Bill Mauldin (1922-2003)

He Never Forgot Us

34th Infantry Division Association
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Mauldin remembers ...

By Bill Mauldin, Pacific Stars and Stripes, Friday, February 18, 1972

The second winter in Italy was much like the first. The Germans had dug into the mountains between Florence and Bologna and were proving as hard to dislodge as they had been at Cassino.

There was no shortage of material for me. Still in Italy was the 34th - a classic footslogger division. Every company in it seemed to have four or five characters who had managed to survive from the beginning.

They were mostly Willie and Joe types. A large part of staying alive was latching onto a good partner, somebody who knew how to stay apprehensive while doing his job without panicking.

Once I happened upon a company in the 34th which had just taken a hit and lost one of its old-timers. The body was covered with a blanket, and the dead man's friend, another veteran, was sitting by him. I wondered what sort of partners they had been. There was no way to tell. The survivor glowered at me until I retreated, embarrassed, then he went back to staring at the corpse.

Source: Pacific Stars and Stripes, Friday, February 18, 1972
Excerpted from "The Brass Ring", Copyright 1971 by William Mauldin.

And here we can still remember him ...

Bill Mauldin Collection - Willie and Joe Up Front
Bill Mauldin Stars & Stripes Tribute

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