The 36th Division
from Ruth Walsh
On 25 November 1940, the Division was mobilized for World
War II, with
active duty station at Camp Bowie, in Brownwood. It took part in
Louisiana Maneuvers in 1941, trained at Camp Blanding, Florida,
Edwards, Massachusetts, and in April 1943 began its move overseas.
in North Africa, conducted amphibious training and on 9 September
landed in Italy at Paestum in the Gulf of Salerno. The 36th was
American combat division to land on the continent of Europe.
fought in the Italian Campaign as part of the 5th United States
Army in such
notable actions as Mt. Lungo, San Pietro and the Rapido River. In
River action, the Division lost the better part of two of its three
regiments - 141st and 143d - in unsuccessful attempts to cross the
The attempted crossing was made to divert German troops from the
allied troops at Anzio. On 25 May 1944, the Division landed at Anzio
the breakout toward Rome. The Division captured Velletri on 1 June
opened the gates of Rome for the 5th Army. The Division was then
of Italy and landed on the beaches of Southern France on 15 August.
up through Southern France, the 36th was attacking and breaking
Siegfried Line when the war in Europe ended. The 36th had spent
400 days in
combat, accepted the surrender of Field Marshal Hermann Goering,
won seven campaign streamers for its colors, taken part in two assault
landings and 14 of its members had won the Medal of Honor. The Division
had the ninth
highest casualty rate of any Army Division in World War II.
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