WW II-34th Infantry in Italy TB
Friday, 28 February 2014
Texas, United States
In the hands of BSP21.
This is not collectible.
Use TB627K9 to reference this item.
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Please drop this item in rural OR Premium Member Only caches. Do not place it in an urban cache or abandon it at a caching event. Transport the bug in the original plastic bag for as long as the bag lasts; the bag keeps the trackable clean and prevents tangling with other items. Otherwise, take the travel bug anywhere you wish. No permission is needed to leave the U.S.
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About This Item
Replica Shoulder Patch. This travel bug is one of several made to recognize the US Army Divisions that fought in Sicily and mainland Italy in World War II. In the Spring of 2014 the travel bug owner activated, dipped, then, in March and April, took the travel bugs to caches in Italy. Some of the bugs were released in Italy and some were brought back to the states to be put into circulation.
The 34th Infantry Division is a division in the Army National Guard that participated in World War I and World War II. It holds the distinction of being the first U.S. division deployed to Europe in World War II. The division continues to serve today, with most of the Division part of the Minnesota and Iowa National Guard. In WW II the division trained in Northern Ireland until it boarded ships to travel to North Africa for Operation Torch in November 1942. The 34th Infantry Division saw its first combat in French Algeria on 8 November 1942. After the battle for Tunisia was won, the Division then trained for the Allied Invasion of France.
The 34th went ashore at Salerno. They engaged the enemy at the Calore River then drove to take Benevento. They assaulted Monte Patano, and took one of its four peaks before getting some rest. In January 1944, the Division was back on the front line at the Bernhardt Line defenses, especially at the Mignano Gap. The 34th took Monte Trocchio. During the First Battle of Monte Cassino they pushed across the Rapido River into the hills behind and attacked Monastery Hill. While they nearly captured the objective, in the end their attacks on the monastery and the town failed. The performance of 34th Division in the mountains is considered one of the finest feats of arms carried out by any soldiers during the war. They sustained losses of about 80 per cent in the Infantry battalions. Eventually, it took the combined force of five allied infantry divisions to finish what the 34th nearly accomplished on its own.
The 34th landed at the Anzio beachhead . On 23 May, it took Cisterna, and raced to Civitavecchia and Rome. After a short rest, the Division liberated Livorno and continued on to take Monte Belvedere. The 34th captured Bologna on 21 April. Pursuit of the routed enemy to the French border ended upon the German surrender in Italy.
The Division participated in six major Army campaigns in North Africa and Italy. The Division is credited with amassing 517 days of front-line combat, more than any other U.S. division. One or more 34th Division units were engaged in actual combat with the enemy on 611 days. The division was credited with more combat days than any other division in the war. The 34th Division suffered 3,737 killed in action, 14,165 wounded in action, and 3,460 missing in action, for a total of 21,362 battle casualties. Casualties of the division are considered to be the highest of any division in the theatre when daily per capita fighting strengths are considered. There is little doubt the division took the most enemy-defended hills of any division in the European Theatre. The division's soldiers were awarded ten Medals of Honor, ninety-eight Distinguished Service Crosses, one Distinguished Service Medal, 1,153 Silver Stars, 116 Legion of Merit medals, one Distinguished Flying Cross, 2,545 Bronze Star Medals, fifty-four Soldier's Medals, thirty-four Air Medals, with duplicate awards of fifty-two oak leaf clusters, and 15,000 Purple Hearts.
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