/1943
Private First Class John W. Hutcherson 143rd Infantry Regiment 05/28/1944
Private Frankie W. Jacobs 142nd Infantry Regiment 02/03/1945
Private James B. Jolly 142nd Infantry Regiment 02/11/1944
Second Lieutenant Henry P. Joslyn 142nd Infantry Regiment 02/02/1944
Private Francis J. Kane 141st Infantry Regiment 06/01/1945
Private Clyde Knotts 143rd Infantry Regiment 09/13/1943
First Lieutenant Walter W. Kolosha Divison Artillery 08/15/1944
Staff Sergeant Anicet A. Laiche 143rd Infantry Regiment 04/18/1945
Staff Sergeant John J. Lavery 143rd Infantry Regiment 01/18/1944
Private First Class Romeo A. Leclair 143rd Infantry Regiment 01/21/1944
Corporal Joseph A. Lesho 143rd Infantry Regiment 09/16/1943
Private Jerry T. Long 143rd Infantry Regiment 04/18/1945
Corporal Herbert A. Loree 111th Engineer Combat Battalion 01/31/1945
Private First Class Harold W. Lynn 143rd Infantry Regiment 01/18/1944
Sergeant George M. Maclaine 111th Engineer Combat Battalion 10/20/1944
Technician Fifth Grade John G. Mader 143rd Infantry Regiment 09/20/1944
Private Richard W. McDonald 142nd Infantry Regiment 01/24/1945
Private First Class Berton J. McQueen 141st Infantry Regiment 11/23/1944
Sergeant Dwight L. Monroe 143rd Infantry Regiment 09/16/1943
Private First Class Guido J. Morganti 143rd Infantry Regiment 05/03/1945
Private Johnny P. Munoz 141st Infantry Regiment 06/01/1945
Private Joseph T. Murphy 141st Infantry Regiment 12/09/1944
Private George Murray 141th Infantry Regiment 08/24/1944
Private Lionel Nabel 142nd Infantry Regiment 02/12/1944
Private First Class Walter H. Newbury 143rd Infantry Regiment 11/06/1945
Private First Class Wallace V. Penton 142nd Infantry Regiment 02/02/1946
Private John E. Peters 143rd Infantry Regiment 06/01/1945
Private First Class Roy A. Pfleger 111th Engineer Combat Battalion 01/21/1945
Private Samuel A. Porter 143rd Infantry Regiment 12/16/1945
Private Herschel T. Potter 141th Infantry Regiment 08/25/1945
Private George W. Powers 141st Infantry Regiment 01/19/1945
Private First Class Roscoe W. Pratt 142nd Infantry Regiment 02/12/1944
Technical Sergeant Robert E. Rencher 141st Infantry Regiment 05/29/1944
Technician Fifth Grade Howard V. Robbins Divison Artillery 08/15/1944
Private First Class Jose A. Rosales 141st Infantry Regiment 05/28/1944
Private First Class Glenn W. Salisbury 143rd Infantry Regiment 01/20/1945
Sergeant John I. Sarabia 141st Infantry Regiment 01/20/1945
Private William F. Sherwood 143rd Infantry Regiment 12/13/1944
First Lieutenant Delano T. Shirley 141st Infantry Regiment 06/01/1945
Private James B. Sipes 143rd Infantry Regiment 04/18/1945
Private William K. Skelly 141st Infantry Regiment 01/21/1945
Private First Class Robert J. Sleator 111th Engineer Combat Battalion 01/31/1945
Private Charles W. Smalley 141th Infantry Regiment 08/25/1944
Private First Class Robert D. Smith 143rd Infantry Regiment 11/05/1944
Private Frank E. Steele 141st Infantry Regiment 06/01/1945
Staff Sergeant John Stromock 141st Infantry Regiment 02/19/1945
Private First Class Morris E. Swackhammer 143rd Infantry Regiment 11/23/1944
Private First Class Philip J. Tague 143rd Infantry Regiment 02/10/1945
Private Joseph J. Theriault 143rd Infantry Regiment 03/31/1945
Private Clinton W. Thomas 142nd Infantry Regiment 02/04/1945
Private Clifford Tomer 143rd Infantry Regiment 06/01/1945
Private First Class Peter Turkaly 141st Infantry Regiment 04/18/1945
Private Eugene Walker 141st Infantry Regiment 06/01/1945
Private Alvin F. Walton 143rd Infantry Regiment 04/18/1945
Private First Class Edward F. Wargin 143rd Infantry Regiment 06/01/1945
Private First Class Elmer Weitzel 143rd Infantry Regiment 02/20/1945
Private William O. Welty 142nd Infantry Regiment 05/01/1945
Technician Fifth Grade Johnnie C. Wilder 143rd Infantry Regiment 02/10/1945
Staff Sergeant William Wilkinson 142nd Infantry Regiment 11/11/1944
Private First Class Charles T. Williams 142nd Infantry Regiment
Private First Class Henry W. Wolf 143rd Infantry Regiment 01/18/1944
Private Jesse C. Wyldes 141st Infantry Regiment 12/15/1945
Staff Sergeant Roy E. Yates 143rd Infantry Regiment 06/05/1944

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