Tag Archives: Anzio

Technician Fifth Grade Robert D. Maxwell, USA (September 7, 1944)

Robert Dale Maxwell was born in Boise, Idaho on October 26, 1920. He joined the United States Army from Colorado during 1942, and after his initial training, was sent to North Africa to join the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment which was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division.

Upon arriving in North Africa Maxwell, who had been trained as a heavy weapons crewman for mortars and machine guns, was reassigned to be a “wireman”, responsible for setting up communications lines between the battalion headquarters and other units. These soldiers weren’t considered “combatants”, so instead of having rifles or carbines to defend themselves with, they had only their Colt M1911 .45 caliber pistols.

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The Ambush at Valmontone: Privates Christian & Johnson (June 2-3,1944)

On June 2-3, 1944 near Valmontone, Italy, soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division‘s 15th Infantry Regiment were ambushed by a Nazi mixed infantry and armor force. Two of the men caught in the ambush – both privates – on their own initiative sacrificed their own lives in lone attacks that diverted the enemy’s attention and allowed their comrades to escape.

Their names were Herbert F. Christian and Elden H. Johnston. Both men posthumously received the Medal of Honor.

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Private Furman L. Smith, USA (May 31-June 1, 1944)

Furman L. Smith was born in Six Mile, South Carolina on May 11, 1925. He was drafted into the United States Army on July 28, 1943 at age eighteen. Like so many young Americans ripped from their civilian lives to fight in distant lands, Smith held just a grammar school education and had been a farm hand in Central, South Carolina.

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Captain William W. Galt, USA (May 29, 1944)

William Wylie Galt was born on December 19, 1919 in Geyser, Judith Basin County, Montana. I wasn’t able to determine how he joined the United States Army for service in World War II, but by May 29, 1944 he was a Captain and the operations officer (S-3) with the 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment of the 34th Infantry Division.

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Staff Sergeant Rudolph B. Davila, USA (May 28, 1944)

Rudolph B. Davila was born in El Paso, Texas on April 27, 1916. His enlistment record indicates he was a high school graduate and working as a carpenter in Los Angeles, California when he was drafted for service in the United States Army on March 6, 1941.

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Private First Class Salvador J. Lara, USA (May 27-28, 1944)

Salvador J. Lara was born during 1920 in Riverside, California. His enlistment record indicates that he was a farm hand who left high school after three years and was drafted into the United States Army on July 7, 1942 for World War II service.

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First Lieutenant Beryl R. Newman, USA (May 26, 1944)

Beryl Richard Newman was born on November 2, 1911 in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Based on his relative age, his rank of First Lieutenant on May 26, 1944, and a lack of a 1938-1946 enlistment record, I am surmising that he was already in the United States Army or the National Guard prior to World War II.

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“Can Do” – Antolak, Mills, & Schauer (May 23-24, 1944)

The combat history of the 15th United States Infantry dates back to the War of 1812. The present 15th Infantry Regiment dates to the US Civil War. The regiment’s motto is simply, “Can Do”.

On May 23-24, 1944 as part of the 3rd Infantry Division, three soldiers of the 15th Infantry, two of them from the same company, embodied the regiment’s motto in the breakout from the Anzio beachhead at Cisterna di Littoria, Italy. All three men were decorated with the Medal of Honor.

They were Sergeant Sylvester Antolak, Private James H. Mills, and Private First Class Henry Schauer.

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Second Lieutenant Thomas W. Fowler, USA (May 23, 1944)

Second Lieutenant Thomas Weldon Fowler was born in Wichita Falls, Texas on October 31, 1921. After graduating from Wichita Falls High School, he entered Texas A&M in September 1939. Fowler majored in animal husbandry. As a senior, he served as a cadet captain and executive officer of the cavalry squadron. Fowler graduated in February, 1943

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Staff Sergeant George J. Hall, USA (May 23, 1944)

George John Hall was born in Stoneham, Massachusetts on January 9, 1921. He was a member of the Massachusetts National Guard activated and federalized for World War II service with the United States Army. By May 1944, Hall was a Staff Sergeant with the 34th Infantry Division‘s 135th Infantry Regiment.

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